Top 6 Tips for How to Make High-Quality Rosin
Learn How to Make High Quality Rosin
Are you dreaming of producing high-quality rosin or getting higher yields? Do you want to take your extraction to the next level and get clear, potent, pure rosin from your press every time? Below we’ve listed our best tips for how to get the highest yields and make the best quality rosin possible.
But before we talk about how to improve the quality of your extractions, let’s review the basics. Rosin is simply an extraction or concentrate made by exposing a small amount of plant material to heat and pressure so that the desired components are forced out in the form of a thick “rosin”. Rosin can be made from starting material such as flower, dry sift, or other harvest products using just a dedicated machine or with a few tools you likely have around your home.
Making rosin using only heat and pressure is preferred over the use of solvents, which can change the flavor and quality of the end product. Making rosin without solvents is preferred by consumers who don't want residual, man-made chemicals in their concentrates.
The heat and pressure method of extraction has been used for thousands of years to make products that are a part of our everyday lives. Squeezing the oil from an olive for olive oil or extracting the juice from a grape for wine are both examples of solventless extractions producing potent concentrates.
It doesn’t take long for a beginner to the world of rosin making to want to graduate beyond the inconsistent finished product often produced using a hair straightener or flat iron begin to ask, “What are the best materials, humidity, temperature, time, micron bag, and pressure to make high-quality rosin?” We’re here to help.
6 Tips For Making High Quality Rosin
Check below the six incredible tips we have for a rosin producer like you!
- Best Materials
- Best Humidity
- Best Temperature
- Best Micron Bags
- Best Pressure
- Best Cool Down
Choose the BEST Materials
In the world of making rosin, the quality and freshness of the plant material you start with is one of the greatest factors in the quality of your final rosin. It’s always good to remember that if you put high-quality materials into your press, you’re much more likely to get high-quality rosin out. But there’s no way to produce high-quality rosin from low quality plant material or junk flower, no matter how precise your process or how expensive your press.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy the most expensive, high-grade flower or plant material you can find, but use the best you can get within your budget because quality of input is the greatest determiner to quality of output.
Quality is also affected by the freshness of your source material. Most often, you’ll get the best results from flower that’s pressed as soon after it’s dried and cured as possible. The longer you wait, the darker your rosin will be, so always try to press flower when it’s as fresh as possible.
How well the plants were cared for during their growth and flowering cycles can have more of an impact on the final rosin product than the growing medium used. Many rosin producers report that there doesn’t seem to be a discernable difference in flower rosin that came from plants grown in soil, hydro, or coco, but some strains and plant varieties tend to produce flowers more readily pressed into high-yield rosin than others. Remember that genetics play an important role in this process, so use strains that are known for their potency to get more beautiful yellow rosin seeping down onto your parchment paper.
Choose the BEST Humidity
It’s fairly common for those new to pressing rosin to experience low yields and lower quality rosin because their flower or plant material was too dry. Plant material that’s too dry acts like a sponge, soaking up the rosin you’re working to extract. Once the trichomes and oils begin to heat up and separate from the plant material, they’ll get reabsorbed back into the plant material if it’s too dry, rather than flowing out and onto your collection pad or parchment paper.
So how dry is too dry for making rosin or put another way, what’s the best humidity for pressing rosin and how do you measure such a thing? What we’re talking about here is the humidity and moisture content of your flower or plant material. It’s recommended that for optimum results the relative humidity content of the flower or plant material you intend to press into rosin should be between 55%-62%. How can you determine the relative humidity of your source material? A simple analog hygrometer, such as you use in a cigar box or humidor will work, but we recommend making a small investment into a digital hygrometer for best results. If you find you need to raise the humidity of your flower, pre-set humidity packs can quickly and easily raise the moisture level to 55% - 62%. Remember that the moisture content of your plant material will play a major role in your yield.
Choose the BEST Temperature
When it comes to pressing rosin, temperature and time are the most critical factors in getting good results. These are also the most debated and discussed factors in rosin making because finding the precise combination of temperature and time is a bit of an artform – with some preferring to go low and slow like barbecue, others swear by using quickly pressing flower rosin at higher temperatures, while many other find the sweet spot somewhere in between. But whatever method you use, understanding how temperature and time effect the quality and yield of your rosin is critical to improving the quality of your rosin.
The amount of heat and pressure applied to your plant material by the rosin presses heated plates (as well as how evenly each is distributed) will determine the speed and consistency that the trichomes liquify. There is debate about temperature in rosin pressing, with some preferring a “cold press” method and others the “hot press” method.
Cold Press Method: Press at 160°F/71°C - 190°F/87°C for 1 - 5 minutes. Produces a thick, batter-like consistency with excellent terpene preservation, but has been known to produce lower yields.
Hot Press Method: 190°F/87°C - 220°F/104°C for 45 seconds - 3 minutes. Typically produces oily or shatter-like consistency product. Excellent terpene preservation at 220°F or below, often with higher yields than the cold press method.
We’ve had the best results providing a good balance between quality and yield when pressing flower or plant material at 210° - 220° F. If preserving terpenes and quality is a higher priority than yield, consider starting with lower temperatures and evaluating your results, but we have noticed very little terpene loss at the 210°-220°F range. (Note that above 235°F there is a more significant and noticeable loss of flavor and terpines.) As we mentioned, finding the right temperature and time for pressing your flower or plant material into rosin is as much art as science, so ultimately these are guidelines you can use to help choose the method that works best for you!
Choose the BEST Micron Bags
When doing extractions, most rosin makers use filter bags to prevent small bits of plant material from getting into your final product. But there’s no one-size-fits-all rosin filter bag that’s best for every purpose. Ideally, you want to equally maximize both quality and quality, so choosing the right micron filter is crucial for getting the best rosin product selecting the correct micron for the job is crucial.
When looking at rosin filter bags, remember that the smaller the holes in the bag (the smaller the number the smaller the holes, such as 25u) and the larger the holes, the more plant material that’s allowed through (indicated by larger numbers such as 220u).
Now you have to ask yourself how much plant material do you want in your rosin or extract? If maximizing yields is your main concern and you aren’t bothered with small amounts of plant material in your rosin, use a higher micron size. If creating the purest, clearest rosin or extract is your goal and you value quality over quantity, a lower micron size is the way to go. For a balance of both, use bags with a micron size somewhere in between.
90 micron filter bags have the lowest micron width we can recommend for pressing flower. Filter bags with holes smaller than that begin to negatively effect yields with negligible increases in quality. When pressing flower, 90 micron filter bags are a great choice if you are looking to prioritize quality and are willing to sacrifice a small amount of yield.
120-160 microns are the largest sized rosin bags we can recommend for pressing flower rosin, since filter bags above this size begin to see a sacrifice of purity and overall quality since unwanted material can make its way through the screen. We’ve found that 90-120 micron filters will provide a good balance between quality and yield for when you need to get the most from the plant material or flower you’re pressing.
The materials that the rosin bags are made from is also important to keep in mind since different materials perform differently when exposed to heat and pressure. We’ve found that food grade nylon performs the most consistently and durably in most rosin press situations.
Choose the BEST Pressure
There’s a common misconception about making rosin and other extractions that essentially says “More is better” when it comes to pressure - but this has turned out to be simply untrue. In the past it was believed that you needed to have a massive rosin press that delivered industrial level PSI to make high quality rosin. While it is true that a larger press will give you more capacity to make more rosin with each press, having mammoth amounts of squashing power isn’t necessarily the key to making the best rosin.
Similar to temperature and time, applying the right amount of pressure can be tricky. Apply too little pressure and it won’t be enough to separate out the oils; apply too much pressure and you get what’s called a “blow out”, where plant material leaches into your concentrate. Ideally, pressure ranging from 550 psi to 1500 psi is good for flower rosin, with maximum quality occurring at the lower end of that range.
Remember that the ideal PSI ranges from 300 to 1000, with more pressure required for flower and less for dry sift and similar products.
Ideal PSI for Dry Sift/Kief: 400 to 800 psi
Ideal PSI for Flower: 600 to 1000 psi
To see where these PSI values come from, or to calculate your own ideal rosin press pressure we can use the following formula. In this example, 1100 is the platen PSI, which was arrived at by taking the total pressing power in pounds (20,000) and dividing it by the total pressing area in square inches (3” x 6” bag=18sq.in.).
PSI = Pressing Power / Pressing Area
1100 PSI = 20,000 / 18 sq. in.
Using this formula, we can see that we would need a press capable of applying 10 tons to deliver the pressure we need (20,000 pounds = 10 tons). Who would have thought that rosin pressing would require math?
Choose the BEST Cool Down
The final step to optimizing your rosin making process to get the most pure, highest-quality rosin possible, is to stabilize our rosin with cold temperature.
Rosin is made up of volatile oils that can quickly degrade, so it’s important to take steps to preserve as many of these oils as possible once they’ve been extracted. Fortunately, this can be accomplished by simply placing your freshly extracted rosin into the freezer for as little as 10 – 15 seconds. This brief time in the cold of your freezer should be sufficient to stabilize your rosin. This is especially effective if your rosin has a more liquid consistency. Spending a few seconds in the freezer will increase your rosin’s lifespan and reduce its volatility when coming in contact with air.
As we learn more about this exciting extraction process, the collective knowledge our community collectively holds continues to expand and accelerate as well. We’re surprised and excited almost daily by the continued experimentation and innovation that is happening all around the globe in this ever-expanding field.