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Properly Using a Pollen Press

Posted on March 11 2024

One of more unique and popular items in demand at Green Goddess Supply is our aluminum Pollen Press. It’s robust, affordable, and perfect for home growers to help elevate their end products further. You can use it for making an end product for long-term storage, to prepare your drysift or bubble or even your flowers into pucks as a pre-press for rosin work. 

Now, the pollen press’ use might seem obvious, but like with everything related to this industry and stoner DIY, there is more than a little technique required to get the most out of your press. But naturally, we got you - let’s go over some of my favorite uses and tricks.

NOTE: Before we get too far, I'd like to interject that most uses we're talking about below are for drysift. We know this. The industry standard is to call it a "Pollen Press" primarily because with legal grey areas surrounding the industry at large, the insiders have gravitated towards euphemisms that avoid censorship of ads, websites, etc.  A week doesn't go by that someone doesn't call us dumb for referring to various items a pollen sifter, a pollen press, etc. "That's not pollen, you idiot!!" Trust me, we know what they're for. *wink*  

How hard is too hard to pack it / compress it?

So while our pollen press is quite robust, you CAN over-crank it in your quest to make the perfect pucks. Essentially, whether you’re compressing flower, sift, or bubble - you want to stop when you feel enough resistance that the press creaks and groans. 

How much you even want to squeeze everything will vary as well depending on your purpose. Are you making a puck to preserve your trichs for a long time? If you just want to make a little slab or hashcoin, you want to turn the press as tight as possible (but still stopping when it squeaks at you at all). 

Do you plan to do further work on it, such as very mild heat pressure to make a temple-ball consistency or perhaps as a pre-press before turning it into rosin? Then you don’t need to make a BRICK, you just want to squish it enough to hold together decently - probably 3-5 cranks less on the press compared to what you’d want to do for simple long-term storage. For rosin, your press will do the rest of the work for you - you just need things somewhat compressed before you put it into filter bags. (There’s more info on this subject in the Pressing Flower section of this article.)

Remember: You can always be cautious and under-do it and then put the puck back in to squish it more.

That was, honestly, the most important info - don’t over-crank the press. But if you really wanna get into the nitty gritty, keep reading… Because I could write a lot about the nuance of using this dank device!


Pressing drysift and pressing bubble:

Hash coins fresh off the press - not too big, not too small

Naturally, both drysift and bubble are often a sort of crumbling, sandy texture. Or, sometimes, it can clump up into chunks sort of like brown sugar and bubble can sometimes even stay in a somewhat clay texture depending on the various micron sizes used to make it as well as how finished and greasy with terpenes it is. So when you are trying to make a puck, if you’re starting off with a sort of “wet” consistency despite having already dried your end product properly, that means you probably have some top-notch concentrate! However, it will make a bit more of a mess when pressing it into a puck and it might require a little bit more work.

For really sticky bubble, try throwing both it and your press into the freezer for about 20 minutes before using it. Then, you can quickly throw a more solidified chunk into the press, crank it down to the puck size you desire, and then pop it out and set it aside in just a minute or so - before it has time to warm up and get difficult to handle again.

In situations where you have a hard time getting the material out of the press, throwing it into the freezer for a little bit and then scraping it off with a flat tool like a razor or flathead screwdriver works great. If you’re really concerned about potential loss or having to clean a sticky tool, cut out a few pieces of parchment paper to the same size as the inside of the press. This can definitely help make clean up easier.

Micronized hash and drysift both act similarly for making coins

For drysift, unless it’s freshly tumbling off your flowers during trimming, you’re less likely to have the “sticky” issue. However, it can still occur depending on the quality as cleaned-up pollen of mostly trich heads can do the same thing bubble does… But if this is just drysift coming off your grinder, you’re more likely to have enough plant material in there that shouldn't be an issue making it into a puck… But you can always utilize parchment paper here as well.

Now, not to sound like a broken record but do be careful not to over-crank here if you’re starting with a really greasy, potent product. Even rosin shouldn’t have TOO MUCH pressure applied to it… Remember: you’re making a brick and the more starting material, the more you’re limited with how much it can compress! If you’re worried about it losing its shape because you didn’t squeeze too tightly, leave it in the press, squeezed tight for a longer period of time before popping it out.

You can start pressing it together lightly enough so that it holds as one big chunk and then it might be better to try following “temple ball” a la Frenchie Cannoli techniques if you have some gre-he-heasy competition quality stuff. However, for quality that wouldn’t be labeled as “A class top shelf” at an honest dispensary, you don’t need to worry about it and just crank it enough to be sturdy like a stack of quarters.

Generally speaking, you can fit anywhere from 7-10 grams of sift or bubble into our pollen press but ideally you only want to put in 1-4 grams at a time for the perfect puck consistency depending on what you’re going to do with it next. Any more than that and you’re making less of a puck and more of a cylinder tower. It’s better to have more coins than one big log - regardless if you’re saving it for later or making rosin. Somewhat more compact pucks are better for sift and bubble when making rosin, but do be aware that if you’re starting with a rock-hard and super-condensed puck, it could potentially tear open your filter bags so you might want to use a slightly larger one than you originally planned.

Saving pressed pucks and how to use them:

Finished coin stored in a glass puck from a dispensary

Now, once you’ve actually made your pucks - there is still a question on how best to store them. Personally, I like something like parchment paper or PTFE to individually wrap coins like Hannukah gelt before throwing them into a glass jar, but sometimes I’ll even place a nice bubble puck into the little dab containers that dispensaries use for concentrates - making it perfect for transporting. Putting it right into glass is also the best practice for when it's REALLY something special.

You generally want to have something wrapped around drysift and bubble coins especially as their overall stickiness can cause them to stick to the inside of a jar or to each other… And leaving them out will expose the outside to air and slowly oxygenate the outside layer. If that happens, often the inside is still really good and sticky depending on your starting material, but it is not impossible for it to completely dry out and lose some terpene quality. 

If it does really dry out or even if gets aged properly as a puck (oxidizing slightly just on the outside but staying soft inside), you can likely carry it around in just about anything - I’ve kept them in grinders on the way to seshes with friends.

Pressing flowers: 

Pre-pressed flower - ready to make rosin

Let me start by saying that the only reason you want to throw flowers into the pollen press is as a “pre-press” for squishing rosin or potentially for some very specialized flower vaporizers. (The Volcano, for example, can fit a perfect coin from our pollen press and if you didn’t compact it TOO much, it helps vaporize more evenly.) But for the most part, you wouldn’t want a hard puck of flower that you have to re-crumble unless you really want to relive the cheap “brick bud” days back when things were less legal… But I’m personally not too nostalgic for vacuum packed flowers. Especially not my precious homegrown!

Generally speaking, our pollen press can fit anywhere from 3.5-4 grams of dried flowers inside… But ideally, you only put about 1-3 grams in there at a time. You’ll want to break up your buds a bit into smaller pieces - preferably without the stem but little ⅓-½” size pieces or so are fine. You don’t need nor want to grind up your flowers first - it works better with just large chunks.

If you’re planning to make rosin and you need to use our pollen press to pre-squish things, you likely don’t have a very large rosin press… So doing a few more presses with less material will generally help not just the quality of your final product, but the yield as well - especially if you plan to use filter bags. There’s only so much pressure that can be applied over so much area with smaller rosin presses, so having fourteen 2-gram flower pucks is better than having seven 4-gram flower pucks.

Now, keep in mind that the over-cranking of the pollen press most often occurs when customers are trying to squish flowers - so be careful! Having your buds be as compact as possible will only cause issues when you go to press it into rosin - mostly because it will spread out further and it can tear filter bags. Ideally, crank your flower puck to be somewhat snug, then pop it back open and set your flower puck to the side. In just 10-20 minutes, it should sorta “re-fluff” a little and be substantially less compact unless you’re starting with bone-dry flowers that are powdered. 

Cleaning and maintaining your press: 

The pollen press follows the same rules as all metal smoking devices - it can be easily cleaned up with a little alcohol and elbow grease. Use a sift scraper or a razor to carefully remove any flower or thick pollen build-up on the little quarter puck.

When not in use, be sure to put the green coin back into the pollen press and screw the top back on. I know it sounds like overbearing advice, but losing that coin can mean a heap of frustrations when you go to use the press again. …But in a pinch, you can always throw in a couple of quarters. (Just do yourself a favor and clean the quarters with some alcohol first because money is often filthy.)

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