Curious about the famous Bubble Hash that Girls in Green loves so much? This is the perfect post for you to clear all doubts and stay a pro on the subject.
Last week, we started talking more about a topic that interests our followers a lot: the different types of hashish and how they are made. Because hash is rich in trichomes and terpenes, it is a favorite form of consumption for many people! Today, we are going to talk more about one of the darlings of the crowd: the bubble hash (or also known as ice, ice-o-lator, melt, water hash) and the different ways of producing it.
Bubble hash has this cute name because it forms small bubbles when heated – which is also a way for you to gauge its quality. It is made without the use of solvents, which makes both your production process and consumption much safer. After all, as you already know, the focus must always be on Harm Reduction – not only in relation to the consumption of the substance, but also in its production.
Bubble hash is our favorite type of hash. We believe that in addition to being one of the safest extractions, it is a true expression of the quality of the plant – After all, a good hash only comes out if the flowers, the washed matter is good! Therefore, all the love for those who grow the plants, these are the real talents of the cannabis world – long live the grower. The world is different when it comes to growing resin and not necessarily smoking dried flower – there are countless other characteristics that can be taken into account, in California this is called: resin growers or resin farming.
With the advancement of technology and the establishment of regulated markets in some countries such as the USA and Canada, strategies for making this form of hashing have developed. In our post we will try to address simpler and more homemade ways of making bubble hash at home, but also to tell a little about the things that are happening worldwide. From Frenchy Cannoli with his traditional hash and much of what we see in Brazil, to the famous white ice wax in California and Colorado to vaporize, or give a dab!
Want to know more about this fascinating resin concentrate universe? We will tell you!
What is the bubble hash or also known as Water Hash
The bubble hash is the result of separating trichomes from buds (flowers) or trim using only ice, water and filter bags. This form is known as one of the most effective ways to preserve terpenes and to extract hash with a sensational flavor. Remember that trichomes and cannabinoids are not soluble in water, so they are not damaged by agitation – so don’t worry about being rough with the plant!
The idea of using filter bags with different microns is to be able to separate different sizes of trichome heads and also to separate this resin from the rest of the plant matter. Cold water, ice and agitation, on the other hand, make the head of these trichomes (filled with oil) have a harder and less sticky consistency so that they detach more easily from the plant and remain loose in the water of the hash – that’s why the importance the whole process will be very cold – brrrrr!
There are different ways to carry out this procedure, either with machines (such as camping washing machines) or even by hand with a spoon or shovel (here in California we use a Canoe paddle) and a bucket. If you do not have a specific machine, and that can be used specefically for this, the best option is to use what you have available.
Are you a little confused by so many variations in such a process? No problem. It is important to say that hashing is an art – each artist, in the case of a hashmaker, will have their own cake recipe to hash in their favorite way. There are some common mistakes (like not guaranteeing low temperatures during the procedure), but the cycle time, type of strains, bags they use, ways of shaking, drying, can vary a lot – and that is what is the magic of this universe.
So we will try to discuss this process in this text for you: from the roots all the way to the nutella!
Come with us!
Filter bags and their concept
The different microns in the screens that filter / sieve this hash are what makes it possible to separate the different sizes of trichome heads and also the “more crema” (less contaminated with plant matter) and “less crema” (more contaminated) material.
The system filters the vegetable matter in the largest microns, takes the middle crema bags, and leaves the immature trichome heads and other impurities in the lower bags with the smallest micron.
Usually separated by color – the highest microns are at the top and the lowest at the bottom. The 220u is the one that separates all the plant material from the rest, so it is often used separately – like a bag in the machine or the bag you use to shake the material in a bucket. See an example in the video we produced together with the Overgrow Shop: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bu2H-NLFcR7/.
Here is useful information about these bags found on the ICExtract Bags
- 40 micron bag (medium quality trichomes)
- 70 micron bag (high quality trichomes)
- 90 micron bag (typically the best quality trichomes)
- 104 micron bag (high quality trichomes)
- 120 micron bag (low quality trichomes)
- 150 micron bag (often debris being filtered out)
- 190 micron bag (often debris being filtered out)
- 220 micron bag (often debris being filtered out)
The important thing is to have at least 1 bag for each layer, we recommend:
40 / 45u + 70u + 150u + 220u to hit – but yes, the ideal is to have the complete kit.
Dry Material or Fresh Frozen
The first step to be decided is how this material will be prepared to be washed. The options are:
- Dry and cured buds/trim: using dry plant matter, it is possible to take advantage of what is left over from the harvest period. And yes, if you have a nice amount, play some buds too, especially the famous popcorn (small buds). This is the material chosen most of the time to make Hash in its most traditional way. In Brazil, this is a great option due to high temperatures, it is easier to wash and collect in bags without sticking and losing trichomes along the way
- Fresh Frozen: this is a way to work with the plant still alive and fresh trichomes. The plant is harvested, the excess leaves are removed and immediately after this process it is frozen. To wash, just take it out of the freezer when performing this procedure. Dealing with this material is more challenging in hot countries like Brazil, the heads are oily and stick more to the bags. Here in California, we use cold rooms that reach 5 ° C to guarantee the quality of the final product.
Tradicional Water Hash (Frenchy Cannoli and Dank Duchess style)
To wash you will need:
- Plant material (Buds, trim)
- Filter bags (Bubblebags style, which in Brazil can be found at this link)
- 1 or 2 buckets (preferably 2)
- Washing machine (optional)
- Cold, clean water
- Hose (if connected with cold water) or a manual pressure sprayer (it is super useful to put water with a lot of ice inside!)
- Collection surface (plate, bowl)
- Parchment Paper
The roots extraction is made with the same materials: a bucket / machine, a set of special filter bags, pure water, ice, a stirring tool and its material with trichomes. Remember that ice and water must be extremely clean, and cannabis must be of good quality. The higher the quality of the material, the better the result of the process.
About the bags: we use the bag 220 separately, either inside the machine or in the bucket we use to beat the hash. It makes cleaning a lot easier, so take note of this tip from another one to use it separately!
The first step is to place one of the bags in a bucket, and add ice and its whole flowers or trim in an interspersed way. There must be enough ice to submerge the amount of cannabis. Wait 20 minutes to start stirring, in that time make sure the temperatures are low – this is the time that the trichome heads will harden to come off easily by stirring.
Regarding the agitation, both with the machine and the bucket, pay attention to the SOUND, it needs to be almost like a song of water with ice, and not a noise of ice breaking. If you hear this very loud noise, pause, add some cold water, as you may be crushing your plant material and leaving contaminants in small particles.
In the first cycle, agitate for a short time, ensuring that there are few contaminants. We recommend about 5 minutes. And remember: if you’re doing it by hand, don’t be afraid to shake it!
After stirring, it is necessary to pour this water full of trichomes into the filter bags. Leave them prepared and in order already in the bucket that will be passed to facilitate this collection. Pour the water and wait for it to drain completely – if it’s taking too long you can rock!
Collect the hash of these bags individually (as you can see in our IGTV video) – remove excess water! This helps to dry faster. Attention to wash the bags properly and do not leave trichomes along the way. After collecting the hash from the bags, place on top of the parchment paper and write down what is what.
Repeat these cycles until you feel the hash is already green. We recommend 4 washings, the first cycle 5 minutes, the second cycle 6-8 minutes, the third cycle 10 minutes and the fourth cycle 15 minutes. This will help ensure that you lose as few trichomes as possible along the way!
At the end of the post we’ll talk about drying, so wait!
The final color: after drying, the bubble hash usually turns a golden-yellow color. If it is very green, it may be a sign of excess plant matter in the middle of the trichomes, which reduces the quality of the product.
North American way of doing Bubble Hash
The most recent technological extraction style involves the same idea as the process, but has a greater use of technology and structure. Firstly, the environment in which the procedure is performed – they are usually cold chambers – they help to ensure the freshness of the extraction and not to let the terpenes evaporate in the middle of the process, after all, terpenes are super volatile and therefore so careful when dealing with they.
How to dry your hash:
How to air dry your Hash:
There is a simple and practical way to dry the hash at home. But how long that will to take can vary depending on the temperature and humidity conditions. Going back to the previous step, right after the hash is collected from the bags it must be taken to the freezer. Wait a few hours to ensure that it will be frozen, take the hash out of the freezer and grate it on parchment paper – ideally, this sand should have the largest contact surface possible with the air, so that it will dry faster.
This is the easiest part of this procedure, the rest is to control the humidity and temperature of the environment. The ideal is to have at least one dehumidifier to lower the humidity of the air and an air conditioner to continue this cold process, which is to extract quality hash.
Wait a few days and always check the consistency of your hash until you notice that it is dry. It is essential that it is dry before storing it in a jar to begin the curing process.
After the hash is dry, you can start pressing your hash to make it more chocolate-like. A walkthrough can be found at the Hashweek that we did on our website.
Freeze Dryer and how this mystery machine works:
This is a very complex subject, which is the reason why we decided to interview a very special person. Flynn Abeln the COO from Fullymelted, a legal solventless company in California.
A freeze drier is a machine that was brought over from the food industry and is commonly used to freeze dry food for long term storage. The hash community saw it as a tool to dry resin in an easier way! This machine dries the hash through sublimation, when the wet hash is put in the freeze drier the machine pulls a vacuum on the hash as well as controlling a rising and falling of the temperature. This allows sublimation to occur and helps to turn the water from a solid into a gas, so it can be removed from the hash. This method of drying also sanitises the hash, this is why it is also so good for long term food storage.
If you are using a freeze drier it is essential to know what settings to put the machine to work . Sublimation will occur best if the hash is exposed to as much open air and surface area as possible on the freeze dryer trays. This means when you are pulling your hash from the bags you will want to spoon it out at a crepe-like consistency, with much more water than traditional patties you would sieve or microplane and then air dry. There are three basic settings on the freezer dryer; freezer time, final dry time, and shelf temperature (We recommend you read the manual to become familiar with how to adjust these settings and set default settings to your desired levels).
When the Freeze Drier runs a full cycle it starts with a freeze cycle, this is used to freeze the product and bring the chamber down to temperature. Then the machine starts its main drying process which can last anywhere from 10 to 16 hours depending on the amount of water it needs to pull out, however when it starts this cycle the system will usually show a 24 hour countdown. After the system senses it is not pulling a major amount of water from the material it will enter into its final dry cycle and run for the set amount of time. When looking at the settings to start a freeze dry cycle Shelf temperature is one of the things to pay attention to and check every time you run the system, its factory default is 125 F, way to hot for hash, and will definitely ruin a batch if not changed, so please look up how to change the default temperature to something around 45-50 so you don’t have to remember every time! The Shelf temperature setting is the highest temperature the shelves will heat too before switching off and letting the freezing chamber start to cool the product back down. 45F to 50F is a good starting range for high quality fresh frozen material. Lower shelf temperatures can be best when more unstable resin is being dried or resin the greases quickly and easily, where higher temperatures (50F-55F) can be used. However it should be noted you will need to dry longer final dry times when lower temperatures are applied. Final Dry time is the variable experience that will help with the most. Final Dry cycles are started when the machine sense that it is pulling smaller amounts of water out of the product. Longer or shorter final dry times can be gauged through two basic factors; the amount of hash in the freeze drier, and how dry or greasy your resin is naturally. Drier resin will tend to need a bit less final dry time and can be run at a higher shelf temperature without sacrificing quality. More unstable resin can need longer dry times in order to fully dry the resin and lower shelf temperatures in order to preserve the resin head and prevent it from melting. Final dry times can always be adjusted to be longer after you check the resin so starting low and working your way up is the best strategy. Freeze time is simply how long the machine will sit at its lowest temperature before starting the vacuum and heating/cooling cycles to start to dry the hash, ideally you want to have your hash fully frozen before this process starts to ensure a more even drying of the hash, pre freezing trays can help to reduce this time, however without pre freezing two to three hours is usually enough to fully freeze even very full freeze dryers.
How is it used and what are its effects?
The bubble hash can be used in several ways: in the vaporizer, in the bong, in pipes and in the joint itself. It can be mixed with cannabis (remember to dose carefully, due to the amount of THC), or with tobacco. Hash can also be mixed with butters to make edible cannabis, which are great for this pandemic season, when smoking is not recommended.
Its effects are the same as cannabis, but they can be more intense because of its purity. Some of them can have more than 50% THC – and, as we know, this substance, when used alone, can be a trigger for anxiety attacks.
Some important tips
- Whichever method you choose, low temperatures are essential to maintain the quality of the hash and lose less trichomes along the way.
- Attention in the order of filtering in the bags! It can be disastrous for example to change the order of a 150u for a 45u.
- Doing it at home is not expensive, but you need to invest in quality materials to get the best result.
- Use everything that has trichomes, discard the large leaves that are full of water. They can be potential contaminants of your hash. Do it with buds and flowers, and don’t forget the leaves that are just below the flowers: they are also full of trichomes!
- We have already spoken, but it is worth repeating: when using, dose wisely. Nobody wants a “bad trip” with such a wonderful extraction, right?
Did you like to read and learn more about all this?
Keep an eye here on the blog and on our Instagram to know even more about this universe that we love!