It is critical to maintain the appropriate moisture level in our starting material while pressing rosin to ensure that the quality and quantity of solventless cannabis extract are optimal. We understand that a raw flower plucked from a live plant is unsuitable between the plates when extracting the flower. The gurgling and sizzling of moisture as it rushes out of wet buds is an unmistakable sign that conditions are improper for extracting rosin (and never to be repeated!).
Drying cannabis flowers for rosin extraction is similarly crucial, as is properly drying bubble hash for the same purpose. We wouldn’t have any more luck trying to make a wet hash pancake at the press than we would with raw live flowers.
Unlike cannabis flowers, hash has to be dried carefully in order to avoid mold growth. Hash has to be dried in a considerably different way than cannabis flowers in order for it not to mold.
So what are the best ways to dry bubble hash?
There are three main methods that extractors use to dry their ice water bubble hash:
- Air Drying Method
- Cold Room
- Freeze Dryer
The first approach, which involves drying wet hash in an open container, is ideal for individuals who are just getting started. The second two, Cold Room Drying and Freeze Drying, are more suitable for commercial operations.
The air drying technique entails covering the hash in a thin layer over a broad surface area and allowing water to evaporate fully and effectively via natural air exchange. It is advisable to use cold equipment and a chilly working environment.
Things you need for air drying include:
- A large piece of cardboard (pizza boxes work great!)
- Some sort of kitchen grater, either a microplane or sieve/strainer
- Parchment Paper
- A freezer
- A cool and dark room with low humidity
- Wet ice water bubble hash
After collecting the freshly extracted hash from the bubble bags, put it straight into the freezer on parchment paper or slick pads. Place your microplane or strainer in the freezer as well. Allow the hash to freeze for 12 hours after that
While the wet hash is freezing, line your cardboard or pizza box with parchment paper. Cut long pieces of parchment paper from a roll large enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard and ensure that it’s silicone-side up. You can purchase our high-quality parchment here.
Remove the hash from the freezer and break it down into little clumps with your hands. It will be frozen into solid lumps, making it simpler to handle. One at a time, take one puck-shaped clump and pass it over the microplane or strainer using just enough pressure to finely smash apart the frozen mass. The objective is to create the most sand-like texture that is feasible, resulting in a larger surface area for overall hash consumption.
A sieve is a tiny bowl-like screen that is often used in the kitchen and bakery, but it can also be used to break up fresh hash to dry. It’s also less abrasive than a microplane on delicate trichome heads.
Place the frozen hash chunks between your fingertips and scrape back and forth in quick, short strokes across the strainer, applying just enough pressure to push the hash through the sieve and into fine shards. A spoon can be useful in pressing the frozen chunks against the screen material, breaking down the hash clump and isolating individual trichomes as much as possible. Remember to keep everything as cold as feasible!
Increasing surface area is the name of the game when it comes to drying hash. It also allows the dry cardboard to better help wick moisture away from damp hash.
Close the pizza box’s lid and transfer it to a cool, dark, and dry location. If at all feasible, aim for temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or less with less than 50% relative humidity. The hash might take up to a week to fully dehydrate.
Cold Room Method
The Cold Room Method is a type of Air Drying Technique in which the room temperature is kept at around 40°F rather than aiming for cooler room temperatures. The ice water hash may be stored on parchment-covered trays in the cold room until completely dry.
The lower the relative humidity, the more susceptible a component is to corrosion. In addition, controlling moisture level is important, and automated systems are helpful in this regard. This system works well for commercial applications because of the operational complexities involved in producing a room that can maintain these low temperatures.
The disadvantage of such low temperatures is that they slow down the degradation of terpenes and cannabinoids, which is accelerated by heat.
A wine cooler can be used to dry cold room cannabis. Wine coolers allow us to obtain the temperature and humidity levels required for bubble hash drying in a compact location.
Freeze Dryer Method
The Freeze Dryer Method for drying bubble hash is the most effective way to preserve the integrity of your trichomes. Freeze dryers are specialist pieces of equipment that come with a high price tag, as you might imagine. The expense of using a freeze dryer is the most significant disadvantage.
Depending on your demands, the expense may or may not be warranted, because freeze dryers provide a higher level of quality in the finished product than other drying methods can.
Freezing dryers are incredibly simple to operate once they’re acquired and installed. With the touch of a button, all you have to do is push, so this adds convenience to the list of advantages.
Dryers that freeze dry bubble hash employ the procedure of sublimation to remove moisture from wet hash. Freeze dryers don’t rely on natural air exchange to evaporate water, so breaking down fresh wet hash before drying isn’t necessary. Freshly extracted hash can be directly added to the freeze dryer after passing through ice water filter bags.
We can prevent tearing the delicate trichome membranes that surround all of our desirable cannabis compounds by skipping the microplaning or sieving process. The goal is to minimize bursting trichomes as much as possible while hash making and drying, and freeze dryers provide us a competitive advantage in this area.
To prepare for freeze drying, simply spread the wet hash on a parchment paper-lined tray in a very thin and uniform layer. There are three factors to consider before putting the hash in the freezer dryer: freezer time, drying time, and shelf temperature.
Freezing dryers have settings that allow you to modify the environment during the drying process. The first freezing phase, followed by the main drying phase, and finally the final drying phase make up a complete cycle of a freeze dryer.
The quantity of hash you’re drying, as well as the wet form’s oily or sandlike texture (whether it’s sluggish or fast), will impact how long it takes to dry. To dry properly, more volatile and globular/oily hash needs lower temperatures and longer drying times, around 16 hours. Dryer and more stable/sandy hash may be dried at higher temperatures and reduced drying periods of around 10 hours.
It’s critical that the shelf temperature be set to no higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning the freeze drying cycle, otherwise terpene loss will occur.
Once the hash seems dry, give it a dab test and listen for popping and crackling. If it’s still wet the moisture will flare out and sizzle in the banger, letting you know that the hash needs more time to dry.
The freeze drying approach is the answer if you have a freeze dryer and high-quality is your primary goal. In the sector, usage of freeze dryers is becoming more common, and it’s hard to dispute that they provide superior drying conditions for bubble hash.
There’s nothing wrong with our old Air Drying Method, and it’s still a fantastic option for drying bubble hash. You can still get excellent levels of quality if you follow the proper procedure.
What’s your favorite bubble hash drying technique? Leave a remark with your answer!