Whole Leaf Tobacco

How to make strong tobacco more mild and smooth

deluxestogie

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Gdaddy, I do trust your personal experience with the brew that Mr. Bentley describes. And I agree that the green coffee is simply providing a means to alter the pH.

Beyond that, most of what his 32 page pamphlet contains is of dubious validity when specific, but mostly so vague and devoid of objective description that it is meaningless. As a purveyor of flavoring oils, Mr. Bentley's entire goal of the pamphlet is to sell flavorings (a tiny portion of the text), and is padded with the usual "tobacco knowledge" nonsense seen in many publications of that vintage--seeming authority, based on hearsay, by an author who is utterly unfamiliar with what he is describing. (Even Alfred Dunhill, nearly a century later, employs much of the same fluffy ignorance in his widely sold book, The Gentle Art of Smoking.)

Thanks for teasing out useful info from all the rest.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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Of course! A cupful of sherry for every 5 pounds of tobacco.

That is the sole reference I've seen to Yara tobacco, that differs from the "unique aroma of Yara tobacco grown in eastern Cuba," that is supposed to be similar to the aroma of Little Dutch, quoted by so many 19th century tobacco "authorities". And there is Billings' "illustration" of Yara Cigars:



which appear, to me, to be cigar store Indian cigars.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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waikikigun's post spurred me to search through my 1854 US Dispensatory (a massive, 1500 page, leather-bound tome of early 19th century pharmacy). It contains one paragraph on "Oleum Tabaci U. S." It is derived by heating a pound of powdered tobacco in a retort, until the vessel glows a dull red. The condensed oil is apparently a combustion product containing concentrated nicotine. This is sparingly mixed into an ointment base to be used only externally, for "indolent tumours, buboes [those are huge, weeping lymph nodes typical of bubonic plague!], ulcers, and obstinate cutaneous eruptions.... ...employed with reserve, and carefully watched."

I'll bet! So I guess the Oil of Havana isn't so bad.

Bob
 

Gdaddy

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@Gdaddy I might have stumbled onto a clue to what Oil of Havana was.

The Pharmaceutical Era, Vol 21, page 252 (1899).

Thanks for the info.

I had a feeling it was possibly a mixture or brew of stems (they collect them for some reason) and tobacco concocted into a strong, high in nicotine mixture then sprayed on the leaf prior to fermentation. This is all a guess on my part.

I remember the one video on the history of the Cuban cigar where they show a guy spraying down the leaves with a "tobacco spray". The only evidence I could find.
 

Burleyfarmer

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Several acids are used in processing several forms of tobacco. Maleic Acid is commonly used instead of Citric. It is very commonly used in chewing tobacco, and some pipe tobaccos. It is like most acids, naturally occurring in most fruits. Apples contain the most Maleic acid on average, especially bittersweet apples that are picked rather green and sour. Maleic acid derives its name from the apple scientific name Malus. Apple cider and Juice boiled down to a syrupy consistency is commonly used in chewing tobaccos, as is some apple jellies, as it contains pectin and some other acids such as fumaric which are also smoothing.
For a list of additives, and a description of what they do to tobacco, look at RJ Reynolds book Tobacco flavoring for smoking products by john leffingwell. It is very exhaustive on the subject. Most acids are described as smoothing.
 

burge

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Blending is a art and once mastered can mellow or strengthen the tobacco.
 

jimbob

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For those who don't want to use citric acid would lemon juice do the same thing without adding anything chemical
 

deluxestogie

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Acidity reduces nicotine absorption. So distilled vinegar (acetic acid), cream of tartar (tartaric acid), and any other acidic ingredient would have a similar effect. The question is whether or not it also adds an undesirable taste. Lemon, in addition to citric acid, contains lemonene, which is the distinctive aroma of lemon. Give it a try.

Bob
 

Muggs

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I tried this.dont know if I didn't leave the tobacco in the citric acid long enough.but smoking that in a cigarette was Offal.smoking the baccy in a pipe was good.maybe I should left that backer in the solution longer.but in a cigarette didn't work
 

deluxestogie

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Citric acid does not reduce the nicotine. It reduces the pH, thereby reducing how much of the nicotine is available for absorption by the mouth, nose and throat membranes. If you inhale it into your lungs (a really poor idea with cigar tobacco), then you get all the original nicotine, regardless of the use of citric acid.

Bob
 

Muggs

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Ok so then,am I right in thinking steaming the tobacco will remove the nicotine.
This year I'm pulling tobacco leave off the plants that looks like chocolate chips. that is a nice smoke,
But thats the bottom leaves of Golden leaf.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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If steaming removes nicotine, I don't think it's much. It makes sense that it would, considering all the dark juice, but I've never noticed a difference. I'm not hard set on that opinion. It's just what it seems to be.

I do find that kilning and aging make substantial decreases in nicotine.

Kasturi sun cured, 1mo from cure unaged, I could smoke half a clay pipe before putting it down.

Kilning 3 months, I can smoke a whole, big-ass briar bowl, but not want another.
 

burge

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Wetting and remoistening the tobacco will get rid of some of the nicotine. I want nicotine but something that is smooth. Question is it nicotine or the harshness?
 

burge

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Then wetting and re drying the tobacco if its too harsh it may not be ready to smoke. I know Big's orangey was strong to begin with and after letting git sit for a year t mellowed out. Just from remoistening it and letting it dry. Its a time consuming venture
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Bob sent me a sample of two different dark air tobaccos from India. He told me he had only ever used very small amounts because they were very strong.

Well, I smoked it all. It was easily smoked, smooth, and not high in nicotine. I think the years of sitting in storage, no kilning, no special technique at all, caused it to get significantly better in all aspects.
 
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