Greetings all - first post in here though I have lurked in these forums quite a while . I am in the process of setting up a grow room and will contribute pictures etc. as the project comes along but I thought I might make a post on preservation of product as my research has shown me some interesting things I thought might be worth sharing.
I will detail as much as I can in hopes that it helps and that someone might add to my madness I plan on growing sufficient volumes that will require some time of longer term storage to protect my precious bud.
I commonly see people storing their product in plastic barriers (bags) or glass jars and refrigerating for further preservation. Though sufficient if done properly, I wanted a system that could extend shelf life and quality into terms of years and have been reading extensively on food preservation techniques etc. I think the methods I will be using may seem to be overkill, but I feel the benefits will far outweigh the pita factors. This process I plan to use after the proper drying and curing of the product.
I plan on canning my pot in an argon MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) scenario with the addition of oxygen absorbing tabs - followed by sub freezing refrigeration. I'm sure most of you think at this point I have smoked much of what I plan to package but follow along with me.
Product is added to unsealed tin cans with tabs that absorb oxygen from the air. Bottled argon is introduced under low pressure from a small hose that is run into the bottom of the can and as it flows out it will displace almost all the oxygen in the can as it is heavier than air - after a short time the argon is all that is left in the can. The lid of the tin can is then sealed with a rolling machine. Any remaining oxygen is consumed by the oxygen consuming tabs. Cans are then placed in cool storage above 0 DEG Celsius.
Argon MAP is relatively new but has a great deal of benefits. Argon is readily soluble in oils and water - and displaces oxygen in the product. Argon inhibits microbial respiration effectively stopping yeasts and molds. Further benefits to this system are canned product is not exposed to sunlight which causes degradation in product quality with the additional benefit of not being available for SCRUTINY by people you do not want to see what you are carrying.
Metal cans have a very low permeation factor which means insignificant amounts of gasses can enter and leave the container - again preserving product and masking smells from all but dogs. They are mechanically sound and very private - readily refrigerated.
Temperature has a significant effect on shelf life, and 10 DEG Cecilius represents 2-3 times faster decay in organic products. I plan to refrigerate after canning but at temperatures lower than freezing to prevent the water in the product from freezing which harms product quality as ice crystals form and tear up organic structure.
Although I have not tested yet I suspect all of this will translate to product storage in terms of years rather than weeks or months as the same kind of successes are being realized in other food products for survival types etc. This method is my own, kind of a culmination of different ideas and practices I have read about.
Right now you are saying " I'm not paying for all that crap - sounds expensive!!! So I thought I would include a price list of the equipment I have found - though you might be able to find better prices than these.
Can roller to crimp lids - $199.75 USD
Food grade cans - $24.48 USD for 24 X 28oz cans(lots of sizes available)
Argon compressed - $100.00 (any welding shop)
Oxygen depleting tabs - 200ml units X 100 in bag for about $23.00
This is a basic summary, and I feel that this method will greatly extend not just shelf life but quality of product for greatly extended periods in addition to a solid and safe packaging method. Your feedback is most welcome, please add to my work in progress.