This post describes how to make malleable hash using the traditional wine bottle pressing method pioneered by Frenchy Canolli. The only input material you need for this is bubble hash, which is extracted using ice water extraction. Dry sift extracted using a cannabis tumbler may also be used.
At scale this method can be performed using meat grinders to aggregate and homogenize the bubble hash into its final form. But on a small scale at home, or for craft producers, using a glass bottle filled with hot water is the preferred method.
- Bubble Hash (or dry sift)
- Hot Water Bottle (190F-220 F)
- Slow Cooker (to keep bottle warm)
- Turkey Oven Bags
- Oven Mitt/Towels
Lay out all of your equipment, and ensure your working area is clean before starting the process.
This is bubble hash that I have had a room temperature for a few days, which is why it has already started to darken (oxidize) and stick together.
I like to hand press 1-2 oz (28 – 56g) at a time. It gives you a nice size workable patty. You can use more than this but I don’t recommend it for your first time.
Start by cutting your turkey oven bag in half. For small patties you may even want to cut it in half again so you have a workable size piece.
Use gloved hands to work the bubble hash into a ball.
Fill the slowcooker and bottles with pre-boiled water and set the slow cooker on high. I find that slow cookers are not that great at getting to this heat (too slow) but can maintain it quite well. So I start by boiling a gallon or so of water on my stove to kick start the process.
Fold the plastic over the hash and use the bottle to gently apply pressure. Use an oven mitt to protect your hands from the heat. I like to use two bottles and alternate between the two when one starts to cool down.
As you are working the hash make sure you flip it over frequently. The underside will typically look much different as it is not getting heat from the bottle.
Keep rolling the hash until it starts to darken. If you are working with high quality material you will notice that it will appear to “melt” around the edges. This is a good sign and what we are lookin for.
Once the patty has flattened out. You will fold it over itself a few times to get it into a thick bar that you can roll out again. The longer you work with hashish, the more familiar with the process you will become. As Frenchy says, do not worry about hash sticking to the plastic because the bigger ball of hash will always stick to, and take with it, smaller pieces of hash… eventually leaving you with a big ball again.
Once you have it in a brick, it is ready to be rolled out again. This process should be repeated at minimum 3-4 times. Sometimes it can take 10-20 re-rolls to achieve full homogenization and desired decarb levels.
Keep working the hashish.
If you have low quality material that does not want to ‘fuse’ together, you may add extra heat by putting the hash in a ziploc bag and submerging in the hot water bath.
Do not leave the hash submerged for more than 15-30 seconds at a time.
If you have a digital microscope, you can check out the hashish and all of the trichome heads and stalks that it is composed of. Very cool to see live.
After a lot of hard- but rewarding- work, the hashish will start to become ‘melty’ and homogenized. That is, you will no longer see any streaks or marbling in the hash.
At this stage you can begin to form what is known as a ‘temple ball’.
Simply use your hands to roll the hashish into a perfect ball, working quickly so the hash does not stick to your gloves.
Keep rolling the hashish in your hands until you get a perfect sphere
Eventually you will get a perfect looking sphere as shown below.
This sphere often confuses people, and they think that maybe something was added to polish the ball. If you are working with quality input materials there is nothing more to be added.
If you have high quality input material it will quickly melt into a flat sphere when left out at room temperature. This is normal.
The most important part of this process is curing the pressed hash. Use a small square of the turkey bag, or cellophane as Frenchy prefers, to tightly wrap the ball and prevent oxygen exposure. Use a rubber band or tape to secure the bag closed.
This hashish should then be stored in a dark place for 3-6 months, or as they say in the distilling communities “as long as you can keep your mitts off of it”.
It will only get better with time as the hashish amalgamates and fuses together into a resin. The chemical reaction that occur during the curing of hashish are currently being investigated by the Trichome Research Initiative in Canada, which was pioneered by Frenchy.
RIP Frenchy, you were a great teacher and an inspiration to the Hashish community.