So I got a set of bubble bags, 1 gallon 8 bag set, and held onto them until I had something to run through them. I harvested my first plant a little while back (chop) and let the material dry throughly in the garage. I had kept every leaf that had fallen off the plant and added my harvest trimings as well. This gave me about 1 lb of material including stems and fan leaves.
The bubble bags I got were made of CHEAP nylon for the sides (I did not know this at the time of my purchase though) and decent quality screen materials. The sizes of the mesh are 220, 160, 120, 90, 73, 45, 25 and 10 micron. They came in a plush carry bag with a 25 micron pressing screen.
Since I am only making this concentrate for personal medicinal use I was not excessively concerned with quality. With this in mind I set up my bags in a 1 gallon pitcher 10 first, then 25, then 120, then 160 and finally 220. I filled this around full with water and ice and waited the 30 minutes and then put in about 2 oz of material and started agitating the mix with a wooden spoon (I didn’t have a hand mixer at the time).
I mixed this for around 15 minutes with a fairly brisk stirring. I then let it sit for 30 minutes but returned around every 5 minutes to gently stir it to allow trichomes to settle out of the floating materials.
I them lifted out the 220 work bag and allowed it to drain fairly thoroughly back into the remaining bags in the pitcher and then set the 220 bag aside.
I then pulled up the 160 bag while jiggling it to dislodge anything that might be sticking to the sides thus allowing it to settle into the bottom mesh.
I repeated this with the 120 bag. I was quite pleased to see a small bit of material remaining on the mesh of these 2 bags. I was having high hopes of nice rewards in the 25 and 10 bags.
Then I noticed some green on the OUTSIDE of the 120 bag. I thought this was a bit odd but continued removing the bags and draining them and enjoying my ‘rewards’.
When I got to the 10 bag I stared getting even more suspicious of the quality of the side material of the bags.
Since the 10 bag was draining slowly I 1) scrapped out the material from the 25 bag and set it on the pressing screen 9beside the 120 and 160 being careful not to mix them up) 2) put the 25 bag back into the pitcher but had it turned inside out about half of it’s depth. I then suspended the 10 bag over the pitcher and 25 bag.
I set about pressing the moisture out of the materials I had gathered earlier and was quite please with the results (I have not weighed it, it’s small).
After a while I returned to the hanging 10 bag and found that the 25 bag below had collected more material that had dripped out/off of the 10 bag.
This confirmed my suspicions that the materials were flowing THROUGH THE SIDES OF THE BAGES!
Boy was I upset.
I promptly went about trying to find the bag maker to at least let him know I was not pleased with his product. I doubt I could have asked for a refund considering the bags had medicinal trichomes mixed into the material.
I could not find the seller or manufacturer so I started a new hunt for some new bubble bags. I found a 5 gallon 3 bag set (220, 100,25) at a price I could afford so I ordered them and waited for the delivery.
Well, they came today so I set about re running the initial material through the bags.
I still am not too concerned with high quality of the material so I devised a way that I could use the low quality bags along with the newer bags that are MUCH BETTER. The new bags have a true waterproof interior that has a type of vinyl or rubber coating.
What I did to include the cheap bags is detailed below.
I happened to have a 6 inch x 24 inch pvc pipe that fits the 1 gallon bags perfectly. I put the 160 bag in the top of the pipe and folded over the top and the 120 bag I fit entirely over the bottom of the pipe.
I then put the new 5 gallon 25 micron bag into the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. I put the 5 gallon 220 bag in a separate bucket and proceeded to fill it with water and ice. After a half hour I added my dry clippings and started mixing it with my new hand mixer for about 15 minutes.
I repeated the extraction process mentioned above but after pulling the 5 gallon 220 bag from the bucket I poured the remaining mixture into the 120 bag at the top of the pipe. This worked very well until the pipe got full because I had not provided a escape at the bottom of the pipe for the water. So I had to tilt the pipe/bag combo to allow the water to flow out.
This worked quite well except for the 120 bag on the bottom of the pipe because I thought that trichomes were still passing through the side of the bag. So I went back to home depot and got another 6 inch x 24 inch pvc pipe and 2 atrium drains (see pics).
I put the 25 bag in the bucket then the pvc pipe with the 120 bag inside. Into the top of this I put an atrium drain upside down. This help hold the 120 bag in place and acts as a connection point for the next 6 inch x 24 inch pipe. Into this top pipe I put the 160 bag.
This method of stacking pipes with bags inside allows the bottom mesh of the bag to sag. This prevents materials from passing through the sides of the bad. I plan on getting some stainless steel ball bearings to place in the bottom of the bags to keep them sagged to promote downward drainage instead of drainage through the sides of the bags. The trick to this method is to pour SLOWLY so that the water does not get up to the sides of the bags.
I then ran the remainder of my clippings through the system and got a much nicer and larger extraction than my prior runs. I will post my total weights (if they register on the scale) when everything is all nice and dry in a couple of days.