How to Use Stainless Steel Mesh Rosin Screens
For Pressing Hash Rosin and THCA/Terpene Separation
Filtration is needed when pressing hash rosin. You must separate the good (cannabinoids and terpenes) from the bad (plant material). The heat and pressure produced by a rosin press to squeeze rosin from hash is only useful when the hash is being filtered. Otherwise, you are just melting and squishing it. Filtration most commonly takes place through rosin bags or rosin sheets made from nylon mesh.
Some are now choosing to turn away from the use of nylon mesh and instead opt to use stainless steel mesh rosin screens. In this article we will discuss what stainless steel mesh is, what it is used for, and how to use it for processes like pressing hash rosin and separating THCA & terpenes. We are also lucky enough to have Hector from Waze Twisters in Las Vegas and Mike from Egozi in Denver provide us with their expert knowledge and insights.
Table of Contents
How to Use Stainless Steel Mesh Rosin Screens
What is a Stainless Steel Mesh Rosin Sheet?
When talking about filtering your hash to make hash rosin, some say there is nothing better than using very fine mesh made from stainless steel. These sheets are usually woven to have 25 micron spacing which is perfect for pressing hash rosin. The sheets themselves are extremely thin, only about 50 microns thick. They feel soft like silk and are incredibly easy to work with. Stainless steel mesh rosin sheets are most commonly sold in pre-cut squares like 6×6 inch, 12×12 inch, and 18×18 inch.
What Are Stainless Steel Mesh Rosin Sheets Used For?
There are two main uses for stainless steel mesh rosin sheets. Many use the sheets simply for pressing hash rosin. This is in contrast to others who press hash rosin using nylon mesh bags or sheets. Another possible use for stainless steel mesh sheets is to separate terpenes and THCA from hash. The strength of the steel and its ability to withstand higher temperatures makes it ideal for mechanical separation.
Advantages & Disadvantages of How to Use Stainless Steel Mesh Rosin Screens For Hash Processing
The main advantage of using stainless steel mesh sheets over nylon mesh rosin bags is the ease and efficiency of preparation. Many rosin bags require they be flipped inside out before packing them (Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co. rosin bags come pre-flipped). For additional strength which helps to avoid blowouts, many choose to double bag or even triple bag their hash. Stainless steel mesh sheets just require you gently roll your hash brick into the sheet. The steel can withstand high pressure and temperatures and it is easy to increase the strength by rolling your hash brick two or three times over.
Disadvantages-wise, there is one that must be acknowledged. Cost. It is as simple as stainless steel costs more than nylon mesh. That being said, if you are pressing large enough quantities, the cost can be offset because that quantity of hash can be pressed with less stainless steel screens than it could through nylon mesh rosin bags. So, although the cost per screen is higher, you may need less screens when pressing hash rosin with stainless steel rather than nylon mesh.
How to Press Hash Rosin and Mechanically Separate THCA/Terpenes Using Stainless Steel Mesh Sheets
Folding Hash Bricks in Stainless Steel Mesh Sheets
Hash Brick wrapped in Stainless Steel Mesh Sheets – Photo by Hector
First things first, put some nitrile work gloves on to keep your materials free from contamination. Dirty hands can taint otherwise gorgeous hash rosin. Now, the general process is to form your hash into a brick then wrap it into the stainless steel mesh sheet.
To form your hash into a brick, you will need to “grease it up”. When we say, “greased up hash”, we mean hash that has become sticky and malleable so you can form it into the shape of your choosing. You can grease up your hash with the heat from your hands. It may take 10 or more minutes so be patient. If you are processing a lot of hash, the grease process can be sped up using a dehydrator.
PRO TIP: Line your stainless steel mesh rosin sheet up so the grains are vertical
Once greased, form your hash into a brick shape. We suggest keeping the thickness of your brick under half an inch. Lay your stainless steel mesh sheet onto a clean and flat surface. Now, place the hash brick at the bottom center of the mesh sheet. This is where you begin to fold the mesh sheet over the hash brick, almost like you are rolling the brick from the bottom of the sheet to the top.
After the first fold, we suggest taking both the right and left sides of the sheet and folding them over top of the hash brick. This “seals” the brick inside. Now continue to fold the hash brick towards the top of the sheet. You can fold the sheet as many times as you like. Some choose a single fold, others like two or three folds for additional strength.
Any extra stainless steel mesh rosin sheet material can be cut away with scissors. Here is a quick guide for how much hash a pre-cut square of stainless steel mesh can fit:
- 6×6 inch – 14 grams
- 12×12 inch – 50 grams
- 18×18 inch – 112 grams
Pressing Hash Rosin
Once your hash brick is wrapped in the mesh sheet, you can press it just like you would if pressing with a nylon mesh rosin bag. Heat your rosin press plates to around 160-200F and place the steel mesh brick onto the parchment paper lined plates. Use just enough pressure to hold the brick in place.
This allows the hash to heat up and makes it ready to be pressed. Slowly increase pressure over the course of the press. This could be about 2 minutes give or take 30 seconds. Once the rosin stops flowing, remove pressure and heat and collect your rosin from the parchment paper.
You can soak your used stainless steel mesh rosin sheets in isopropyl alcohol to collect the remaining cannabinoids. This can be used for edibles. We do NOT suggest using the sheets again to press as the strength has been compromised with their first use.
Mechanical Separation of THCA and Terpenes
After you produce your hash rosin, stainless steel mesh sheets can then also be used to mechanically isolate THCA and separate terpenes. Mechanically isolated THCA, sometimes referred to as solventless diamonds, occur when hash rosin is pressed over and over again at increasing temperatures. The result is that terpenes begin to separate from the isolated THCA crystals.
PRO TIP: The terpenes can be used for vape carts!
To begin, wrap your rosin into a FRESH stainless steel mesh rosin sheet. We do not suggest reusing the sheet you just used to produce the rosin. Now, place the wrapped steel mesh sheet onto the parchment paper-lined rosin press plates. The temperatures used to repress your rosin is entirely up to you and may require some practice to really nail it down.
In our article, How to Make Solventless THCA, we talked with some experts to find out their procedure. One expert, Chris from Prime ATC, initially presses the rosin at 180F for 3 minutes then at 250F for 5 minutes. He lets the terpenes runoff and collects it. Inside of your stainless steel mesh, THCA is isolating for collection.