The Dude Grows Show

Long term preservation

In memory of Duchy and “Uncle Dan”

“All you have to do is what you are supposed to do.”

The dilemma every successful grower will ultimately come across is what to do with all of these dank nugs. Here are some techniques that my family has used for over 60 years to preserve food and our most precious harvest. As technology and access to monitoring equipment have progressed, I have continued to modernize the approach, but the overall process remains largely unchanged. I have min-maxed this shit to hell, even going as far as using liquid nitrogen to purge, and this is the way to go, in my opinion. In the end, you will have a hermetically sealed container ready for long-term storage in a cool, dark place.

I recommend doing this in a drying room-type environment where humidity and temperature are controlled.

Recommended equipment:

Full face shield: I just bought one with an adjustable headband from Harbor Freight. It’s a bit shoddy but works and saved me from a Metabo blade to the face. (unrelated accident for those wondering)

Medical mask: Yuck, I said the M word. I know we all hate them, but you don’t want your butthole-eating mouth germs all in your dankness just yet.

~7qt Oval crockpot, slow cooker, double boiler, whatever you need to safely melt some food-grade wax. Use your brain; don’t burn down your house, your neighbor’s house, or set Australia on fire again. Summernats is all the extra smoke we need in our life; have a fire extinguisher.

High-quality cheese wax. Do not skimp on quantity or quality. Color does not matter; red has its advantages.

Large mouth Mason jars w/ NEW ring lids: We generally used half-gallon for long-term storage.

Parchment paper appropriate to your needs.

Those lovely little digital hygrometers: How the hell do you pronounce that even.

Wallaby Oxygen Absorber packs: You could probably get by with something less, but trust me, when the terps hit you later, you will thank me.

AND last but most certainly not least a recently hung harvest perfectly dried, trimmed, and ready to be jarred.

The way things roll around here:

We wear our protective gear to make sure all the buds are safe anytime we are handling or in the same room.

Prior to trim, I prep my jars by bringing them into the room and dropping 2 oxy packs in the sealed jars ~24hrs prior. The goal is mostly to make sure the jars are at the same room temperature. If you are prepared, time does the work for you. Just let them sit in the corner.

Day of trim, we are dropping the temperature in the room and then trim and jar as we go, popping a hygrometer top and bottom of each jar and 2 oxy packs before popping the lid on. We monitor for 30 days, do what we need to bring them to 60% stable humidity across all jars, and prepare for final by reshuffling the contents to remove the bottom hydrometers. Leave two oxy packs top and bottom and a hygrometer towards the top.

Cover EVERY working surface and maybe the floor around the crockpot in parchment paper. Melt the wax day of final jarring on the low/keep warm setting. The wax has a reasonably low melting point so no need to crank it. Prior to dipping, we pull the last hygrometer and hand-tighten the lid and then dip the jars, lid down to the 6-cup marker. Set aside to cool. Personally, I like to coat the whole exterior of the jar to prevent light from getting in.  This is optional and reduces the mess and workload significantly if you skip this step. Amber jars do the trick if you can find them. Once the wax is hardened, find a cool, safe place to store.

Using this method, we would often bury our jars underground, wrapping them in old grain bags to protect the jars for when we needed to dig them back up. If storing underground over winter, the recommendation is to look up your local ground frost line and dig down so the top of the jars is < six inches below the frost line. This allows for some fluctuation and leaves some room for human error. You are generally diggin a reasonably deep hole so someone else is unlikely just dig them up. If doing individual jars, a post hole digger is your friend. Over the years, we planted many jars on camping trips and other occasions, often much shallower with little to no noticeable consequence. Keep a record of the depth and location.

The longest we kept jars was over 7 years but regularly greater than one year. Good Luck.

Keep the faith, and don’t get caught.


One response to “Long term preservation”

  1. Hybrid Ohio Avatar

    The importance of wearing a mask is we are removing all of the oxygen and the bacteria that can grow in that environment is particularly nasty. We are borrowing from food safety & preservation best practices in terms of sanitation and environment.

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