Optimal Water Temperature for Ice Water Hash Production

Optimal Water Temperature for Ice Water Hash Production

Feb 9, 2023

Making high-quality bubble hash for full melt or rosin production requires careful attention to water temperature. In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of water temperature, the benefits and drawbacks of using ice or going iceless, and how to maintain optimal conditions for the best bubble hash and easiest resin collection.

TLDR: the colder, the better ❄️

Washing the best hash generally means keeping your water and ambient temp as cold as you can get them. Cold water helps to separate the trichome heads from the plant material more efficiently. Cold ambient air temperatures means it'll be easier to collect the resin from your bags without sticking and clogging.

However, extremely cold water is easier said than done and requires a lot of attention to detail to get it right.

Comparing ice vs. iceless for washing bubble hash

Washing hash with ice vs. iceless

There are two primary methods to cool your water for bubble hash production: using ice or an iceless water-chilling system.

Getting your wash vessel cold with ice

The ice method is the simpler and more cost-effective option. However, controlling the temperature during multiple washes can be difficult. If the ratio of ice to water to material is not properly balanced, you could overcrowd the bucket, which could hinder the extraction of the trichome heads by limiting the creation of a vortex.

Getting the right amount of ice for optimal quality and yields when you're washing bubble hash

Basic overview to get the most out of washing with ice:

  • Use enough ice to achieve the desired temperature, but avoid overfilling the bucket.

  • Monitor the temperature frequently during the process to ensure it remains consistent.

  • Replace ice as needed to maintain optimal temperature.

Using a water chilling system

An iceless water-chilling system offers greater control over the temperature during multiple washes but is more expensive to set up. This method involves separate vessels, recirculation mechanisms, and requires a more in-depth setup process or system. In turn, it'll also require quite a bit more space. Generally a better option for larger facilities (especially considering the value saving of recirculation setups), but becoming popular for home hash makers as well due to its efficiency.

Basic advantages of using iceless water chilling system:

  • More precise temperature control.

  • Less manual intervention during the process.

  • Consistency across multiple washes.

Insulation: a crucial step for both methods

Regardless of the method you choose, using a properly insulated vessel is essential to maintaining the desired water temperature. Insulation reduces heat loss, making it easier to keep your washes colder.

Basic recommendations for insulation:

  1. Thermal jacketing for your plastic or metal wash vessels (can buy premade for markup or just make your own with some neoprene and foil)

  2. Double-walled buckets designed for ice water hash production.

Step-by-Step Process for Achieving Optimal Water Temperatures

  1. Select the right vessel: As mentioned earlier, choose a properly insulated vessel to minimize heat loss during the process. Ensure it is large enough to accommodate your plant material, ice, and water without overcrowding.

  2. Pre-chill your water: Before beginning the washing process, pre-chill your water temp inside your wash vessel to ideally >32°F (>0°C) and 34°F (1°C).

  3. Monitor temperature: Use a reliable thermometer or temperature probe to closely monitor the water temperature throughout the process and add ice or re-chill water as needed to maintain consistency.

Overview of washing bubble hash with ice and the order you should follow

Getting your water cool with ice

  1. Dirty ice doesn't make fire hash: Use filtered or purified water to make ice. This will minimize contaminants that could negatively affect the quality of your hash. Crush the ice to increase its surface area, allowing it to cool the water more effectively. Bonus points for using RO water.

  2. Pre-chill your water with the ice: Add the ice water to your insulated vessel. A good starting point is to use a 1:2 ratio of ice to water. You can adjust this ratio based on your setup and the amount of plant material you're processing.

  3. Add your starting material: Gently add the plant material to the vessel, ensuring that it is fully submerged in the ice-water mixture. Dried material will need to soak longer than fresh frozen.

  4. Start your first wash: Agitate the mixture gently to break off the trichome heads from the plant material. Monitor the temperature during agitation and add more ice if needed to maintain the desired temperature.


Washing with a water-chilling system

  1. Set up the water-chilling system (separate or closed-loop): We've got a guide dropping on the best pre-existing systems to purchase and how to DIY your own.

  2. Connect the chiller to the vessel: Attach the water-chilling system to your insulated vessel using hoses or other appropriate connections.

  3. Use a recirculation system for max efficiency: configure your recirculation setup to take your chilled water and feed this back into your vessel. Using a recirculation setup will let you reuse that precious RO water between washes and maintain a cool temperature without using a ton of energy. Again this is a very nuanced process and we'll be dropping a more detailed guide specifically on the setup of chilling and recirculation setups soon.

  4. Set the desired temperature: Set the temperature on your water-chilling system to the desired range, typically between >32°F (>0°C) and 34°F (1°C).

  5. Add your flower: Gently add your starting material to the wash vessel, and make sure that it is fully submerged evenly. Dried material will still need to soak longer than fresh frozen.

  6. Start washing: Grab your paddle or start washing!

Washing Hash at Different Temperatures: Findings and Effects

While there is limited scientific research on the effects of washing hash at different temperatures, we've compiled findings from discussions with many hash makers into a basic overview. Here's a breakdown of the effects at various temperature ranges:

It's important to dial in the right temperature when you're washing bubble hash

>32°F (>0°C) to 34°F (1°C): This is considered the optimal temperature range for making bubble hash. At these temperatures, the trichome heads become brittle and easily separate from the plant material, leading to a higher-quality product with minimal plant contamination.

Be mindful that some bizarre stuff can happen if you're working at freezing water temperatures (partial freezing), so it's best practice to stay just above that -- especially if you're working in a proper cold room or subfreezing environment.

34°F (1°C) to 40°F (4.4°C): Washing hash in this temperature range may still produce a good quality product, but the trichome separation may be less efficient. As a result, the final product may contain more plant material and have a slightly lower purity.

40°F (4.4°C) and above: At temperatures above 40°F (4.4°C), the efficiency of trichome separation decreases significantly. The trichomes become less brittle, making them harder to separate from the plant material. Consequently, the final product may contain more contaminants, including plant matter and chlorophyll, which can negatively affect the taste, appearance, and overall quality of the hash. It may also start to get stuck inside your bubble bags and make it a lot harder to collect.

Water temperature is just one of the many critical variables to consider when you're running your next batch. It's crucial to keep your water as cold as your setup allows to ensure efficient breaking of trichome heads during washing and minimal greasing during the collection process.

Washing with ice and without ice both have their benefits, but it's important to review how each one works within your specific production environment.

Tracking is key if you want to dial in your wash water temperatures and ice/material ratios. Be sure to measure everything and record all of your data points in order to figure out what works best for specific cultivars. If you need help figuring out what data you should be tracking during washes or how to track it, you know who to hit up ;)

© 2024 CSKD, LLC. All rights reserved.

© 2024 CSKD, LLC. All rights reserved.