Why You Need a Pre-Press Mold and How to Use It
Published by BOB LEE
Do I really need a pre-press mold?
Pre-press molds are used to prepare your material for extraction.
So let's start from what happens if you don't pre-press your material.
When adding a loose cannabis material into a filter pouch, no matter how hard you try, you end up having an unevenly filled bag with a lot of tiny air pockets that, when pressed, trap rosin inside instead of pushing it out of the flower mass and through the mesh. When pressing unevenly filled bag, you don't apply pressure equally on each portion of the bag. The tightly filled area receive more pressure from the plates, while the loosely fit parts - not enough pressure to squeeze the juice. In addition to not producing rosin, those loose areas actually work as tiny basins that collect rosin flowing there from tightly filled parts, and, as the result, they end up trapping even more rosin. Moreover, if your pouch is not filled fully and evenly, the bag itself will trap rosin along the edges and inside the seams simply because those essentially empty areas work the same way as the air pockets inside your material.
All those factors negatively affect your yield. So to avoid loosing your precious rosin and increase production, you have to pre-press.
In our opinion, the only time when pre-pressing is not necessary is when you squish a very small amount; in this case the difference in yield will be insignificant and can thus be ignored.
How do you select a pre-press mold?
The most commonly used pre-press molds are rectangular (including square) and cylindrical ones. You should select a mold that matches your filter bags' shape and size. For example, if you work with 1.75 x 5 inch rectangular bags, a 2 x 4 inch rectangular mold will be a good fit for them. For more spacious 2 x 5, 2 x 6 filter bags we recommend using a larger 2 x 6 inch mold.
How do you use a pre-press mold?
First of all, when you receive your pre-press mold, please wash it with soap and hot water and dry it thoroughly to remove any residue left from manufacturing to avoid contamination.
Next, please make sure that your cannabis flower is stored at 62% RH level.
To prep your flower, remove large stems and, if necessary, break up the buds into smaller pieces. Wear gloves to avoid smudging oil on your fingers.
Pack your flower into a filter bag. Our filter bags come with a plastic packing card that speeds up the process. Don't overfill your bag; your puck should not be thicker than 1/2 inch.
Place the mold base on a sturdy level surface. If you are not using a filter bag, line the mold with a piece of parchment paper to prevent resin from sticking to the bottom of the form.
Position the mold's hollow chamber on top of the base and place the bag inside. If you are not using a mesh pouch, just fill up the chamber with the prepared flower and top it with a piece of parchment paper.
Cover the mold with the top piece and, using the palms of your hands, apply your upper body weight to compress the flower. Alternatively, you can place the mold between arbor press plates or use our manual press to gently compact the herbs.
Once done, flip the mold upside down, remove the base, and take out your material. Now fold the open end of the filter bag, and, voila, your puck is ready for pressing!