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Stalk curing orientals?

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Knucklehead

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I sun cure my Orientals and Flue Cure varieties. (Although I prime). I first wilt/begin yellowing (half yellow or more) in the shop before moving to full sun. This will help prevent drying green. I have tried wilting only in the shop and moving to sun while still mostly green, but experienced quite a bit of drying green. I also string my leaves as close together as possible.

Istanbulin's Sun Curing thread: http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/2242-Sun-Curing

Although the photos show primed leaf at different stages of maturity, and the final color for those stages, the images may help you find a happy medium for stalk curing and what to expect from the different colors: http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/1799-FAQ-about-Turkish-tobaccos?p=77382&viewfull=1#post77382
 

Knucklehead

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So this is why people use greenhouse-type structures as curing sheds? So if you covered your greenhouse in shade cloth or dark tarp, it'd be regular old air-curing, but the same environment opened to light would constitute sun curing? If I'm getting that right, that's pretty handy for the layperson, because a greenhouse is not very expensive and is very useful for things other than tobacco. Whereas a flue-curing chamber...not so much.

These greenhouses from Tractor Supply Co. are pretty neat and affordable. Mine is still in the box, but there are photos of DGBAMA's greenhouse in use in his grow blog. Now on sale.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/groundwork-walk-in-greenhouse-117-in-l-x-83-in-h-x-784-in-w
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I'm planning on hanging my Japan 8 in the greenhouse. I had twenty plants out of town, grown by a friend on land I don't personally have access to. Originally I did. My friend Bill has been sharing a very large garden with a friend on his friend's farm for years. The plan was to introduce us, but he passed away and out of respect for the widow, we decided it best to just have Bill tending to it. I think the tobacco would have been ok, every other plant we have in other locations has survived frost no problem, but it got down to minus 1C and Bill cut everything down beforehand and hung them in his garage which isn't so humid for a week before we were able to get them into my curing room.

Anyways, its been my experience that in the greenhouse, even the youngest and greenest suckers which I have for shits and giggles thrown up on the rafters, cure quite well, so I am convinced the sunlight is doing a great job of breaking down the chlorophyll. I'll be setting up a humidity controller in it to prevent mold and drying green.

One question I have is that since the polycarbonate roof and pvc walls block the UV, (I don't think its an inherent quality, but a feature of the product), do the sun curing qualities of the greenhouse differ in some way from a true sun cure. Thoughts?
 

Jitterbugdude

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I doubt the lack of UV would effect the "sun cure" process. All sun curing does is mimic flue curing. You wilt your leaves in the barn for a day or two till yellow, then put in the sun. The heat of the sun will dry out the leaf while it is still in the yellow stage thus setting the sugars. It is not a perfect process, hence some green and uneven colors will be apparent on sun cured vs flue cured.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I doubt the lack of UV would effect the "sun cure" process. All sun curing does is mimic flue curing. You wilt your leaves in the barn for a day or two till yellow, then put in the sun. The heat of the sun will dry out the leaf while it is still in the yellow stage thus setting the sugars. It is not a perfect process, hence some green and uneven colors will be apparent on sun cured vs flue cured.

Thanks JBD, it's been in for a day, and I can already see what you mean. The digital thermometer says it had ranged from 40F and 90%rh at night to 110F and 60%rh during the day.
 

mrthing2000

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Is there a quick instructional on how to stalk cure?

I've got burley and a Virginia type growing, and I'd like to try it--though no one is specifically mentioning doing it to these kinds.
 

Jitterbugdude

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Is there a quick instructional on how to stalk cure?
.

Quick Instructional: Approximately 3 weeks after flowering, cut stalks at base of plant. Hang upside down in an enclosed area for approximately 6-8 weeks or until the mid rub is bone dry. Wait for a rainy day(or humid day) and strip leaves from stalk. Store in a container but make sure the leaf is not too moist.
 

Planter

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One question I have is that since the polycarbonate roof and pvc walls block the UV, (I don't think its an inherent quality, but a feature of the product), do the sun curing qualities of the greenhouse differ in some way from a true sun cure. Thoughts?

I had some leaves hanging under double-glazed windows for a year, and they got a bit bleached, in some parts to almost white, quite like the notepaper attached to it. I'm not sure yet how this affects the smoke quality. But no green was left, everything turned eventually to bright shades of yellow, orange or light brown.


I haven't tried proper sun-curing with Japan-8, but harvested early (like for cigars) and stalk-cured it still is rather sweet. As I pointed out before, treated like that there's no bite in the pipe, so I prefer that.


On the matter of priming vs stalk curing - last year I let some Izmir, Bursa and Prilep go overripe (fully yellow), then sort of sun-cured them. Upper leaves of the Lebanese Izmir treated that way smell like Jasmine (unburned, that is), quite amazing. There's a lot of aroma (and a lot of sugar in the Prilep), and they probably make a good blending component, but on their own in a pipe they are throat-choking and hot-burning (esp. the Prilep). Things don't have to be taken to that extreme, of course, but in general I found harvesting rather early + stalk curing gives me a much smoother pipe tobacco which still has a lot of aroma, and which can be smoked straight without much processing. But, my personal preference leans towards cigarishness anyway, so everybody elses taste may vary. And your micro-climate certainly matters.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Someone posted the idea of pre-fermenting oriental and flue cured primed leaves to get a jump on the yellow color by placing leaves in opaque plastic bags after picking for a day or longer to let the leaves get yellow before curing them. Obviously there would be danger of mold or rot so this would have to be watched carefully. I'll be trying it

This is off topic, but I've done this, simply due to lack of time. Pick leaves into blue recycle bags and keep them in a cool spot until I had time to string. There's a noticeable yellowing effect which I attribute to ethylene being concentrated within the bag. I picked 40 plants out in the country due to frost coming, and because they were ripe enough to not bother pushing my luck. The leaves sat in my van probably around 50F for a week with zero problems. However, when I did the same with leaf from another location, there was a lot of over ripe leaf that was already half cured/dried this time. Three days later I had to use up some cheap booze to wipe mold which had started to grow on over half the leaves. It's totally because the leaves were already drying out.
 
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