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Fermentation of cannabis buds

When all the main work in the greenhouse has been successfully done, and the cannabis plants are abundantly covered with ripe resinous inflorescences, the long-awaited moment of cannabis harvests arrives in the grower’s life. But for the harvest of cones to be as pleasant and rich in impact, flavor and aroma as possible, it is necessary to properly harvest fresh raw material. It is not difficult to do this if you understand the essence of some of the processes that occur in the plants during drying.

What is fermentation?
When a cut plant begins to dry out, some of the cells responsible for important life processes gradually die. But other cells continue to be kept alive by the fermentation process. A genetic program designed to reproduce offspring prevents the plant and its tissues from dying quickly. Instead, the microbes and enzymes in its cells break down complex chemicals and convert them to simpler ones. Mostly various sugars and starches are broken down, forming alcohol and simple acids. Chlorophyll is also broken down, which is expressed outwardly as a gradual change in color from green to warmer shades of yellow and brown. This process is called fermentation.

Principle of cone fermentation

For fermentation to be more active, the fresh parts of the plant must be placed in an isolated dark space that is at room temperature, with minimal access to oxygen. In this way, the cells of the plant will use organic oxidants from their own tissues instead of oxygen, allowing the buds to mature by converting substances (such as chlorophyll) that are unnecessary in the final product into useful resins. With proper fermentation the taste and aroma of cones becomes softer, sweeter, brighter and more pleasant.

Fermenting large quantities of raw materials
If there are enough inflorescences, they can be placed in a large container or tarpaulin bag, but not too tightly to each other. If there is little material and plenty of free space with oxygen, most of the energy given off by the bacteria will be dissipated, and this will slow down the process considerably. Consequently, the less oxygen there is in the space to ferment the cones, the faster the process will proceed.

However, a certain amount of oxygen must still be allowed to the freshly cut plants, otherwise they could over-digest and spoil. Therefore, during fermentation, it is necessary to turn and ventilate the inflorescences in the container or place where they are stored up to several times a day. It takes about 1-2 weeks at room temperature for the inflorescences to fully ferment and ripen. You can tell this externally by the complete loss of the original green color. After that, the cones can be dried and cured in containers. And only then enjoy their unforgettable taste and aroma.

Accelerated fermentation of cones
To ferment more quickly, you need to increase the ambient temperature from room temperature to higher (at +40 degrees). To do this you need to wrap the cones in several layers of toilet paper or tissues and then wrap them in a layer of foil so that a minimum amount of oxygen gets inside. This wrapping can be placed in any warm place with the right temperature. This can be a warm radiator or a slightly heated oven. A quick fermentation takes one to several hours, and once every 30 minutes you must take the cones out to air them and check. Once they have darkened and changed color, they can be taken out and dried.

Some growers place various spices and spices such as ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, sage or citrus zest in the fermentation space to give the cones a special flavor.

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