Whole Leaf Tobacco
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    steaming up some leaf today

    so far the steamer pot is full of mostly Pa Red tips , about 6-7 nice dark Madole tips and very sweet aroma'd mudlugs from Criollo 98 .
    Its only been going for 1/2 hour but the kitchen smells like honey . For me this is a big batch . I have one of those airline sized bottles of Peach Birddog Whiskey I plan to top case with since I didn't like it to drink . I might add a couple drops of vanilla for a Peaches and cream flavor/aroma and apply it with a spray bottle.
    Should I add anything else to the casing sauce- glycerine ,honey , etc.?
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  2. #2
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    Is this for pipe tobacco?
    I really like Chinavoodoo's method using mason jars and a pressure cooker. It yields very sweet leaf without having to add anything.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    yes, it is for pipe tobacco. I'm aiming toward a mixed variety of cavendish . I don't have a pressure cooker or mason jars. I'm just doing it in the steamer top over a "spaghetti" pot. double foil covered the lid . as per my last steaming I added a gallon of water at about 3 hour mark and within minutes it began to steam again. This time however the water in the pot was completely colorless .
    This morning I'm reading more and more about various pipe tobacco methods and I suppose since it is the easiest and with fewest store bought items , I go the cavendish route. I do own a vintage Snap-on 6 ton hydraulic bottle ram set but lack the frame to turn it into a full stand alone shop press for pressing cake (but thats another project I hope to fulfill sometime in the next few months. )
    I've looked through the liquor cabinet past the peach birddog whiskey (besides the famous Tennessee and Irish whiskeys and various rums and such) and see my wifes mini bottle of Jaegermeister and so I put a few drops of that into the peach mixture to add the sweetness otherwise told added by liquorice of another form without actually adding too much sugar for sweetness and possible tongue bite later on. Chillardbees post on his pipe tobacco recipe he added some bicarbonate of(baking) soda , would this buffer the pH down from the alkalinity that gives tongue bite or for another reason? Should I add glycerin or is that mainly for chew?
    I have about 2 ounces of sauce to add when this is done steaming . It smells wonderful . I'm hoping it will add the flavor and intensity I'm looking to achieve.
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  4. #4
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    so , yesterday I had the steamer pot very full . I left it stem-intact so I could handle the leaf easier and keep it separated varietally (< I think I just made up a new word) At the end of 8 hours of nearly non stop heavy steaming (as little non-steam time as possible due to refilling the water level in the bottom pot and it coming back up to temperature) The leaf turned out very dark , some black. I then put it out on a baking sheet and put it in the oven set at 220*F and periodically turned it until it was damp with very few spots (just a couple leaf tips actually) drying fully and crispy. It seemed to get even darker and smell even better. While it was still warm and moist to the touch I put the processed leaf into a vapor proof bag, squeezed out as much air as I could ,folded the bag over a few times and left it overnight. Just opening the bag a minute ago and take a whiff...very fruity and sweet aroma. Today I am destemming and pressing . Should I add my flavor sauce ,or at least some of it, before I press or wait until I get to the cutting ?
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  5. #5
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    As for adding your sauce: I've added sauce then pressed and watched all the juice ooze out. Maybe just sprtiz it some before pressing, then add more after it comes out of the press.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    Cool , thanks JB. I've just finished stemming and have it all nicely stacked in an oblong rectangular "tupperware ", got a block of 2 x 4 cut to fit the bottom snug and wrapped in plastic wrap. I think for now ,I'm just going to press it as is ,no flavoring, then once I shred I'll add the special sauce. So far though this morning while stemming it I couldn't help but notice how sweet and fruity it is. So far by aroma it seems to be even better than the first or second batch I did . Not overly moist either, so it stemmed nicely . I started out picking out the stem from the tip end and trying the wrist wrap thing but that didn't go very well . but then ended up grabbing the heavier stalk end with thumb and forefinger of my right hand and lightly slipping it between the first finger joint crease and some light thumb nail of my left hand...lickety split all the heavy stem strips right out. I'll press it here in a minute . I'll leave it until Monday then see where I'm at for slicing it up.
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  7. #7
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    22 ounce plastic container, full to the top (2+ inches?)patted down. tobacco cake is in a sandwich bag so I dont lose the sweet brown black tobacco nectar that came out. 1 2x4 wrapped in plastic in case the sandwich bag springs a leak . a block on top of that and a block on the bottom and 4 trigger grip style clamps touching each other pressing it flat , came out to about 3/4 inch pressed and I can't budge the clamps anymore.
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  8. #8
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

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    My current situation. Black gold. Texas tea....oh that's jed clampetts oil.
    Good thing I bagged the baccy before pressing. Its juicy. I feel like I'm almost making a micro mini batch of perique. Now... To you experienced ( at least cavendish anyway)pipe tobacco makers,should I let this press a few days then open it up , fluff it up again and restack or mix the leaf and re-press it a couple more times ,or is once enough?
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  9. #9
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    Silly question which I'm sure has been answered before, I just can't find it.
    When pressing the tobacco cake for cavendish , what to do with the juice that presses out ?
    1-Toss it out
    2-Save it for casing up the tobacco (with or without optional other flavorings)after the cut/rub
    3-work it back in while drying?
    4- something else.
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  10. #10
    Senior Member Matty's Avatar
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    Re: steaming up some leaf today

    Been there done that. If it where me I would have dried the steamed cavendish, as you did, but I would have spritzed the special sauce on the leaves, before pressing, and allowing the leaf to dry to medium to low case at room temperature before pressing. That way the special sauce has time to soak in and change with the leaf as it presses, also it would allow most if not all of any alcohol to evaporate from the special sauce, but the biggest reason would be that if it where dry enough none of that precious "Texas Tea" would be lost during pressing. What you have so far sounds great anyway, good luck.

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