🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
Hydroplaning is a term to describe a loss of traction, mostly used in the context of car tires sliding on a wet road. When a layer of water builds up between the surface of a road and the tires of a car, after a heavy rain for example, the rubber tires lose their grip on the road and slide out of control. The layer of water prevents the traction that normally happens when the rubber grips the road.
The same principle can apply to pressing rosin, when the rosin bag fails to stabilize against the parchment paper during extraction.
Rosin bag slippage is an issue that most extractors have had to deal with at one time or another. As press plates apply pressure to the starting material during extraction, the rosin bag should remain perfectly fixed in position. But sometimes, as pressure increases and rosin begins to flow, the rosin bag and material drift out of place. This slippage can create various problems like reduced yields and torn parchment paper.
As a rosin bag slides out of position, it often floats to the outside edge of the press plates. This impacts heat distribution and disrupts the even flow of rosin from the material, and takes away from your total yields.
Rosin bags that move around during extraction create friction that can tear parchment paper, potentially letting rosin escape and leave permanent stains on your press plates. Not to mention the wasted rosin.
Fortunately, there are techniques that help to minimize the chances of rosin bag slippage during extraction. Three of the top things to consider include double (and even triple) bagging starting material, increasing pressure gradually, and monitoring any plate rotation.
Triple Bagging Material
Using multiple rosin bags has several benefits. Multiple bags provide reinforcement around the starting material that reduces the risk of blowouts. Using multiple rosin bags also offers additional filtration, ensuring the rosin is as pure as possible. And double and triple bagging material can also reduce the chances that slippage will occur.
Larger micron rosin bags are a bit more coarse and textured to the touch than the smaller microns, like 15 and 25 microns. This coarseness brings better gripping power against the parchment paper, which allows the bag to stay fixed in place. The larger micron size bags on the outermost layer helps with the "grip" of the bags to the parchment paper during extraction.
If you’re double bagging, a common set up for pressing hash rosin is to pack starting material in a 15 or 25 micron rosin bag, with a 37 or 50 micron bag on the outside. Learn more about the techniques for using two bags in How To Double Bag Your Rosin Bags.
Triple bagging is even better, as the three bags lock tightly together as pressure increases. The extra reinforcement also minimizes the expansion of the starting material, which can prevent the bags from floating out of place.
A common setup for hash rosin with three bags is to pack the loose resin in a 37 micron bag, place this inside of a 25 micron bag, then put those bags into a second 37 micron bag. As pressure increases during extraction, all three bags lock together and stay in place. It’s a thing of beauty.
When packing and layering the rosin bags, alternate the open ends of the bags and be sure to keep the seams aligned.
Secure the Parchment Paper
Be sure the parchment paper is secured into place with clips or magnets during extraction. Paper that's free to slide around between the rosin plates during extraction can quickly lead to bag slippage.
Preheating Increasing Pressure Gradually
Preheating the starting material on the plates primes the trichomes to liquefy steadily throughout the extraction process. Learn how to properly preheat material in The Importance of Preheating When Pressing Rosin.
After preheating the starting material between the heated rosin plates, it’s important to gradually and slowly increase pressure until reaching the maximum PSI. When full pressure is applied to the starting material immediately after preheating is complete, bag slippage is more likely to occur.
For the best extraction with the minimal chance for bag slippage, slowly ramp-up pressure. Add incrementally more and more pressure until the target PSI is reached.
Pre-Pressing the Starting Material
Keeping the material even and consistent within the rosin bags will help prevent slippage. Allowing the bag to be thicker on one end and thinner on the other can invite movement as pressure is increased between the rosin plates. Pre-pressing starting material within the rosin bags evens out the hash or flower patty inside.
Pre-press molds are designed to make pre-pressing fast and easy. Read more in How To Use a Pre-Press Mold. The puck should end up flat without any wrinkles throughout.
Monitoring Plate Position
This is something to bear in mind when using uncaged plates. While caged plates maintain their alignment by design, uncaged plates are not connected to each other. This complete detachment of the upper plate from the lower plate means that they are liable to a slight drift out of perfect alignment.
This applies specifically to the upper plate, which comes into contact with the driving ram of the press. On many hydraulic presses the ram spins as it’s lowered, which can potentially translate into movement of the press plate.
Press plates that aren’t perfectly aligned can cause uneven pressure distribution, leading to bag slippage during extraction. There are benefits to uncaged plates, though. Read more in Caged vs Uncaged Rosin Press Plates.
When using uncaged plates, make sure to monitor their alignment from start to finish of extraction.
Another point with positioning...make sure the rosin bags are situated perfectly in the center of the press plates. This can also help reduce the chances of slippage.
If you're pressing more than 20 grams of hash at a time, it can be beneficial to use 2 smaller rosin pucks rather than a single large puck (each puck double or triple-bagged). In a larger bag (2x9 inch for example) the hash inside has a large area through which it can move around as it liquefies. Hash at one end of the bag can melt first, and the rosin can then move around from one end of the bag to the other. This movement can easily cause slippage.
Containing smaller batches of starting material in smaller bags limits the movement as it begins to liquefy. You can place the bags side by side, touching, between the plates for extraction.
Rosin bag slippage is never good news during extraction. While it still may yield rosin, keep in mind that lifting the press plates is the end of that extraction. It’s best not to lift the plates, adjust the bag, and carry on like it never happened. Prevention is the way to go.
Triple bagging material, increasing pressure gradually, and monitoring rosin press plate positioning are tactics that can minimize your chances of rosin bag slippage.
Also, be sure you’re using top quality parchment paper. Durability is key, so that if you do get some slippage, you won’t tear your paper. The Press Club Parchment Paper is specifically designed for rosin and can take a beating without tearing.
What are your tricks to preventing rosin bag slippage? Let us know in the comments!
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is rosin bag slippage?
Rosin bag slippage is when the rosin bag and starting material slide out of place between the rosin press plates during extraction.
What happens when the rosin bag slides out of place?
When rosin bags slide out of place they often float to the outer edge of the press plates, impacting both heat and pressure distribution. This reduces yield and can tear parchment paper.
What causes rosin bags to slip during extraction?
Unaligned rosin plates, a quick increase in pressure, and lack of multiple layers of rosin filter bags can increase chances of rosin bag slippage.
How can you prevent rosin bag slippage?
To help prevent rosin bag slippage you can triple bag your starting material, increase pressure slowly and gradually, and monitor plate alignment during extraction.
How do you triple bag starting material?
For pressing hash, a common setup is packing a 37 micron bag, loading that into a 25 micron bag, then placing those two bags inside of another 37 micron bag. Learn more about using multiple rosin bags in How To Double Bag Your Rosin Bags.