How to use a Rosin Press

Rosin Press Guide – How to Make Rosin at Home like a Pro

Step by Step guide to making rosin

 

Quality vs Yield

So, you’ve read about all the benefits of using a rosin press and now find yourself in the purchasing  a 20 Ton Crusher Rosin Press. With a growing number of options out in the market today, we’re glad you chose 710 Life!   Let’s first take a step back and consider the quality and yields of each of the material that we’re pressing.  If you are pressing flower and are getting average results. Almost always it’s because they are squishing average flowers, which is perfectly fine, but if you want stellar results, you need stellar material.  Quality is King, Followed By Freshness ! This doesn’t mean that you have to go purchase “Platinum” shelf buds at your local dispensary or fill your entire garden just with Gorilla Glue #4, but with rosin, your results are mostly predetermined in the garden if your press is up to par. Quality is also closely related to freshness, and you will often see your very best results when pressing flowers as soon after they are dried and cured as possible. The longer you wait, the darker it will be, so make sure to squish buds when they’re as fresh as possible.

(Quality is King, Followed By Freshness)

Similarly, we have not noticed perceptible differences between the flower rosin pressed from hydro, soil, coco, etc grown flowers – the grow media plays a factor inasmuch as the skill of the grower is the biggest determination with each particular substrate. That being said, some strains and types of cannabis flowers do tend to yield better than others, namely indicas and hybrids anecdotally do better than wispy sativas. Your heavy hitter, ultra-potent plants are usually going to be big yielders as the resin production is elevated with genetics such as The White, Gorilla Glue, Ghost Train Haze, and many more. When it comes down to it, the biggest determination for yield, flavor, and quality is all based on how well the material was grown and how strong its genetics were in the first place.

The material you use to make your rosin has a large impact on the quality. In general, higher quality input material leads to higher quality output. On top of that, some strains simply produce more and better rosin than others.  When it comes to type of material, you can use cannabis flowers, hash, kief/sift, shake or trim. Flower will give you the best quality, but lower yields. Hash gives you the best combination of yield and quality.  Quality is king! The quality and strain makes a big difference, which is why you see a large range in potential yields for each type of material.

  • Trim: 3% to 8% yield; 30% quality
  • Shake: 8% to 15% yield; 30% quality
  • Flower: 15% to 30% yield; 100% quality
  • Kief/Sift: 30% to 60%+ yield; 75% quality
  • Hash: 30% to 70%+ yield; 80% quality

If you are using flower, try to use smaller nugs, since they have more surface area relative to their total mass. More surface area and less mass in the middle means the rosin does not have to travel as far to get out and there is less chance any stays inside.  Relative humidity also plays a vital role when pressing flower. If the nugs are too dry, they soak up much of the extract, like a sponge. The ideal range is 55% to 62% relative humidity.  If you are unsure about the humidity, these humidity packs to ensure your material is always at the ideal relative humidity.  A major factor that we determined after many flower rosin presses is that the humidity and moisture content of your buds will make a massive difference for your flower rosin yields. The reason for this is that if your cannabis is very dry, it will act like a sponge when the trichomes are liquefied, thus soaking up much of the rosin before it has a chance to escape. When you press your flowers, always make sure the relative humidity content of your material is at least 55% to 62% for optimal results.

You can quickly and easily check the moisture content of your flower by using either an analog hygrometer, such as the kind found in many cigar boxes, or what we suggest is making the $25 investment in a digital Caliber IV hygrometer. They work much more quickly and are far more accurate, making a digital hygrometer worth every penny for your rosin pressing process. To increase the humidity levels of your buds, you can pick up pre-set humidity packs from Integra or Boveda; both companies sell packs that get your material to a perfect 55% or 62% moisture level.

Rosin Filter Bags

If you are pressing flower, you don’t need to use a rosin press filter bag, but I’d recommend one anyway. For all other types of material, you’ll definitely want to use one.  Rosin filter bags come in different sizes and different micron counts. The sizes are self-explanatory and you generally want to use a size that closely matches the size of the heat plates you are using. Click here to check out our bags

Parchment Paper

The parchment paper is used to collect the rosin. You can find parchment paper in most grocery stores.

If you want to make sure you get high-quality, FDA approved food-safe paper.

Additional Optional Equipment

  • Scraping Tool:Use this to scrape the rosin off the parchment paper. Some people will just use a knife, screwdriver or some other tool they already have, but it’s much faster and easier to use the tool meant for the job. They’re not overly expensive either.
  • Pre-Press Mold:Use this to ensure your material is evenly packed inside the filter bag and that it is distributed all the way to the seams, to make pressing easier and to help prevent blowouts. Here are the molds we carry.

Step 1: Fill Your Filter Bag

First and foremost, you can absolutely press flower rosin without a bag if you want, but you are liable to get little bits and pieces of plant material in your rosin on the other end. If you are pressing a rosin filter bag however, getting the right micron screen size is essential in order to strike a great yield-to-quality ratio. The rule of thumb we stick by is that you should never press flower rosin in anything less than 90 micron width. Below that, you can compromise your yield without getting noticeable gains in quality. Similarly, anything above 150 micron width tends to not filter that well, so reductions in quality may be realized. The relationship between micron type and material type is very important, because the higher the micron count, the more porous the mesh filter is.

90 Micron: best filtration and highest quality output for flower rosin, some reduction in yield.
115 Micron: best overall micron filter type for flower rosin, a great sweet spot for yield and quality.

Also, always make sure if you’re pressing in a bag to use 100% polyester filter mesh, which is the most conducive for yields while also being one of the FDA’s top recommended food grade fabrics. Stainless steel screens are prone to scratching plates and cutting yields, whereas silk screens stretch a significant amount, making it difficult to accurately track your pressure data.

Fill your filter bag with material. Make sure not to over-stuff it. You need to leave some empty space in the bag to prevent it from blowing out during the press.  If you are pressing flower and not using a bag, ignore this step, obviously.

Step 2: Pre-Press Material (Optional)

If you do not have a pre-press mold, don’t worry about this step. If you do have one, put your bag inside the mold and apply pressure.  Pre-pressing your material ensures that it is more evenly packed and distributed to the seams, which makes for easier oil extraction. It also helps prevent bag blowouts, especially with kief, dry sift, hash and bubble hash.

Step 3: Set Pressing Time And Temperature

This part is a bit tricky, since every strain is different and they all react differently to the same pressing times and temperatures. For that reason, it is best to start out with small amounts, until you dial in the ideal time and temp for your particular strain.  Temperature is perhaps the most debated variable in the rosin pressing equation today, with fierce proponents on both sides of the spectrum (hotter vs. colder pressing). When you apply heat and pressure to your flower, the speed and consistency in which the trichomes liquefy depends greatly on what temperature is being used, as well as the evenness of that heat distribution.  Generally, there are two accepted ranges within which to press virtually any type of rosin.

Cold Pressing: 160°F – 190°F, pressed for between 1 and 5 minutes or longer, which often produces a budder or batter consistency. Rich terpene preservation, but sometimes with a sacrifice in yield.
Hot Pressing: 190°F – 220°F, pressed for between :45 seconds and 3 minutes, which frequently produces a very oily or shatter-like consistency. High terpene preservation if pressed at 220°F or below, often accompanying an increase in yield over cold pressing.

In our opinion, we have found the most success around the 210°F – 220°F range which offers a great compromise between quality and yield. If terpene preservation and quality is your #1 goal, you should probably start colder and evaluate your results, however we have observed very little terpene loss in that range. Above 235°F however there can be noticeable losses in flavor and terpenes, but we have customers who swear by pressing at as high as 250°F. Try and see what works best for you, if you find something great, tell us in the comments section!

To get started, we recommend the following times and temperatures, and then adjusting from there:

  • Best Temperature To Press Kief (Dry Sift) or Hash
  • The best temperature for pressing kief or hash is between 170° and 190° F. I recommend starting at 180° F for 65 seconds and adjusting from there. When pressing kief (or hash) you want to keep the temperature lower, but increase the pressing time. This way, you don’t degrade the terpenes from too high a temperature, but still get good yields due to the longer pressing time.
  • How Long To Press Kief (Dry Sift) or Hash
  • Start with a pressing time of 65 seconds at 180° F and adjust from there. As mentioned, since you are decreasing the temperatures for hash and dry sift, you want to increase the pressing time.
  • Best Temperature and Time To Press Flower
  • The ideal range for pressing flower is between 215° and 230° F. I’d start at 220° for about 40 seconds and adjust from there.If you prefer a rosin with more of a batter-like consistency, you’ll want to press much colder and longer. Use a temperature between 160° and 190° F and press for 1 to 5 minutes. This will maximize terpene preservation, but at a sacrifice in yield.
  • Hash: 175° F for 60 seconds
  • Dry Sift/Kief: 190° F for 60 seconds
  • Flower: 215° F for 35 seconds
  • Trim/Leaves/Shake: 225° F for 35 seconds

Step 4: Press Your Material

Take a piece of parchment paper (you may have to cut it, if you are not using the same brand as the press) and fold it in half. Place you filter bag with the material in between the two halves of the parchment paper and put everything on top of the bottom pressing plate. Make sure the material is in the middle of the plate.  Engage the press. When it is done, remove the material from the parchment paper. You can go ahead and press a second, and even third, time. Yields and quality go down with each subsequent press, but you generally still get a good bit of extract, so it’s usually worth it.

Best PSI For Rosin

If your press allows you to control the amount of pressure delivered like our 20 Ton Crusher Electronic Rosin Press, you might consider keeping pressure levels within the ideal ranges.  In order to calculate the psi (pounds per square inch) of your press from the pressure given in tons, perform the following calculation:

  1. Convert the pressure to pounds (1 t = 2000 lbs): a 10 ton press is 20,000 lbs
  2. Calculate the size in square inches of the bag (not the plates): a 2 x 6 bag is actually 1.8 x 6 when you factor in the seems, so it is 1.8 x 6 = 10.8 square inches
  3. Divide the pressure in pounds by the size of the bag: 20,000 lbs / 10.8 sq in = 1852 psi

As you can see, with that bag size, a 10 ton press delivers far more pressure than is actually ideal. 5 tons of pressure would be plenty for any type of material with that same bag size (5 tons is 10,000 lbs / 10.8 = 926 psi).  As with anything, this all depends on so many factors: the strain and quality of the input material, the relative humidity (ideally 55% to 62%) and your personal preference among others.  That is why the key is to start with small amounts and adjust temperature, time and pressure until you find the right combination for that strain and your tastes. Then ramp up production.

 

 

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