Whole Leaf Tobacco

Sun Curing

istanbulin

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Even though there're some rare and extreme exceptions sun curing is the only way of curing oriental type tobaccos in their growing regions.

Sun curing requires at least life-long experience about your climate (humidity, sunny and rainy days wind etc...), growing tobacco, leaf characterics of different stalk positions, harvest time, leaf colors of cured leaves, curing set densities according to your climate, this list may continue in three pages. This is why growing and curing oriental tobacco is a family job, every farmer learn these tips from their families. No written details about sun curing (even in Turkish) because standardization of this procedure is nearly impossible. You may see some articles that may make you think that it's a detailed writing but all of them (including mine here) may be deficient.

When people started to search new areas for growing Izmir tobaccos, they thought that all Aegean region has nearly have same climate, this was right but there was a big handicap, farmers in that areas never growed tobacco before. In spite of an intensive assistance to new tobacco growers by experienced tobacco experts, first (test) year nearly half of the tobacco crop was cured in low quality. After a few hard years most of them caught the desired top quality.

For imitating your cured leaves to their original sun-cured form, it's important to know their original colors (where they grown and cured).

This table may be a good starting point for sun curing.

Leaf Color After Sun-Curing

Yellow and its hues
Red and its huesBrown and its hues
İzmirMaden*Pazar
Xanthi*Bursa****Burley
Taşova*Trabzon***
DüzceBafra
BitlisCanik***
Bucak*Kavala****
Tömbeki*****
Basma
Adıyaman*[SUP],[/SUP]**
Yayladağ*[SUP],[/SUP]**
Balıkesir*[SUP],[/SUP]**
Bucak*

* also pale/light reddish colored
** also red colored
*** also dark-red/burgundy colored
**** also partially yellow colored
***** mottled (or not)




 

metingulesci

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izmir kökenli

 

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leverhead

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Thank you metingulesci, very nice pictures! I can understand the differences of labor input between the three styles of curiing. How does the finished quality of the tobacco compare between strung, inside of a tube and bunched on a screen?
 

CT Tobaccoman

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My Prilep and Izmur has already turned yellow at budding stage. However I fear this is due to lack of nitrogen. I just picked halfway up the plants. Can I just heat or sun cure them now? I have to do something since they are picked. If they would cure at a slightly browner yellow color it would be ok. The plants were never really vibrant green-maybe they are junk? Oh well, since it may rain a little any given day now I guess I will just dry them.
I have another group of 14 Prileps that are green and have not budded yet
 

Jitterbugdude

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You can let them wilt for a day, then put them in the sun. If you air cure, they will be brown like any other air cured leaf.
 

deluxestogie

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"The experiment on the influence of the way of drying on the quality of Lumajang tobacco was conducted during the 1986 harvest season in the Lumajang Pasum Experimental Garden, using a Completely Randomized Design with five replications. Three ways of drying are tried: A. layed on grassy soil, B. hung on bamboo rack, afternoon stacked in warehouse and C. hung on bamboo rack, late afternoon covered with plastic. Quality evaluation is based on quality index, yield, sugar content, starch and nicotine. The results showed that the drying method was spread over the grassed soil yielded krosok with the highest quality index and sugar content, 99.13 and 6.67 percent respectively but the lowest starch content of 5.15 percent. Conversely, the way of drying does not affect the yield and the content of nicotine."

They forgot to mention the temperature, humidity and cloud cover. And, does "five replications" mean 5 leaves dried by each method, or 5 strings, or 5 hectares? The "hung on bamboo rack" description is not very lucid. How damp was the soil?

In general, I would say that this is not particularly useful, though I appreciate your having posted the link.

Bob
 

Orson Carte

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Apologies for the raft of questions popping up from Downunder(NZ) - but as you will probably realise, it's harvest-time down here.

I experimentally planted a row (50) of Samsun this season and have just harvested the leaves and have them (hopefully) sun-curing in a glasshouse type structure.
I know there are lots of variables at play here, but can anyone suggest how I will know when they have had their dose? In other words, roughly how long would they normally spend in the sun?
 

KiwiGrown

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I sun cured some virginia, it looks good. Sun curing is just flue curing is how I think about it, I just hung the leaf in a plastic greenhouse with a tray of water under the leaf, kept the door closed to trap humidity till they colour cured then opened it, I'll post a picture of what it looks like if you want.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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And how do you 'intervene'?
It would mean that it's either too dry, or too hot and dry. Depending on what you have available, you would have to humidify the greenhouse in some manner. For example, like Kiwi posted, having water in a tray near the tobacco, or a humidifier, or soaking the ground, or any other imaginative way.
 

DistillingJim

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I've given my leaf the occassional spritz of distilled water if they look to be drying to fast
 

Jitterbugdude

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My Virginia Brightleaf (VBL) take roughly 5 days to completely sun cure. I hang them in a small hoop style green house and cover with plastic at night. During the day, I remove the cover to allow the moisture to evaporate. I've done a few dozen Turkish and they dry quick.. 2 days or so. Last year I had too many VBL to hang so I cured about a dozen on the ground. Since they were exposed to the open air at night and I live in a very humid area they were always soaking wet in the morning. They cured to a nice golden red color and tasted a bit sweeter than my yellowed leaf that was cured inside the greenhouse.
 
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