Whole Leaf Tobacco

Garage Kiln

Stevea

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So my Havana 608 that I intended on using for a binder and filler didn't turn out very well. This was my first attempt and growing tobacco. Long story short I rushed through it, made many mistakes and learned a lot. So the leaves are greener then I wanted mainly due to not pile curing. I still want to go through the entire process of beginning to end of making a cigar. With that being said I made a Kiln from what I have read on this forum. I repurposed my existing Kegerator fridge and used a old humidifier I had. I then bought the fan($16), heating coils($12) and control unit ($22). The control unit is set for 123F - 128F temp (50.5C-53.3C) / 66-70% humidity. I had a old water pump thats not pictured that will fill my humidifier when it gets low so I don't have to open the kiln. It takes about 40 mins to get to the desired temperature and humidity and holds extremely well. I plan on premoisting the leaves prior to putting them in the kiln so they don't break as I pack them in. I was going to run it for a month because I think I read anything over that doesn't make much of a difference. After kilning do you wash your leaves to get all the dead bugs and dirt off ? Do you let the leaves rest and come to room temp before you put them in the vapor proof bags ?

Steve

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deluxestogie

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That's a scary bunch of exposed wiring splices. Inside the chamber, there may be dripping liquid. If your wall outlet is well grounded, then you might want to invest in a ground-fault electrical outlet, like the kind now installed in bathroom plug outlet boxes. It might be somewhat discouraging, if you burn down your house.

Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

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That's a scary bunch of exposed wiring splices. Inside the chamber, there may be dripping liquid. If your wall outlet is well grounded, then you might want to invest in a ground-fault electrical outlet, like the kind now installed in bathroom plug outlet boxes. It might be somewhat discouraging, if you burn down your house.

Bob
Could he also maybe caulk or glue-gun inside the marettes to seal them?
 

Stevea

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That's a scary bunch of exposed wiring splices. Inside the chamber, there may be dripping liquid. If your wall outlet is well grounded, then you might want to invest in a ground-fault electrical outlet, like the kind now installed in bathroom plug outlet boxes. It might be somewhat discouraging, if you burn down your house.

Bob
The 2 wire connecters inside the kiln are waterproof connectors. They have a special silicone jell inside that repeals water and moisture while still making a connection. It does plug into a GFI outlet. But that is a good point. I can go to the store and put a weather proof eltrical box on those wires for extra good measure. I still need a box for the external wires as well.

Thanks for the feed back
 

LeftyRighty

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NO, don't wash the leaves after they've cured (turned yellow/brown) or dried. Nicotine & most of the flavor/aroma alkaloids are water soluble, and you'll wash them away. Same goes for leaf in the kiln, don't let the RH get high enough that the leaves are dripping wet.

You can wash leaf while still green (after picking) if bugs, dirt, bird droppings, dog piss, dust, pollen, etc. bother you.
My experience, most of this crap drops off when the leaf eventually is dry, rain-water washed, processed or through handling. Commercial growers don't wash leaf at any time during processing, they leave all that good junk for you to smoke. Isn't that what 'organic' produce means, not washed from field-to-table.
 

Knucklehead

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I don’t think your stems are dry yet. The leaves should be cured before kilned.

As China said, I also wash the aphids from fresh picked green leaf before curing. I used Admire my last year and was aphid free. I hate aphids worse than all the other other pests.

edit: I posted bad info
 
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Stevea

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I have never pile cured before. I’m not aware of members pile curing. I don’t think your stems are dry yet. The leaves should be cured before kilned.

As China said, I also wash the aphids from fresh picked green leaf before curing. I used Admire my last year and was aphid free. I hate aphids worse than all the other other pests.
I thought I read in one of the forums that pile curing helps color cure the leaves. Picking the leaves and placing them in a box and rotating them every so often helps color curing prior to hang drying them. The leaves have been hanging since the end of January. That could be why they aren't that dry. Originally I had a heater and fan going to help dry them out. The weather now is getting hotter and drier. I appreciate the feed back.
 

deluxestogie

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pile curing helps color cure the leaves. Picking the leaves and placing them in a box and rotating them every so often helps color curing prior to hang drying them.
Yes, piling them and rotating them is helpful in drier climates, to hasten the yellowing of the green leaves. Then they are hung to color cure.

Bob
 

Knucklehead

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I thought I read in one of the forums that pile curing helps color cure the leaves. Picking the leaves and placing them in a box and rotating them every so often helps color curing prior to hang drying them. The leaves have been hanging since the end of January. That could be why they aren't that dry. Originally I had a heater and fan going to help dry them out. The weather now is getting hotter and drier. I appreciate the feed back.
You are right, I have even done it myself when my humidity dropped way down while curing. DOH! I had an image in my mind of a huge pilon in a huge warehouse for some reason. Sorry about the misinformation. Brain fart.
 

Stevea

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Just an update with the kiln. I but put both the exterior wiring and the interior wiring in a electrical safe boxes. The interior one I used was one that was rated for wet locations. I have been running this setup for a month now with no issues. Running it at 123-128 F 70%-75% HR the aroma it gives off smells like wet leaves or maybe a very very faint tobacco smell. I just assume good things come in time. I just remembered to post these pictures and the boxes were in place before I started the kiln. Thank you for all the good feed back.

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Stevea

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What do you guys do after kilning ? I have read about cold sweating or letting the tobacco rest but how ? Do I just hang it spaced out after kilning to rest and dry out so no mold forms ? Or do I get ziplock bags, remove the air, put them in containers and monitor each bin while still moist ? I read that the resting also improves the quality. Also since I only have one type of tobacco right now at this phase I wasn’t planning on smoking a wrapper, binder and filler of all the same tabacco type.
 
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