There are several parchment paper folding techniques that hashmakers use to create directional flow when pressing dry sift and bubble hash for rosin. While you can fold the paper any way you like, there are three techniques that we use frequently and find work very well.
What Is Directional Flow for Rosin & Why Is it Important?
Directional flow with rosin refers to paper folding techniques that direct the rosin off the heated plates of the rosin press and down onto parchment paper where it can cool. While you can press rosin between a piece of parchment paper that's simply been folded in half, the lack of directional flow can mean that the rosin stays on the plates for longer than necessary.
Encouraging directional flow with specific folding techniques is important for several reasons:
- It minimizes the amount of time the rosin spends on the plates, helping to protect those valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. Some terpenes, such as humulene, have a boiling point as low as 100 °C (212 °F). Considering that hot pressing takes place in the 200-220°F range, you won’t want the rosin to be in contact with the plates for any longer than absolutely necessary.
- Directional flow makes it easier to collect the rosin, especially if you angle the paper into a jar.
- Parchment “pods” that are open at the top give you greater visibility to see when the flow of rosin has stopped so you can stop applying pressure and heat.
Please note: The usefulness of directional flow depends on your starting material. It's very important for high-yielding extracts like cleaned dry sift and bubble hash but not as important for flower, which generally won't produce as much rosin per press.
Best Parchment Paper to Use in a Rosin Press
When you use a rosin press, it's critical to use the right kind of parchment paper. It should be food-grade and coated with silicone rather than waxed. Wax paper is not heat resistant whereas silicone is heat resistant and makes the rosin easier to remove.
At Lowtemp, we sell three sizes of parchment paper, all of which are coated in silicone on both sides:
- 8"x16" extra-thick parchment paper for use with the Boat Tech and Burrito Tech folding techniques
- 8"x8" extra-thick parchment paper for use with the Waterfall Tech folding technique
- 16"x24" die-cut waterfall collection parchment for pressing a series of rosin bag pods consecutively without changing the parchment paper underneath
Top 3 Parchment Paper Folding Techniques
There are several methods for folding parchment paper. You can even come up with your own. However, as mentioned previously, these are the techniques we use most often when pressing dry sift and hash. You can see a demonstration of each technique by watching our video on Parchment Tech.
To save time, you can pre-fold your parchment paper to the size and shape of the rosin bags you're using. Pre-cut parchment paper is especially helpful if you plan to use the waterfall collection method and will want to have several pods ready to go.
Boat Tech - Single Directional Flow
This method is useful for directing the flow of rosin into a jar or onto another piece of parchment paper placed flat underneath. Use our 8”x16” extra-thick parchment paper for Boat Tech.
Turn the paper to a landscape orientation (the long sides at the top and bottom).
- Fold the right side over so that the folded flap is around a 1/2 inch wider than the width of the rosin bag (placed in portrait orientation) on either side.
- Fold the entire lower side of the parchment paper up to create a 1-inch flap along the length of the paper.
- Tuck the rosin bag lengthwise into the pouch that's been created and turn the parchment paper clockwise 180°.
- Use the rosin bag to find the spot where the other lengthwise fold should go.
- Remove the rosin bag and finish folding up the opposite flap along the length of the parchment paper.
- Make a tear through the folded flaps on the left and right sides of the pouch.
- Rotate the parchment paper 90° so that the pouch is at the top and fold up the lower 2 inches to create a platform where the rosin can collect (optional). Alternatively, you can fold up the lower left corner and right corner diagonally. This is great for directing the rosin into a jar.
- Insert the rosin bag into the pouch. You're ready to press!
Burrito Tech - Dual Directional Flow
Burrito Tech minimizes the time it takes for the rosin to leave the plates by directing flow out both sides of the press. Use our 8”x16” extra-thick parchment paper for this technique, as with Boat Tech.
Begin with the paper in a portrait orientation (short sides at the top and bottom).
- Place the rosin bag in the middle of the paper, also in a portrait orientation.
- Fold up the bottom third of the paper so that the length of the rosin bag is covered with a little overhang.
- Fold the top third of the parchment paper down to (almost) cover the rosin bag twice over.
- Use a knife to cut off the overhang at the sides of the rosin bag (optional) so that the packet is the width of your press. This is especially helpful for waterfall flow.
- Cover the bottom plate with an 8”x16” sheet of parchment paper, add your Burrito Tech pod, and press away.
Waterfall Tech - Single Directional Flow, Swappable Parchment Pods
Waterfall Tech allows you to press several pods onto the same large piece of parchment paper. This can save a significant amount of time when you have a lot of bubble hash to press. For this technique, you’ll need our square 8”x8” extra-thick parchment paper and a sheet of waterfall parchment paper.
- Fold the parchment paper in half from the right side to the left side. The resulting crease will be a vertical line in the center of the square.
- Leaving the paper folded, fold up the bottom of the parchment paper to create a 1-inch flap.
- Place the rosin bag on the folded paper (in portrait orientation) to measure how deep the top crease should be. Fold the top over at the crease.
- Slide the rosin bag into the pouch.
- Cover the bottom plate with a piece of waterfall parchment paper before pressing your Waterfall Tech pods.
Note: Waterfall Tech pods are intended for use with the Lowtemp V2 Rosin Press (4"x7") and our die-cut waterfall collection parchment.
Refine Your Technique as You Go
Rosin pressing is something that you get good at with practice, observation, and experimentation. Mastering folding techniques to achieve directional flow with your rosin is one variable that makes a difference in addition to your starting material, pressure, heat, pressing times, curing techniques, and storage practices.
After each run, document your parameters and results so that you can find the parameters or variables that work best for each strain and extract. Our LT3 Rosin Press Heat and Pressure Controller can help you do this quickly and easily for in-depth insights and more consistent results.