There are many options for rosin plates, so it’s clear that the big question remains. What size rosin plates do I need?
If you were to choose between 4x7” and 3x7” plates, what must be considered?
Pressure. 3x7” plates will require less pressure than 4x7” plates, in order to achieve maximum yields. Knowing this, you are able to pair 3x7” plates to a shop press in the 10-12 ton range and get effective pressure across the puck well within acceptable flower rosin squishing pressure (500-1500 PSI). Of course, you can still pair it with a 20-ton press, but these are more suitable for 4x7” cage kit. By using a lower tonnage press, we also save money. Maybe tonnage is not a concern?
How much material do you plan to squish per run? Let us say that every month you plan to run 30 grams of flowers through your press in one shot. 3x7” plates are well suited to press 30 grams of material, so 4x7” plates are overkill. You can certainly press even a single gram under both plates without issue. So maximum material per run is a consideration.
What about heat up times? Heating times on 3x7” plates will be faster than on 4x7” plates. This is due to the amount of mass in the entire plates required to be heated. With 3x7” plates you can expect 25% faster heat up time than 4x7” plates. With 3x7” plates you can expect the heater to reach temperature in under 15 minutes. This will get you squishing rosin about as fast as it will take to prepare the nugs in the rosin filter. And with how quickly the rosin extracts, you will be vaporizing tasty rosin soon thereafter.
Terpene preservation. With the narrower 3x7” plates, you are able to get rosin off the heat more quickly than 4x7” plates. Since we know that terpenes are volatile and can evaporate easily, the sooner the rosin moves off and away from the plates, the more terpenes will be preserved. This will provide a more flavorful and medicinal finished product. Terpene preservation is even more important when pressing hash or sift. Those delicate starting materials generally press at a much lower temperature from flowers and takes a much longer time. Effectively, 3x7” plates will finish the extraction faster.
Speed. Well, we sort of discussed that in the last point, but it goes hand in hand with terpene preservation. When pressing rosin, we want the rosin to spend as little time under pressure and heat as possible. With more narrow plates, we are able to extract our rosin faster. Of course, we are using less material than on 4x7” plates, but the same fact remains that the puck itself will be under pressure and heat for less time with 3x7” plates this generating a faster extraction.
If this didn’t help convince you that 3x7” plates are for you, then perhaps they aren’t. However, you should consider these points when shopping for your rosin plates for your DIY Rosin press build.