Whole Leaf Tobacco

Letting your sticks rest...or... How long till I can smoke it?

RUNSUPRIVER

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#1
So years ago, I would roll some sticks and put them away for at least 2 weeks after air drying for 2 to 3 days.

(sometimes freezing the sticks for 2 days after they were dry)

I'm reading a lot about people smoking fresh rolled cigars within a day or two.

Today the current trend appears to lean towards rather dry filler and not so wet binders and wrappers.

Back then, the 2 weeks seemed minimum to remove the ammonia smell and taste.

Are people just putting up with the off tastes, or did something change with the process?

Maybe I had lower grade leaf?

2 weeks was minimum for me. I tried for 30 to 60 days. Some waited years.

Just an observation I've had. I'm always curious!

Thanks!
 

Knucklehead

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#2
If you open the package your leaf is stored in and let it air out, the ammonia smell and taste will off gas. Many times I smoke a cigar immediately after rolling and without adverse taste or smell. Filler in low case, binder in medium case, wrapper in high case. I usually roll a couple at a time and put one in the humidor and smoke one right away.
 

webmost

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#3
So years ago, I would roll some sticks and put them away for at least 2 weeks after air drying for 2 to 3 days.

(sometimes freezing the sticks for 2 days after they were dry)

I'm reading a lot about people smoking fresh rolled cigars within a day or two.

Today the current trend appears to lean towards rather dry filler and not so wet binders and wrappers.

Back then, the 2 weeks seemed minimum to remove the ammonia smell and taste.

Are people just putting up with the off tastes, or did something change with the process?

Maybe I had lower grade leaf?

2 weeks was minimum for me. I tried for 30 to 60 days. Some waited years.

Just an observation I've had. I'm always curious!

Thanks!
Put aside the ammonia question for a bit. Nothing to do with ammonia. Forget that.

The wrapper will tighten and smooth out with a week or two of age. The flavor will mellow with a month or two of age. I see this as indisputable. It's not even close. Sure, you can spark it up right away and enjoy. But consider: You have just placed three or four different leaves in tight proximity. A bit of time will allow their different aromas to mingle and make magic. A store bought hand rolled premium cigar smokes far mellower after a year or two on the shelf. The manufacturers know, and set them aside in a warehouse to age, sometimes for years. It's just as true of the home rolled variety. Even FX Smiths machine rolled are packed in ancient wood boxes about the size and shape of overgrown ammo cans and salted away for weeks before being boxed up and shipped -- despite the fact machinery wraps drier than you or I could ever get away with.

There are some blends like the AJ Fresh Rolled which are advertised to smoke well right off the table. But that table is many months and thousands of miles away from when you took delivery.

Besides, there's also a pleasure in rummaging through your cooler from time to time admiring your handiwork and looking forward to the day.
 

SmokesAhoy

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#4
I keep a bag of almost crumbly dry Nicaraguan seco and viso in the original vapor proof bag, but I have some destemmed leaves in good condition in a zip lock bag that are downright wet. I grab 2 secos complete with midrib and one half viso, bunch em up and roll with one moist wrapper leaf. It's ready to smoke by the time I get outside and they always draw perfectly.. Not much to look at but I got no one to impress.
 

deluxestogie

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#5
With varietal wines, some improve dramatically with age, others deteriorate with age. Tobacco varietals are similar.

When my humidor has boxes of premium cigars to chose from, I usually prefer the taste of a freshly rolled cigar. My most common reason for reaching for an industrial cigar is because I'm feeling too lazy or too rushed to roll one at the moment.

This question of smoking freshly rolled cigars illustrates the adage: à chacun son goût. If that makes me plebeian, then I suppose I am.

Bob
 

webmost

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#7
The problem with this empty tautology is it leaves nothing to discuss.

Instead of "to each his own" I much prefer "from each his own".
 

Matty

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#9
Lately I been rollin them and puttin them into a mason jar. When I go visit my dad I bring the jar with me and end up leaving it in my jeep a few days. It heats up quite a bit in there but I found the cigars to be even better afterwards.
 

RUNSUPRIVER

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#10
Here's that 3 x 40 I was enjoying earlier along with a splash.
Turned out nice.
I think it needed a couple more days to mellow out though.
It has a twin aging right now.
3by40.jpg
 
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#11
Here the humidity can be a problem. I got my first whole leaf order a few days ago, and they just weren't drying out. I finally popped them in to my food dehydrator to dry, and am now bringing them back up to moisture content in the humidor.
 

moscca

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#12
He Ivar, humidity is also a problem for me, I mean too humid.
What cind of food dehydrator are you using ?


Jan.
 
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#13
I've got an Excalibur. It has a huge capacity compared to the round ones, and both the fan speed and temperature are adjustable. I have went through several varieties of the round food dehydrators until I found the Excaliber. It will be the last one you ever buy. I have fruit trees and use it heavily.
 

BarG

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#14
So years ago, I would roll some sticks and put them away for at least 2 weeks after air drying for 2 to 3 days.

(sometimes freezing the sticks for 2 days after they were dry)

I'm reading a lot about people smoking fresh rolled cigars within a day or two.

Today the current trend appears to lean towards rather dry filler and not so wet binders and wrappers.

Back then, the 2 weeks seemed minimum to remove the ammonia smell and taste.

Are people just putting up with the off tastes, or did something change with the process?

Maybe I had lower grade leaf?

2 weeks was minimum for me. I tried for 30 to 60 days. Some waited years.

Just an observation I've had. I'm always curious!

Thanks!
My experience is to only smoke kilned or well aged and fermented leaf to avoid an unpleasant experience with an otherwise great filler or wrapper. As for rolling I smoke mine immediately or within days of rolling. I know all case is good for everything when I can fire it right up or soon after with no problems. A thin wrapper can be very damp and dry out almost immediately after rolling.
 

LewZephyr

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#15
This post reminded me of a question that has been brewing.
In another forum there was the discussion about freezing their sticks (factory made) when they got new orders in. This is to minimize the possibility of the dreaded beetles.
It had been mentioned in the same threads that many producers already do this process and you shouldn't need to, but also it doesn't hurt to be extra careful.
So, what do you do? Do you freeze your tobacco when you get it in? Do you freeze your sticks after you roll them? Do you freeze them at all?

Thanks for your insight.
 

FmGrowit

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#16
Hmmm....never thought of freezing as a preventative, but that would mean there are bugs already present. Freezing will do nothing to prevent future infestation.

Someone should come up with a gizmo containing pheromone glue to put in a humidor that attracts beetles. That would be the best preventative measure you can take.

Every shipment I bring into the warehouse goes into quarantine with a pheromone trap.

Farm bales are the worst since so little insecticide is used anymore.

C-48's are stored in huge quantities, so there's little or no risk of infestation...never had a bug in a C-48 before.

All Imported leaf has potential of having bugs, but we go through it after at least a few days in quarantine.

FarmBaleQuarantine.jpg

Those are beetles in the trap.
 

deluxestogie

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#17
After more than 40 years of buying boxes of cigars, I can recall only one box that contained a few cigars with beetle damage, but there were no live beetles in it.

I never freeze 1 pound quantities of leaf (in poly-Nylon bags). If there were beetles, I would see them, AND they would be unable to exit that bag, which I always re-close by folding the end several times, and holding it with a couple of clothespins.

The times that I've acquired 10 pound quantities of leaf, I have either frozen it (in divided quantities) or set it out in my closed car during the summer heat.

Tobacco beetles make easily identifiable holes in the leaf. If the holes are from past damage (say, during a stay in a Nicaraguan warehouse), then typically the holes in a leaf do not align with similar holes in the leaves above and below it in the bundle. If beetles are active in the bundle of tobacco, then small holes will appear to have been drilled through several layers of leaf in the exact same spot.

MY CONCLUSIONS:
  • It's a waste of time and effort to freeze industrial cigars. I smoke my home-rolled cigars soon after rolling them.
  • Small quantities of leaf in sealed bags are not at serious risk of beetles, and the bags prevent any potential transfer to other bags.
  • Large quantities of leaf cannot be easily inspected at its point of origin or during bundling for your shipment, and may be worth a careful examination when it arrives. If it shows any beetle damage, freeze or heat the leaf. This certainly applies to farm-acquired, baled leaf.
Bob
 

ArizonaDave

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#18
Hmmm....never thought of freezing as a preventative, but that would mean there are bugs already present. Freezing will do nothing to prevent future infestation.

Someone should come up with a gizmo containing pheromone glue to put in a humidor that attracts beetles. That would be the best preventative measure you can take.
Actually, my "used to be favorite" Cigar company (before I started rolling with your 'Baccy) sells them: http://www.finckcigarcompany.com/products/group/category/safestore_bug_traps

They seem a little pricey.......
 

ArizonaDave

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#19
This post reminded me of a question that has been brewing.
In another forum there was the discussion about freezing their sticks (factory made) when they got new orders in. This is to minimize the possibility of the dreaded beetles.
It had been mentioned in the same threads that many producers already do this process and you shouldn't need to, but also it doesn't hurt to be extra careful.
So, what do you do? Do you freeze your tobacco when you get it in? Do you freeze your sticks after you roll them? Do you freeze them at all?

Thanks for your insight.
I've never had a problem with Don's tobacco, but occasionally freeze my cigars from time to time, even the humidor, but it's hard to get my humi IN the freezer.
 

BarG

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#20
I get intermediate trouble with beetles . In a sealed bag look for any powder when you shake the bag, a sure sign beetles are there. Being new I deal with with it by freezing or dry storage. The boxes I keep in my shop with low humidity and sometimes high heat have never shown any beetle damage as well as any I leave hanging in a shed. It is when I bring it indoors and try to control it mostly where I have to be careful. The same beetles can get in your rice flour or corn meal.
 
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