DIY Extraction

Bubble Hash at Home: Filtration

Written by Lance Griffin

Home is where the hash is. Or perhaps not, but it helps.

Arguably the most popular Do-It-Yourself technique today is bubble hash. Extractors create bubble hash by placing plant material in ice water and gently agitating the trichomes off the plant. Then, they employ a series of filters to trap the chemical treasures from the water. Ice water is easy, but what kind of filters can we use to make hash at home?

Bubble Bags

Bubble bags are porous fabric bags that come in various sizes (e.g., 5–20 gallons) with micron ratings for each bag. The bags are usually color-coated by the micron size of the filter. Sizes usually include 25, 45, 73, 90, 120, 160, 190, and 220 microns.

The extractor lines their extraction bucket with the bags, starting with the smallest micron size and working their way to the largest. They then conduct the ice water agitation. After a certain time period (Bubble Bag suggests 15-20 minutes), the extractor lifts out the filtering bags and collects their treasure. It’s a bit like sifting for gold.

  • Bubble Bag brings heat-stamped polyester screens and triple-stitched nylon with 8-micron sizes (25–220 microns). Bags are available to fit 1, 5, or 20-gallon buckets (included with the kits). They also offer a washing machine to automate the process.
  • CASOLLY offers industrial-grade nylon bubble bags in 8-micron sizes for 5-gallon buckets. They include a pollen press for the next stage of hashish production.
  • VIVOSUN has a no-frills four-bag set (25–220 micron) suitable for 1 gallon and appropriate for the entry-level extractor.

Some extractors choose to use only several of the various sizes of filtering bags.

Frenchy Cannoli, renowned creator of artisanal bubble hash, agitates plant material without filtration bags due to “the advantage of splitting and fine-tuning the two processes separately.”

Instead, he pours a golden waterfall from the agitation vessel onto stacked, separated bags. Cannoli relies on 190-, 160-, and 45-micron filters, but runs the post-processed water through a 25-micron bag to capture the smallest of trichomes.

Homemade Solutions

A little equipment helps, but it’s possible to take the DIY style even further when creating hash at home.

  • Silk screen: silk screen is used for rosin pressing and screen printing. It’s perfectly possible to purchase it and create one’s own filter bags.
  • Coffee filters: Coffee filters are less than ideal, but they work in a pinch. Ed Rosenthal recommends a cone (and filters) size #4 or bigger. The extractor pours trichome-rich water over the filter.

Filtration is fundamental when creating your own bubble hash. Depending on the starting plant material and the desired finished product, finding the right series of filters may take some experimentation.

Image Credit: Mjpresson; CC BY-SA 3.0

About the author

Lance Griffin