Medical MJ Patient In Need Of Help! Flowering/Curing issues!

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I have my medical card and grow my own meds for a few years now. All my buds taste the same no matter what strain, how long I cure, how long I flush for, I've tried everything!

Flower tent 4x4x7 - 2 400w HPS - FF happy frog soil with FF nutes, just switched to GH Flora series nutes and superthrive.

I live in a very dry climate, so it's near impossible to dry the buds in open air. I've used a plastic storage bin with a hygrometer to dry the buds in and keep the humidity over 60%.

I've tried different strains, I've tried different nutes (Fox Farms, Bionicare, General Hydroponic), atm I just started using GH flora series to try to test that out and see if it makes a difference.

I flushed the damn plants for 3 weeks this time thinking I wasn't flushing them good enough or something.. using florakleen and distilled water and all...

I waited till the trichromes were 50/50 amber.. I bottled the buds up after day 8 days of drying, when I was unable to keep the humidity above 60% anymore, the stems were still bending at this point, but in the past, leaving it at 55 or below is the end of any type of curing that is going to happen in the bottles, so I bottled it before the stems crack due to being in a low humidity state.

Now in the bottles, they just smell sweet, kind of planty. No weed smell. Story of my life, harvest 15 no different than any other harvest, with any other changes I've made!!!!!

VERY FRUSTRATED :( let me know what you guys think, I'd sit here and give you all the details of my garden but this post would be huge, please just ask me what info you need and I will fill you in.

Thanks for anyone that is willing to help.
 

Hushpuppy

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Hi Baked: welcome to The Passion. That sounds like a real frustrating problem. It sounds like you are drying them correctly enough, but you didn't elaborate on the cure process, which is the key to fflavors. The smells when drying can range widely from strain to strain and ffrom area to area of the planet. But the cure is very important. Not to say you are doing it wrong, but I normally will jar mine in wide mouth mason jars when sufficiently dry. and then because I am in a much more humid environment, I will open my jars and wave them around to air them out, twice a day for one week. Then I will "air" them once a day for another week. Then once every other day for a week. At that point they are smokable but If I am working on my own head stash, I will continue to cure them for 2-3 more weeks, continuing to double the time between airings each week. This usually gives me some nice, smooth, tasty smoke.

Now there will be some that will agree with me here and some that will disagree, BUT it has been my (limited) experience that "organicly" grown bud will have a much richer, deeper flavor. While bud that is grown with synthetic nutrients like GH fflora, FF hydro, AN jungle Juice(my preferred nute brand) will give a lesser flavor.

Also, flushing your stuff will not help with building fflavor. It is good (in my personal experience) if using synthetic nutes to flush once during a grow to just clean out the salt build up, as it prevents toxic build up that can damage a grow. I don't fflush at the end of my flowering as I don't think its needed, but I do cut way back on the nutes during the last week so that the plant can use up its extra nutrients within the soil/medium/stems and leaves before harvesting, as this prevents harsh smoking bud.

I have a personal trick that I use to improve the flavor of my buds. I have done it several times with good success but not everyone believes in my method. I will explain it if you are interested. Just PM me if you want to know. :)
 

Hushpuppy

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My trick is simply using a prechelated organic nutrient tea like AN's Mother Earth Super Tea and Hygrozyme. Both in equal parts only during the flowering period and right up to the last few days. I have used this and did a blind taste test with several people who didn't know that I was even doing anything different. They raved over the taste and potency of the bud that was grown with the "tea and zyme". Everyone who tried it wanted to know if it was some new strain I was trying. They said they liked the other stuff but this stuff was off the charts in flavor and potency in comparison.
When I was busted, the sheriff even commented on how sticky and rich smelling my stuff was. He said it was the best he had ever seen in this county, and it was still 2 weeks from harvest when they got it. (yes I lost it all and it broke my heart in multiple times and ways. I still haven't recovered ffrom the loss)
But that is my secret to tastier buds. I would love feedback from anyone who tries this as it was still in experimentation stage when I was busted so I wasn't able to totally verify the validity of it, but I believe it is the right stuff, and will use it again when I begin growing again.
 

Rosebud

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well that is very cool Hush, thank you for telling us. I have had a weird relationship with hygrozyme....I have it, but have used it. It is that it is a cleaner that stops me... Your post makes me want to think about it again. Very cool.

HP, i am still so sorry you got busted the way you did. You are a kind soul. So nice of the cop to comment...he probably smoked it.
Thank you.
 
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Hey, Thanks for the info! Alright, interesting, that is a technique I can try on my nugs to cure them, I've kept them above 60% humidity this whole time so I will see if these turn out better but I'm guessing the problem I am having right now is strain specific, I've got some clones from the dispensary now so i'm hoping this will help but I do not understand why I have never had a batch of bud taste correctly. I guess it has to be the way I'm curing it.

I just hope it turns out, I keep making small changes to each and every grow and nothing seems to make a difference which is the most frustrating.

I've had thoughts of using something like what you've mentioned to help bring out the smell more, either with your zyme tea or with AN bud candy but I have been hesistant to even try spending money on more nutrients because I feel as if it should be turning out good every time and tasting like weed without additives such as this. I can not figure out what I am doing wrong though, I will try the curing thing and hope for the best.
 

Hushpuppy

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I think if you will do the dry then do the slow cure method over a period of about 5-6weeks, you will see a big difference. I don't use the "bud candy" type of additives to bring out extra taste. I only use the basic nute line but then add the organic tea so that the buds get that "organically grown" flavor. But even with that added, if you don't get the cure done correctly, it still will not develop the flavor that you want.
 
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Alright, well I think what I'm going to do with these next plants is make absolutely sure I follow everything perfectly, week by week, nutes and all, and also make sure that I harvest when the trichs are actually mature enough. I'm going to use my calender to mark each week and keep track of everything better. This way i can give the right nutes during the right stages, flush during the right times, and have the best chances of success. I'm just going to get super nerd on this S*%&. haha.

Please let me know if I need to adjust my drying process, i will add this to the curing process you told me as well. (first week, open 2x a day for 1 hour each time, 2nd week, open 1x a day for 1 hour, 3rd week, open 1x every other day for an hour continuing week 3 for multiple weeks for a better cure).

Drying: Since I live in NM there is like 0-20% relative humidity on a daily basis. I have a plastic box that I keep the top on, i also put a pyrex dish of water in there to help keep the humidity up otherwise it will fall below 60% pretty fast, with in days. I monitor the humidity constantly and it never went above 90 and never below 55. the 80+ humidity was only for the first day and that was before I had adjusted the ventilation to bring it down to a reasonable level. I doubt mold would grow here anyways but I'm not taking any chances.

I keep them hanging there, at 60% to 70% humidity for as long as possible, hopefully up to 10-12 days but most the time it only makes it 7-8. If anyone has any suggestions here to keep it at a constant 65% for multiple days on end i'd love to hear them, I was thinking a humidifier with a on/off humidity gauge that I can set at 65% but that just screams mold to me, spraying actual moister on and around your buds like that.

After that, and once they lose most of that hay smell I bottle them up and I'll then try the curing process stated above. I will make sure to keep hygrometers in the jars to monitor humidity and make sure it never falls below 60%.

Is that an ok drying process ? What needs to be adjusted to allow for the best possible drying conditions in my desert climate?
 
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Alright - question - What does a mature flowering marijuana plant smell like? Does it reflect the smell it will have when its cured? What if my weed never smells like weed to begin with? I changed strains now and this strain smells completely different. but there was one strain I had that smelled the same weird minty smell all through-out the grow, and that's exactly what it'd taste like after cured. Its hard to explain because nothing else quite tastes like it. but its a minty,planty, not weedy smell. It wasn't a bad taste, it wasn't a hay taste. It just wasn't a weed taste. and the plants smelled that way the whole time they grew.. its more sweet and tangy. definitely not skunky.

*** IMPORTANT*** I've only had 1 plant turn out skunky, and it smelled skunky the whole time it grew. That's why I have little confidence in the plants im growing atm turning out right.... They don't really smell like weed, they smell like a tropical piece of fruit lol. Is that the taste they will reflect?

Second question - How badly does your plants smell like hay once they are cut down? and when you bottle them, is there any hay smell left at all? or is it completely gone?

What do your buds smell like at this point when they are done drying and are going into mason jars for curing? That part always confused me...

Sorry for the novel. lol. Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I honestly appreciate your help more than you can possibly imagine. If you read/answer anything, answer the 3 questions above please X[) those I've been wondering about for ever.
 

Hushpuppy

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To the first question: different strains of MJ will vary widely in smell while growing and half the time will smell similar when done. Not all MJ smells "skunky" or at all like the typical MJ smell. Sometimes you can get a very "piney" smell, sometimes very "lemony", I have had some that smells like exotic woods, some that smells like berries soaked in kerosene, and my favorite, Larry OG Kush smells like wild flowers and honey suckle while growing and tastes of wild flowers and exotic woods, while Barney's Farm Pineapple Chunk when grown organically has slight citrusy smell while growing and tastes just like pineapples when smoked, but when grown in synthetic nutes, only has a slight citrus flavor. If yours smell like tropical fruit while growing then that is good.

Second question: I rarely have hay smell when drying and jarring my buds. I suspect that your issue is that as you said, yours dries so fast. Also, I suspect that you may be drying for too long. I will recommend another method of drying that may help you better. I don't know how much bud you typically harvest but you need to have something that is very air tight that you can put them in but still have plenty off room for there to be a significant amount of room. I actually built a drying cabinet for mine so that I could control the air and humidity level. I think an old refrigerator would be ideal for you to dry your buds in so that they don't dry as fast. What you would have to do is cut 1-2 small holes in the bottom or bottom sides. Then cut a small hole in the top that is big enough for a small computer ffan to cover from the inside. Then you need to make a cover that will sit on the outside that is hinged on one side like a dryer vent cover. This will open when the fan is turned on so that the air can blow out but then shut when the fan turns off.
The purpose of doing all of this is to allow the buds to evaporate moisture more slowly in a controlled air mass. By controlling this air mass you allow the moisture to leave the buds without trapping live chlorophyll, which is what makes the buds smell like hay. The air within the fridge will absorb so much moisture then stop or slow way down, which will allow the moisture that is deeper in the buds to wick itself out to the outer part of the buds. Then this moisture saturated air is removed after a period of time by the fan, and replaced with dry air that can then absorb moisture again.

You would use a timer to cycle the fan off and on. It will take some trial and error to get the cycles right but I would start with 2hrs off and 10min on for the first 48hrs. Then go to 4hrs off to 10min on for the next 48hrs. Then adjust it to 6hrs off to 10min on for another 48hrs. At each 48hr interval you will need to check the buds by feeling them for moisture level. You can also mount a hygrometer on the exhaust fan (or inside)so that you can see how much moisture is flowing out for tracking it automated. I prefer to feel them myself. If they feel "crispy" on the outside after the first 48hrs, you need to plan to run the fan time for the first 48hrs on 3hrs off rather than 2hrs off. If they feel still quite moist then continue at the current time for another 48hrs, and plan the fan cycle for 1hr off to 10min on for the first 48hrs next time. If they feel just moist and maybe a little "crispy" then you know that the 2hrs on to 10min off is the right amount.

Continue to the 4hrs off to 10min on for the next 48hrs. At the end off this 48hr cycle you may find the buds have dried sufficiently to jar them. They will feel soft inside but slightly crispy outside. If not then go to the next stage of drying. If they still ffeel somewhat moist then stay at the 4hrs off to 10min on for another 48hrs. If they don't feel overly moist but still not quite crispy on the outer parts, then go to the 6hr off to 10min on. Having them dry enough to put in jars within 6 days is not at all too fast. you don't need them to stay in the drying cycle for extended period of time, just long enough to get the larger amount of moisture drawn out of them without over drying. You may find that you have to adjust the times that I am giving to better fit with your atmosphere.

Once they are just crispy outside while still soft inside, then you can jar them and begin the cure. Be sure to store the jars in a cool, dry place while curing. When you "air" the jars during the cure, DON'T leave them open for an hour. open them up(the first time) and feel the bud. If it feels the same as when it went in then just wave the jar around for a minute to exchange the air within the jar, then close it back up. If the bud feels damp or moist when you open up the first time, dump it out onto a flat surface and spread it out. leave it out for a few minutes then jar it back up and continue the cure.

I doubt that you will have to do that though given the dry air that you will be working with. You will probably be able to go right on by the numbers. If you got the drying done at the right pace then you should be able to smell the bud good each time you open the jars to air them. Again, don't leave them open long, just wave them around a couple times to replace the air inside the jar then close it up.

I hope this helps you. This is my way of doing it. Everyone does it their own way but the key is to not trap the live chlorophyll by over-drying or drying too quickly. Keep at it and you will get the right method and timing down to make good smoke :)
 
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Hey alright thanks I appreciate that, I will work to see if I get a more solid drying container to work with.

I typically harvest 4-6 oz a plant, 1-2 plants per harvest.

Do you trim your buds and hang them individually? or would I be better off just hanging the whole plant to keep more moisture available since I live in such a dry climate?

Alright good to know, my weed smells good at the moment, so as long as this is normal this is OK with me.

I will jsut keep at it man.
 

Hushpuppy

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I do trim my buds completely before drying as the leaves stand out better when ffresh. I do mine a little different from others, in that I lay mine on window screens that I made to fit my cabinet. I break down my buds to pine cone size and remove larger stems then lay them out on the screens to dry. Most folks hang them individually. I honestly don't think hanging the whole plant would really help with the moisture level. I personally think it would be detrimental as there is more sap in the stems that has to leach out through the leaves. This can lead to the outer parts of the buds getting too dry while the inside is still "green".

I think the key for you is enclosing the air space as tight as possible so that you can control how much moisture gets pulled out at a time. That is why I like to run the fan in cycles of hours of off time. It allows the more dry outside of the bud to remoisten itself by the wicking of the moisture from the inside to the outside of the buds. Allowing them to dry too quick hard-dries out the outer part and traps moisture on the inside. This prevents the chlorophyll from fully degrading.
 
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Alright, Well it looks like I am going to be constructing some type of large drying chamber that I can control the fans on.

Is having a open container of water in the room of the drying plants to bring the humidity back up after venting going to be a problem?

I'm just afraid after 1 day there will be no humidity left on the buds, you hang them to dry here in the open air and the stems crack in 2 1/2 to 3 days, especially in the summer. we got 4" of annual rainfall last year.

Us desert people need good weed too :D

So, I need artificial means to bring the humidity up, either by a humidifier, or leaving an open container of fluids at the bottom on the drying chamber, that always works as well, Or any other ideas I am completely open to. I haven't ever had problems with mold here, things are just way too dry. Its 10% RH at the moment.

I think a box like you are saying with fans running at intervals sucking and exchanging the air out of the chamber. as long as the humidity comes back up in-between fan intervals.
 

Hushpuppy

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Rather than constructing a container, just go to the dump or a used appliance store and get a refrigerator or freezer that has a wasted compressor, but still has the door and good seals. Remove the compressor and coils and then use the box. You can cut/drill small holes in the bottom to allow air to come in when the fan turns on but will act like a bubble (and hold the air mass) when the fan is off. A fridge or freezer would be just right for 6-12oz at a time. You can use "eye" screws in the sides of it to run twine or string in levels and rows to hang your buds, or you can use any existing shelves and lay the buds on them if you want.

You would have to experiment with using a pan of water in the enclosure to see if it would be too much or just right. There's too many variables to say one way or other.
 
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Alright, We I'm a thrifter so I actually see old fridges and stuff that I can use around quite often for around $10. So that's a good idea, that will save me the hassle of worrying about making it, so thats probably what I will be looking for.

I will have to experiment with either water inside the chamber or possibly hooking up a humidifier in the room outside of the chamber, maybe it will passively suck in enough humidity. I will look around for other ways to constantly keep the humidity higher.

Thanks Hush You have been a pretty big help, I will try a few things to see if I can get where I need to be.
 
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I'm starting to realize small differences in the way i do things and the way it should be done. (which is one of the main reasons I came here to ask for specific techniques and the way others do things)

The last time I dried buds I had 0 air circulation, My main focus was on keeping the humidity 60+%, I didn't start to think about it till now that if there isn't ever any active air flow, getting the bad smells out of there won't ever happen. Thats why bottling early or keeping in containers has never worked for me. I have never had a proper opportunity to dry the buds slowly enough, with enough airflow to actually dry them properly, so I'm hoping solving this problem will help me along with a few other tweaks to my performance in other areas.

Thanks again to all, I'm probably done responding now for a while but Hush I will remember your name incase I need some more help in the future. You were very helpful and I appreciate it, I'll post pics and ask more questions later on
 

8planets8

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I did the same thing i got the wide mouth jars and burped them as much as my bible said at the time i used my bible by jorge cervantes its called the indoor marijuana hotculture the indoor bible all new 200 color phtoes,i followed all or most of the instuctions from my hydron grow it took me 2 times but the 3rd time was the charm i swear by it it has everything imagenable in the book you can buy it at high times or where ever for a cheaper mybe used book anyways i used all his knowledge and i did not fail all the way to the end it has everything in it not only hydro but soil to and all sorts of tricks to use to make a better bud 888
 

Hushpuppy

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Don't follow Cervantes religiously. He does know a lot but there are too many ways to effectively grow good buds to lock in on one. I had his book, Ed Rosenthal's book, Clark's Botany, and one other by a Greg someone that I can't remember at the moment(lost them to LEO :( ). I found that there is quite a bit of variation in methods and techniques, and many of the variations can be quite good. Just like the enclosed container with the Boveda humidity packs for smaller harvests that Multi spoke of. I will probably be doing something like that for myself now that I am growing only a small amount.

I have also found many contradictions in both Cervantes' and Rosenthal's books on stuff that they swore was gospel. I don't discredit them but I always try to verify information before I take it as proven. :)
 

bagabones

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I have noticed that flavor and aroma improve during growth while not over feeding nutes... consider lowering nutes until you find the bottom of what show def.. and the raise it up a margin
 
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Hey Thanks Planet and Multifarious, I appreciate your responses. I didn't see multi's till now. D:.

I will have to check out that book, I have watched a few youtube videos regarding him and his techniques and I'd love to hear what he has to say about the end stages of growth/drying/and curing. I will look into it! Thanks.
 
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