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How To Cure Your Marijuana Crop

Billotto

Well-Known Member
I use a refrigerator in my basement. First, I trim the bud while wet and leave it on the branches, and then arrange them in a vase or other container, and let them sit in the refrigerator in the vase like a bunch of flowers, for about a week or more. When they seem dry on the outside, I cut them off the branches and put them in paper bags for a week, in the refrigerator. The last step is to put the buds in a CV vault with Boveda paks and a hygrometer and they cure over several weeks. Jars would work as well, with Boveda packs. This is easy and slow and for me, produces perfect buds.
Thx for sharing. I might just employ this technique. ;)
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
I use a refrigerator in my basement. First, I trim the bud while wet and leave it on the branches, and then arrange them in a vase or other container, and let them sit in the refrigerator in the vase like a bunch of flowers, for about a week or more. When they seem dry on the outside, I cut them off the branches and put them in paper bags for a week, in the refrigerator. The last step is to put the buds in a CV vault with Boveda paks and a hygrometer and they cure over several weeks. Jars would work as well, with Boveda packs. This is easy and slow and for me, produces perfect buds.
Is the refrigerator plugged in or not? You did not mention that unless I missed it.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
I assume plugged in. It would stay cooler and also be getting rid of excess moisture.

I know....never assume:17:
I had to do some quicker than I wanted harvest on the plants up at the farm. It will be taking up more room than I have available to dry them so maybe using the fridge in the back room is a possibility. I will shove some of the craft beer off to one side and put the branches from one of the plants in there to see what happens.
 

Pinktiger777

Well-Known Member
Is the refrigerator plugged in or not? You did not mention that unless I missed it.
Of course it is plugged in. It's a frost free refrigerator, and it does a good job of slow drying the weed. However, you have to check it all the time so it doesn't get too dry, too fast.
I like it to have a relative humidity of about 68 when I jar it. I use a canna vault, with a hygrometer. To test it, when it seems dry after about 10 days or so, put it in the CV with the hygrometer and close it up (at room temperature) for a day, then check.
 

Pinktiger777

Well-Known Member
Why does outdoor cannabis always smell like wet hay.
Actually, indoor and outdoor smells like cut hay at first. It takes time to cure it and make it smell right. I can always tell if weed is not properly cured, because of the hay smell.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
Of course it is plugged in. It's a frost free refrigerator, and it does a good job of slow drying the weed. However, you have to check it all the time so it doesn't get too dry, too fast.
Over the years I have found it best to ask. Especially because of what you just mentioned, the frost free part. For all we know some people might use the type of fridge which is not frost free just to reduce the frequent air movement which can quickly dry out some green vegetation.

But, I have to many refrigerator pickles, fermented vegetables, eggs, and beer, of course, in the back room fridge so I am back to drying the old fashioned way.;)

It is all good. And a great day.
 

FurballDaddy

Active Member
Thx for sharing. I might just employ this technique. ;)
I use a refrigerator in my basement. First, I trim the bud while wet and leave it on the branches, and then arrange them in a vase or other container, and let them sit in the refrigerator in the vase like a bunch of flowers, for about a week or more. When they seem dry on the outside, I cut them off the branches and put them in paper bags for a week, in the refrigerator. The last step is to put the buds in a CV vault with Boveda paks and a hygrometer and they cure over several weeks. Jars would work as well, with Boveda packs. This is easy and slow and for me, produces perfect buds.

I like this idea, will be something to try when i get to that stage
 

Ronbo

Active Member
How To Cure Your Marijuana Crop

Once you have learned how to grow a crop the next step is to cure it. You don't want to always smoke weed that's harsh and bad tasting. Here are some basic tips and a few advanced ones you can experiment with. Preparing the harvest curing the crop adding flavors.

Preparing The Harvest
Curing your harvest is an important step in the cultivation process. Many new growers are so eager to try the product they don't even wait for it to mature. They cut off buds that aren't ripe and dry them out fast.

I've heard of people putting buds in the microwave because they couldn't wait for them to dry. If taste, aroma and maximum potency is important to you then you want to cure your buds and not just dry them.

There are many ways to do this and I'm just going to go over a few basic things. You can find whole books on the subject if you are interested. See the bottom of this page for books.

The First Steps.
Preparations must be made well before curing begins. The experienced grower harvests his crop when 50 to 80% of the pistles have turned color.

If you have grown out the strain before you have a good idea when they will be ready. You will need to clear the plants of nutrients (fertilizer) right before you harvest.

The growing medium and the plants themselves store some of the nutes you have given them. This will give a nasty taste if you harvest without clearing it out. Excessive nutes will also make the buds hard to burn.

Plants need fertilizer to grow and mature so you want to wait right before you are going to harvest and give them plain water. They will use up the ferts they have stored and will not slow down noticeably.

If you are using hydro start clearing 3 to 7 days before harvest. This can be done by changing the solution and using only plain water. Some growers will change the solution twice because the rockwool or grow rocks may hold a little.

With soil you need to change to plain water at least a week and preferably two weeks before harvest depending on how much soil in each pot.

Don't use slow release ferts because they are very hard to clear out. Outdoor farmers who need to use slow release can time it and use just liquid ferts toward the end.

So now you have harvested right at the peak. You cleared out the nutes beforehand and you have fragrant, spicy highly potent buds you want to preserve. The most important thing is that they must be dried.

Mold is your biggest enemy once you harvest. If you have excessive moisture in the grow room you may have battled mold well before harvest and afterwards it's even more difficult.

The trick is to dry them slowly so that certain biochemical processes can go on but not so slowly that mold can get a foot hold. The key is to control humidity.

A good cure can last up to 8 weeks or more and will leave you with a stash that's tasty and fragrant and which has lost none of it's potency. A poor cure will leave you with nasty tasting bud that's harsh on the throat. A poor cure can even cost you your harvest.

Curing The Crop
Immediately after the harvest comes the cure. The reasons for curing and not just quick drying your crop are to make the herb sweet smelling and smokable.

You want it mild not harsh and you want a good smell and flavor. After all that work don't ruin it with a too quick cure. A good cure lasts for from 3 to 8 weeks but good results can be had in two weeks or so.

The idea is to remove the water slowly enough to let biological processes take place that convert the sugars and starches into harmless and flavorful compounds. Sugar or starch will give a harsh smoke that hurts the lungs.

Plants need sugars to live on and they produce them from fertilizer and sunlight. This curing process also breaks down some of the chlorophyll which give herb it's green color. Too much chlorophyll gives an unwanted leafy taste.

Your main enemy when you are curing is mold. After pot is dried it's not very susceptible to mold but you have to maintain a certain level of humidity to let the curing process do it's work.

The way you control humidity is by controlling how much ventilation you allow. You want some ventilation but not too much.

Too much and it dries out without curing properly, too little ventilation and you may get mold. If you see or smell the slightest sign of mold you must immediately stop the cure and let it dry out.

If mold is unchecked it can destroy your crop in short order. Mold can be detected by sight and smell.

It looks white usually and will be fuzzy. If you see it in one part you can be sure the spores are all over so you may as well let it dry.

Mold also has an odor which is always nasty. Never never smoke herb that has mold on it. You want to avoid light and heat at all times with your crop after it has been harvested.

Light will destroy it and temps over about 80 degrees are bad. The best place to store it is in the freezer or fridge. If that's not practical a cool dry dark place will do.

You need an enclosure to put your crop in for the cure. Depending on the size of you crop you can use a cardboard box, a closet or an unused room.

With the cardboard box you want to hang the plants from a string. Don't just dump everything into the box because the plants on the bottom won't get enough air and may turn moldy.

I used to put string across the open top of the box and tape the ends to the outside. I would crisscross several strings and attach the plants with twist ties. Make sure the box is tall enough for your plants. If it's not tall enough you can cut the plant in half or even cut off each branch and hang it in the box.

The plants or branches should be loose and have some space between it and the next. It doesn't take a lot of space just as long as air can circulate. With a closet you do the same thing.

You might want to put nails or thumbtacks in the walls for the strings or the clothes hanger bar may be enough. If you use a whole room you need to set up something to keep the plants hanging upside down off the floor.

The first few days you allow more ventilation and as the plants get dryer you allow less. In the box leave the top off, with the closet leave the door open and if you use the whole room leave the door open and use a fan to blow air in.

After one or two days you will have lost a good bit of moisture and you can begin to restrict air flow.

I used to put a section of newspaper over the top not quite covering the whole top of the cardboard box. As the cure progressed I would cover the top more and more.

As soon as the leaves began to get stiff I'd cover the top completely. They still got a little air because the newspaper was not airtight.

With a closet after a day or two close the door all except for a couple inches. As the cure progresses and the plants get drier, close the door altogether. Almost all closets have cracks around the door that air can come through. If you have a very large closet treat it like a room.

When using a whole room to cure, after a day or two of letting the fan blow air in, close the door part way.

With the room cure it's a good idea to have a fan inside moving the air around and another fan in the doorway blowing fresh air in. Watch the plants very closely to see how fast they are drying.

As soon as you notice a little bit of stiffness to the stems they have lost probably 50% of their moisture. When the leaves start to get a little bit crisp you have lost most of the excess moisture and you must restrict ventilation some more.

Using a whole room at this point you turn off the fan blowing air in but you leave the door open a little. You never cut off ventilation completely because mold is a threat right up until the end.

The leaves should start to get a little crisp after a week or two. If it happens sooner you may be using too much ventilation and should cut back.

Along about this time you should notice a very nice smell. This is the curing smell and it smells a little like baking bread along with a piney or fruity or skunky smell from the pot.

This is the nice smell you want your herb to have. If you notice the least bit of a nasty or rotten smell it is probably mold and you need to check very closely.

After the leaves start to get a little stiff and you have restricted the air flow it takes anywhere from a week to 6 week more to finish it. When to stop is up to you.

You might want to decide by the color of the herb. It gets less green as it goes along. Buds will retain the green color longer than will the leaves.

Buds may still be green at the end of the cure but not quite as bright a shade of green. You will be the proud possessor of a stash of sweet smoking, good tasting buds without the harshness of fresh cured smoke.

Adding Flavors
People pay a lot of money to get seeds they think will grow pot that smells like blueberries or chocolate or something else.

Often these strains are hard to grow or may not be as potent or high yielding as other less expensive varieties.

People want to know if orange bud smells and tastes like an orange. With the proper techniques you can make your favorite variety smell and often times taste like anything you want.

You want to do this without ruining the cure. It's no point having blueberry pot that burns your throat or doesn't get you high. Do not pour any syrup or similar flavorings on your pot. The sugar will make it very harsh and you are inviting mold. There are better ways.

The best flavor enhancing starts while the plant is still growing. You can do a certain amount while it's curing and you can even affect the smell/flavor somewhat after it's been cured.

There are two main approaches, inside out and outside in. You can apply flavors inside the plant while it's still growing and you can try to add flavors after it's been harvested but this is from the outside.

Anything you put in your plants water will affect the taste of the finished product particularly if you harvest it right afterwards.

I learned this about 20 years ago the hard way. I fertilized using fish emulsion right before I topped the plant. Bad move! The resulting top smelled like fish and had a foul taste.

What you want to do is select a flavoring that is very concentrated. Lets take orange for an example. You could use orange juice but if you could find concentrated orange extract you would have less pulp etc to deal with. You will find some concentrated flavor extracts in the grocery store.

Want your pot to smell like vanilla? Vanilla extract is cheap and readily available, so is lemon extract (cooking variety). Other extracts can be found in stores that specialize in baking supplies.

Lets say you can't find any of that and you want to use what you have on hand. I took the example of orange flavoring. If all you have is orange juice you could use that.

I would suggest filtering it first to get out as much of the pulp as possible. A coffee filter works well but it'll take a while to filter it all.

You may have to change filters a few times. Those with hydroponic units will shudder at the thought of a lot of goop going through their system. That's why I suggested the concentrated extracts if you can find them.

It's important to do this shortly before harvest. For one thing, most extracts including the ones you make up yourself have a lot of sugar in them. This sugar will ferment and decay rapidly, even more so in a hydro unit.

With hydro I recommend putting the flavoring in the water between 1 and 3 hours before harvest. This rule isn't set in stone but I heard from one grower who used a sugar based clearing solution on his crop and less than 24 hours later the water was foaming from bacteria growth.

Plants draw up solution fairly quickly so one hour should be enough for some of the flavoring to reach the top.

Three hours should not be enough time for bacteria to grow but you will want to dump out the solution right afterwards and clean out your unit.

Remember to use plain water for a few days before harvesting your hydro crop so all that will be in the water will be the flavoring.

If you are a soil grower it's even easier. You might think it would take longer for the flavor to work it's way through the plant but this is not the case.

All you have to do is let the plant dry out a little before your apply the solution. In other words schedule a watering just before harvest.

Naturally you were giving your plants plain water for several days to a week or two before harvest weren't you? Give the plant the water with the flavor when it's a little bit thirsty and it will draw it right up. One hour is more than enough time for this to happen.

After harvest it's important to give it a good cure as I described last week. Resist the temptation to fast dry some of the weed to try it out. You will find it's even more harsh than it would be normally because you have added some sugar to the plant by way of the flavoring.

The curing process will take care of the extra sugar and give you nice mild smoke. It will also have the flavor and aroma you are looking for.

I'm sure I will get a deluge of email asking me what the exact formula is for the flavoring. I can hear it now "how many drops of Bosco per gallon?" First of all, I don't know what you want.

You may want something that smells exactly like an orange or a blueberry and doesn't smell at all like pot.

As far as I know that's not possible. You would probably ruin the pot if you succeeded. What some people think is a nice hint of strawberry may be way too strong to the next person.

What one grower thinks is very blueberry may not smell or taste like blueberry to his friend. I suggest that you don't treat your whole crop this way while you are experimenting. Dirt growers will find this easy because they could use something different in each pot.

Hydro people may want to isolate a plant or two with the solution. This wouldn't be very hard because you wouldn't need circulation for the short period of time it would be soaking in it.

Other things you could try are guava, pineapple, grapefruit, passion fruit, cherry, mint or even pina colada. Stronger and more concentrated flavorings will have a more pronounced effect than more dilute products.

You may need gallons of orange juice to get what you want but a half ounce of concentrated strawberry essence might do the job nicely.

I may start collecting recipes and have an issue of the SU devoted to peoples favorite recipes sometime in the future. In short, experiment and see what works for you.

The other approach is to use something in the curing process. People have had good results with orange peel, lemon peel or other citrus peels.

This will only give a bit of odor, it's not as strong a technique as the previous one I mentioned. For those who just want a hint of something this may work fine.

It's important to watch very closely for mold when curing. The moisture from the peels may promote mold if you're not careful. Let the herb dry for a day or two before you add the peels This might work a little bit with pot that's already cured and dried but it's less effective at that point.

Author: GreenMan
I realize this is an old post but I need to ask. How do you know when it is dried and ready to cure... Is there a sure fire sign?
 

AdaminCO

Well-Known Member
I realize this is an old post but I need to ask. How do you know when it is dried and ready to cure... Is there a sure fire sign?
When the stems crack but not break.
Look into Boveda 62s and you won’t need to worry so much with cure.
 

AdaminCO

Well-Known Member
Here’s the process I followed.
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
Copy and paste of an article that I've found the easiest to follow. I am not the author.



Curing your post harvest blues..
Ah yes. Harvest time has come. The buds are swollen, the trichomes are the exact color you have been waiting for. The smell is rich, and soon becomes almost overpowering as you tear into that first bud with shiny new scissors. Not too many of us really like big trim jobs, but we endure. We endure because we know that in a few short weeks we will be enjoying the fruits of our beloved labor.

Of course, we all know that this is not the finish line. On the contrary, this is only the beginning of the race...



The Cure
Oh yes, the cure. Many times has this been judged the most important part of the growing experience, and with good standing reason. This is the point where all our patience and skill will shine through, or take a dive into the miserable oblivian of smoking mere mediocre herb. Botch things here and it will all be for not. Though a perfect cure can help cover up some small discrepancies during your grow, having the best growing conditions on earth will not earn you a free pass through this hallowed gate my friend.

So, how's your cure? Perfect? Consistantly perfect? Are you a Cure Master? Hmm.. Prove it. What?

Did you know that your cure can be broken down into a mathematical equation? What if I told you that you can attain the perfect cure, the best cure possible, every single harvest? And what if it was as easy as painting by numbers? And what if this could totally affect the way you cure, wether you are a newbie, or an old seasoned head?

The following is not something I discovered myself. I was first introduced to it from a guy named Simon. All though he initially taylored it to cannabis he, of course, didn't really discover it either. We most likey owe that to producers of tobacco. Their techniques are somewhat different but since they are curing a plant intended for smoking..... Well, it's just simply a matter of numbers.. I have, in turn, borrowed this concept and brought it here. I have eliminated what I deemed unneccessary and added some of my own insights/experiences. I have also condensed the original information the best I could (as it was quite haphazardly introduced, and many facts/ideas were addressed in later installments) in my own words (which has, in turn, increased greatly in size), but all credit must be afforded Simon for bringing these techniques, in their raw form, to public scrutiny. This, by no means, suggests that the work (either the original, or here) is complete. There are assuredly many more facts, discoveries and techniques left to be uncovered. That said, let's begin..

Cannabis is an annual weed. It's purpose in life is singular and pure: Continued propagation. The female cannabis plant, through it's propagating qualities is naturally the ultimate focuse of this forum, along with many others just like it. In order for the female cannabis plant to fulfill her destiny, and to fill our jars, like all life on earth she needs water. Her flowering buds are full of it. It is the point of drying them to release this water. The cure, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. In contrast, the cure is an attempt to delay this release of water over time. It is this juggling act that is in dire need of deciphering and it is this thread that will show exactly how it is done. It is said that the bud of a cannabis plant continues to live for a certain amount of time after it is cut from it's stem ( per Ed Rosenthal), in some cases a couple of days. I personally think this is crazy. This is akin to cutting off a chickens head. A lot of good it did the chicken.. Unless your bud has the ability to sprout instant roots and walk itself to an empty pot it is, for all intensive purposes, d, e, a, d, dead. This, by no means, insinuates that there are not living cells and processes to be found, but without the ability to replenish water, the drying has begun. Even though the bud has begun it's dry cycle, there is still plenty of water in it to allow various cells to continue to function. Since the main stem has been cut they have no choice but to pull water and nutrients (in the form of clorophyl and other complex carbohydrates) from stores in the bud and process them into simple carbohydrates (simple sugars) in order to continue to function normally. The more complex carbohydrates that are broken down and the more simple carbohydrates that are used and the more moisture that is lost, the better your buds will be. Within this process is the secret to the perfect cure..


First we will break it down into phases. This seems easiest as you can refer back to any point of the cure by phase. Try to think of it like landing an airplane...

Phase one: The dry. This is kind of like preparing to land. The first thing you want to do is come to altitude and lower your landing gear. Basically, once you cut your bud, you need to decide what to do with it. Most of us go ahead and trim it now. Once it is trimmed to our liking, the bud is hung to dry.

Phase two: The pre-cure. This is somewhat like landing your airplane. The trick is to set it down on the runway at just the right angle as you begin to reduce your speed. This is where the mathematics come into play. What you are looking for here is the "feel". When your hanging bud begins to "feel" like it is drying out, but the stems are still flexible, it is time to jar. Don't worry, we will revisit this phase in more detail in a bit..

Phase three: The cure. Now your airplane is on the runway. This is where you are focusing on your instruments and applying the brakes. This is the actual part of the cure. It is a benefit to keep your bud in this stage for as long as possible. Actually, this may be a little misleading as some folks may like some cures better than others. In other words, this is the point where smells and flavors can change drastically. Depending on what it is you are after will dictate exactly how long you keep this phase in check. But only you can decide what you like.

Phase four: Storage. Well, the flight is over, time to put the airplane away. We have finally reached a point where the curing process has greatly slowed down and it is safe to store your bud.



Hygrometer is needed.

Phase one. 70% RH:
This starts out just like any other time you have done it. Once you have harvested your bud and trimmed it to your liking, hang it in a cool dark place. This is where we will part from tradition. Allow it to hang until the buds begin to feel like they are drying (note the temps and rh as this will rarely be the same during subsequent harvests). They will start to lose their "softness" in favor of a slightly crispy texture. We don't want to allow it to dry until the stems snap. THIS IS WRONG! We want the stems to be flexible. Not totally soft, but not snapping, either. If allowed to dry until the stems snap we risk it drying too much and losing an opportunity to take full advantage of the cure window. You see once the bud reaches the 55% RH range, the cure is dead. No amount of moisture added will revive this. If you are a brown bag dryer you can still use this technique, although I no longer do. I feel it is unneccessary at this point in the drying process. Just make sure you do not over dry. Also, this is a perfect time to calibrate your hygrometers with your new calibrating kit. This phase may take anywhere from 2 to 7 days depending on ambient temp, RH and strain, etc. It is important to be right on top of this phase. Sometimes we will notice thinner stemmed buds getting done quicker. It is ok to take these first and put them in the jar. Just screw the cap on very loosely until the bulk of the bud joins it.



Phase two. 65%+ to 70%RH: This is where the numbers game begins to kick in. Once you have reached the crispy bud/flexible stem stage, it is time to jar it up. Now there are a few options here.. Really you can jar it up just like always. Only, fill your jar 3/4 to 4/5 full so you have room to use your hygrometer. You can leave it on the stem, stem free, whatever. I personally prefer it in it's finished state, no stems. You can leave just a few stems intact for the sake of testing stem flexibility. Also, with more stems comes more moisture. This may fit well with your style, but it also may play havoc if mold is present. Once your bud is in the jar drop in the hygrometer and cap it. Keep an eye on your meter for the next hour or so. What we are shooting for in this phase is 70% RH maximum. If you hit 71% or greater, you will have to take the bud out to dry more. If this seems a little tricky here, it is. The cure, even though we are still in the dry phase, has been happening to a small degree since the moment the bud was cut. Basically now we are juggling time with mold prevention. We want to avoid any instance of mold, but we want to get every second of cure time in that we can. The goal in this phase is to start at a 70% maximum RH and, in a timely and mold free manner, bring the RH down to about 65%. The reason I say "about" is that if there is an issue with mold (i.e. the crop was exposed to heavy mold before and/or during harvest) we may chose to take the RH even lower, like 62%. This won't leave a huge window for curing, but it will keep the bud safe. Ideally, however, 65% will do. Generally you can tell pretty quickly if the bud is still too wet as the hygrometer % will climb pretty quickly (rate: 1% per hour or faster). You will also notice, at this point, that the bud will feel "wetter". That's ok. The reason for this is that while the exposed part of the bud began to dry quicker than the inside during phase one, the inside of the bud and stems retained a good deal of their moisture. Once in the jars (phase two) that moisture can no longer be efficiently evaperated off and moved to a different area, being replaced by dryer air. Once you have determined the RH, which may take up to 24 hours, you can begin burping the jars. This can be done at a rate of one to two hours once or twice a day, depending on initial RH reading. Your room RH, temp, strain, exposure to mold and hygro readings will dictate this for you and wether to go faster or slower. Slower is always better, but precipitating factors, as stated, may trump this.. Also, at the end of this stage is where most commercial bud will hit the open market, if you are lucky. The bud at this stage should have that super sticky icky velvety feel and the 'bag appeal' will be at it's very highest.





Phase three, 60% to 65% RH: Your buds are in the jar and RH is 65% or less. Perfect. The object of the game, as stated before, is to slowly release the moisture from the jar over time. Your buds are now in the cure zone. At this point we are looking for a much slower release than phase two and will shift to a short burp once a week. Your buds will deliver a nice smoke at around 60%, so the speed at which this is done (which translates directly to duration of burpage) is entirely up to you. It is at this stage that small stems should snap in two. It is also in this stage that you will meet true stability, or equalization, in RH. What that means is that the amount of moisture in the stems is no longer disproportionate to the buds, and moisture transfer or persperation (sweat) slows dramatically. This also means it will take much longer to get a true reading from your Hygrometer. A true reading at this point might take up to 36 hours, but that's ok.

So, do you know what your idea of a perfect smoking bud is? If you have followed the phases as you have read them, then this is the stage where you can find out. It may be as specific as a stationary RH value, or even a "window" between different values. Everyone one should know there ideal smoking range. I prefer mine on a slightly dryer cure, say between 55 to 57%.




Phase four - 55%+ to 60%RH: Even though a true cure is far from over, your buds are truly ready to smoke if you wish. They are also ready to face long term storage. As stated before, the cure dies at -55%. It's ok for the cure to be dead if you have reached your desired cure level as later remoisturing can easily bring that bud back into your prefered smoking range. But, you can also continue the cure for long time periods and the trick to this is to stay above the 55% level. Unfortunately even claimed 'air tight' jars will allow bud to continue losing moisture over time. The trick here is to guarantee air tightness. Simon has suggested that he jars in air tight jars and double vacuum bags it as a way to ensure cure integrity. I am less picky. It is a good idea, though not neccessary, to leave a hygro in the jar and check it from time to time. I would start with once a week for the first month then, if everything is stable, once every month after that should suffice.

-end article
 

Ganja Goose

Active Member
I use a refrigerator in my basement. First, I trim the bud while wet and leave it on the branches, and then arrange them in a vase or other container, and let them sit in the refrigerator in the vase like a bunch of flowers, for about a week or more. When they seem dry on the outside, I cut them off the branches and put them in paper bags for a week, in the refrigerator. The last step is to put the buds in a CV vault with Boveda paks and a hygrometer and they cure over several weeks. Jars would work as well, with Boveda packs. This is easy and slow and for me, produces perfect buds.

Hi again @Pinktiger777,

As you can tell I'm preparing for my upcoming dry and cure and I came across your process you use. I have a bar fridge which sits at 71% RF and 65F which sounds like it might work well. I'm interested to know what the humidity levels are at before and after your final step of the CV vault?

GG
 

Pinktiger777

Well-Known Member
Hi again @Pinktiger777,

As you can tell I'm preparing for my upcoming dry and cure and I came across your process you use. I have a bar fridge which sits at 71% RF and 65F which sounds like it might work well. I'm interested to know what the humidity levels are at before and after your final step of the CV vault?

GG
Okay. I don’t put them in the vault until they are pretty dry. I prefer to dry them slowly, in the fridge, but you cannot just put them in there without being in a bag,after the first week just sitting in the bucket. Sometimes I use a cardboard box. The refrigerator evaporates the moisture, but you want this to be a slow process.
I test the humidity by putting a few buds in a small CannaVault with a hygrometer and checking it after a few hours. If it is more than 68%, back in the fridge for a few days. I’m not sure a bar fridge will work. The RH concerns me. Perfect RH for cured bud is 58-62%.
 
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Pinktiger777

Well-Known Member
Is the refrigerator plugged in or not? You did not mention that unless I missed it.
I hope you are joking.
But if not, a frost free fridge is required and yes, it should be plugged in for it to work properly.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
I've seen videos where the stems of cut flowers were placed in a solution containing a fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark dye and after a time the plants shone in the presence of a black light.

I would consider doing something like that to a cannabis plant a parlor-trick with no value. As for using something to change - notice I didn't use the word "enhance" - the flavor of cannabis... With probably 2000+ strains out there, you can grow the strain that has the flavor you like best anyway. Who'd want to pollute the scent/taste of good cannabis with an adulterant?
Truth !!
 

QA1142

Active Member
How To Cure Your Marijuana Crop

Once you have learned how to grow a crop the next step is to cure it. You don't want to always smoke weed that's harsh and bad tasting. Here are some basic tips and a few advanced ones you can experiment with. Preparing the harvest curing the crop adding flavors.

Preparing The Harvest
Curing your harvest is an important step in the cultivation process. Many new growers are so eager to try the product they don't even wait for it to mature. They cut off buds that aren't ripe and dry them out fast.

I've heard of people putting buds in the microwave because they couldn't wait for them to dry. If taste, aroma and maximum potency is important to you then you want to cure your buds and not just dry them.

There are many ways to do this and I'm just going to go over a few basic things. You can find whole books on the subject if you are interested. See the bottom of this page for books.

The First Steps.
Preparations must be made well before curing begins. The experienced grower harvests his crop when 50 to 80% of the pistles have turned color.

If you have grown out the strain before you have a good idea when they will be ready. You will need to clear the plants of nutrients (fertilizer) right before you harvest.

The growing medium and the plants themselves store some of the nutes you have given them. This will give a nasty taste if you harvest without clearing it out. Excessive nutes will also make the buds hard to burn.

Plants need fertilizer to grow and mature so you want to wait right before you are going to harvest and give them plain water. They will use up the ferts they have stored and will not slow down noticeably.

If you are using hydro start clearing 3 to 7 days before harvest. This can be done by changing the solution and using only plain water. Some growers will change the solution twice because the rockwool or grow rocks may hold a little.

With soil you need to change to plain water at least a week and preferably two weeks before harvest depending on how much soil in each pot.

Don't use slow release ferts because they are very hard to clear out. Outdoor farmers who need to use slow release can time it and use just liquid ferts toward the end.

So now you have harvested right at the peak. You cleared out the nutes beforehand and you have fragrant, spicy highly potent buds you want to preserve. The most important thing is that they must be dried.

Mold is your biggest enemy once you harvest. If you have excessive moisture in the grow room you may have battled mold well before harvest and afterwards it's even more difficult.

The trick is to dry them slowly so that certain biochemical processes can go on but not so slowly that mold can get a foot hold. The key is to control humidity.

A good cure can last up to 8 weeks or more and will leave you with a stash that's tasty and fragrant and which has lost none of it's potency. A poor cure will leave you with nasty tasting bud that's harsh on the throat. A poor cure can even cost you your harvest.

Curing The Crop
Immediately after the harvest comes the cure. The reasons for curing and not just quick drying your crop are to make the herb sweet smelling and smokable.

You want it mild not harsh and you want a good smell and flavor. After all that work don't ruin it with a too quick cure. A good cure lasts for from 3 to 8 weeks but good results can be had in two weeks or so.

The idea is to remove the water slowly enough to let biological processes take place that convert the sugars and starches into harmless and flavorful compounds. Sugar or starch will give a harsh smoke that hurts the lungs.

Plants need sugars to live on and they produce them from fertilizer and sunlight. This curing process also breaks down some of the chlorophyll which give herb it's green color. Too much chlorophyll gives an unwanted leafy taste.

Your main enemy when you are curing is mold. After pot is dried it's not very susceptible to mold but you have to maintain a certain level of humidity to let the curing process do it's work.

The way you control humidity is by controlling how much ventilation you allow. You want some ventilation but not too much.

Too much and it dries out without curing properly, too little ventilation and you may get mold. If you see or smell the slightest sign of mold you must immediately stop the cure and let it dry out.

If mold is unchecked it can destroy your crop in short order. Mold can be detected by sight and smell.

It looks white usually and will be fuzzy. If you see it in one part you can be sure the spores are all over so you may as well let it dry.

Mold also has an odor which is always nasty. Never never smoke herb that has mold on it. You want to avoid light and heat at all times with your crop after it has been harvested.

Light will destroy it and temps over about 80 degrees are bad. The best place to store it is in the freezer or fridge. If that's not practical a cool dry dark place will do.

You need an enclosure to put your crop in for the cure. Depending on the size of you crop you can use a cardboard box, a closet or an unused room.

With the cardboard box you want to hang the plants from a string. Don't just dump everything into the box because the plants on the bottom won't get enough air and may turn moldy.

I used to put string across the open top of the box and tape the ends to the outside. I would crisscross several strings and attach the plants with twist ties. Make sure the box is tall enough for your plants. If it's not tall enough you can cut the plant in half or even cut off each branch and hang it in the box.

The plants or branches should be loose and have some space between it and the next. It doesn't take a lot of space just as long as air can circulate. With a closet you do the same thing.

You might want to put nails or thumbtacks in the walls for the strings or the clothes hanger bar may be enough. If you use a whole room you need to set up something to keep the plants hanging upside down off the floor.

The first few days you allow more ventilation and as the plants get dryer you allow less. In the box leave the top off, with the closet leave the door open and if you use the whole room leave the door open and use a fan to blow air in.

After one or two days you will have lost a good bit of moisture and you can begin to restrict air flow.

I used to put a section of newspaper over the top not quite covering the whole top of the cardboard box. As the cure progressed I would cover the top more and more.

As soon as the leaves began to get stiff I'd cover the top completely. They still got a little air because the newspaper was not airtight.

With a closet after a day or two close the door all except for a couple inches. As the cure progresses and the plants get drier, close the door altogether. Almost all closets have cracks around the door that air can come through. If you have a very large closet treat it like a room.

When using a whole room to cure, after a day or two of letting the fan blow air in, close the door part way.

With the room cure it's a good idea to have a fan inside moving the air around and another fan in the doorway blowing fresh air in. Watch the plants very closely to see how fast they are drying.

As soon as you notice a little bit of stiffness to the stems they have lost probably 50% of their moisture. When the leaves start to get a little bit crisp you have lost most of the excess moisture and you must restrict ventilation some more.

Using a whole room at this point you turn off the fan blowing air in but you leave the door open a little. You never cut off ventilation completely because mold is a threat right up until the end.

The leaves should start to get a little crisp after a week or two. If it happens sooner you may be using too much ventilation and should cut back.

Along about this time you should notice a very nice smell. This is the curing smell and it smells a little like baking bread along with a piney or fruity or skunky smell from the pot.

This is the nice smell you want your herb to have. If you notice the least bit of a nasty or rotten smell it is probably mold and you need to check very closely.

After the leaves start to get a little stiff and you have restricted the air flow it takes anywhere from a week to 6 week more to finish it. When to stop is up to you.

You might want to decide by the color of the herb. It gets less green as it goes along. Buds will retain the green color longer than will the leaves.

Buds may still be green at the end of the cure but not quite as bright a shade of green. You will be the proud possessor of a stash of sweet smoking, good tasting buds without the harshness of fresh cured smoke.

Adding Flavors
People pay a lot of money to get seeds they think will grow pot that smells like blueberries or chocolate or something else.

Often these strains are hard to grow or may not be as potent or high yielding as other less expensive varieties.

People want to know if orange bud smells and tastes like an orange. With the proper techniques you can make your favorite variety smell and often times taste like anything you want.

You want to do this without ruining the cure. It's no point having blueberry pot that burns your throat or doesn't get you high. Do not pour any syrup or similar flavorings on your pot. The sugar will make it very harsh and you are inviting mold. There are better ways.

The best flavor enhancing starts while the plant is still growing. You can do a certain amount while it's curing and you can even affect the smell/flavor somewhat after it's been cured.

There are two main approaches, inside out and outside in. You can apply flavors inside the plant while it's still growing and you can try to add flavors after it's been harvested but this is from the outside.

Anything you put in your plants water will affect the taste of the finished product particularly if you harvest it right afterwards.

I learned this about 20 years ago the hard way. I fertilized using fish emulsion right before I topped the plant. Bad move! The resulting top smelled like fish and had a foul taste.

What you want to do is select a flavoring that is very concentrated. Lets take orange for an example. You could use orange juice but if you could find concentrated orange extract you would have less pulp etc to deal with. You will find some concentrated flavor extracts in the grocery store.

Want your pot to smell like vanilla? Vanilla extract is cheap and readily available, so is lemon extract (cooking variety). Other extracts can be found in stores that specialize in baking supplies.

Lets say you can't find any of that and you want to use what you have on hand. I took the example of orange flavoring. If all you have is orange juice you could use that.

I would suggest filtering it first to get out as much of the pulp as possible. A coffee filter works well but it'll take a while to filter it all.

You may have to change filters a few times. Those with hydroponic units will shudder at the thought of a lot of goop going through their system. That's why I suggested the concentrated extracts if you can find them.

It's important to do this shortly before harvest. For one thing, most extracts including the ones you make up yourself have a lot of sugar in them. This sugar will ferment and decay rapidly, even more so in a hydro unit.

With hydro I recommend putting the flavoring in the water between 1 and 3 hours before harvest. This rule isn't set in stone but I heard from one grower who used a sugar based clearing solution on his crop and less than 24 hours later the water was foaming from bacteria growth.

Plants draw up solution fairly quickly so one hour should be enough for some of the flavoring to reach the top.

Three hours should not be enough time for bacteria to grow but you will want to dump out the solution right afterwards and clean out your unit.

Remember to use plain water for a few days before harvesting your hydro crop so all that will be in the water will be the flavoring.

If you are a soil grower it's even easier. You might think it would take longer for the flavor to work it's way through the plant but this is not the case.

All you have to do is let the plant dry out a little before your apply the solution. In other words schedule a watering just before harvest.

Naturally you were giving your plants plain water for several days to a week or two before harvest weren't you? Give the plant the water with the flavor when it's a little bit thirsty and it will draw it right up. One hour is more than enough time for this to happen.

After harvest it's important to give it a good cure as I described last week. Resist the temptation to fast dry some of the weed to try it out. You will find it's even more harsh than it would be normally because you have added some sugar to the plant by way of the flavoring.

The curing process will take care of the extra sugar and give you nice mild smoke. It will also have the flavor and aroma you are looking for.

I'm sure I will get a deluge of email asking me what the exact formula is for the flavoring. I can hear it now "how many drops of Bosco per gallon?" First of all, I don't know what you want.

You may want something that smells exactly like an orange or a blueberry and doesn't smell at all like pot.

As far as I know that's not possible. You would probably ruin the pot if you succeeded. What some people think is a nice hint of strawberry may be way too strong to the next person.

What one grower thinks is very blueberry may not smell or taste like blueberry to his friend. I suggest that you don't treat your whole crop this way while you are experimenting. Dirt growers will find this easy because they could use something different in each pot.

Hydro people may want to isolate a plant or two with the solution. This wouldn't be very hard because you wouldn't need circulation for the short period of time it would be soaking in it.

Other things you could try are guava, pineapple, grapefruit, passion fruit, cherry, mint or even pina colada. Stronger and more concentrated flavorings will have a more pronounced effect than more dilute products.

You may need gallons of orange juice to get what you want but a half ounce of concentrated strawberry essence might do the job nicely.

I may start collecting recipes and have an issue of the SU devoted to peoples favorite recipes sometime in the future. In short, experiment and see what works for you.

The other approach is to use something in the curing process. People have had good results with orange peel, lemon peel or other citrus peels.

This will only give a bit of odor, it's not as strong a technique as the previous one I mentioned. For those who just want a hint of something this may work fine.

It's important to watch very closely for mold when curing. The moisture from the peels may promote mold if you're not careful. Let the herb dry for a day or two before you add the peels This might work a little bit with pot that's already cured and dried but it's less effective at that point.

Author: GreenMan
Can we add and expand this thread? Curing is 100% as important as the grow.
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
Can we add and expand this thread? Curing is 100% as important as the grow.
The thread was started in 2009, it's been added to and expanded over the last 11 years with different methods...
 

QA1142

Active Member
The thread was started in 2009, it's been added to and expanded over the last 11 years with different methods...
Guess I need to work in navigation....
 
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