Whole Leaf Tobacco

Sun curing- Whole vs shredded leaf?

gardengnome

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Would there be any major difference/benefit to sun curing various oriental varieties as whole leaf vs shredding the leaf first? I have seen many videos from different countries where the leaf is shredded (like when they make rajangan) instead of curing the whole leaf.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I have not compared whole leaf sun cure to rajangan for the same strain, so I can't say. Rajangan dries faster. It's not used on orientals.

Rajangan Delhi-34 which is a Canadian bright leaf is not as sweet as flue cured Delhi-34. Rajangan'd it burns the nose before its aged and is the only tobacco I've ever had that effect from.
 

gardengnome

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That is one of the videos that sparked the question! I plan on growing an oriental strain for cigarette blending and will probably just cure the whole leaf then shred by hand. I feel that if I were to shred it like the video, I may have problems with it drying to fast.
 

plantdude

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That is one of the videos that sparked the question! I plan on growing an oriental strain for cigarette blending and will probably just cure the whole leaf then shred by hand. I feel that if I were to shred it like the video, I may have problems with it drying to fast.
If it's too dry it will be more likely to crumble than shred (may have to mist it and stick it in plastic bag for about 15-30 minutes to rehydrate slightly - case). I've been trying to sun cure some leaves this week and an unexpected wind/rain storm wrecked havock. I can only imagine what that would have been like if the leaves had been pre shredded...
 

ChinaVoodoo

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That is one of the videos that sparked the question! I plan on growing an oriental strain for cigarette blending and will probably just cure the whole leaf then shred by hand. I feel that if I were to shred it like the video, I may have problems with it drying to fast.
If it's too dry it will be more likely to crumble than shred (may have to mist it and stick it in plastic bag for about 15-30 minutes to rehydrate slightly - case). I've been trying to sun cure some leaves this week and an unexpected wind/rain storm wrecked havock. I can only imagine what that would have been like if the leaves had been pre shredded...
I did this process a few times with the tobacco in a small 1020 tray with a greenhouse dome, which you can read about in the thread I linked above. I did it that way because my humidity and temperature are lower than that in Indonesia. It would also protect from rain. Regardless, I didn't know what the official drying time was supposed to be until I watched this video, but it managed to get 4 days.
 

Knucklehead

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If it's too dry it will be more likely to crumble than shred (may have to mist it and stick it in plastic bag for about 15-30 minutes to rehydrate slightly - case). I've been trying to sun cure some leaves this week and an unexpected wind/rain storm wrecked havock. I can only imagine what that would have been like if the leaves had been pre shredded...
Did you string them or lay them out?
 

plantdude

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Did you string them or lay them out?
Were you asking me or gardengnome? I'm still messing around with the little leaves (too small to bother stringing together) mostly trying to get a semi weatherproof (wind) technique down. After the leaves wilt a bit I've been putting them in open clear plastic bags or a large clear plastic tub.
The bags method works but is less than ideal, the leaves can sometimes stick to the plastic a little too much and if the bags are not adequately secured they like to go airborne.
Depending on the humidity at harvest the bigger leaves are either going to be strung together and hung in the sun or placed in large clear plastic tubs with some Saran Wrap across part of the top. With all the critters here I'm hesitant on putting the leaves directly on the grass. I only have a few plants I plan on sun curing this year, but next year I will have a lot more orientals (hopefully) so I welcome any advice/techniques that will improve efficiency.
 

Knucklehead

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Were you asking me or gardengnome? I'm still messing around with the little leaves (too small to bother stringing together) mostly trying to get a semi weatherproof (wind) technique down. After the leaves wilt a bit I've been putting them in open clear plastic bags or a large clear plastic tub.
The bags method works but is less than ideal, the leaves can sometimes stick to the plastic a little too much and if the bags are not adequately secured they like to go airborne.
Depending on the humidity at harvest the bigger leaves are either going to be strung together and hung in the sun or placed in large clear plastic tubs with some Saran Wrap across part of the top. With all the critters here I'm hesitant on putting the leaves directly on the grass. I only have a few plants I plan on sun curing this year, but next year I will have a lot more orientals (hopefully) so I welcome any advice/techniques that will improve efficiency.
My first time sun curing I sun cured inside the mesh buds bags. In my case, five gallon paint strainers. They didn’t inhibit the sun, the leaves held together, ambient humidity was the same inside/outside the bags. You will need to shuffle the leaves occasionally due to them laying on one another so air circulation is limited, but it works really well when working with small amounts. You can also just toss them around inside the bag. As for keeping them from blowing away, go Stone Age and put a rock on the end of the bag. I prefer my clothes hanger method for larger amounts. The sun curing Kavala is the last photo in the post. I basically made a safety pin from a metal clothes hanger. My cigar varieties are on clothes hangers in one of the photos also due to having so many different varieties. One hangar to each variety.

One of the things I really love about the safety pin clothes hangers is that I could take the hangers to the patch and string as I prime, eliminating the step of having to separately string when i got the primed leaf back to the shop. I could just haul the strung loaded hangers back to hang.
 
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Knucklehead

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If it's too dry it will be more likely to crumble than shred (may have to mist it and stick it in plastic bag for about 15-30 minutes to rehydrate slightly - case). I've been trying to sun cure some leaves this week and an unexpected wind/rain storm wrecked havock. I can only imagine what that would have been like if the leaves had been pre shredded...
It just struck me that sun curing in mesh bags should also be a reasonable way of sun curing pre shredded green leaf. The reason why to do it that way still eludes me but the results may be interesting.
 

deluxestogie

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My primary approach to all Orientals is now to wait for general maturity of the plant, stalk-harvest them, and sun-cure them on the stalk. Since the leaf on the stalk tends to sun-cure from the lower stalk toward the upper stalk, the leaves that are ready need to be removed before they are blown off the stalk.

Bob
 

plantdude

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My primary approach to all Orientals is now to wait for general maturity of the plant, stalk-harvest them, and sun-cure them on the stalk. Since the leaf on the stalk tends to sun-cure from the lower stalk toward the upper stalk, the leaves that are ready need to be removed before they are blown off the stalk.

Bob
Thanks, good tip.
 

plantdude

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My first time sun curing I sun cured inside the mesh buds bags. In my case, five gallon paint strainers. They didn’t inhibit the sun, the leaves held together, ambient humidity was the same inside/outside the bags. You will need to shuffle the leaves occasionally due to them laying on one another so air circulation is limited, but it works really well when working with small amounts. You can also just toss them around inside the bag. As for keeping them from blowing away, go Stone Age and put a rock on the end of the bag. I prefer my clothes hanger method for larger amounts. The sun curing Kavala is the last photo in the post. I basically made a safety pin from a metal clothes hanger. My cigar varieties are on clothes hangers in one of the photos also due to having so many different varieties. One hangar to each variety.

One of the things I really love about the safety pin clothes hangers is that I could take the hangers to the patch and string as I prime, eliminating the step of having to separately string when i got the primed leaf back to the shop. I could just haul the strung loaded hangers back to hang.
That's a good idea with the bag.
 
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