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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Anyone "steam" their binders?

GreenDragon

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#1
I received another lovely package of goodness from WLT the other week, and prepped some of it for rolling over the weekend. I usually spray my binders and wrappers into proper rolling case and let them sit in ziplocs for a few days to soften and even out. Any leftovers get returned to the ziploc and stored in the refrigerator until the next session. This method seems to work well for me and generally gives very flexible and pliable leaves. Until now.

Trying out some PA Binder for the first time, and I just cannot get the veins to soften up even after 4 days of resting in case. The leaves as a whole are very flexible and roll well, but I kept getting errant veins poking through the wrapper. Not wanting to over-wet them, I was thinking of putting them in a low oven (~130F) wrapped in foil for an hour or so and see if that softens them up. Anyone ever try anything similar?
 

MarcL

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#2
No but, steamings high heat has been used to darken leaf. I trim the thicker inner veins. really thick veining should recess into the filler when pressed given there inside and, the filler is a proper amount and soft.
 

D0CH0LLIDAY

Active Member
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Jan 4, 2017
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#3
Crush the veins down. Get a non-stick rolling pin :
and roll the leaf out before you use it, not too much or the whole leaf will become too thin and brittle. Then once you roll it up (after the press if you use one) use your chaveta and roll the whole cigar under that pressing on it to push them into the filler.
 

ras_oscar

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#4
the PA wrapper I purchased also hap thick veins. I added a wallpaper seam roller to my kit and roll them out to reduce their influence on my children.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
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Honduras
#5
I received another lovely package of goodness from WLT the other week, and prepped some of it for rolling over the weekend. I usually spray my binders and wrappers into proper rolling case and let them sit in ziplocs for a few days to soften and even out. Any leftovers get returned to the ziploc and stored in the refrigerator until the next session. This method seems to work well for me and generally gives very flexible and pliable leaves. Until now.

Trying out some PA Binder for the first time, and I just cannot get the veins to soften up even after 4 days of resting in case. The leaves as a whole are very flexible and roll well, but I kept getting errant veins poking through the wrapper. Not wanting to over-wet them, I was thinking of putting them in a low oven (~130F) wrapped in foil for an hour or so and see if that softens them up. Anyone ever try anything similar?
Do you place the binder with the veins up, so they face the filler ?
 

GreenDragon

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#6
Yes, I always wrap with the veins facing inside. To clarify, what would happen is that some of the veins would actually separate from the lamina and tear through the wrapper like a spike. After more experimenting I found I was just not using enough moisture & time to fully hydrate this particular batch of wrappers. However I have had a lot of success with the steaming experiment to speed the process up. I’ve done two batches this way and really like how much easier they are to work with.
 

webmost

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#8
I received another lovely package of goodness from WLT the other week, and prepped some of it for rolling over the weekend. I usually spray my binders and wrappers into proper rolling case and let them sit in ziplocs for a few days to soften and even out. Any leftovers get returned to the ziploc and stored in the refrigerator until the next session. This method seems to work well for me and generally gives very flexible and pliable leaves. Until now.

Trying out some PA Binder for the first time, and I just cannot get the veins to soften up even after 4 days of resting in case. The leaves as a whole are very flexible and roll well, but I kept getting errant veins poking through the wrapper. Not wanting to over-wet them, I was thinking of putting them in a low oven (~130F) wrapped in foil for an hour or so and see if that softens them up. Anyone ever try anything similar?
Close to that. I made a conditioning chamber:



What you see there is a Coleman stacker 24 can cooler (about 12 bucks from Amazon), with a faux tupperware tray from the dollar store in the bottom, water in the tray, a small rack from a mini dorm fridge atop the tray, leaf atop the rack. Takes about two days to hydrate bone dry CT shade to proper wrapper condition, or half a day to make binder nice and limp.

Just this morning, I set ten binder half-leaves in my conditioning chamber, intending to use them tonight. They're good to go right now. I'll tickle them out flat as I can and get started.
 

webmost

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#10
But I should point out that this is only necessary when binding perfectos. For ordinary parejos, WLT binder comes perfectly flexible enough.
Wrappers get this treatment most all the time. Helps flatten them.
 

GreenDragon

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#15
Thank you! I don’t have any fine woodworking tools so I designed it to use stock 1x2 and 1x3 pieces of hardwood from Lowe’s. I just sanded the pieces smooth and rubbed it down with mineral oil.
 

GreenDragon

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#16
BTW, “The Green Dragon” was what my Mother-in-law named my car when I first started dating my (now) wife. It was a used green Pontiac with a bad muffler, so it kinda roared as I drove along the country road where they lived. She said she could hear me from a mile away LOL!
 

greenmonster714

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#17
I do like that homemade press. Once I took a closer look I see how you did it. Awesome idea. I may make something like that someday. I've not used a press before. Not really necessary for my needs but it would be fun to try it out. Thanks for sharing that press.
 
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