🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur
The mechanics of pressing rosin are straightforward. With the application of heat and pressure, solventless extractors release the oils contained within cannabis to create a pure and potent form of concentrate known as rosin. Although the overall approach to pressing rosin is simple, many variables exist in the actual process, any of which can have a direct impact on the quantity and quality of your rosin yield.
Over time and with experience, extractors gain a better understanding of how to control variables such as time, temperature, and pressure when pressing rosin. Improvement requires experimentation and learning from past performance. By measuring, tracking, and assessing data from every press, you can accelerate your learnings and quickly advance to higher levels of extraction expertise.
Taking notes during extraction lets you collect valuable data, which is helpful to benchmark the outcome of every press and give you track records to refer back to later. The only thing it requires is a system of organization and a commitment to document every press.
How should you organize your notes?
There’s no right answer, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. The easiest approach for many is a pen and a notebook. Document each press and as time passes you’ll be able to flip back through the pages and refer to previous extractions as reference points.
You can also use a note taking app on your cell phone. Digitizing your notes has advantages such as easy access to them anytime and anywhere, and convenient search features in case you want to refer back to specific things (e.g. a certain strain, micron, temperature, etc.)
If you want to be ultra-organized, you can create an excel spreadsheet and keep the data there. This is useful not only for organization, but for analysis and comparison of different variables being tracked.
What Data To Capture
The following is an outline of the notes to take with every extraction. This data will give you a clear picture of all the different inputs and help make sense of what is working well and what isn’t.
Bonus Tip: Don’t make notes on parchment paper with sharpie, it bleeds through onto the rosin plates!
- Flower, Kief or Sift, or Bubble
- If Bubble, list the microns and whether it was made with fresh frozen or dried and cured buds
- Age of starting material
- Humidity of starting material
- Total weight of material being pressed
- Any unique notes on the overall quality of the starting material
- Strain/strains being pressed
- Notes on dominant terpenes
- Indicate whether or not the material was pre pressed before extraction. Use a pre-press mold for best results
- Record the temperature of the plates during extraction
- Take note if you change plate size. This will change your platen PSI (true reading of pressure input)
- Length of time the material is preheated between the rosin plates prior to extraction
- Total time the source material is under pressure. Remember to slowly and gradually increase pressure for the duration of the press, until maximum pressure is reached
Pressure (Platen PSI)
- Note the maximum pressure that was applied to source material during extraction. Know how to calculate platen PSI? Learn how in our article here.
- Total weight extracted (in grams)
- Yield percentage (rosin weight divided by starting material weight)
- Rosin texture immediately after extraction e.g. shatter, budder, etc.
- Warm Cure or Cold Cure
- Terpene separation, recombining, stirring/whipping
- Length of time curing
- Final consistency
The above outline for notes is comprehensive, but you can pick and choose the data that’s most useful to you in order to keep things simpler. Complexity is the enemy of execution, so keeping it simple is a good default approach.
By keeping good notes you’ll be able to refer back to your previous extractions and track your progress over time. You can gain some real gold nuggets of insights by reading through your notes from previous squishes.
Assess what is working and what isn’t, but also try to find out why. Keep an open mind and be willing to make mistakes and undoubtedly you’ll become better over time.