Whole Leaf Tobacco

Newbie - advice on variety

Paul

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I've watched this forum for some years, and this year took the plunge and grew my own, about 20 containers.
I grew Virginia Gold, Bursa and Yellow twist bud. The first two did well, the YTB was a disaster and remains about 2 feet high.
I have been flue curing ( using the cosy can) with great success.) In Ireland, The VG is very weak. I have a problem with air curing, due to the climate. I'd like to idenfify a flue cure variety which could add the "burley" flavor to my blend.
Any thoughts?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Hey Paul, I feel your pain. We have had similar results. My flue cured tobacco is great, and my burley is good but produces low amounts of tobacco.

To specifically answer your question about which bright tobacco is the most burley like, I have to say air cured Ostrolist. Ostrolist also grew well for me in my cooler northern climate.

I know your high humidity poses problems I don't have to deal with in regards to curing, but I also know that it doesn't take much of a temperature increase to dramatically decrease the relative humidity within your curing chamber. As long as you can get it down to 70%, a bit of airflow and a couple months will fully air cure your tobacco without mold. It may only take a 5°C increase above the outdoors to drop the humidity from 90s to 70s. If you have successfully flue cured, I don't think you would need any help imagining how to engineer this.

An alternative to attempting to find a burley like bright tobacco is to keep trying different burleys. Perhaps look for ones traditionally grown in cooler climates. If you send me your address privately, I have one such seed to send you. I have not grown it, but it was sent to me by a grower in New Brunswick, Canada.
 

deluxestogie

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You might try a dark-air-cured variety. You could try Rot Front or Madole. Burley can't be properly flue-cured, since it is unique in requiring longer to cure out its starches and proteins than it does to color. I've flue-cured burley, and it was awful. But dark-air varieties are sometimes fire-cured, which is more rapid than air-curing. So flue-curing a dark-air variety might just work out well. You won't get actual burley flavor, but it will definitely broaden and deepen the aroma, and jack up the nicotine.

Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

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You might also try to grow flue cured tobaccos which are less sweet than the one you grew. Flue cured tobaccos with less sugar will produce smoke which is a higher pH than those that are high in sugar. I have noticed a difference in the flue cured varieties I have grown. I will list my perceived sugar level highest to lowest.

Costelo Negro - Colombian
Helena - American
Frog Eye Orinoco - American
Delhi 34 - Canadian
Ternopolski - Ukrainian
Ostrolist - Bulgarian

I'm guessing VG is higher on the scale
 

GreenDragon

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Do you have any pictures of the different varieties you grew? Sometimes a forum member will spot something helpful from a picture.

Also Northwood seeds appears to have some older heirloom varieties that you may have better luck with. They classify Gold Dollar as an air cured Bright Leaf in the Burley section.
 

Hugh

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As CV says, keep trying to find the right Burley.
PM me your address for some bright Burley seeds from this year's crop.

All the best!
 

Paul

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Wow! Huge wisdom and experience in response to my post. Thanks for the suggestions and offers of seed. I'm really amazed at the generosity of you guys. I appreciate it....and I now have a lot to think about for my 2020 plantings... Thanks so much
 

Paul

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Just on another point, my main purpose in this post was to find out what is the strongest flue cured variety (when flue cured). I received some pointers on stronger flue cured varieties, and a suggestion to try dark air cured varieties (flue cured)
Any further experiences would be welcome. In the past, when I could order raw leaf legally in the UK, I received "Red Virginia" which was wonderfully smokeable in it's natural state. I'd love to replicate that.
 

deluxestogie

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Red Virginia is flue-cured leaf (of any Virginia variety) that comes from the upper part of the stalk. It flue-cures darker and redder than the lower leaf.

Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Strongest as in highest in nicotine, or in flavour?

I don't think you should put all your eggs in one basket. Try a few.

Seeing as you will be flue curing them all, and if you aren't specifically looking for burley flavour, but for a stronger flue cured variety, I am not sure I would recommend the eastern European strains I mentioned, except for maybe Ostrolist.
 
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