What is Rosin Tech?
“rosin tech” is an increasingly popular method for extracting concentrates from marijuana. The core method is very simple – using heat and pressure to extract resin from flower, keif or hash.
The reason for all the popularity is that the technique can be performed safely at home at small scale with inexpensive tools. The other major driver is that this method does not require the use of flammable gasses or chemical solvents that must then be properly purged from the resulting concentrate material (ie BHO process).
Plus the pressed pucks can be saved and used for cooking edibles!
In the pictures here and in the gallery the rosin is the gooey material that gets pressed out of the puck and deposited in a halo formation on the parchment paper. Sophisticated presses and high-volume producers are often able to engineer “directional flows” that look like a river of honey running out from between the plates. After pressing a scraper/tool is used to collect the rosin.
Where can I learn more?
- - Google is your friend
- - Watch the videos made by Elysian Research at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGsBO_0Knp9kQi4T03WhvZA/videos
- - Look at the amazing pictures from Elysian’s IG feed at https://www.instagram.com/ElysianResearch/
- - /r/rosin on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/rosin/
- - I’ve started a rosin gallery to document my own efforts at https://homegrow.io/rosin-gallery/
|Press||Dake 10 ton H-Frame||http://a.co/6gNY44n|
|Plates & pre-press||4x4 inch plates custom milled in USA by Honey River||https://www.instagram.com/honeyriver710/ , https://www.facebook.com/thatHoneyRiver/|
|Controllers||Digital PIDs, heating elements & custom enclosure also by Honey River||https://www.instagram.com/honeyriver710/ , https://www.facebook.com/thatHoneyRiver/|
|Small pre-press||T-shaped pill/pollen press by Interplanetary Development||http://a.co/b4kpAFB|
Step 1 - Dial In the Heat & pressure
The biggest advantage using 10ton and 20ton presses is that the higher PSI on the plate surface allows for much lower heating temperatures. Low heat has multiple advantages including preserving more of the terpenes/flavor while also producing a concentrate that is more solid and stable (less oily) at room temperature.
The DIY methods involving hair straightening irons and hand-pressure or c-clamps work fine but they typically run at 300F and hotter - presenting a clear risk of boiling off some of the more volatile resin material. End result may be less yield and diminished flavor/taste.
I’m currently testing at temperatures between 190F and 220F to see what works best for my setup and input materials.
I press at 8 tons because conventional wisdom is to never run your press higher than 80% max, especially as the rosin pressing duty cycle is often way more frequent than a press installed into a home workshop.
In the first picture below the red colored wires belong to heating elements inserted inside the plates. The silver wires are temperature probes. The heaters and probes are plugged into PID controllers that maintain whatever temperature you dial in. Precise temperature control is highly desirable.
Step 2 - Pre-press
Pre-pressing the material is generally a good idea, it makes for easier handling and weighing and is also good for reducing “blow-out” situations where the material rips and runs through the parchment paper envelope during the press.
These pucks were made with the Interplanetary Development T-press (https://www.interplanetarydevelopment.com/products/t-press) and have worked quite well.
This massive puck seen below was made via the pre-press mold that came along with the HoneyRiver PID and plate kit.
I would NEVER need a pre-press this size for normal extraction runs but a kind soul provided me with 1oz of Blueberry Headband and asked if I could press it for sharing at the 1st meeting of a Boston-area growers club.
To prep the rosin for the growers club meeting I used the pre-press mold to compress all 28 grams of the Blueberry Headband. Then I used a scalpel to cut the pieces into smaller squares for processing.
If I had 125micron filter bags handy at the time I would have pressed in larger volume but even for the 1oz “squish” I ended up pressing .5 - .9 grams of material at a time. No filter bags for that run - just parchment paper envelopes for protection and collection.
Step 3 - Fold and Protect
As of January 2017 I’m pressing between RAW brand 5x5 dual-coated parchment paper squares (http://a.co/idAHVek). I use the raw squares to fold envelopes around the pucks and I also use RAW paper to line the plates and reduce friction.
In the future I will be packaging my pucks inside 125micron filter tubes and bags to reduce plant material contaminant in the final product.
I’m having a custom run of made-in-the-USA flower and hash bags sized for my plates produced by the fine folks at http://rosinmesh.com and will update the gallery once I get to use them.
Step 5 - Squish
Simple really. Press the product at the temperature you desire for the length of time you wish. I’ve generally been doing 210F for 40-50 seconds although I’ve varied things greatly to experiment and learn more.
Step 5 - Collect!
The resulting concentrate is INCREDIBLY sticky, this is where the parchment paper comes in. A scraper tool can be easily used to collect up the rosin.
Step 6 - Consolidate!
I’ve taken to collecting each chip and chunk into a silicon container. At a certain point it becomes easy to melt them down again into a single mass – usually by placing a silicon container holding the chips on a cooling plate after I’ve turned off the heat.