Cure Puck FAQ
What is a Cure Puck?
The Cure Puck is a smart IoT device that helps ensure perfect curing every time by measuring key indicators in the headspace, the environment in the curing room, and automatically burping containers when required.
Who is the Cure Puck for?
People who currently cure and want to automate their process.
People who do not know how to cure and want to improve their flower quality.
People who love to know every data point and want to perfect their craft.
Who is a Cure Puck not for?
Those who believe Curing is Bro Science – sorry the Cure Puck will not be a fit.
Why use a Cure Puck?
To experience the full potential of a harvest.
Why is a Cure Puck better than simply manually burping the container?
There is nothing wrong with manually burping a container assuming you regularly remember to do it, know exactly when to do it, and know how much air to exchange (assuming the air you are introducing is controlled as well). The advantage of Cure Puck is it gives more insight into when to burp and for how long. It does this automatically, so you know you are getting the best results every time. Introducing too much very dry air can ruin the cure. As well as introducing too much moist air.
Why is the Cure Puck better than a hygrometer?
A hygrometer is a common tool for monitoring the relative humidity of curing flower. Unfortunately, most hygrometers do not have the accuracy required for effective decision making. Typically, hygrometers under $100 have an accuracy of +/- 4%, and rapidly lose accuracy. Considering the sweet spot of flower curing is 60% – 63% RH, a meter’s accuracy is important. The Cure Puck uses high accuracy sensors that are +/- 1%. These sensors are also user replaceable. The Cure Puck measures water activity, CO2, temperature, room environment, and burps the container the perfect amount when required. It provides alerts if the flower is at risk of microbial growth.
Can I program the Cure Puck to simply automate my current curing process?
Yes. If you have a defined process that produces well-cured flower, you can program the Cure Puck to automatically burp based on your parameters.
How do I control the Cure Puck?
This Cure Puck can be monitored and controlled manually through an onboard interface, automatically with onboard programs or algorithms, or remotely through a web interface.
Is curing flower important?
Those who have been cultivating high-quality flower for a long time and have experienced the difference in well-cured flower certainly understand the benefit. When done correctly, curing makes a noticeable improvement in overall quality, shelf life, and stickiness.
What does it mean to cure flower?
Curing flower preserves, enhances, and stabilizes the desired properties of flower such as flavor, aroma, potency, water activity, and shelf life. Curing takes place after a flower plant has been cut down and most of the moisture has been removed through the drying process – an 80% reduction in original wet weight. Curing can begin once this majority of moisture has been removed. The remaining moisture is removed and stabilized slowly and controlled in a cool environment. This extends biosynthesis and respiration which allows enzymatic reactions to take place. These reactions occur within cells and involve enzymes, which are proteins that act as catalysts to facilitate and accelerate specific chemical reactions. Enzymatic reactions can breakdown glucose, starches, and chlorophyll improving flavor and aroma. These reactions create other compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. This process involves the polymerization of terpenes and other organic compounds, which can form larger, more complex molecules that contribute to the unique characteristics of different flower strains.
What gases are given off in the curing process?
Various gases are produced in curing flower. The most critical gas is water vapor. CO2, particularly in the initial stages of curing can climb up to 2500ppm. Ethylene is produced in low levels, typically below 10ppm. Ammonia can be produced if too much heat and moisture is present during curing. This can produce the cat pee aroma of low-quality flower. Aldehydes, such as hexanal, and their corresponding alcohols and esters are produced when flower is wet trimmed and cured. This combination produces a Cut Grass smell and dissipates over time.
Is Oxygen good or bad for curing?
Oxygen plays dual roles in curing. It provides the fuel for aerobic activity to take place and enhance the cure process. This process called respiration is the breakdown of stored organic matter such as glucose and carbohydrates by enzymes. This process consumes oxygen and produces CO2. Alternatively, over an extended period, too much oxygen can lead to oxidization. In dried flower oxidization can lead to the breakdown of organic compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. This process can cause a loss of potency, undesirable changes in flavor, aroma, and deterioration in appearance. Proper storage in a cool, dark, airtight container is necessary.
What is the difference between Respiration and Biosynthesis?
Respiration and biosynthesis are two distinct processes that occur in living organisms. Respiration is the process by which living organisms break down stored organic matter, such as carbohydrates, to produce energy for cellular activities. This process requires oxygen and releases carbon dioxide as a by-product. Biosynthesis, on the other hand, is the process by which living organisms create new organic matter, such as proteins and other complex molecules, from simpler compounds. In flower, biosynthesis is responsible for the production of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that contribute to the plant’s unique effects, flavor, and aroma. While biosynthesis is most prevalent in the growing and flowering stages of flower, there is evidence this process continues into the preliminary stages of curing.
What gases does the Cure Puck monitor?
Currently, Cure Puck monitors Water Vapor and CO2. Future versions of the Cure Puck may monitor additional gases that are curing markers. At this point, the current monitoring is sufficient to produce a consistent cure.
What is the ideal range of CO2 in curing flower?
The presence of CO2 indicates respiration is taking place – this is a good sign. This can range from 450ppm to 2500ppm and will vary depending on the stage of the cure and the amount the gas is burped. The ambient CO2 levels in Alaska average 400ppm, whereas Bangkok Thailand can exceed 800ppm.
Does a lack of CO2 during curing signify curing has stopped?
While it is an indicator that respiration has dramatically slowed or stopped, it is not a clear indication curing has stopped.
What is the ideal range of Water Vapor?
This can depend on the cultivar being cured, the density and structure of that cultivar, the temperature, and flower on or off the stalk. Ensuring all measurements are taken at a consistent temperature is particularly important. It is recommended to stay between 60F and 65F (15.5C – 18.3C). Do not exceed 70F (21C). In most cases, the ideal range is .60 – .62 water activity. The higher the number, the more moisture in the flower. Over .63 water activity for an extended period can put the flower at risk of microbial growth.
Does curing flower improve quality?
Curing improves the burn, aroma, flavor, and shelf life. Curing has a distinct effect on the flower terpene profile – the flower’s essence will have a different expression after curing. Instead of distinct notes, the aroma is often described as a sweeter compilation or medley. A well-executed curing process can enhance the presence of flavonoids, leading to a richer and more complex flavor profile in the final product. There are anecdotal reports that curing increases potency; however, we have been unable to verify this with lab testing.
What does well-cured flower feel like?
When squeezed, it will compress and then puff back up – like a fresh marshmallow. After the squeeze, it will stick to your finger and hang from it – the longer the better. When pulled from your finger the trichomes sometimes create thin, sticky, and stretchy strings. The stem inside will snap and make a faint audible crack sound. Any trichome covered sugar leaves will be slightly pliable, not brittle.
What is the difference between Terpenes and Terpenoids?
While the terms terpenes and terpenoids are often used interchangeably in the context of flower, technically speaking, terpenes are the primary aromatic compounds found in flower, while terpenoids refer to terpenes that have undergone some form of chemical modification.
What are anthocyanins and their interaction with curing?
While anthocyanins are not a primary concern in flower curing, their presence may have some minor implications for the overall quality and appearance of the final product.
How long does curing flower take?
This depends on many factors. The most important being the moisture content or water activity of the flower. If flower is overdried, curing becomes difficult and often impossible – so in that sense, there is no point trying to cure. The slower the moisture can be removed and stabilized, the longer the curing process will take. At a minimum, 10 days is recommended for curing. Often changes such as a sweeter aroma are not noticeable for 21 days (about 3 weeks).
Should the flower be trimmed before curing?
We recommend the flower be trimmed before curing. If you choose not to trim, it is recommended you remove all fan leaves as they can produce an excess earthy aroma. Trimming after curing can be more difficult as the leaves can be stickier which gums up scissors.
Should the flower be on or off the stalk when curing?
You can cure on the stalk, or off the stalk. A slower and longer cure can be achieved when flower is left on the stalk as moisture can be pulled from the stalk lengthening the biosynthesis period. However, this method requires significantly more container space than bucked flower. Bucked flower requires fewer containers and labor as it takes up less space.
How full should the curing container be when curing?
The container should never be more than ¾ full (ideally no more than ½ full). The headspace in the container – the air above the flower – will accumulate the gas and moisture produced by biosynthesis and respiration in the curing process and the stabilizing of water activity. Insufficient headspace is detrimental to the curing process.
Does curing flower produce white ash?
There are numerous factors that contribute to White Ash outside of the curing process. Curing equalizes and stabilizes moisture in flower which will help with white ash. Excess moisture or unstable moisture in flower contributes to dark ash.
What is the difference in value between well-cured flower and overdried flower?
Overdried flower can weigh 5% less than well-cured flower – $50 lost for every $1000 sold. The difference in quality can have a large variance and that value will be different in most markets. It is safe to say there would be a 10% reduction in value in established competitive markets – $100. The overall value lost or gained could be much larger or smaller depending on various other factors.
What are the biggest mistakes in curing flower?
Over drying flower or trying to cure flower that is too wet. Ensuring the flower leaves a slow and cold dry room at the right time is important. The flower needs enough moisture to continue the process of biosynthesis and respiration, and not too much moisture that can promote harmful fungal or bacterial growth. Elevated temperatures and constant bright light also negatively affect the curing process.
How important is the drying process in curing flower?
Absolutely critical. The flower must enter the curing process without being over dried or under dried.
What is worse, over drying or under drying before curing?
Flower that is under dried can always have more moisture removed. Flower that has been cooked in the dry process will not benefit from curing. Break out the orange peels, tortilla shells or Boveda packs.
What is Relative Humidity?
Relative humidity (RH) is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at a given temperature. Relative humidity can be especially useful when monitoring flower in a sealed chamber, particularly over an extended period. The equilibrium of relative humidity in a sealed chamber over time is used to calculate water activity. Equalized Relative Humidity / 100 = Water Activity
What is Water Activity?
Water activity (aw) is a measure of the amount of “free” or “available” water in a flower. It is a measure of the water vapor pressure in the flower, compared to the vapor pressure of pure water at the same temperature and pressure. In simple terms, water activity is a measure of how much water is available for chemical and biological reactions to occur within a substance. Water activity is an important parameter in the food industry and is becoming the preferred method in flower. It provides a more accurate indication of the amount of free water available in the flower, while other methods such as moisture content measure the total moisture content which includes both free water and bound water. Free water or available water is water that is not bound to other molecules or surfaces. Free water is what feeds microbial growth and can affect the quality and safety of flower. Water activity can also be a good indicator of degradation and shelf life. Water activity is a unitless number that ranges from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating a completely saturated sample and 0 indicating a completely dry sample. An ideal range for most flower is .60 – .62.
What is Moisture Content?
Moisture content refers to the amount of water or moisture present in a flower, typically expressed as a percentage of the flower's overall weight. It is a measure of the “wetness” of a substance, or how much water is contained within it. This was a popular way of measuring the moisture of flower, however, it has a few disadvantages that make it less ideal in flower curing.
What causes bacterial and fungal growth?
Bacterial and fungal growth can take place on improperly dried and cured flower. Molds, which are fungi, are more common on flower than harmful bacterial growth. Molds are decomposers, breaking down dead organic matter, and can grow when conditions are favorable (e.g., damp and warm environments). Some common types of molds include Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Cladosporium and Botrytis. Proper airflow can also help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi, which can compromise the quality and safety of the flower.
Can the Cure Puck detect if my flower is too moist for curing?
Yes, the Cure Puck will try to remove the moisture as fast as possible. It will also alert you that the flower is too wet and should be put back out to dry further.
What amount of moisture is too wet?
This depends. Water Activity over .63aw is at risk of microbial growth. However, it is possible to cure flower up to .67aw in a container that has a small volume of flower and large volume of headspace, especially if the flower is left on the stalk. High water activity becomes a challenge when flower deep in the container cannot respire efficiently. This flower will require mixing or fluffing to allow adequate airflow – access to oxygen and off-gassing. If the Relative Humidity does not drop quickly during a burp below the lower limit – typically 60% – the flower should be removed from the curing chamber and dried further.
Can flower feel crispy and still have high moisture content?
Yes. Flower can be very crispy on the outside and wet on the inside. Flower can be cured this way; however, it cannot be done in a deep layer as the moisture can get trapped without easy access to the headspace for oxygen and off-gassing.
What is the best size container for curing flower?
This depends on the volume that requires curing. Smaller containers will give more control and larger containers will give more moisture consistency across batches. The Cure Puck is designed to work on .13gal – 55gal (.5L – 210L) containers. 5gal (19L) containers work well for small batches. 35gal (132L) containers work well for large batches.
What is the best container style to cure flower in?
There are various container styles and materials, each with its own pros and cons. Glass is a great material for long term storage; however, it has drawbacks such as light exposure and risk of breaking during the curing process. Food safe plastic buckets or totes work well and are very cost-effective and often stack well. A drawback to plastic in some dry regions is the static charge they build, causing material to stick to the walls – inside and out. Wax-lined craft barrels work well due to their tight seal. Barrels should be placed on their side to decrease the depth of flower and provide flower with more exposure to the headspace. The downside is the exterior of craft barrels cannot be washed, nor can they be stacked. If cost is not an issue, stainless steel containers provide the best option. A general rule is, wide and shallow is better than deep and narrow.
Will the Cure Puck work on a black and yellow tote?
The Cure Puck will work on almost any container, including black and yellow totes. You will not get complete control when using a black and yellow tote as it will not be sealed.
Does flower require fluffing during curing?
Mixing, rotating, or fluffing flower during curing is typically not required unless the flower has excess moisture. Once a day for the first few days is typically sufficient, particularly when using large containers.
How do I fluff, mix or stir my flower without opening the container?
The simplest way is to cure in a barrel laid on its side. Rotate the barrel once per day. A rolling barrel cradle is available.
How important is the room environment when curing?
Very Important. Excess temperature or humidity will negatively affect curing. The Cure Puck will alert you if the room environment is not optimal for curing.
What is the ideal room Temperature and Relative Humidity to Cure Flower?
The room environment is especially important as that air is introduced to the chamber during a burp. Temperature range is 60F – 65F (15.5C – 18C). Relative Humidity range is 55% – 60%.
Can the room environment be too cold?
Yes. Too cold will stop biosynthesis, respiration, and enzymatic activity.
Can the room environment be too dry?
Yes. Too dry can increase the speed of curing and over dry the flower.
Does the Cure Puck require a power cord?
Under normal operation, the Cure Puck is powered by a 15V DC power supply. The Cure Puck also comes equipped with a backup battery.
Why does the Cure Puck have a backup battery?
The backup battery ensures your flower will be monitored in the event of a power failure and burped if required – particularly on weekends when the curing process does not stop. The battery is also useful when moving or transporting the curing container.
How long does the battery last on the Cure Puck?
Under normal operation, the Cure Puck is powered by a 15V DC power supply. The Cure Puck has an internal backup battery that will allow the Cure Puck to monitor your cure for up to 24 hours. The battery will also provide 1 – 2 burping cycles to ensure your flower gets burped in the event of a power failure (depending on container size). The monitoring time can be extended using the sleep mode feature.
How do I install Cure Puck?
Simply drill a 2.5” hole in the lid or sidewall of the container of your choice. The Cure Puck will be installed in that hole and secured in place with a large nut.
How do I update the firmware to the latest version?
Firmware updates will be released periodically. They can be found in the firmware section on the website. Instructions will be included with the files.
Can the Cure Puck burp via remote access?
Yes, you can burp your containers from your couch on Super Bowl Sunday or while on the ski lift on the weekend. The feature is typically only needed if the Cure Puck was left on Manual Mode. This feature will be available with the app.
What parts are replaceable on the Cure Puck?
Hose, diffuser, sensors, sensor covers
How do I clean the Cure Puck?
The Cure Puck is not IP rated and cannot be directly sprayed with cleaners or water. Simply wipe the device with diluted isopropyl alcohol and a clean rag.
Do the Cure Puck sensors require calibration?
No. They come calibrated from the factory. If the sensors get damaged, they can be replaced.
How often should sensors be replaced?
Assuming the sensors have not been damaged or exposed to water, they should be replaced every 12 months.
How long is the warranty on the Cure Puck?
How do I learn more about curing?
Check out the ‘Ultimate Nerds Guide to Curing Flower’ (coming soon).