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'Welcome back my friend
to the show that never ends
so glad you could attend
come inside, come inside'
Greetings from Alchemist breeding collective, where a friend of a friend types these words. He has just witnessed sustainability at its finest- using every part of the cannabis plant. The roots are composted, the fan leaves fed to the worms after drying out, and the stalks are dried and bundled for kindling, for the coming winter. The buds are, of course, grate-tasting pain medicine. That just leaves(no pun intended) the "trim"- the sugary frosty leaves surrounding-and part of-the buds. (not specifically part of the anatomy of a flower, though). this also includes the small untrimmed popcorn buds at the bottom. If its to small to trim, it gets placed in the hash pile.
Enter the bubble-bag, or one of its many 'clones'. (The ones He witnessed in use were a well-made copy. A himt for those purchasing a set- quality is somewhat determined by price. Low price is low quality.) This is a series of bags-these made of sail-type canvas(high quality), and the bottom of these 5-gallon bags were silk screens of progressively smaller hole size(micron). They were 220, 160, 73, and 20 millionths of an inch. The 20 micron could not be seen through.
The theory behind The bubble bag is that the trichomes are broken off using agitation, after being frozen using cold water and ice. The trichomes are heavier than the water, so they sink. And trichomes, even on the same bud, are of varying sizes and stages of maturity, and so the varying size silkscreens sift these trichomes from the water. (yes, the same kind used in screenprinting tshirts can be used in making your own bags, or making kief if the screens are the right size)
With the theory out of the way, what AFOAF witnessed was rather extraordinary.
In one 5-gallon bucket, there was placed a thin layer of ice and then several handfuls of DRIED trim, and then another layer of ice. Both layers equalled one bag,( 7? lb ). The bucket was then filled up to halfway with water from the hose. Unfortunately, there was no weight for the trim. It was stirred for about 5 minutes with a nice stick from the woods-free of bark and very smooth.
There was then added a piece of dry ice the size of a farmers fist, that was first crushed with a mallet. It hissed and fizzled and sputtered and steamed, and they started to stir again. It was noticed that it was too thick, so a gallon of water was added. This loosened up the mixture. They took turns stirring for 10 more minutes, and then it was chow call
This is actually the trick, right here. Two fold. The slow hand stirring GENTLY knocks loose the trichomes, so they are intact and very melt-able. And, As long as one does it in the buckets, and not in the bags(where it can stick them together), the dry ice brings it to a LOW temperature fast. One wants it to be as close to 2 degrees celsius as possible. Or is it 4? Ice gets it cold but one needs a LOT. To do it right, one must process a small amount of cannabis each time, like a quarter pound at most, since there needs to be a LOT of ice, and one still wants it stirrable. The addition of dry ice -frozen co2- allows for more trim to be processed and less ice used. Its still stirrable with 250g, so the dude implied. They had way less, but no weight was given. So hand stirring on the first run, and-if possible, a bit of dry ice, equals fast and cold, intact trichomes.
After chow, everyone retreated to the porch to watch. The bags were placed in the bucket, smallest to largest, with the 220 micron bag being the topmost. Everything was poured from one bucket into the bags in the other bucket. A half-gallon of cold water was used to rinse the first bucket, and this was poured into the bag. A quick 2 minute vigorous (by hand) stir with the big stick, and it was left alone for half an hour-just long enough for desert.
The real desert.
When it was time to pull the bags, thick rubber handed gloves were put on. Dry ice is so cold it is hot and can burn your flesh, so gloves are worn and still one moves fast, not holding one spot in the bag.
the first bag- "the weed-bag"- was lifted and drained, was lightly queezed and set aside.
The next bag, 160, was raised and allowed to drain. A VERY QUICK blast from the hose rinsed the sides and the screen, and the trichomes pooled in the center. It was carefully gathered and folded so that the center was at the end, and pressed so waer comes out.
Then, a plate (that had been selected for being slightly smaller than the diameter of the silk screen bottom) was placed on the bottom of the bag, and the sides of the bag worked around and down. It is somewhat hard to explain, but the end result is that it was turned inside out, with the bottom remaining undisturbed. The plate was "inside", resting under the 'bottom' which was then the top.
The sides were gathered, tightly, around the bottom. Very taut, so that the silk-screen was very taut and spring-ish-like, a tight, flat bed upon which rests the first crop of hashish. Then a store credit card was used to scrape up the "mountains" of bubble hash, and it was placed on the pressing screen that is 10 microns. This is folded around the hashish, and squeezed. water appears and is dabbed. When no more water appears, he did the same thing with a paper towel around it, to wick away the moisture.
This screen(nylon-like cloth, 7X7)was then opened and the hash scraped onto cardboard and labeled. It was chopped up very fine with the credit card. The credit card and the center of the bag were dipped into the bucket, to rinse any crumbs off into the next bag.
The process was repeated with the next two bags. Each grade was labeled and the full melt bag, 73 microns, was kept separate, the other two combined for food and spliffs/topping off bowls.
But wait, there is even more.
The bags were re- arranged(in the same order as before). And the whole process was repeated, adding a half a bag of ice,(its still VERY cold) but this time using a paint mixer and cordless drill, instead of the hand stirring, for 20 minutes in 30 second bursts. He had let the water sit during the work, and it was now a full bucket, due to the rinses. He poured half out, very carefully, because there are trichomes in the bottom of the bucket, and poured THIS water in to do the second run.
This second run will not have the yield of the first run, but provided it was hand stirred and not mechanically stirred, it should not have any more vegative matter, so should be just as clean and melty
Oh, but they sure are not done. A few hours were allowed to pass. Over half of the water was again poured out into the garden. half of the cannabis was placed in the crockpot and some of the water was put in there too. There was added some coconut oil and it cooked for a few hours the next morning, and proved to be decent in brownies. (a LOT was placed in there with about 6 oz of coconut oil-whatever was left in the jar after making soap.). The 1 or 2 oz leftover oil was used as a therapeutic pain relieving massage oil.
The 2nd half of cannabis and splash of the bottom of water bucket(and settled trichomes) netted very delicious canna-butter, being used on some treat or another this weekend
There you have it, sustainability. Letting no part of that wonderful plant go to waste
Last picture was an experiment to see if parchment paper worked better than cardboard, and the answer is no. One wants to use cardboard, and they want to chop it up as fine as possible so it becomes bone dry- mold is the enemy. Powder is best for smoking. Pressing dried powder hash is easy. Fixing moldy hash is impossible