Whole Leaf Tobacco

Pure Burley Cigarette

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#1
Years Back, I can remember pure burley cigarettes, which I believe were made from the lower burley leaves, what us farmers called trash lugs, which had a lot of weathering and damage, which reduced alot of the more pungent and undesirable tastes in burley. At the time the leaves were highly sought after at the tobacco warehouses, especially if they showed "frog eyed" white leaf spots, which meant they were extremely ripe/diseased when harvested. Anyway, does anyone have any experience with processing lower stalk burley leaves into pure burley cigarettes? I seem to remember these cigarettes being advertised as toasted burley, which was rather common for burley types. I imagine the PH needs to be changed considerably, to smooth out the smoke as well, and I wonder if anyone knows what the ph range should be. Any info would be appreciated.
 

deluxestogie

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#2
Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

It is true of all tobacco types that the lowest lugs contain significantly lower nicotine concentrations than that of leaves from higher on the stalk. Those bottom leaves (flyers and trash, or volado in the cigar world) also present the least aroma and least flavor. Flyers that end up "mud-curing" after falling off a plant can often be lifted from the ground, shaken free of dirt, and immediately rolled into a decent smoke. I found this true even of Nicotiana rustica leaves, which I usually dislike.

The only vendor I know of through this forum is member, @BigBonner, a commercial tobacco grower in Kentucky, who offers burley of various stalk levels. You can inquire of him with a personal message (conversation).

As for toasting, a typical home method is to shred the leaf, spread it on a cookie sheet, and toast it in an oven. (Commercially this was performed within a rotating, heated drum, as part of a production conveyor.) I'm not sure of the temp or timing, but other members have tried this. It does soften the impact of the finished leaf, and adds a light, savory aroma from the Maillard reaction.

Bob
 
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#3
I found a little info about PH, If for some reason in the future anyone would like to know, mellowness and nicotine delivery seem to come to best balance between a ph of 5 and ph of 6 according to RJR and Phillip Morris. And The average cigarette tests out at 5.46 with a plus or minus range of .17 for the majority of brands. Cigars being stouter test from 5.5-6 on average, and pipe tobacco with all of its additions tests out at about 5-5.15. There are a few outliers that are way outside the majority range. Harshness increases at either end, below 5 or above 6. The latter info collected by some health and science groups who tested tobacco products worldwide. They were trying to find the relation of PH to toxins.
 

skychaser

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#4
Interesting. How would a person go about testing the PH of dried leaf?

I grew a lot of Golden Burley last season and harvested on Sept 15th. I ran out of room in my barn and hung 200 plants in a friends garage. (we left room for the car, barely). Last week we started stripping and de-steming it. It's a bit strong for me straight, but not by much. It smokes pretty good for only hanging 4 months. It will be better in a couple more. My friend has been smoking it straight for the last week and loves it. Being free might be influencing him a bit. Free always tastes better lol
 
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