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Questions from a noob whole leaf piper!

Armstrong-Joshua

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I'm loving these rectangular blocks. 3rd time doing this. This one is 60BrightV30RedV10Burley flavouring: 2ml plum 1.5ml honey 1.5oz vanilla extract :24hour press.

Tastes very sweet. I wish my flakes actually stuck together though. There's not much point in having it rectangular if it's going to be broken up into RR anyway. This one I continued to go back to the press and apply more pressure periodically. It seemed to make it more compressed than my last two.

I'm thinking for a project to create a platform and razor sharp knife to slice it better. Something I'm going to have to accept though is there's always going to be the bit at the end where it's not safe to try to turn it into flake as it is too close to your fingers. You can get a few decent slices though with a knife.

I'm still wondering how I can make it glue/bind together and keep its shape for making flake. Maybe it needs longer in the press? Or maybe I need to use molasses? Maybe a different type of sugar water? Maybe a solution of sugar water more than 50/50? Rum? (Rum has it's own flavour though). I will continue to experiment. If anyone else already has and knows a good solution I'm all ears!

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Armstrong-Joshua

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I should add I discovered a way to make it a pretty clean set up. A ziplock plastic bag is food safe but still I wasn't thrilled to have it touching my tobacco. My solution was to first compress it in my wooden press 2. take the tobacco block out (compressed for a minute) 3. wrap it in parchment paper 4. wrap it in the ziplock bag. 5. press it to your desired setting.

This worked extremely well. Very little mess to clean up. No plastic bag contact with tobacco. (It looks much nicer too no weird gloss sheen on it).
 
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PressuredLeaf

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May 20, 2018
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I'm loving these rectangular blocks. 3rd time doing this. This one is 60BrightV30RedV10Burley flavouring: 2ml plum 1.5ml honey 1.5oz vanilla extract :24hour press.

Tastes very sweet. I wish my flakes actually stuck together though. There's not much point in having it rectangular if it's going to be broken up into RR anyway. This one I continued to go back to the press and apply more pressure periodically. It seemed to make it more compressed than my last two.

I'm thinking for a project to create a platform and razor sharp knife to slice it better. Something I'm going to have to accept though is there's always going to be the bit at the end where it's not safe to try to turn it into flake as it is too close to your fingers. You can get a few decent slices though with a knife.

I'm still wondering how I can make it glue/bind together and keep its shape for making flake. Maybe it needs longer in the press? Or maybe I need to use molasses? Maybe a different type of sugar water? Maybe a solution of sugar water more than 50/50? Rum? (Rum has it's own flavour though). I will continue to experiment. If anyone else already has and knows a good solution I'm all ears!

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I’ve made quite a few plugs in the past using a hydraulic press and a square tube of 316ss as the mold. I found pressing the tobacco at low case to medium (at the max!!) gives you a rock hard plug that lasts indefinitely. No glue needed. If you are rendering liquid out while pressing, the tobacco is a little too moist. For cases stuff, I would apply the casing then let the tobacco dry to feeling of a soft paper bag before pressing. Wet tobacco is sponging and will spring back. The low case plugs slice very nicely but you need a very sharp knife.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I’ve made quite a few plugs in the past using a hydraulic press and a square tube of 316ss as the mold. I found pressing the tobacco at low case to medium (at the max!!) gives you a rock hard plug that lasts indefinitely. No glue needed. If you are rendering liquid out while pressing, the tobacco is a little too moist. For cases stuff, I would apply the casing then let the tobacco dry to feeling of a soft paper bag before pressing. Wet tobacco is sponging and will spring back. The low case plugs slice very nicely but you need a very sharp knife.
I'm kind of confused on your reply. I usually case my tobacco before pressing. I don't let it dry as I heard that applying casing before is better. It's at about 25-40% moisture. What is "316ss"? What do you mean by low case to medium? Low case plugs slice better?

I'm trying to make flake. My flake keeps crumbling away to Ready Rubbed. It's not bad but I wish I could make it so the flake molds together better after slices.

Maybe I need a higher psi for this? My psi for these blocks is about 100psi.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I'm kind of confused on your reply. I usually case my tobacco before pressing. I don't let it dry as I heard that applying casing before is better. It's at about 25-40% moisture. What is "316ss"? What do you mean by low case to medium? Low case plugs slice better?

I'm trying to make flake. My flake keeps crumbling away to Ready Rubbed. It's not bad but I wish I could make it so the flake molds together better after slices.

Maybe I need a higher psi for this? My psi for these blocks is about 100psi.
Case (noun) is the level of moisture. It ranges from out of case to low, medium, and high case. We smoke it, usually in the bottom end of medium case. It appears to be a word which goes back around 250 years.

This is confused with Case (modern pipe manufacturers' and other smoking forums' newspeak) which is the idea that adding flavouring components in some forms is still "all natural" and therefore = casing, while other flavoring components are to be considered topping. They consider sugar and glycerin to be casing and vanilla and rose oil to be toppings, for example. It's not formalized as a definition, so the boundaries of definition ebb and flow, depending on whether or not you want to advertise that your tobacco is all natural or flavored or not.

So when @PressuredLeaf is talking about pressing at a lower case, he's saying lower moisture level. Not so low that it turns to dust, but not so high that it exudes copious juices when pressed. I imagine he means medium case, or at about the level you would normally smoke it. His idea that it should be like so is because then you can apply as much pressure as you can without squeezing brown goop from the tobacco. About 13-18% moisture.

316 is a numerical designation for one of many austenitic chromium, nickel, iron alloys called stainless steel, via the classification system of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Curious notes: it is weldable, and non magnetic.

Yes. You need higher pressure. That's the theme implied by the fact @PressuredLeaf and I both use hydraulics rather than wrist strength. I pity the man who has enough wrist strength to create proper flake.

That said, I do believe if you tightened it a little every day for a week and let the tobacco dry out somewhat while in the press, that you would get better adhesion.

Also, have you tried using leverage to increase the torque on the press?
 
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Armstrong-Joshua

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2022
Messages
61
Points
33
Location
North Vancouver
Case (noun) is the level of moisture. It ranges from out of case to low, medium, and high case. We smoke it, usually in the bottom end of medium case. It appears to be a word which goes back around 250 years.

This is confused with Case (modern pipe manufacturers' and other smoking forums' newspeak) which is the idea that adding flavouring components in some forms is still "all natural" and therefore = casing, while other flavoring components are to be considered topping. They consider sugar and glycerin to be casing and vanilla and rose oil to be toppings, for example. It's not formalized as a definition, so the boundaries of definition ebb and flow, depending on whether or not you want to advertise that your tobacco is all natural or flavored or not.

So when @PressuredLeaf is talking about pressing at a lower case, he's saying lower moisture level. Not so low that it turns to dust, but not so high that it exudes copious juices when pressed. I imagine he means medium case, or at about the level you would normally smoke it. His idea that it should be like so is because then you can apply as much pressure as you can without squeezing brown goop from the tobacco. About 13-18% moisture.

316 is a numerical designation for one of many austenitic chromium, nickel, iron alloys called stainless steel, via the classification system of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Curious notes: it is weldable, and non magnetic.

Yes. You need higher pressure. That's the theme implied by the fact @PressuredLeaf and I both use hydraulics rather than wrist strength. I pity the man who has enough wrist strength to create proper flake.

That said, I do believe if you tightened it a little every day for a week and let the tobacco dry out somewhat while in the press, that you would get better adhesion.

Also, have you tried using leverage to increase the torque on the press?
Wow this is a very thorough reply. Thanks for explaining! To be honest I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s not much point in turning it into flake anyway other than aesthetics. I’m just going to crumble it into RR for pipe smoking anyway. What I can do however with the blocks is vacuum seal them and age them.

I think this explains my dilemma it’s simply my press isn’t applying enough pressure or perhaps I need to be waiting weeks.

No I haven’t tried leverage!
 
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