Whole Leaf Tobacco

Kiln Air holes, place & size

Knucklehead

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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.
+1 on what Bob said, plus there is a water resistant drywall required by building code here for bathrooms and wet areas, they usually have green or bluish paper on them. If yours is not that type, it may take a while for the drywall and humidity to stabilize due to absorption of the drywall if moisture is passing past the foam. I’ve also noticed that to some extent when I first put dry leaf in the kiln the humidity will be slow to rise due to the absorption of the leaf. Once the leaf moisture stabilizes the humidity will attain proper humidity more quickly and not fluctuate so much or require as much water.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Mine was about 4L/week, and I could see were it was escaping from around the door when the garage got below freezing as icicles would form. I eventually switched to storing tobacco in large brewing buckets, and got rid of the need for a humidifier altogether.
 

plantdude

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Mine was about 4L/week, and I could see were it was escaping from around the door when the garage got below freezing as icicles would form. I eventually switched to storing tobacco in large brewing buckets, and got rid of the need for a humidifier altogether.
Have I mentioned how glad I am I don't live in Canada again in the last two minutes? Icicles on a kiln, that's just wrong!!! How do you guys do it? It's 55 F on my back porch right now and I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from frost bite...

A bright light inside of the kiln in a pitch black room might be useful for checking for leaks - in more hospitable climates anyway:)
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Have I mentioned how glad I am I don't live in Canada again in the last two minutes? Icicles on a kiln, that's just wrong!!! How do you guys do it? It's 55 F on my back porch right now and I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from frost bite...

A bright light inside of the kiln in a pitch black room might be useful for checking for leaks - in more hospitable climates anyway:)
Well, the whole thing was Styrofoam sealed with aluminum tape. Except the door. The door surround had gaskets and wood, n stuff, and I pretty much knew that it was the door, and you know how it is. Add some gasket material and then it starts leaking somewheres else.

I haven't explored the science of insulation all that much, but I think humans work similar to kilns; we mostly keep warm by adding layers of clothing. But, i also think there might be an element of metabolic adjustment. -10°C feels much colder in October than it does in March when it's practically shorts weather. November hunting season is kind of a wake up call to the body. I swear, you'll burn 2000 calories, just sitting and casually walking.
 

Libor

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Yes, it comes out by the door. Last evening there were water drops around the door handles. I unplugged all the things, went to sleep, (120 F) last evening, This morning it was on 85 F inside and 55 F outside. It is not a zero-building, but it holds some warmth. I will fill the holes, that I can find and see what happen. My plants are still in the garden, I have time.
The drywall is the one for bathroom use.
Reading about Canadian climate and about hunting I know my borzoi (Russian wolfhound) would be happy there, me not so much, but still it is better to have a real winter, than that muddy mess we have last years.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Yes, it comes out by the door. Last evening there were water drops around the door handles. I unplugged all the things, went to sleep, (120 F) last evening, This morning it was on 85 F inside and 55 F outside. It is not a zero-building, but it holds some warmth. I will fill the holes, that I can find and see what happen. My plants are still in the garden, I have time.
The drywall is the one for bathroom use.
Reading about Canadian climate and about hunting I know my borzoi (Russian wolfhound) would be happy there, me not so much, but still it is better to have a real winter, than that muddy mess we have last years.
A borzoi is a beautiful dog! And the heat retention in your kiln is very impressive. I'm certain mine wouldn't keep like that.

So, I'm sitting here reading my textbook outside, while smoking, jeans and a sweater, and I realized I was shivering at 47°F. It dawned on me that a part of not being cold is grit, and another part is ignoring it. I didn't realize I was cold until I noticed the shivering and the numbness in my hands. Being hydrated is also a thing.
 

plantdude

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A borzoi is a beautiful dog! And the heat retention in your kiln is very impressive. I'm certain mine wouldn't keep like that.

So, I'm sitting here reading my textbook outside, while smoking, jeans and a sweater, and I realized I was shivering at 47°F. It dawned on me that a part of not being cold is grit, and another part is ignoring it. I didn't realize I was cold until I noticed the shivering and the numbness in my hands. Being hydrated is also a thing.
I think every years increase in age creates a proportional drop in perceived temperature:)

That is an impressive insulating capacity in your kiln @Libor.
 

Libor

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I didn't realize I was cold until I noticed the shivering and the numbness in my hands. Being hydrated is also a thing.
Being hydrated with vodka helps a lot.... As for as numbness, my fingers go numb exactly 20 minutes after the first meal of the day in room temperature. I have to swear loud to move my blood around and be able to do something. If I am yoga teacher, i could do it other more positive way, but I am not.
 

Libor

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Here ishow it looks inside of the kiln. Heating lamp will be covered with some metal net. I tried to touch it with dry leaf, it started smoking instantly and there were red sparks. I could also place it in an old ceramic tube or metal smokestack tube to sleep better.


IMGP0024.JPG

Thank you again, rubber sealing around door made a big difference. And you were right, water started dropping elsewhere although much less.
 

LeftyRighty

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My kiln is a converted standard refrigerator, with a crockpot for heat/RH, and a lid on the crockpot (offset) to control humidity.
I use simple hand-touching of the leaf to determine the proper case of the leaf, whenever i need to add water to the crockpot.
It has 3 small 'computer' fans inside to circulate air, running 24/7, for uniform heat/RH throughout.
An 1 1/2 inch segment of PVC pipe is installed near bottom of the kiln for intake of fresh air, with a ball of window screen inside to prevent bugs/rodents entry. Near the top of the kiln is a 1/2" PVC pipe exhaust, with a valve for air control.

Simple adjustment of the crockpot lid and exhaust valve is used to control humidity, dependent on amount & density of leaf.
Temperature is controlled by a Ranco ETC-111000 on the crockpot on/off power.
I had this running for months each year, and it works terrific, whether for fermenting or flue-curing.
 
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Libor

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My kiln is a converted standard refrigerator, with a crockpot for heat/RH, and a lid on the crockpot (offset) to control humidity.
I use simple hand-touching of the leaf to determine the proper case of the leaf, whenever i need to add water to the crockpot.
It has 3 small 'computer' fans inside to circulate air, running 24/7, for uniform heat/RH throughout.
An 1 1/2 inch segment of PVC pipe is installed near bottom of the kiln for intake of fresh air, with a ball of window screen inside to prevent bugs/rodents entry. Near the top of the kiln is a 1/2" PVC pipe exhaust, with a valve for air control.

Simple adjustment of the crockpot lid and exhaust valve is used to control humidity, dependent on amount & density of leaf.
Temperature is controlled by a Ranco ETC-111000 on the crockpot on/off power.
I had this running for months each year, and it works terrific, whether for fermenting or flue-curing.
I was not that far with my fridge. I used just freezer on the top of the fridge with 60 W lightbulb inside. There was just enough space for 10 jars. The fridge was all rusty and the door was not perfectly fitting. I tried to use it as a kiln, but there was not enough space for humidifier and 250 W terrarium heat-bulb, it was not safe. I didn't know about the necessity of having fan inside at the time. It was too many problems.
Your way is easier and cheaper than what i am doing now. If this new thing will consume too much electricity, I can find some bigger refrigerator... Will see.
 

Libor

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I thought about using the chamber for ageing the tobacco, when it is not being used as kiln. When 60 W lightbulb is used as heat source, the temperature is about 30 C (86 F). The problem with my house is that the leaves are improving only in summer, in winter when I use fireplace, the humidity is too low and the leaves are crunchy and dry. The kiln would be empty most of the year, is it a bad idea to use it other way? It would take less than 100 W all together lightbulb, fan and humidifier. What would be the ideal temperature and humidity for ageing?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Well, if you mean to accelerate aging with the kiln, 122/124°F is good. But simply using it as a humidor, I agree with Bob that you shouldn't go any higher than 65% at 30°C.

I would use three 60W bulbs, either with a controller, or thermostat, rather than a hundred. That would give you redundancy so if one bulb burns out, the two remaining bulbs will still allow you to reach the desired temperature.
 

Libor

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I would use three 60W bulbs, either with a controller, or thermostat, rather than a hundred. That would give you redundancy so if one bulb burns out, the two remaining bulbs will still allow you to reach the desired temperature.

I thought about humidor. I'll be using the kiln at 122 - 124 F one month a year, rest of the year it would be unused. What you write about three lightbulbs is a good idea, but it is a bit complicated for me, I am not into electricity. I also have 75 W terrarium heat bulb, it is possibly more dependable and surely not so fire-risky as classical lightbulb. One 250 W Terrarium keramic heat bulb is even better, I guess, as the heating spiral is not so thin as the one in 75 W.

Most important info was 65% and 30 C. Thanks.
 

Libor

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A little update: I started fermenting ten days ago, I was waiting for the leafs from smoking chamber. The kiln seem to be working. Temp between 48 - 53.5 C, humidity between 68 and 71%. This will be the most expensive tobacco I ever made, but I cannot help myself, I want to know if there is any difference between fermenting in jars and kilning with air circulation around hanging leafs. May be it is good that the harvest was so poor this year, it is the first attempt with the kiln, I can't imagine spoiling regular harvest.... It seem to me that for fire-cured leafs the jars are better way of fermenting than what I am doing now. First few days there was very strong and pleasant odour of hard wood smoke in the kiln but it goes weaker every day.
Also the heat source is not ideal, keramic heat bulb with one year warranty was gone in one month so I bought another one from different manufacturer. 20 $ monthly wouldn't be acceptable. ChinaVoodoo was right with three classic lightbulbs. Will think about it next season.

I will inform you at the end of the process.
 

LeftyRighty

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I have an upright old freezer for my kiln, and a crockpot for heat/humidity. Fresh air intake is a 2-inch pipe near the bottom, and a 1/2-inch pipe for exhaust near the top. The lid on the crockpot is offset slightly to increase the RH. I have no problems maintaining proper case of leaf & heat/RH to ferment tobacco or even flue-curing.
 

Knucklehead

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I have an upright old freezer for my kiln, and a crockpot for heat/humidity. Fresh air intake is a 2-inch pipe near the bottom, and a 1/2-inch pipe for exhaust near the top. The lid on the crockpot is offset slightly to increase the RH. I have no problems maintaining proper case of leaf & heat/RH to ferment tobacco or even flue-curing.
What is the purpose of the vents for kilning? It would seem like a waste of heat and humidity but yours could be better insulated than mine. Just curious.
 
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