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Whole Leaf Tobacco

How to make strong tobacco more mild and smooth

Gdaddy

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#42
This is such a curious thread. Citric acid is the "offending" ingredient in the commonly available fruit pectins used as cigar glue.

Bob
I had the same thoughts.

Is Citric acid the offending ingredient? Citric acid is only one element in Pectin. Sure Gell Ingredients: DEXTROSE, CITRIC ACID (ASSISTS GEL), FRUIT PECTIN.
The addition of citric acid is to lower the ph of the Pectin to aid in gel formation.

Pectin and citric acid are two completely different things.

Ascorbic acid is very bitter and they add citirc acid to make it less bitter. (interesting)
Bitterness in coffee is reduced by adding citric acid.
Lemon peels which would go to waste in a Citric acid factory but would yield 90 lbs of Pectin.

Pectin is described as 'Bitter'
Citric acid is described as 'Sour'.

I don't like the idea of 'Sour' cigars either. For this reason it's important to follow the recipe closely. By adding too much citric acid the cigar can start to take on a negative flavor.
 

MarcL

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#43
Is it that as glue it is dis-tasted by the lip? ... I understood it as to be burned it brought pepper to the smoke. but no details beyond a citric fruit. I think it was peel.
 

Gdaddy

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#44
Is it that as glue it is dis-tasted by the lip? ... I understood it as to be burned it brought pepper to the smoke. but no details beyond a citric fruit. I think it was peel.
If you just use glue to nail down the head of the cigar then it should only be detectable by the lip. If you use a very small amount of glue then the effect would be even less.

However, if you have the option of selecting a glue that is flavorless or one that's bitter why on Earth would someone pick the latter?
 

istanbulin

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#45
Actually the traditional (may be the best) cigar glue is tragacanth (from Astaragalus spp.) which is oderless and tasteless. It's the only cigar glue I've ever used so I have no idea how pectin works. The dirty end of the stick is preparing a solution from raw tragacanth really takes time, about a week. This is probably why people prefer pectin, it's quick. I use tragacanth for paper marbling so it's not an extra work for me.
 

Gdaddy

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#46
Actually the traditional (may be the best) cigar glue is tragacanth (from Astaragalus spp.) which is oderless and tasteless. It's the only cigar glue I've ever used so I have no idea how pectin works. The dirty end of the stick is preparing a solution from raw tragacanth really takes time, about a week. This is probably why people prefer pectin, it's quick. I use tragacanth for paper marbling so it's not an extra work for me.
I think you're probably right. I use a cellulose glue but am switching to gum tragacanth.

Pectin is easy to find in your local grocery store. It's the 'quick/easy' choice and people seem to gravitate down the easiest route.
 

MarcL

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#47
If you just use glue to nail down the head of the cigar then it should only be detectable by the lip. If you use a very small amount of glue then the effect would be even less.

However, if you have the option of selecting a glue that is flavorless or one that's bitter why on Earth would someone pick the latter?
right? .. well, .. availability? before I got some tragacanth powder, I tried to convince myself other stuff didn't taste that bad.
but, .. somehow some kind of something made from some kind of citrus peel was used to case, infuse or hydrate leaf, brought a smooth peppery taste to the smoke. I heard.
 

Gdaddy

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#51
And fine tobacco is like a nice wine. I was reading this and my virginia is strong may I suggest sugar and water. If you read Dougs ryomagazine.com he mentiones 3 castles which is soaked in water redried and soaked again. which mellows the tobacco
Sugar doesn't seem to change the PH of the tobacco which is the culprit causing the harshness. I've had no positive affects using sugar. My experience is that it tastes good in the mouth but when it gets burned it turns acrid tasting. Maybe other people are having a different experience but it didn't work well for me.

Maybe soaking the tobacco several times takes out some of the nicotine which would smooth the taste. Try it and see.
 

garryr

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#52
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.
Interesting, all though I never understood the chemistry involved, I have always used fresh orange peels to humidify very dry tobacco, for one, when it is to dry, it crumbles up into dust,and falls out of the cigarette after you roll it, like wise when it is to dry it has a harsher taste, so I through a couple of pieces of orange peel into my tobacco can, that keeps the moisture perfect.
The only thing though that bothers me, but I have never noticed any change in the nicotine content, but I would not want to do anything that reduces the nicotine, that is the main ingredient,and why I smoke, heck , if you don't want nicotine, perhaps it would be better just to smoke lettuce, or not smoke ??:D
 

Gdaddy

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#53
Interesting, all though I never understood the chemistry involved, I have always used fresh orange peels to humidify very dry tobacco, for one, when it is to dry, it crumbles up into dust,and falls out of the cigarette after you roll it, like wise when it is to dry it has a harsher taste, so I through a couple of pieces of orange peel into my tobacco can, that keeps the moisture perfect.
The only thing though that bothers me, but I have never noticed any change in the nicotine content, but I would not want to do anything that reduces the nicotine, that is the main ingredient,and why I smoke, heck , if you don't want nicotine, perhaps it would be better just to smoke lettuce, or not smoke ??:D
The orange peels adds mostly water vapor to moisten. Your not adding any citric acid to the tobacco.

A 2% water solution sprayed directly on the leaf and absorbed, lowers the PH of the tobacco making it less harsh. Then, in cigars, the amount of ligero can be increased boosting the nicotine back up as well as increasing the flavor and richness.

The lesser alkaline the smoke the smoother and easier it is to inhale for cigarette smokers. Higher alkaline cigar tobacco is difficult to inhale and benefits by lowering the ph to remove harshness.

Personally I smoke for the flavor not the nicotine buzz but each to their own.
 

garryr

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#54
Oh, ok, well I thought oranges have citric acid in them, ...any way it is a interesting idea, if at some time I end up with some tobacco that is very harsh, it will be worth a try. Thanks for sharing it.
 

burge

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#55
Sugar doesn't seem to change the PH of the tobacco which is the culprit causing the harshness. I've had no positive affects using sugar. My experience is that it tastes good in the mouth but when it gets burned it turns acrid tasting. Maybe other people are having a different experience but it didn't work well for me.

Maybe soaking the tobacco several times takes out some of the nicotine which would smooth the taste. Try it and see.
I just did with some plain water caked it and dried it as it dried I mixed in just a little red virginia and got a three castles I have some of the lemon virginia and it made it a gourgeous smoke. I have rolled my own for a while and with this leaf I do not have the desire to smoke alot. A huge positive i k now Dons leaf is good not sure what leaf only is like
 

Gdaddy

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#56
I just did with some plain water caked it and dried it as it dried I mixed in just a little red virginia and got a three castles I have some of the lemon virginia and it made it a gourgeous smoke. I have rolled my own for a while and with this leaf I do not have the desire to smoke alot. A huge positive i k now Dons leaf is good not sure what leaf only is like
Sounds like it was worth the experiment. If you never tried, then you'd never know how good the changes can be.
 
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#57
"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.
So let me get this straight. You spray them down with the solution, and then bag em? So how do you prevent mold from growing on the tobacco after you've sprayed them down?

I'm thinking about doing the same for the tobacco I've grown, but then bagging them and putting them into the fridge for 48 hours to prevent mold from forming.

Afterwards, I'll bake them with some menthol crystals to produce tobacco for menthol cigs.
 

deluxestogie

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#58
Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

A member with experience in the area of your question will hopefully provide an answer. It may help if you clarify what variety of tobacco you've grown, and how it has been cured and handled, as well as its age.

Bob
 

burge

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#59
Oh, ok, well I thought oranges have citric acid in them, ...any way it is a interesting idea, if at some time I end up with some tobacco that is very harsh, it will be worth a try. Thanks for sharing it.
Not a issue the beauty of experimenting. If you try that do not wring out the tobacco. Just soak it and let it reabsorb the juices.
 

Orson Carte

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#60
I realise that this thread had itsgenesis quite some time ago but I'm a little intrigued and want to give it a try.
I've been looking to source some citric acid and it appears that it usually comes in crystal form - not as a liquid. Can anyone confirm this?
So, in posting #4, where it says a 2% solution is made, are they dissolving, say, 2 grams of crystals in 100ml of water?
Thanks.
 
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