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Mold In Curing Jar?


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So I harvested my first crop *big* crop a few weeks ago, dried on clotheslines for a few days, manicured completely, then laid out on screens for another week before putting into jars on October 15. I figured everything was more than ready for the jars at that point, as they had been cut down for almost two weeks. I've been burping them for 10-15 minutes daily since then (OK, maybe I missed a day or two), but this weekend I had to go out of town, so they didn;t get burped for 72 hours. Tonight I open them up and <GASP!> there's crap growing on some of the buds. Light wispy spider webby hairs covered in little solid white dots. If I had a better camera I'd post pics, but I don't. At first my wife thought that it was trichomes, but the little dots are solid white. Should I assume this is botrytis, and id so is there anything I can do? It doesn't seem to be widespread (yet), but I've got a big, fat nug (1" x 3") that is covered in it. Homeboy wants to cry a river right now.

 

Questions:

1) Does this sound like botrytis aka bud mold? I've never had it, never seen it, but it fits the description, since this would theoretically have been the fattest, densest bud in the harvest, so it was probably also the wettest. I did have a spider mite outbreak 6 weeks before harvest, but it didn't seem to touch that plant and I was pretty confident that the room had been cleared of the little buggers back in August. Still, those little white dots worry me.

2) Is there anything that can be done to save the other buds in the same jar that are clean?

3) Can I save the existing bud at all? Can I pick off all of the junk that I can see and still smoke the rest? Or even use it to make hash or cannabutter? Or should it just go straight into the garbage (whimper..)

4) Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the rest of my jars, besides emptying them back out onto the screens and letting them air dry more? I was wondering about putting little sachets of rice or silica gel into the jars to absorb the moisture.

 

And to think that I was in the process of building a drying box for the next harvest so that I could get them dehydrated and into the jars a little quicker.

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Ouch!

 

I usually hang my plants, trim off shade leafs and leave them hang till the stems snap a little when bending.

 

Then they get trimmed up and put into shoe boxes for a day. After the boxes the buds go into 1q mason jars, the lids stay off for 24 hours then the jars are sealed, burping for 1-2 hours every day. I'll also stir or spin the jars gently to mix of the buds.

 

Make sure yours jars are in a relatively dark place.

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the most efficient means to process are:

 

1. chop the plant, immediately manicure it.

 

2. hang dry it in a very well ventilated room, with a fan blowing on it gently.

 

3. it should feel very dry before you put it in airtight containers, like almost crunchy, snappy feeling.

 

4. leaving it on the stems, put it in paper bags that are open and aired for 12 hours, and shut for 12 hours. every 2 cycles of that reach in there and turn them over. do this for 4-5 days.

 

5. trim the nugs off into mason jars, you can continue the curing here with the 12/12 open close cycles, eventually you'll know when you can just shut them.

 

 

this idea of not manicuring the plant until it's hang-dried for a few days is a very old school and dated technique. it's much easier to manicure when the leaves are still wet and standing at attention versus shriveled over the buds.

 

the other problem with this is as the leaves shrivel over the buds, they hold moisture in the bud longer than it should be there - leading to mold.

 

even run a dehumidifier in the room you are drying your buds in if it feels even remotely damp to ensure you won't end up with mold.

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I always "sweat" my buds first of all as this is the way dispensary growers do it out west

 

I never allow a fan to blow on buds

 

 

but ventilation is important

 

Here is a bit better info

 

Drying & Curing your buds

Hi, this article helped me out seriously. Very comprehensive guide on drying and curing buds. Thought I'd share, because you can't find a lot of good info on drying.

 

Drying and curing cannabis properly will yield the most THC-potent smoke. When dried and cured improperly, potency can diminish substantially. The level of THC in a plant is determined by its genetics. Proper drying and curing will keep the THC level as high as genetically possible. It does not increase potency.

A little background on what happens inside and outside the harvested drying plant will help you understand why proper drying and curing are so important to good quality dope. Drying evaporates most of the 70-75 percent water content in fresh marijuana. Drying also converts THC from its non-psychoactive crude acidic form to its psychoactive pH-neutral form. Once dry, THC-potent marijuana can be smoked and you will get high. Every THC molecule must shed their moisture content before they are fully psychoactive.

In other words fresh green marijuana will not be very potent.

When you cut a plant or plant part and hang it to dry, the transport of fluids within the plant continues, but at a slower rate. Stomata, small openings on leaf undersides, close soon after harvest and drying is slowed since little water vapor escapes. The natural plant processes slowly come to an end as the plant dries. The outer cells are the first to dry, but fluid still moves from internal cells to supply moisture to the dry outer cells. When this process occurs properly, the plant dries evenly throughout. Removing leaves and large stems upon harvest speeds drying, however, moisture content within the “dried” buds, leaves and stems is most often uneven.

Quick drying also traps chlorophylls and other pigments, starch and nitrates within plant tissue, making it taste “green” burn unevenly and taste bad.

Taste and aroma improve when these pigments break down.

Slow even drying – where the humidity is similar inside and outside the foliage – allows enough time for the pigments to degrade. Hanging entire plants to dry allows this process to occur over time, about 3-4 weeks at 50-60 percent relative humidity and a temperature range of 60-70 degrees F. (15-21 degrees C.) The large outer leaves also form a protective sheath around buds. This protective foliage shields resin glands on buds from rupture and bruising. Removing large leaves and stems upon harvest saves time. This is what most growers do, because fresh supple leaves are easier to work with than dry leaves. When you are looking a manicuring 5 kilos, you make it as easy as possible! However, this process often causes uneven drying and keeps moisture inside the foliage.

This is why it is important to “cure” the “dry” marijuana.Curing lets the plants continue to dry slowly. The first week of curing affects potency in that it removes moisture within the bud evenly, so that virtually all the THC is psychoactive. Curing also allows buds to dry enough so that mold does not grow when it is stored. A well-cured bud will also burn with an even glow.Note: Rough handling and friction from fondling hands will bruise and knock off resin glands. Even with proper drying and curing, brutal handling of harvested marijuana will diminish THC content.

 

Here is one of the best ways to dry plants to retain the maximum amount of psychoactive THC. Cut the entire ripe plant at the base and hang it upside down on a line to dry. Try to keep plants from touching each other to avoid uneven drying and mold. Keep the humidity between 50-60 percent. Keep the temperature at about 60-70 degrees F. (15-21 degrees C.). The room should be relatively dark as light, especially direct sunlight, degrades THC.A circulation and ventilation fan may be necessary to control heat and humidity. You can also use a dehumidifier to control humidity or an air conditioner to lower ambient relative humidity and control room temperature.

Do not train fans directly on drying plants it causes them to dry unevenly.Depending upon atmospheric conditions and the size and density of plants and buds, plants should be dry enough to smoke in about a week. Plants with outer “fan” leaves intact take longer to dry than if leaves have been removed.Check for dryness by bending a stem. It should snap. The bud should be dry to Cervantestouch, but not brittle. The bud should burn well enough to smoke now.Once dry, carefully manicure buds by cutting large leaves where they attach to the stem.

Leaving the petiole (leaf stem) can cause mold to grow. Snip off smaller leaves that show little resin so that buds a beautiful bud remains. Freeze DryingDry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. CO” changes from its frozen solid to a gas without turning into a liquid, a dry (ice) process that is called sublimation. The atmosphere contains little CO2. Dry ice sublimes (converts) completely into a gas leaving virtually no liquid. It is dry.When moist marijuana is enclosed with dry ice at virtually zero relative humidity, water molecules migrate from the cannabis to the dry ice. The relative humidity of the CO2 increases and the moisture content of the marijuana decreases. This process occurs below 0 degrees C (32 degrees F), preserving the cannabis.Place equal amounts of dry ice and bud into a container. Dry ice on the bottom and bud on top. Seal with a lid. Make a few small holes in the lid of the container for excess gas to exit. Place in the freezer. Check the dry ice every 24 hours. When the ice is gone, the buds will be completely dry. If not dry, add more dry ice until cannabis is dry. Conserve dry ice by partially drying buds for a few days before enclosing with dry ice.This method retains potency, freshness and causes very little degradation of resin glands by the bad guys – heat, light, air and fondling hands. The marijuana tastes ‘minty’ because the chlorophyll does not break down.CuringEven though the plants appear to be dry, they still contain moisture inside. This moisture affects taste and potency.

To remove this excess moisture, curing is necessary. Curing makes the bud uniformly dry and converts virtually all THC into its psychoactive form.

Cut stems into manageable lengths – less than 12 inches (30 centimeters) – and place them in an airtight container. Glass containers with a rubber or similar seal on top are the best. Avoid Ziploc plastic bags, which are not airtight. Many growers also avoid plastic containers such as Tupperware, sighting the plastic imparts an undesirable flavor in the buds. Enclose buds in a container. This creates a microclimate that allows moisture to “even out” within the buds. Internal moisture will migrate to the dry portions of the bud. Gently pack as many buds in the glass container as possible without damaging them. Leave the jar(s) in a cool dry dark place. Check the jar in 2-4 hours to see if buds “sweated” moisture. Check buds by gently squeezing to feel if they are moister than they were a few hours before. Be careful when squeezing buds, they bruise easily. Most often they will be completely dry. If not, leave them in the sealed jar overnight and check the next day.The buds will be a bit moist. Remove them from the jar and gently lay in the bottom of a paper bag. They can be stacked in the paper bag as high as 10 centimeters (3 inches). Close the top of the bag by folding once. Check the buds 2-3 times during the day to see if they are dry. Carefully turn them in the bag so that different sides are exposed. Remove when they are dry and place back into the sealed glass jar. Check them the next day to see if they are evenly dry and not moist again. If moist, remove and place back in the paper bag until dry. When dry place back in the glass container. Repeat process until buds are evenly dry.If buds appear to have fairly low moisture content, you may be able to leave them in the jar and let excess moisture escape out the top. Simply open the jar for a few minutes every few hours to let the excess moisture escape before closing the lid again.

Check the container daily, leaving the top open for 5-10 minutes so moisture evacuates. After a week or two, it should be totally dry and ready to seal airtight. Vacuum seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator for storage. Leave it in the refrigerator or a cool dark dry place for a month or longer. The taste and potency will be tops! Refrigeration slows decomposition but remember, refrigerators have a high humidity level, so the container must be sealed airtight. I just checked the relative humidity in temperature in my refrigerator – 65 percent relative humidity and 5 degrees C. (40 degrees F). Do not place it in the freezer. Freezing draws moisture to the surface of buds, which can harm resin glands on the surface.

I do not recommend fast drying however here is a brief rundown on several methods for those of you who can’t wait.

 

Method One: Manicure fresh buds. Spread them out evenly and wrap in paper or enclose in an envelope. Place the paper or envelope on top of a warm object – refrigerator, radiator, television, etc. Depending upon heat level, buds will be dry in a few hours to overnight. Buds should be a bit crispy when dry. Place buds in an airtight container until they sweat. Follow curing instructions above.

 

Method Two: Cut up fresh buds and foliage. Place on a 6-inch (15 centimeter) square of tinfoil. Hold or place it over a 60-80-watt light bulb. Stir every 30 seconds. The weed takes 1-3 minutes to dry.

 

Method Three: Place cut up buds and foliage on a cookie sheet in an oven at 65 degrees C. (150 degrees F.) for 10- 15 minutes. Check regularly until dry. Follow curing instructions above.

 

Method Four: Place cut up buds and foliage in a microwave oven. Power the oven to 40-50 percent and give short 5-10 second bursts. Check regularly until dry.

 

Method Five: Cut fresh buds and foliage into small pieces and place them in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Place several silica gel desiccant packs (the kind that come with electronic devices and cameras) into the glass jar and seal the jar. Moisture will migrate to the silica gel in a few hours. Remove the packets and dry in the sun. Replace silica packs until marijuana is dry enough to smoke. Find silica gel packs at auto parts or electronic stores.

 

Method Six: Peel stems so they plants dry faster. First remove large leaves. Peel off the outer layer of the stem with a knife. This exposes the inside of the stem and cuts drying time by about 20 percent.Patient growers smoke no bud before its time!

 

source:http://boards.cannabis.com/grow-faqs/60954-drying-curing-your-buds.html

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3) Can I save the existing bud at all? Can I pick off all of the junk that I can see and still smoke the rest? Or even use it to make hash or cannabutter? Or should it just go straight into the garbage (whimper..)

Physically remove any mold that you can and let everything dry. Unless it has molded to the point of decomposition you are probably OK. I knew commercial growers in the 70's who would put the crop in bins until it showed a fine covering of mold then pull it out and let it dry, a cheap and quick way to get rid of the chlorophyll. Here is a thread about mold on cannabis:

Everything about MOLD and marijuana

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it does sound more like mites than mold to me. but without pics, nobody can be 100% sure.

 

it sounds like you harvested properly and burped the jars properly as well. normally it would take much longer than just a couple weeks for mold to form if your buds were as dry as you say and you burped them daily.

 

im surprised you didnt notice small webs at the tops of the branches as they were hanging. normally if you really do have mites, after the buds are hanging and begin to dry, the mites freak out because their food source is now depleting. so they usually get together at the top of the branch as it hangs, spin a few webs, and talk about it for awhile.

 

here's the process i use, paper bags after hanging : http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org/topic/18150-need-your-grow-questions-answered-come-on-in/page__view__findpost__p__175183

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it does sound more like mites than mold to me. but without pics, nobody can be 100% sure.

 

it sounds like you harvested properly and burped the jars properly as well. normally it would take much longer than just a couple weeks for mold to form if your buds were as dry as you say and you burped them daily.

 

im surprised you didnt notice small webs at the tops of the branches as they were hanging. normally if you really do have mites, after the buds are hanging and begin to dry, the mites freak out because their food source is now depleting. so they usually get together at the top of the branch as it hangs, spin a few webs, and talk about it for awhile.

 

here's the process i use, paper bags after hanging : http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org/topic/18150-need-your-grow-questions-answered-come-on-in/page__view__findpost__p__175183

 

I've had a night to look at them, and now I'm not so sure that it's not mite eggs. I've never had a super bad mite infestation (never seen any webbing), but there was another plant in the room that did have mites 6 weeks prior to harvest as I mentioned. Ironically, the buds from that plant look clean. I didn't see anything on the buds as they were trimmed, but I suppose it's possible that some were lurking.

 

If it is mites and not mold, what heck do I do now? Is there any way save this stuff?

 

Here's a photo, not the best, but it gives you an idea.

post-9834-025950600 1288102642_thumb.jpg

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I've had a night to look at them, and now I'm not so sure that it's not mite eggs. I've never had a super bad mite infestation (never seen any webbing), but there was another plant in the room that did have mites 6 weeks prior to harvest as I mentioned. Ironically, the buds from that plant look clean. I didn't see anything on the buds as they were trimmed, but I suppose it's possible that some were lurking.

 

If it is mites and not mold, what heck do I do now? Is there any way save this stuff?

 

Here's a photo, not the best, but it gives you an idea.

 

hmmmm, im still on the fence on this one. this pic helps, but im not sure??

 

i have seen bazillions of mite eggs before, but i can honestly say i have never seen them laid on buds after being cut down, so im iffy about it.

 

when you burped your jars everyday did you just unscrew the lid for a few mins and then put it back on or did you agitate the buds (shake the jar around) a little?

 

i can see those being mite eggs if you did not agitate the buds during burping. its more than possible that there were only a few mites that were trapped in the jar initially and the stress of being trapped and losing food has caused them to reproduce like bunny rabbits over the past couple weeks.

 

one way to be positive would be to separate a couple different buds in a couple different jars and keep watch for a few more days. with that many eggs, you will probably be able to visibly see tons of mites with just the naked eye.

 

as far as help, i have none. sorry. i do not know of any fail-safe way to eradicate mites from already dried meds.

 

keep it for yourself and smoke the heck out of it :) boil it into butter.... make hash with it.

 

believe me, if you have ever smoked mexi before, you have ingested WAY WORSE than just a couple mites.

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Unfortunatly I have had the same little white spots apear on some buds I had in a mason jar, it is a form of mold I don' know the name but I did use a set of bubble bags and made hash with it. The mold does stay with the icewater for some reason, must be becuse it is lighter than the trichs.

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i think yall better check in your garden under every leaf for a tiny black dot. or more. like smaller than the period on your screen.

that stuff is mold i have no doubts happend to me once and it grows fassssttttt i mean it best thing u can do is cut away bad but to prevent dont put anything into a jar that u cant crumble into dust by rubbing ur fingers.. and i dont suggest a fan right away but absolutely a dehumidifier u can put a fan on them after like 2-3 days of hanging but if u do it sooner it kinda dries to fast and u end up with harsh meds.. plus i learned that the dryer it is before put in jar the better it tastes when it comes out of the jar my buddies rush there cure and dont use jars but meds taste good my other buddy he cures forever but dosent get them quite dry enough before he jars his meds and it can sit in there for months and never get that taste we all crave... if u ever need to rehydrate ur meds i take a large pot on the stove boil water and put a window screen on top.. then i take my overdry meds and put them in the jar usually full to top. i place the jar with the lid off face down over the screen and then cover it with a larger container so it looks like stackable cups.. i let it sit for like 5 seconds nothing more and the few nugs on top get a lil moist but not all the way through.. i put the lid on for 24 hours and burp like most people also make sure u do shake around contents when u burp jars.. i hang all plants with all leaves on them and peel the leaves off by hand once they r so dry u could crumble the hole plant to dust then i do as i said above..

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The issue is now settled, and the win goes to Bubblegrower. I found other buds that were in worse shape, and they are definitely mite eggs. Lots of webbing on these other buds, along with the previously noted little white dots. At this point I'm putting the jars into the freezer until the weekend, and then I'll make cannabutter out of them. I don't have bubble hash screens, and money is tight at the moment, so that's the route I'm going for now. There seems like way to much to go the QUISO route.

 

Needless to say, I checked the flower room this morning and found some stipling on a few plants, along with a few walking members of the borg. I prepared a batch of Einstein Oil (neem), soaked them well just before lights out, then set off a pyrethrum fogger bomb. In a couple of days I'll soak them in Azatrol and cross my fingers that they're gone for good.

 

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I'm a bit worried about the rest of the jars that aren't showing eggs yet. Does anyone have a suggestion for anything I can do to prevent a further outbreak? I'm not comfortable spraying them with anything now that they are curing. If I had a source for CO2 or nitrogen I was thinking about flooding the jars and sealing them up for 24 to 48 hours, but I don't know how or where to get such a small amount. This may be out on a limb, but what about N20 (nitrous oxide aka laughing gas)? I could pick up a box of Whip-Its and use a whipped cream dispenser to fill the jars. Any ideas?

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The issue is now settled, and the win goes to Bubblegrower. I found other buds that were in worse shape, and they are definitely mite eggs. Lots of webbing on these other buds, along with the previously noted little white dots. At this point I'm putting the jars into the freezer until the weekend, and then I'll make cannabutter out of them. I don't have bubble hash screens, and money is tight at the moment, so that's the route I'm going for now. There seems like way to much to go the QUISO route.

 

Needless to say, I checked the flower room this morning and found some stipling on a few plants, along with a few walking members of the borg. I prepared a batch of Einstein Oil (neem), soaked them well just before lights out, then set off a pyrethrum fogger bomb. In a couple of days I'll soak them in Azatrol and cross my fingers that they're gone for good.

 

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I'm a bit worried about the rest of the jars that aren't showing eggs yet. Does anyone have a suggestion for anything I can do to prevent a further outbreak? I'm not comfortable spraying them with anything now that they are curing. If I had a source for CO2 or nitrogen I was thinking about flooding the jars and sealing them up for 24 to 48 hours, but I don't know how or where to get such a small amount. This may be out on a limb, but what about N20 (nitrous oxide aka laughing gas)? I could pick up a box of Whip-Its and use a whipped cream dispenser to fill the jars. Any ideas?

 

sounds like your plan of attack is right on.

 

i understand your frustration at this point, but i fear the damage is done :(

 

even if you were to gas the little gentlemen in the jars, you are still going to be smoking dead mites. live mites, dead mites..... i dont see much difference :(

 

but, i assume, and im no scientist here, but i assume they would die if frozen in the freezer..... maybe not? let us know!!

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