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Age : 29
Location : some where in a galaxy far far away
Registration date : 2016-01-22

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PostSubject: tobacco makeing qestion    tobacco makeing qestion  EmptySat May 05, 2018 3:38 am

so quick qestion i love a good va but when i buy a va its sweet smooth and yummy  when i make a va it can be rough not as sweet i mean its good but not as good any tips to push my blend over tge edge would it help to steam it let it dry then age it or steam it and dry in oven i tryed sugar water as a case it did not do much do tgey steam the flavors in any tips i cant afford to buy any tobacco and yes it sucks but i am forced to.make all my tobacco from what i grow any tips would help as im not haveing the best smokes as of late
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Richard Burley

Richard Burley

Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

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PostSubject: Re: tobacco makeing qestion    tobacco makeing qestion  EmptySun May 06, 2018 9:02 am

Raw, "natural" tobacco is quite plain and harsh, I'm told. The curing, processing, flavoring, blending, and aging are the province of alchemists and magicians with proprietary secrets. Voodoo plays a role. That's all I know.
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Age : 48
Location : Phoenix, AZ
Registration date : 2013-05-10

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PostSubject: Re: tobacco makeing qestion    tobacco makeing qestion  EmptyTue May 08, 2018 12:17 am

Are you curing your leaf? The links to the site below are through the internet wayback machine. The heirloomtobacco web page seems to be down. The 1st 2 links have some good info. The last link and cut and paste I think will help.......if you are already properly curing your leaf then I dont know what is going wrong.....




Below is a cute and paste from the last link

Heirloom Tobacco Curing & Aging

Tobacco leaves that are dried without curing will be undesirable. Three things are needed to cure tobacco: containment, moisture, and heat.

Curing methods employed in different parts of the world are many and varied, but all involve some sort of containment for a period of time. Freshly dried tobacco leaves are traditionally simply piled up in a heap and usually covered snugly with something like canvas or hides. Traditional methods also include leaves that are tied in bundles and hung in the rafters of a barn, twisted or pressed in a plug, wrapped in corn husks or other large leaves, stuffed tightly in a hollow log, or pressed into a gourd.

Tobacco curing is really fermentation. Containment provides an environment conducive to the natural process of leaf fermentation. Ripe tobacco leaves once contained begin an amazing alchemical process of complex biosynthesis converting residual compounds to produce a natural refinement of different qualities including exceptional flavor and aroma.

Tobacco needs some leaf moisture to cure properly. 15 to 25% leaf moisture is about right to cure tobacco naturally. As tobacco cures, it is sort of stews in its own natural juices. Water can be sprayed or misted on dry leaf to add moisture, but this adds nothing to the natural compounds in the leaf. In fact, every time tobacco leaf dries out, it loses some degree of its original chemistry. Volatile oils evaporate. Nicotine content degrades. Natural leaf sugars break down. Natural tobacco flavor and aroma are lost. For this reason, freshly harvested tobacco leaf is shade dried slowly to closely monitor when it is dried just right – when natural leaf moisture content is just enough to cure properly.

Probably the most important ‘juice’ is a leaf compound called ‘sucrose ester’. This is a natural part of leaf moisture content. This natural leaf sugar is necessary for fermentation. Sugar is the fuel source to cure tobacco naturally. Most heirloom tobaccos and old world classic varieties contain more than enough natural sucrose ester to cure naturally. If leaves dry too much before curing, or if there is reason to suspect the variety may contain low natural leaf sugar, it will help to add a light misting of honey water. Make honey water by mixing one teaspoon of honey in two cups of warm water.

It is preferable to cure natural tobacco in a ‘neutral’ container which will contribute little or nothing to the natural distinctive flavor and aroma. The Jar method is simple, and well suited to small crops of home grown tobacco. Larger crops from the home garden will do better with the Bag method using large zip-lock bags.

Glass jars are ideal for curing natural tobacco from the home garden. Large wide mouth apothecary type glass jars (½ to 1 gallon) work best. The closed glass jars can be visually inspected anytime during curing without opening them. Large zipper locked plastic bags are a reasonable substitute. Jars can be washed and reused, but bags cannot be cleaned well enough for reuse.

Pack stacks of properly dried tobacco leaves into the jars snugly. The jars should not be packed so tightly that any single leaf could not be easily pulled out by its stem. The leaves need a little space to breathe and transpire inside the closed jar as fermentation perks along. Insert leaf stacks in jars with stems pointing up, to allow condensation to form near the top/opening of the jar, and to make it easier to move and check them during curing for mold or fungus which usually develops first on the leaf stems.

Leaf fermentation begins when lids are closed on jars placed in a warm dark place. The best temperature is 75 - 85F. The jars should be easily accessible to check regularly. In warm climates a shelf in the garage or carport will do fine. Inside kitchen cabinets work well. The closed cabinets keep things in the dark, and temperature tends to stay just a little warmer than room temperature. These are ideal conditions to cure tobacco naturally.

Tobacco leaf fermentation becomes accelerated by increased heat over 85F. Various methods add heat to artificially speed up the process. Tobacco kilns are popular for the fast cure, and are most comparable to air cured barn dried tobacco. The kiln method heats curing tobacco to just over 110F (or even higher) for rapid fermentation. Flue cured tobacco similarly vents heated air through the tobacco to accelerate curing. Stove cured tobacco actually cooks leaves in a soup of additives and bakes the leaves dry for smoking. These high heat methods are fast, but destroy volatile oils and other natural leaf compounds which produce the distinctive flavor and aroma of naturally cured tobacco. Some scientific research also suggests curing tobacco with high heat converts chemicals in the leaves into compounds with a higher degree of carcinogenic effect.

During the first week of fermentation there will be condensation inside the jars. If there is no condensation, make sure the jars are warm enough (75 to 85F). The leaf stacks in the jars have stems holding on to some moisture. Some of this moisture is absorbed by other leaves in the jar, equalizing moisture content throughout all the leaves in the jar. When excess moisture condenses inside the jar it needs to evaporate more quickly than the leaves can absorb. Check jars every day. When condensation appears, remove the lid and allow the condensation to evaporate. Replace the lid when condensation completely evaporates. The goal is to equalize the moisture content evenly throughout all the leaves in the jar.

The jars should be condensation free within the second week. At this point, the leaves in the jars have equalized moisture throughout all the leaves. Fermentation proceeds by leaving the jars closed and undisturbed in a warm dark place for one month. During this difficult wait, the only task is to keep the temperature within ideal range and check the jars regularly for evidence of mold or fungus.

Often airborne mold spores get into curing tobacco. Mold and fungus spoil tobacco quickly. If mold or fungus appears, open the jar and remove the molded leaves, and allow it to vent for about an hour before replacing the lid. Keep a close check on that jar for reappearance of mold and remove it as soon as possible. Take preventative steps: inspect visually, keep jars closed, and wash hands well before opening the jars to vent condensation. An ounce of prevention may save a pound of tobacco!

During this time, leaf colors begin to change, and good stuff is going on inside those jars. This is a critical time in the leaf fermentation process. Opening the jars prematurely will likely interrupt the biochemical transformations going on inside – or worse yet, mold may invade. Better to just leave it alone. Curing tobacco is a natural process, and it takes some time. Resist the urge to open the jars before one month.

After one month, open the jars to check on the progress. Curing is complete when a distinctive tobacco aroma is noticeable. The odor may have a somewhat earthy scent, but there should be a distinct tobacco aroma to the leaf, not grassy or sour. Off aromas are probably just evidence of incomplete fermentation, but it may also indicate undetected mold. Check visibly by moving the leaves around a little using the stems. (Remember, wash hands before touching tobacco while it cures.) Stalled leaf fermentation is usually due to temperatures falling too low. I have found that an additional two weeks with optimal temperature will allow tobacco to finish curing.

After the tobacco leaf is cured, it is ready to process for storage and aging. Remove the main leaf stems before storage. Removal of this main leaf vein is called ‘stripping’. Go through the stacks or bundles of cured leaves and strip out the main leaf stem from each leaf. Flatten each leaf and fold lengthwise so that the underside of the leaf is folded inside and main leaf vein forms the top ridge of the fold. Pinch the main leaf vein near the tip of the leaf, holding the leaf with fingers of the other hand, and pull the leaf vein down toward the base of the leaf. This strips the vein out of the leaf and prepares it for storage.

Add a touch of honey after tobacco is cured naturally. Honey is a natural antibacterial antimicrobial that inhibits mold and fungus development during tobacco storage. Mix one teaspoon of honey with one cup of pure water, then use a spray bottle to mist tobacco lightly. Allow the leaves to set overnight to equalize the honey water. Make sure to let the leaves dry out enough for storage (mostly dry, but not so dry as to crack or crumble).

Cured stripped tobacco should be sealed in containers for aging. Tobacco tins or glass jars work well for storing tobacco. Natural tobacco aged for a couple of months may be good, but after a year or two it will be great!

Even after tobacco is cured, it needs time to mellow. Like fine wine needs time in the bottle to age into something wonderful, natural tobacco needs time to age before it is in its prime. If you are really motivated, you can pull out a choice leaf and sample it. Be realistic, it will be somewhat harsh, but you can get a reasonable preview of what the crop has to offer. So, exercise some restraint and wait for a month or two in storage. The wait will be well rewarded.

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Age : 50
Location : Tabora, Tanzania in darkest East Africa
Registration date : 2014-06-05

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PostSubject: Re: tobacco makeing qestion    tobacco makeing qestion  EmptyMon May 21, 2018 3:55 am

Take a quick look at the following post:

FCV production and curing

The important thing is to get the curing right first - any further ageing, maturing will ultimately depend on the quality of the original cure.

This section is the important bit:

"The purpose of curing:

Tobacco leaves are still very turgid and light green when harvested; curing develops and preserves the potential quality, flavour and aroma of tobacco.

The aim is to produce a tobacco of consistent Lemon/Orange colour. The first stage of the curing process is called the colouring or yellowing stage as this is when the leaf changes from green to the desired colour. Only a low temperature is required (body temp) If the leaf was harvested too early, it will end up too bright or light yellow, if it is harvested late, it will end up a dark Mahogony colour. If too much heat is used at this stage, the leaf will retain some of its green colour and the tobacco will be downgraded. (In cigar production, the specialist (novelty?!) green Candela wrapper is created by a quick dry of the dark tobacco at the early stage of curing).

Colour is important. It indicates that certain chemical changes have taken place, and it is used as an index of leaf quality. During the yellowing stage, starch is converted to sugars, completion of this important biological change is very important in the final product.
75% of the market value of the leaf is based on the colour.

The next two steps in the curing process are to stop the biological changes by removing the leaf moisture and finally the moisture in the stems."

For a good pipe tobacco you will be aiming to use more of the 'Leaf' position of the plant - ie the central part - se image in the post.

Make sure you harvest the leaves slightly more mature to get more of an orange or mahogany style.

This post goes on to explain a little more :

Grading Virginia

"The simple chemistry of plant position and ripeness

Nicotine increases with higher plant position.

Sugar increases from bottom to middle and then decreases from middle to top.

Within a plant position, nicotine increases only slightly with increasing ripeness.

Within a plant position, sugar decreases significantly with increasing ripeness.

Starch will be present in unripe grades but not in ripe grades.

Starch, Nicotine and Sugar all influence the smoking qualities of a grade.

Nicotine is responsible for Impact - the short sharp throat grip that is felt on inhalation.

When sugar is burnt during smoking it forms a mixture of organic acids.

Acids in the smoke reduce the pH of the smoke.

Nicotine in smoke can occur in two forms known as free base nicotine and bound or salt form.

At low pH, when organic acids formed from the combustion of sugars are present, Nicotine is mainly in the bound or salt form.

At higher pH, close to neutral (pH 7), nicotine is mainly in the free base form. Free base nicotine is a smaller and more active molecule both chemically and physiologically than the bound or salt form.

Impact is thus higher from free base nicotine than from the bound or salt form.

The amount of nicotine present does not change very much with increasing ripeness but that the sugar content reduces significantly. Thus the more sugar present, the lower the pH becomes and the lower the Impact sensation becomes. The lower the sugar content, the higher the Impact sensation becomes.

Starch in an immature grade causes a very large increase in irritant sensations and is usually associated with unpleasant after tastes and off tastes.

The fill value of riper grades is higher than less ripe grades from the same plant position. With high fill value, more tobacco is burnt per puff, at equal firmness and hence more flavour is produced per puff.

In a blend we are looking for a balance of Impact, Flavour and Irritant sensations.

From a Tobacco Blender’s point of view, fully ripe styles are the easiest to use. Over ripe tobaccos can be easily corrected by the addition of sugar but unripe and immature tobaccos cannot be easily corrected. They are difficult to use and have to be masked with special treatments, casings and flavourings. The use of these special treatments is a greater cost and trouble than paying a little more for fully ripe and mature tobacco. Masking is usually only partially successful as the masking agents also tend to mask the positive attributes of the grades that do not need masking so at best the whole blend has a flat, dull and uninteresting taste."

Hope this helps.

Its not an easy thing - curing, grading and blending, but that's what makes it a very interesting crop to work with Smile

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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

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PostSubject: Re: tobacco makeing qestion    tobacco makeing qestion  EmptyMon May 21, 2018 3:56 pm

Great answers guys! Plenty of info for Arkie to digest! cheers
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