To freeze or not to freeze? This is the question many growers are asking themselves. Freezing fresh bud is a technique that many farmers resort to following a surplus in flower supply and shifting consumer demands. By freezing fresh trim, growers are able to preserve large portions of their harvest to either keep as “fresh frozen” or repurpose into other bud-related products.
Learn the basics of freezing your batch, its pros and cons, and how Tom’s Tumbler™ can make this process easier for your operation below.
How It Works
Freezing fresh bud is a great way to preserve trichomes in a temperature-controlled setting. This is helpful for growers, especially those producing mass quantities of flower. There are several freezing methods available, one of which includes using a C02 adaptor kit in tandem with a bud trimmer. You can actually watch a video here on how to wet trim using the CO2 method.
Another way to go about freezing fresh bud is to relocate the buds to a freezer reaching temperatures averaging at -38℉ as soon as possible after harvesting—preferably within an hour.
If you’re using an industrial system with a conveyor belt, product can be fed into the bud trimmer, and the freshly trimmed harvest can be packaged neatly and stored in a way that can be revisited months later to be cured or turned into different forms. Freezing fresh trim, however, has both upsides and downsides.
The Pros and Cons
Freezing fresh bud allows the farmer or grower more time to manage their supply and utilize their harvest to the best of their ability. In many states, supply is much greater than present demand, specifically for buds, and farmers must be conscious of this. The upsides to freshly frozen bud are:
- Saving on Costs - Freezing bud can give farmers breathing room when it comes to curing, drying, and properly readying their harvest for market.
- Perfect for Wet Trimming - Dry trimming can be a long and arduous process, and not everyone has the right equipment, space, or time to dry large crops. If you plan on wet trimming your batch, flash freezing is the best way to go. There’s less resin and stickiness to worry about, which is a bonus for cleaning up.
- Risk Prevention - Oftentimes, farmers' crops fall victim to humidity issues—causing mold and mildew to form on the harvest, which can partially or entirely ruin their crops. Freezing the harvest entirely eliminates this issue as the flowers are admitted into a temperature-controlled environment.
- Repurposing - Freezing fresh trim allows growers to repurpose the flower into different products to meet consumer demands and be ready for market. These methods would be made entirely more difficult and sometimes impossible without the flash-frozen process.
- Preserving the Freshness - Freezing fresh bud after trimming and deleafing keeps the trichome and flower structure intact as close as possible to its post-harvest form. This process also maintains the flavor and aroma until the grower decides it is time to use their batch.
Along with the many upsides of freshly frozen bud, there are several downsides, including:
- Must Handle with Care - The process of freezing fresh bud is actually quite fragile and must be done with great care. Due to the delicate nature of the flower, it is critical to handle the buds carefully when defrosting so as to not knock off the dainty trichomes from the flower, rendering the plant less desirable.
- Not Entirely Necessary - Although the process of flash freezing buds can allow it to be transformed into other products for demanding consumers, if the target market for the grower is solely in need of fresh flower, then traditional preservation methods such as proper curing and drying can do the trick just as effectively.
- Potential for Freezer Burn - Whether the harvest is lost due to mold, mildew, or freezer burn, it is still lost. This is why it is so crucial that only experienced farmers engage in the process of freezing fresh trim so as not to disturb the delicate nature of the flower.
As a company that produces solutions by farmers for farmers, we know that you want the best for your batch and your harvest. Freezing fresh trim can be one useful way for you to get the most out of your harvest and streamline your bud-tending cycle for the season.
Let’s recap: fresh-frozen flowers can save on costs in the curing and drying stages of your harvest, prevent risk of loss due to mildew and mold, preserve the freshness of those precious trichomes, and allow for repurposing the flower for sale in expanded markets. On the other hand, freezing fresh bud can leave your harvest open to potential freezer burn, damage, and loss of trichomes due to freezing. It also isn’t entirely necessary to ensure the product's freshness as opposed to proper drying and curing methods.
In the end, it is all about personal preference, and whichever route you choose to take as the experienced grower you are, we are here to help. Learn about our story and how we can assist you whether you decide to engage in freshly freezing your buds or choose to take the traditional route.
If freezing fresh trim is a priority, you should know that Tom's Mighty Python comes with an optional cryogenic trimming add on. This industrial grade, brass spray nozzle system inside the first chamber of the Python is ready for your nitrogen tank and hose to plug in and use. Simply open the nitrogen control and flash freeze your bud as it enters the tumbler chamber. A few seconds is all that is needed for the sugar leaves to become brittle and tumble off as they move through the second and third chamber to exit in less than five minutes. Safe, fast and effective!