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Rosin Press: Information Thread

ShiggityFlip

Member of the Month: Jan 2016, Aug 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2017 - Photo of the Month: Sept 2016
Hey all, I have been wanting to put up a rosin tech thread. About six months ago Pakalolohawaii posted a rosin tech thread that blew my mind.

How to - Rosin Tech

So the generalized idea of Rosin Tech is this.
1. Cut a 3' x 6" piece of parchment paper.(not wax paper!)
2. Take a bud and flatten it as much as possible between the folded sheet of parchment paper.
3. Heat your hair iron or rosin press
4. Place the bud inside the two heated plates
5. Press as hard as you can for several seconds
6. Remove the paper and carefully remove the bud chip.
7. Use a dab tool to collect the rosin. Lower temps like a freezer will make sappy rosin easy to collect.
8. Smoke/vape your rosin!

Using a hair straightener he would press buds between parchment paper and then have dab ready concentrate in just a few minutes. No solvents no fuss no muss. I went out and bought a hair straightener right away and began to try the method. The lowest temp straightener I could find bottomed out at 320. I could press some nugs and get almost nothing it seemed. Others gave me much more but it still seemed a meager yield and terps were lacking.

I found a modification called the HMK rosin press invented by Hashmasta-Kut. He gutted the hair straightener and combined it with a mechanical clamp. I did the same and gave it a shot. I still found the temps to be too high but the yield was increased significantly. It was actually worth doing!



So then I started looking at getting temps down. You can do lower temps with an HMK press, you can either let it cool and read it with a temp gun, or put the nug in parchment paper and clam p it in the press when cool then heat it up till you hear a sizzle. But both these methods seemed like a pain and would not be useful for high throughput.

I started looking at different commercial solutions. Most early rosin presses are based on T-shirt decal presses or other such devices. They were not made for the task and many break soon after purchase. Their plates are 5" x 5" or greater so high pressure is very difficult to achieve.

A good press right now takes the form of heated plates fixed to an arbor press, table vice, or hydraulic press, each with advantages and disadvantages. I settled in on an arbor press because of portability and also price.
I found a good set of plates custom made by Joel W. that are made of 70% CUNI (Copper Nickel). Most commercial plates are Steel or aluminum. Stay away from aluminum as they may warp over time. I really like the design f the plates I received. They have several ingenious features. 1st the CUNI is great for thermal transfer but hard enough from the nickel to not warp over time. They are drilled to accept 20W adjustable soldering irons. These irons cost only 10 dollars a piece, unlike most rosin presses which use cartridge heaters or an enail and are much more expensive. You can see that Joel included wood blocks as insulators. Each block has a piece of steel in the center to transfer load but prevent thermal transfer to the body f the press. My press barely heats up at all because of the insulators. The plates easily attach to an arbor press or hydraulic press with the four bolts provided.



I bought a 1 ton arbor press from Amazon for about 65 bucks and it came in a few days. Assembled it looks like this with the plates and irons. I used a meat thermometer between the plates to get to my target temp.



Looking for a cheap way to monitor the plates separately I bought a K style thermocouple from ebay that lets me now read both plates as individual temps. I hold them on with aluminum tape but will eventually drill a small hole and fix them permanently with some JB weld.




My first press of a Huckleberry Kush nug blew my mind. This is one nug (about 0.7g) and two presses at 220F.



So far yields have gone from 15%-22%. For each I squshed 3.5gm nug in 0.5gm pieces.
Huck Kush V3 (22% yield)
Pineapple Fields Linda (16% yield)
Tutankhamon (15% yield)

Several things will affect the yield. Trichome and THC level, bud shape/density, higher temps, pressure, etc. Currently I run at 220F. I find I don't lose any terps this way (or a negligible amount). The flavor is like vaping the bud but more intense. The alpha pinene can really burn in your chest (in a good way). I can still feel some sticky on the bud chips so upping the pressure with a hydraulic press is my eventual goal. But I am more than happy with the results so far. A good 15 minutes of active pressing can set me up for almost a weeks worth of dabbing. And I am saving all the flattened bud chips for edibles.




So far I have only pressed cured nugs so the color is a bit darker. But that awesome hashy cured taste comes through nicely. Delicious. The Rosin is usually sappy but I think that is due to terpene levels which tend to be much higher than with BHO. I also successfully pressed Kief by foldng it inside a brown coffee filter and putting that in parchment. I pressed very slowly to make sure I didnt blow out the coffee filter. You can also buy silkscreen bags for pressing buds or kief but they are expensive at about 1 dollar each.



So how much did all of this cost?
arbor press $65
plates $150
Thermocouple $20
Soldering irons $20

total $255ish.

Commercial models exist like mine but the cost is about 370 -450. If you want to go the ready made route I would get the arbor press version from High5 or from the Nugrunner. These are perfect for personal use.

For personal use I think my 2' circular plates are perfect. You could go larger but then I would use a hydraulic press. Plates larger than 2" will also decrease overall yield. Heat is what extracts the rosin. We want the rosin to go from the bud to a cool area. With 2" plates the rosin escapes easily so we can do along press without degrading the quality. A larger plate will let you do more material, but the rosin has farther to go to escape the heat. It also has to travel past all the material to get there.

For personal pressing the smaller the amount of material the better. I find that 0.5g pieces work fantastic. I press them for about 10 seconds then fold then repress to get a higher yield.

Arbor presses are cheap and small (relatively). But you must maintain pressure. So vices and hydraulic presses are probably easier on the muscles. I am going to attach a foot stirrup to the lever of my press to make it easier. You could also slip a pipe over the end of the press lever for added torque.

I hope this encourages discussion and experimentation. Feel free to clutter this thread with questions and pics of your rosin or presses. This is the revolution people. No dangerous expensive solvents. No drying time. No wait! Press and dab. Your life will never be the same. And neither will your tolerance :19:
:circle-of-love:
 

Major PITA

Member of the Month: Oct 2015, June 2016
Looks great, man!
Something to consider:
Buy a P.I.D. controller for your soldering irons. Then you can dial in exactly any temp you want and forget about it, or easily raise or lower as desired. They are cheap and work great for this kind of stuff. I use one on a DIY BBQ UDS (ugly drum smoker) I built a couple of years ago. It will hold any temp you set to within 1 degree. Cost is under $20.
I love DIY stuff like this! I already have a hydraulic press, soldering irons, a P.I.D. and scrap metal. Hmmm...
:thanks:
 

ShiggityFlip

Member of the Month: Jan 2016, Aug 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2017 - Photo of the Month: Sept 2016
Looks great, man!
Something to consider:
Buy a P.I.D. controller for your soldering irons. Then you can dial in exactly any temp you want and forget about it, or easily raise or lower as desired. They are cheap and work great for this kind of stuff. I use one on a DIY BBQ UDS (ugly drum smoker) I built a couple of years ago. It will hold any temp you set to within 1 degree. Cost is under $20.
I love DIY stuff like this! I already have a hydraulic press, soldering irons, a P.I.D. and scrap metal. Hmmm...
:thanks:
The PIDs are nice for sure. These irons I bought have a settable temp dial on the side. So I dialed in the temp that would give me the right temp for the plates and now I just keep it there. Build that press Major! You know you want to. :high-five:
 

ShiggityFlip

Member of the Month: Jan 2016, Aug 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2017 - Photo of the Month: Sept 2016
I need to put up some videos so you guys can see how easy it is. It blows my mind that i can warm up the press then work for 15 minutes and get a gram of super terpy rosin. I wish you all could taste it. You would run to the computer and start ordering stuff!
 

ShiggityFlip

Member of the Month: Jan 2016, Aug 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2017 - Photo of the Month: Sept 2016
How's the high from rosin?

Is it comparable to anything?

I love the idea of a solvent-less oil!!
Pigeons the high from rosin is super intense. It is the best concentrate I have ever made including dry ice, Qwiso, Qwet, bubble, and BHO. So easy to do and the result is as great as the starting material. It hits like a freight train and makes me cough from the intense terps. You detect flavors so much better than vaping buds. I keep my black pepper on hand because it can get out of control quickly if you are not careful. If you have had good BHO, compare it to that. But tastier.
 

Graytail

Plant of the Year: 2014 - Plant of the Month: Dec 2014 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2015, Mar & Aug 2016, Dec 2017, Aug 2018, Jan 2019 - Nug of the Year: 2017 - Photo of the Month: June 2018
:popcorn:
 
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