How to Use Rosin Bags: The Basics
When it comes to pressing rosin, the importance of proper rosin bag use cannot be understated. Choosing the right rosin bag for your needs, packing it correctly, and pressing the bags with care are essential steps to creating top-quality rosin products. To fully understand what works best for your rosin bags, first we should know a bit about what rosin bags are.
What Do Rosin Bags Do
Rosin bags are intended to be used in the production of either hash rosin or flower rosin or for other filtration needs. When used with a rosin press to apply heat and pressure, the rosin bags will hold in unwanted plant material while allowing the rosin to flow out and be collected. Different rosin bags will let different amounts of rosin flow through, this affects both the quality of the rosin and the quantity yielded from the press.
What are Rosin Bags Made From
Rosin bags are made of nylon mesh in various sizes to accommodate different quantities of starting material. The high-quality nylon mesh is food-grade so it does not add anything to your rosin. It is also durable to be able to withstand the temperature and pressure applied when pressing rosin. The mesh can be made in varying sizes which allows different amounts of material flow through. These sizes are measured in microns (see below for a description of microns).
What is a Micron
A micron is pretty small. It is a millionth of a meter. A piece of your hair is probably only 50 microns in diameter. Micron is usually denoted by the symbol: µ. For rosin bags, the smaller the micron, the less material flows through. This usually means a much cleaner end product, but you may sacrifice yield. Rosin bags are often found in the following sizes: 15µ, 25µ, 37µ, 50µ, 75µ, 90µ, 120µ, 160µ, 190µ, 220µ.
Which Rosin Bag is Right for Me
Rosin Bag v.s. Rosin Press Plate Size
There are several factors that play a role in determining which dimension and micron your rosin bag should be. To begin, the rosin bag cannot be larger than your rosin press plates. If your plates are 4×7 inches, then your bags must be less than 4 inches wide and less than 7 inches in length.
How Much Material Will Fit in Each Size Rosin Bag
The next factor to consider is: how much material are you pressing? Here is a quick guide to what generally fits in each size rosin bag. Results may vary from person to person, but this is pretty close.
|Dimension (inches)||Flower (grams)||Hash (grams)|
Which Micron Should I Use
The micron rosin bag you decide to use should be determined by: 1) how clean you want your rosin & 2) how much yield you are willing to sacrifice. As we mentioned in the above section, What is a Micron, the smaller micron sizes will allow less material to pass through while holding more material back. This means cleaner rosin, but a smaller yield. Those wishing to press hash rosin generally use bags from about 15µ to 90µ while those pressing flower rosin generally use 90µ to 220µ.
What it actually comes down to is your personal preferences. You may find yourself using a 37µ bag to press flower rosin or a 5µ to create THCA isolate. It will take some practice and experimentation to find what works best for you.
Packing Your Rosin Bag
To pack a rosin bag in the traditional fashion, first check to make sure the seams of the bag are facing inward. Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co. rosin bags come like this for ease of use. You want your cannabis flower to have a relative humidity of about 63%. This can be achieved with humidity packs/stones or just some spinach in a bag to add moisture. Dry buds may burn valuable terpenes and cannabinoids when pressed. Buds that are too wet may produce runny rosin.
To begin, break your buds into small-to-medium sized nugs. DO NOT GRIND THE FLOWER. Use your buds to first line the bottom of the bag to create a solid base with no air gaps. Continue to fill the bag until there is at least 0.5 inches of space left at the top.
If there is more, you can cut the bag down with scissors. Use the 0.5 inches to fold over and “close” the bag. Next, you can place the filled rosin bag onto your rosin press with no heat. Use the pressure to “pre-press” the bag. Some people use a pre-press mold to shape their buds into the rectangular shape before placing them in the bag. Now, you are ready to press some flower rosin.
To pack hash into your rosin bags, first make sure the seams are facing inward. Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co. rosin bags come like this. Next, form the hash into a rectangular shape – like a brick. Be sure to avoid air pockets. Next, flip the bag so the seams are facing outward.
Place the hash brick along the bottom seam then flip the bag back so the seams are facing inward. You want to evenly distribute the hash inside the rosin bag, again, avoiding any air pockets. Leave about 0.5 inches at the top to fold over and “close” the bag. If you have more than this left, you can cut it down to 0.5 inches using scissors. Now, you are ready to press some hash rosin.
Double Bag Tech
Double Bag Tech is a packing technique used for pressing hash rosin. It is as simple as the name implies; you use two rosin bags instead of one. When pressing rosin, you do not want your rosin bags on the heated press for too long as this can have a negative impact on quality. On the other hand, if you press too fast, the bag may not be able to withstand the pressure and may “blowout”. Many feel Double Bag Tech solves this issue by adding stability to your rosin bag set up. On the downside, some feel using a 2nd back can decrease yields.
Which bag combination you use is entirely up to you. You will want to have the smaller of the two microns on the inside. Popular combinations are 25µ in a 25µ, 37µ in a 120µ, and some even triple bag a 25µ in a 25µ in a 120µ. It will take some experimentation to figure out what works best for you.
Bottle Tech Style (BTS) has become a very popular technique for pressing flower rosin. This technique allows rosineers to maintain better control over the applied pressure leading to increased yields and reproducible results. The term “bottle” refers to the cylindrical shape of the rosin bag when packed with flower rosin. Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co. offers BTS specific bags. They have seams on opposite sides rather than side and bottom to allow better flow of the rosin when pressing BTS.
To pack your rosin bag BTS, first make sure the seams are facing inward. Next, use a chopstick or similar tool to poke the bottom corners of the bag in (pictured above). Then you proceed as you normally would – fill the bag with small-to-medium sized buds and be careful to avoid air pockets. Leave about 0.5 inches at the top to “close” the bag. When you place the bag onto the rosin press plates, place it vertically instead of laying it in the traditional way. After pressing, the bag will be in a circle.
Pressing Your Rosin Bag to Produce Rosin
Once your rosin bags are packed and ready to go, it is time to get that rosin press going. Make sure to line your press plates with parchment paper to catch the rosin. When the plates are parchment-lined, you can begin to heat the press up. What temperature you use is up to you and it will take some experimentation to figure out what works best for you.
Higher temperatures can mean higher yields, but you run the risk of burning away valuable terpenes and cannabinoids if not pressed properly. Most people press between 165℉ and 220℉. When your press plates are warmed up, place your rosin bag onto the plates in the very center.
How you apply pressure is possibly the most important part of pressing rosin. To begin, apply just enough pressure to hold the rosin bag in place. Allow the bag to heat up for about 30 seconds. This will help the material inside reach a temperature that will allow rosin to flow when pressure is applied. Apply the pressure in a steadily increasing manner. You should never be resting, always slowly increasing pressure.
How long you leave the rosin bags on the press can be determined by how much material you are pressing and at what temperature. Larger runs may need more time on the press. Hotter temperatures may need less time on the press. For example, pressing an 8th of hash may only take 90 seconds while pressing a half ounce of flower can take a few minutes.
Once complete, collect your rosin and store it in an airtight glass container. You may even consider curing the rosin to change the consistency and composition (for better or worse is the question).
Saving Your Rosin Bags to Make Edibles
Rosin bags may contain a small amount of your starting material even after being pressed. Save up enough of them and you can make some delicious, solventless edibles.