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Questions from a noob whole leaf piper!

Armstrong-Joshua

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Greetings,

Josh here from Vancouver BC. Wanted to ask a couple questions regrading whole leaf pipe tobacco! See if you can answer for me would be much help!

1) Does the pipe tobacco per pound that you get from WLT need to be fermented? Is it high in ammonia?

2) Does anyone have success with pressing tobacco at home? What did you use? Something like the MEGA-T press or a homemade invention with a C-clamp? Just looking to create my own flake from WLT.

3) Do the flavourings from Lorann oils work? Anyone have success with these?

Much thanks,

~ Josh
 

GreenDragon

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No, no. It’s ready to go out of the bag.
Yes
Yes, but they are mostly fruit flavors.

Tons of information in the key forum threads and the pipe tobacco section of the forum. Have fun blending. With WLT you really can’t go wrong, and you will be amazed at the pure flavors from tobacco without all the PG and flavorings commercial tobacs use to cover up inferior leaf.

Above all, experiment and have fun!
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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No, no. It’s ready to go out of the bag.
Yes
Yes, but they are mostly fruit flavors.

Tons of information in the key forum threads and the pipe tobacco section of the forum. Have fun blending. With WLT you really can’t go wrong, and you will be amazed at the pure flavors from tobacco without all the PG and flavorings commercial tobacs use to cover up inferior leaf.

Above all, experiment and have fun!
Thanks for reply GreenDragon.

It's ready to go out of the bag sound reassuring. I thought I might have to ferment it somehow first. I imagine it is naturally fermented by hanging or in bunches and being aged for at least 1 year.?

Was that a yes to being high in ammonia?

Yes my first idea for a blend was some citrus orange, lemon, and lemongrass. Next was apple and vanilla.

What's PG stand for?

Thanks I am very excited to start making my own!

~ Josh
 

GreenDragon

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Welcome to the forum. We have a lot of fun here.

WLT only sells the best quality tobacco. There is no ammonia as the leaf has been fully cured / aged.

PG is propylene glycol. Some people (like me) can taste it and others can’t. However it contributes significantly to tongue bite and wet soggy pipes that need more cleaning.
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum. As @GreenDragon has already mentioned, you will find a ton of quite specific pipe tobacco preparation and blending info in our Index of Key Forum Threads, linked in the menu bar.

In addition to blending with the fully ready tobacco you get from WLT, you can also make your own Cavendish and Perique-cured tobacco from your WLT leaf. Burley and Maryland make particularly nice Cavendish. (How to do it is linked in the Index of Key Forum Threads).

Once you make a few blends with pure leaf, you may find that flavored tobacco is not as inviting.

Bob
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Funny thing is I’ve never experienced tongue bite. I don’t know if it’s cause I’m lucky or just my smoking style but I have yet to be worried about that. What I’m really interested in is making flake tobacco. For that you need a press. Before I go investing in a $500 press I’m going to be making a C-clamp press. How does home pressing compare to store bought tin flake that’s been pressed?

~ Josh
 

deluxestogie

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Making a mold for pressing plug:

Using no mold, and a 40 pound bucket of water to press:

Bob
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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In the first one he’s repressing the already pressed tobacco? Does it make it better doing 2 times? Seems like good quality from pictures. Also the fact that he’s only waiting days instead of weeks means you could make quite a bit!
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Using a hydraulic jack sounds interesting and a much cheaper alternative. The Mega T press or brick press is aluminum so you can boil it to make it hot which might benefit the pressed tobacco? I can't seem to find any piper using those Mega T presses. Just want to make some good quality Virginia flake that may or may not have a flavour casing.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I have never heard of anyone using the mega t press. It sounds like a expensive toy. It would be cool to be able to heat it up

The idea behind making press cake is that it's convenient and ready to go, compared with plug which has to be cut still. Also, with plug, you kinda go for larger surface area in order to make it evenly thick. Then, going with the extra pressing, (already cut), lets you make a smaller block, with a much higher psi, using the same jack.

My press seen in the press cake thread is cheap lumber, and a cheap jack, and is wrapped with fiberglass tape so it doesn't explode under tension. The part the tobacco goes in is oak. I broke it once and have since made it double walled.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I have given up on lorann oils. They never made what I hoped for. If I flavour tobacco, it will usually be rum or vanilla. The vanilla needs to be alcohol based. 25g vanilla extract plus 50g tobacco, dry it out to get rid of the alcohol, then rehydrate with water. Rum is the same except 50:50.

Essential oils work for my preferences, but if you haven't had English Lakeland tobacco, that might be really strange for you. Stuff like rose and neroli, maybe 1% of the total blend. I use the vanilla, rum, or other alcohol to distribute the oil.

I don't think PG really does much other than make it soft and slightly harsh. In flavored blends and pressure cooked cavendish I might use glycerin because it makes it soft and slightly sweet. The amount would be around 1-2% of the total blend.
 

furryfreek

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Does anyone have success with pressing tobacco at home? What did you use?
You can also press tobacco by binding it very tightly with rope. The resulting product is normally referred to as a "carotte" (historically called a "perique", which I actually prefer, but avoid in writing because of the ambiguity with Louisiana perique).

It's been posted on FTT at least a few times already, but here's a video of the process:
View: https://youtu.be/0Sqhu11WjC4
.

I use basically the same process but arranged vertically instead of horizontally. Instead of tying a rope between two fixed points and sitting on it, I fix just one end to a point up near head height, make a loop at the other, just off ground level, and stand with one foot in the loop to apply body weight. Keeping ones balance can be a bit tricky but it's not too bad if you've got a solid wall to lean against. Also, because I use paracord instead of rope, I find I need to add a few extra layers of thicker material (e.g. hessian) to spread the force better and avoid accidentally shearing or cutting right through the tobacco inside. I'm not actually sure how long you really need to keep the binding in place; I've been untying most after three months but, even after just a couple of weeks, the baccy stays very firmly compressed and continues to age nicely thereafter.
 

deluxestogie

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It's worth keeping in mind that the methods of pressing plug or a perique twist were developed solely for tobacco longevity and convenience during transport of the 19th century. Seafarers needed a compact wad that would keep long-term. Plug makers needed a way to distribute (wagon transport) prepared tobacco to the general stores of distant towns. The worker in the store would then slice a plug into flake, using the store's plug cutter, to sell to a customer. The customer received the resulting "flake". The customer would need to subsequently rub-out the flake into useable (smokable or chewable) tobacco, on demand.

As consumers of industrial tobacco (e.g., tins of prepared tobacco), we have become accustomed to these 19th century concepts of what pipe tobacco should look like. It is true, that long-term (i.e. several weeks) pressing imparts a fruitiness, which is likely microbial in origin (that being an accidental consequence of preparation for 19th century transport). As with cigars, our notions of "proper" form is not necessarily required for proper function.

To read many discussions of making or cutting plug, do a forum search for "plug", search only titles. There is some additional discussion of plugs, flake and birdseye coins in the thread:
https://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/pure-tobacco-pipe-blends-you-can-make.3926/

Bob
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I have never heard of anyone using the mega t press. It sounds like a expensive toy. It would be cool to be able to heat it up

The idea behind making press cake is that it's convenient and ready to go, compared with plug which has to be cut still. Also, with plug, you kinda go for larger surface area in order to make it evenly thick. Then, going with the extra pressing, (already cut), lets you make a smaller block, with a much higher psi, using the same jack.

My press seen in the press cake thread is cheap lumber, and a cheap jack, and is wrapped with fiberglass tape so it doesn't explode under tension. The part the tobacco goes in is oak. I broke it once and have since made it double walled.
What’s wrapped in fibreglass? The lumber?
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I have given up on lorann oils. They never made what I hoped for. If I flavour tobacco, it will usually be rum or vanilla. The vanilla needs to be alcohol based. 25g vanilla extract plus 50g tobacco, dry it out to get rid of the alcohol, then rehydrate with water. Rum is the same except 50:50.

Essential oils work for my preferences, but if you haven't had English Lakeland tobacco, that might be really strange for you. Stuff like rose and neroli, maybe 1% of the total blend. I use the vanilla, rum, or other alcohol to distribute the oil.

I don't think PG really does much other than make it soft and slightly harsh. In flavored blends and pressure cooked cavendish I might use glycerin because it makes it soft and slightly sweet. The amount would be around 1-2% of the total blend.
I’m giving lorann oils a try. I actually have some homemade vanilla extract that’s in everclear been aging 6 months now. It’ll be better in a year to 2 years.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Messages
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Location
North Vancouver
You can also press tobacco by binding it very tightly with rope. The resulting product is normally referred to as a "carotte" (historically called a "perique", which I actually prefer, but avoid in writing because of the ambiguity with Louisiana perique).

It's been posted on FTT at least a few times already, but here's a video of the process:
View: https://youtu.be/0Sqhu11WjC4
.

I use basically the same process but arranged vertically instead of horizontally. Instead of tying a rope between two fixed points and sitting on it, I fix just one end to a point up near head height, make a loop at the other, just off ground level, and stand with one foot in the loop to apply body weight. Keeping ones balance can be a bit tricky but it's not too bad if you've got a solid wall to lean against. Also, because I use paracord instead of rope, I find I need to add a few extra layers of thicker material (e.g. hessian) to spread the force better and avoid accidentally shearing or cutting right through the tobacco inside. I'm not actually sure how long you really need to keep the binding in place; I've been untying most after three months but, even after just a couple of weeks, the baccy stays very firmly compressed and continues to age nicely thereafter.
I watched this video last night! Seems cool but also physical. I am not that good with rope so I’m still thinking about some sort of press contraption.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I’m giving lorann oils a try. I actually have some homemade vanilla extract that’s in everclear been aging 6 months now. It’ll be better in a year to 2 years.
My favourite tobacco is Capstan Navy Cut flake. Which taste like grass, citrus, and hay. The natural tobacco itself imparts a hay-like flavour so I’ll be adding the citrus (lemon,orange lorann) and lemongrass lorann. I’m hoping for good results though I think it would benefit from pressing after applying the casing to it with a spray bottle. There are others flavouring methods this is will be my first attempt at the simplest version. Mail ordered on the way.
 
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