Whole Leaf Tobacco

Basic instructions for processing whole leaf into shredded (group project)

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FmGrowit

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I'd like for those interested in helping, to assist in creating a simple step-by-step instruction guide to processing whole leaf into cigarette tobacco.

You can write the entire process or just a couple of steps. The guide will be used to promote my whole leaf sales, so compensation for your efforts is in order. I'll send everyone who contributes in a substantive way, one pound of any cigarette tobacco (Burley, Flue Cured, Oriental and Dark Air) listed at www.WholeLeafTobacco.com

There is no need to go into details such as blending, casing best injectors etc. The idea is to keep it as short, simple and concise as possible.

If one entry is chosen to be used as is/in full, that member will receive their choice of five lbs. of the above tobacco and contributors one pound.

Keep in mind, this will likely be the users introduction into whole leaf processing, so many of the things you already take for granted will be completely foreign to the reader.

As for the actual shredding part... keep it generic. Don't assume the reader will be using a powermatic shredder.

The leaf will already be in light/medium case when it is received by the reader, so start the instructions with removing the mid-rib.
 

DonH

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Here is a draft:

Processing Whole Leaf Tobacco for Cigarettes

  • Take a tobacco leaf and spread it out from the center mid-rib out.
  • Fold it in half along the mid-rib with the back of the leaf on the outside
  • Starting from the tip of the leaf, pinch the leaf just below the mid-rib and pull the mid-rib off. You may need to pinch every inch or so where there is a vein coming off the mid-rib.
  • If you don’t have a shredder or a pasta maker, you can take the two pieces of de-ribbed leaf and roll them up into a cigar-like shape.
  • On a cutting board, use the sharpest knife you have and make diagonal cuts sideways along the “cigar” in the narrowest width you can, less than 1 mm is best.
  • Or you can use large, kitchen shear-type scissors to cut the “cigar.”
  • Once everything is cut, gently pull at the shredded tobacco to break the strands into smaller pieces.
  • If you do have a shredder, you can just feed the de-ribbed leaf into the shredder.
 

Daniel

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I would add that if they have trouble getting the tobacco to shred in a pasta maker let it get a bit dryer, but not crumbly dry.

a pasta maker requires more than one pass to get tobacco completely shredded.
 

Chicken

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you could '' TOAST'' IT,

PUTTING THE WHOLE LEAF INTO THE OVEN ON VERY LOW,

AND LETTING THE LEAF GET A LITTLE BRITTLE.

REMOVE THE LEAF, AND CRUMBLE IT UP, REMOVING THE MID-RIB,

ACTUALLY WORKS VERY WELL, I VE TOASTED MANY A OUNCES OF BACCY THIS WAY<

woop's cap button got stuck
 

DonH

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Good idea to add a bit about toasting.

you could '' TOAST'' IT,

PUTTING THE WHOLE LEAF INTO THE OVEN ON VERY LOW,

AND LETTING THE LEAF GET A LITTLE BRITTLE.

REMOVE THE LEAF, AND CRUMBLE IT UP, REMOVING THE MID-RIB,

ACTUALLY WORKS VERY WELL, I VE TOASTED MANY A OUNCES OF BACCY THIS WAY<

woop's cap button got stuck
 

FmGrowit

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Keep in mind also there are at least six different types of tobacco that CAN be used in blending (Flue Cured, Burley, Dark Air, Maryland, Oriental, Fire Cured)

Flue Cured "Virginia Bright Leaf" is processed in a manner in which the leaf is fully dried and then brought back into case before being put into bales. This drying and reconditioning does not allow for the mid-rib to become pliable often resulting in an mid-rid that is broken in many places. Flue Cured leaf will require the most amount of time to remove the mid-rib.

Turkish/Oriental tobacco does not requires the mid-rib to be removed unless it is a semi-Oriental.

If the Powermatic shredder is to be used, the lamina can be removed simply by pulling the mid-rib through the thumb and second knuckle of the index finger holding the lamina back. The lighter the case, the easier this is to do. If the leaf is cased to high, allow it to sit in the open air for 10 -15 minutes and try again. Even a light/medium case is usually too wet to smoke.
 

Chicken

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you could also, make a brick of baccy,,pressed,

and then slice it very thin, in layers,

let it dry back out, and you got baccy sliced good enough to roll.
 

DonH

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OK, I'll add a section on different handling of different varieties, on blending, on different shredding
methods and on toasting.
 

indianjoe

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Shredding your tobacco, after removing the middle rib
Getting the right shred can be can be accomplished by several methods:
1. Roll the leaf half into a round “cigar” like piece and slice off with scissors, sharp knife or razor pieces 1-2 mm in size
2. Place the leaf halves in a 200 degree oven until dry and crumble the leaf into sizes to fit into an injector
3. Use a pasta maker to shred the leaf into 1-2 mm sizes, using the finest setting last. You may have to carefully adjust the moisture content of the leaf to slightly dry to prevent the leaf shreds from sticking to the maker.
4. Utilize a commercial tobacco shredder, such as the Powermatic Shredder, whose reviews are found here http://fairtradetobacco.com/showthread.php?1112-Let-the-Powermatic-reviews-begin.
Quote from FM
Keep in mind also there are at least six different types of tobacco that CAN be used in blending (Flue Cured, Burley, Dark Air, Maryland, Oriental, Fire Cured)

Flue Cured "Virginia Bright Leaf" is processed in a manner in which the leaf is fully dried and then brought back into case before being put into bales. This drying and reconditioning does not allow for the mid-rib to become pliable often resulting in an mid-rid that is broken in many places. Flue Cured leaf will require the most amount of time to remove the mid-rib.

Turkish/Oriental tobacco does not requires the mid-rib to be removed unless it is a semi-Oriental.

If the Powermatic shredder is to be used, the lamina can be removed simply by pulling the mid-rib through the thumb and second knuckle of the index finger holding the lamina back. The lighter the case, the easier this is to do. If the leaf is cased to high, allow it to sit in the open air for 10 -15 minutes and try again. Even a light/medium case is usually too wet to smoke.
 

LeftyRighty

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I think a note of caution should be added about mold prevention - allowing the finished shredded tobacco to dry to low-case or near-crumble dry, before storage or rolling/smoking.
 

Chicken

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I think a note of caution should be added about mold prevention - allowing the finished shredded tobacco to dry to low-case or near-crumble dry, before storage or rolling/smoking.


storing is as about as important as shredding it is, a good way to store, is to use jars,, a item that everyone has,
'' i like to use as big a jar i can get .. perhaps 1 gallon or more,'' [ the kind pickles come in, ]

..tobacco stored,,, mold prevented,
 
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FmGrowit

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I'd like to add...

Tobacco with higher moisture content will smoke smoother, but can get hot toward the end of the cigarette.

Tobacco packed more tightly will also be smoother and obviously burn slower.

Dry tobacco lightly packed will burn hot and have will have a much stronger taste.


Thank you everyone would helped. I have most (if not all) of your addresses and will be sending the tobacco out this week. In that there isn't a single all inclusive post that covers the basic instructions, I'm going to hire someone to take all of the pieces and parts and assemble them into a comprehensive guide.

Thank you fro your help.

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