When to harvest for ideal extract...

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Greetings friends!

So we know about two wonderful pathways to clean, stable, high-potency extractions: organic solvent based methods, and water/ice based methods.

Whichever methodology you prefer (and ultimately use), it remains true that the quality of the starting material directly correlates with the quality of the final product.

So, all that being said, when is the ideal time to harvest for the express purpose of making concentrates? Like most things cannabis, it depends! What is your desired end result, a barrel of rough cannabinoids? A super-terpy sauce? Some clear glass shatter? Jars of translucent white putty? (Manipulation of the terpene content has a direct effect on the consistency of the end product, as terpenes are oils at room temperature and THC-a & CBD are white crystalline solids at room temperature. More terps lend a softer consistency, purge them out and you get harder, crystalline consistency).

So, you want terp sauce and diamonds?

For this extraction, use a hydrocarbon blend (70% propane, 30% isobutane) to favorably select the terpenes, and grab all the cannabinoids too.

As far as when to harvest- Use a magnifying loupe or microscope to inspect the trichome heads all over your buds. When most are cloudy with almost NO amber ones (slightly premature), and the balance are still clear, it's harvest time. (On an 8-week strain, this usually occurs about halfway into week 6, but use a loupe!!)

Flash-freeze all the bud in coolers with dry ice and take immediately to extraction. Ensure all materials and solvents stay WELL below zero during and throughout the extraction.

Use small-pore mechanical filtration to guarantee entrapment and capture of ice crystals. Use very short soak/contact times. Use molecular sieve to strip water off the solvent stream.

Collect the "pour" in a mason/ball jar or Pyrex container and cover with foil. Place in cool, dark location and seed with THC-a crystals, if available. If not, no worries, they will still grow, just gonna take a bit more time...

Purge the diamonds separately from the terpenes, in vac oven at 110°F for 1 hour, then at 98°F for 36 hours.

Happy mining!


Desire a gob of crude to make distllate and want maximum yield with no concern for terpene preservation? Then run those flowers a tad long, say an extra week, where up to 25% of the trichome heads are now amber or dark. Extract with warm butane, using longer soak times, to maximize the quantity of the cannabinoids pulled. Then proceed with winterization to crash/filter solids, then enzymatic degumming and a 3 part brine wash, a hot scrub with bleaching clay, and then centrifugation, if available. Finally two passes through the short path distillation machine separated by another wash. The resultant distillate will be very clean and pure.


Want rosin from heaven? Pluck those babies when the trichome heads are still mostly clear/cloudy. Make your bubble hash per the usual method, and press the 73u and 90u material with a heated press through a 25um filter/pressing screen.

Enjoy!
 
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What is the ideal drying method for rosin?
A freeze dryer is required for best results. This will remove 100% of the water, while preserving the oils. Without a freeze dryer, you can still do well, but should dry the buds to less than 5%. (As dry as possible.) It may seem counter-intuitive to thoroughly dry material that you will be ultimately soaking in water...but it is an essential step in preparing the trichome heads to easily break off.
 

jaguarlax

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A freeze dryer is required for best results. This will remove 100% of the water, while preserving the oils. Without a freeze dryer, you can still do well, but should dry the buds to less than 5%. (As dry as possible.) It may seem counter-intuitive to thoroughly dry material that you will be ultimately soaking in water...but it is an essential step in preparing the trichome heads to easily break off.
In that case, without a freeze dryer would adding dry ice to the process be beneficial at all?
 
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In that case, without a freeze dryer would adding dry ice to the process be beneficial at all?
I could see a benefit to using some pelletized dry ice, (added with the water ice), as it would keep the solution colder, BUT solid CO2 will sink in water, likely entrapping trichomes down on the filter bag surface as water freezes to the super cold CO2 pellets. If I'm able to experiment with this I'll definitely post more about it.
 
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