How Long Should I Burp My Jars When Curing?
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No doubt you’re familiar with the phrase, patience is a virtue. Certainly, we can all use a little more patience in many aspects of our lives.
And it’s particularly important when growing weed. Especially in those all-important final weeks.
Raising a crop, especially your first, can be an exciting adventure akin to a long-distance road race. You’ve been following the course diligently making sure the little ones in your charge are properly watered and have gotten all the things they need to grow strong.
And now you’re nearing the finish line.
The important thing here is to be patient and stay the course. While you may be itching to enjoy your very first home-grown smoke, knowing the right time to harvest will make all the difference in the taste, aroma, and quality of your end product.
You’re in the final stretch. After the harvest, all you need to do is dry and cure your crop.
What is Burping?
Ever heard of Tupperware? Those ground-breaking plastic bowls and containers for the kitchen with the airtight/watertight lids were patented in 1949 by New Hampshire-born inventor Earl Tupper.
One of the necessary processes of storing food in Tupperware and similar containers was that once you put the lid on, you needed to lift an edge just a bit and “burp” it to make sure excess air was released before resealing. This step helped ensure the food inside stayed fresh.
So what does it have to do with weed?
Once you’ve harvested and dried your weed crop, you’ll have to cure it. Curing weed is the final step in the growing process, and it involves storing the buds in airtight containers.
And like the idea behind Tupperware, you’ll need to burp your weed containers to release excess air and humidity from them.
Most growers when they cure their weed don’t use plastic containers, although they could. Many plastic containers have a tendency to leach out smells into the buds being stored in them, and this can negatively impact their taste.
Glass jars with airtight lids are more commonly used, and while you can’t really “burp” glass, the idea of releasing the air and moisture from them periodically stays true to the Tupperware concept.
The Importance of Burping During the Curing Process
Burping is the most important part of curing, and if you don’t bother with burping your containers, you might as well skip the entire curing process.
During the curing process, your buds will shed carbon dioxide gases, and moisture. Burping the containers they are in will allow that moist air to leave and for fresh air to come in thereby protecting your buds from mold and rot.
Adequate burping will also improve the taste and potency of your buds.
When Can I Stop Burping My Jars?
So long as you keep your buds in a jar, they will need to be burped at least occasionally as they will still produce some gases. That is unless you are storing them in a vacuum-packed container.
As time goes on, however, you will need to do it less frequently. Once your buds have been curing for a month, it will only be necessary to burp your jars once a week.
Things to Look Out for When Burping
How often you need to open your jars depends on the amount of relative humidity (RH) that builds up inside. Optimum RH is between 55 and 60 percent. If you find the RH in your jars getting up to around 70 percent, you’ll want to air dry your buds before going any further.
Another sure sign that your buds were not sufficiently dried before curing is if you open a sealed jar for burping and get the distinct smell of ammonia. This is what anaerobic bacteria smells like when it is eating up your buds.
Leaving them to cure in this state will cause them to become moldy.
Alternatively, if you check your buds at the beginning of the curing process and find them to be a bit crunchy, check them again after a full day of curing. By then they should have lost some of this quality.
If they remain crunchy, you may need to rehydrate them with Boveda humidity control packs.
Some jars come with humidity sensors built into the lids for easy monitoring, but if you don’t have that kind, you can also buy them separately and place them inside your jars.
What is Jar Curing?
Jar curing is the tried-and-true method for increasing the drying time of weed to help ensure an even amount of moisture around the entire bud. Done right, it improves the aroma, flavor, and potency of your end product, leaving you with a smoother smoke.
Steps to Properly Jar Cure Cannabis
Jar curing is a vital process if you want the best taste, aroma, and potency from your buds. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Skipping these steps would be like running a long-distance race and then walking off the course just before the finish line. Don’t skip it!
Once your buds have been sufficiently dried and trimmed, place them loosely in a hermetically-sealed jar. Wide-mouthed Mason jars or Kilner canning jars are the go-to choices for most experienced growers.
Don’t overfill them. Rather, pack your jars about 2/3 full.
Make sure you store your jars in a cool, dark closet or another area free from direct sunlight. This will protect against mold forming as well as degradation of the THC content. Ideally, the temperature of the room should be about 70 degrees with about 60 to 65 percent humidity.
During the first week of the curing process, your buds will need to be aired out regularly. Some growers recommend opening each jar for about 5 to 10 minutes at least three times a day.
Other growers suggest just once a day but for a longer period of time from thirty minutes to an hour. Either way, in these early days of curing, you need to allow your buds ample opportunity to breathe on a daily basis while also creating optimal relative humidity inside the jar.
When you open the jar, shake the weed about gently. You can also spread it out on a newspaper to enable more moisture to escape.
Remember, the goal is to slowly remove moisture hidden in the center of your buds as that will improve its overall aroma, flavor and potency.
After the first week–some growers extend this process to two–you can let your buds sleep through a few nights (and days) without disturbing them. Opening your jars only every two to three days should be sufficient at this point.
After about three weeks, your weed should be ready for a smoke. However, this is where practicing a little more patience can pay off.
Extending the curing period for a few more weeks of slow drying will greatly improve the flavor, aroma, and potency of your product. Try it!
Growing marijuana is an adventure, but it can be easy to make a misstep anywhere in the process. Fortunately, there is a strong online community of growers and resources that can offer useful tips along the way.
The key is to be patient. Like anything new you learn, you’ll soon find that with a little hard work and dedication, your efforts should pay off.