Whole Leaf Tobacco

My Simple Kiln $31 Bucks and an old Fridge

Knucklehead

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Ha.. Depends on the pan Bob.. and for power will maybe but not so much I would be concerned. Does a crock stay on or cycle don't know?
The Up Side on the plate is control eliminating need for other controls
A crock stays on. The water heater thermostat (or ranco) is needed to make them cycle. You could try one of those clay pans used under a flower pot to catch run off, might have the heat retention of crockery? With a gravity fed refill jug, you could keep the low profile. Also if it will handle the heat, leave it on dry to cover the exposed element. Do you plan to leave it always on, just at lower heat? Why not a thermostat? Just wondering. If the flower pot doohickie won't work, my wife has a stoneware cake pan that would work. made by Pampered Chef. I have no idea of cost.
 

deluxestogie

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For all you girls who played with an Easy-bake Oven, you remember that you could bake a cake with an incandescent light bulb (100 watt). The Rival Crock Pot follows that theme. It's heat source is a constant, low wattage resistance coil. When Walmart offered 2 quart Crock Pots for $3.94 each, I bought 3--should have bought 6. They're indestructible, cheap, and so simple it makes me shake my head. The one downside of a Crock Pot is that it takes up about the same space as an Easy-bake Oven.

Because the Crock Pot wattage is low, but its thermal retention properties (from the crockery) are high, the cycling brought about by running it through a water heater thermostat is fairly slow.

From the base line of an insulated container, water heater thermostat and a Crock Pot, there is no where to take the complexity (and cost) but up. I do believe that increasing the degree of control for flue-curing has merit. For kilning, on the other hand, greater control may benefit only subtle improvements in batch-to-batch consistency. Taken in the context of varying tobacco variety and varying stalk position and varying degree of leaf maturity, I think the benefits of greater control in kiln design rapidly reach a point of diminishing return.

For a kiln specifically, I would sink my money and efforts into:
  • insulation
  • seal
Bob
 

AmaxB

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After reading all that sort of fell like a tot with crap in my dity... The difference in cost of operation I fell is to small to worry over.
Insulation and Seal if refrigerator is in decent condition (door gasket) that's covered.

Simplicity, constancy, and safety is what I want.
.
No wiring for Thermometer or Humidity.

Refrigerator - Remove freezer / ice maker compartment and drill 2 holes (1 three quarters of an inch and 1 three eights of an inch)

1 Vent - Two 1/2" Pipe couplings, One 1/2" x 2 & a 1/2" Nipple, One 3/4" Washer, and 1 Valve ( ball or gate - hell you could use a water spigot)

Hot Plate like the one I bought - Built in thermostat & wide range of temperature settings (variable Knob)(no need for other controls) - Small foot print, low profile.

Short pan large enough around to cover solid burner plate.

1 Fan and speed control (I used the Variable control because with it I can go from -0- RPMs to Max RPMs)
1 outlet

If you look at my photos you see how simple it is...

Safety - If burner Plate is covered by a pan and sheet metal over the top of the pan running a max temp of 140F (which is to hot in my book for aging) - I would say it is safe.

Consistent - in the last 20 hours temperature has stayed at 132F and humidity has stayed at 91% no change up or down... vent valve cracked

Adding water you don't need anything fancy it is perfectly fine to open the door once a day for a few minutes to add water and new air.

A crock pot is good but is not the only option..Not trying to be argumentative just point out there is more than one way.

Which is the best way? Could be a tough call I'd say the way that gets the job done and works for you...
 

deluxestogie

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...there is more than one way. Which is the best way? Could be a tough call I'd say the way that gets the job done and works for you...
I agree. For all my chirping about simplicity, I am not satisfied with the size of my two kilning containers. They are simple, and the kilning process is simple, true, but they are just too damn small to keep up, and I should seriously consider building something of adequate size. But where to put it?

I've drawn up designs for a modular wood frame, sheathed in easily removable insulation board, and configurable to various sizes, as well as capable of being broken down for storage (as if they ever would be). Unlike yourself and others, I just haven't gotten off my butt to build it. (Discovering that the Cozy Can worked well as a kiln deflated some of the urgency.)

Bob
 

AmaxB

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Your a smart guy Bob
For Flue Curing
Sitting on the fence could be a good thing with the number of people doing and trying different arrangements you can see what is and what is not working.
Providing all are being honest with their results you can or could pick this or that for your build and reduce error.
For working small amounts the Cozy Can is a good ticket.

For a Kiln to Force - Ferment / Age holding a temperature range within 120F and 138F and humidity range within 70% to 93% you need nothing complex.
The amount or number of pounds you wish to ferment at one time and how often you wish to do it dictates size for the Kiln.
Keeping in mind as you have pointed out a number of times letting the Tobacco rest (known as cold sweating) after aging improves the qualities providing it is not dry.
For most people 4 to 8 pounds at a time would work allowing a rest of 1 to 2 months and Kiln running 24/7 not a problem considering it uses little power and requires
little maintenance.
For my personal Tobacco that I have grown I intend to Cure and bag at mid case while curing the crop, than Kiln 4 to 5 weeks followed by a cold sweat period most of it till
next year. I'll repeat this every year, I grew enough this year if my numbers are right to keep me in good smoke for a year and a half to two years.
Meaning I can grow a little less next year and once into the cycle I'll have a premium aged tobacco free of garbage to make my cigarettes at all times.

Have been doing a lot of reading in regard to aging / fermentation and am trying a new experiment.
I have taken bone dry tobacco run it under hot water in a slop sink let it sit a few minutes and shook it out to remove water. Than bundled it up tying it up and placing it in my
new little kiln. I have 8 to 10 pounds in there with plenty of air movement and good temperature I don't think mold will be a problem the tobacco is not wet but in a very high case.
 

LeftyRighty

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Have been doing a lot of reading in regard to aging / fermentation and am trying a new experiment.
I have taken bone dry tobacco run it under hot water in a slop sink let it sit a few minutes and shook it out to remove water. Than bundled it up tying it up and placing it in my
new little kiln. I have 8 to 10 pounds in there with plenty of air movement and good temperature I don't think mold will be a problem the tobacco is not wet but in a very high case.
I question the logic in doing this....
Nicotine and most of the 'flavor' alkaloids are water-soluable. After tobacco is cured & dry, and you get if soggy, you'll remove too much of the good stuff. It may make a mild smoke, but that's all you get - no nicotine and little flavor!
 

johnlee1933

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I question the logic in doing this....
Nicotine and most of the 'flavor' alkaloids are water-soluable. After tobacco is cured & dry, and you get if soggy, you'll remove too much of the good stuff. It may make a mild smoke, but that's all you get - no nicotine and little flavor!
Kinda like Cavendish

John
 

Knucklehead

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Whatever it is, you can call it Lord Amax Blending Tobacco. If you charge enough money, somebody will buy it. lol
 

AmaxB

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Whatever it is, you can call it Lord Amax Blending Tobacco. If you charge enough money, somebody will buy it. lol
ha ha Yeah Man, it's all in the bag put a nice Red Ribbon on it, list some benefits, and give it a catchy name (Aged Poo-ie) $39.99 a Pound
 

AmaxB

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Just could not stand it, had to try some!
I put this tobacco in 8/28/13 we are 9/7/13 today so I guess it has been 10 days now give or take a few hours.
Got to add this tobacco I started to ferment months ago and was in about a week at that time. So this round
is not a true time table.
Anyway back to how it is smoking, not an overly strong flavor I mixed 50/50 with VA bright (also aged from a month ago) it is good and still has a nicotine kick!
Just lit up another smoke the VA Bright & MD 609 50/50 mix - flavor is little different but is also pretty good.
So I wet this tobacco with hot water shook out the excess water - bundled tight and stacked it in the mini kiln something like 8 pounds. The last 10 days I have kept humidity between
90 & 98% temp 133F to 135F. The vent has been cracked just a bit and I put glass lid on the pan just cracked also. I removed the tobacco today and put it back changing the order of
bundles I will leave it like this for another 10 to 15 days and remove. The tobacco is currently a very high case.
 

grgfinney

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So you are saying as long as I have good airflow I shouldn't have issues with mold , I have been keeping my kiln at 125 and 70% rh sometimes it gets about 80% usually crack the vent to bring it back down
 

johnlee1933

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So you are saying as long as I have good airflow I shouldn't have issues with mold , I have been keeping my kiln at 125 and 70% rh sometimes it gets about 80% usually crack the vent to bring it back down
Sounds like your're running close to the sweet spot. Good Job.

John
 

deluxestogie

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So you are saying as long as I have good airflow I shouldn't have issues with mold , I have been keeping my kiln at 125 and 70% rh sometimes it gets about 80% usually crack the vent to bring it back down
Above ~120ºF, mold can not grow. It doesn't kill mold spores, but you should not see any new mold growth. A kiln running at 98ºF (like Macanudo does "fermentation" for CT Shade) is a different matter. At low kiln temps, the humidity should be kept at 70% or below. Air flow only serves to equalize the temp and humidity.

Bob
 

AmaxB

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I open the door every day for few minutes to check water and have a look. The first few 5 - 6 days it would knock me over the fumes were so bad now not so much and the crud smell is gone when you put it to your nose.
Am not bragging but sitting here thinking and the thought entered my mind I should make a sig of just the dark air and see how it smokes. So I did and it is not bad...I like it.
Is not harsh or over the top, leaves my mouth feeling sort of clean. Must be the nicotine killing of the germs if I start smoking this all the time I could save money on my Listerine.
Hell I think it is ready I'm going to take it out tomorrow.
If your out there and you are not running your tobacco through a kiln, you really must start!
 
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