How to Use a Rosin Press?

Rosin is a solvent less concentrate extracted from the cannabis, hash or marijuana flowers. This concentrate is derived in pure form lacking any foreign chemicals.

It is used for multiple purposes. The main use of the rosin is for dab smoking. The popularity of rosin for dab smoking is rapidly increasing after the legalization of rosin for recreational and medical purposes.

The rosin is extracted with the help of a heat press machine. The process involves the right combination of pressure, time and temperatures.

The quality of the rosin is of prime importance. To get the high quality of rosin, the extraction process must be optimized. Process optimization is achieved over a period of time by repeatedly undertaking the process.

For the beginners hair straightener can also be used to extract the rosin but the press machine is the best option to produce quality rosin. 

What is Rosin Press?

The rosin press is basically a heat press machine. It consists of dual heating plates and a pressing mechanism. The heating plates are manufactured from the aluminum material.

The heat retention of these plates is extra high. Some of the plates are insulated to avoid heat loss. The size of the plates differs depending on the capacity requirement.

The smaller the plates the lower the capacity will be, likewise the larger the plates the high will be the capacity.

The material between the plates is pressed to get the rosin. The pressing mechanism is the main feature of the press machine. The rosin press machines come in different powers ranging from 1 ton to 25 tons and beyond.

Press machines are categorized into different types depending on the pressing power. The main types of the press machines include the following:

    1. Manual Press Machine
    2. Hydraulic press machine
    3. Pneumatic press machine
    4. Electric press machine
    5. Hybrid Press Machine

The selection of the right rosin press machine is primarily determined on the basis loading capacity and yield. The smaller press machines are good for domestic use only while the larger press machines are used for commercial purposes.

Selection & Preparation of Material

The first step for extraction of rosin is the selection of proper raw material. The rosin concentrate can be produced for flowers, Hash, Kief, Shake and trims.

The flower material is stored at an airtight place under low temperature. Humidity level of flowers also plays an important role to obtain quality rosin.

The recommended humidity for this purpose is 55-62% RH. Boveda Humidor Packs makes the checking of flower humidity easier and efficient.

The yield and quality of rosin vary with different raw materials. The comparative of yield and quality for diverse raw materials is as under

  1. Flower: 15% to 30% yield; 100% quality
  2. Hash: 30% to 70%+ yield; 80% quality
  3. Trim: 3% to 8% yield; 30% quality
  4. Shake: 8% to 15% yield; 30% quality
  5. Kief/Sift: 30% to 60%+ yield; 75% quality

Hash gives the best combination of yield and quality while the flowers provide the maximum quality. The yield smaller nugs is even more.

The surface area of smaller nugs is more than the mass. This implies that more surface area will be covered between the plates the mass. So it doesn’t take too much effort the squeeze out all the rosin from the flower nugs.

The quantity of the flowers to be pressed decides the size of the rosin press machine. For the large quantities of cannabis and marijuana H-type press is preferred.

If you are going to press only a small amount of flowers for rosin extraction then the mini machine works the best.

Choosing a Right Size Micron Bag

Selection of the right micron bag is an important factor for rosin extraction. The micron bag plays an important role in the quality and yield of the rosin produced from the flower material.

Micron is basically the measure of the fineness of the bag openings. High micron number like 100 means larger screen opening while a small micron size like 5 indicates the smaller the opening screen of the filter bag.

The smaller micron bag delivers the highest quality but at the same time the yield of the rosin decreases. To check the suitability of the micron bag size, it is better to experiment with different sizes of bags to achieve an optimum micron size.

Though any kind of filter bag can be used, it is better to choose the same brand bag. Usually the flowers need larger micron and all other materials need the smaller size.

The right micron bag size is chosen keeping in mind the quality and yield requirements. General recommendation of micron bags for different raw materials is as under:

  1. Flower: 90 to 120 micron (or no bag)         
  2. Hash: 25 to 90 micron
  3. Dry Sift/Kief: 36 to 90 micron
  4. Trim/Leaves/Shake: 115 to 220 micron
  5. Filling the Material in the Bag

Now that you have selected the right micron bag for the rosin extraction process, now comes the time to fill the material in the bag. Filling of cannabis material in the bag requires careful handling of material.

Gently break the cannabis flowers into small pieces. Remove the stems and unnecessary material, don’t break the buds. There is no need to grind the material. Grinding or breaking the material can hamper the trichomes present in the flowers.

Fill the micron bag with small pieces of material. Don’t leave any void or space in the bag. This will be counter-productive as it will again absorb the rosin extracted.

Thoroughly check the bottom and side corner for any void. The empty spaces within the bag will reduce the yield. Fill the bag firmly and strongly to avoid this situation.

For commercial scale batch production of rosin, store the filled micron bags with a boveda pack. This will keep the bags at required humidity level until the bag is ready for processing.

In this way we can get consistent results.

Pre-pressing the Material

Once the material is loaded in the micron bag by your hands, it is better to press the material with the help of mold.

The pre-pressing will remove the voids and inconsistencies in the bag and endure even uniform distribution of material throughout the material. The even distribution of material also prevents the blowouts from the bag.

The prepressing will make the rosin extraction process smooth and easier. The yield will increase and consistent results will be obtained. The rosin extracted by the way will also be of high quality taste.

Preparing Parchment Paper

Pressing the micron bag between the hot plates can result in leakage of rosin onto the plates. The leaked rosin concentrate will stick to the surface and reduce the efficiency of the plates.

The maintenance and cleaning of the plates will cost downtime and money.

To secure the heating plates, it is better to fold the micron bags in the parchment paper. The parchment paper is closed from the three sides and rosin can leak from the side only.

The extraction process will be leak free with the parchment paper. The collection of rosin extracted from the flower material will also be convenient with the parchment paper.

Loading of Bag into Press

Now that micron bag is filled and prepared. Place the parchment paper having a filled bag between the heating plates horizontally.

Now lower the plates until the upper plate touches the lower one. Make sure that plates are properly aligned before placing the loaded material.

Bottle tech methods can also be used to place the material between the plates. In this method the parchment paper is placed vertically. This allows pressure to be controlled easier.

Setting up of Time & Temperatures

Now the machine is ready for setting up the pressing parameters. Check the installation and press machine before starting the process.

Every machine is provided with a double channel digital controller to manipulate the temperature and time.

The pressing temperature is the most important factor to get the quality rosin from the material.

The pressing temperature depends on a number of factors like type of material, quality, age & condition of material and most importantly the relative humidity of the material.

Generally speaking dry material requires a bit higher temperature while a fresher material will need temperature. As a thumb rule the flower material is heated between 85-110 oC. The hash is pressed at 65-105 oC.

The double channel controller allows adjusting the temperature of both plates separately while with the single only one temperature can be maintained with the both plates. Automatic controllers automatically adjust the pressing temperature during the process.

Timer button is also fitted on most of the machine. This button permits setting the pressing time before the start.

The pressing time also depends on the quality of the rosin intended. Usually the material is pressed between 30-40 seconds.

Extraction of Rosin Concentrate

After loading the material it is preheated for 30-40 seconds to prepare the material for the extraction process. Some machines may take even 2-3 minute to attain the set temperature.

Once the set temperature is achieved, now is the time to start pressing the material by applying pressure. The pressure is applied by different techniques like manual, hydraulic, pneumatic, electric and hybrid.

The pressure is applied gradually to avoid the breaking of the machine. Don’t exceed the recommended limit of the pressure. Keep the pressure below the capacity of the machine.

After reaching the upper limit of the pressure, wait for a few seconds to make sure that all the rosin is extracted from the material. Release the pressure and let the upper plate move vertically up.

The pressure limit depends on the type of the machine. Smaller machines are designed for the low pressure while the larger ones cater the commercial needs.

The temperature of the pressing should not be increased too much. At medium temperature the rosin produced is of high quality. At an extra high temperature the rosin extracted can be burned and quality is hampered.

Optimum temperature and pressure can be achieved by practicing the process for a number of times. Balanced conditions of temperature, pressure and time will help to produce high quality rosin.

Collection of Rosin

The collection of rosin also requires proper collection tools. One of the best ways to collect the extracted rosin from the parchment paper is to place a steel plate in the fridge.

Let it cool for some time. Remove the parchment paper from the machine and place it on the cooled plate.

The temperature difference will ensure the quick separation of rosin from the parchment paper. Now collect the rosin from the paper with a collection tool and put it in a suitable jar for storage purposes.

Storage of Rosin

The storage of the rosin depends on the storage time period. For short term storage place the rosin in a parchment paper and then place in a silicon jar. Make the jar air tight to keep the taste and quality of the rosin intact.

For long term storage of extracted rosin, put the rosin in a parchment paper and then place it in a vacuum sealed glass jar or steel container. Keep the jar in a cool and dark place.

Summary

The press machine is used for extraction of rosin from cannabis or marijuana. The material is filled in the micron bag. The micron bag is wrapped in parchment paper and then loaded between heating plates.

The temperature and time is adjusted with the help of a controller. Now the material has started to press, applying the pressure. The pressure is applied gradually to avoid any damage to the machine. The pressing temperature is also kept low to get high quality rosin products.

The extracted rosin is collected with the help of a tool and then stored in an air tight silicon or glass jar.

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