In this How To, we’ll be showing you how to make bubble hash at home with a specialty “washing machine.” These machines allow a high volume of production while reducing the amount of labor. For less than $300, you can turn the arduous hash-making process into a relatively hands-free and enjoyable procedure. However, if you’d like to stick with the old-fashioned way you can still follow these steps but replace the machine agitation with 30-60 minutes of hand-stirred agitation.
The concept behind making bubble hash is to isolate the trichomes from the flower, concentrating the potency of the plant. In order to do this we freeze and agitate the flowers so that the microscopic trichomes on the flower easily break off and separate into the water. Trichomes are not water soluble so once they break off from the plant, they will remain in the water until strained. Our job is to first, freeze and agitate the flower so the trichomes break off into the water; and second, strain the trichomes out of the water with mesh bags.
Gather your bubble bags and place them in a 5-gallon bucket in order of micron level. Start with the finest mesh bag, 25u, and then increase from 45u, 73u, 120u, 160u, 190u to 220u.
Prepare the extraction material. When making hash, it’s important to remember that the quality of your starting material will dictate the quality of your hash. Some people use their very best flower while others use small buds and trim. If you’re starting with big buds, it’s best to grind them up by hand so more plant material is exposed. Once you’ve prepped and weighed your starting material, place it in a 220-micron mesh bag with zipper closure similar to this one.
Fill your washing machine with ice (or an empty trash can will work for the hand-stirred method). Ideally, you want this ice made from R.O. (reverse osmosis) water because it stays frozen longest, but that’s not always accessible so at the very least the ice cubes should consist of distilled water to avoid adding chlorine and fluoride to your hash. Once your container is filled halfway with ice, place the cannabis-filled mesh bag into the machine, and then cover with ice until filled to the top.
Next, fill up the machine to the top with cold water (R.O. or distilled). Close the lid and turn the dial to begin the agitation cycle. The machine will typically run through a 5-minute cycle which you can repeat as many times as you desire. If you are not using a machine, use a long wooden spoon or stick to agitate the ice and water heavily for 30 minutes.
Use the pump attached to the machine to transfer the water from the washing machine to the 5-gallon bucket lined with mesh bags. The water in the example picture is purple because we began with purple flower that had trichomes filled with anthocyanin which is the same compound that makes blueberries blue.
Once you’ve transferred all the water, it’s time to wait as the trichome-filled H2O filters its way through each mesh bag. The transfer process can take up to 30 minutes.
Since the micron levels of the mesh bags get smaller and smaller as the water filters through it refines the hash into various grades.
Once the water has moved through the first level, you can use a spray bottle to clean and collect the trichomes left behind. This is your first grade of hash!
Continue this process for every mesh bag.
Scoop out the hash at the bottom of each bag with a rubber spatula…
And place on parchment paper to dry! Be sure to keep each micron level separate and labeled as they each provide unique smoking experiences and flavors. The 25u, 45u and 73u are typically going to be filled with full melt hash which you can dab just like any other oil. Generally speaking, the higher the micron level, the less likely it will fully melt on a hot nail. These higher micron hashes are best burned on top of a bowl of flower, rolled into a joint, or made into butter/oil to cook with.
Pro-tip: To achieve a beautiful consistency and ensure the hash is evenly dried you can add the process of microplaning. Right after you’ve placed your hash on parchment to dry, form the hash into a small puck, and then freeze immediately. Place two handheld microplane graters into the freezer as well. After the hash is frozen, quickly take it out of the freezer with one of the microplane graters and gently grate the hash over a piece of parchment. You can switch off between the graters, leaving one in the freezer while working with the other (The microplane will get sticky really quickly and is most effective when as cold as possible.) This microplaning step ensures that there are no pockets of moisture in your hash and it will dry noticabley faster (meaning you get to smoke it sooner!)
In about 36 hours your hash will be dry and you can reap the rewards of your labor! Keep all your new bubble hash in glass jars as it will cure and continue to get better over the next couple months.