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How to build an automated cannabis curing system

Published Apr 10, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / aleksandar kamasi

We know that big cannabis companies have used technologies to simplify and perfect the process of growing, drying, and curing the flower, but the average joe doesn’t do too much different today. Most still rely on those glorious mason jars for protection and processing power, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If it’s working for you, then you might not want to change your ways, but if you’re craving a better way, then we’ve got you covered with a simple, yet powerful automated cannabis curing system.

The benefits

With old-school personal curing cannabis techniques, once the buds are finished air-drying, they need to be stored away in glass jars that are burped every few days for several weeks to preserve the wonderful qualities that lie within. It’s a lengthy and challenging process to keep dozens of jars going at a time, and an automated system like this one just simplifies it all while using technology to ensure that everything goes smoothly along the way.

The drawbacks

It takes hydro, time, money, space, patience, and consistent interaction for this method of cannabis curing to work out, so if you’re gone from home for long periods of time, or are forgetful, then the automated system might not be ideal for you. It’s automatic, but it still takes dedication from you.

How to build an automated system for curing cannabis

This automated system will take up a bit of space, but it’ll do all of the hard work for you, and it’s really not hard to put together at all. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced cultivator, just follow the steps below, and in no time, you’ll have a fully functional automated tool just like the big wigs.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 30ft roll of Medical grade hose 3/16 inch diameter
  • 6 small check valves
  • 3 large buckets with airtight screw-on lids
  • 3 Boveda humidity packs (62%)
  • 1 air pump
  • 1 manifold (at least 3 valves)
  • 1 drill
  • 1 drill bit 13/64 inch

Instructions

  1. Affix the drill bit to the drill, and then use it to make one hole approximately 2 inches up from the bottom on the side of each bucket.

  2. Now measure 2 inches from the lowest lip, down the side of a bucket, and drill another hole there in each of the containers.

  3. Cut 3 5-feet-long pieces of the medical grade hose, and then affix one of the check valves onto the end of each one. Make sure that it’s facing the appropriate direction, because we need it to feed air out of the tubes, not into them.

  4. Once the valves are installed, carefully feed the tubes one by one into the lowest drilled holes from the inside of the bucket. It will be a tight fit, so an angled cut might help to make this a little bit easier.

  5. Measure and cut 3 more pieces of tubing that are each 1 foot long.

  6. Install check valves onto the ends of each of the tubes, facing the same direction as last time.

  7. Now, we need to install the tubes into the higher holes, but this time from the outside because otherwise, the valves will not fit. Make sure that all of the valves are also on the outside of the bucket, as this is what creates an airtight system once the pump is turned off.

  8. Connect the longer lower tubes to the manifold.

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  9. Attach the manifold to the air pump and then test out the airflow by screwing on all of the bucket lids and flicking the switches to open the connections to the air pump.

At this point, your curing system should be ready to go, and each bucket has the capability of curing up to 3 pounds of top-shelf cannabis flower.

How to use it

After you’ve finished drying cannabis for the season, you’ll need a good set of instructions to make this useful device work in the way that you hope.

1. Drying cannabis

It is essential that all buds are thoroughly and properly air-dried before they are stored in the system for curing. Otherwise, you’ll risk mold and a much longer waiting period before any of the plant product will be ready for consumption.

2. Filling system for curing cannabis

Do not exceed the limitations for your curing containers, which in this case is around 2/3 of the way full.

3. Seal it up

All points of entry must be sealed to limit any possible air exchange outside of your control, so if you’ve noticed any leaks, it’s best to seal them up with duct tape now.

4. Pop in a Boveda pack

Each bucket, once filled, should be topped off with a 62% Boveda pack, which will maintain the humidity at no higher or lower than 62%.

5. Wait 5-7 weeks

Curing cannabis into a top-shelf product is no fast feat. It takes patience and dedication to get this far, and you’ll need to pay close attention for the whole 5-7 weeks. During that time, you’ll need to burp the containers twice each day for 15 minutes by turning on the air pump and allowing it to force the air exchange inside of the containers. After 3 weeks, you’ll see a noticeable difference in smell, and by 5 weeks, your yield should be just about ready to go.

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