Whole Leaf Tobacco

Help needed with flu curing.

2Baccy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
93
Points
18
Location
Eastern Canada
Hey I have a few (thousand) questions about the complex methods of flu curing. I Have found out by testing whole leaf cigarette tobacco that I enjoy a flu cured Canadian Virginia tobacco. I have tried mixing burley but find it to be to much like cigars.
So I have some plants started for this summer already but growing looks like it will be easier then curing.
I understand a small amount of theory.
Colour cure followed but fixing colour with higher temps followed but drying stem. (Ventilation and humidity controlled of course)
I also believe I read air drying is easy but the sugars are not withheld. I assume I want the sugars.

1 Is a small curing chamber my best bet.
2 Does air drying happen before the flu cure.
3 Do leafs hang in hands in cure chamber?
4 Why do people not use standard household ovens for heat control reasons.
5 how long does flu cure take. 5 days I believe I read.
6 how long before planting outside should plants be started in the Maritime provinces of canada
our last frost is June 10.
7 Should i Forget about it all and continue to buy leaf.
8 Can anyone direct me to a flu cure for dummies type write up.
Many thanks and realize these questions are probably answered but like everything I find so many conflicting on the web.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
14,647
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself section.

Be sure to read the Growers' FAQ (link at the top of every page) and to bookmark the Index of Key Forum Threads: http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3868-Key-threads-in-the-FTT-forum

Rather than re-posting the extensive discussions of flue-curing, here is a brief list of threads that you may find helpful:
Bob
 

Alpine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
742
Points
63
Location
Eastern alps, near Trento, Italy
Welcome to FTT.
Flue curing requires a lot of effort but can be done at home with adequate equipment, commitment and effort. You might find sun curing (the poor man flue cure) waaay easier to start with and almost as satisfying in terms of results. Peruse the FAQ of the forum and you’ll find all the answers you need.
ChinaWoodoo is a reputable member of the forum, and he’s Canadian. I’m sure he will chime in and give good advice.

pier
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,840
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
Is a small curing chamber my best bet.
2 Does air drying happen before the flu cure.
3 Do leafs hang in hands in cure chamber?
4 Why do people not use standard household ovens for heat control reasons.
5 how long does flu cure take. 5 days I believe I read.
6 how long before planting outside should plants be started in the Maritime provinces of canada
our last frost is June 10.
7 Should i Forget about it all and continue to buy leaf.
8 Can anyone direct me to a flu cure for dummies type write up.
Many thanks and realize these questions are probably answered but like everything I find so many conflicting on the web.
1. Small is worst bet. You need space between leaves. I guess it depends on how much you grow, and what you mean by 'small'
2. No
3. No, they are separated along a string or wire
4. Can't hang tobacco, see answer 1, in an oven, and ovens aren't meant to heat up a room, and temperature control on an oven isn't very precise.
5. Yeah... 4 to 7 days, if the tobacco is picked at the right time.
6. June 10???? You in Labrador or what? You should plant NOW.
7. Do a small grow. Worst case, you learned something about gardening, best case, you also got some tobacco that might be really good. Try air or sun curing this year. Get the basics down.
8. The other guys already covered that.

China Voodoo - Edmonton Alberta
 

2Baccy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
93
Points
18
Location
Eastern Canada
Thanks for the speedy responses everyone im going to look into air/sun curing. Maybe try a flu cure in the future once I get more familiar with this stuff. I’m growing in Prince Edward Island. There use to be tobacco grown here before my time but for whatever reason Ontario is the only place growing any amount in Canada now. I only planned on growing enough for myself about 100 plants tops this year. At 18 dollars a pack in this province and having access to farm equipment it seems only logical to try growing.
 

DistillingJim

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
360
Points
28
Location
UK
I would still encourage you to try and flue cure some this year. It's one of those topics thats hard to get your head around initially but when it clicks its actually not that complex. I flue cured my first year with a cozy can and had good results. That said, its probaby not worth getting excessively concerned about curing until you've got something in the ground.
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,840
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
I would still encourage you to try and flue cure some this year. It's one of those topics thats hard to get your head around initially but when it clicks its actually not that complex. I flue cured my first year with a cozy can and had good results. That said, its probaby not worth getting excessively concerned about curing until you've got something in the ground.
Jim's right. Flue curing isn't that complicated after all. I shouldn't have suggested so strongly to try other methods first. Flue curing is more complicated, but takes way less time. Also, since you're Canadian, the extra cost involved to set it up is minor compared to what you're saving.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
14,647
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
You'll need a growing season that is about 90 days long, to get a crop, IF...you germinate the seed indoors 2 months before your last frost date. Since your first frost is some time in October, you should be fine.

The Cozy Can flue-cure chamber was designed as a demonstration of the bare naked, minimal requirements for flue-curing. (Cozy Can and leverhead's steel drum chamber were simultaneously the very first successful hobby flue-curing to be documented anywhere that I'm aware of.) It's cheap and easy to build. It is definitely not adequate in size or function for anything more than proving to yourself that it can be done at home, and that it makes tobacco that is WAY better than air-cured (for flue-cure varieties).

A better aspirational target would be to plan on something bigger. Bigger costs more, but would be suitable for 100 plants. (Typically, you would be priming leaf--picking individual leaves--in sets of maybe 3 leaves per plant, as they ripen from the bottom of the stalk toward the top.) Each priming has to be flue-cured immediately. So you would need a chamber capable of handling 300 leaves per batch. My endoskeletal kiln, when used for flue-curing, holds probably a max of 200-250 leaves. The Cozy Can capacity is certainly less than 100--I've forgotten.

It's possible to pack flue-cure chambers fairly tightly, but doing so requires an elaborate and expensive forced-air system. That's how it's done commercially.

Bob

EDIT: Flue-curing begins about 2 to 2-1/2 months after transplanting to the field. That means you don't need a functional chamber until mid-to-late August. It takes about $100 and one measly weekend to build a decent curing chamber. The skill level required for constructing it is comparable to middle-school shop class. Just do it.
 

2Baccy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
93
Points
18
Location
Eastern Canada
Alright thanks for the input everyone I really appreciate it. My plants that I started as a test run March 13 are now 25 or so days old and wider then the red solo cup but only 2-3 inches tall. The lower leaves were trimmed today to encourage height and root. Would my solo cup be big enough for each plant for 2 months Growth or am I better to go bigger like 1 gallon maybe? I read my plants should be at least 6 inches tall buy the time they go outside. I will definitely get researched up on flu cure chambers and attempt a build if not this summer then before another. Sorry for the seedling questions I should probably ask them in a different section. Growing 16 plants under 125 cfl with reflector if anyone should care. 18/6 light schedule. I have another tray started a week ago coming along nice as well under another light the same.
Thanks Again
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,840
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
Alright thanks for the input everyone I really appreciate it. My plants that I started as a test run March 13 are now 25 or so days old and wider then the red solo cup but only 2-3 inches tall. The lower leaves were trimmed today to encourage height and root. Would my solo cup be big enough for each plant for 2 months Growth or am I better to go bigger like 1 gallon maybe? I read my plants should be at least 6 inches tall buy the time they go outside. I will definitely get researched up on flu cure chambers and attempt a build if not this summer then before another. Sorry for the seedling questions I should probably ask them in a different section. Growing 16 plants under 125 cfl with reflector if anyone should care. 18/6 light schedule. I have another tray started a week ago coming along nice as well under another light the same.
Thanks Again
I started in mid February once and had to move up to 1 gallon pots, but generally mid March you should be good with a pot that ranges from 500mL to 750 mL. If they're the full sized beer cups you are probably ok. But if it's no trouble for you, it doesn't hurt to pot up.

If you don't, make sure you got holes in the bottoms, otherwise you'll get root rot. Also, without upsizing, there's a good chance you will have to fertilize before it's all said and done.
 

davek14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
153
Points
28
Location
Cincinnati Ohio
Could someone post a link of "dummy's guide to sun curing? I enjoy Burley and Bright at present, with just 10%-20% Bright Leaf. So, if I sun cure I would get that acidic leaf to mellow Burley bite and add tang? Does flue cured (or sun cured) baccy need aging or fermenting like the rest?
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,209
Points
113
Location
Northeast Maryland
Somewhere on this forum I posted how I sun cure.
First, I made a hoop hose.

hoop house.jpg

I put a tarp on the ground. This prevents moisture that accumulates through the earth at night-time.

DSC01969.jpg

I cover with a tarp at night ( again, to keep out the moisture )
covered.jpg

layed out sun cured.jpg
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
14,647
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
But what about a clothesline, with a sheet of plastic tossed over it (or not)? I have never...never gotten results from my sun-curing that look as nice as JBD's. I seldom capture that beautiful gold.

Bob
 

Alpine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
742
Points
63
Location
Eastern alps, near Trento, Italy
I use the very same arrangements for air curing... just cover with the blue tarp, and lay the transparent one on the ground. Air cure and/or sun cure made easy! I must admit I copied JBD’s idea a couple years ago.

pier
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
969
Points
43
Location
Alberta
Thanks for the speedy responses everyone im going to look into air/sun curing. Maybe try a flu cure in the future once I get more familiar with this stuff. I’m growing in Prince Edward Island. There use to be tobacco grown here before my time but for whatever reason Ontario is the only place growing any amount in Canada now. I only planned on growing enough for myself about 100 plants tops this year. At 18 dollars a pack in this province and having access to farm equipment it seems only logical to try growing.
I have had some of that stuff from PEI. It was decent I know what you mean about cdn Virginia. Dons new lemon from the sale is a lot like a cdn Virginia. His traditional lemon is a lot like the british style of Virginia its all good. In the leaf I find it cures with the different temperatures in my apartment. Last years crop tasted bitter so I put it on my radiator as it was very young leaf it helped in curing it and dramatically improved the flavor. I am on hot water heat so my guess it wouldn't hurt. Good thing I did. Just from reading the important factor is temperature. It is also logical and I highly recommend ordering leaf from Don or Big Bonner. 7lbs duty is approx 20 bucks. I am in the past more into the luxury brands and tobacco takes at least 6 months before it can be smoked. The longer the better.
 

2Baccy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
93
Points
18
Location
Eastern Canada
Thanks all. I will keep my eye out for some 750ml pots to plant everything in before it goes outside. “Burge” how do I order from Don or big bonner instead of my current supplier. Do they sell flue cured leaf? I am going to look into WLT as well.
 
Top