Whole Leaf Tobacco

Shed color curing/ citric acid for mold?

Patriotguy

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Ive only just began to hang tobacco in my shed hands of about 4-5 leaves they seem to be curing nicely but I had some questions about preventing the mold possibility,
I have searched and found alot of good info on using hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar but What if I misted the leaf with distilled water and citric acid mixture or can that be bad depending on what color stage the leaves are at?
I would be doing this as a preventative measure as the temperatures here feel pretty abnormal right now went from over 70 to under 60f in a day recently
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Leaf doesn't mold until it dries out. There is obviously a long period where you have both wilted leaf and dried leaf in the shed. Actually knowing the humidity is important. If it's below 75% and you have fans blowing, there ought to be no issue. If there is partially dried leaf and it is above 80%, even fans won't necessarily help enough, so ventilation is option one. A small temperature increase is option two because warmer air can hold more moisture, this decreases the relative humidity. (Relative humidity is the ratio of how much moisture there is, to what the maximum level possible is).

The acid idea is theoretically possible, but both citric acid and vinegar give detectable flavors, and changing the pH will affect the final product.

I suggest you start by having actual humidity readings. If it's above 65%, get some fans blowing in there. If it's above 80%, open a door or window.

Remember, a leaf is not completely dry until the mid rib can break by bending.
 

deluxestogie

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I'll add that the humidity at one moment or one day is not what's at issue. Estimate a 3-day average RH, to know the mold risk. Ventilation is free, other than the labor. For using heat, you have to raise the ambient temp by 20°F, to drop the RH by 50%.

Acetic acid and citric acid are simple acids that react easily with the organic compounds in cells. So the alteration of pH is relatively temporary. Regardless of persistence or taste 6 months from now, I would be more concerned about damaging living tobacco cells. While the leaf has yet to fully color-cure, you need the leaf's cells to remain as healthy as possible. Most discussions of vinegar and H2O2 are with regard to use on fully color-cured leaf.

All that having been said, cool soggy weather for two or three days, followed by warmer, drier conditions is common for me, and not a problem. Just make sure leaf is dry when you harvest it, so you don't drag extra water into your curing space.

Bob
 
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