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Grow Trimming/drying

Shredder

Dogs like me
Ok, we've grown a little plant into a big plant with beautiful buds. Now what?

I usually fill a tray up with branches, then with my hands pull off the fan leaves. Next I start trimming the buds still on the branches. Then I hang them on stainless steel coat hangers from some fencing I hung from a ceiling (helps to have ten foot ceilings) . After a few days, depending mostly by humidity I destem the buds when they start to dry on the outside. I do this earlier than most growers according to what I've read. To me if you wait until the common advice of the stem breaking when bent, it's too late, terpenes are evaporating.

Then I slow down the drying by putting the buds in paper bags. I control the drying by opening or closing the bags. I'm convinced slow drying helps preserve terpenes. Again, the timing is dependent on humidity and somewhat by heat, but when I feel the buds are ready by touch, the buds go into jars.

I check the jars daily until I feel they are ready and may loosen or leave the tops off for an hour or all day. With the jar tops on, the buds eventually even out the moisture level, and they naturally dry more with the tops off.

When they seem ready I add 62% boveda packs. The larger packs go in one gallon jars and the small go in 1/2 gallon and qt jars.

I'm convinced the slower drying preserves more terpenes, and the humidity packs keep the buds fresh in optimal condition. Before I used the packs, unless I vacuumed sealed the jars (with a food saver attachment) the buds dried out in several months.
 
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psychonaut

Florist
Company Rep
Slow drying FTW!

I have a slightly different process out here in arid Colorado. October luckily is a great time for harvest as the temps are starting to drop and humidity levels are rising. More cloudy days as the season changes to fall. Summer time is not such a blessing, 80-85F days with 15% RH. You can have a whole plant dried in 2-3 days hung whole. Sad state of drying affairs =(

What I had done this year was similar to yours @Shredder except I modified it a bit for the temps and humidity (also done indoors).

Single tent setup (indoors) -
Removed light a day before chop to allow 24 hr darkness in hopes of getting stress terpene production.
Chopped plants into hangable branches
Hung in tent (temps ranging from 50-60F with RH of 45-50%) with fan leaves intact on coat hangers
Added a RH/temp gauge and clipped it up with the buds.
After 2-3 days, watching to see the fan leaves begin to wilt and die, I start removing these when they're dead but not dry.
After a week, I check the stems (shredder is right dont wait till they snap! By then they're probably in the upper 40's RH. They will still splinter and bend at 55% RH IME.)
When the outside feels crisp and the stems are starting to shrivel they're right about where I want them, I'll start dry trimming the sugar leaf.
By about day 10 the smaller stems are starting to get jarred, the larger branches may take another 2-3 days.
I'll then break down the buds, one at a time until I get to the top and leave that whole
The larfy branches all get trimmed bunched up and placed in a mix jar for concentrate processing into rosin and edibles
Gather the good nugs and place into 1/2 gallon jars with a hygrometer and close it up (I usually fill a 1/2 galllon jar with 1 plant, sometimes more depending on the cultivar)
24 hours later I check the RH, they're all generally between 55-60% RH so I'll put in the two-way humidipack.
Monitor jars RH, burping daily to replenish the air with fresh.
After about 4-5 days the 55% RH buds in jars are now up to about 62% RH which is the types of packs I use
I continue burping daily for the first couple of weeks, then I switch over to weekly.

So far no hay smells this go so thinking I may have got it right.

Periodically through the cure I will use a digital microscope to inspect the trichomes on the curing buds and if I start to see the amber production increasing, I will put in some oxy-sorb packets. Not entirely sure how much this helps as I generally get through my supply in time but it's fairly inexpensive and removes the oxygen from the jar thus slowing down the oxidation of trichomes.

I've cut wet and dry, I felt like cutting wet was much much easier but I had a harder time keeping my buds dry in my RH which is why I switched to leaving everything on the plant and slowly defoliating it as it dries. I would love to do some wet trims and use a drying rack but feel like I'd have to compensate somehow with a humidifier or swamp cooler.

Also, I love being able to dry in the tent with the carbon filter. keeps a good constant flow of fresh air, I dont even use fans in the tent to dry just my normal 8" carbon filter and exhaust fan set about medium. I was able to run it without exhausting outside and the house just barely smelled of herbs (keeping the door shut helped as it was continually cleaning it's own air and catching drafts from outside the room)
 

Shredder

Dogs like me
Thanks @psychonaut , great post. I'm sure humid areas are challenging as well, maybe more so.

In my state, MI, the humidity can be about anything. When I'm heating with my lights, and my back up electric heaters, that keeps the humidity very low. Today it was 39% inside and 40F with rain outdoors. I've seen as low as 17% when it's really cold in winter, most of the spring and summer it's about 40-60%, and from late August to the end of September it can be 90+%.

When it's really low I can spray water on the cement floor. When it's high there's not much I can do because it's also very hot and my dehumidifier can make it too hot. Then I use more fans to keep the air moving.

So my hanging time can be 24 hours to several weeks. If it gets dicey and I'm worried about mold, I'll seal a room, without live plants in it and run a dehumidifier. I prefer the faster dry times so I don't have a lot hanging at once. I grow in a scrog and my harvest takes a couple weeks for 8 plants. I generally harvest from 8.5 weeks in flower to 10 weeks. Then very quickly, like the next day the new crop goes in.
 

VCNZ

Member
So much about growing this wonderful plant is subjective. I don't have time to slow dry and then cure for weeks as I need to turn it over quickly to keep up with my habit. My grow is under 1 sqm and I can't produce enough to allow a slow dry and cure process. I can dry a whole plant in 7 days ready to consume. I will lose a little taste but asthetic quality and smooth delivery will still be top draw. Avoiding the hay smell is the biggest issue with a rapid dry.
 

ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
So much about growing this wonderful plant is subjective. I don't have time to slow dry and then cure for weeks as I need to turn it over quickly to keep up with my habit. My grow is under 1 sqm and I can't produce enough to allow a slow dry and cure process. I can dry a whole plant in 7 days ready to consume. I will lose a little taste but asthetic quality and smooth delivery will still be top draw. Avoiding the hay smell is the biggest issue with a rapid dry.
Some swear by Hydro?
Some swear by OUTDOOR?
Some swear by GREENHOUSE?
I have not grown in a GREENHOUSE? So I must try!

Regardless U should go SLOW with trimming & cure! ⚓
 
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LesPlenty

Well-Known Member
I will lose a little taste
You will lose more than a little flavor, you would not realize how much until you do it.:thumbsup:

I don't think it makes any difference to the effect.
How would you know if you have not done it? I just gave a guy in the same position as you some well cured material, he smoked for over 30 years and did not know how good pot could taste if cured properly, stick in a couple extra plants to get ahead and take advantage of the extra goodness. Put simply, if you don't cure, you don't care about quality:myday:
 

I'm Ron Burgundy?

Human Being
Yeah drying and curing are very important if you want the best quality. It is something that does take some trial and error.

Quick drying can cause a grassy/hay smell.
And of course the longer it cures the better the flavor.

I make sure to dry for a solid seven days and control the humidity between 55 and 70°
I cure for at least 30 days but I do sample the product during that time.

You spent all that time growing these precious flowers I don’t see why you’d sacrifice on the drying and curing part. :twocents:
 

ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
Should yes but it's certainly not essential.

I grow in organic potting mix using pH neutral rain water. I don't slow dry and cure out of necessity. I don't think it makes any difference to the effect.
You know more than anybody!
I did grow by the beach in da 70’s in California with seeds.
HAWAII without seeds. (No special anything?)
NATURE did the work while we SURFED da waves!
Coughing 4-sure (MAUI WOWIE x MAPLELEAF)
A vaporizer was needed!
We only had ZIGZAG ‘s!
Not 2-B the Pomus Ass: my friend grew 24 large plants and quick dried them of beautiful GOD’S GIFT strain’
Da COLAS were very long by 2-daz’s standard’s!
He grow’s still however tell him not 2 cure slow?
He has ARM’s like a GLADIATOR! (I don’t want to hurt anyone)
He fights like a PIT-BULL!
His GOD’S GIFT is so nice since he started slow cure?
 
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Shredder

Dogs like me
For the most part I cure in one gallon glass jars. And I usually dispense to my patients from 1/2 gallon size glass jars. It's a real eye opener to smell a well cured herb verses the same herb fresh. I offer either one to patients but so far theyve all choosen the well cured, slightly aged herb over fresh every time. Like a fine wine the smells and tastes develope.

And while I cure and store, humidity packs are a big help too. The buds stay fresher longer over more dried out. After a few months, although I rarely have herb past 3-4 months, lol, the buds lose their choraphyil and turn brown. To me that herb is the smoothest, although by then some terpenes have started to disapate.
 
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ataxian

In a BLACK HOLE!
For the most part I cure in one gallon glass jars. And I usually dispense to my patients from 1/2 gallon size glass jars. It's a real eye opener to smell a well cured herb verses the same herb fresh. I offer either one to patients but so far theyve all choosen the well cured, slightly aged herb over fresh every time. Like a fine wine the smells and tastes develope.

And while I cure and store, humidity packs are a big help too. The buds stay fresher longer over more dried out. After a few months, although I rarely have herb past 3-4 months, lol, the buds lose their choraphyil and turn brown. To me that herb is the smoothest, although by then some terpenes have started to disapate.
I read your response earlier when I wasn’t MEDICATED yet?
Have you had GSC?
Some say it’s weak?
4 me it work’s?
Need 2 grow some.
I like long colas?
Maybe it’s just me?
 

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