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Gettin' learnt on drying and curing with Ricky

ricky_simples 150

ricky_simples

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Let’s face it, properly drying and curing your buds can be the difference between a successful grow or flushing the previous 12-16 weeks down the drain. For the first time grower it can be a daunting task, hell it can be challenge for even the most experienced growers. I want to start an open discussion on what method(s) people prefer. We can call it “gettin’ learnt on drying and curing”.

Let me begin my saying my method may not be the best for you, and vice versa. There’s many environmental factors and variables in general that might work for Grower A, but not for Grower B. Examples include geographical location, ambient RH, ambient temps, strain, grow technique used, feeding strength, and overall grower experience.

Alright, so here we go. I stick to the 60/60 rule, which means I aim for 60% humidity and 60° in my drying room. My drying room consists of a single 2x4 grow tent with an inline fan, controller, and carbon filter attached. I know there’s people out there who use cardboard boxes with string, and other similar DIY techniques, but I’ve found tents to work best. It allows you to create a room inside of a room where you can control the environment.

60° is very difficult to achieve for most growers, not everyone has an area of their home that remains that cool year-round. But maybe they can get down to 65°, maybe 68°, hell maybe only down to 70°. Aim for the coldest and closest to 60° as you can. This does two things – First it slows down the drying process – and secondly it makes it harder for mold to grow in inside your buds causing bud rot.

Mold Chart for Temperature and Humidity Monitors – Stetten Home Services

The 60% RH goes hand in hand with the temperature. RH percentages above 60 just means your flirting with bud rot. Understand there’s a big spike in RH when you place fresh cut buds in the drying room, that’s why the controller is important. I use an AC Infinity 4’’ inline fan w/ controller, but the only setting I use is the RH% set to 60, so when it hits 60% RH in the tent the fan kicks on. I understand an AC Infinity fan and controller isn’t cheap, so a budget alternative could be an amazon inline fan coupled with an inkbird humidity controller.

Now, remember when I mentioned earlier that my method might not necessarily work for you, here’s why… I rely on my dry tent being at a higher RH than the room my dry tent is in. If the RH in the room my tent was in hit say 70% RH (like it can in the pacific northwest), I would need to run a dehumidifier in the room, or come up with a different method altogether. Fortunately for me I’m able to keep said room in the 40%-50% range, so it works well in conjunction with the fan & controller to lower the RH in the tent when teh fan kicks on.

I can’t say this enough – you should be aiming for a minimum of 9 days for drying. My sweet spot is 10 days, but I’ve gone as few as 9 and as long as 14. This all depends on the plants you’re drying and whether they have small or big buds and whether they’re leafy or not. All of this matters and will effect the drying and curing.

Tips for extending the dry:
  • Try doing a full plant hang by cutting the plant at the base and hanging upside down. Depending on how many leaves have necrosis, you may or may want to remove some of those fully faded out leaves.
  • If doing a full plant hang isn’t feasible, try doing one branch at a time (but cut the branch near the main stalk) to keep the branches long. More branch means more moisture, which means longer dry time.
So, lets say it’s been 10 days and I’ve deemed my plants ready to begin curing, how do I go about it? Well the first step is cutting off all the non-sugar leaves and discarding them in a paper bag. Once that’s done I snip each bud off the branch (leaving sugar leaves intact), and place those untrimmed buds in a turkey bag. Once all the buds have been snipped off the branches, I put the branches in another paper bag to dry out (to be discarded later). Keep in mind I still have not trimmed any buds yet because I’m usually harvesting multiple plants at once and don’t have the time to immediately trim.

I close the turkey bags and let them sit overnight. The following day I open the bag(s) and feel around and see how pliable the buds are. I observe if the stems bend or crack, and overall just try to discern where they’re at in the process. This is when I’ll almost always leave the bag sit open for 12-24 hours, followed by another 12-24 hours closed. This process is called sweating, and it typically takes me 1-3 days of doing this to get the buds to that perfect pliability. Keep in mind that even at 10+ days of drying there will still be some moisture in the middle of the buds, even if the outside of the buds feel crispy. I’d describe the actions of sweating as extracting the moisture from the middle of the bud back out to the edges/outside of the bud, letting that evaporate, and repeating.

I should note that if you followed the drying process correctly, that you will have beautiful aromas even before the cure. In my opinion the cure only enhances the smells and flavors, it does not fix or cure improperly dried buds.

So let’s say the buds have been sweating for 3 days and I feel they’re perfect and ready to go, what next?

Well that’s when I trim. I pull out the empty 64 oz mason jars and label maker and take my time trimming. I’m fast nowadays, but it still takes me multiple days to trim multiple plants. I use a trim bin for trimming, so it collects pollen at the bottom. And since I already discarded the non-sugar leaves earlier on, all the material I’m left with goes into making extracts.

Once everything has been jarred up it’s ready to go for long term storage. Using this method I feel comfortable keeping a jar of herb unopened for months on end to be enjoyed on a later date.

Key points:
Don’t dry too fast.
Control the environment (60/60 rule)
Sweat those buds – get that moisture out of the middle
 
Last edited:
Dankman_420 100

Dankman_420

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I use a 3x3 with a inline fan. I chop and hang my plants in the tent until they feel dry to the touch on the outside and damp on the inside. Trim accordingly. Then I jar them up in half gallon mason jars. I like to only fill the jars 2/3's full. Burp daily for few days. Then less frequently as time goes by. I'm fortunate that my basement hovers around 55% rh.

Imo it takes at least a good month for a decent cure. I personally like 3 months. When I first started I wet trimmed and used a net for drying. I still think it makes a better looking bud. But imo dry trimming has slightly better flavor
 
Phylex 7K

Phylex

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I like to strip the large fan leaves and whole plant hang dry. My drying room for whatever reason always stays perfectly cool. I'd swear it's like trying to dry in a refrigerator. After two weeks, I'll pull the first few plants. I chop them up, halving branches and into a brown paper grocery bag they go for 2-3 days. I'll start trimming them up, jar them, and pull a few more plants to repeat that process. I'm typically pulling the last few plants after hanging for 3+ weeks and they don't feel any different then the original few plants I pulled. They're drying so slowly, it's nice not feeling rushed trying to trim everything at once.
 
Gweedo's Growroom 701
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I also try and stick to the 60/60 method or as close to it as I can get, I usually de fan then hang as close to whole as possible, 8 to 14 days hanging and I'll start to dry trim and jar the ones that feel right to me, usually the larger prime tops are last, more towards to 10 to 14 day mark, once trimmed into Masons with boveda 62s I'll burp every other day the first week and then 1 time a week for a month then they stay sealed with the bovedas inside till consumption time, this way seems to always produce a nice smooth smoke.
 
Capt. C 7.1K

Capt. C

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Let’s face it, properly drying and curing your buds can be the difference between a successful grow or flushing the previous 12-16 weeks down the drain. For the first time grower it can be a daunting task, hell it can be challenge for even the most experienced growers. I want to start an open discussion on what method(s) people prefer. We can call it “gettin’ learnt on drying and curing”.

Let me begin my saying my method may not be the best for you, and vice versa. There’s many environmental factors and variables in general that might work for Grower A, but not for Grower B. Examples include geographical location, ambient RH, ambient temps, strain, grow technique used, feeding strength, and overall grower experience.

Alright, so here we go. I stick to the 60/60 rule, which means I aim for 60% humidity and 60° in my drying room. My drying room consists of a single 2x4 grow tent with an inline fan, controller, and carbon filter attached. I know there’s people out there who use cardboard boxes with string, and other similar DIY techniques, but I’ve found tents to work best. It allows you to create a room inside of a room where you can control the environment.

60° is very difficult to achieve for most growers, not everyone has an area of their home that remains that cool year-round. But maybe they can get down to 65°, maybe 68°, hell maybe only down to 70°. Aim for the coldest and closest to 60° as you can. This does two things – First it slows down the drying process – and secondly it makes it harder for mold to grow in inside your buds causing bud rot.

Mold Chart for Temperature and Humidity Monitors – Stetten Home Services

The 60% RH goes hand in hand with the temperature. RH percentages above 60 just means your flirting with bud rot. Understand there’s a big spike in RH when you place fresh cut buds in the drying room, that’s why the controller is important. I use an AC Infinity 4’’ inline fan w/ controller, but the only setting I use is the RH% set to 60, so when it hits 60% RH in the tent the fan kicks on. I understand an AC Infinity fan and controller isn’t cheap, so a budget alternative could be an amazon inline fan coupled with an inkbird humidity controller.

Now, remember when I mentioned earlier that my method might not necessarily work for you, here’s why… I rely on my dry tent being at a higher RH than the room my dry tent is in. If the RH in the room my tent was in hit say 70% RH (like it can in the pacific northwest), I would need to run a dehumidifier in the room, or come up with a different method altogether. Fortunately for me I’m able to keep said room in the 40%-50% range, so it works well in conjunction with the fan & controller to lower the RH in the tent when teh fan kicks on.

I can’t say this enough – you should be aiming for a minimum of 9 days for drying. My sweet spot is 10 days, but I’ve gone as few as 9 and as long as 14. This all depends on the plants you’re drying and whether they have small or big buds and whether they’re leafy or not. All of this matters and will effect the drying and curing.

Tips for extending the dry:
  • Try doing a full plant hang by cutting the plant at the base and hanging upside down. Depending on how many leaves have necrosis, you may or may want to remove some of those fully faded out leaves.
  • If doing a full plant hang isn’t feasible, try doing one branch at a time (but cut the branch near the main stalk) to keep the branches long. More branch means more moisture, which means longer dry time.
So, lets say it’s been 10 days and I’ve deemed my plants ready to begin curing, how do I go about it? Well the first step is cutting off all the non-sugar leaves and discarding them in a paper bag. Once that’s done I snip each bud off the branch (leaving sugar leaves intact), and place those untrimmed buds in a turkey bag. Once all the buds have been snipped off the branches, I put the branches in another paper bag to dry out (to be discarded later). Keep in mind I still have not trimmed any buds yet because I’m usually harvesting multiple plants at once and don’t have the time to immediately trim.

I close the turkey bags and let them sit overnight. The following day I open the bag(s) and feel around and see how pliable the buds are. I observe if the stems bend or crack, and overall just try to discern where they’re at in the process. This is when I’ll almost always leave the bag sit open for 12-24 hours, followed by another 12-24 hours closed. This process is called sweating, and it typically takes me 1-3 days of doing this to get the buds to that perfect pliability. Keep in mind that even at 10+ days of drying there will still be some moisture in the middle of the buds, even if the outside of the buds feel crispy. I’d describe the actions of sweating as extracting the moisture from the middle of the bud back out to the edges/outside of the bud, letting that evaporate, and repeating.

I should note that if you followed the drying process correctly, that you will have beautiful aromas even before the cure. In my opinion the cure only enhances the smells and flavors, it does not fix or cure improperly dried buds.

So let’s say the buds have been sweating for 3 days and I feel they’re perfect and ready to go, what next?

Well that’s when I trim. I pull out the empty 64 oz mason jars and label maker and take my time trimming. I’m fast nowadays, but it still takes me multiple days to trim multiple plants. I use a trim bin for trimming, so it collects pollen at the bottom. And since I already discarded the non-sugar leaves earlier on, all the material I’m left with goes into making extracts.

Once everything has been jarred up it’s ready to go for long term storage. Using this method I feel comfortable keeping a jar of herb unopened for months on end to be enjoyed on a later date.

Key points:
Don’t dry too fast.
Control the environment (60/60 rule)
Sweat those buds – get that moisture out of the middle
Excellent write up @ricky_simples .(y) When i get a chance i will post a method i have been using for a while that really helps when it is hard to maintain the 60% humidity.
 
Jewels 1.3K

Jewels

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drying in a fridge.
Try living in one.
Anyone who is familiar with my arctic adventures has seen me germinate seeds in a styrofoam heated cooler, veg 24/7 under 400 metal halide to keep a 4x4 above room temp, blast propane to de-ice my tent, flower in an igloo, and cure in a snow drift.
I may not be an overly experienced grower , but all of my experience was gained wearing wool.

To further my resume, I also used to sell high-end appliances.
First off, unless you have a dedicated fridge I wouldn't put buds in there.
  • Humidity to low
  • Intermingling smells
  • Off-gassing
The Sub-Zero Refrigeration company has been researching food storage for decades, they isolate and compartmentalize air-flow in their refrigeration units, and they also publish a guide on what foods should not be stored with other foods.
Xylene ?

My experience is similar to @Phylex.
One of these Tangie buds was cut last week. One was cut yesterday. They have been sitting at 2 degrees Celsius and 50-60 % relative humidity. If I handed them both to you , you would struggle to tell which was which.
20200130_160226.jpg
After two weeks they are still floppy. Like fresh cut flowers. It is almost like they are still alive; I was tempted to try and monster clone one, after a week.
I have also seen buds continue maturing from 15% amber to finish closer to 30%, after a couple weeks. -noshïït.
When I am ready to deal with them I double paper bag branches, and put them on the cold concrete floor of my flower room for 48 hours.
Then they are ready for the jars.

The cold temperatures are also very forgiving. I once did a two-week cold hang followed by 48 hours in the paper bag, before jarring up a plant. I sampled the jar after 2 weeks of burping ( 4 weeks post chop) and the buds were still floppy to the touch. Ooops. Concerned , I put them under my scope and there was absolutely no mold to be found. Another 48 hours in the paper bags and she was good to go.
I have lost a tupperware full due to mold after sitting at room temperature for one day. The fact that I was way out of line for almost a month , without negative consequences, seems pretty significant to me.

It is also possible to sweat icy buds. If I have a jar that is too wet, I take it from cold storage and wander into my hot and dry flower room. I remove the lid of the glass jar as I enter the hot room and the inside of the glass immediately steams up. With the lid still off, I hold it in front of the fan for a few moments and the glass becomes clear again.

I suppose it is possible to have powdery mildew bite me in the ass doing this , but so far,,,
Cold temperatures are my training wheels of the curing bicycle !!
 
Dino Party 1.4K

Dino Party

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what do y'all do with your plants BEFORE you harvest? Personally, I feed mega crop til the very last day, and then when I think they're ready, I'll take them out of the tent and put them in the drying tent until the soil is totally dry and the plant is starting to dry out. Probably a week? total darkness the whole time. Mostly because I just dont want to fully commit to chopping that day I guess, lol. What do you do?
 
Dankman_420 100

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I've experimented with dark times and didn't have any noticeable difference. In my organic mix it just feeds till day of chop. When I'm using bottles I just give it water for last 10 days ish
 
Uncle Rom 988

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On another site I read about drying in a fridge. Has anyone here tried it? Seems strange to me :D
I cold cure sometimes. I have a drawer in the coldest corner of the house where my jars live. Stays above freezing but quite cold to the touch when I burp.
don’t understand it tho. I’ve left bud in the car for a few days of -20 and colder. For some reason this smoke was noticeably much better. I’ve heard freezing ruins triches and such (prob true) but the smoke is smooth and tasty.
I’ve sure been noticing a month minimum cure is so f@ckin much better than a week or two, but it also depends on the bud/strain. I find the super dense shit to need more attention. The fluffier bud can just be dried slow without much concern for mold and that
 
Uncle Rom 988

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This continued to mature, and turned.
Lone cut bud @ 3 Celsius, after three days. It is on pace with the living specimen.
View attachment 2243
View attachment 2244
Hey Jewels my dude.. I’ve been dying to ask.. lol
Why so cheap with the likes? I’m curious.. I’ve noticed you almost never ‘like’ or react to posts.
Like we email and shit and you’ve never liked my posts. It’s like being married for a couple years but you’ve never hugged 😆
 
Dino Party 1.4K

Dino Party

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Hey Jewels my dude.. I’ve been dying to ask.. lol
Why so cheap with the likes? I’m curious.. I’ve noticed you almost never ‘like’ or react to posts.
Like we email and shit and you’ve never liked my posts. It’s like being married for a couple years but you’ve never hugged 😆
LOL
<iframe src="No I Dont Send Them Regina George GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY" width="480" height="270" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="
">via GIPHY</a></p>
 
Jewels 1.3K

Jewels

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My parents were asking the doctors the same question,for quite some time.
This was back in the 80s when we didn't have fancy names for all that kind of stuff. My father, who is an automotive mechanic by trade was in fact avant-garde in comparison to the doctors of the day.
I think he successfully diagnosed it one day after a meeting at the principal's office. He said " Son, I think you'll end up in jail one day, you seem to be socially retarded. "

Luckily, my authority defiance predilection kicked in, and I spend the rest of my life proving him wrong.
s-l1000.jpg
 
1D1 600

1D1

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This is a subject I’m very passionate about.
All that work to harvest and then you botch the hole thing by not knowing how to complete the job.
Trial and error was my finish for a long time.
I start the drying process at the end of flower cycle.
I finish up week 8 with light feeding, typically feeding every other day. The last 2 feedings bone meal flush 2tbs per gallon.
Bone meal is an organic fertilizer that contains high levels of phosphorus along with nitrogen and is often used with other soil additives to naturally fertilize plants.
I feed bone meal throughout veg and flower.
Week 9, nothing temps have been dropped to 65-68f, RH 55% at weeks 6.5-7 is when I start this process.
Chop,
I chop the hole plant from the bottom of the stalk.
I’m not perpetual, so my flower room is available for drying.
The hole plant is hung from the stalk and 25-30% fan leaves removed.
temp and RH is sustained.
A box fan is placed on low without direct contact on the plants.
Now I’m set to dry.
3 days pass and I’ll come in daily and remove 10-20% of fan leaves per session.
This process will take 10-20 days to dry, depending on size of plants and strain.
Now I think drying time is done. I’ll bend the lower part of the branch closest to the stock.
When it snaps I no I’m close.
Keep in mind my plants average 4-6 feet tall.
Now it’s time to remove my prize.
All buds are removed from the stalk and placed in shallow plastic bins with lids.
Buds are placed in the bins approximately 3-4 inches thick.
Bins are placed on the floor with the lids open 1/2 inch on one side, fan still rolling.
This will help finish the drying cycle and jump start the curing process. At this point the buds only have sugar leaves and will be dry and hand trimmed to finish.
It works for me👍🏻
 
Uncle Rom 988

Uncle Rom

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My parents were asking the doctors the same question,for quite some time.
This was back in the 80s when we didn't have fancy names for all that kind of stuff. My father, who is an automotive mechanic by trade was in fact avant-garde in comparison to the doctors of the day.
I think he successfully diagnosed it one day after a meeting at the principal's office. He said " Son, I think you'll end up in jail one day, you seem to be socially retarded. "

Luckily, my authority defiance predilection kicked in, and I spend the rest of my life proving him wrong.
View attachment 2308
Ya I figured Ricky s curing thread to be the perfect, appropriate place to call you out on it.. I’m very gifted socially as well 😆
5E86E703-03F3-4B81-8CC6-5E78CABCBDC9.jpeg
Sorry for the disruption @ricky_simples
Also sorry Jim passed away. He was a drunk basterd always jammin you, bubs and Jules up but still.. I miss that loose cannon.
 
ricky_simples 150

ricky_simples

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It's water under the fridge. He's probably up there jammin' the shithawks anyways. At least I can grow good dope now without being interfered with. Bubs needs to pick it up though, but he's getting the hank at drying and what not. Jules is out doing his own thing, but good things come to those at the gate.
 
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