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DrZiggy's Low And Slow Drying: Maximizing Your Harvest

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
Since beginning this thread we've had a member show up who'd spent the years since 1993 refining this very process. He's already worked out what we were trying to discover - the most favorable atmospheric conditions, how to adjust humidity levels when it's time to jar it up, and for that matter, how much time it really takes to get dry enough to begin that step. He's also worked out schedules for burping to maximize the effectiveness of the cure.

You're more than welcome to wander through our early explorations. We had great fun and worked out some neat ideas, including some interesting ways to make shelving, and learning to accelerate the drying with paper bags. But no one will be upset if you choose to jump right to the good stuff. You can always backtrack to find out what other delights we discovered. :circle-of-love:

The Good Stuff




This was my first recollection of this marvelous procedure we've fondly taken to referring to as "Low and Slow" drying. I can't believe we took so long to play around with it but OMG!!!! Once you've tried this unconventional technique dreamed up by our own mad scientist cultivator and canna chef extraordinare, DrZiggy, you won't look back.

The chief benefit of Low and Slow drying is the ability to retain almost all of the terpenes and flavonoids. When we hang to dry these volitile molecules float away with the air. They weigh next to nothing, so evaporation is swift. In the first week alone you'll lose over 30% of the monoterpenes you had at harvest. Those monoterpenes include myrcene, the terpene that helps the cannabinoids get a fast track through the Blood-Brain Barrier so they can attach to the CB1 receptors and introduce euphoria. I don't know about you, but this is a feature I want to support, as well as all the functions of all the other terpenes that get protected by drying low and slow.

Cannabinoids are are akin to the wheels on a car, and the terpenes the steering column. It'd be nice to be able to steer all that raw power, don't you think? :3:

It turns out that all those wonderful things cannabinoids do for our bodies are determined by the presence of the terpenes. We're not sure yet of the importance of the flavonoids, but you can be certain once they start studying the plant the way it should be, they'll find a good reason to retain them, and you'll already be ahead of the game. :slide: This, ladies and gentlemen, is way out on the edge. I'd venture to say we may be the only crazy band out there experimenting with it.

And I want us to experiment. We're already discovering that it's not as simple as "put them in the fridge and let them dry." There are challenges we're working through, but the discussions are going on in journals scattered about. If we put our heads together and share our ideas we can nail this down and start seeing consistent results that everyone's happy with.

So what do you say? Are you with me? Can you bring yourself to "risk" part of your next harvest to get the best buds you ever smoked? Alright then, let's get to work. Share everything. Be long winded. Working across a virtual field has challenges, but we're adept at overcoming those limitations. I'm excited about what we're about to learn. When I consider the value of this drying technique for oil production I get shivers of joy. :laugh2: I can't wait to make my first batch of oil from buds dried low and slow. If the fresh harvest infused oil is any indication we're in for a treat.

Having buds tested and contrasted would be a great benefit to this project. It's already started with Canyon, and I'm anticipating others. Anyone volunteering gets the heartfelt "Thanks" from the whole membership.

We can change the way people dry, but that's not my driving motivation. Better buds make better oils, and better oils help my patients and my friends here at :420: find more relief from the gift of cannabis. If we can put so much of ourselves into growing our plants can we do any less than our best to potentiate the harvests?

Ready to have fun? :4::love:
 
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RheinRover

Well-Known Member
I'm here for the ride!
Just pulled out 25g of blue dream auto from the fridge. They had been in there 9 days. Buds were washed and left to dry for about 8 hours before going into jars. A trick I learned from Keltic is using a paper bag instead of the jars. This to me seems a little safer route if you can't be around to tend the jars. I did a small test run with this. I put in jars first for 3 days so initial wetness was gone and from there into a small paper bag and into the fridge. After 6 days it was dry enough for curing and smoking (if you can't wait:drool:)

I'm drying in a small dorm refrigerator temp stays 38-40* with RH @ 35-42. I know its been suggested to use a frost free fridge which mine isn't. But since I only open the door once per day I haven't had any issues. I could see it being a problem if you are opening it a lot and condensation is allowed to form.

Just threw in 100g of Royal Kush into jars. Going to leave them until tomorrow and then switch over to the bags since I'll be gone on holiday for the next week. That will be a nice treat to come home to!
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016


Right now I have a fair amount drying in my fridge. Still working out the best way to make this happen in my fridge.



The large jars appear to work best if the buds form a shallow pile. Small jars work with small amounts. Most of my oils get processed into infused oils on the day of harvest, so there's usually only a small amount left. My last harvest I saved more to dry low and slow than I processed into oil. Most of that is in that jar. The jar in the middle of the jar has slightly larger buds and is packed more than I typically do, but I'm experimenting. Same with the bag.

I discovered early on that the smaller you cut the buds the faster they dry. I now cut each individual flower bunch off and dry like that.



That's where I stand at this point. I've had success using small buds and layering them lightly in the jar. You want lots of surface area.

My humidity fluctuates up to 60% in the early stages of drying. If anyone has any ideas for bring it down, I'm all ears. Tonight it's settled to around 50%.
 

Archiweedies

Nug of the Month: Apr 2019
SubbedI would love to help, but as I am nearing my first harvest (with a plant I'm lucky made it there [emoji12]) I feel might not be a great candidate. I do however have the same dorm style fridge that Rhein has above me.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
I'm here for the ride!
Just pulled out 25g of blue dream auto from the fridge. They had been in there 9 days. Buds were washed and left to dry for about 8 hours before going into jars. A trick I learned from Keltic is using a paper bag instead of the jars. This to me seems a little safer route if you can't be around to tend the jars. I did a small test run with this. I put in jars first for 3 days so initial wetness was gone and from there into a small paper bag and into the fridge. After 6 days it was dry enough for curing and smoking (if you can't wait:drool:)

I'm drying in a small dorm refrigerator temp stays 38-40* with RH @ 35-42. I know its been suggested to use a frost free fridge which mine isn't. But since I only open the door once per day I haven't had any issues. I could see it being a problem if you are opening it a lot and condensation is allowed to form.

Just threw in 100g of Royal Kush into jars. Going to leave them until tomorrow and then switch over to the bags since I'll be gone on holiday for the next week. That will be a nice treat to come home to!
Sweet RheinRover. :high-five: This would be a good time for me to switch my Dark Devil Auto into bags. The bag in there is nice and dry.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
RheinRover, you dry for 8 hours? I was hanging for 4, based on something I read once that the professionals that make oils with that fancy CO2 method freeze theirs within four hours of harvest to retain the maximum terpenes. Your way sounds more sane if drying is done in the fridge.

I'll try that next time. It'd have to cut down on the moisture retained.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
Wonder if you could hang one of those damp rid bags in your fridge to help bring the RH down.
I've never seen them. I'll have to go looking.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
I'm calling it a night. I can't see to type anymore. Lol! For some reason I pull these threads together in the middle of the night. My muse must be a night owl. :laugh2:

Goodnight all.:love:
 

RheinRover

Well-Known Member
RheinRover, you dry for 8 hours? I was hanging for 4, based on something I read once that the professionals that make oils with that fancy CO2 method freeze theirs within four hours of harvest to retain the maximum terpenes. Your way sounds more sane if drying is done in the fridge.

I'll try that next time. It'd have to cut down on the moisture retained.
I bet 4 hours would be fine too mine was only 8 because I fell asleep on the couch and ended up putting them in jars the next morning. With my most current harvest I washed than lightly and I mean lightly spun them in a salad dryer and then into the jars. I guess we'll find out in a few days how that method works out for me.
 

Skullman420

Well-Known Member
When it comes to slow drying and the perfect conditions for curing - I'm working on preparing my "cave" to do a cave-curing. Sadly too much on my hands now, so I don't think I'll be able to finish that project this year. This is for the future. What I have done is to install a temperature/relative humidity meter in there that records the highest and the lowest temperatures/humidity over a period of time. What I have found so far is that the RH is a little too high. I need to get it reduced a little. But the cave-cure idea is an old way of doing it. Here in the frosty north people built their "fridges" outside or inside - but under the ground.

Here's my cave. It's a more than 100 years old root-cellar, and it's still standing strong. I will get it cleaned up, add a new floor, put up shelves and a door I can lock. Then if it doesn't become my default place to dry and cure the buds, it will be the perfect place for long-term storage of them.




Here's how it looks from the inside. View of our property - hard to see from outside the property and well hidden under ground. You can't see the entrance until you're right in front of it.




Floor need to be cleaned and then I want to add a layer of wood.



When I am done with this, it will most likely become the absolute optimal place to dry, cure and store buds without even the need of glass-jars
 

Skullman420

Well-Known Member
PS!

I do realize that most people won't have access to an actual cave like I do, so this is not really a method I spend much time promoting. But many people do have root-cellars in their old houses. It's probably useful to let them know they have a very good place to store their dried herbs. After reading through this thread I realize my cave-method and the slow-method you are describing is not the same thing :)
 

Skullman420

Well-Known Member
I am officially a little confused - I am all in for experimentation and always willing to take risks in the name of science - I used to be an actual scientist before I had a horrible work accident and became a chronic pain patient instead. I worked in the field "natural-sciences" for decades. So I am of course officially interested in this drying method. But I am not 100% certain I understand what the method is.

Could someone please describe the method for me? I see photos of glass jars filled with water inside a fridge? Then I see people talking about 4 or 8 hours - That's not very slow - is it? What's going on here?

And I want us to experiment. We're already discovering that it's not as simple as "put them in the fridge and let them dry." There are challenges we're working through, but the discussions are going on in journals scattered about. If we put our heads together and share our ideas we can nail this down and start seeing consistent results that everyone's happy with.

So what do you say? Are you with me? Can you bring yourself to "risk" part of your next harvest to get the best buds you ever smoked? Alright then, let's get to work. Share everything. Be long winded. Working across a virtual field has challenges, but we're adept at overcoming those limitations. I'm excited about what we're about to learn. When I consider the value of this drying technique for oil production I get shivers of joy
 

Kriaze

Well-Known Member
Just signing in to stay subbed as this is interesting. I agree with DeVille in that a little more information is needed though, is there a link to the full method? I have something up my sleeve too in regards to fruiting and curing my plants which I will showcase in my current journal, you heard it here first and I think it will be another winner, or a complete failure lol.
 

Blew Hiller

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2019
We have a root cellar that is divided into "moist and dry" areas, separately ventilated. Summer temps (May-Oct) are 55-60F and winter temps are 40-50F. Will be drying in there, but all think i will have them in a paper bag since there is some concern that any naturally occurring bacteria will possibly bond and mold with the cannabis. The compromise of the bag seems acceptable to me with the added benefit of the darkness.
 

Blew Hiller

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2019
Just pulled out 25g of blue dream auto from the fridge. They had been in there 9 days. Buds were washed and left to dry for about 8 hours before going into jars. A trick I learned from Keltic is using a paper bag instead of the jars. This to me seems a little safer route if you can't be around to tend the jars. I did a small test run with this. I put in jars first for 3 days so initial wetness was gone and from there into a small paper bag and into the fridge.
What is the benefit of the jars before the bag? I am still trying to plan my wash/dry/cure and planned on a few hours hanging in a 70F dark, dry basement space and then into paper bags until they are dry enough to go into jars. Also, would this low and slow process omit the 62% Boveda packs? Go lower? 45-50% humidity seems very low compared to all the other curing techniques offered here. Thanks!
 

DrZiggy

Member of the Month: April 2016
What is the benefit of the jars and then into the bag? I am still trying to plan my wash/dry/cure and planned on a few hours hanging in a 70F dark, dry basement space and then into paper bags until they are dry enough to go into jars. Also, would this low and slow process omit the 62% Boveda packs? Go lower? 45-50% humidity seems very low compared to all the other curing techniques offered here. Thanks!
Seems Freeze Dried Herb has been done for years...Ed Rosenthal suggests it.
Harvestright freeze dryer for weed? Done and cured in a day!
 
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