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Whole Leaf Tobacco

How many primings for cigar varieties?

mwaller

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#1
How many leaves do you prime at a time, and what does a "perfectly ripe" cigar leaf look like?
Varieties in question are Corojo 99, Criollo 98, Vuelta Abajo, Havana 142, Florida Sumatra, and Little Dutch.
Thanks!
 

deluxestogie

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#2
For cigar leaf, look for mature, rather than ripe. I typically prime cigar leaf when the very tip of the leaf begins to yellow. I prime as many as are ready. Sometimes this is two leaves, sometimes four or even five.

At maturity, the leaf will begin to demonstrate some thickening and corrugation of the leaf surface.

Bob
 

Ben Brand

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#3
I always fold the leaf between forefinger and thumb, give it a bit of a squeeze, if the leaf crack its ready for reaping if not, leave for another week or so.
 

SmokesAhoy

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#4
For filler I like it thicker, but it makes a hard to burn binder unless everything is bunched just so, and then it's a very slow and enjoyable smoke. Maybe experiment with letting some ripen all the way too. Just something to think about.
 

Leftynick

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#5
For filler I like it thicker, but it makes a hard to burn binder unless everything is bunched just so, and then it's a very slow and enjoyable smoke. Maybe experiment with letting some ripen all the way too. Just something to think about.
so the more it ripe the thicker the leaf? I will take note on this for my current cigar variety. Just for experiment.
 

SmokesAhoy

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#6
Yeah goes from papery to leathery, that applies to burning qualities too hehe. But-if it's bunched without soft spots with decent airflow it'll burn. It's like building a cigar with all upper leaf. It can be a hassle but worth trying.
 

rainmax

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#7
Didier Houvenaghel is Belgian agricultural engineer who specialized in Cuba for Black tobacco. He is also owner of a brand cigars Nicarao.
This is a short reading from his book:

"The cigar from soil to soul".

and he says, six primings...


 

SmokesAhoy

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#9
Yeah, amazing when everything is just done so masterfully when someone is selling up their brand.
 

mwaller

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#11
For cigar leaf, look for mature, rather than ripe. I typically prime cigar leaf when the very tip of the leaf begins to yellow. I prime as many as are ready. Sometimes this is two leaves, sometimes four or even five.

At maturity, the leaf will begin to demonstrate some thickening and corrugation of the leaf surface.

Bob
Most of my plants have been topped within the last two weeks. I keep looking for yellowing tips, but what I mostly see is an even paling across the entire leaf.
I reviewed a number or grow blogs from past years, and most of the harvested cigar leaves seem pretty green to me.
Does anyone have a picture of a "perfectly mature" cigar leaf that is ready to be picked?
 

deluxestogie

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#12
Each variety looks different, and maturity/ripeness differs in appearance depending on stalk position. If the leaf stem snaps from the stalk like a stick of cellery, then it's reasonable to prime for cigar wrapper. If the stem is more flexible, then wait. For fillers, the more mature, the richer and stronger the result.


Past "mature", exhibiting an alligator texture and coloration.


Slight tip yellowing.

Bob
 
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