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Late harvest problems in PA: albur18

burge

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Not sure if you buy leaf Black Friday is in a couple of weeks where there may be a really good sale that would at least help to ease your mind a bit. That way you have something if the first one isn't what you wanted or expected. I would do the same thing if I started to grow.
 

albur18

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Update from a few days ago...

Here are pics of the stalk-cut tobacco after air-curing for 4 weeks. The close-up pic is PA Broadleaf. The hygrometer in the garage read 57% and the leaves were still on the dry side but the weather has continued to be dry, so as soon as we get the normal rains for this time of year I hope to get the leaves sorted and stored for aging.20201114_180249.jpg20201114_180231.jpg
 

albur18

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It is now 6 weeks since I stalk cut, so I assume I am now either at or very close to the point where I need to cut off, sort, and store the leaves for aging (my first time ever at this step). The only leaves with lots of green still on them are the small ones at the very top of the plant, should I wait for these? Also, some of the leaves that are mostly brown have a bit of a spottiness look to them with just a hint of faded green in there, is this okay or should I let them hang longer? We finally started getting regular rain and the humidity has risen considerable and the leaves are more pliable now. After cutting and sorting, is it typically okay to flatten the leaves out for storage and not damage them? Also, what systems does everyone use to store leaf for cigars for aging? I was thinking about getting large ziplock bags, sorting by strain and leaf type, putting a humidity packet in each bag, and then storing the bags in a heated room around 60F, is this acceptable?

Alan
 
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Hi Alan - congrats on the harvest and successful curing! If the green leaves at the top of the plant are completely dry, they will not turn brown. It's probably best just to compost those. As long as the leaves are in case, and won't crack when handled, you can put those in a sealed container for storage. Many people "kiln" their leaves at 125* for 4-6 weeks to speed age the leaf. There's tutorials on how to build your own kill for free-to-cheap on this forum.

Otherwise, you can just leave them in a cardboard box for year to age on their own. Leaves don't age if they're completely dry. They need some moisture, but no so much that mold is encouraged. If they're flexible enough to handle without damage, there's enough moisture for aging.
 

albur18

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Hi Alan - congrats on the harvest and successful curing! If the green leaves at the top of the plant are completely dry, they will not turn brown. It's probably best just to compost those. As long as the leaves are in case, and won't crack when handled, you can put those in a sealed container for storage. Many people "kiln" their leaves at 125* for 4-6 weeks to speed age the leaf. There's tutorials on how to build your own kill for free-to-cheap on this forum.

Otherwise, you can just leave them in a cardboard box for year to age on their own. Leaves don't age if they're completely dry. They need some moisture, but no so much that mold is encouraged. If they're flexible enough to handle without damage, there's enough moisture for aging.

I'm finally just getting the leaves stripped from the stalks and sorted now. I got very busy and left them hanging stalk-cut in the garage until now. Ironically, in western PA, our summer and fall were so dry that it wasn't until the last 3 to 4 weeks that the leaves finally came into medium case, after we started getting significant rain/snow, before that, they were too dry to handle. They are now probably in high case as the humidity has jumped up to around 80 to 85% with all the melting snow on the ground.

You had mentioned storing leaves for aging in a cardboard box...
From my experience in this area with natural gas furnaces, which is what is typical in this region, the inside air becomes extremely dry. I am not at this point planning on kilning the leaves and instead need to find a way to store them inside (to stay heated) but still maintain high enough humidity for them to age. It seems like a cardboard box would leak the leaves humidity very fast even though they are currently high case. How do people usually store them and still maintain high enough humidity indoors through the winter in cold climates? I thought about using large 3 gallon ziploc bags with 65% or maybe 62% boveda humidity packets, however the cost of the packets would become significant. Another option I considered would be to create a large "tupperador", using an airtight tote with a jar gel humidifier or two in it, but I would need probably several totes to accommodate a 25 plant harvest. :/

Alan
 
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