Who doesn’t love bubble hash? It’s solvent-free, and it’s packed with flavors and potency. Extracting it is also hard to mess up, which makes it one of the better extracts, process-wise. Considering the benefits of bubble hash, it also needs some patience from the end user because you need to dry it before you can use it, unlike other extracts.
One doesn’t just lay out the extracted bubble hash to dry. While it will work, you want to maximize the drying time efficiently. You want the bubble hash to dry properly so it won’t develop molds and fungi that can ruin your extracts. Drying bubble hash is a long process you want to maximize for the best results.
Setting the Environment for Drying Bubble Hash
Cold rooms work best for air-drying bubble hash. Ideally, a room with air conditioning and humidity control will allow you to dry your bubble hash properly. Wine coolers also work as long as you can control the temperature and humidity. Your last resort will be a standard home refrigerator, although this option can add other scents or odors to your bubble hash.
There are two ways to dry bubble hash: air drying and freeze drying, the latter being quick and almost fully automated, which requires little to no effort from the growers or consumers. If you opt for air drying, you must set up the environment necessary for the bubble hash.
Grinding the Bubble Hash
You can grind bubble hash in two ways: using a microplane or sieve; both are easily obtainable kitchen tools. Both provide remarkable results for your bubble hash.
Using a Microplane
Freeze the Microplane before grinding your bubble hash so that you have a cold surface that will maintain the hardness of the bubble hash to grind correctly. Grind the bubble hash slowly on the Microplane. You want to avoid going too fast, as the friction created can heat the bubble hash, making it harder to process. Continue passing the bubble hash on the Microplane until everything has passed through the Microplane.
Using a Sieve
A sieve offers a more gentle way of grinding your bubble hash, although this would be slower than the Microplane. Rub the frozen bubble hash in the bowl structure when using a sieve, which will then fall onto your parchment paper surface. Do this while moving the sieve across the parchment paper surface to ensure an even spread.
Air Drying the Bubble Hash
Before drying, the extracted bubble hash is patted on a 15 or 25-micron screen to remove water, then frozen for 24 hours. Once frozen solid, the bubble hash is broken apart to make the drying more efficient. This part is critical, as any moisture left behind can grow molds.
Grind your bubble hash using any of the methods listed, then put them on a layer of parchment paper, then add a sheet of cardboard under the parchment paper to absorb the moisture from under. Ensure that the ground bubble hash is spread on a thin and even layer so that they dry consistently. Try laying them as thin as a quarter-inch or less to dry faster.
The drying time can range from a week or two, depending on how thin you spread the bubble hash and the environment for air drying. That is why ensuring a proper environment with the right amount of humidity and temperature is essential.
How to check if Bubble Hash is Dry?
Dried bubble hash will have a crumbly texture and should feel dry when touched. In some cases, bubble hash may have a greasy texture, but this is only for particular strains. Hence, you must check the strain’s characteristics to anticipate this texture.
You can break some bubble hash and press a small amount between your fingers to check if it has thoroughly dried. If moisture is escaping when pressed, it needs to be dried more. If the strain is greasy, this should not happen. While you can dry your bubble hash longer, excess drying can compromise terpene amounts and even increase oxidation. It would be best to assess things before deciding to extend drying periods. Once you don’t feel moisture, that should be good enough.
Freeze Drying Bubble Hash
For those fortunate enough to access a freeze dryer, you can use it to dry bubble hash faster. Depending on your freeze dryer, the drying process can take anywhere from 24 – 36 hours.
To freeze dry the bubble hash:
- Form the freshly extracted hash into patties with similar shapes and thicknesses to ensure uniform drying. The thickness should be at most a quarter inch.
- Freeze them for 24 hours, then put them in the freeze dryer after.
- Set the freeze dryer between 30 – 35 degrees Fahrenheit and let it do the rest.
Using a Buchner Funnel for Bubble Hash
The Buchner Funnel technique is a hybrid drying system for bubble hash. It combines some characteristics of air drying and freeze-drying. Using a sealed funnel, it uses a vacuum to pull the moisture from the bubble hash.
Using a Buchner funnel entails you to line the base of the funnel with a 25-micron sheet of parchment paper and let the wet bubble hash sit on it. Cover the funnel’s mouth with foil or cloth to create a seal, then puncture a small hole on top. Activate the funnel and let it vacuum the water from the bubble hash. Depending on the quantity, this process can take up to eight hours, then let it air dry for another 24 hours before it becomes usable for smoking.
Storing the Bubble Hash
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Storing your bubble hash properly is just as essential. You want to preserve its quality for a long time to have a good stash whenever you need it. The ideal place for storing bubble hash should be cold, dark, and dry with minimal ventilation. Any container that creates a tight seal should suffice. Glass containers will work as long as you keep them away from exposure to sunlight.
Drying bubble hash can be smooth, provided you employ the proper techniques. Even without a freeze dryer, you can easily conquer this method to enjoy good old extract sans the solvents. It takes practice to get it right but provided that you understand the process and why you need specific steps, you will get good quality bubble hash faster.