A few long years ago, the term “rosin tech” was relatively unknown. Some argue whether it was short for “technique” or “technology” but all agree that it defined the solventless extraction process. Solvent-based extractions were still relatively new, but the idea of enjoying concentrates that stood absolutely no chance of harboring some residual butane from solvent-based extraction was attractive to say the least. When rosin tech was illustrated to be so simple that you could do it with a common hair straightener, it became even more attractive. Today, anyone serious about the benefits of rosin tech are investing in rosin presses; machines specifically designed with solventless extraction in mind (don’t try to straighten your hair with one of these bad boys). But even with a process much simpler than solvent-based extracting, mistakes can be made. Here are some of the most common that you can easily avoid when firing up your brand new rosin press.
Strong Finishes Have Strong Starts
We’ll start with the big one… the problem that tops like 90% of these blogs: weak starting material. Like many things in life, a rosin press typically gives back quality comparable to what is fed into it. A lot of novices are tempted to feed trim or just generally low grade material into their presses and then scratch their heads about why their solventless extract doesn’t hold a candle to what they get from the shop. Your starting material matters! This means no trim, no bargain herb, and no old, crusty, dried-out, oxidized herb you just found at the back of a stash box you’d forgotten in the back of your closet. Aim for fresh, high quality material with a 62% relative humidity.
Don’t Cut Corners with Your Rosin Tech Gear
If you’ve invested in a rosin press, even a personal one like the Rosin Tech Go 2™ or Rosinbomb Rocket models, it would be a shame to jeopardize the quality of your material by skimping on the accessories. Rosin bags are the perfect example. Integral to the rosin tech process, a quality rosin bag uses premium stitching and quality textiles for efficient filtration. While rushing your technique can result in a blown bag, it’s a much more likely occurrence if you’re buying inferior rosin bags. Unfamiliar with a blowout? It’s as bad as it sounds. The intense heat and pressure causes the rosin bag to pop, allowing the compartmentalized plant material to mingle with your rosin. It’s the original hot mess. We’ve also heard of people trying to cut corners in their rosin tech by replacing their press plates with cheap, substandard stand-ins. Your rosin press needs heat plates that evenly distribute heat, contributing to a steady efficient rosin flow away from the heat source. Otherwise, you risk trapping your rosin next to the heat and cooking away its potency. Always invest in brand name replacement heat plates for your press.
The Power of Nuance
If you’re new to pressing rosin, it can be easy to approach rosin tech with guns-a-blazin’, but you’ll quickly realize it’s an art that requires finesse. Your personal pressing style will develop with time but there are a few tips to keep in mind while honing your technique. A common mistake that novices make upon realizing a correlation between the amount of rosin yielded and higher heat is to crank the temperature. But there’s a distinctive heat-to-pressure ratio that needs to be respected. As you bump up the heat, you’re also burning off flavor and potency. And, yes, there is a window in which you may get a bit more of a yield at the sacrifice of a whole lot of quality. You’ll learn this balancing act a lot more quickly if you resist the urge to crank the heat. Likewise, you may be feeling an almost supernatural pull to ramp up the pressure. But if pressure isn’t applied gradually, you’re risking staunching the rosin flow or blowing a bag.
We like to look at these as guides more than rules because rosin tech has so many variables at play. Even if you’re starting with premium quality material, different properties of that material can react unpredictably to pressure, heat and the timing of the press. Rosin tech isn’t precise like baking, though knowing your physics and some basic equations can help you refine your methods.