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Standard Farms Live Rosin

Patients have come to know Standard Farms for producing top-quality rosin in PA.

Only a year after their first wash, SF crafts small-batch style rosin from plants harvested ten at a time with a love for the process and attention to detail at the center of their work. We sat down with Standard Farms operations manager Brittney Zelinsky to learn more about how SF became one of the first growers in PA to go solventless, their step-by-step process, and the team behind it all.

Since the start of the PA medical program, patients who preferred concentrates have only had access to solvent-based extracts known as butane hash oil—or BHO for short. These concentrates come in a variety of textures like sugars or sauces and are produced through a closed-loop extraction process that uses a solvent gas to remove the trichomes from the plant material for a more potent, concentrated end product.

But while BHO has filled the concentrate category in PA, solventless concentrates like rosin have become the preferred dab in many legal markets across the country.

Rosin—or hash rosin—gets the solventless tag from replacing the butane with ice water to separate the trichomes and the closed-loop system with heat and pressure to create the oil. It’s sought after for offering a full-flavored experience that stays true to the profile of the starting flower and for years patients in PA have been left asking where’s all the rosin? 

Standard Farms Live Rosin

In 2022, Standard Farms asked themselves the same question. Their greenhouses were dialing in, and they were looking to expand the lab from solely producing CO2 extracts when the idea to bring rosin to the market clicked. With limited to no patient access and a menu oversaturated with BHO, it became easy to opt for building a cold room instead of a full extraction lab and become one of the first grower/processors in PA to bring rosin to the market.  

Standard Farms Live Rosin

The team, led by Brittney Zelinsky with Henry Messinger and Matt Freund on the wash and press, dove in headfirst to learn the process and had their first wash almost a year later, in April 2023. They kept it bare bones at the start—handwashing in 20-gallon cans and pressing in their manual rosin press to get a feel for the work and how to produce quality.

Nearly a year into learning the craft, they’ve since ditched the cans for an Osprey wash machine and upgraded to a Lowtemp press while dialing in the methods to produce quality rosin with care and attention to detail through every step of the process.

“If we wanted to have the best product possible, we had to handle it correctly from the start and through every step of the process—quality over quantity.” Brittney Zelinsky—Standard Farms Operations Manager

Standard Farms Live Rosin
Standard Farms Live Rosin
Standard Farms Live Rosin

Making hash rosin is conceptually a simple process. All you have to do is agitate the flower in a bath of ice water to knock off all the trichomes, freeze-dry the trichomes from the wash, and then apply heat and pressure to extract the oil.

Nothing being that simple, there are way more steps and variables to producing quality rosin that hash heads pore over—but the path to quality relies heavily on a few simple things—the starting material (fire in, fire out), handling the plant with care at every step to keep the trichomes intact, and keeping it cold the whole way.

For Standard Farms, those principles guide their process with an understanding that every step counts towards making good rosin—from searching out strains that wash best to hand-portioning each rosin jar in the cold room to only harvesting ten plants at a time to keep the starting material as fresh as possible.

“We cut down 10 plants at a time to keep everything as fresh as possible in the time it takes to make it into the freezer. If we’re aiming for 25,000 grams [of flower] and it’s going to take us 65 plants to reach that—if we cut down all 65 plants at one time by the time you get to that 65th plant, it’s already dried out compared to the first plant you trimmed.” Brittney Zelinsky—Standard Farms Operations Manager

Standard Farms

Once the ten plants are cut down for harvest, the plant is carefully manicured to remove everything that is not a bud or a sugar leaf. It’s all hand-trimmed to keep the trichomes intact and then immediately frozen.

When the flower is ready to wash, it will come out of the freezer, get pre-soaked, and then go through the wash cycle using reverse osmosis ice water.

At the end of the wash, the water empties into press club bags to catch the hash. The bags vary in micron size and are stacked with the largest holes on the top and the smallest on the bottom to trap the bubble hash from the machine and leave all the excess material out. It’s then rinsed with water and scooped out with a cold spoon onto a tray before entering the freezer.

Standard Farms Live Rosin

“The top bag is usually a 190-micron to capture any plant material or trim, the bag below is the 160-micron which we call edible quality hash, then we have the 73-micron bag which is the one we press, and a 25-micron last that is back to edible quality hash.” Brittney Zelinsky—Standard Farms Operations Manager

The trays sit overnight in a freeze dryer to undergo a freezing and heating cycle, creating the bubble hash that gets dry sifted twice before being vacuum sealed in a rosin bag using a technique known as Clear Tek or Vacuum Bag Tek.

A newer innovation in solventless production, Clear Tek removes all the air pockets in the rosin bag to pre-grease the hash for a no-heat pre-press. This reduces the risk of blowouts and produces rosin that is crystal clear once it goes under the press. Because while all these steps play a role in the end product, it's all to prepare for the moment heat and pressure are applied.

Standard Farms Live Rosin
Standard Farms Live Rosin
Standard Farms Live Rosin

The press is the money shot. That beautiful view of clear, golden oil dripping down the paper gives you the essence of the flower and makes you feel ready for a dab, but for Matt—the man behind the Standard Farms press—it looks a lot different.

He goes low and slow, keeping the temperature as low as possible and relying on timing and instinct to get the most out of every strain. It’s an artisanal touch based on visual cues in the oil to pull the best yield and not burn off any terps.

“Pressing rosin is an art that takes technique and skill. There are many different variables. Every strain is different and can take some dialing in. It is an artistic craft that combines knowledge, hands-on experience, and love for the plant and its properties." Matthew Freund—Standard Farms Extraction Technician

Standard Farms Live Rosin

Once it’s off the press, it’s all about keeping it cold and fresh before it reaches the patient. Nobody likes to open their jar of rosin to find a dried-out little ball, and Standard Farms avoids that with attention to detail from when the plant gets harvested until the rosin is cured and packaged for the patient. 

They cure the rosin in a jar with proper headspace away from light, and once cured, it’s whipped to be re-homogenized and sent back to the refrigerator.

The final step is hand-portioning each jar in the cold room. To package, the team blows out each jar with compressed air to keep it clean and gives the rosin one more quick whip to mix the terps and create a flat surface area in the jar before it’s ready to hit the dispensary for patients. 

Standard Farms Live Rosin
Standard Farms Live Rosin

“Luckily, we have a team that didn’t run out of the door when they realized the amount of work involved in the process. Matt [Freund] and Henry [Messinger] have been in the cold room since day one and they are dedicated to the process. They aren’t just in here for something to do, they love what they are doing.” Brittney Zelinsky—Standard Farms Operations Manager

Step into the Standard Farms cold room, and you will find a total team effort driven by passion and pride in the product. The team continues to learn, but only a year after the first wash, Matt, Henry, and the SF team consistently produce a quality product that’s handled with care every step of the way.

Pressed from plants only harvested ten at a time, there is a dedication to quality over quantity that’s refreshing in the program and a commitment to the process that shows in the end product. Whether it’s a single gram of Georgia Pie or a 3.5-gram baller jar of Rainbow Belts 3.0, find it where you can because PA patients have been waiting a long time for good rosin.


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