|Drying, Curing, and Storage (paper bag method)|
There are many methods to dry and cure plants, what I am going to explain is just my method of doing it. First off let me say how nugs dry depends on the strain, some dry tight and hard, others dry soft and fluffy. There is many ways of drying your herb and each has its good points and solid methods. This is simply the way I do it.
Here's what I do:
Once the plants are mature and ready for harvest, cut the plants down and hang them upside down in dark & dry area.
Remove all fan leaves and other big leaves.
Let the plants hang for about 3 days or until the outsides of the bud begin to feel dry. You can gently squeeze the buds and you should be able to feel that they are still soft and wet in the middle.
Remove all the buds from the plant, then clip and manicure them as normal. The left over material from this step is excellent for making oil, hash, and bubble!
I then place the buds on empty cardboard beer flats in a dark and dry area so they may continue to slowly dry.
I like to flip the buds over daily until they are nearly brittle dry, sometimes this will take over a week for the bigger buds and colas. Again you can gently squeeze the buds to ensure they are dry in the middle.
Once the buds have dried on the flats, put them into paper bags. I like to use the large paper bags that you can find at most grocery stores. Put about 3 inches of buds into the bottom of a bag and roll the top over as though it were a lunch bag.
Open the bag once or twice daily, mixing and shaking the buds around. They'll sweat out the moisture from the insides of the buds to the outside where they will dry. Doing this ensures they will dry slowly which leaves a nice smooth product.
Once the buds are dry in the paper bags, I like to place them into plastic zip-lock bags for two or three days.
Watch the buds to see if they become wet again or the bag sweats after leaving them in the plastic. This tells you that they are not dry and should be placed back into the paper bags for further drying. One sure way to tell if the buds are completely dry is to bend the buds. If the stem within the bud snap when bent, they you know it is dry. If the stem bends and does not snap or crack then it is a pretty good indication that there is still moisture within the bud.
Once you are certain the buds are dry by leaving them in the plastic bags for two or three days, then you can place them into mason jars to cure. Using this method eliminates having to open the jars daily and letting excess moisture dry which can form on the glass. I find it can mould too easily in the glass if not watched carefully.
At this point when everything is bone dry, I like to package up my herbs into appropriate sized bags and store in tupperware containers which I place into my freezer. A warning if your ganja is not bone dry, it can and will mould and spoil in the freezer if you are not certain everything is absolutely ready for this type of storage.
If you decide to place your buds into jars I would suggest to continue to check the jars every day for a week or two until you're sure they are dry. Then you can vacuum seal and store the jars away in a safe and dark location for a rainy day.
Now you can open one jar at a time and enjoy. I've found that nugs kept in jars for 6+ months cure well and taste great, however nugs sealed in jars for over a year are incredible.
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