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 Post subject: Hickory & Maple Log Pipe Baccy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 549
Location: West Tennessee
Ok I decided to try out some log cured baccy based on Lonnie's chew / pipe recipe posted in this section of the forum. If you read that post first this one will make more sense.

Link to lonnie's post viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3560

I was wanting to try it as a pipe baccy so no fruit pulp was used.

I used hickory and soft maple logs for my first try and hopefully got both trees down before the sap went completely down. i cut them about 3 weeks before the big color change this fall & left both trees whole so they would not dry out too bad while i got around to getting everything else ready.

I used 1 year old shed cured briteleaf virginia and burley tobacco for this experiment.
Made 4 batches of baccy 1 of apple burley 1 apple virginia for the maple logs & did the same only with peach for the hickory logs.

Each batch consisted of 1 gallon of coarse cut then completely dried out baccy to 6 oz of casing juice.
The peach and apple juices were strained because i was after pipe baccy not chew.

I used 4 oz of peach juice & 2 oz of peach brandy for each batch to use in the hickory logs.
same mix ratio for the apple maple logs but i used apple jack liquor.
Hopefully the alcohol will make the log sap flow better into the baccy.

Cased up each batch up in a large covered frying pan on low heat it took around 15 minutes to case up and about the same time to cool off.Every batch soaked up all the juice there was no left over in the pan.

I packed each batch into plastic bowls sealed them up and refrigerated them for a couple of days while i got around to drilling the logs out.

i cut my logs around 16" long and drilled holes in both ends 6 + inches deep with a 1.5" flat spade bit. I cut and sized the hole plugs from branches and used some small hickory twigs to make some cross pins to secure the end plugs with.

When everything was ready i used a propane torch to burn out any remaining splinters in the holes as best i could (hard to keep a torch going in a blind hole) and tamped the baccy into the holes with a stick until there was about an inch of room left.

At that point i did the final fit to the hole plugs cut them off around 1.5" long and hammered them in flush & cross drilled the logs to pin the plugs in. I used a 5/16" drill for the cross pin holes and sized the hickory twig pins the same with a drill hole guage.

I had already brought home some clean fill dirt in to add to the garden & had piled it into a circle about 2 ft high the inside of the pit was about 4 ft across.
Had some seasoned red oak split to a uniform size & ready to go so after i got a decent fire going inside the pit i added a heaping wheel barrow load of it to the fire.

About an hour later there was a nice bed of coals and in went the baccy logs.
I really didn't roll them around that much i just pulled the coals up on the logs and fluffed the coals from time to time with a shovel to keep the underside coal bed going well.

The maple log only took about a half hour to burn the bark off and at that point i rolled it to the side covered it with coals and about a foot of soil.

The hickory logs cooked for over an hour and must have been really wet because the bark never really burnt off. The coal bed was getting well past its prime and the ends of the logs were getting quite charred & the end plugs were shriveling up quite a bit so i called it good enough & raked the remaining coals up around them and covered them up with soil.

I dug them up after about 18 hours because the weather was calling for a good chance of rain and i figured if they were not completely baked by then they never would be.

They were warm to the touch but not hot and they came out very clean due to having the bed of coals around them before being buried. the bark peeled right off the hickory logs and they had a nice toasted color to them.

I did this about a week ago so in a few more days i will crack them open and see how it went.
The way the plugs shrank up air might get to the baccy and start mold issues are my thoughts.

Some info i found on the web said some of the first plug chewing tobacco was made by drilling holes in fresh cut logs and packing in a mix of baccy and honey and leaving it to season with the wood as it dryed no fire cooking was mentioned.

Kind of wonder how that would work with just plain old baccy but i do figure if it was cased with any kind of fruit juice and not cooked it would just rot.

There is a couple of things i would do different if i ever do this again.

The first is make the end plugs longer and look for some slow growth branches the ones i used had very fat growth rings and they really shrank up a lot from the press fit they started off at. Glad i cross pinned them or they might have fallen out

The second is to never try to drill deep holes in logs with a flat spade bit. It took forever and that was with a strong air drill an electric drill would have been toast unless it was a really good one.
I cut six logs to drill but only did three.

That worked out for the best in the end there was only about 3" worth af baccy left over.
I never figured 4 gallons of coarse cut baccy would fit into around 30" of 1.5" hole but it was fluffy when measured and i packed it really tight.


I bet a few smaller holes in a log would work just fine when you come right down to it and you could have different flavors in the same log if you wanted to.

Found it was better to cut the cross pins with a high speed rotary sander the first ones i cut with side cutters wanted to splinter when hammered on.

All in all this was a very long and labor intensive project for some pipe baccy & i sure hope it was worth the effort.
One thing for sure is i would never know without trying. :wink:

I will post about how they came out after i split open the logs and test the baccy out in a few days.


Last edited by Taterious on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hickory & Maple Log Pipe Baccy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Tater,
Interesting concept. Could you post a link to Lonnie's thread? I've been unable to locate it. Photos of your project would be welcome.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Hickory & Maple Log Pipe Baccy
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 549
Location: West Tennessee
Howdy Bob

Here's the link to Lonnie's post
(edit) This is the same link I added to the above post.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3560

Bob i have no photo host anymore our confuzer is on its last legs and i'm just going to wait until we get a new one before i bother with setting one up somewhere.

If this baccy test works out well i will do it again and take some pics of the process and end results.
My main baccy use is cigs but i dabble in the pipe and cigar side and like to try out diffrent flavors & ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: Hickory & Maple Log Pipe Baccy
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 549
Location: West Tennessee
Well I split the logs a couple of weeks ago and got the "presto logs out" :lol:
Sure glad they were still damp or i would have had to steam the plugs apart.

It took a while but i did get them pulled apart and fluffed up and there was no mold issues.
To my taste buds the burley was better than the virginia but i had used a lower grade of virginia baccy for this test.
My taste test was overlapped and the baccy was still a bit damp when tryed.
I got everything in a light case and sealed the different flavors up in mason jars and will give them a second taste test in a couple of months or so.

I can see where this process would make a good plug chewing baccy.

Been checking out when to tap maple trees for suryp and found out the red maples around here can be tapped.
Also found that there is a right and wrong time to tap them if you want good flavored suryp.

I was going to cut a maple in spring when the sap really starts to flow to retry the maple log baccy but that's when the suryp tastes bad from what i have read.
I will cut one when the weather has been in the 20s at night and 40s during the day for a couple of weeks and before the buds start to color and swell thats when the flavor is supposed to be best.

Figure on using burley and silver river on the next test and adding a little bottled maple suryp and apple jack to the baccy.
Not sure how well the goody juice in the outer layer of the tree would soak into the center section but i might as well try it when they are supposed to be at the best flavor.

I did pick up a better drill bit so i don't have to cuss my way thru the next set of holes. :wink:


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