Mexican Immigrant, Trichome Lover & Extraction Dabbler Since 2012
Thanks to Marcos Dosal for this week's article on how to make cold cure hash. Marcos' years of experience with solventless extracts shines through in this tutorial, and we're grateful for his willingness to share with The Press Club community. Enjoy!
- Loose Resin - Choose resin that is relatively free of contaminants for best results. You do not need ‘full melt’ for this process to work, but the cleaner your input is, the better the end result will be. Greasier resin is more forgiving.
- Wrap - Choose a food safe material similar to what you might use for wrapping temple ball or other traditional hash. Nylon turkey bags work well. Other viable options might include PET10* sheets (sold as Piatella Foils or available from other industry), natural cellophane*, or PTFE* sheets.
- Jars - These must seal well and be size appropriate for the amount of material you intend to cure.
- Vacuum sealer machine & bags - A standard food-saver or similar vacuum sealer and bags will suffice. Clear bags that can be seen through are best to help assess the state of the material as it cures and visually inspect for impurities.
- Cold Cure Room or Fridge - A room or appliance that will hold the parameters you wish to cold cure in. A refrigerator or wine cooler with adjustable temperature settings is a great choice for this.
- Oven or Sous-vide setup - If you intend to heat assist your cures. I prefer using sous-vide since the heat is easy to dial in and keep constant, but this does require additional jars or wrap to hold your already jarred or sealed material.
Typical Cure Stages:
These are the stages I typically see most resin go through. For some resin, a given stage may happen very quickly, test your material and be mindful of this as you proceed.
1. Loose resin - Well preserved resin, washed or sieved, in a sandy loose state. Moves about in a container if shaken up.
2. Greased up - The previously sandy resin will have a more melted appearance and sticks to itself, forming clumps and melting into itself.
3. Glossy hard - The resin has melted into a single or several large masses, has a shiny or glossy appearance, and is hard to bend or it breaks when bent back and forth. With some strong pressure, you can use two fingers to flatten a section, it should be see-through once thin enough.
4. Glossy soft - Similar to above in appearance, sometimes less glossy. The resin starts to become soft, it can bend easily without breaking. Finger-pressed thin enough, it is more or less see-through. Finger pressed sections bounce back a bit after a while.
5. Opaque soft - The resin takes upon a more doughy appearance. Finger pressing will easily move all the material away from the pressure point and leave clear windows. The material will be very soft and should ‘bounce back’ to refill any pressed windows.
6. Opaque hard - The resin becomes hard again and breaks similar to a dry cold-cured rosin. When broken apart, the interior of the resin should still appear wet. After breaking into chunks, it can easily be reshaped and should not break apart.
7. Opaque leaking - If sealed properly and allowed to continue curing, the resin will begin to sweat out a high terpene fraction.
1. Place loose or greased up resin in the center of a square piece of wrap. Fold the wrap in half over the resin, then fold in half once more to form a smaller square pouch.
2. Continue folding the wrap over folding the excess wrap all on the same side and leaving a clear side so the resin can be easily seen. All sides of the pouch should be closed by the folds.
3. Place the pouch into a vacuum seal bag and vacuum seal it. Place the sealed pouch in storage at 65F.
4. Monitor daily to determine how quickly the resin is curing. Typically the resin will take at least a few weeks to reach a desirable state but can be allowed to cure longer. Keep in mind what profiles you wish to highlight when choosing how much longer to allow your resin to cure.
5. To keep a profile similar to rosin pressed from the same material, you will typically want to end the cure process as the material fully turns into the Opaque Hard state while it still has some parts that are Opaque Soft or Glossy soft.
6. When you decide your resin is ready, open the seal and unwrap the material. Unwrapping should not be very difficult and the material should not be very strongly stuck to the wrap, if it is, you’ve not cured long enough.
7. Too early, note the shiny bits in the picture to the right that look like fresh press sorta. This was sticky and hard to unwrap.
8. Use your hands to homogenize the material while wrapped or use a tool if preferred. Shape the material back into a flattened rectangle.
WARNING - Heat-assisted curing can easily and quickly ruin your resin, small test batches are recommended, understand the properties of the material you are working with well before taking this path.
Follow the same steps as above up until storing the sealed pouch. Instead of placing the sealed pouch into cold storage, you’ll place it into a heated environment to cure.
Set your hot water bath or oven to 110F, once the temperature has been reached, place the sealed resin pouch into a mason jar, then place that into your hot water bath or oven.
It’s critical to either do test batches or monitor your process closely. Typically, the resin will take a few hours to reach a desirable state.
1. Some resins are extremely stable even when not cold (ie, GMO’s, resin washed from dried plants, older material) and will take a very long time to cure. Heat-assist helps kick start or complete the cure process.
2. Some resins will cure a bit dry, but with gentle heat-assist, can reach a more desirable texture.
1. Place loose or greased up resin into a clean jar, pressing it down into the jar using gloves or a piece of wrap. Fill the jar as much as desired but no more than 80% full with resin.
2. Place a sheet of wrap above the resin, use your fingers to press the wrap into the resin and use the resin itself to stick the wrap along the sides of the jar to cut off the resin from the empty headspace in the jar. Close the lid over the plastic.
3. Place the jar at 65 F and monitor daily until the resin begins to turn opaque. Once the resin appears opaque, remove the jar from storage and test to see if it is ready by gently pulling off the plastic cover.
4. If the cover is still strongly stuck onto the resin or glass, you must allow it to cure longer. The resin will be cured enough either when the plastic comes off entirely easily without resin sticking to it or when its only sticking a little or in certain parts of the jar.
5. At this stage, the resin must be whipped vigorously, this should resemble whipping a jar of cold cured rosin.
6. After whipping, optionally collect the resin from the jar and place onto a piece of wrap. Fold the wrap over the material twice forming a square pouch, flatten and shape the material and keep folding the plastic over it until you have a flat rectangular shape. Place the wrapped resin into a jar and allow it to cure farther if desired, it can be considered done at this stage.
Finishing and Storage:
Store your cured hash wrapped and inside a jar in the freezer once the cure is complete at least overnight or 24 hours before use. After this, you’ll want to continue storing in the freezer long term for best preservation of flavor.
Storing at room temperature for a few days at a time will typically not have a noticeably negative effect, but try to keep cold when not in use.
Big thanks again to Marcos for putting together this article and sharing pictures from his recent batch of cold cured hash.
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