Whole Leaf Tobacco

Gravel in my dip

Jbg

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Cooked a mix of 2.5oz dark fire, 2.5oz fronto, and and 1.5oz stems and veins from both at 190(did get to 210 for an hr or two while was out fixin fence) for 56hrs. Mixed my sodium carbonate, bakers ammonia, glycerin, and a little water into a paste and mixed with the still warm tobacco and now have little gravels in my dip. Now what do I do and how can I keep this from happening again. Thanks
 

Jbg

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I guess I should be specific and say the sodium carbonate, bakers ammonia turned to little rocks.
 

plantdude

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I guess I should be specific and say the sodium carbonate, bakers ammonia turned to little rocks.
I made a few batches using the recipe in jparenlls artisanal spittin dip (found under the key forum threads for smokeless tobacco) last Friday - still aging for another week or so, but the bit I tried early seems ok. I added the sodium carbonate as a very fine powder. I did notice one or two small sized chunks of the sodium carbonate still present. Looking at some of the recipes for smokeless tobacco under the wiki it looks like they often dissolve the sodium carbonate in water first. Maybe dissolving it in water would help for future batches?

My main goal was to try and find a use for some of my green cured leaf. I screwed up and cooked things to hot, but the the green leaf batch seems palatable if not quite as good as the aged leaf and un-kilned brown leaf batches. The quality of starting tobacco makes a difference but after cooking and adding flavoring (wintergreen for mine) less than perfect leaf seems to be usable.

If you are feeling adventurous you might try adding a little water to a small batch of yours and seeing if the "gravel" dissolves and then try cooking it back down - no idea if it will work, but probably beats chewing on sodium carbonate chunks.

Personally I'm thinking growing a rustica variety next year with higher nicotine content to blend in so I can skip the sodium carbonate may not be a bad idea...
 

Jbg

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Plantdude, its my understanding that the alkali freebases the nicotine to make absorb more quickly and provide a stronger hit from a smaller amount. That being said I think with rustica and no alkali one wouldn't get a strong nicotine hit but would absorb the nic more slowly.

I think next time instead of a paste I will make a saturated sodium carbonate solution, but wonder if that would cause it revert to sodium bicarbonate and end up with bakin sodee water.
 

deluxestogie

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From the WLT Wiki section on Smokeless:

Boil 0.25 liters (1 cup) water with 40-70 g of sodium carbonate, and add to the tobacco. (I prefer 45-50g.) If you want stronger (more nicotine, stronger) snus use, the high dosage. Put it in the plastic container and press it hard with the end of a wooden plank or something similar. Put on the lid, and make sure its tight. Place it in the oven for 12 hours at 90°C (~194°F).
@jojjas

Bob
 

Jbg

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So it doesn't revert back to baking soda? And can this solution be stored?
 

deluxestogie

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I don't use this chemical for anything. I don't make dip.

The chemistry of changing sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate using heat, drives off one of the two carbonate radicals, and releases CO2. Sodium carbonate, as a solid, is a weak alkalai. Once hydrated, the solution (or paste) contains sodium hydroxide, changing it into a strong alkali. So the hydrated sodium carbonate should be considered as dangerous a chemical as lye, and should be treated as such. It can't turn itself back into sodium bicarbonate on its own.


Bob
 

Jbg

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In blacksmithing we use borax as a flux for forge welding, it can be purchased as laundry type 20 mule team or anhydrous. The 20 mule can be cooked off in an oven to make a semi anhydrous version that with exposure to air/moisture will revert to its former state, the anhydrous will absorb moisture from the air but much more slowly. That is why I ask. Thanks, will check that link out.
 

deluxestogie

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This evening, I searched all sorts of references and research on your question. The underlying requirement for sodium carbonate to revert to sodium bicarbonate is the acquisition of CO2. Sodium carbonate (in a mixture with at least one other compound) can serve as a CO2 "scrubber", removing CO2 from air. This seems to be a limited process in pure sodium carbonate in solution. So my suggestion, other than storing it dry in a well-sealed container, would be to store the liquid in a well sealed container with minimal head space above the liquid (i.e. as little air as possible).

If you feel spunky, you can purchase some wide spectrum Hydrion pH test paper:


and set up two containers of the sodium carbonate liquid--one well sealed, and one with free access to ambient air. Use the Hydrion paper to test the pH of each initially, then at intervals of days or weeks. Doing that, you can actually measure the extent to which the pH falls over time for the two storage methods. Measuring a solution of sodium bicarbonate will tell you the lowest pH you can expect.

Bob
 

plantdude

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This evening, I searched all sorts of references and research on your question. The underlying requirement for sodium carbonate to revert to sodium bicarbonate is the acquisition of CO2. Sodium carbonate (in a mixture with at least one other compound) can serve as a CO2 "scrubber", removing CO2 from air. This seems to be a limited process in pure sodium carbonate in solution. So my suggestion, other than storing it dry in a well-sealed container, would be to store the liquid in a well sealed container with minimal head space above the liquid (i.e. as little air as possible).

If you feel spunky, you can purchase some wide spectrum Hydrion pH test paper:


and set up two containers of the sodium carbonate liquid--one well sealed, and one with free access to ambient air. Use the Hydrion paper to test the pH of each initially, then at intervals of days or weeks. Doing that, you can actually measure the extent to which the pH falls over time for the two storage methods. Measuring a solution of sodium bicarbonate will tell you the lowest pH you can expect.

Bob
Bob is once again playing it safe on the side of caution for users of the forum - and perhaps rightly so. Adding sodium carbonate to water will break it down to mostly carbonic acid and sodium bicarbonate - a weak alkali after time. Using straight sodium carbonate is pretty harsh until it has time to react with the moisture in tobacco and in the air and start reverting back into weaker forms. Putting straight sodium carbonate in your mouth, eyes, open wounds etc is not going to be a good thing. some recipies also call for the use of potash, which is also very alkaline and can be hazardous in its raw form. Looking at recipes online from commercial dips suggest sodium hydroxide is also sometimes used, which is even perhaps more damaging in a raw form.
Long story short you are basically trying to make your dip more alkaline through adding chemicals in order to absorb more nicotine. If you do that you want to do that in a way that is not going to hurt you. Just as a caveat nicotine is a known carcinogen as well and may cause cancer.
 

Jbg

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Thanks for the replies and links. The confusing part is those links dont agree on what happens when it's hydrated, the first link Bob posted said it makes a weak carbonic acid and strong sodium hydroxide solution, and the other said it reverts to bakin soda. Im going to have to dig deeper on this. Thanks
 

plantdude

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Thanks for the replies and links. The confusing part is those links dont agree on what happens when it's hydrated, the first link Bob posted said it makes a weak carbonic acid and strong sodium hydroxide solution, and the other said it reverts to bakin soda. Im going to have to dig deeper on this. Thanks
I'm curious about the role the bakers ammonia has also, I don't think I have heard about that being used before for chew.

@Robncars used rustica (higher nicotine content) with some of his batches and skipped the sodium carbonate step. I'm thinking I may try that out next year. No tobacco product is healthy, but I feel a little better adding less chemicals to it - less for me to screw up if nothing else.
If anyone knows of a good rustica variety worth trying I would be glad to hear about it (I'm betting there are going to be a few votes for the sacred cornplanter).
 
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Alpine

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Ah rusticas.... there are more strains than you can think! Yellow, black, Armenia, bakun, tall green... take a look here:
And there are even more! For ease of cure and pleasant flavour the yellow rusticas are preferred in cigarettes but for other uses I would recommend Gujarat Calcutta 1 (GC1) available through Northwoodseeds (mail Skychaser since this particular strain is not in the website seed list yet).
Huge leaves (mind you, huge for a rustica!) and high nic content.

pier
 

plantdude

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Ah rusticas.... there are more strains than you can think! Yellow, black, Armenia, bakun, tall green... take a look here:
And there are even more! For ease of cure and pleasant flavour the yellow rusticas are preferred in cigarettes but for other uses I would recommend Gujarat Calcutta 1 (GC1) available through Northwoodseeds (mail Skychaser since this particular strain is not in the website seed list yet).
Huge leaves (mind you, huge for a rustica!) and high nic content.

pier
Thanks @Alpine, I'm not familiar with the language the website is in, but your tip on Gujarat Calcutta 1 sounds good. You had mentoined another strain months ago that you like quite a bit that was not a rustica. I had made a mental note to order that as well eventually. My mental notes like my handwritten ones apparently have a way of getting misfiled in my current sleep deprived state. It had an Italian sounding name and was also not one on listed on skychasers seed list (I think you had sent him seed for it originally). I'm forcing myself to wait a few months before ordering more seed because I know I would end up planting them now - I can't hardly walk through the house as it is after bringing in all my mid summer started potted plants:whistle:

@Jbg my understanding was also that sodium carbonate reverts back to sodium bicarbonate as it picks up moisture from the air if it's not stored in air tight container. That's part of the reason why I added it in as a fine powder form rather than mixing it in water like some of the recipes call for. I wasn't sure if the water would neutralize it too fast. My guess is that it would still be fairly alkaline though even if it was mixed with water initially rather than added as a powder (probably a little safer and fewer chunks if it is dissolved first). I have not tried disolving it in water first so I can't say for sure though, maybe someone else on the forum that has tried it can offer some first hand knowledge.
That was interesting to hear about the bakers ammonia, I have not heard about that before. Keep us posted if you hit on a good recipe.
 

plantdude

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Thanks @Alpine, I'm not familiar with the language the website is in, but your tip on Gujarat Calcutta 1 sounds good. You had mentoined another strain months ago that you like quite a bit that was not a rustica. I had made a mental note to order that as well eventually. My mental notes like my handwritten ones apparently have a way of getting misfiled in my current sleep deprived state. It had an Italian sounding name and was also not one on listed on skychasers seed list (I think you had sent him seed for it originally). I'm forcing myself to wait a few months before ordering more seed because I know I would end up planting them now - I can't hardly walk through the house as it is after bringing in all my mid summer started potted plants:whistle:

@Jbg my understanding was also that sodium carbonate reverts back to sodium bicarbonate as it picks up moisture from the air if it's not stored in air tight container. That's part of the reason why I added it in as a fine powder form rather than mixing it in water like some of the recipes call for. I wasn't sure if the water would neutralize it too fast. My guess is that it would still be fairly alkaline though even if it was mixed with water initially rather than added as a powder (probably a little safer and fewer chunks if it is dissolved first). I have not tried disolving it in water first so I can't say for sure though, maybe someone else on the forum that has tried it can offer some first hand knowledge.
That was interesting to hear about the bakers ammonia, I have not heard about that before. Keep us posted if you hit on a good recipe.
@Alpine, maybe it was one of the Nostrano's for the non-rusticas you had mentioned previously (Nostrano del brenta?).
 
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