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Reading time - 12 minutes - April 19, 2022
Own a rosin press but want to know how to use it to the optimal yield possible? Well then you’re in luck because in this article we will be talking you through all of our top tips for rosin pressing. If you are reading this article you may or may not own one of our Nectar rosin presses and if you do then congratulations but it’s important to note that these top tips will apply to almost all rosin presses! When used in the right way, a rosin press will allow you to save herbs and experience them in ways difficult to imagine without one. To help you we’ve handpicked our top tips so please make sure you read this article from start to finish!
Throughout this article we’ll cover:
2 top tips related to improving rosin quality (gaining more terpenes),
1 top tip related to improving rosin yield (more rosin per 1g of starting material),
1 top tip to improve pressing speed,
And, how to Contact our exceptional customer service!
Let’s start off by checking out all the top tips that will help improve rosin quality.
To improve your rosin quality you can use micron filter bags which filter out material fines and leave you with a terpene rich rosin, however they can significantly reduce rosin yield due to rosin getting absorbed and stuck to the bags and hence we highly advise against the use of filter bags when pressing less than 7g of material unless you don’t mind losing some rosin. You can expect around 25% yield when pressing less than 7g of flower without a filter bag and around 15% with one, but of course this is completely dependent on the quality of your herbs and the press you’re using so please note that these are just ballpark figures.
There are a variety of filter bag sizes and they tend to range between 25 microns to 220 microns. Bags with smaller holes such as 25 microns allow less plant material through and are suitable for pressing dry sift, whereas bags with larger holes allow more plant material through and are suitable for pressing herbal flowers. When pressing flower, filter bags with holes less than 90 microns begin to negatively effect yields with negligible increases in quality so if using a filter bag when pressing flowers then we’d recommend using ones with hole sizes of more than 90 microns.
120u-160u (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.
For flowers, we recommend using micron filters between 90u-120u as this will give you a good balance between yield and quality.
Applying more pressure is not necessarily the answer to successfully pressing rosin but instead the right amount of pressure is the key to producing the perfect rosin extract. Apply too little pressure and it won’t be enough to separate the oils from your starting material and applying too much pressure will cause the plant material to leach into the concentrate. Ideally, platen pressure ranging from 550 psi to 1500 psi is good for rosin derived from flowers, with maximum quality occurring at the lower end of that range.
Please don’t confuse the psi displayed on the pressure gauge and platen psi. The psi displayed on the pressure gauge is the pressure exerted from the rosin press itself but not necessarily the pressure applied onto the material or puck.
In a nutshell, Platen PSI, which is the actual pressure applied onto the source material is equal to the FORCE EXERTED BY THE PRESS divided by the ROSIN PUCK SURFACE AREA.
The calculations may feel daunting at first, but all we need to do is divide the total force from the rosin press by the surface area of the source material, we can get to a clear understanding of how much pressure is being applied to the cannabis during extraction.
So to work out the Platen PSI, we firstly want to measure out the surface area of your puck which is a simple calculation length x width, or if you’re using a cylindrical pre press mould like the Nectar Mini Pre Press, which has a diameter of 3cm, then you would use the equation area = pi x radius squared. In this case you can simply use google by typing in ‘area of circle’ and entering your radius which is half the diameter, so half of 3cm is 1.5cm which would be our radius. If we enter this into google it gives us an area of 7.07cm², which we’ll need to convert into inches, and using google we know this gives us an area of 1.1inches².
Let’s save this number for now and start working out the last part of our equation which is the force exerted by the press. If you have a press that doesn’t have a pressure gauge like our Pollen Pincher or Pollen Puncher presses, then we’d recommend just applying the highest pressure as this will be the only known pressure. For example, if the maximum compressive force is 5 tons, then you won’t know when you get to 2.5 tons, but if you keep pressing until you can’t press any longer than you know you’re more or less at 5 tons making your equation reliable.
So for this example, I’ll be using the Nectar Pollen Puncher which doesn’t have a pressure gauge. Firstly, you’ll want to convert the maximum compressive force from tons to pounds, where 1 ton = 2,000 pounds.
So the maximum compressive force of the nectar pollen puncher is 5 tons which is equal to 10,000 pounds, and that’s the force exerted by the press.
So Platen PSI = 10,000/1.1, which is equal to 9,090 PSI. This is way above our recommended platen pressure of 550-1500 PSI.
This tells us that we don’t need to utilise all of the compressive force capability of the pollen puncher, or we can press more material by using a larger pre-press mould.
Let’s take our 12x6cm rectangular pre-press mould as an example. 12x6cm = 72cm², converted into inches is 11.2inches².
So Platen PSI = 10,000 / 11.2 = 862 PSI. This falls within our recommended platen pressure and so applying 5 tons of pressure to a puck pre-pressed using a 12x6cm mould is feasible.
Now let’s use our Pollen Pincher machine which has a compressive force of 1 ton as an example, also just as a heads up this, the Pollen Pincher used to be called the Pollen Press machine. If you’ve understood the calculation then you’ll realise that machine’s with a relatively small compressive force like this are not an issue, it’s not the maximum compressive force that matters, it’s the Platen PSI, which means if we use a small machine, then we want to use a small pre-press mould to increase the Platen PSI.
We’ve already worked out the surface area of the puck when using the pre-press mould which was 1.1inches². So to work out Platen PSI, we simply divide the force of the machine in pounds by the surface area in inches which is 1.1inches².
So the force of the machine in pounds is 1 ton x 2000 = 2000 pounds (lb).
So 2000/1.1 = 1818 PSI.
So even a small rosin press with a compressive force of 1 ton like the Nectar Pollen Pincher packs sufficient compressive force to successfully press rosin.
Also, as a heads up we’re developing a rosin press pressure calculator on our website so keep your eyes peeled for that.
To improve the yield of your press, consider trying out this tip.
As you’ve seen above, pre press moulds play a vital role when pressing rosin, for more ways than one. Firstly, a pre press mould also known as a pollen press compacts all of your material into a puck, in turn pushing out air and making it dense and easier to extract oil from.
Secondly, because the puck is dense, it’s more rigid and less able to change shape. This means that the Platen PSI will be more consistent and not decrease during your press. Remember our equation from before:
Platen PSI = Force of Machine / Surface Area of Puck.
If the surface area of your puck increases as it’s squashed, then the Platen PSI will decrease as you’re applying the same amount of pressure over a larger area.
If you’re struggling to understand this then you can visualise this by imagining a 1kg weight sitting on top of a knife resting on a cake. Because the surface area of the tip of the knife is so small, the pressure on the cake will be much larger and the knife will quite easily go through the cake. If you rest that 1kg weight on a plate that is sitting on top of a cake, the force is spread over a much larger area over the cake and the pressure most likely won’t be large enough to do much with regards to changing the shape of the cake.
Going back to the benefits of using a pre press mould, then your puck will hold its shape and not spread over a larger area and hence the Platen PSI will not drop.
The Pollen Pincher 1T features 5cm x 7.6cm plates, hence we recommend using the Nectar cylindrical mini pre press mould to increase press yields.
Pre-press moulds are easy to use, fast and super effective in increasing yield. They do this by minimising the area of your puck and hence increasing the compressive force also known as the Platen PSI.
To summarise this, the smaller the area of your mould then the larger the Platen PSI will be on your dry herb puck. So don’t think the bigger the mould, the better it is or the higher yield you’ll get – in fact it’s quite the opposite. Smaller moulds like our mini pre press mould have a diameter of just 3cm which means you can maximise the yield of your press due to the compressive force being maximised. The downside of a smaller pre-press mould is that you can’t press a lot of material in them and we recommend around 5g.
Finally, remember to grind your herbs up before pressing them in a pre press mould. Grinding them will make it easier to pre press them into a dense puck by minimising the size of the air holes between the grinded material.
Temperature and time are the most critical factors in getting good rosin results. In general, the higher the temperature the higher the yield, but the lower the quality. And the lower the temperature, the higher the quality, but the lower the yield.
To simply these temperatures we can categorise the temperature ranges in two categories, cold pressing and hot pressing. Don’t confuse the term cold pressing with cold temperatures and it’s just relative. Cold pressing are temperatures which preserve terpenes but sacrifice yield and hot pressing covers temperatures which sacrifice terpenes but produce higher yields.
When pressing dry sift and/or trim, cold pressing ranges between 65C to 76C and hot pressing ranges between 76C to 90C. So to preserve terpenes when pressing dry sift or trim then set your plate temperature to between 65C and 76C and see if you’re happy with the results. If you’re not happy with the yield then increase the temperature and re-evaluate.
On the other hand, when pressing flower, cold pressing ranges between 85C to 95C and hot pressing ranges between 95C to 105C. So to preserve terpenes when pressing flower then set your plate temperature to between 85C and 95C and see if you’re happy with the results. If you’re not happy with the yield then increase the temperature and re-evaluate, and if you’re not too bothered about the quality but prefer to have more yield instead then press set your plates to between 95C and 105C and evaluate.
To summarise, when cold pressing flower (between 85-95C) produces a malleable, batter consistency terpene-rich rosin but comes with a sacrifice in yield so you’ll get less, but it’ll be a higher quality. Whereas hot pressing (between 95-105C) produces a darker sappy rosin – you’ll get more, but it’ll be a lower quality.
Since we have covered the most crucial top tips that will help the quality and yield of your press, here are some bonus tips that will help to improve the speed and maintain the quality of your rosin press.
The machine’s temperature slows down before it reaches your desired temperature. Our hack is in order to reach your desired temperature faster you should choose a set temperature 20C over your desired temperature, and then reduce the set temperature once your desired temperature has been reached.
For example: If you’d like to heat your machine to 100C, then set the temperature to 120C. Once the machine reaches 100C, change the set temperature from 120C to 100C.
Rosin is made up of volatile oils so it’s highly important to preserve as many of these oils once they’ve been extracted. By cooling your rosin, your rosin will harden right away and quickly preserve the terpenes. The cold rosin will easily pop off the parchment, ready to be stored and nothing will be left behind on your parchment. This cooling process will help you achieve optimum potency and maximum yield.
There are 2 methods to do this,
The first method is the freezer Method: Once the extraction process is complete place the rosin on parchment paper and place in the freezer for 10-15 seconds to stabilise it.
Or you can use the Cold Plate Method: Store a plate in the freezer before you start the whole extraction process and once you’ve pressed your rosin, place it on parchment paper and then on to the cold plate from the freezer.
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Thank you so much for reading this article, we hope that you found it helpful! Hopefully these rosin pressing tips will help you take your next rosin press experience to the next level. Have a good day and happy pressing!
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