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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Cigar burn issues

jolly

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#21
My own experience was that I was unable to make any progress in my cigar-rolling technique until I used some decent wrapper and decent binder (from FmGrowit and BigBonner). It was a quantum leap that allowed me to acquire the skill needed to eventually roll well with lower quality leaf. For the price of one night out for dinner, you can rock your cigar world.

Bob
I'm a bit surprised at that. Is that because of a learning curve for growing decent wrapper/binder, or the inability to grow leaf of equal or greater quality?

Since the baby was born last year (#3 after an 8 year gap, oops!) there haven't been too many dinners out. I'm going to have to work with what I have. Luckily I bought a large amount of pipe tobacco in 2012 -- enough for about 6 years, to give me some time to grow tobacco well enough to begin to supplement/replace some of my blends.

While I love cigars, its really rare that I buy them -- maybe 5 a year. As much fun as it would be to buy a cigar kit it would be a shame to screw it up -- whereas the leaf I have is just sitting there. The last attempt was a big improvement thanks to the guidance here -- I think the next one will be even better.
 

deluxestogie

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#22
I'm a bit surprised at that. Is that because of a learning curve for growing decent wrapper/binder, or the inability to grow leaf of equal or greater quality?
There is a bit of a learning curve to producing high quality wrapper and binder. Also, there is a learning curve to feeling the proper case for a wrapper.

I can't get tissue-thin wrapper leaf from my sun-grown plants, since I haven't fussed with a shade structure. Other than that, I am delighted with all of my wrapper, from a half-dozen varieties.

Bob
 

jolly

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#23
image.jpg

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The above pics are of a Mt. Pima puro. The cure is good and it burned fine. My filler was probably a bit too moist when I rolled it and so the draw is a little tight, but not a show stopper. I gave it ample rest time before smoking. It turned out to be an ok smoke. The taste of the leaf on the tongue is pretty spicy/peppery though.

Since my last post I tried rolling some smaller cigars using only one leaf type. What I uncovered is that the FL sumatra I have left just isn't cured well. I'm guessing that at some point the temp went too high and killed the necessary enzymes to properly cure the leaf. Just a bad batch I guess. Most of the cigars I rolled with my 2011 batch didn't have these issues. It had been years since I tried to roll a cigar. Thought I'd lost the touch.
 

BarG

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#24
There is a bit of a learning curve to producing high quality wrapper and binder. Also, there is a learning curve to feeling the proper case for a wrapper.

Bob
Thats the truth. My bezuki was perfect one day and ravaged the next by those siver crickets or snowy crickets. That and learning how to dry very large thin leaves. It is definately a learning experience. But isn't everything we do. I just keep on slugging away at it and try to learn from mine and others trial and errors.
 

waikikigun

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#25
I just tried smoking one of my five-day-old rico y oscuro blend cigars and it would not burn; got that black outer shell kind of molted plastic thing going on. Cigars from my other kits would burn well even after only a day of drying.

So I pulled out some unmoistened wrapper and binder from the kit, dry as can be, and found them both to be essentially fire retardant even completely dry; whereas all the wrapper and binder leaves from the other kits I've gotten--sabroso medio and melodioso cremosa--burned and smoldered very well.

I've been lighting bits of each leaf alone and in combo to get a sense of their aromas, and hadn't done that with this kit. Those other leaves burned very well until the whole bit was consumed by combustion. But now I find that these leaves sort of flare up once, blacken, and go out with almost no smoke or fire. Both the binder and the wrapper. Kinda makes me doubt the sticks I rolled are gonna burn that well after they dry out.

What could cause these leaves to refuse to burn? I feel like I'm gonna have to take a loss on the kit, at least the binder and wrapper bits.

Criollo 98 Wrapper
Sumatra Cigar Binder


 

LewZephyr

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#26
What could cause these leaves to refuse to burn? I feel like I'm gonna have to take a loss on the kit, at least the binder and wrapper bits.

Criollo 98 Wrapper
Sumatra Cigar Binder

Sumatra is my standard binder and not having any burn issues.
I had some serious issues attempting to use Crillo 98 Ligero as a wrapper though. Very similar to what you describe.

Maybe try another wrapper, and as many here will tell you. Any tobacco can be a wrapper, as long as its thin / stretchable enough.
 

LewZephyr

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#28
If you continue to have burn issues with it, you can use it as filler and ensure to match it up with some seco to retard the fire retardant.
 

waikikigun

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#29
Thanks. Yeah, if/when it comes to that I'll create little test wads to see if I'm getting enough retardant retardant into the mixture.
 

webmost

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#30
Golly I can't tell you how many expensive premium cigars I've had that didn't burn worth a crappola. It's not just you. I am sure I get a more reliable burn from home rolled WLT leaves. I like the habano wrapper with sumatra binder. The sumatra was suggested by a knowledgeable roller here specifically because it burns well. But lately I've been using habano wrapper scraps for binder just because, well, I get a nice big binder scrap each and every time I wrap one; and I love the flavor; so why not use it up. Here in Dull-Aware, I get loads of burn probs when it's rainy or thick weather (which is a lot of the time.) When that happens, a broadleaf is the answer.
 

deluxestogie

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#31
Thicker leaf frequently takes longer to dry, and often needs to be drier than thin leaf in order to burn. Let your fire-retardant cigars dry out in the open for a week.

Bob
 

waikikigun

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#32
Five days later they are crispy-dry but still just turn black, bubble, and extinguish. Should be an exciting remaining two days.
 

Ben Brand

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#33
Jolly
I had the same problems with my Florida Sumatra 2 years ago. Haven`t since planted it again.
I thought it was fertilizers, but my other varieties were fine. I don`t know what it was, it was only FL Sumatra I had the problem with. Going to give FL Sum another go next season, since I moved to another location.
All the best.
Ben
 

jolly

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#34
Jolly
I had the same problems with my Florida Sumatra 2 years ago. Haven`t since planted it again.
I thought it was fertilizers, but my other varieties were fine. I don`t know what it was, it was only FL Sumatra I had the problem with. Going to give FL Sum another go next season, since I moved to another location.
All the best.
Ben
Good luck with it. When it's good, its really good. When it's bad...
 

ras_oscar

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#35
er... if you blow through the cigar, aren't you just re-moisturizing with the humid air from your mouth?
 

deluxestogie

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#36
If the air comes from your lungs (i.e. take a deep breath, then blow through the cigar with it), then it is definitely adding moisture, since that air is nearly 100% RH. If use a short puff from just your mouth, then not so much.

Most of the problems discussed in this thread result from:
  • filler that is too moist
  • binder/wrapper that is too moist
  • leaf that is not fully finished and ready for smoking
  • combinations of thick wrapper with thick binder
  • rolling too tightly, resulting in a poor draw
There are probably a few more. Usually, a binder/wrapper combination that is thin/thick or thick/thin burns fairly well. The focus on "entubado" rolling of the filler also encourages the use of filler that is in too high a case.

Some home grown leaf varieties are quite smokable without kilning, but they don't burn nearly as well as they do when fully kilned, or aged for a year or two.

Bob
 
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