Whole Leaf Tobacco

Greenness-grassy taste and smell

SomeOne

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I've some Virginia tobacco (shredded) which smell like green stuff, though not green in color, but rather mild to dark brown. Once I did smoke some of it , it did taste bad and more like grass smell there with sourness.
Is there anyway one can treat it ?.

This type of tobacco is common where do I live. Allegedly, its Virginia and I do know they air-cure it. No flue curing here.

Thankful.
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum. There are several approaches you can take to improving the tobacco. These are discussed in various threads that can be found in the Index of Key Forum Threads (link in the menu bar).

You can kiln the leaf, which requires an insulated container, in which heat can be provided, and maintained near 125°F for 4 to 6 weeks in high humidity (or within a sealed bag or jar).

Perhaps the easiest approach to try is to make it into Cavendish. This is easiest within a canning (Mason) jar filled with very moist tobacco, and heated in a pressure cooker for 5 to 8 hours, or in a simple, hot water bath for 8 or more hours. The goal is not to turn it into black Cavendish, but to soften the aroma and taste. After the process, it needs to be dried until it is just barely flexible, then allowed to rest for a couple of weeks.

Neither of these approaches will significantly change the nicotine content, but will hopefully remove some of the more disagreeable aromas.

Bob
 

SomeOne

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you can't begin to know how do I appreciate you reply. I do live in middle east. it has been a long generations since people here farmed and cultivated tobacco. Some history : where do I live (Jordan) used to be under the Turkish Ottoman rule for centuries. The tobacco they grow here is definitely not Oriental or Turkish, so my theory is that someone back in old days saw how Turks cured their tobacco (sun-cured) and imitated that process. Anyways, no kilns here what so ever. when I mentioned several times for local tobacconists and tobacco farmers the issue of bad and hideous taste and smell of local tobacco in comparison with Marlboro for example , they all replied with same answer: " these companies put additives into their tobacco". Never this answer convinced me. I knew that pure natural tobacco should have that aroma smell to it. Actually I used to have a fragrance with tobacco ( Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille). So I did my researches ( thanks to Almighty Google) and read about curing ,fermenting ,casing..etc.The Cavendish process attracted me, for its simplicity. I tried to steam 25 g of this shredded local tobacco where I did put it in a mesh for 4 hours. And pressed it under weight for 4 days. There is some changes and the grassy-ness reduced. Now, I do want to maximize the benefits of this procedure.

I have few questions:
steaming or pressure cooking?
What is the science behind both?
any regards for Temp. and pressure values and levels?
after steaming or pressure cooking, should tobacco be dried immediately ?
is there any need for pressing tobacco after that?
does all of this equally applicable for whole leaves and shredded?

Thanks.
 

deluxestogie

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steaming or pressure cooking?
What is the science behind both?
any regards for Temp. and pressure values and levels?
after steaming or pressure cooking, should tobacco be dried immediately ?
is there any need for pressing tobacco after that?
does all of this equally applicable for whole leaves and shredded?
My experience is that the principal difference between steaming and pressure-cooking is that the process is more rapid (though still many hours) with a pressure cooker. A standard pressure cooker valve weight permits the buildup of 15 psi (pounds per square inch), which raises the boiling point of water (at sea level) from 100°C to 121°C. The more exposure to water, the darker the tobacco will get. An added benefit of using either method in a sealed canning jar (the lid allows excess pressure within the jar to vent) is that once the cooking is finished, regardless of method, the sealed jar can be left unopened indefinitely, since its contents have been sterilized.

Once you open the jar, all the tobacco inside it should be removed, and dried to low case, so that it does not mold. Low case is slightly noisy when handled, and is barely flexible, though it does not shatter when handled.

You can do this with either whole leaf or with leaf that has already been shredded.

In the Index of Key Forum Threads, you can find a number of lengthy threads on the subject of making Cavendish.

For the growers, if they can allow their leaf to mostly yellow while still on the stalk, then sun-curing for 3 weeks may yield a better result. Even then, kilning such leaf significantly improves it.

Do look over the threads on building a kiln. [For example: https://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/deluxestogies-endoskeletal-wood-tobacco-kiln-flue-cure-chamber.5767/] A kiln can be an old, retired refrigerator or a custom built box--just something with insulation and the ability to seal fairly efficiently. A simple Crockpot (as small as 2.5 liters) can provide heat (and moisture, if the leaf is left exposed), and a digital controller can be purchased on-line for about $15 or $20. Every forum member who has set up a kiln, including myself, has found it to be less complicated or difficult than they expected, and has regretted not going ahead to create one sooner. The electrical connection is quite basic. My current kiln, totally custom built using all new materials, required a little over $100 and one weekend of labor.

In your market environment, kilned tobacco or Cavendish might be in demand.

Bob

EDTI: Pressing any tobacco alters it. So you'll have to experiment with that. I would say that it is not necessary.
 

SomeOne

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thanks for the quick reply.
Indeed any good tobacco would be appreciated in such market. I did review your kiln design..very neat!.
bear with me in few questions. How much time will it take for tobacco to be processed in such a kiln?. and do you advice me to get some green leaves and flue cure them instead?. That is, is it preferable to make a kiln or a flue chamber?.
 

deluxestogie

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A flue-curing chamber can usually be used as a kiln as well. The exact timing of harvesting green leaf to place in a flue-cure chamber makes a big difference in the quality of the cure. I'm not sure how one might purchase green leaf that has not dried during transport and marketing.

Kilning usually requires a minimum of 1 month. 2 months is better.

Bob
 

LivinInPiperHell

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A flue-curing chamber can usually be used as a kiln as well. The exact timing of harvesting green leaf to place in a flue-cure chamber makes a big difference in the quality of the cure. I'm not sure how one might purchase green leaf that has not dried during transport and marketing.

Kilning usually requires a minimum of 1 month. 2 months is better.

Bob
Does a flue-cure chamber/kiln need to be set-up in a shed due to odour or is it ok to set one up inside?
I've got a space in my laundry that's large enough to set up an old fridge that I'd like to convert to try my hand at flue-curing.
 

deluxestogie

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I keep my own kiln/flue-cure chamber on my enclosed back porch, with the porch door into the kitchen always open. I can certainly smell it at times, but I usually enjoy the aromas that come from the kiln. But...I live alone.

Bob
 

LivinInPiperHell

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I keep my own kiln/flue-cure chamber on my enclosed back porch, with the porch door into the kitchen always open. I can certainly smell it at times, but I usually enjoy the aromas that come from the kiln. But...I live alone.

Bob
Living alone certainly has it's advantages : )

One could always use a carbon filter & fan if their other half or housemate objected to the smell.
 

burge

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Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of knowledge here. I read what you post quickly and viginia can be very harsh when air dried.
 
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