Harvest Right freeze dryers for drying hashish

Nowadays, the increase in the types of resin extractions and the different extraction methods are nothing like the situation just a few years ago. Soon after the introduction of concentrates such as BHO (Butane Hash Oil), a new technique of mechanical separation called Rosin was developed. This method uses no chemical solvents, relying on just pressure and heat. Nevertheless, if there is a cannabis concentrate which has been "rejuvenated" during the last few years is, without doubt, hash, the oldest of them all.

Thanks to modern techniques such as static electricity dry sift and the processing of fresh material, these types of concentrates have reached a degree of purity never before seen. Due to legalisation in numerous places, professionals have been able to develop new methods and to implement machinery solely reserved until now for other applications, both during the extraction procedure and the post-processing phase. This is the case of the Harvest Right freeze dryers, used to perfectly dry bubble hash or ice water hash, and which are increasingly popular among concentrates artists thanks to the many advantages they offer, and which we will see below.

Harvest Right freezer dryer with vacuum pump
Harvest Right freezer dryer with vacuum pump

Drying hash with a freeze dryer?

One of the drawbacks of making bubble hash is, without a doubt, having to dry the resin before being able to consume it, a process that until now, could take several days or weeks, depending on the drying conditions. Moreover, with the booming in the processing of fresh material, much more difficult to handle due to its extremely sticky texture, achieving a consistent drying of quality seemed increasingly difficult, especially working with large quantities, as in the case of areas where cannabis has been legalised. Indeed, drying cannabis before extracting is a practice with fewer and fewer supporters due to the advantages of processing fresh material.

However, a while ago, the sharpest hash makers came up with a method designed to help them to dry the resin quickly, with minimal loss of terpenes, and with nearly zero oxidation: the freeze dryer, a type of machine commonly used by laboratories and the food industry to dehydrate food for storage. The principle is simple: the material you want to dry gets frozen at very low temperatures before being subjected to a vacuum and to a series of fluctuations in temperature (always below zero), that allow quick and perfect drying. Through this process, the frozen fluid (in this case, water) is sublimated, or in other words, transformed into a gas without ever becoming liquid.

7CFM Vaccum pump included
7CFM Vaccum pump included

Harvest Right Freeze Dryers

The US company Harvest Right offers excellent domestic freeze dryers that are great for drying your best hash. It is important to emphasise that these machines are not suitable for drying buds! As we mentioned above, the drying process has two phases, the freezing of the material, and the drying process itself. The timings and temperatures in both phases can be customized through the digital display on the front of the machine, from where we can also access the inner chamber via a door with a safety lock. This way, we can modify the timings and temperatures as we please, and obtain resin with a perfect moisture level.

Inside, there are 4 stainless steel trays for the material we want to dry (it's always a good idea to use a bit of parchment to place the wet resin on, so the trays don´t get dirty). It also comes with a fabric cover for the glass door, which, as indicated in the instruction manual, should be fitted before starting the process. This Harvest Right freeze dryer includes a vacuum pump that we will attach to the appliance, so it can be connected and disconnected during the drying process. It also includes a bottle of oil for the vacuum pump and an oil filter. As you can see, it comes with everything we need to start working straight away.

Includes 4 high quality stainless steel trays
Includes 4 high-quality stainless steel trays

How to dry hash with a freeze dryer

Once everything is ready (while the assembly is simple, the user manual will be of great help) it's time to begin with the first tests. It is important to stress that the timings and temperatures of freezing and drying may vary depending on several factors, such as the type of resin and its moisture content as it goes into the freeze dryer. It is best to start with very small amounts until we find the parameters that offer the best quality drying. Bear in mind that, in order to reach the required vacuum pressure, the door´s round rubber gasket must be completely clean; rinse it well with water and place it carefully before closing the door; do all this with the utmost cleanliness and neatness.

After a few hours freezing and many more drying, you will be able to open the door and carefully remove the material. If everything went well, the resin will be totally dry and will retain nearly 100% of the terpenes that contained when it was on the live plant, without no oxidation, that is to say, with no observable degradation of the cannabinoids and terpenes that are present. The hash will be very light in colour, unchanged from when we put the fresh resin in the machine, and much, much lighter than air-dried hash.

Without doubt, this is an excellent option for ice water hash enthusiasts and professionals working with this type of concentrates, as it allows them to dry a large amount of resin in record time, especially taking into account the quality of the final product, which is incomparable to that of resin dried with the application of heat (which is always of a lower quality).

All the best and happy hashing!


The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. In France, the age of majority is set at 18 years old. Consult your country's legislation and obey it. Alchimiaweb, SL is a Spanish company governed by Spanish law and can not, in any case, be held responsible for any misuse or non-compliance with the laws and regulations specific to each country, in relation to the articles published on its Blog. We remind you that the cultivation of cannabis seeds on French territory is strongly prohibited by law. We do not encourage our customers to break the law in any way and are not responsible for their use.

Comments in “Harvest Right freeze dryers for drying hashish” (4)

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Kritcha 2020-09-05
Can you recommend custom cycle times for hash please?

Tim Alchimia 2020-09-08
Hi Kritcha, thanks for your question. I'm afraid that we don't have access to that information. You'll need to sweet-talk a willing hashmaker, but some of them are very tight-lipped when it comes to this kind of data as, in general, it all comes from hard-won experience and trial and error. Most hash makers want to keep their SOPs as closely guarded secrets, while others are happy to share their knowledge. Good luck and happy hashing!

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Tommy 2020-01-10
Tim thank you for your response. Makes sense. Do you think there would be any difference, if say, you flash froze the buds before freeze drying? I wonder if the freezing process would change the end product. Ps. It is very much appreciated what you do on your site. Such good info. Awesome help.

Tim Alchimia 2020-01-10
Hi Tommy, it's good to hear from you again, thanks for the kind words! I'd guess that flash-freezing before freeze-drying would give you an even fresher end product, with the colours and aromas both being very vibrant, but it wouldn't help with the same problem of the rough taste. The quicker it goes from harvested plant to dried buds, the more chlorophyll will be trapped in the flowers. Although I'm not convinced of its usefulness in the quest for tasty dried flowers, I do imagine this process of flash-freezing then freeze-drying would be absolutely perfect for preparing flowers for extracting the most amazingly flavoured and scented dry sift hash, as long as things were kept nice and cold during the whole extraction process. The flowers could then be processed as BHO to make use of the remaining resin, which would also give a very tasty and high-quality product, providing that the dry sift process wasn't too rough on the buds. I hope that helps. All the best and happy growing!

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Tommy 2020-01-03
Hello, in regards to your comment; "It is important to emphasise that these machines are not suitable for drying buds! " Can you please expand on this? Not suitable for taking raw material/flower to a smokable product?

Tim Alchimia 2020-01-07
Hi Tommy, thanks for your comment and question. We say that in the post because we're selling these freeze dryers for the specific purpose of drying ice water hash/bubble hash/iceolator, and we wouldn't encourage anyone to buy one with the sole aim of drying buds, as we wouldn't want them to be disappointed when it doesn't work as they might wish. In a large part, the answer to your question really depends on your definition of "smokeable". These freeze dryers can certainly dry fairly small quantities of buds to a condition in which they can be smoked, but the smoking experience itself won't necessarily be the best. The buds will look and smell almost exactly the same as when you harvested them, but the taste will be harsh and very rough on the throat. This is because the freeze-drying process is so fast, there's no time for the chlorophyll in the flowers to break down, and it remains trapped in the vegetable matter of the bud. The buds will need curing but, at least as I understand it, a proper cure relies on a certain amount of humidity being present in the buds themselves, and the normal freeze-drying process leaves them completely dry, so the flowers would probably need to be rehydrated to be able to cure them, obviating somewhat the use of the machine in the first place. I know specialised equipment has been developed for use in large scale commercial grows in legal countries, machines with parameters and conditions suitable for drying flowers, as well as the capacity to dry large quantities at one time, although it's worth mentioning that, because time is money, most of the commercially-grown buds available both on the legal and the black market are normally sold without having gone through much of a curing process, if any at all, so it's possible that your average dispensary customer wouldn't even notice the difference in flavour, whereas the difference in appearance (bag appeal) and aroma of freeze-dried weed would be obvious. I'd imagine that this factor, combined with the time saved by the process, makes it very interesting for medium to large-scale producers. I'm not entirely sure that it's the way to go for home-growers and weed-connoisseurs though. I think it's hard to beat the results of a proper drying and curing process. Having said that, I'm sure that with enough time and experience, any dedicated person could fine-tune the settings on a home freeze dryer to do a pretty good job and leave the buds with the correct moisture for later curing, albeit on a small-run basis due to the limited volume of these machines. I've read some people recommending to hang the plants for a few days prior to using the freeze dryer, which would definitely help to reduce bulk and allow more weight to be dried in one run. I hope that answered your question, all the best and happy growing!

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Colleen D Hamson 2019-10-01
What do you mean by ...with no observable degradation of the cannabinoids and terpenes that are present? Have you tested the terpene and cannabinoid content after freeze-drying?

Tim Alchimia 2019-10-02
Hi Colleen, thanks for your comment. When we talk about no observable degradation, we mean there's no oxidation of the trichomes as part of the drying process, they're almost exactly the same colour as when they were separated. And as for the terpenes, well, it smells just as the live plant when dried correctly. These are things we can observe with our own senses, hence the use of "observable". Unfortunately, we haven't had the chance to carry out any lab tests on the results from the machine, although I'm sure the manufacturer would have some information in that respect. I hope that answers your question satisfactorily. All the best!

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