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Buds: Drying, Burping, Storing
Posted 03 September 2011 - 12:38 AM
IMO, and IME...light, oxygen and heat are the three things one must be aware of when storing bud...long term OR short term.
Times and %rh given here are approximate only!
Your mileage may vary depending on conditions, situations and weird stuff beyond my control!
muhahahaha...warning given...nuff said!
Assuming approximate times, you have spent 2 weeks drying your bud, 8+ weeks flowering it, 2+ weeks vegging it...so three months+ of time and effort has gone into producing these buds...you want them to dry...you want them to cure well...you want them to last in storage...this is fine...and achievable also!
Buds must be dried well before storage...th@ is not to say they must be bone dry...NO! ...bone dry buds are not wh@ one is after...one has to dry the buds in a gradual manner.
Buds, when dried, will retain anywhere from 15% to 25% wet-from-the-branch weight...this varies based on things like, %moisture left in buds, genetics, method of growing, time of harvest, speed of drying and other considerations.
Flash/fast drying is not wh@ one wants to do with this hard earned bounty, you risk drying it too much.
The buds dry...they lose moisture, gradually, from the outside in...this is not always readily apparent to the excited grower once the buds are sitting in a pile in front of you hehehe like me, I am SURE @ th@ time you have other things on ya mind! Muahahaha
The first 2-4 days after harvest the buds should be hung [ideally] or laid somewhere with good ventilation to dry.
• Sitting stems of buds in a shoebox with some newspaper is a good method for slowing moisture loss in really hot and dry environments [desert conditions], hanging the branches of buds with a fan moving air in the room, but NOT directly onto the buds, is good in more tropical or humid conditions [warm/humid or frozen/humid]
The smaller and finer leaves still on the buds will shrivel during this time..and may become brittle...this is a sign, IMO, of them drying a 'lil too fast...if so, it can be slowed by loosely wrapping some newspaper around the bud...a single sheet's thickness is often enough, and tie it around with string or twine...in extreme cases [and I mean extreme!] you might put a second layer of lightly dampened newspaper around the buds.
After 2-4 days, inspect the bud again....it should still be moist and springy, dried a little, but still obviously reasonably fresh buddage...leaving bud on the stems will slow the moisture loss as the buds will have the moisture in the branches and stems to call on as they dry.
Conversely, removing the buds from the stems will speed up their drying...if you have time to monitor it you could even put freshly harvested and separated buds in newspaper in a shoebox to dry...the newspaper will slow the loss of moisture from the loose buds so they do not get bone dry.
After the initial few days from harvest the buds should be inspected...the next few days the squishyness of the buds should begin to lessen and the sponginess of the buds should begin to increase. This second phase can be 2-10 days long...during this time keep checking the buds...if they begin getting dry/crispy, cover with a piece of newspaper to slow moisture loss...rotate them if you want...it will even the drying a little, though some Peeps don't like either moving the buds much or the flat surfaces this can leave on the buds.
I have 2 items I use to dry my harvest.
One is a selection of cafeteria trays...a few of them around are really handy to have hehehe
also a hanging rack for buds made from 30cm and 40cm desktop fan blade-cover-cages.
Soon enough you will find your buds feel dry enough to jar up...for the third stage of drying...burping the buds.
This last stage is the mumbo-jumbo or art/skill of drying/curing th@ some take to like a duck to water and some stare @ incomprehensibly like it just grew another head
For many years this stage was intuitive...even with instruction,if environmental conditions are different than those of the person offering instruction, it would often not turn out the same...
Well..never fear...science and the modern grower have met on this point...and there IS a solution! muhahahaha
Ready for it?...a small digital hygrometer! hehehe simple, ain't it?...
Wh@ is a digital hygrometer some of you ask? [yes, I saw you there, in the corner :D hehehe]
It simply tells you the rh of the surrounding air.
rh is Relative Humidity...so a small hygrometer in the jar, when it is sealed, will let you see how humid it is in your jar...you want below 70% rh for beginning to burp buds in the jar.
70% rh or higher and the buds are still too moist and you run the risk of molds...not a good end to 3+ months of time and effort!
It will take half an hr to an hr or so for the rh to level out...sometimes longer as the buds get drier.
The purpose of burping the buds is to really slow and temper the drying process, so the bud dries evenly through, rather than drier on outside and moister inside.
Enclosing the buds in the jar will allow the moisture remaining in the buds to equalize with the jar's air...letting th@ humid air out happens each time you open the jar...so in effect you are drying the buds in small stages.
This has been done with no hygrometer by growers for many years...now, with a hygrometer you can follow the process, see the gradual lowering of the buds moisture content and chart it...decide when it is dry enough for your tastes...
buds can be dried anywhere down to 45%-55% rh and be within the smokable range.
Those who like buds moister might go higher...it's a matter of preference now hehehe
Do not fill the jar entirely with buds...half to 2/3 full is my rule of thumb...leaving enough air for the buds to lose moisture to....too full and the buds will not release moisture quick enough and you risk mold...if you jar the buds up and the rh exceeds 70% simple remove them from the jar a few more hrs to dry and try again.
Once the buds are down to your preferred moisture content it is down to Chronos for the cure...time! hehehe
Over the next days, weeks and months the scents..the terpines, will change...the thc/cbd etc... in the bud, will eventually decaboxillate...lose the water molecule and become psychoactive.
Bud th@ smelt one way when jarred may take on totally different scents...and effects hehehe
sometimes a beautiful smelling bud can cure to smell nasty...or a really horrible smelling bud can cure to smell wonderful...and all those differences and subtlety's in-between! drunk cat
When your buds are dried but before they are cured, they can be stored long term...as stated above, light, heat and oxygen degrade bud quality and viability...this is ok in the short term but long term it can add up and detract from the quality of your bud, lessening it.
A dark cool place is wh@ you want for storage long term, and stored in airtight containers...this can be glass jars, plastic containers, ziploc baggies or vacume sealed jars or bags.
Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, you must weigh and evaluate wh@ suits your needs.
Vacume storage in jars is really good...vacume storage in bags works well also, but the bud does get compressed...sometimes a fair bit...some peeps don't like th@.
Bud will store and last a long time in the right conditions...some of the best dried/cured bud I have ever smoked was found 4+ yrs after the plant was harvested...buds th@ got...er...'lost' hehehe
Hope this helps you on your buddage journey
Special mention made of Simon, whom I first read of this method from...he has a thread over on ICMag th@ is quite comprehensive and lengthy...even with recommendations for the most useful and accurate hygrometers hehehe
- jangel, I8ntLucky_UR, bongbonghi and 18 others like this
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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:10 PM
LMFAO!!!! MuA, you crack me up!
Great post my friend! I was looking for something like this with harvest right around the corner ur a saint!
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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:56 PM
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Posted 17 September 2011 - 09:08 AM
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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:06 PM
Edited by SirStickybuds, 04 November 2011 - 08:51 PM.
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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:34 PM
Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:24 PM
Edited by ProffesorPotSnob, 04 November 2011 - 08:27 PM.
Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:06 PM
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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:51 PM
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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:48 AM
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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:42 AM
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