🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur
When it comes to visualizing the process of washing bubble hash, a series of wash bags stacked one inside of the next is likely one of the first images that comes to mind. These filter bags, or bubble hash wash bags, are where all the magic happens. The sequence of nylon filters, arranged from largest to smallest in pore size, allows solventless extractors to isolate and collect mature trichome heads which compose the highest quality of bubble hash.
Fitting the bubble hash wash bags together in sequence within a 5-gallon work bucket provides an effective and convenient configuration for hash production. One of the most time consuming aspects of the process involves stacking, removing, and then re-stacking the filter bags after every round of washing. But there’s a nice trick that can save you time and effort in stacking the hash wash bags, and even improve the hash collection process. All it takes is a few extra buckets, a box cutter, and a pair of pliers, and you’ll have a bucket stacking system that can improve your entire workflow.
This bucket stacking process aligns each wash bag securely and uniformly throughout the filtration system from top to bottom of the stack. A series of bucket tops provides a great alternative to layering the wash bags together inside of just one work bucket and folding the tops of each bag over the same bucket top. With multiple bucket tops you get ideal stackability and better handling of each wash bag in the system.
All you do is make one bucket top for every wash bag, so that each bag has its own plastic rim from which it hangs. Together inside of the complete work bucket, these rims easily stack on top of each other, configuring the wash bags so they’re ready for action.
Benefits to Stacking Bucket Tops
It might be nice to look at a clean and well-organized tower of bubble hash wash bags, but what’s the real advantage to extractors? How does a bucket stacking setup improve hash production?
First, this bucket stacking system provides good structure onto which each filter bag will hang. It gives a solid form to the bags that makes them easier to handle individually. Both layering and then removing each bag from the work bucket is a lot easier with a rigid plastic rim to grip. Otherwise, you’re grasping at the slick nylon material of the filter bags which can be trickier to manage.
Another advantage to stacking bucket tops is to create separation between different filters during extraction. Without the extra inches of separation that the bucket tops create between the multiple layers of filters, each filter actually sags down as water is poured through and touches the filter below it. This means that the bottom of one filter screen rests upon the puddle of hash on the filter below it. There’s potential to lose hash or clog screens when this happens, but extra spacing between each filter eliminates this issue.
Finally, the bucket top system can save time during extraction. It may only be a few seconds, but seconds add up to minutes, which become hours. This is valuable production time that shouldn’t be ignored. Rather than peeling the bags away from the same bucket for every round of collection, each bucket can be quickly lifted from the stack and then easily removed from its bucket top.
Alternatively, you can remove a wash bag from the stack and slide its filter upwards so it’s stretched across its bucket top, which makes for easy collection. This way you don’t even need to completely remove the bag from its bucket top to collect the hash, which is another way to save time.
If you do decide to remove the bags one by one for hash collection, use a frisbee or a plate to provide a structure across which you can stretch the filter for efficient collection.
This is especially useful for the 220, 190, and 25 micron bags over the course of multiple washes. These sizes normally don’t need to be removed for collection, since the grade of hash found in these bags isn’t worth keeping for most extractors. It can quickly be removed and discarded as needed, in order to keep the filters clear. But it’s important that the 220 and 190 are well-rinsed between every round of filtration, because all the resin needs to pass through these bags first. If these filters are not clean, they’ll catch the good trichomes instead of allowing them to pass through.
Supplies Needed To Create the Bucket Stacking System
- 5-gallon buckets to fit 5-gallon bubble hash wash bags. If you’re using 1-gallon wash bags, use 1-gallon buckets. You want one bucket for every size of filter bag you use.
- Box cutter (razor blade)
How To Cut the Bucket Tops
The completed bucket tops, or rims, should be around 4-6inches deep, meaning there will be only 4-6inches of plastic remaining at the top of the bucket after cutting away the bottom portion. Some people prefer to cut the bucket tops into varying sizes, for example the 75 micron bag will have a 6-inch bucket rim and the 90 micron bag will have a 4-inch bucket rim.
The thought is that a variation in depth of bucket tops will help to better separate the layers of filters while pouring the ice water through.
To begin, the first step is to remove the metal handles from each of the buckets. Use a pair of pliers to bend the handles and detach them from the plastic rims.
Next, start with one bucket and measure 4-6inches down from the opening of the bucket, marking a dot on the outside of the bucket at this depth. Then move to the opposite side of the bucket and do the same, creating another dot. Once several dots have been made to indicate the proper depth, you can use a marker to connect the dots in order to outline a complete circle around the outside of the bucket. This is where you’ll make the cut.
Repeat this measurement for each bucket.
Next, it’s time to make the cuts. Using a box cutter, follow the lines around each bucket, cutting away the bottom portion of each one. Try to keep the cuts as clean as possible. Avoid creating jagged edges. Aim to make smooth and consistent edges.
Once all the buckets are cut, it’s time for the final step. Using a piece of fine grade sandpaper, smooth the edges to remove any sharp points that might snag the wash bags.
Now your buckets are ready to go! It’s time to enjoy the ease and convenience that the bucket stacking system will bring to your hash washing process.
For more pictures of the bucket stacking system, check out our friend @snobbyglobs on Instagram!
The bucket stacking system can improve your hash washing process by saving time, streamlining the handling of the wash bags, and keeping the various filters separated during extraction. You can even start with one or two buckets and see how it works for you, before committing to the full set up.
Thanks to the constant innovation of home hobbyists and commercial producers alike, new hash washing tricks and techniques are constantly being surfaced, shared, and perfected.
How do you use the bucket stacking system? Let us know in the comments!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a handheld saw with a reciprocating blade, which will cut through plastic like butter. The size of the saw and the blade is great for easily cutting 5-gallon buckets.
How much do 5-gallon buckets cost?
5-gallon buckets normally cost around $5 in the US and are available online or at your local hardware store.
What is the correct order for stacking bubble hash wash bags?
Bubble hash wash bags should be stacked with the smallest micron on the outside and the largest micron on the inside. When pouring water through the filter bags, the water first passes through the largest filter, and down through smaller sizes until it exits the smallest size filter at the very bottom. When stacking bags inside the work bucket, place the smallest micron first, followed by the larger microns on top.
Does it matter how wide I decide to cut the bucket tops?
It doesn’t have to be exact, but somewhere between 4 and 6 inches wide is generally a good size for the bucket rims.
Can you repair a torn hash wash bag?
Attempting to repair torn wash bags is generally counterproductive and not worth the hassle, especially if you’re dealing with a torn filter. Repairs using thread and/or glue will only catch trichomes and take away from your yield.