Originally Posted by mushroombrew
I was more interested in your opinion. Taste? Smell?
When the buds are actively steamed, like in my setup in the beginning before I realized the importance of keeping humidity down but was unable to do so, it's clear that some terpenes are easily carried away whereas others are left behind. The normal weed 'skunk' smell is one that gets lifted away, billowing out into the air in clouds of steam, whereas the 'mint' smell was left behind in one pheno that had it. I would think with a lower humidity level with no water condensing on the buds or steam coming out the barrel, the terpene stripping would be less intense, however, some terpenes are more volatile than others so there will be a definite change of smell and taste.
It's been 10 months and many, many bowls of weed since this experiment was conducted, and a large part of the process was the initial trial and error. I also did not take detailed notes of the parts that went right, because I wasn't intending to share this method until it was fully dialed in, so my memory is a bit foggy on some things. Certain circumstances have prevented me from doing any further experimenting on this for the moment, but I found these pictures and thought it would be best to go ahead and share, in the hopes it will inspire others to work on the process and help perfect it.
From what I do remember, the buds took on a mild earthy note, without any kind of loud pronounced smell. The taste was excellent, as an noted, the cobs made from #9 had a nice minty smell.
As for why someone would want to do this, well, when you hold one of these logs in your hand and also smoke it, then you will understand far better than any paragraphs of mine can explain. There are several good reasons to make logs instead of curing cannabis in other ways. And there are also specific situations where the 'traditional' ways would be better.
Let's say I'm a grower, with a big warehouse full of bud, or a field of large plants all finishing at the same time. What is the most labor intensive (and therefore expensive) process in cannabis farming? Trimming, of course. The whole scene with a crew of guys sitting around in a room all day with scissors is going the way of the dodo bird, because it's way too expensive and there are better ways of doing things. This is one of them.
With this method you don't have to trim nearly as much; just large and small fan leaf removal is really all you have to do. Nobody is going to sweat a little sugar leaf being in their log. When done right (and I'm telling you, the results pictured so far are not
the best you can get) it will not hurt the appearance or smoke quality in the least. Not only does that save on labor, but less material goes to waste also. You no longer need a hash pile, just a compost pile.
Towards the end I accidentally found a trick that works wonders for improving bud appearance. The heat and steam of this process causes the bud tissue to swell and its structure to break down a bit, which makes the leaf material soft and pliable. Trimming in this state is actually much easier, if one wanted to do any. Here's the trick: take the whole branch and dip it down in a bucket of water, and pull it out. The sugar leaves will plaster themselves to the sides of the buds, smoothing out the bud surface instead of leaves sticking out everywhere as is usual. This improves bud appearance.
Now you cut the buds off the branches, pile them up, and roll them into a log. When rolled, the soft, pliable plant material plus presence of hot resin on the leaves causes the buds to glue themselves together, forming the smooth, uniform log shape you see pictured. You can also easily compress the log to the exact density you desire, while rolling. The finished log, when dried, is nice and spongy and holds itself together well. When you start pulling pieces off, it feels sort of like pullng apart a cotton ball. It has a really nice 'feel' to it.
Now look at one of the problems that a dispensary for example faces, or other pot retailer. The budtenders have to weigh out each sale, which is a laborous and error prone process, vulnerable to dishonesty. What if the "weighing and packaging" could be done by machine, automatically, at the factory
? Other than the mild amount of trimming required, the log rolling process can be (and will be) completely automated, producing logs of exactly the same size, shape, and weight
The half-log that you see pictured is exactly one ounce of bud, compressed lightly, broken off from a larger log. Look how how easy it is to hold, store, and handle. A machine could produce standard-sized logs of a specific weight day in and day out, in whatever shape desired; log, brick, or something else. And it would be perfectly smooth and uniform, very presentable.
Finally, from the standpoint of a smoker, this process improves the smoke quality considerably. The weed burns better, tastes great, and most importantly, has a significantly improved effect over the raw weed. The log is an easy way to store and handle the weed, as mentioned. And with all the cost savings along the production chain, logs will be cheaper also.
It's one of those rare situations where everybody wins. That's why I fully expect this idea to catch on like wildfire, once we get past the initial doubting and get people to try this for themselves
Not long after the rosin extraction thread was started, one reportedly could not find a single hair iron in any thrift store in all of southern California. That goes to show the power of these forums to reach people in the cannabis world. I fully expect to see empty 55 gallon drums disappearing off of empty lots and being repurposed to weed curing chambers. We're only talking maybe $100 here at the most to get into the log rolling game. Do not disappoint me, Icmag. Those of you who jump on this this thing early will be happy you did.