The most important factor to control when drying/curing is humidity. An RH of between 40% and 60% is ideal when drying cannabis, temperatures are less of a concern but anything around room temperatures will work. I typically dry for at least 5 days at ~50% RH in the dark with constant air circulation. During curing, an RH of 62% is the sweet spot for cannabis. I use Boveda 62% Humidipaks to help with keeping the curing environment constant, but even those have limitations. For my last grow, one of the two ladies apparently did not dry out properly, even though both sets of buds appeared to be and felt dry enough to the touch. During curing, the RH would not drop below 72% and the buds still smelled green while the other jar was curing nicely without any need for burping. After ensuring that there were no problems with the Boveda Humidipaks or hygrometers, I started burping this one jar for ~1 hour every day but the RH still would not drop. I decided to leave the jar open for an afternoon to let the buds dry out some more and after that the RH started to drop and is now around 64%-66% RH. If you're having problems dropping the RH of the cure, then the buds haven't dried out completely even if they appeared/felt dry enough at the end of drying. You can correct this during curing it will just take more time since air exchange is limited during curing. You also run the risk of mold if the RH is too high and isn't brought down soon enough. IMHO, given all of the variables present when drying and curing, keeping track of the RH is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your harvest will properly dry and cure.
I use the medium size, 8 grams, for curing in one quart mason jars. There is also a large humidipak, 60 grams, for one gallon containers. It's interesting that while the volume increases by 4x, the amount of Boveda gel increases nearly 8x. I'm not aware of any sizes in between medium and large, I guess you could use one large pack in a half gallon container but I would keep an eye on the RH to make sure it is stabilizing at 62%. I've never used multiple humidipaks in one sealed container, I would think that they would get confused and fight against each other but that is only a supposition.
The harvest window according to Royal Queen starts tomorrow, and I have a few Amber trichomes scattered through the budsites now.
I plan to let her run a little longer, but wanted to get an idea of which 2 drying methods you guys would like to see compared. Power Flower will be harvested first, and Cali Jack should follow about 1-3 weeks later.
Please be specific in what you'd like to see. Fan leaves on/off. Whole plant hanging? individual branches hanging? Let me know and I'll make it happen.
Power Flower cannot be dried in the grow closet, since Cali Jack will still be finishing, but if desired I can hang Cali Jack in there when harvest time comes.
I am expecting (hoping!) to see 14-21g dry from Power Flower, and 21-28g dry from Cali Jack. I know.. it's not much, but I'm still learning. This harvest should be double, triple, or more, over my previous grow. So I'm happy with it so far.
Alright, Harvest is just a day or so away I believe, so here's the plan:
1 plant will be hung to dry complete with no leaves removed for the first day or 2. Then fan leaves will be removed and another day or 2 of drying, then sugar leaves will be removed and buds manicured, and left to dry until finished. I'll be using a box to shield the Cannabis from direct light.
The second plant will have all leaves removed, buds manicured, and dried on individual stems until drying is complete.
Well I'm only drying one plant now, still waiting to harvest the other.
This drying method works pretty good keeping the leaves on, BUT you have to remove the fan leaves and sugar leaves as soon as they start to wilt and shrink into the bud, which was yesterday for me. I wanted to wait the full 2 days as was suggested in a video I saw for this drying method, and it made trimming and manicuring a lot more difficult. If I did this all yesterday, it would have been much easier.
I plan on making oil with my trim and some buds, (plus my tolerance is lower) so this isn't a big deal for me, but for someone who intends on smoking or vaping, you won't want trichomes getting stuck to your trim.
But they are definitely drying slower than my last harvest. My last harvest was dry in 2-3 days. I'm on day 2 now, and you can easily feel the moisture on the buds, and the stems bend easily, with no snapping on even the smallest branch.