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DIY dryer

Discussion in 'DIY Forum / Technical Articles' started by Hushpuppy, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Dec 4, 2015 #1

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Dr MadBud Staff Member Admin

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    So I found that using a dryer box/cabinet/tent is the better way to get good, even, and mildewless drying done on bud. I first built a cabinet and placed screen shelves on it at about 6"-8" apart. I cut small holes in the bottom of the dryer and a single 4" hole in the top. to the top I attached a small exhaust fan connected to a carbon filter. I plugged in the fan to a speed controller so that I can cut the speed in half to keep from creating "wind" inside the dryer as that isn't good to have on the buds.

    I made the screen shelves from custom window screen material that can be bought at Lowes or Home Depot or Hardware store. Those are easy to make with the corner pieces and the screen tool, you snap them together to what ever size you need, cut the screen to fit and then use the tool to lock the screen in place on the frame.

    When I moved to my new location, I couldn't take my dryer with me so I found a dead mini-fridge, removed the guts and modified it to be my new dryer cabinet. :)

    dryer1.jpg

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  2. Dec 4, 2015 #2

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

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    That stuff on the screens is the last of the trim that I needed to dry.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2015 #3

    Gooch

    Gooch

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    very nice i think i am going to be using some cardboard boxes with some twine strung through in order to lay the branches on till they dry. so all your doing with the fan is slowly exhausting the air while pulling in fresh air through the holes? or are you blowing in air and exhausting the pressure through the holes
     
  4. Dec 4, 2015 #4

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Dr MadBud Staff Member Admin

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    You don't want the air to "blow" on them so I have the fan turned down to half speed so that it just pulls the air out of the cabinet so that fresh air can be pulled in. I need to get a timer that has 15min intervals so that the blower doesn't run as long. It really only needs to run just long enough to replace the cabinet air once.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2015 #5

    zem

    zem

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    i made a drying space right above my flowering chamber so that the exhaust passes i through it without having to add a separate fan. i only made hangers though and no screen shelves
     
  6. Dec 4, 2015 #6

    The Hemp Goddess

    The Hemp Goddess

    The Hemp Goddess

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    Great drier hush. Thanks for sharing it with us.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2015 #7

    Gooch

    Gooch

    Gooch

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    all timers are 5 minute intervals so click off 3 sections and you have 15 minutes do it every 12 hours or so
     
  8. Dec 4, 2015 #8

    WeedHopper

    WeedHopper

    WeedHopper

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    I built a Dryer with a box and a couple computer fans.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2015 #9

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

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    Yeah my first dryer cabinet, I used a good sized computer fan.

    Hey Gooch, where are you getting timers with 5min intervals, unless they are digital timers. All of the analog timers Ive seen are 15 or 30min intervals. And the digital timers Ive seen only come with 8 settings. The 15min interval timers work well for the larger cabinets. :)
     
  10. Dec 4, 2015 #10

    yarddog

    yarddog

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    I'm going to make a dryer soon. I'll have a room full of grow stuff before its all said and done!
     
  11. Dec 5, 2015 #11

    Gooch

    Gooch

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    you might be right it may be 15 min i was pretty high, and just checked yes a digital allows whatever time but also the analog is 15
     
  12. Dec 5, 2015 #12

    grass hopper

    grass hopper

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    hi hp, nice pics. re: changing air inside cabinet once. once how often.? for drying or curing and what what length of time? rh level? changing air once in a 48h by 24w by 21 inch container, equals 24,192 cubic inches, equals 14 cubic feet. a 200 cfm(cubic feet of air per minute) fan would have to run 14.28 seconds, 100 cfm for less than 30 seconds. i have been reading on cabinet drying and this appears to be such a controversial subject. most of the nay saying was from threads years ago. many perfered hanging upside down. just read from dinafem,"drying and curing of fresh cannabis buds". they like to hang for the first 3 days at 50% rh, then increase rh to 60% to slow drying, curing process. ask 10 people and u will get 7 different answers with anything to do with mj. everything i have learned, i have learned from helpful growers like u. but sure can get confusing, again thanks for your time pup.
     
  13. Dec 5, 2015 #13

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Hushpuppy

    Dr MadBud Staff Member Admin

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    You're welcome guys :) Yeah there are a lot of different opinions on anything to do with MJ. That is because there isn't just one (or even 2-3) right ways to do stuff. Everyone has their preferred way of doing things like drying and curing. You have to find what works best for you. It may be the way I do it, or it may be some variation of what I do, or something entirely different. That is why I put it out there as "this is what I do". I have tried a bunch of different way of doing things and I found this to be the easiest way for me to do it and I get excellent results that ALL of my patients like. If my patients are happy then I'm happy.

    I know with even the smallest centrifugal fan, it is going to exchange the air multiple times with it even on a 5min on time, that is why I cut the speed of the fan back to half with a speed controller. It also cuts down on the fan noise as well. I try to keep my humidity low(30%-40%rh) during later flower and harvest time so that mildew and bud rot issues are kept to a minimum.

    But I have found that it works well for me to run the fan one time to completely fill the cabinet with fresh, cool, dry(30-40%) air then have it cut off for a time so that the evaporation of moisture will saturate that air mass and then cause the evaporation to slow or stop for a period while the buds equalize the moisture from the inside to the outside of the buds. Then when the fan turns on again, it sucks out that saturated air and puts new dry air back in and starts the evaporation/saturation/equalization process over again. Doing it this way keeps me from having to constantly monitor the humidity of the buds.

    You do have to determine your time periods depending on how much bud you have in the dryer and how much you want to dry and/or cure them in the cabinet. I prefer to not do a lot of curing in the cabinet as it is too much air space for the buds to sit in and cure slowly. I like to put them in a smaller air space so that they don't dry out before they cure enough to keep the smells and flavors.

    I found for me and my little cabinet that I can run the fan 15min on/30min off during the first 2-3 days as there is a lot of initial moisture that needs to be removed fairly quick. It may only take 2 days for a couple shelves of bud and as much as 4 days for a full cabinet of bud before slowing the timing down. Then I will leave it at 15min on/45min off for a couple days. If it is a packed cabinet, I will then adjust after that to 15min on/2hrs off for a couple days. But you have to feel the buds as you go so that you can develop a feel for the levels that you want.

    I like to get mine where it feels like I almost over-dried them and then I move them to their curing containers (I use big Tupperware bins that will hold 8-10oz at a time). I then allow them to sit closed up for 12-24hrs before checking. When I check them, they usually have moistened up enough that they don't feel over-dry anymore, and have a sticky, leathery feel to them. I then hold each container under a small fan to blow some air onto them, close them up and wait another 12-24hrs(depending on how much there is there and how moist they feel). then each time I open them to check, I feel them a little and then hold under fan for a moment to air them and then close up again. I do this for a week. After a week of this cure, they are technically ready to smoke for those who just cant wait, but for the flavor connoisseurs, I like to continue to cure them for another couple weeks if possible. :)
     
  14. Dec 6, 2015 #14

    grass hopper

    grass hopper

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    are u paying attention to rh in tubs? what #s are u trying to hold or obtain?or is it more a feel?? how full are u filling tubs? so wish i could see, smell ur final product. for sure gonna try the tub method for curing. hope u will cont. to hold my hand thru this phase :). i have the freezer all gutted and like new clean. still nervous on drying with it after so much mixed reading. in past i hang from strings in a 12 by 10 room keeping rh at 50 %. usually things appear dry only to find there is still too much moisture in buds. i then have laid on screens for a few hours to get in the 65% rh area. then back to jars. this current grow i would like to hang for 3 days as usual and then move to tubs. less scary, a lil at a time. think this would be ok pup. am i right that u dry in cabinet but cure in tubs?? excited about trying tubs, scared on dry closet.. thanks

    001.jpg
     
  15. Dec 6, 2015 #15

    WeedHopper

    WeedHopper

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    I never had a problem with moisture while drying in my Boxes. I had computer fans pulling fresh dry cool air in over the buds and stale air going out. Only problem I ever had was i missed burping a jar a few days and it screwed up my buds. Made me real pissed. I never missed burping again.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2015 #16

    grass hopper

    grass hopper

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    where do u see advantage cabinet drying vs string hang drying.?? thanks
     
  17. Dec 7, 2015 #17

    WeedHopper

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  18. Dec 7, 2015 #18

    Hushpuppy

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    I don't bother with monitoring the humidity in the tubs as I go by feel and smell. But also, the tubs are a smaller air mass that will saturate quicker with more moisture but will prevent the buds from drying too fast on the outside (I believe this is where your problem arises. You dry in an air space that is too large and that allows the outsides of the buds to dry too fast which traps in moisture and doesn't allow for the chlorophyll to break down, leaving you with hay(or grass)or no smell sometimes.

    You can hang them if you want. I don't hang mine because I like to get my buds away from the moisture of the stems sooner. During flowering and drying/curing, I run a dehumidifier in my outer-room and have the air coming straight off the dehumidifier piped into my work/dryer space so that I can maintain 30-40% humidity. When I put my buds in the tubs, I open them every day and hold under a small fan for a moment to blow out the humid air from the tubs and put in dry air before closing up again. If I have a lot of bud in the tubs, I will open and air them 2x a day for the first few days, turning the pile some to get the buds on the bottom up so that the curing is even.

    I have a drying/curing schedule that I go by but I don't hold tightly to it. I let the buds adjust the schedule to accommodate the size, density, and amount of buds that I have. This you have to do by feel but it won't take you long to get "the feel" for it. You said you would try to dry them for 3 days then move them to tubs or jars. Don't stick to that schedule. If you have only a little bit then 3 days may be fine, but I have seen times where I had my cabinet packed tight and it took 10 days just drying because I couldn't get my humidity down below 55% at 70f. You just have to feel them to judge it.

    That is another reason why I like using a cabinet of some sort as you can better control the amount of air that gets to them. If you check a relatively full cabinet on the second day and the outsides of the buds are a little crispy but the insides are very soft, then you slow down the flow of air and/or make the off time longer so that the saturated air stays around the buds longer to shut off the evaporation long enough to allow the moisture on the inside of the buds to get to the outside before the outside hardens. <that is the key to properly drying your buds.

    This is not just for you but for anyone reading this: The buds and tiny leaves are like candle wicks. They will draw moisture to any place that is less moist in order to equalize the moisture within the buds. At the same time, if there is air around the buds that is drier than the buds, it will rob that moisture through evaporation. Once the moisture level of the air matches the moisture level of the buds, the evaporation process will stop.

    If you have buds that have a lot of moisture in them (such as when they first go in the cabinet) then the drier air will quickly evaporate some of that moisture from every edge and open surface of the buds. If that process is too fast (such as what happens in a large air space where it takes longer to equalize the moisture level) then the air will literally suck the edges and surfaces dry faster than the moisture can be wicked out of the deeper parts of the buds. This can over dry and harden those surfaces and edges, causing them to harden and not wick moisture any longer.

    However, if you use a smaller air space, then the air will saturate quicker and not except anymore moisture from the buds. This allows the outer parts of the buds time to wick more moisture from the deeper parts, and equalize the moisture level, which prevents those outer edges and surfaces from hardening. Then when the fan turns on and sucks out the saturated air, fresh dry air comes in and the process starts again. But the key is to have the off times to allow the buds to equalize the moisture so that the outer parts don't harden. This is why I start with a 15min on/30min off schedule for the first few days. And then feel my buds for the edges getting dry, as that tells me its time to slow the moisture exchange process. I then double(or triple) the off time to allow the buds more time to equalize.

    Curing is just an extension of the drying out process, but it is done at a much slower rate so that the chemicals within the green plant material can break down properly. Drying has to be fairly rapid to prevent rotting or mildew formation, but once the excess moisture is gone, that danger is far less and that allows the cure to be slow and steady. That again is why I move to smaller air mass of the tubs. I used to use the jars as that does the same thing but I found the "burping" process to be tedious, and I found I could get the same effect with larger amounts in larger containers. However, extra care must be taken when using the larger containers as you must gently turn the buds and get the moister buds on the bottom to the top so that the curing is even.

    OK my fingers are tired so if you have any questions feel free to ask. Except you PCDuck :eek: no I'm kidding man. I like your questions, it keeps me honest and may answer questions that other may not ask.
     
  19. Dec 7, 2015 #19

    grass hopper

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  20. Dec 8, 2015 #20

    bwanabud

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    I use a thermostatically controlled fan, with variable speed control, and 2 light bulbs for heat...I keep it 72 deg, and takes about 3 days to dry, mine does 6 lb. (dry weight) at a time.

    Each rack is 40"x24"...1/4"x1/4" square poly screen, same racks I use in my air dry system

    What's up Pup ? :)

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