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Whole Leaf Tobacco

need advice (leaf moisture for rolling)

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#1
I guess this thread is suppose to be here instead of the cigar rolling sub forum:

My first attempted roll of a cigar was a disaster. All the leaves crumbles like a dry cracker and nothing came out of that first attempt. Of course I reasoned that the leaves had to be a bit moist so in the second attempt I sprayed the leaves with water and then rolled one and it was way too tight and I assume way too wet also. During the third attempt I rolled one and it was way too lose and wasn't evenly distributed so one end was bigger than the other.
So now I put some leaves of each type in a zip-lok bag with a moist rag along with them. That should make them moist enough so that they don't crumble. But when are they too moist? When I watch people rolling cigars on the internet their leaves don't crumble but I can't tell how moist they are either. Any advice is appreciated.
 
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deluxestogie

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#2
Re: need advice

Your experience is fairly common. The secret to rolling a smokable cigar is in the moisture content of the leaf.

Each component of the cigar works best when at the proper case (moisture content). The wrapper needs to be in high case (damp, stretchy) in order to conform to the cigar shape. The binder can be less moist (medium case, which feels dry, but is relatively quiet when handled, and flexes easily). Filler should be in low case (may crack, but does not crumble). With low case filler, you can compress it as tightly as you like, and still get a decent draw.

So, you can mist the wrapper and allow it to soften in a Ziplock for a bit. (Thin wrapper will come into case within a minute or two, but thick wrapper, like CT Broadleaf, may need to be slowly absorb the moisture overnight.) The binder can usually be lightly misted, then used immediately.

Filler is actually a little trickier. If it starts out crumbly dry, then lightly mist the bag in which it is stored, and allow it to gently absorb the moisture overnight. If it's still to fragile, then just lightly mist it again, and wait.

  • filler: low case
  • binder: medium case
  • wrapper: high case
Bob
 

ras_oscar

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#3
Everybody has their own method. Here's mine. The day before I plan to roll, I case the leaf. I carefully separate each filler leaf and spray one side with a single squirt from my spray bottle. I stack them dry to moist and put them in a plastic bag with no additional moisture. The binder I do a single squirt on each side, gently opening the leaves. I will add more moisture as required to the dried out tips and edges. I stack them stem facing me and fold the entire stack stem to tip with the stems inboard. Into the bag it goes. Similar with wrapper, using more water. I will give the wrapper a final squirt before I close the bag. The next day I destem the wrapper, add more moisture if the tips and edges are still dry, then back into the bag. Remove binder, moisten and destem, then stack lefts on the left of the board and rights on the right of the board. Filler goes in piles on the top edge of the board and I'm ready to roll!!!
 

Smokin Harley

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#4
filler needs to be as dry as possible without shattering,like a piece of paper. Binder needs to be be slightly moist and when I say moist I'm talking miniscule moisture more than filler , Wrapper should be only slightly moist that it stretches ,not so much that the moisture is visible nor apparent on the fingers,yet almost leather-like .
Filler needs very little mist of distilled(always) water to get it back to rolling case. Binder can be misted shortly before rolling but if you plan to roll later today (lets say noon)mist the binder and wrapper before you get set up . By the time you pick your blend and get going , binder is ready. Wrapper needs more time to even out/stabilize before use . Remember the wetter it starts out , the tighter the draw will end up and more wait/dry time before a good smoke session.
 
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