🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
Freeze drying is the ideal way to dry bubble hash. Loose resin that’s collected using ice water extraction comes out wet. If it’s not properly dried, it can quickly and easily get moldy. While it’s definitely possible to air dry bubble hash, and create a premium hash while doing so, there are some downsides to air drying. Air drying takes several days, and requires lots of space to spread the trichomes in a thin layer. Air drying also allows oxidation to occur, which makes the hash darker in color. More terpenes are lost during air drying as well.
Freeze drying bubble hash can be done inside of a compact piece of equipment, takes less than 24 hours, and will thoroughly remove moisture from the resin. This eliminates the risk of the hash getting moldy while it’s drying, and it also minimizes the oxidation that takes place. Freeze dryers also optimize for terpene preservation.
Hash that’s dried with a freeze dryer comes out with a much lighter color than hash that’s air dried. Think about how quickly an avocado turns brown after you cut into it. This is oxidation, and the same thing happens with hash.
Oxidation not only affects the color of loose resin, it also negatively impacts the flavor. It’s a win anytime hash makers can reduce the rate of oxidation.
How Freeze Dryers Work
Freeze dryers use the process of sublimation to quickly and thoroughly remove moisture from loose resin. Sublimation is the magic behind the freeze dryer, as it is a much more efficient and complete way to dry hash than the process of evaporation. Air drying hash relies on evaporation only, as water does not sublimate in the environment used to air dry hash.
First, a freeze dryer freezes the loose resin completely solid. Then, heat is applied and pressure is lowered to create a vacuum inside the freeze dryer. As the hash begins to warm, the water sublimates in this vacuum environment.
Freeze dryers are able to remove 96-99% of the water in freshly-collected loose resin.
Read more about freeze dryer technology in the article How Does A Freeze Dryer Work?
The Best Freeze Dryers for Drying Bubble Hash
So what type of freeze dryer can you use for making bubble hash? The Harvest Right brand of freeze dryers is the most popular among hash makers. But not just any type of Harvest Right will do the best job for drying resin. It’s important to get the Pharmaceutical Grade Harvest Right (4.056 version).
Be sure not to get the food grade freeze dryers, as they run too hot for drying bubble hash. Food grade freeze dryers can actually cook your resin, and that’s absolutely something to avoid.
The regular vacuum pumps that come with the Harvest Right freeze dryers are okay to use for drying hash. That said, dry scroll oil-less pumps are a worthy upgrade, since they are much quieter during operation and do not require regular oil changes.
The Correct Settings for the Harvest Right Pharmaceutical Grade Freeze Dryers
It’s important to adjust the settings on the freeze dryer so that it creates just the right environment for drying loose resin. There are very specific settings to select before the machine is ready to dry bubble hash. Keep in mind that if the temps are too high, it will darken the resin.
Here are the best settings:
Shelf Temp Limit 30-35 degrees F
Freeze Time 6hrs
Dry Time 4hrs 15mins
Keep the layer of trichomes at most 1/8th of an inch on the trays. Any thicker than this and the resin will not dry evenly. You can add some clean water if necessary to get the resin into a milkshake-like consistency. Water also helps keep the heads separate from each other.
Also, be careful not to use the defrost mode at the end of a drying cycle. The defrost mode uses temperatures high enough to actually damage the hash. It’s better to let it defrost naturally, by simply leaving the door open for a while once the dry cycle is complete.
You can let it defrost naturally 2-3 times before needing to run defrost mode.
While the unit is defrosting, water is liable to collect inside. If you put a piece of folded cardboard under the front legs of the machine to slightly tilt it backwards, it will prevent the water from running out of the front.
Latest Firmware for Harvest Right V. 4.0.56 Pharmaceutical
If you're using a home version of the Harvest Right freeze dryer instead of the pharmaceutical version, it's critical that you install the pharmaceutical firmware so that you can adjust the freeze dryer to the proper settings. Without the firmware, the home version Harvest Right will not reach the correct shelf temperatures for drying bubble hash.
Learn how to install the software in the article Harvest Right Pharmaceutical Firmware 4.0.56 - Required Update For Home Freeze Dyers.
The Harvest Right brand of freeze dryers is a great choice for drying bubble hash. The pharmaceutical type is the ideal for resin, as opposed to the food grade version, which can damage trichomes.
While air drying hash is also a fine option, freeze dryers will help improve color and preserve trichomes.
Keep shelf temperatures at 30-35 degrees Fahrenheit and the dry time at 4hrs and 15mins.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best shelf temperature for Harvest Right Freeze dryers?
30-35 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for drying bubble hash with a Harvest Right.
What is the best drying time for Harvest Right Freeze dryers?
4hrs 15mins is the best time for drying bubble hash with a Harvest Right.
What is the best brand of freeze dryer for making bubble hash?
Harvest Right is the best brand to use for making bubble hash.
What type of Harvest Right freeze dryer is best of making bubble hash?
The pharmaceutical type of freeze dryer is the bets Harvest Right to buy for making bubble hash.
Where can I buy a Harvest Right?
You can find Harvest Right Freeze dryers at hardware stores or farm supply stores.