Tips N Tricks
|High Quality sift/bubble||150F-190F||20-60 Seconds|
|Average-Low Quality sift/bubble||180F-220F||20-60 Seconds|
These are by no means the rules to rosin. These are just rough starting points. Adjust these as necessary, play with variables, and use our free Lowtemp Labs app to dial in the variables! 🙂
Note, that if you are not using a high pressure system, these temperatures will be quite a bit higher. The two mechanics in rosin are heat and pressure. So without optimal pressure, you will need higher temperatures. Optimal pressures are disputed quite often, but we find ~1000 psi to be enough for optimizing yields and quality. Sifts require much less pressure than flower, but at higher pressures and lower temperatures, sift rosin can come out a very beautiful budder right off the press. The cleaner a dry sift or bubble hash are, the lower temperature you can press them at. Techniques and equipment can only do so much, starting material is KEY!
ALWAYS APPLY PRESSURE SLOWLY! This will prevent blowouts and parchment ripping.
Fresher material tends to be lighter in color. Less mature trichomes will be lighter in color. Strains and a number of other factors can play a role in color as well. DO NOT LET COLOR BE YOUR ONLY JUDGING POINT.
Typically, at lower temperatures, you will have to hold the press for longer periods. It’s always best to do some form of directional flow. What seems to work for us is to wrap the material in parchment like a double sided open burrito. I like to cover the shorter sides with the parchment so the oil escapes out the longer sides (on 7”x4” plates, I will have the 7” sides open with the 4” sides covered in parchment). You want your oil to escape the heat as quickly as possible and escape through as little plant material as possible. It really just depends on the size and shape of material you’re pressing.
We get asked a lot if I press flowers in filter bags. For over a year, we thought it was a waste. We feel that with flower bags, you’re losing a bit of oil to the bag every time. Until we found our stitchless pouches. Due to the seamless edges, there is a significantly reduced amount of material and stitching for the oil to get caught in. If its personal amounts, we’ll just hand pick out the contaminant before collecting off the parchment. If pressing larger amounts, we’ll collect all of it very quickly. I don’t worry about contaminant at all, just speed. Then once we have a good chunk of rosin, we’ll run that through a 25 or 37 micron filter at a really low temperature. 160F works well for us. It’ll leave all your contaminant in that filter and ooze out all your pure and clean rosin.
Moisture plays a big role in flowers. Here in Denver, the flowers we get from the store are always bone dry. Boveda packs have completely changed my game. I’ve noticed an increase in yield and better consistencies. They are 2 way humidity packs. They balance the relative humidity of a small enclosed space to 62%. Just toss them in with your material, preferably at least overnight. I do carry these on the website, but I truly stand by them. I won’t keep these in the container with flowers for longer than a couple of day, as they seem to suck some terps out of the material with time.
If you are running large amounts, a pre-press can be a great idea. The concept is to create pucks of material that are pre-compressed. This prevents your material from wanting to expand past the edges of your plates, ripping your parchment, etc. It also increases efficiency by allowing you to press approx. 28g in our 3×5 platen setup and approx. 70g in our 4×7 platens. Our pre presses are compatible with our rosin pouches.
160 MICRON AND UP ARE BEST FOR FLOWERS
Sometimes rosin will be super sappy, and won’t want to come off the parchment. Just put something cold underneath the parchment, and it will make it stable enough to pick up. On the other hand, some presses can come out super shattery, to the point it’s nearly impossible to collect without it flying all over the room. Just place the parchment on something warm (not hot) and collect.
You’ll always want to use filter bags to press sifts.
PERSONALLY I PREFER 37 MICRON FOR ALL SIFTS. I FIND NO INCREASE IN QUALITY USING 25 MICRON VS 37, AND SLIGHTLY HIGHER AVERAGE YIELDS WITH 37.
We’ve tried to use coffee filters with sift, and did not get good results at all. I know that some people use them all the time. Generally, sifts require lower temperatures than flower. The higher the quality of sift, the lower temperatures you can press at. Very contaminated, dry, and old sifts will have a harder time juicing. You should almost always be able to get at least darker “food grade” rosin at about 230F with this kind of material.
Applying pressure slowly is most important with sift. Letting the plates touch the material and warm it up before applying serious pressure will also help prevent blowouts.
Pouches for sift/bubble: 25 micron-90 micron
Pouches for flowers: 160 micron and higher
Flowers don’t need to be pressed with any sort of filtration. Pouches do help speed up production massively, by preventing the material from expanding past the edge of the plates. Ideally, you want the least amount of mesh material to soak up oil.
With flowers, I personally prefer 160 micron and higher. With our flower bags, make sure to stuff the corners and the bottoms with smaller nugs first. Fill them to their max capacity! These won’t blowout. If you are pressing larger amounts and get any contaminate in your oil, just pick it all up and run it through a 25 or 37 micron screen at a low temperature press at the end.
Hydraulics are the way to go with Rosin. They are easy to pump, puts out much more pressure than can be achieved with pneumatics, and are generally very reliable. I can’t stress enough how important it is to NOT use the hydraulics full capacity!! Skim the manual included with your press to see what the sustainable pressure capacity is with your particular equipment. The industry standard is no more than 80% of the hydraulics max capacity. Maxing your press and holding it for extended periods of time will blow out seals, causing leaks, etc. Without a gauge, you just have to guesstimate how much pressure you’re applying via the resistance the press is giving you.
By and large the best system for personal to medium grows we have are the Lowtemp All in One presses with the BVA hydraulics (https://lowtemp-plates.com/collections/all-in-one). There is the option to use a 12 ton stubby bottle jack if you want to save a few bucks. The BVA hydraulics come assembled ready to go out of the box. They are like a Rolls Royce compared to the HF presses. They have a pressure gauge, external pump, lifetime warranty, made in America, and more travel/pressure per stroke. The presses can be turned horizontally for “Drip Tech” pressing style.
Hands down, the most affordable and popular press among our customers is the 12 ton Harbor freight H frame press. It’s usually around $120. Always get the warranty!!!! This is a great press, but it’s still Harbor Freight. It takes quite a few pumps to get a full press. It’s easy to build, and doesn’t take up too much space. Takes me 20 minutes and two adjustable wrenches.
They are a bit wobbly, so we recommend going with the cage units for even and square presses every single time. The cage kits really transform them into a much better experience.
Watch for their 20% off coupons as well. The 20 ton is a bit nicer due to the pressing area being at a more natural and comfortable height. It also has the extra capacity to prevent blowing out the hydraulics.
The 2nd most popular press among our DIY customers is the Dake 10 ton press: https://bit.ly/2KzVxPT This press has a pressure gauge, can rest on a table, and has an external hand pump. The cylinder/piston is adjustable left and right on the press, allowing you to go back and forth from a pre press to the cage/plates.
If you are looking to go hands free or pneumatic, you can swap the hydraulic jack on these presses out with an air jack (https://bit.ly/2M5honZ). Or you can order this 20 ton from HF that can only be ordered online(https://bit.ly/2KIiobY). It comes ready to plug into an air compressor! They still have the option to be manually cranked as well. I actually prefer the manual hydraulic presses because there are less moving parts and you can control and feel how much pressure you’re applying. To each his own! If you have questions regarding which press you should go with in your situation, feel free to reach out!