Highly concentrated: tips for better hash from Colorado's best

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Here are some of Nik's general guidelines for five-gallon ice-water extraction bags (Bubble Bags, Sean's 1000 Watt, ProBags. Etc.): 1. Slow things down. This process takes way more time than most people tend to give it. Take time to get all zen about it and think about what you are doing with each step of the process.

2. The better your herb, the better your finished product. Avoid fan leaves, stems and, really, anything you wouldn't put in your pipe. Nik suggests using sugar leaves and says he gets better results with that than he does using actual buds. 3. Fresh, wet trim that has been frozen is better than dried trim. Dried trim tends to break up more and leave a lot of plant material in your hash. Dried trim can be used, but less agitation is needed.

4. Use purified water and purified ice. The fewer things you have in your water, the less you've got in your hash in the end and there's a lot of gnarly stuff in regular tap water -- from calcium to fluoride. By the same token, make sure the buckets you're using are clean and free of any dust or residue you wouldn't want to end up in your hash.

5. Keep your water temperatures low, between 32 and 34 degrees. This ensures that the trichome heads are breaking. To do that... 6. Use a ten-pound bag of ice for every gallon or so of water. Seriously. Add a couple more pounds to the mix constantly to keep the temperature down. 7. Keep agitation to a minimum. Some people use a drill with a paint mixer; this is too much, Nik says. He suggests mixing by hand with a ladle -- and advises you to remember that the ice will be doing a lot of work.

8. Agitate the ice-water/ganja mix in one bucket and pouring the final product through the screens in another. This will avoid over-agitating in the bags and potentially damaging them. Don't force the water through, either. Instead, let it filter through naturally to avoid damaging your bag and sending plant matter through.

9. Carefully spoon the hash-water mix out of each bag, avoiding any pressing of the material. You want to dry this out properly, making sure not to leave any water behind that could create mold or mildew. Older books will tell you to rub the clay-like material over a colander screen to break up the hash.

10. After the hash has dried, give it a few weeks to cure -- just as you would the buds that it was made from. A few weeks in an airtight jar with an occasional refreshing of air will help bring out the smells and flavors of the strain.

Page down for tips on making butane-extraction.

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes