homemade kief catcher

The 5 Best Methods for Collecting Kief

Saturday August 24, 2019

H ere at PotGuide, we recently covered some of the ways to put your kief collection to good use, and we figured that it might be a good time to go over some of the ways to collect that kief in the first place. In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. The best collection methods combine these methods to capture as many trichomes as possible. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief!

Four-Piece Grinders

The standard and by far most popular method of collecting kief is to use a four-piece grinder. The distinction from a two- or three-piece grinder is that it will have a “kief catcher,” a chamber in the bottom beneath a fine screen to catch the kief that falls off of your buds when shredded.

Want to upgrade your herb grinder? Check out PotGuide’s list of the 9 Best Weed Grinders on the Market.

A quality grinder need not be expensive, budtenders and head shop workers will usually have a good tip on which work best.

Many utilize the “coin trick” to get better efficiency out of their grinders’ kief catchers. Putting a coin in the middle chamber helps to knock trichomes off of the flower as well as push them through the screen to the collection chamber below. It’s important to wash the coin well before putting it in with your flower to avoid contaminants and ridge-less coins tend to work best (better surface contact).

Pollen Boxes

Small pollen boxes, can be slightly time consuming for getting large yields, but are easy and tidy for small personal batches. Simply put some buds in the top and shake. The biggest benefit of pollen boxes are that they keep everything nicely contained, so you don’t have to worry about a gust of wind or clumsy roommate coming by and scattering your work to the wind. However for larger yields, you’ll want to scale up.

Silk Screens

Silk screens can help you collect a pretty decent amount of kief in a short amount of time. To do so, you’ll need to take a trip to your local art store to grab a silk screen, the very same you might buy to DIY a few band t-shirts. For this method, a basin or clean surface is set to catch the kief underneath (a pane of glass or mirror works well) and then ground or shredded cannabis plant material is gently run over the screen to separate out the kief.

This method is ideal for medium-sized batches of plant matter. One downside to using silk screens is that they can tear easily from stems. It’s best to be gentle and work slowly, picking out any jagged pieces that might tear. Metal screens are available in this size as well, but can be harder to come by.

Hashish Drums

The oldest kief method is to create a drum with a silk screen. The screen is stretched over the whole drum basin (often just a plastic bucket), and then covered with a selection of bud or trimmings. Next, a tarp is secured over the top with a rubber band or tight rope, locking the plant material in between the tarp and the silk screen. This is then beaten with sticks and the kief falls through the silk screen. With the right micron-gage silk (the unit of measurement for small particles), one could easily make a traditional Moroccan kief drum at home. This is an ideal setup for larger amounts of plant matter, but also easy to scale in size.

Freezing Methods

For the ultimate kief collection method, we start introducing a little science. THC is not water soluble, meaning it won’t dissolve in water, and colder trichomes become more brittle and fall off with greater ease. This means that any method of freezing won’t disturb the THC, while making the kief easier to agitate and collect. Dry ice alone, or (or even your trusty freezer) can be used to cool the buds to a point where the kief can be shaken off in a jar or container. Freezing prior to using the coin and grinder trick will also improve yields.

However, submerging the plant in an ice bath with get the most out of it, one just needs to be able to collect the kief back out. To do so, hash producers use a dry ice bath and what’s known as a “bubble bag,” a type of sieve sleeve (say that five times fast) traditionally used for making bubble hash. Plant matter is put in the middle of the bag then stirred in the ice bath forcing the bud against the screen. The resulting kief is collected underneath the screen.

This is essentially the freezing method with a screen and collector attached to it and is ideal for collecting some of the highest quality kief, as the process can be repeated with finer and finer screens bags to get only the head of the trichome (ensuring the least possible amount of plant matter). It works well for large batches, a it’s possible to get quality hash out of things like trim and clippings this way as well.

Naturally, a large factor in how much kief accumulates is the quality of the cannabis plant to begin with. Buds with heavy trichome coverage will yield more kief and produce a higher quality smoke.

Ask your budtender to help select well-sugared strains in order to maximize yield. Also, wearing gloves, or using an object to manipulate the plant matter is ideal to minimize oil residue from your hands (which will also make the kief clump up). Happy kief collecting!

Do you have any experience collecting kief? Let us know some of your favorite methods in the comments below!

Matt Mongelia holds an MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked in the cannabis industry in various roles for 4 years, from dispensaries, production and retail to events, content and marketing. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.

In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief!

Kief Catcher – A Must Have Piece While Grinding Weed

Depending on the marijuana grinder you are using to break down your stash, there usually is a screen located near the bottom of the grinder that is affectionately known as the kief catcher.

This little screen is responsible for capturing the sweet nectar off those green leaves, the kief, which contains high amounts of THC.

The very powerful THC falls off the leaves when you grind up dank pot, and once separated, you can use the kief to enhance your nug or smoke it straight and get the best high possible from your stash.

Without the kief catcher, you are simply wasting the best part of your herbs.

The Weed Grinder

To get a better understanding where and how the kief catcher works, you have to know why you want it in the first place. That kief is the powdery, super-fine, dust-like substance that remains after you grind down your weed.
This pollen-like substance resembles a fine coating of pollen from a flower, but is the most potent substance you will ever smoke.

The weed/herb grinder comes in a number of different configurations. The most common herb grinders come in 2-part, 3-part, or 4-part.

2-Part Weed Grinder

This is the most basic of all herb grinders. The 2-part grinder has only a bottom and a top, both containing teeth that will shred up your herb. This device is basically a shredder, so you kief has no where to go and unfortunately the best part of the stash is not being utilized.

3-Part Weed Grinder

The 3-part weed grinder is a step up from basic, but it still is a bare-bones shredding device and nothing more.
The only difference from this grinder and the 2-part is there is a “catch chamber” at the bottom that catches the ground up herb that falls through the holes in the compartment above.
Basically everything winds up in the chamber, kief, buds, stems, and all.

4-Part Weed Grinder

The cream of the crop, the 4-part weed grinder, comes with another compartment below the “catch Chamber” designed to catch all your kief.
Thus, the reason this layer is called the kief catcher or pollen catcher is because it is made up of a tiny screen that will only allow the tiniest pollen-like particles to fall through and into the compartment.
This is the gold nectar of the weed, and is separated from the stash like gold nuggets from a rock pile.

Tips for Using a Kief Catcher When Grinding Weed

In order to get the most kief into the bottom chamber of your weed grinder, you need to maximize your yield with a few tricks from expert stoners.

These pot-heads have mastered the art of getting every little spec of kief into the holding compartment, and now you are being exposed to their secrets.

If you accidentally lost your grinder or your roommate took it out and you got no grinder to grind your weed then this great article about how to grind weed without a grinder will be all you need.

Whether you are budgeting your weed for the next party or considering making pressed hash, these kief catching tips will give you more materials to work with.

Grounding – One tip for getting more kief when grinding is to simply turn the weed grinder upside down the first couple of turns. What this will do is make certain the weed is ground completely before it falls through the chambers.
The result will be a powdery herb that compresses easily and dries fast, great for kief and bad if you plan on rolling your weed. Be sure to secure the top while upside down or your party materials will be scattered all over the floor.

Using Coins – Place a coin in the center rolling tray, the herb collection chamber. Once you have successfully ground up your stash, shake your weed grinder in circular motions so the coin is sliding around and around and not banging all over the place.
The coin will roll over the kief screen again and again, pushing tiny crystals through that screen when the pollen collects below. Be sure to clean that coin with a drop of dish soap to remove oils from fingers or the kief will wind up sticking to the coin instead of being pushed down through the screen.

Tapping the Grinder – To separate the valuable kief from the screen, tap the grinder on a flat surface a couple times. That blunt force to the grinder will loosen the pollen from the screen and drop it right down to the collection chamber where you have access to it.
Tapping the grinder after each session also releases any trapped nectar near the lip of the grinder that over time could harden and make it more challenging to open or close this device.

So there you have it, everything you needed to know about gathering that potent THC by way of a kief catcher.

Whether you are smoking that bowl of pure kief or using it to sprinkle on top of the stash in your bowl, you now can easily gather this delicacy and transform your next smoking event.

Your 420 smokers will think you stumbled upon the richest source of sweet nectar this side of the Rio Grand. That little screen will turn you into a weed smoking legend in your own mind!

Make the small investment in your own weed grinder with a kief catcher and take advantage of accessing the most potent part of the entire bud.

This is that one investment that will pay huge returns for many years to come.

Kief Catcher – A Must Have Piece While Grinding Weed Depending on the marijuana grinder you are using to break down your stash, there usually is a screen located near the bottom of the grinder ]]>