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How to Get Cigarettes Right?

iamjonjones

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Hello, This is my first post on this forum and i have only just started looking into whole leaf tobacco so pardon my newbieness.

I'll start off with my questions and i'll elaborate a little bit afterwards for those who don't like a long read.
In short, i have a mix of i believe 50% Virginia Gold Lemon 25% Oriental Gold and 25% Burley gold. After Cutting it and smoking it seems to not burn consistently, it's hard to take proper drags sometimes and it doesn't give a proper nicotine kick. Where should i be looking first?
-Humidity
-Blend
-Addatives

Now for the Longer explanation to give some detail:

I ordered what was supposed to be 1/3 Virginia gold lemon 1/3 Oriental gold and 1/3 Burly Gold, Labeled as "American Blend" from tabakblatter de. Turned out to be a lot more Virginia than the other two. i had no idea yet what it was supposed to look or feel like but i just started cutting my leaves with a 0.8mm hand cutter. after cutting everything, bagging it and then rolling it into cigarettes: some smoked alright very smooth and light, but after smoking more a bunch started having issues: the cherry would fall off, the cigarette was hard to drag and even after smoking several cigarettes it would feel like i had smoked none because no nicotine kick.

I have been reading on this forum, learning that "casing" is a thing and it could improve burn consistency and flavor. i also remember now looking back on it that some leaves we're a lot dryer than others but i had no idea what to look for. i also read on this forum in a post by user "FokC352" they had been having similar issues and user "GIL" responded saying it was more likely a blend issue.

So, Should i first look at whether the humidity is consistent? how would i go about that and what am i looking for?
Should i look into casing my tobacco? is that still possible after cutting it?
or did i fuck up on blend?

Hope anyone finds the time to respond, thanks in advance :)
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum. You may find useful topics in our Index of Key Forum Threads, as well as in the "Cigarettes" section of the WLT Wiki. Both are linked in the menu bar.

Bob
 

GIL

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If you have mixed the entire amount of tobacco, my opinion is that there is not much you can do. I doubt that you have too much humidity (tobacco is delivered at optimal humidity-- on the contrary, sometimes it is too dry). If you have not mixed all the tobacco, then try each assortment separately, maybe you will discover where the problem is (you have a rather large percentage of oriental, it often has a weak burn). The place where I bought years ago is Eurotabak and never had any problems with the leaves, otherwise they are just sellers, they cannot be blamed for these problems.
You said that sometimes the embers fall off the end of the cigarette, which leads me to believe that you shredded the leaves in a fairly dry state, so humidity is not the cause of the poor burn.
I think, however, that one of the varieties does not burn properly.
 

cavedane

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Hey there...Im no pro myself..and I dont know your type of tobacco..... But I would start with Humidity.
When I store my tobacco ..its to dry to smoke ( to prevent mold ) I just ad an egg cup with a little water. After a day or too the taste and nicotine kick is pressent. Just my way ..I think its okay :)
 

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iamjonjones

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum. You may find useful topics in our Index of Key Forum Threads, as well as in the "Cigarettes" section of the WLT Wiki. Both are linked in the menu bar.

Bob
Thanks, i'll take a look at the introduce yourself part and have already been taking a bit of a look around the forum and found a bunch useful information already

If you have mixed the entire amount of tobacco, my opinion is that there is not much you can do. I doubt that you have too much humidity (tobacco is delivered at optimal humidity-- on the contrary, sometimes it is too dry). If you have not mixed all the tobacco, then try each assortment separately, maybe you will discover where the problem is (you have a rather large percentage of oriental, it often has a weak burn). The place where I bought years ago is Eurotabak and never had any problems with the leaves, otherwise they are just sellers, they cannot be blamed for these problems.
You said that sometimes the embers fall off the end of the cigarette, which leads me to believe that you shredded the leaves in a fairly dry state, so humidity is not the cause of the poor burn.
I think, however, that one of the varieties does not burn properly.
How much of oriental in the blend would be a normal amount? Because i read that adding oriental in a blend is key to not making it too strong?
Could i add any form of casing to it to improve it? Is that possible after shredding?

Hey there...Im no pro myself..and I dont know your type of tobacco..... But I would start with Humidity.
When I store my tobacco ..its to dry to smoke ( to prevent mold ) I just ad an egg cup with a little water. After a day or too the taste and nicotine kick is pressent. Just my way ..I think its okay :)
What kind of device do i use for measuring the humidity? And how do i know if one of the leaves is more humid than the others or is that too late now?

I'm currently keeping all of the tobacco in these mylar bags, all of the leaves are already cut and mixed it still feels pretty humid. to the point that if i try to inject it into tubes right now it doesnt fill evenly. I get overstuffed bits and airpockets..

Thank you all for your quick responses, very happy with kind people that take the time to answer :)
 

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Old Gasman

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Like you my first foray into making your own cigarettes was with an order from Tabakblatter but I ordered 3 separate types and I found them to almost in high case when delivered. Fortunately I still had almost a years worth of Tobacco left from last years duty free so I just left my whole leaves alone. A couple of months ago I started shredding my Tabakblatter leaves by hand and although time consuming I think I made a nice fine shred. I then tried very small samples of about 10 grams in different ratios until I found what suited me. I then made 50g mixes and pressed each batch into a block. I can honestly say that it's as good a smoke as the shop bought, not the same of course but still good in it's own right.
 

pottsS

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Just let it dry a bit, it is really that simple. Dry it down to the point where your injector works easily and makes a well filled consistent cigarette that isn't overpacked! Most injectors prefer a less than perfect shred, I have a cross cut shredder but when I did have long fine shreds I needed to chop them up with my paper cutter to get the most/best out of my injector.
 

iamjonjones

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Like you my first foray into making your own cigarettes was with an order from Tabakblatter but I ordered 3 separate types and I found them to almost in high case when delivered. Fortunately I still had almost a years worth of Tobacco left from last years duty free so I just left my whole leaves alone. A couple of months ago I started shredding my Tabakblatter leaves by hand and although time consuming I think I made a nice fine shred. I then tried very small samples of about 10 grams in different ratios until I found what suited me. I then made 50g mixes and pressed each batch into a block. I can honestly say that it's as good a smoke as the shop bought, not the same of course but still good in it's own right.
I don't feel like i fully understood what you meant here. Are you saying i should leave the tobacco leaves for a while still and see if aging it does a better job? and do you have a good experience with tabakblatter or would you recommend somewhere else?
I understand that this forum is owned by WLT and i've looked into ordering from them but on a 5lbs bag of ~$120 i need to pay an additional $120 of shipping to the Netherlands, which makes it quite a pricey endeavor.
Just let it dry a bit, it is really that simple. Dry it down to the point where your injector works easily and makes a well filled consistent cigarette that isn't overpacked! Most injectors prefer a less than perfect shred, I have a cross cut shredder but when I did have long fine shreds I needed to chop them up with my paper cutter to get the most/best out of my injector.
I have tried spreading the tobacco out on the table and letting it dry for 2-3 hours then injecting it, which did improve the consistency of how the cigarette was filled, but none of the other issues. i even tried mixing it with storebought RYO tobacco which fixes the nicotine hit and the drags but still leaves the cherry falling out and i the whole point of getting whole leaf is not to have to buy commercial tobacco. I do however not yet have a device to measure specific humidity so i have no data to add to my impression of "humid" or "dry" tobacco.

Most Oriental varieties are relatively low in nicotine. And many Oriental varieties display a sluggish burn.

Bob
Alright, is there a normal percentage for oriental to not give issues to the blend or do i need to case the oriental or should i switch to another leaf?

Once again, Thanks to everybody responding. I will try to read everyone's responses and reply and i will keep posting any results i get on here so i can share and maybe contribute to the information on this forum. :)
 

deluxestogie

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What is case?

Just learn how it sounds and feels when it happens to work best.

normal percentage for oriental
There is no "normal".

Without knowing the specific varieties of leaf ["Oriental Gold" is not a varietal name], you will have to experiment. A typical percentage of Oriental in many US-style blends is about 10%, as stated in the references provided earlier in this thread. Basma types tend to burn more slowly than Samsun types. But this depends on so many factors that vary from one field to another, one growing season to another, and one bale of leaf to another.

Bob
 

pottsS

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It needs to be drier than seems right. I bought a thing to measure moisture content when I started with whole leaf tobacco. It proved to be not helpful in the least! I spent most of my life buying a pouch of tobacco and carrying papers and tobacco in my pocket and rolling a smoke when I wanted them. Based on that I thought I knew what good tobacco should look like and I was really afraid to let it get too dry. Many cigarette smokers here use a 1/4" hardware cloth to flake tobacco in low case to use in their injectors. I was completely skeptical that you could ever get a cigarette that would smoke properly that way...but I tried it and to my surprise it worked well...that kind of lead me to the shredder I use today...but as for how different tobaccos burn I really can't comment...my blend is pretty much just boring virginia!
 

iamjonjones

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What is case?

Just learn how it sounds and feels when it happens to work best.


There is no "normal".

Without knowing the specific varieties of leaf ["Oriental Gold" is not a varietal name], you will have to experiment. A typical percentage of Oriental in many US-style blends is about 10%, as stated in the references provided earlier in this thread. Basma types tend to burn more slowly than Samsun types. But this depends on so many factors that vary from one field to another, one growing season to another, and one bale of leaf to another.

Bob
Thank you for the "What is case" link i now understand the post by "Old Gasman" better. I Believe the leaves i have received ranged from out of to high case, some crumbling to almost dust and some feeling almost like an actual stretchy leaf still. which is what i think may have messed up the burn on the actual cigarettes, so i'm thinking: maybe i should take everything out of the bags, dry it until its all out of case and then humidify it all at once to get it to be the same moisture content. do you think this might work?
It needs to be drier than seems right. I bought a thing to measure moisture content when I started with whole leaf tobacco. It proved to be not helpful in the least! I spent most of my life buying a pouch of tobacco and carrying papers and tobacco in my pocket and rolling a smoke when I wanted them. Based on that I thought I knew what good tobacco should look like and I was really afraid to let it get too dry. Many cigarette smokers here use a 1/4" hardware cloth to flake tobacco in low case to use in their injectors. I was completely skeptical that you could ever get a cigarette that would smoke properly that way...but I tried it and to my surprise it worked well...that kind of lead me to the shredder I use today...but as for how different tobaccos burn I really can't comment...my blend is pretty much just boring virginia!
alright i might try to dry some beyond what feels like should be a good moisture content and see if that changes anything. also how would one go about using a 1/4" hardware cloth to flake the leaves? grate it or?
 

Knucklehead

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alright i might try to dry some beyond what feels like should be a good moisture content and see if that changes anything. also how would one go about using a 1/4" hardware cloth to flake the leaves? grate it or?

 

pottsS

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Thank you for the "What is case" link i now understand the post by "Old Gasman" better. I Believe the leaves i have received ranged from out of to high case, some crumbling to almost dust and some feeling almost like an actual stretchy leaf still. which is what i think may have messed up the burn on the actual cigarettes, so i'm thinking: maybe i should take everything out of the bags, dry it until its all out of case and then humidify it all at once to get it to be the same moisture content. do you think this might work?

alright i might try to dry some beyond what feels like should be a good moisture content and see if that changes anything. also how would one go about using a 1/4" hardware cloth to flake the leaves? grate it or?
I think Knuckle head was the one who explained the hardware cloth to me...but if you search the forum for anything to do with tobacco shredding/shredders it should come up. Yes the ones that do it just basically grate the leaves over the hardware cloth...for me it seems too labor intensive but it is way more efficient than a fine hand crank shredder! But I think you are probably right about different leafs in different case, just by blending them and leaving the a while they should correct, but drying them and casing them back up a little makes good sense too!
 

deluxestogie

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So I made another much bigger one with a 1" x 4" frame that fits over an 18 gallon tote and covered the bottom with 1/4" hardware cloth. I take bone dry leaf, strip out the main stem over the screen and then gently crush the leaf up, giving the screen a shake now and then so it keeps falling through. I end up with flakes around 1/8" to 1/4" in size. I can do about 1/2 a string of 60 leaves at a time and it takes maybe 6-8 minutes to do a whole string. It takes 20 -22 strings to fill an 18 gallon tote. I toss a lable inside saying what it is and the date and another lable taped to the lid. Then off to the storage room it goes until needed. When we get to the bottom of a tub we usually find maybe 2 cigarettes of powder.

I like to do it all outside on the lawn on a nice sunny day near our compost bin so I can toss all the stems right in, and any leaf that is less than pretty. If I do much inside there is some dust that gets in the air, and bits fall onto the floor making a mess to sweep up. Outside no one cares. Meaning Mrs Sky. And a happy wife equals a happy life.
@skychaser 2019

Bob
 

iamjonjones

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Okay small update, i am trying a casing on the tobacco.
I took some flavored water (from a bottle not distilled or tap) because i didnt have any distilled and hoping maybe the berry flavor adds to it.
I added a few spoons of sugar (i didnt have any vinegar, i read its used to invert the sugar which i'll try on the next attempt)
Then i added a few spoons of ground coffee, boiled it for a few minutes and sifted it through a coffee filter and splashed some on a bit of tobacco.
I bagged it and i'm currently waiting for it to dry and will post any updates when i've tried it.

Photos added and if anybody has any tips or if im doing something wrong please let me know
 

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iamjonjones

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You're not doing anything wrong because there is no right or wrong, only what you like. Let us know how out turns out.
Mostly just trying to prevent myself from accidentally adding anything toxic or otherwise dangerous. (Read something about alcohol being risky)

*update* i left the tobacco in the bag next to a warm fan for several hours, then left it out in the open to dry for the night.
Tried it out today and it slightly improved the burn and drags but sadly not enough to not be a hassle. The flavor profile however did improve more than expected.

Today i've taken the pyrex cup with yesterdays liquid and added about half a teaspoon of white vinegar, a mint leaf, a teaspoon of nesquik and some licorice. Boiled everything for 5-10 minutes and splashed some on some tobacco again. Gonna put it next to a warm fan again and let it dry out tonight.

Will try to post another update tomorrow
 

iamjonjones

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*update*

I've tested yesterdays attempt and once again slight improvements to burn, drag and flavor but not enough for it not te be a hassle. Flavor seems to be around where i would want it to be. But not the burn and drags, still seems to smoke a bit difficult even when completely dry.

I've tried mixing in a little RYO tobacco to see if that would bridge it but no success. On the contrary after adding casing to my own tobacco, the tin of store bought tobacco now smells very sour and the tobacco tastes chemical and worse than my own concoction.

I feel like those of you who've said the issues may be due to the blend of leaves i've used might be correct. However i'm trying to see what i can achieve with what i currently have.

I have made a new bigger batch of tobacco with casing (will probably make a different thread about how that went since its kind of a different topic) and will try to smoke it at different humidities to collect some data. i might look into different cigarette tubes, i have a feeling the filters on these might be difficult.

Will post updates on whether i'm able to get this tobacco to a normal smoke
 
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