Bubble hash or solvent-less extract (or Ice-o-later) are all different names for hash that is made using an ice water extraction system. The first time I made bubble hash was in about 1999, when I had first moved to Amsterdam. A coffeeshop in Amsterdam had needed someone to process the trim and me and a friend started doing the processing for them. In those days it was still a crude process using a two-bag system, one for spinning your material in and one for collecting your trichomes.
Even in those days I was always surprise by the tasty trichomes that we would collect. The key element in making Bubble hash are the Bubble bags, that is one brand of extraction screens created by the legendary Bubbleman, one of the world’s foremost lovers of hash and early pioneers in the ice hash world. He has his own YouTube page and makes many instructional videos teaching people the basics of making ice water hash.
The first thing I wanted to know was how did he get his start with bubble hash? He explained to me that he had “first made water hash/ bubble hash back in 1998 after the release of the first water extraction bags known as Ice-O-lator. After having some troubles locally with the law due to my support of our local compassion club, I decided to fly to Amsterdam to see if I couldn’t become the Canadian or North American distributor for Ice-O-lator. However, that meeting was not a good one, and I was left with no chances to buy the bags.
I went home and my wife, who was seeing me deflated, asked why she couldn’t just make bags for us, and thus Bubblebags and Freshheadies were born. The dry-sifting tech came from my inspirational mentor, Skunkman Sam. He was really the inspiration I had since 1995, when I was at the Cannabis Cup with some Canadians and I heard him and Rob Clarke saying, “if it don’t bubble, it ain’t worth the trouble.” I remember being surprised when my friend’s wife hit the pipe once, passed out and fell down the stairs. I thought, “Damn, I gotta check out that resin! It was full-melt dry sift, and that was the first time I had ever seen any hash melt into a liquid.
By the time 2002 or so came around, Gypsy Nirvana was selling his boxes online, but I was trying to convince him to do multiple screens. He was not interested. So the Bubblebox was born—three screens of sifting power. The first time a multi-screen system was available on the Web or in shops.
Bubbleman is famous for his views on BHO extractions, so it was no surprise what his answer to the following question would be. “BHO vs Water Hash is so easy for me. Butane and other chemical solvents end life, whereas water sustains life on earth.”
I wanted to know what his opinion was on the future of hash and further developments. He told me, “the future of hash is the future of medical/recreational/preventative medicine. Once we have standardized the process, made it more industrial, we will be able to purify or decontaminate the resin of all the other non-glandular plant matter.”
I wanted to know what his top five tips for making hash were. And he did not disapoint.
Tip 1: The bomb makes the bomb. You cannot make quality without QUALITY. The bubble bags are merely going to purify.
Tip 2: Use lots of ice. You can never use too much. As long as the mixture is moving around and the ice is bashing, then you’re on the right track.
Tip 3: Gentle first runs will save your quality, as well. Do not over-mix because you’re worried about not getting enough, or all of it. You can go back and run a second batch and capture all that you missed.
Tip 4: Properly breaking up the bubble is HUGE, and probably should be tip number one. The process is two schools of thought: Micro-Planing, and Sieving. These are your two options, and you can view both of them on videos at Bubbleman’s World on YouTube.
Tip 5: Once you have powdered the hash properly, now its time to DRY IT. I use a desiccant-like cardboard. It’s lined with parchment paper, and once closed, the cardboard can pull and wick moisture from the hash. This is very important, as you will not dry the hash properly on a plate, or plastic, or metal or anything that is NOT going to wick the moisture from INSIDE the hash. An addendum to Tip 5 is once you have your hash dry ( 7+ days in the cardboard box), you can now actually CURE THE HASH. Once you have DRIED the wax membrane of the trichome head, you can allow for the hash to cure and stabilize. I have some that has been curing for more than seven years, and is stable beyond stable. I have friends who have hash that is a month or two old, and is buttering out. Always dry and cure your hash properly.
Keep on growing!