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Charly's journey - 2017

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Charly

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Now that harvesting is behind us and most of my leaves are dry, I am finally planning to buid my first kiln ! :)
I have read (one more time) most of the excellents threads on how to build a kiln (from LeftyRighty, Bob, Knucklehead...) to be sure not doing this the bad way.


I would like to create a "dry kiln", I plan on using manson jars with my tobacco inside.
As anyone already compared fermentation in jars versus in kiln ?
I would like a dry kiln, because I am not confident in building an electric device with humidity... I don't want to put my house to fire !
I will use an old wooden box (I will have to create a door), I will put some XPS isolation inside.


All this make me wonder about a few questions :
- first, do you think it's a good idea to build a "dry" kiln ?
- what kind of device should I use to heat the kiln ? is a crock pot a good idea ? do I need to fill it with water or can I use it empty ?)
- with fermentation, we want the tobacco to loose some unwanted gases and chemicals, I think I will have to air the jars regularly to allow theses bad things to get out of the jars, no ?


Any idea is welcome, thanks for your help ;)
 

greenmonster714

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I need to do that too. I have an old chest freezer which would work. I saw a video once of a guy who made a kiln for wood out of an old freezer. He used incandescent bulbs to maintain temp. One 100w bulb gives off a lot of heat. Well over 200F. I'd imagine a few bulbs situated at the bottom with a screen would do good. Just an idea if your looking for dry heat.
 

greenmonster714

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Contacts in the lamp socket allow the electric current to pass through the base to the filament. Power ratings for incandescent light bulbs range from about 0.1 watt to about 10,000 watts. The glass bulb of a general service lamp can reach temperatures between 200 and 260 °C (392 and 500 °F)

From Google. I guess I was off a little. 392F + can heat up a small place pretty fast.
 

mwaller

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Hi Charly -
Even if you plan to make a dry kiln, I would recommend using a small crockpot for heat and simply run it dry. Light bulbs have no over-temperature protection, and they can certainly get hot enough to char wood. Crockpots provide much softer heat and are less likely to be a fire hazard.
I don't have any experience kilning in mason jars, but I think it would work well. I'm sure someone on the forum has already tried it! I think your idea to periodically air out the jars is a good one.
The advantage of your dry kiln is that you won't end up with puddles of condensation on your floor. Unless you have a VERY well insulated kiln, condensation will form around the door seals and run down onto the floor. I always have small puddles below my kiln. My kiln is in the garage, so this is not a problem. But, be aware of this, if you ever decide to run your kiln 'wet.'
If you want to control temperature accurately, you will need a temperature controller. I've had great luck with my Inkbird controller, like this one:
https://www.amazon.fr/Température-C...e=UTF8&qid=1511897608&sr=8-4&keywords=inkbird
I have the temperature probe near the top of the kiln, and the controller is set to 128F. The crockpot is plugged into the controller. When The temperature drops below 126F, the crockpot turns on. When the temperature gets up to 128F, it turns off. Works great!
Good luck!

Now that harvesting is behind us and most of my leaves are dry, I am finally planning to buid my first kiln ! :)
I have read (one more time) most of the excellents threads on how to build a kiln (from LeftyRighty, Bob, Knucklehead...) to be sure not doing this the bad way.


I would like to create a "dry kiln", I plan on using manson jars with my tobacco inside.
As anyone already compared fermentation in jars versus in kiln ?
I would like a dry kiln, because I am not confident in building an electric device with humidity... I don't want to put my house to fire !
I will use an old wooden box (I will have to create a door), I will put some XPS isolation inside.


All this make me wonder about a few questions :
- first, do you think it's a good idea to build a "dry" kiln ?
- what kind of device should I use to heat the kiln ? is a crock pot a good idea ? do I need to fill it with water or can I use it empty ?)
- with fermentation, we want the tobacco to loose some unwanted gases and chemicals, I think I will have to air the jars regularly to allow theses bad things to get out of the jars, no ?


Any idea is welcome, thanks for your help ;)
 

Charly

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Bravo;... je vais suivre avec attention. good luck.

Merci ;)
J'espère arriver à faire quelque chose d'économique et d'efficace !

Thanks,
I hope I can do something economic and efficient !

I need to do that too. I have an old chest freezer which would work. I saw a video once of a guy who made a kiln for wood out of an old freezer. He used incandescent bulbs to maintain temp. One 100w bulb gives off a lot of heat. Well over 200F. I'd imagine a few bulbs situated at the bottom with a screen would do good. Just an idea if your looking for dry heat.

Light bulb is a way to get the temperature, but I thought that the energy might be more wasted (since a lot of the electricity was converted to light).
The other drawback with light bulbs is that they can become pretty hot... so I wondered if it would not create too big fluctuations, maybe becoming too hot and burn the foam (or the tobacco).

Another idea is to use heating lamps, specialy designed for heating terrariums, but I don't know if there is a real difference with standard light bulb regarding to max temperature ?
 

Charly

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Hi Charly -
Even if you plan to make a dry kiln, I would recommend using a small crockpot for heat and simply run it dry. Light bulbs have no over-temperature protection, and they can certainly get hot enough to char wood. Crockpots provide much softer heat and are less likely to be a fire hazard.
I don't have any experience kilning in mason jars, but I think it would work well. I'm sure someone on the forum has already tried it! I think your idea to periodically air out the jars is a good one.
The advantage of your dry kiln is that you won't end up with puddles of condensation on your floor. Unless you have a VERY well insulated kiln, condensation will form around the door seals and run down onto the floor. I always have small puddles below my kiln. My kiln is in the garage, so this is not a problem. But, be aware of this, if you ever decide to run your kiln 'wet.'
If you want to control temperature accurately, you will need a temperature controller. I've had great luck with my Inkbird controller, like this one:
https://www.amazon.fr/Température-C...e=UTF8&qid=1511897608&sr=8-4&keywords=inkbird
I have the temperature probe near the top of the kiln, and the controller is set to 128F. The crockpot is plugged into the controller. When The temperature drops below 126F, the crockpot turns on. When the temperature gets up to 128F, it turns off. Works great!
Good luck!

Thanks for your answer Mwaller :)
That's some interesting informations (water from condensation outside the kiln, etc...)

The temperature controller you mentionned is exactly the one I wanted :) It interests me a lot, because there is no need to do all the wiring myself : another good point to avoid fire hazard !

Crock Pots are (in my opinion) more "secure" than light bulb, and I can find some cheap one online. The temperature they deliver seem more "soft" than light bulb too. They are probably the best solution.
Do you think there is no risk using a empty crock pot ?
 

mwaller

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I think the worst thing that would happen is that the crock pot would burn out and stop working. I would expect that any CE-marked crockpot would have been tested for safe operation when dry, since this is certainly forseeable misuse of a kitchen appliance.
If you only want a dry kiln, you could consider a reptile heater instead of a lightbulb:
https://www.amazon.fr/Céramique-Amp...11898679&sr=8-2&keywords=ceramic+heat+reptile
Let us know how it works out!

Thanks for your answer Mwaller :)
That's some interesting informations (water leaking, etc...)

The temperature controller you mentionned is exactly the one I wanted :) It interests me a lot, because there is no need to do all the wiring myself : another good point to avoid fire hazard !

Crock Pots are (in my opinion) more "secure" than light bulb, and I can find some cheap one online. The temperature they deliver seem more "soft" than light bulb too. They are probably the best solution.
Do you think there is no risk using a empty crock pot ?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Merci ;)
J'espère arriver à faire quelque chose d'économique et d'efficace !

Thanks,
I hope I can do something economic and efficient !



Light bulb is a way to get the temperature, but I thought that the energy might be more wasted (since a lot of the electricity was converted to light).
The other drawback with light bulbs is that they can become pretty hot... so I wondered if it would not create too big fluctuations, maybe becoming too hot and burn the foam (or the tobacco).

Another idea is to use heating lamps, specialy designed for heating terrariums, but I don't know if there is a real difference with standard light bulb regarding to max temperature ?

Regarding light bulbs,
If no light escapes the container, it is close to 100% efficient, as per the laws of black bodies, and conservation of energy. The light hits whatever it hits and is converted to infrared radiation. In some circumstances it is converted to other forms of energy, like photosynthesis transforms light into chemical energy, and solar panels convert it into electricity. Nevertheless, no energy simply disappears. If you had poor insulation, the infrared produced when the light hits the walls, might radiate off the outside of the container. In both my kiln and curing shed, I use light bulbs inside a steel container with a fan blowing through it, for circulation, and to prevent the metal and bulb from getting too hot. Light doesn't hit the tobacco or the walls of the kiln and shed.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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From Wikipedia under Plank's law:

Black body Edit
Main article: Black body
In physics, one considers an ideal black body, here labeled B, defined as one that completely absorbs all of the electromagnetic radiation falling upon it at every frequency ν (hence the term "black"). According to Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation, this entails that, for every frequency ν, at thermodynamic equilibrium at temperature T, one has αν,B(T) = εν,B(T) = 1, so that the thermal radiation from a black body is always equal to the full amount specified by Planck's law. No physical body can emit thermal radiation that exceeds that of a black body, since if it were in equilibrium with a radiation field, it would be emitting more energy than was incident upon it.

Though perfectly black materials do not exist, in practice a black surface can be accurately approximated.[4] As to its material interior, a body of condensed matter, liquid, solid, or plasma, with a definite interface with its surroundings, is completely black to radiation if it is completely opaque. That means that it absorbs all of the radiation that penetrates the interface of the body with its surroundings, and enters the body. This is not too difficult to achieve in practice. On the other hand, a perfectly black interface is not found in nature. A perfectly black interface reflects no radiation, but transmits all that falls on it, from either side. The best practical way to make an effectively black interface is to simulate an 'interface' by a small hole in the wall of a large cavity in a completely opaque rigid body of material that does not reflect perfectly at any frequency, with its walls at a controlled temperature. Beyond these requirements, the component material of the walls is unrestricted. Radiation entering the hole has almost no possibility of escaping the cavity without being absorbed by multiple impacts with its walls.[20]
 

Jitterbugdude

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I would like to create a "dry kiln", I plan on using manson jars with my tobacco inside.
As anyone already compared fermentation in jars versus in kiln ?
;)

Yes! I used to kiln my tobacco in a kiln that was roughly 4ft x 4ft x 5ft ( 122cm x 122cm x 152cm). When I came up with the idea of kilning tobacco in jars I never looked back. There is no difference at all between the two methods. With mason jars you are limited to the number of jars or other containers that will fit into your kiln.
 
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Charly

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Thanks for your replies :)

Charley, All the information you require for "dry" kilning is here. http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/4256-A-Kiln-Tobacco-the-Process-and-Why?
Be prepared for a long read but read to the end, as he changes some of the methods as he discovers problems and finds easier ways to work.
I did my leaf last year and it is so simple.

I have already read this very good thread at least two times in the past months, but I will read it again with pleasure :)

Yes! I used to kiln my tobacco in a kiln that was roughly 4ft x 4ft x 5ft ( 122cm x 122cm x 152cm). When I came up with the idea of kilning tobacco in jars I never looked back. There is no difference at all between the two methods. With mason jars you are limited to the number of jars or other containers that will fit into your kiln.

When you say that you never looked back, you mean that you kiln all your tobacco in jars now ? Thanks for your answer about the possible differences between kilning with or without jars :)

I want to keep it as simple as possible, and as secure as possible... and as cheap as possible :D
I think it's time to work on it !

I have to order the thermostat and buy the isolation (XPS), I will do this in the next days and will begin build it as soon as I can.
Thanks for your inputs.
 

Jitterbugdude

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Charly, Yes I do all of my kilning in jars now. Keep in mind that I have a very large supply of tobacco in storage from growing for over 20 years. Most of the tobacco I grow now is just 3 or 4 plants of new varieties. I use mostly 1 gallon jars but also 1/2 gallon and quart size. I strip the stem out of the leaves and just pack them into the jar.
 

Charly

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In my first year I tried to do it as simple as possible, here are a link to my blog:

https://vanerpaddel.com/2017/09/18/tobacco-kiln-update/

I checked the moisture level every third day in the bags.

I want to keep it simple just like you did :)

It's difficult to imagine squeezing a tied hand of beautiful whole-leaf tobacco leaf into a jar for kilning.

Bob

I understand your point of view, but I alerady remove the main stem of all my leaves when I they have finish color curing and are nearly dry (because I have a lot of problems with mold), so the leaves can enter easily in my jars (I simply take a buch of half leaves, make a stack, roll them together and put them in the jars).

I already found some big jars that are big enough for the biggest (largest) of my leaves.
I like the glass jars, because I want to keep my tobacco far from plastics as much as I can.

Charly, Yes I do all of my kilning in jars now. Keep in mind that I have a very large supply of tobacco in storage from growing for over 20 years. Most of the tobacco I grow now is just 3 or 4 plants of new varieties. I use mostly 1 gallon jars but also 1/2 gallon and quart size. I strip the stem out of the leaves and just pack them into the jar.

Great !
I am happy to see that I am not the only one who remove the main stem of all my leaves :)
20 years of growing ! Impressive !
 

Charly

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A few weeks ago, I finally found enough time to build my first kiln !
The kiln I made is a "dry" kiln and is only designed to maintain the right temperature.
The different tobaccos are placed in jars, in medium/low case, and then I put the jars in the kiln.


I tried to used what I already had at home :
- an old wooden box I had in my garage (52 x 55 x 100cm),
- a power supply of an old computer, and some fans of old computers too,
- some old electrical cables (and some old RCA connectors),
- a spot light (200W),
- an old bathroom fan,
- some angle braces.
- some black painting sprays (because the old painting outside the box was old and not nice enough :) )


I bought what I had not at home :
- some extruded insulation boards (XPS),
- some glue for XPS boards,
- some wood strips,
- a particle board (plywood) for the door,
- some chicken wire mesh,
- some adhesive door seal,
- 3 box lock and 3 hinges,
- some screws and other small materials.


And finally, I ordered the thermostat "Inkbird ITC-308" (http://www.ink-bird.com/products-temperature-controller-itc308.html) to control the heat source.


Here are a few pictures to show what I've done :


First, the box :

c1.jpg c2.jpg c5.jpg c5-2.jpg c6.jpg


Then, the shelves :
c9.jpg c9-2.jpg


Then, everything together :
c5-4.jpg c95.jpg c96.jpg




I've decided to make two separated electrical circuits :
- the first circuit controled by the thermostat, turns on the heat source (my 200W spot light) and the big bathroom fan blowing on it only when needed,
- and a second circuit controling the 3 small fans (I may add others if needed), running all day long to distribute the same temperature everywhere.


For now, I am quite happy with my kiln, it runs very well, I am eager to see if I can get some really good baccy out of there !


I have to say that the Inkbird thermostat is really easy to plug and use, I wanted something easy and reliable, I think it is.


As I prefer to go safe I run the kiln only when I am at home and awake. I put it off every night and each time I am out of my house.
This way, kilning might take longer, but the leaves will have some time to rest each day. Maybe this time will shorten the "resting time" recommanded after 4 weeks of continuous kilning, what do you think ?


I really want to thank everyone on this forum for sharing their knowledge and being so kind, without you I would never have thought I could grow and smoke my own tobacco !
Next step is to achieve some really outstanding tobacco ! I already had some nice leaves from last year, and had some nice mild cigars from the semois strain, but I would like to create some more tasty/complexe smokes (most of my leaves were somewhat light in taste last year) !
 
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