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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Small batch perique processing

oldbear

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#1
I have visited the perique facility and read most of what is available about perique style processing.

Wanting to go a step further I ordered a few pounds of whole leaf tobacco from a grower and tried my hand at perique-style curing myself.


I am using one pint wide mouth home canning jars and 8" C clamps. I use an oak disk, cut to easily fit inside the jar and have two oversized disks of Kraft paper (grocery bags) as seals.

8Clamp3.jpg

The tobacco was de-stemmed and sprayed with distilled water until fairly moist, but not wet. The leaves were packed in as neatly as possible, mostly in a spiral fashion. Enough pressure was applied to cause some liquid to exude and the pressure was checked regularly.

The jars were stored on the floor of my shop at a temperature of between 65 F and 85 F.

After about 3 months I opened my jars, emptied the contents and repacked the leaves. The odor was not rancid or sour, but had a slight grassy and faint rank odor after the first turning.

After about 6 months I repacked and sampled. The odor was mild and pleasant with only a trace of rankness (similar to real perique). Unfortunately, I have not yet gotten to the fruity odor of good perique.

I tried smoking a pipe-full. The taste was mild and pleasant, but this tobacco has a sharp nicotine edge bordering on dangerous. Blended with a milder tobacco made it quite smoke-able.

I still have 6 months to go for my first batch and 200 years of experimenting ahead to claim to be fully knowledgeable on the topic.

Problems with this system:
I recommend at least an 8" C clamp. 6" clamps will work, but do not apply enough pressure.
Pressure must be checked regularly as jars can dry enough to become loose and sour.
Oak disks must have a central screw hole to be used with a very large wood screw to pull the plugs during repacking.
Obvious care must be used with jars as they can break as they are under a lot of stress.
The oak disks used to compress the tobacco must be undersized enough or they can crack the jars.
When removing a tobacco sample or for turning care must be used not to break the jars by prying or hitting the bottom of the jar with tools.
Do not leave the jars in very warm or very cool conditions. Fermentation is reported to be reduced in cold weather and over about 90 the tobacco can go very sour (strong fecal odors).

Oldbear
 

DGBAMA

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#3
The size of the C clamp will not matter for pressure applied, unless the thread pitch of the lead screw is different.
 

oldbear

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#4
I used a burly from one of the farmers on this forum. Next I will try mixtures of burley and Virginias.

A 6" C clamp would have cracked or bent from the pressure I was applying to the 8". 12" would have been better. Another choice would be a clamp stand made from a 12" veneer screw.

I omitted mentioning the cork pad I used under my jars. I try to apply a similar amount of pressure to the Poshe' farm's 20 ton house jacks, which is all I could manage from an 8" clamp.
 

oldbear

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#5
Oldbear

Update
October, 2014

My last batch was started in February and turned twice. In October I removed the leaves and air dried them for two days, then moistened slightly and cut as fine as possible. This batch (about 6 oz. or one pint jar full) was packed into the original jar for further aging.

[FONT=&quot]The jar smell is slightly grassy. I smoked a small sample. On smoking there is little flavor or taste, there is, however a very strong nicotine kick.[/FONT]
 

oldbear

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#6
February, 2015:
My jar of burly leaf has a pleasant but mild odor, none of the sharp, rank odor of perique, nor the fruity fig preserves smell. It smokes well with a mild flavor and lots of nicotine.
It blends well with other tobaccos, I like it with bulk Vapers when there isn't enough perique for my tastes.

Oldbear
 

deluxestogie

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#8
Please label a video link in some way (e.g. "deluxestogie rides a lame cow", or "twisting a 'Perique'").

The word, "Perique," is used to describe different things. Perique tobacco is a specific named variety of tobacco. Pressure-cured Perique (the subject of this particular thread) is produced from any variety, using a container and a press. A Perique (the noun) describes a parcel of tobacco that is wrapped in canvas, and compressed using a primitive rope windlass--a popular way of keeping tobacco among sailors of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Bob
 
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