Drying / Curing 101

Discussion in 'Drying / Curing 101' started by Administrator, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator

    *Info provided by RangerDanger*

    Curing 101

    There are many ways of doing this, and I've tried just about all of them. Based on my decades of experience, the experience of others and the advice of Ed Rosenthal, he's my preferred way.

    First, a good cure begins with good harvesting, manicuring and drying.
    -Harvesting: I prefer to cut the branches off the standing plant. It's a lot easier that way.

    -Manicuring: Back at the ranch, I sit at the dining room table surrounded by 4 supermarket-type paper bags. I first cut the buds off the branches, then remove any remaining shade leaves. These leaves and bare branches go into the first bag for disposal (burning or composting).
    Then I remove the medium-sized leaves. These go into another bag for cooking. The smallest leaves go into the third bag for making hash/oil.

    -Drying: The buds go into the final bag. I crimp the top and place the bag in a cool dark place.
    Every day I gently 'comb' the buds with my fingers.
    The slower the dry, the smoother and tastier the buds will be.
    Of course, you need to make sure (especially in humid climates) that the buds don't begin to rot.
    This is indicated by an ammonia odor.

    -Curing: When the buds are almost but not quite dry enough to smoke (way before the 'brittle'/crispy stage), I place the buds in a large container.

    Some people use glass jars; I find these too expensive and too breakable. I use large 1-gallon containers I get free from the local fast-food place, the kind mustard/mayonnaise come in. I get them free (they are usually throw them away). Once cleaned well, the buds are placed in the containers, then tightly sealed.
    The goal in curing is to let the buds go from too moist to smoke to just right, which is as moist as a good cigar, very very slowly.

    Every day I open the containers for a few minutes, gently comb the buds with my fingers, then re-seal.
    The time these processes take is dependent on the ambient humidity.

    When the buds have reached perefect smoking condition (as moist as a good cigar) the cure is done. Ideally this should take about 2 weeks, at least. Then the jars are tightly sealed and left that way, or sealed in plastic bag with one of those seal-a-meal things (NOT the kind that suck out all the air, those will crush the buds).

    Leaving a bit of moisture in the buds will continue the curing process. Cigars can be stored for decades in perfect conditions.

    Curing allows the chlorophyll to break down, and also allows the non-psycho-active alkoloids to convert to psycho-active ones.

    Flash-dried, uncured buds have a hay/grass-like taste and burn too hot. Slow dried buds smoke cool, smooth and improves the taste tremendously. Curing increases potency by up to 30%. Storing while still a bit moist will keep the pot at peak smoking condition.

    Notes: When I get the buds manicured, I place a few nugs on a table-top or in a drawer. Harsh, yes but I'm usually anxious to 'test' them, and have something to smoke while I'm waiting for the drying/curing process to finish.
    Also, if at any time you smell even a hint of an ammonia (dirty-diaper) odor, remove the buds IMMEDIATLY and let them air out on a table-top for half a day or so, then re-start.
    It takes a bit of practice to get this just right, but once you've got it down pat, you'll never go back to flash-dried, uncured pot.

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