When I want kief I set out specifically to get it. Using frosted trim and tiny popcorn bud, I do it the way they've done it for centuries in the Middle East.
For this you'll need a silkscreen with a thread per inch count of between 100 and 130. The finer the mesh the less you'll get, but the resulting kief will be of higher quality because there will be less plant matter in it. I normally use a 120 thread per inch screen.
Next you need some well dried frozen trim and/or bud. Freezing it is a very important step, as it firms up the trichomes and makes their stalks more brittle so it's easier to separate them from the other plant matter.*
Take some of the frozen plant and gently crush it onto the screen over a glass container or a marble/granite surface. Alternating between shaking and tapping gently, sift it thoroughly. Don't rub it too hard against the screen if you push it around; we don't want too much green particulate plant matter getting through.
Continue to do this until you work through all your trim. I'm using a small amount for demonstration purposes today, but if you have a lot it helps to keep the bulk of it in the freezer and only work with 1/4 to 1/2 ounce at a time so it doesn't all thaw.
The leftover material should be discarded. There's not much THC in it. I suppose you could make some low grade QWISO with it but frankly if you have enough trim and small bud laying around to indulge in this method you shouldn't be worrying about that. Quality over quantity.
Once we're done sifting it all the kief will be scattered about the surface we used. Use a razor blade or the edge of a credit card to scrape it all together.
From this point we can just smoke it as is, cook with it, or make hashish. I didn't go on to make hash because I want this for sprinkling, but this video does a great job of showing exactly how I go about the whole process. The only thing I do different is I think 350°F is way too hot; I use far gentler heat at around 220°F for about 15 minutes before pressing.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfMi5nnj_k"]YouTube - How to make hash[/ame]
*One will note that freezing is not technically an 'old school' step. In ancient times they didn't have the luxury. Instead they used such huge volumes of plant that they still had acceptable yields.
Edited by oldskoolgrower, 20 April 2009 - 11:44 AM.