Whole Leaf Tobacco

Beren

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This thread has lots of great info but it is so long that it is hard to read all of it.

Considering the process making Cavendish is there a significant difference in the results ( smokability etc. ) results from using cured but not aged leaf versus using cured leaf with a couple of years age on it?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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You would likely notice a difference comparing them side to side. If there is tons of ammonia, there will be less, but it won't be completely gone.

This is a very old thread, and I'm not sure that I've read it completely myself.

I think if i wanted to soften a harsher tobacco, i might use the steaming method.

This is the method I generally use:

Sorry for the additional reading.
 

Beren

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Yeah, I have read that pressure cooker link. After I do some test runs with the equip that I have, if I am not satisfied then I am made to talk myself into a pressure cooker. As of right now I have a bunch of 2019 leaf and I was wondering if I need to age or kiln it or if it is good to use now for Cavendish.
 

Beren

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I suppose it all depends on what you mean by a bunch. I would try it.

Yes, everything is relative. For me, I have about 9 1/2 pounds of Virginia's and Burleys that are dried from 2019.

I suppose the problem is always not wanting to wait. I will take your advice and give it a try. Gotta do something with my time while I wait for the rest of it to age.
 

deluxestogie

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Even without the pressure cooker, purchase some canning jars and lids (Mason jars) that will fit into pot. Label and experiment with small batches, varying the moisture content of the leaf within the jars (well moistened vs soggy) as well as varying the boiling time (say, 5 hours vs 8 hours). All of the results will be decent and smokable and interesting. And even Cavendish settles and changes during the dry-down and over the next weeks to years.

The separate jars are way easier to handle and manage than a pile of wet leaf in a colander. If unopened after processing, it will not mold. Once opened, the entire contents of the jar needs to be dried to low case.

I would definitely set aside as much of the untreated leaf as you can. Once you've built your kiln, the more leaf you save, the fewer times you need to kick yourself for having not built the kiln sooner.

Bob
 

Joeg8434

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Hi. I am new to this forum and new to growing my own tobacco. I only use a pipe, and live bush in West Australia, so only grow 12 plants at a time. I have leanrnt by scouring the net and am going to give this formula a try. It "looks" good, so I can only imagine the flavour. I do have a question about steaming though. I just read an article re restaurants adding tobbaco leaf to food, and one of the ways to not OD on nicotine, is to "soak the leaves in water for a few hours, to draw out the nicotine" This seems in contradiction to steaming it. Could you please tell me if this is correct. I would rather hear it from an officianado than some hack, news article.
Thanks. Joe.
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Don't eat tobacco.

Preparing tobacco for smoking: If you soak the tobacco, without allowing the leaf to reabsorb that liquid, then you remove much of the nicotine and flavors, and end up with pretty trashy stuff for smoking in a pipe.

Bob
 

Alpine

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Soaking tobacco leaves in water does dissolve nicotine. Depending on how long you let the leaves float in water, nicotine content can be reduced to almost zero. It’s a system someone uses to “lighten” very strong baccy, usually cigarettes smokers. If you cook the tobacco in water, then let it reabsorb ALL the liquid, nic content will not change. Make your cavendish following the advice given here on FTT, and you’ll probably end up with a better product than that you started with.

pier
 

docpierce

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Back from the grave... Bob's 2012 cavendish thread. An excellent and informative tutorial.
Yesterday I used Bob's method to turn a small batch of 2015 Havana 142 leaves into unflavored cavendish. 8 hours steamed. During a break in the rain, they are now hanging on the clothesline. Next step- into a ziplock bag to be pressed.
 

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tech49

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Yes, I can see the sense in that point. I was more thinking of moist/damp tobacco in a heat sealed pouch like in a 'sous vide' process.

I have a sous vide machine at home and it can maintain specific temps of a water bath at +/- 1C.

I’m wondering if you tried the sous vide experiment- I like the idea of attempting to make Black Cavendish with this approach. If it worked, sous vide would be low-mess, no smell, scalable depending on container size, and low maintenance during the cook. The temperature accuracy makes reproducing the cooking conditions easy. Even if it took a few days, using an insulated container, like an Igloo cooler, out on the workbench wouldn’t take much effort.

I just talked myself into trying this.
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

Other members have taken that approach. Essentially, the lower the temperature, the longer it takes. Be sure to post your results.

Bob
 

Beren

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I’m wondering if you tried the sous vide experiment- I like the idea of attempting to make Black Cavendish with this approach. If it worked, sous vide would be low-mess, no smell, scalable depending on container size, and low maintenance during the cook. The temperature accuracy makes reproducing the cooking conditions easy. Even if it took a few days, using an insulated container, like an Igloo cooler, out on the workbench wouldn’t take much effort.

I just talked myself into trying this.

Yes, I tried the sous vide experiment. It resulted in me going out and buying a pressure cooker! LOL

I was curious about using the sous vide process for the same reasons as you mentioned. The net result was that it takes several days. Even then, the results were more beige/brown than dark brown/black.
 

Heibs

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Making Cavendish Cut

Cavendish Cut tobacco is basically a stacked ribbon. If a moist press cake is sliced, the shred will partially adhere, and give us that typical appearance of Cavendish Cut. Since many of the shreds are stacked and stuck together, it tends to burn more slowly. Shred width should be between 1/8" and 1/16". Start by cutting the press block into 1" wide strips. This will produce shred of 1 to 1-1/2" in length, after it is rubbed out.

Cavendish20120307_080_cuttingPressCake_300.jpg
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The rocking action of the 6" kulu blade [Kuhn Rikon, $15] easily cuts the press cake in one pass.

Carefully rocking the kulu across the width of the cut strip quickly produces the shred. If this were a taller press cake, say 1" thick, the same pressing and slicing process makes standard "flake," but takes considerably more muscle to cut.

Cavendish20120307_082_CavendishCut1_300.jpg
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This can be dried as is, and later crumbled as needed into a pipe bowl for flake style.

To complete the Cavendish Cut, take a small amount of the moist flake into the palm of one hand, and gently rub it in a circular motion with the other palm. Do this just enough to loosely rub-out the flake.

Cavendish20120307_084_rubbingOut_1bowlful_300.jpg
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It's your choice as to how much you rub-out the flake.

Once all the flake is rubbed-out to your satisfaction, spread it in a 1/2" thick layer on the cutting board to dry. In my kitchen, at ~35% RH, the spread tobacco required more than 8 hours to dry sufficiently. Aim for low case--dry, but still flexible, then store it in a heavy Ziplock or other container.

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This batch of a dozen leaves yielded a little over 2 ounces (~60g) of finished Cavendish Cut.

When you need to add moisture to the stored shred, wet a few fingers and flick a few drops into the container, then allow it to restore itself for several hours.

SUMMARY
Making Cavendish Cut Black Cavendish
  • Steam some leaf until it is black.
  • Press it into a cake.
  • Slice the press cake.
  • Rub-out the flake.
  • Dry then store.

Bob
great article. If I were to add a flavoring, when would I add it? Before or after cutting? Thank you
 

deluxestogie

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Garden20201108_5531_OneSuckerCAV_all.jpg

Drying-down One Sucker Cavendish. It spreads the width of my clothes dryer.

Two days ago, I set up 4 different varieties of tobacco into 4 separate canning jars. Each leaf was frog-legged, then sprayed with water, and stuffed into its respective jar as a little "egg roll". The labeled lids and the rims were applied, and the jars allowed to cook in a pot of boiling water (with a pot lid cover) for a total of about 12 hours. Every couple of hours, I would check the water level in the pot, and add already boiling water as needed.

After cooking, the jars were set out on a rack, and allowed to cool. Their contents are pretty much sterile at this point, so they can be left in this soggy state, until you feel like fooling with it.

Today, I removed the lid from a pint jar of One Sucker Cavendish. I try to be careful not to damage the lid while removing it. I have been able to re-use the same lid for at least 3 or 4 batches, sometimes needing only to modify the label. Each time they have been re-used, they had no problem sealing as the jar cooled.

Once opened, I promptly remove the soggy "egg rolls" of tobacco, unfurl them, and spread them to dry. This sometimes dries over night, sometimes requiring up to 48 hours.

Garden20201108_5532_OneSuckerCAV_700.jpg


My preference recently has been to simply fold the low-case, Cavendish leaves, and stash them in a labeled, 1 gallon Ziploc bag. When using it for a blend, I usually shred just what I need for the current batch.

Garden20201108_5533_OneSuckerCAV_closeup_700.jpg


One Sucker is a burley variety (this sample graciously provided by @FmGrowit, at WLT, and labeled as "ligero"). So I expect the nicotine to be in the same range as that of @BigBonner's burley red tip leaf. The aroma of the Cavendish is quite nice.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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Garden20201110_5536_Cavendish3JarsInverted_700.jpg


These jars were cooked at the same time as the One Sucker from the previous post. They have been inverted like this for 3 days now. As you can see, the leaf is all quite wet, but there is no free liquid that has dripped to the bottom. The jar of Peru ligero was filled with more tobacco leaf than the others.

Up at the top (the bottom of the jars) the leaf has cooked slightly darker, which I assume is a combination of slightly greater moisture and slightly greater heat up against the jar bottoms resting in the pot. The phenomenon of the wet leaf not dripping is a demonstration of what is called the "perched water table" when applied to soil. The inherent capillarity of the tobacco leaf (or the soil) determines how tall the column of water will remain within the leaf (or soil), no matter if there is space for the water to drain.

Once removed, and spread to dry, the VA Bright Cavendish will darken from greater oxygen exposure. The burley and Peru ligero may or may not darken further.

The One Sucker Cavendish is nearly all dried and bagged. Once it's all in the bag, and the cookie sheet is free, I'll open another jar--probably Peru, since I'm really curious about its aroma.

Bob
 

Matthew Evans

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Bob,

Quick question. . .

I see previous replies about Sous Vide not working as well as boiling water, in addition to being much slower. My understanding is that sous vide is done at a much lower temperature than 212*F. 170* sticks in my head for some reason or another for sous vide, but I don't know much about it. Is there a lower temperature limit that you would set for the cavendish process, or do you think that boiling is likely the best temperature to really consider?
 

deluxestogie

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I know nearly nothing about sous vide. My sense of the process, having tried open steam (under a colander of tobacco), closed jars in a boiling water bath, and closed jars in a pressure cooker, is that the higher the temp, the shorter the processing time. I presently use closed jars in a pot of boiling water, even though it takes longer than with a pressure cooker. The reason is that I can complete the process without intervals of allowing a pressure cooker to cool and de-pressurize between hot water refills. It's easy to look inside the pot of boiling water to see the water level, whereas I fret about a pressure cooker running dry, unable to easily check it.

So, what is the minimum temp? I don't know. It would need to be at least above about 142°F, though I don't know if you would get much cooking at that temp. The secondary oxidizing enzyme (peroxidase) doesn't denature until at least 191°F, though I'm not sure that is a meaningful requirement.

Bob
 
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