All About Hash!
What Is Hash and Where Did It Come From?
Ever since 900 A.D it has been recorded that people were using Cannabis in the form of hashish. The actual translation in Arabic means ‘grass‘ which is a very fitting name for a handmade product that would circulate the world.
As cultures, industry and trade combined, the Western world would eventually become introduced to the medicinal quality of traditional hashish in the 19th Century and over time countries such as; Morocco, Nepal, India and Afghanistan would become responsible for over 80% of all the hashish produced in the world.
Different Micron Sizes and Separation
When it comes to hashish, there can be a big difference between quality and quantity. The separation process of plant matter from the trichome is essentially what defines the final quality and viscosity of the final product. Traditionally Hash is separated into various micron sizes that range from clean up screens to small micron sized.
When separating dry or wet material, plant matter Will usually be sieved out at 180-220 micron, resulting in returns of quality grade from 150 micron and below. It is good to know that a fully matured trichome head Will fit 150 micron size, meaning that the 150 micron separation will often indicate what stage of maturity the plant in question was at the point of harvest.
When ever we see a video on the internet of old school Hash makers in the Moroccan mountains, it is easy to become confused and question their banging a drum technique. Once you understand that the separation process occurs when the plant material is agitated with force, then the cleaning up process can begin and the top quality grade is ready to be carefully separated.
With the 73 Micron filter, comes the superior quality.
The Importance Of Cold Temperatures
When harvesting trichomes and working with such a delicate substance, working in a cold environment is the best way to preserve the quality of your material during the separation process. When making water Hash and working with ice, it can be quite challenging to work with ice melting, water temperature increasing, resin becoming more wet and harder to handle with a spoon and possibly having to move around from room to room frequently.
The same applies when making dry sift and agitating the material to the point of it falling through the screens with ease. Working in warm conditions using a screen, scraping card and dry material can cause the separation process to take much longer, causing a reduction in returns. Dry material is best to work with when it is cold. This is why placing your dry material inside the freezer Will allow the trim to become a mixture of dry and cold.
One way to overcome warmer temperatures that can affect the outcome of your Hash making, is to work in an air conditioned room, or grow tent. Also having a supply of dry ice always comes in handy especially if you have chosen to use a tumbling device. Keep the room you are working in cold, chilly and breezy and your Hash Will be much easier to collect.
Water Hash Explained
The old school name given to this technique is water hash, however modern day Hash makers prefer to work with ice, water and bubble bags. The process involves mixing your material with cold water and then simply draining the water through the different micron sized bags. When making bubble hash, a bucket of iced water is necessary to allow the material to swim around and for the resin to become dislodged and fall off into the water.
Similar to gold, resin is 18 times heavier than water so will naturally fall to the bottom of the water. On the basis that your material was frozen in advance, when the ice cold water and material combine the trichomes Will break off. This is why many Hash makers often run their material for a very short time if mixing by hand, or using a washing machine.
The advantages of making Icolater are that you can work with live resin and fresh frozen trim. This means that you do not let your Cannabis plants dry out and allow them to remain in a fresh state. By freezing your buds and sugar leaf, you will preserve the Hash in a form that is THCA, as well as live resin terpenes which also have a high demand commercially.
What You Will Need:
- Washing machine / large bucket for the agitation process
- Lots of ice cubes / dry ice
- Frozen trim ensuring the material is hard yet brittle
- A clean set of bubble bags ranging from 220 - 25 micron
- A pressure hose to wash the bags through
- Materials such as latex gloves and spoons ready
Dry Sift Hash Explained
Quite the opposite of making water Hash and involves much less work and uses different techniques. Making top quality dry sift involves starting off with dry material, and the better the quality and longer the cure then better the final product. Dry sift Hash has been around for thousands of years and is what many countries such as Afghanistan, Morocco and Pakistan still work with to this day.
Using the same micron screens as when making water hash, separating dry material over the first clean-up screen will remove all of the plant matter that is mixed in the material. The colour of this sift will be green with a fluffy texture. This is the grade that is discarded and the remaining amounts will consist of the top shelf quality. Once a Hash maker gets to the 150 micron and below, the colour of the powder Will be a golden with a shiny, sandy appearance.
When making dry sift, the material has already been dried out meaning that it is not in an acidic state as when fresh frozen, meaning that the terpene, cannabinoids and effect will be different as well. Unlike making water hash, there is no need to dry out the Hash once the sieving process is complete.
Hash can come in all shapes, sizes and colours, however none of these define the ripeness of the hash, or the quality. Traditionally farmers in Morocco and Lebanon press the dry sift together either using a 2 ton press, or depending on the grade will produce a softer first press. This first press is what we know as Pollen with the brighter gold colour and texture, indicating that this is not the full melt Hash that has been cleaned and separated.
Until dry sift or water Hash is actually treated with heat and pressed into a state of play doe, technically this is not Hash. The most common reference to well pressed Hash that has been heated is the Nepalese Temple ball. The doe like texture and quality of this type of Hash is world class, despite the starting material being outdoor landrace in most cases. @ex.tractor from Holland are masters of the Temple Ball technique and have even won cups with their Hash making skills.
In order to press Hash correctly you will need the following:
- A plastic non stick sheet such as a turkey bag
- A glass bottle that can be filled and the lid firmly closed
- A working area where you can roll the bottle over the Hash
Once you have correctly pressed your Hash and continued to work it into your desired shape, the colour will darken to a caramel, shiny brown that has a wet shimmer under the lights. The taste will also be totally different to when the Hash was in a dry form.
For the most simple & old school Hash (trichome) collection a box & a screen is all you're going to need.
Start with small batches on the screen to be sure all trichomes are separated.
Rub the plant material gently, to be sure no waste plant material falls through, we only want the good stuff!
Try to work as clean as possible, to make sure your end products are as clean as possible.
Old School Hash Drying
The classic method of drying the hash, in the air.
When drying this way, the Hash has to stand for 7/10 days before being ready to consume.
Also during the drying days, due to the contact with air and water some of the terpenes will be evaporated, so and so flavour is reduced.
This all means, that this technique is becoming old school these days, so less and less popular.
Before drying the Hash
New school Hash making
Ice water Hash style, different micron size, for different styles of quality.
The Hash straight out of the water.
The Hash after it is dried out a dry freezer
The Hash was in minimum contact with air water and light and therefore has preserved all the original terpenes and flavours. This Hash Will have an amazing smell and flavour.
And the Hash is ready for consumption right away.
After drying the Hash