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Whole Leaf Tobacco

How to make strong tobacco more mild and smooth

Gdaddy

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#1
I found this a very interesting subject and wanted to share.

Ever want to make your cigars smoother and less harsh? If so, then this may be an experiment to try. It's very inexpensive and easy to perform.

According to the Bureau of Plant Industry from the Department of Agriculture in 1908 they did tests using cigar tobacco that was too sharp and pungent. They did experiments using a 2% solution of citric acid in water and spraying down the leaves. Let them soak for 48 hours to thoroughly absorb the solution and then removed them from the container to air dry back to a low case.

The testers involved found the citric acid to remove the undesirable sharpness and pungency and render the tobacco smooth and agreeable like a tobacco of much higher quality. Even though they started with very high quality samples. This got my attention!!!

The citric acid does several positive things... according to the test it reduces nicotine. It also lowers the Ph of the tobacco. Cigar tobacco has a higher Ph (alkaline) than cigarettes making it more harsh and difficult to inhale. Citric acid also aids in the burning process creating a more uniform burn.

Citric acid is available from Walmart in the housewares section by the canning supplies for $2.


http://books.google.com/books?id=5X...wBDgK#v=onepage&q=citric acid tobacco&f=false
 

CT Tobaccoman

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#2
I found this a very interesting subject and wanted to share.

Ever want to make your cigars smoother and less harsh? If so, then this may be an experiment to try. It's very inexpensive and easy to perform.

According to the Bureau of Plant Industry from the Department of Agriculture in 1908 they did tests using cigar tobacco that was too sharp and pungent. They did experiments using a 2% solution of citric acid in water and spraying down the leaves. Let them soak for 48 hours to thoroughly absorb the solution and then removed them from the container to air dry back to a low case.

The testers involved found the citric acid to remove the undesirable sharpness and pungency and render the tobacco smooth and agreeable like a tobacco of much higher quality. Even though they started with very high quality samples. This got my attention!!!

The citric acid does several positive things... according to the test it reduces nicotine. It also lowers the Ph of the tobacco. Cigar tobacco has a higher Ph (alkaline) than cigarettes making it more harsh and difficult to inhale. Citric acid also aids in the burning process creating a more uniform burn.

Citric acid is available from Walmart in the housewares section by the canning supplies for $2.


http://books.google.com/books?id=5X...wBDgK#v=onepage&q=citric acid tobacco&f=false
Thanks, Gdaddy. This is very good to know. I have just this problem with cigars I make.
 

dondford

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#3
Great tip Gdaddy! I am also using your potassium nitrate tip to promote burning and it works great. BTW, I have watched a million videos and I will have say your "test" series was the most help to me that any other. Many of the videos posted were professionals rolling and they go so fast and use techniques really not suited for beginners; your video was done as a pure instructional video is is pure gold for a beginner.

Don
 

Gdaddy

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#4
If you try this method you need to get the formula correct.

The citric acid gets mixed with water for a 2% solution.

100ml of water + 2 grams of citric acid = a 2 % solution.

I used 700 ml water + 14 grams citric acid = 23.66 oz. in a spray bottle of 2 % solution

Use a digital scale or you can make a scale very easily but measure it out correctly.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#5
I don't get it. Most people grow/ roll their own to get away from chemical additives. To me if you have a poor burning/ tasting cigar than you should learn to correct it by practicing your rolling technique or refining your growing/curing process.
 

Cigar

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#6
I agree with you Jitterbugdude about growing your own tobacco to add or not fertilizers and such..but if person can not grow own tobacco [me] and has to buy tobacco online to roll own cigars then anything can help is useful.

Cigar
 

Gdaddy

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#7
I don't get it. Most people grow/ roll their own to get away from chemical additives. To me if you have a poor burning/ tasting cigar than you should learn to correct it by practicing your rolling technique or refining your growing/curing process.
Rolling technique won't remove harshness in the tobacco. Curing process and aging time will make for a smoother smoke but since many of us are buying our leaf already processed. Not that the leaf we are buying is poor quality. It's very good quality but can still be taken to another level.

The point is, if you can improve the flavor of the existing tobacco why not? Citric acid is already in the tobacco leaf naturally so it's not like you're adding some foreign toxic chemical. Salt Peter/potash is consumed and contained by the plant by means of fertilizer.

If the idea of an additive is not for everyone and I knew that before I posted this. However, if your goal is to make the cigar as good as you possibly can then you might want to give these age old techniques a try. As noted, these additives are nothing new and are used in the cigar industry for a long time. Many kept as secrets because the product is that much better.
 

Raodwarior

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#8
Chemically G is correct and will do exactly what he says it will. I look forward to his posts, as he has taken the chemical part of this hobby much further than I ever have. The research he posts is excellent and I hope he continues to research and inform us. If your one of the fortunate few that has the time, patience and ambition to grow your own leaf this information is very useful. That said if your getting your leaf from WLT you have a fermented and aged leaf, if your blend is too strong IMHO its time to get some milder leaf and reblend to your tastes.

Different leaf is cured, fermented and aged to be a particular component of a cigar. The leaf that Don gets is the same leaf that the major manufacturers buy to blend their cigars with. I personally believe that instead of changing the leaf as intended you might want to tweak your blend.
 

CT Tobaccoman

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#9
Gdaddy,

Do you think that this citric acid solution might also be a good casing for cigarette tobacco? Seems so. It adds no non-tobacco taste, as I understand it. I guess at the price of citric acid being so low I can't lose by experimenting with it as casing for my cigarette blend.
 

CT Tobaccoman

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#10
Great tip Gdaddy! I am also using your potassium nitrate tip to promote burning and it works great. BTW, I have watched a million videos and I will have say your "test" series was the most help to me that any other. Many of the videos posted were professionals rolling and they go so fast and use techniques really not suited for beginners; your video was done as a pure instructional video is is pure gold for a beginner.

Don
Another interesting idea! How do you use potassium nitrate? A solution, I assume. Where do they sell potassium nitrate and about how much does it cost, ballpark?

Also, could someone post a link to Gdaddy videos? Or, if it is on youtube, it shouldn't be hard to find.

Thanks guys for these tips. These are just the kind of thing needed to lessen the discouragement many feel when their rolling and blending efforts just don't come out satisfactorily, like mine.

CT
 

Gdaddy

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#11
Another interesting idea! How do you use potassium nitrate? A solution, I assume. Where do they sell potassium nitrate and about how much does it cost, ballpark?

Also, could someone post a link to Gdaddy videos? Or, if it is on youtube, it shouldn't be hard to find.

Thanks guys for these tips. These are just the kind of thing needed to lessen the discouragement many feel when their rolling and blending efforts just don't come out satisfactorily, like mine.

CT
I use Potassium Nitrate on the binder leaves only...not the filler. Sometimes I do the wrapper also. Depends on how well it burns. The idea is to have the perimeter of the cigar wrapped in a good combustible blanket. Make sure the cigar is properly dry before smoking.

8 oz. to 1 gallon of luke warm water is the ratio. (you need a scale) Then spray it on both sides of the leaf and let it soak in for 24 hours and then case it back down to normal. Simple.

Food grade KNO3... $14.95 17.6 oz here... http://www.sciencecompany.com/Potassium-Nitrate-Saltpeter-500g-Food-Grade-P16377.aspx

makes 2 gallons ( you can order smaller amounts on ebay for half the price)

Video 1... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPRRrhx8NA8
2... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsJ1qp_PeAo
3... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQeoqEpVxrc

Hope they help!
 

Gdaddy

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#12
Gdaddy,

Do you think that this citric acid solution might also be a good casing for cigarette tobacco? Seems so. It adds no non-tobacco taste, as I understand it. I guess at the price of citric acid being so low I can't lose by experimenting with it as casing for my cigarette blend.
Yes. It's used in commercial cigarettes to lower the ph and act as a smoothing agent. By lowering the PH of the tobacco it removes harshness. It makes the smoke easier to inhale. It also gives a more uniform burn and is applied to the paper also for this reason.

At the minimal cost of $2 what the heck. Make sure you follow the 2% solution formula and dry the tobacco properly once applied.
 

bonehead

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#13
did anyone ever actually ferment their own homegrown cigar leaf with a light misting of unpasturized chewing tobacco(very hard to get in the usa) and water? when you mix the chewing tobacco and water and set it on the warm counter it should be bubbleing (fermenting) in 2 or 3 days or it is not alive. i never had a large enough pile of tobacco to naturally ferment or compost at the beginning of my crazy fermenting expiriments.
 

FmGrowit

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#16
There are different types of "fermentation". The one used for fermenting tobacco does not make bubbles.

Most people find using a kiln is the next best to (if not better than) fermenting in pilones.
 

leverhead

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#17
...They did experiments using a 2% solution of citric acid in water and spraying down the leaves. Let them soak for 48 hours to thoroughly absorb the solution and then removed them from the container to air dry back to a low case...
If I'm reading column three correctly, they're not using a 2% solution. They're adding citric acid at 2% of the weight of tobacco.
 

FmGrowit

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#18
If I'm reading column three correctly, they're not using a 2% solution. They're adding citric acid at 2% of the weight of tobacco.
That would be A LOT of citric acid. I'm not sure, but it's probably 2% by weight to water. The solution application rate is what is critical.

My casing #1 for Flue cured types has a lot of citric acid in it and the application rate is .003% per lb.
 

leverhead

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#19
I agree, it does sound like allot, but that's how it reads to me.

"and to a portion of the tobacco about two per cent of citric acid was added in aqueous solution by spraying. after which the sample was cased down for two days to allow the acid to diffuse through the leaf"
 

Gdaddy

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#20
If I'm reading column three correctly, they're not using a 2% solution. They're adding citric acid at 2% of the weight of tobacco.
"about 2% of citric acid was added in aqueous solution by spraying."

When you're describing a water solution like this it's fairly common to express it as a percentage based on 100ml + 1 gram = 1% solution.

They give no detail of how much to spray. I just spray it down once until the leaves are pretty wet with droplets of solution and stack them up and put them in a bag. 48 hours later they do absorb a good amount of the fluid.

I believe if you add a stronger solution it could change the flavor of the tobacco negatively. Citric acid is rather sour and you don't want that flavor coming through. For this reason I don't use it on the wrapper.
 
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