If you are learning how to press rosin, you need to be aware of the differences between the types of feed material, or inputs you can start with.
There are so many ways you can press rosin, but the specifications for each method is different.
Whether you want to press rosin from flower, dry sift, trim, or hash, by the end of this post, you’ll be ready to go.
The basics on pressing rosin
Before we take a deep dive on the intricacies of each type of feed material, let’s cover some basic information on pressing rosin and what a rosin press is.
What is rosin?
Rosin is a super popular type of solventless concentrate. Whereas live resin, BHO, and other extracts require some type of solvent, rosin does not.
Instead, heat and pressure are combined to squeeze the “juices” from the plant material you are using. The end product contains the compounds and terpenes of the strain in a highly concentrated form.
What is a rosin press?
The rosin press is what you use to actually press the plant matter into rosin. There are tons of different types of presses, ranging from simple manual hand presses to 10-ton commercial presses, with everything in between.
At Hydrobuilder, we have the most extensive selection of rosin presses in the industry at the best prices. We have a press for every grower out there!
Now, let’s move onto all the different ways to press rosin.
The different ways to press rosin
The rules on how to press rosin aren’t black and white. The type of material you are pressing plays the biggest role in what your temperature, pressure, micron size, and press time are.
For example, if you use the same settings for dry sift as you do flower, you won’t get the best results as far as quality goes.
After we explain each type, we'll cover a few more best practices that apply to all types of rosin.
How to press rosin from trim
Pressing rosin from trim is one of the cheapest ways to press rosin. You often hear people referring to pressing trim as turning trash into cash.
This is because a lot of people just throw their trim out after harvest, considering it worthless.
If you are willing to put a little bit of work in, you can get a serious return on your trim, getting the most out of your plants.
Settings for pressing trim
To get the best results pressing trim into rosin, you should use micron bags between 90-115. The temperature setting should be 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend pressing for 1-3 minutes. The longer you press, the more you'll get, but you risk burning off terpenes and sacrificing quality the longer you wait. This applies to all types of rosin.
As far as pressure goes, you'll want to stay between 600-1100 PSI.
But, there is actually a better way to use your trim when it comes to pressing rosin. Let’s talk about dry sift.
How to press rosin from dry sift
The best way to press rosin is actually from dry sift. As far as yield and quality go, dry sift rosin can’t be beat.
Dry sift is essentially pure trichomes, which contain the compounds you are after without a lot of the plant material you don't want to consume.
The reason some growers don’t love this method is because it requires a bit more work, as you need to extract the dry sift before you can press it.
This is a type of extraction on it’s own, which involves the use of bubble bags and dry ice.
The best way to get a lot of dry sift is with your trim, which you should have a bounty of after a harvest.
Start by extracting your dry sift from the trim
You should start with a smaller micron size for your first batch of dry sift.
This will be your most pure, potent, batch of dry sift. A 73 micron bag is perfect.
Add in your trim, and then your dry ice.
You really don't need a ton of dry ice, more is less! And, use caution, as this stuff can cause burns if it touches your skin.
Fold over the bag so nothing can escape, and start shaking over a collection surface, like a big, clean table or tray.
Shake for as long as you want, but after 5 minutes or so, most of the dry sift will have collected on the surface.
Separate this, and mark it as 73 micron so you don't mix it with lower-grade material.
From there, you can drop the material into a higher micron bag, such as a 120 micron. Repeat the process, and then separate and grade this material too. You can move into another bag, this one a 160 or 220 micron.
The higher up you go, the less pure the dry sift will be, as it contains more plant matter. Once you have your dry sift, you are ready to press.
Settings for pressing dry sift
Once you have your dry sift, you can actually start pressing. Since this material is obviously much finer, you want to use smaller micron bags for pressing.
We recommend a micron bag of 36 micron for the finer material, and 72 micron for higher micron dry sift. It can bit a get confusing with multiple micron sizes to remember, which is why you need to be writing everything down.
You'll use lower heat for this, and less pressure. 150 degrees to 220 degrees is plenty hot, with the lower end of that range being optimal. As far as pressure goes, stay between 400 - 800 PSI.
The lower you are on this range, the higher quality. But if it's yield you're after, you should press heavier.
The reason we recommend less pressure is because the chance of a blowout (the bag exploding and introducing the dry sift into your rosin) is higher.
How to press rosin from flower
A lot of growers just want to press their flower, especially the small popcorn buds they have an abundance of.
The truth is, yields on flower-pressed rosin are much lower than the alternatives.
But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It's obviously up to you what you do with excess flower, just be expecting yields between 10-15%.
With flower, there is a lot question as to whether you should stick in full nugs or grind up the material first.
We have experimented with both, and recommend grinding up the material or breaking it into small pieces.
When sticking buds in your rosin bags, you'll end up with lots of room in the bag and "air bubbles" in a sense.
But, be aware that using your personal grinder will lead to cross-contamination of strains. That's why you may be better off breaking up the rosin by hand, unless you have a clean grinder to use.
Settings for pressing flower
The settings for pressing rosin from flower are pretty similar to dry sift. The bag sizes you want to use are 90 & 115 microns, with similar heat settings of 180 degrees to 220 degrees.
But, you should press for a shorter duration, from 45 seconds to 3 minutes. And when it comes to pressure, you'll need to apply more force than with hash or kief.
Many extractors overdo it with pressure though. Many rosin presses can get up to 10,000 PSI, but that is way higher than you'd ever need to press.
When pressing flower, stick between 500-1,000 PSI.
How to press rosin from bubble hash
Pressing rosin from bubble hash is another option, but like dry sift, it requires additional steps. And, pressing from bubble hash takes even longer, as you have to allow the hash to dry before pressing it.
But, should you end up with a surplus of bubble hash or just want to give this method a go, here are the settings to use.
Settings for pressing bubble hash
With bubble hash, you'll follow the same principles as with dry sift - lower micron bags and lower heat.
36 and 72 micron bags are your best bet, with heat as low as 150 degrees and as high as 220 degrees.
Start with lower pressure, as the heat will start to melt the bubble hash down a bit. A good starting point is 300 PSI. After a minute or so, you can increase the pressure as high as 800 PSI to squeeze the last of the hash out.
You don't want to overdo it with hash though, as you can easily blow-out the rosin bag.
How to press rosin from ice water hash (live rosin)
Live rosin is the highest value concentrate on the market right now. It simply cannot be beat in terms of flavor, potency, and purity.
It is also the most involved type of rosin to press, but when you see the quality that comes out, it's all worth it.
We have an entire article on how to make live rosin, so we won't cover all the steps, because as we mentioned, it's quite the process!
But, we will cover some best practices for pressing ice water hash (the input for live rosin).
Settings for pressing ice water hash (live rosin)
The settings you'd use for pressing live rosin are very similar to pressing other types of hash.
You want to stick with lower micron bags, such as 36 micron to 72 micron. You can use lower temperatures, around 180 degrees should be perfect.
From a pressure standpoint, less is more. In fact, start with as low a pressure as possible, around 200psi. Just like with bubble hash, you'll ramp up the pressure over the course of the 45-90 second press.
Additional tips on how to press rosin
We want to leave you with some final tips on pressing rosin to make sure you end up with the highest chance of success.
These tips apply across all types of rosin pressing, regardless of the input material.
Quality in, quality out
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when pressing is that you get what you put in.
If you use low-grade trim, or just fan leaves, for example, you'll get a poor quality, dismal yield.
So while yes, it may be more expensive to use a higher-quality input like dry sift, you'll reap the benefits of your effort for sure.
Manipulating the consistency of your rosin
The overall consistency of your rosin varies depending on how you press it.
If you press longer and hotter, you'll end up with a thicker, harder consistency. This will be similar to shatter.
On the other hand, you can press colder and shorter for a badder like consistency that's easier to work with.
Use a pre-press mold
It's a good idea to use a pre-press mold to prepare your rosin bags for pressing.
You don't need to use anything fancy, such as the PurePressure Pikes Peak Mold, if you're on a budget.
But, using a mold to squish down the bag and compress the material within will go a long ways in terms of yield.
And, it helps prevent those catastrophic blowouts that can ruin an entire press.
Rosin is many growers favorite extraction method due to the fact that it doesn't require any solvents and can command top dollar.
If you want to learn about the other types of extraction methods available to you, read our full guide on concentrates.