• Dear Guest,

    We've been using a forum format called vBulletin for over seven years and the program is no longer being developed, so that means no more updates or security patches. vBulletin has never been compatible with search engine optimization and it does not support the multitude of various devices most people use to access the internet, so it's time to say goodbye to vBulletin.

    For these reasons we have moved our forum to a new format that will support and encourage growth for the next generation of grower and DIY tobacco users.

    So please post any issues you're having with using the new site.

    As usual, you may login with your old password.

Whole Leaf Tobacco

Tobacco does not combust

Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#1
Dear Friends,
I'm quite new to the hobby of growing my own tobacco and rolling my own cigars, and I really appreciate if you can help me...
I grew my tobacco out of havana seeds.
I harvested, dried the leaves, fermented them... It all looked pretty well so far.
I have a nice batch of leaves ready to roll and they smell wonderful.

I tried to roll few cigars just to see how it goes, and it went well so far...
The filler was dry, the binder was moderately damp, and the wrapper was moist.

I waited 10 days for the cigars to dry and I gave it a try.

1. They don't stay lit for more than 1 min!. The tobacco won't burn. Instead of gray ash, I get black charcoal.
2. They taste awful. Bitter, bad smell, really bad.

Have any idea what the reason can be?
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#4
Welcome to FTT!
As far as I know, overfertilizing (especially too much nitrogen) leads to poor burning. Might this be the case?

Pier
I don't think that this is the case...
I didn't fertilize at all. The plants grew in red soil, moderate irrigation and reach to a good size.

While browsing in the forums in this site, I found a very useful thread from Gdaddy about how to fix tobacco issues.
  • Bad taste - can be fixed by spraying the leaves with 2% citric acid solution.
    I tried it yesterday evening, and tasted the leaves today. The bitter taste was gone!
    Before that the leaves were very bitter to taste. I didn't roll yet any cigar because I want to fix the burning issues.

  • Burning issues - spraying the leaves with Salpeter solution of 1/4 teaspoon per pint of water improves combustion.
    I didn't try that yet, because I need to buy the Salpeter salt.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,113
Likes
549
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#5
I don't think that this is the case...
I didn't fertilize at all. The plants grew in red soil, moderate irrigation and reach to a good size.

While browsing in the forums in this site, I found a very useful thread from Gdaddy about how to fix tobacco issues.
  • Bad taste - can be fixed by spraying the leaves with 2% citric acid solution.
    I tried it yesterday evening, and tasted the leaves today. The bitter taste was gone!
    Before that the leaves were very bitter to taste. I didn't roll yet any cigar because I want to fix the burning issues.

  • Burning issues - spraying the leaves with Salpeter solution of 1/4 teaspoon per pint of water improves combustion.
    I didn't try that yet, because I need to buy the Salpeter salt.
Saltpeter might increase the flammability, but does it treat the underlying issue which caused the low flammability in the first place?

The tobacco I had which didn't burn was, (not by my choice), fertilized with uncomposted hare poop. Also, it was not topped.

I have read that chloride ions in soil have this effect. Our tap water is treated with chloramine. Perhaps this contributed. I only use rain water now.

My solutions would be to use it in blending, shred it more finely, and to kiln it longer.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
12,695
Likes
1,537
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#7
Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

In order to answer your questions, it would be helpful to know how the tobacco plants were fertilized, the maturity at which you harvested, your method of curing and your method of fermentation. There are numerous possible explanations for inadequate burning. Concocting chemical potions to remedy poor combustion kind of misses the point.

Bob
 

BarG

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
4,657
Likes
188
Points
63
Location
Texas, Brazos Vally
#8
Don't fret, you had to have had an overdose of a not to pleasant fertilizer on some very beautiful plants.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#9
How long did you kiln your leaves itamar_e?

Pier
As you guess,

I'm very new in this trade...

I didn't kiln the leaves at all.
I let them get brownish by hanging them in a ventilated place.
When everything was ready, I let them ferment for about 5 weeks, in temperature of 55 degrees celsius and 70% humididty.
I didn't have any mold issues since I took care to disturb the pile every day.

The leaves look good and smell great actually, except for the fact that they refuse to burn.

The soil was light red soil, irrigation was moderate and I got nice sizes tobacco plants.
Almost 1.5 meter tall with leaves in the average of 30cm...
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
12,695
Likes
1,537
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#11
You might gently dry the leaf in an oven, until bone dry, then bring it back to low case. Allow the leaf to rest at low case for at least a month, then try it again.

Without a soil analysis (possibly available through your Ministry of Agriculture), the chemical (chloride in specific) issue won't be clarified. If you apply chlorinated water to the growing tobacco, then that may well be the issue.

Some early writers on the production of tobacco in the eastern Mediterranean (about a century ago) suggested that exposure to ocean breeze leads to slow tobacco combustion. I have never seen a verification of that. But saline intrusion into the soil or aquifer / well water might have that effect.

Bob
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
738
Likes
36
Points
28
Location
Alberta
#12
A obvious question but did you roll the cigars too tight. I think maybe the moisture content being different for each of the leaves could be preventing burning. Another component to cigars is aging the leaf. My brother gets cigars and to the expensive blends are mostly aged for 5 years. or more.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#13
You might gently dry the leaf in an oven, until bone dry, then bring it back to low case. Allow the leaf to rest at low case for at least a month, then try it again.

Without a soil analysis (possibly available through your Ministry of Agriculture), the chemical (chloride in specific) issue won't be clarified. If you apply chlorinated water to the growing tobacco, then that may well be the issue.

Some early writers on the production of tobacco in the eastern Mediterranean (about a century ago) suggested that exposure to ocean breeze leads to slow tobacco combustion. I have never seen a verification of that. But saline intrusion into the soil or aquifer / well water might have that effect.

Bob
The water (tap water) are of course chlorinated.
But isn't it the case all over the world?
What i'm sure for 100% that I didn't use any fertilizer - let alone one that has any chlorinated component...
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
12,695
Likes
1,537
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#14
The water (tap water) are of course chlorinated.
But isn't it the case all over the world?
Most tobacco farmers either do not irrigate, or they use well or channeled river water. In order to irrigate with chlorinated water, obtain a large container (plastic drum or barrel), fill it with your chlorinated water, then allow it to sit open for several days, to allow as much of the chlorine to dissipate as possible.

Bob

EDIT: Chlorine in water has much less effect on growing vegetables and grains. Tobacco, which ultimately needs to combust, has a significant problem with chlorine.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#15
Most tobacco farmers either do not irrigate, or they use well or channeled river water. In order to irrigate with chlorinated water, obtain a large container (plastic drum or barrel), fill it with your chlorinated water, then allow it to sit open for several days, to allow as much of the chlorine to dissipate as possible.

Bob

EDIT: Chlorine in water has much less effect on growing vegetables and grains. Tobacco, which ultimately needs to combust, has a significant problem with chlorine.
The question is what to do with the tobacco that I have?
Throw away and hope for the best next year? Or is there something that can be done?
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,113
Likes
549
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#16
I say keep doing the fermentation, with rest, and smoking,test periods in between.

Like I mentioned before, I had this issue with my 2016 Orientals; however, i decided to ignore them completely, a luxury of having too much tobacco, and there has been improvement.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#17
I say keep doing the fermentation, with rest, and smoking,test periods in between.

Like I mentioned before, I had this issue with my 2016 Orientals; however, i decided to ignore them completely, a luxury of having too much tobacco, and there has been improvement.
My strategy for now is to leave the tobacco with moderate relative humidity to rest.
Once a day I manipulate it so it doesn't get molded.
The weather is still warm in this time of year so it kind of ferments slowly...

BTW... I sprayed it lightly with 2% of citric acid last week. I tasted the leaves, and all the bitterness/harshness was gone.
Also no detectable sour taste...

Let's hope for the best.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#18
Update....
I took the first batch the cigars the refused to burn and injected them with syringe a solution of saltpeter and citrix acid.
I waited two weeks for them to get back to 69% RH and tried one of them...
Good news - It burns like charm with a razor sharp burn line, and produces plumes of smoke(y)
Bad news - It has no flavor at all... Neutral taste, nothing that reminds that rich and full cigar tobacco. (n)

Funny thing, my wife says that the room note is very pleasant.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
12,695
Likes
1,537
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#19
Citric acid reduces the pH (makes more acidic) of the tobacco. That's okay for cigarette tobacco. Cigar tobacco needs to be somewhat alkaline, in order for any nicotine to be absorbed from the oropharynx.

Bob
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
Points
3
Location
Israel
#20
Citric acid reduces the pH (makes more acidic) of the tobacco. That's okay for cigarette tobacco. Cigar tobacco needs to be somewhat alkaline, in order for any nicotine to be absorbed from the oropharynx.

Bob
I'm not interested much in nicotine, I would like to reduce it as much as possible.
On the other hand. I'm interested in enhanced flavor.
I'll try to top it with green coffee bean extract and see what comes out...

Any ideas for making it taste like cigar tobacco again?
 
Top