Whole Leaf Tobacco

Really Easy Perique Press

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Michibacy

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Perhaps applying negative pressure (vacuum) to the puck will help in the expansion of it. I think the gradual moistening that bob suggested would be beneficial as well.

When vacuum sealing different items (pound cake comes to mind) a steady negative pressure allows me to see the pores of the bread open up and broaden, a good 3x larger than at normal pressure.

Just my .02
 

Knucklehead

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I'll give that a try. I'd like to give Boboro a review on it if I can open it up. If I can't, the Defense Dept. may be interested.
 

Boboro

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I made that press thinkin I could find a way to cut it for cig. tobacco.I never found a way to cut it that didn't sling it ever where. Chop saws and table routers and a poor slaid shooter I had a drill hooked up to. Never could cut it to my satitsfaction. I could pack a # in a puck though. I may try to fermit some this winter. The puck I sent Knuck looks like a pcs. of OSB.
 

workhorse_01

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I would think once every three weeks for two months. Strike that comment! I knew bob had posted in the beginning that it was a several month process. he did say unpack at least once at the end of the first month.
 
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deluxestogie

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Final Product

After releasing pressure from the clamp, most of the residual liquid vanished into the leaf.

Using a large serving fork, I gently pried along the circumference of the press cake, until I could take it from the Lexan jar as a single slab. I dumped it onto a Styrofoam dinner plate.

Perique20131104_1008_slabRemoved_300.jpg


Several layers of leaves were removed, then the remaining slab was sealed in a gallon Ziplock bag, and stored in the refrigerator (where it will keep for years).

Perique20131104_1009_slabInGallonBag_300.jpg


Despite being under pressure for months, the leaf comes apart and unfolds into mostly intact strips. These are carefully spread onto sheets of foil to dry for several hours.

Perique20131104_1010_spreadOnFoil1_300.jpg
Perique20131104_1011_spreadOnFoil2_300.jpg


In the photo below, sunlight is reflecting from the foil behind the leaf. As you can see, it's fairly translucent while still damp. It becomes more opaque as it dries.

Perique20131104_1012_transparent_closeup_300.jpg


Once the leaf is down to low case, I stack the strips.

Perique20131104_1013_dryLeafStacked_300.jpg


Using slightly re-moistened Perique strip as binder and wrapper, I roll it into a roll cake (cigar). [Don't smoke one of these.]

Perique20131104_1014_formedToCigar_300.jpg


I slice it into coins with my kulu blade.

Perique20131104_1015_sliceCigar_300.jpg


In order to limit shred length, I then slice the coins down the middle.

Perique20131104_1018_bisectSlices_300.jpg


By taking a handful at a time, all the coins are rubbed out to a loose shred.

Perique20131104_1019_shredRubbed_300.jpg


I wish you could smell it. It really does not smell like tobacco, but rather like a fermentation mash for a berry or fruit wine. I'll report on how it smokes, once I've made up a blend and given it a try.

Perique20131104_1020_closeupInHand_400.jpg


Bob
 

deluxestogie

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Bob I've heard that that it burns cooler not rubbed out..have you tried it still together? ?
Smoking straight Perique in a pipe would be a courageous endeavor. It would knock you on your butt. I use Perique to blend in a ratio of 3 parts Perique to 5 parts flue-cured Virginia, regardless of additional blending components.

You're also making a believer out of me with that kulu blade.
An advantage of the kulu blade over a traditional chaveta is that when the kulu is held by the riser (that is, backwards, rather than by the useless handle), it enables you to comfortably apply quite a bit of downward pressure--necessary when slicing press cake or roll cake. And the rocking motion from the riser requires only wrist motion, rather than elbow motion. Its non-stick powder coat allows the kulu blade to slip nicely through cake that is as much as 1" or more in thickness.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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deluxestogie

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Final Results

After about two weeks of gradual drying (the Perique is slow to do this), the fruity, fermentation aroma is gone, leaving a typical, deep earthy smell. As you may be able to see below, the shred has shrunk a bit, and is slightly more crinkly. The surface has lost its subtle glossiness, and is now a dull, medium brown--also typical of Perique.

Perique20131104_1020_closeupInHand_400.jpg
Perique20131117_1035_closeupInHand_lowCase_400.jpg

Initially dried Perique (4 November) on the left; low case, two weeks later on the right.

In blending for pipe, this Perique adds a subdued and rather nice mustiness to the aroma, increases the overall pH of the blend, and gently increases the available nicotine. I have to say that I am satisfied with the effort, especially given the low cost of the press, and the minimal attention that it required.

In terms of the quantity of Perique that a single individual might realistically blend in a season, I think a Lexan jar of about 1/3 the height that I used would be ideal, and would eliminate the need for the wood (sliced fence post) spacer block entirely.

The bottom edge of the Lexan jar shows two tiny stress cracks, though these do not leak. I believe this is a result of having all the pressure on the base of the jar provided by only two (rubber capped) press arms at the foot. This could easily be remedied by simply placing a disk of any sturdy material between the jar and the press feet, in order to spread the force a bit.

Bob
 

rainmax

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I believe that seanz from New Zeland show this video at other pipe forum. It is interesting if somebody didn't see it yet.


 
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