Whole Leaf Tobacco

Kiln Air holes, place & size

Libor

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Kiln 3.2 x 4 x 6 ft with 250 W terrarium lamp and humidifier. I think about two holes size of ice hockey puck sufficient? One above the bottom, the other under the roof both in the middle of the longer wall. Do you think it is sufficient?

IMGP0008.JPG

sorry, I was not able to rotate the picture...
 

Libor

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My kiln was 3'x4'x3' with no holes. My flue curing shed was 8'x4'x8' with two 1" holes, one of which was vented with a small exhaust fan that only turned on above a certain humidity level.
Thank you for info. Sorry, I am mixing two things, kiln and flue curing shed. English doesn't make it easier for me.
It is simple, I was fermenting in jars in an old fridge and I want to have more space, thermally isolated with controlled humidity and temperature, where i can finish drying as well as cure hanged leafs instead of using jars. I just want to see what will taste better.
 

deluxestogie

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Different tasks:
  1. color-curing (going from green leaf to yellow to brown) before the leaf ever dries
  2. finish drying of color-cured leaf (usually drying the stems)
  3. fermenting leaf that has fully color-cured [KILNING]
Color-curing and drying usually require ventilation. Kilning requires thermal insulation and a good closure seal, to limit energy cost, as well as to reach the required temperature (and retain moisture, unless the moist, color-cured leaf is sealed in separate containers--jars, etc.).

Bob
 

Libor

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Different tasks:
  1. color-curing (going from green leaf to yellow to brown) before the leaf ever dries
  2. finish drying of color-cured leaf (usually drying the stems)
  3. fermenting leaf that has fully color-cured [KILNING]
Color-curing and drying usually require ventilation. Kilning requires thermal insulation and a good closure seal, to limit energy cost, as well as to reach the required temperature (and retain moisture, unless the moist, color-cured leaf is sealed in separate containers--jars, etc.).

Bob
Thank you Bob. Now I get it. The reason why I was confused by these terms is maybe this: The kiln translates to my language as drying room.

The construction on the picture is now being insulated with 3 or 4 inches of polystyrene. I was asking about holes, because i wanted to use it both ways. To cure brown dry leafs with humidity controller and humidifier on, or for stem drying with open holes and humidifier off ( if there is no other way to finish drying). Just theoretically: could such thing be used also for flue curing?
 

deluxestogie

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Yes. If you create holes through the wall and insulation that are removeable plugs, then you can use it for all of those purposes. Kilning (fermentation) is best performed in high humidity and temperatures above 122°F (to prevent vegetative growth of mold) and below 130°F (to avoid destroying the needed enzymes within the leaf lamina). Flue-curing will need to reach 165°F.

Bob
 

Libor

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Thank you all for your help, ideas and explanations. The kiln is now being tested, I plugged the electricity in this afternoon and temperature slowly grows (now 45 C, 113 F), humidity is moving between 68% and 72 %, humidity controller is set up to 70%. Seems that this thing could work. It took few hours to warm it up, hope that it will not be the same after every door openning and refilling humidifier.
To be truthful with you, it was not me, who built it. My good friend was the constructor. I was just bringing him beers and helping here and there. It costed about 300 $ on material & accessories and some drinks.

IMGP0011.JPG IMGP0012.JPG IMGP0013.JPG

I can't wait to hang some tobacco in.
 

plantdude

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Thank you all for your help, ideas and explanations. The kiln is now being tested, I plugged the electricity in this afternoon and temperature slowly grows (now 45 C, 113 F), humidity is moving between 68% and 72 %, humidity controller is set up to 70%. Seems that this thing could work. It took few hours to warm it up, hope that it will not be the same after every door openning and refilling humidifier.
To be truthful with you, it was not me, who built it. My good friend was the constructor. I was just bringing him beers and helping here and there. It costed about 300 $ on material & accessories and some drinks.

View attachment 33617 View attachment 33618 View attachment 33619

I can't wait to hang some tobacco in.
Funny how "will work for beer" seems universal:)
 

Oldfella

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Inside walls are made of gypsum (drywall).
They don't need sealing? Have you tested them in an oven to be sure that no off gassing occured? A test piece Taken to your working temperature will do it. Check my kiln build thread, and you will see what to do. I'd hate to see a kiln full of tainted, unusable Tobacco.
Oldfella
 

Libor

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Thanks for reaction, I will read it. I am testing it empty for third day now. The temperature was nearly at 60 C (140 F), no strange smell at all. Will run it at 50 C. I still have one month before I have some dry brown leafs to put in. This will be my first attempt to cure other way than in jars, I don't want to spoil my little harvest.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Just curious, do you think the humidity in the kiln will cause any issues with the drywall? It seems like it should be ok as long as it's not getting dripping wet.
My first two years air curing were done in what was my smoking room in the garage. It was drywalled. Mold or mildew grew on the lower part of the walls, much like it would on the ceiling above a shower.
 

Libor

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Just curious, do you think the humidity in the kiln will cause any issues with the drywall? It seems like it should be ok as long as it's not getting dripping wet.
I don't know yet. Hope it will be ok. In the beginning I described to my friend, who built it, that there will be high humidity and temperature. He is works foreman by profession, restores old buildings. I spoke with him by phone today, he said these drywall desks were more expensive with better resistance to water.
 

Libor

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My first two years air curing were done in what was my smoking room in the garage. It was drywalled. Mold or mildew grew on the lower part of the walls, much like it would on the ceiling above a shower.
Sounds scary. The only thing I can do is to run it without humidifier for two or three days when the tobacco is finished.

I trust my architect and I hope for the best.
 
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Libor

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Anybody has an idea what is normal water consumption by the humidifier in the kiln? There is 120 F, but the humidity is only 63 % and growing very slowly. I can still turn humidifier on maximum, but then I will have to add water every 12 hours or so.
 
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