Whole Leaf Tobacco

Attempt at making sun-cured rajangan

ChinaVoodoo

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An update on the second batch. It hit 149F on the second day. It took four days to cure. It tasted really good considering how fresh it was, and is of good color. I still don't think I would risk using any leaf that isn't totally yellow.
IMG_20170904_062622908~2.jpg
 

Tutu

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Yeah that looks very decent indeed! Looks like you don't need much advice. In Indonesia they let it become really dry and crispy too. In the final phase they'll keep it out at night (it very rarely rains during nights) and the moist will make it more moist. I don't think anyone measures humidity. I think in the end it's sold to larger buyers who process it in reset facilities and they'll make sure it's around 14% moisture after processing.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Rajangan batch number three is about to be smoked. The leaves are from a little higher on the plants. The result is darker, and has a slight perique aroma-not as green smelling as the other two batches. The tobacco did not get as hot as the previous two batches due to weather conditions. It also took longer, and I left it an extra couple days just because. I put it in my shed for the lat twenty four hours too, it was 95F.
IMG_20170920_082449856~3.jpg
 

ChinaVoodoo

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This rajangan smokes great. I can't wait to kiln it to see how much better it'll be. If it wasn't for the law in Alberta limiting the amount of shredded tobacco one is allowed to possess, I might consider curing as much as I can this way.
 

SmokesAhoy

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Possession limits?? Wow, grow a ton now man you know what's coming your way next.

How would you rate your raja compared to your flue cured? For someone that doesn't have an fc system would it be rather pointless to build if this could be perfected?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Possession limits?? Wow, grow a ton now man you know what's coming your way next.

How would you rate your raja compared to your flue cured? For someone that doesn't have an fc system would it be rather pointless to build if this could be perfected?
I'll answer the second question first. I haven't tried FC Delhi 34 yet so I can't say for sure, but it's way better than spanking new FC Costello or Helena. It is also better than 2 year agreed, kilned air cured frog eye Orinoco. Definitely worth trying yourself.

Between my wife and I we're allowed 30kg of whole leaf, which is plenty. That's a federal limit. The province has an additional rule which is aimed at curtailing the sales of contraband cigarettes, that you're only allowed to possess 1kg of processed tobacco (in any form), taxed or untaxed. It's frankly stupid. Three or four boxes of cigars legally purchased within Canada would put you over the limit. I just want to play it safe because what I do is rather conspicuous. Growing tobacco is extremely rare here.
 

SmokesAhoy

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Glad to hear that, I never really wanted to get into flue curing since I really don't consume much tobacco in the pipe, I'll try it next year when I can coordinate yellow leaf and hot days again.
 

Tutu

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China, the last picture of the third batch or Rajangan, what case is it in? Is it still quite moist or already fully dried?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I now have the ability to compare the rajangan to flue cured tobacco. The first batch of flue cured Delhi 34 surprised me somewhat. First to compare it to other tobacco I've flue cured. It is not nearly as sweet as Helena or Costello Negro. It has thicker, smaller leaves as compared to Ostrolist and thicker leaves as compared to Ternopolski. The leaves are thinner than those of Helena and Costello. It has a higher nicotine content than all four of the above. Compared with Delhi rajangan, it has slightly less of what I would call "body", and it is noticeably, but only slightly sweeter. It smells better in the unsmoked form, didn't have the slight green/not fully cured/needs age flavor that the rajangan has. FC has significantly more nicotine.

That said, the rajangan Delhi is more similar to flue cured Delhi than the other four flue cured tobaccos would be vs flue cured Delhi.
 

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ChinaVoodoo

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According to the book, it only takes two days to dry rajangan. One can only assume that from the photos, the resulting shag has a certain amount of green still in it. Mine still had a tiny amount. They do also say that it is aged in bales afterwards.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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It looks like a wonderful book. Coffee table size.


It's quite pricey new, but available used at around $25. I'm a sucker for tobacco books.

Thanks for posting.

Bob
I read a fair amount of it. It's at the tobacconist I frequent. Although it does fit the category of coffee table book, it's extremely well done. It starts with an introduction, a personal essay, of a man who grew up making kretek and selling them on the street in the 40s. It really sucked me in.
 

Tutu

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I've posted these before, but I'll post them again to show another traditional Rajangan cutting device, plus the baskets in which they age and store their tobacco. This is in an very small village in Sumba consisting of about 8 houses.

12.jpg

10.jpg
 

ChinaVoodoo

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The cutter in your photo appears to utilize leverage-or do I have that wrong? I just noticed there's a hole in the upright portion. Either way, it's a smaller amount of tobacco to cut through. The man in the photo from the book is using, basically, a heavy axe. One might note the age difference between the two men as being a motivating factor for the two styles of cutter. The axe is probably faster-if you can actually wield it.
 

Tutu

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Yes that's right, the hole is where my hand is at. This is where he pushes the rolled tobacco through and cuts it with a knife. The horizontal part he stands on with his foot, creating leverage to keep the device upright, rather than having just a single pole that wobbles. The difference in style might be that the guy from your book, my guess, sells his tobacco commercially, whereas this guy on my photo only grows a few plants and sells it to locals in the village, or in neighbouring villages. Whereas Rajangan cutters are made in larger quantities on islands like Java and Lombok, this guy on Sumba made his himself, probably keeping in mind that volumes he grows each season.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Tutu:

Indonesia is a geographically and ethnologically diverse place. what are the principal language(s) they speak there?

Wes H.
 
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