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 Post subject: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:27 pm
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Location: Detroit area
Before I started growing my own tobacco, I used to smoke pipe tobacco from tins. I have several Virginia tobaccos (such as Orlik Golden Sliced) that appear a bright, golden yellow. How is it that these tobaccos retains its golden color after processing. I have smoked flue cured Virginia Bright Leaf and found it very harsh in the pipe. So then I toasted the Virginia Bright Leaf and it took the edge off the harshness and became smokeable. I enjoyed it but the color change from golden yellow to brown after toasting. How can I prepare pipe tobacco that is golden yellow as Golden Sliced?


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Marco,
The only way to get bright yellow leaf is with flue-curing. This yields a tobacco with a low pH, and can easily cause tongue bite if not smoked slowly. One remedy is to blend it with Perique (pressure-cured), which has a high pH. My preference is for 5 parts bright to 3 parts Perique, to smooth the blend.

Another option, if you want straight yellow pipe tobacco, is to add a tiny amount of humectant (glycerin or propylene glycol) to the tobacco--just enough to slightly moisten it. That will slow the burn and reduce the bite. (I don't particularly like adding humectant to pipe tobacco.)

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:22 am 
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Location: Detroit area
Thanks Bob for your advice. I do not want to add humectants to pipe tobacco - it goes against my principles :D ,but I will give it a try using Perique. I have a tin of Perique from McClellands that has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now. I guess it's time to open it up and give it a try. I will give an update as soon as I have made my assessment.

One thing I must add is that Orlik Golden Sliced must contain only a small amount of Perique. I am making this assumption based on the fact that the color of the tobacco is golden yellow. If there were a significant amount of Perique, then I would suspect that the color of the tobacco would have some black leaf in the mixture. That is, if all Perique is brown to black in color.

Also, I don't think that Orlik Golden Sliced contains any humectant. I always dry my tobacco for about 30 minutes before I smoke it, and I can tell if humectants are present. If after 30 minutes or so, the tobacco dries almost to a crunchy consistency, then I assume that no humectants are present. If it is still moist, then I assume humectants have been added. Of course when I smoke pipe tobacco, I can tell right away if humectants are present.

One question, is there any benefit or consequence to adding sugar to tobacco (via spraying tobacco with aqueous sucrose and drying)? I noticed that many people add sugar to their tobacco during the toasting process.


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
Adding sugar will decrease the pH of the tobacco smoke. The lower pH will make it feel smoother.


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:27 pm
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Location: Detroit area
I appreciate the input, but I am a little confused. Bob mentioned that flue cured Virginias have a low pH and by mixing the Virginia with Perique (which has a high pH) will reduce the harshness. On the other hand Jitterbug stated that adding sugar lowers the pH and make it smoother. Unless I am misunderstanding, it seems that these two statements are in contrast?


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I have no idea how the combustion of glucose affects the pH of the smoke.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:46 am 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:12 am
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SmokeStack wrote:
I appreciate the input, but I am a little confused. Bob mentioned that flue cured Virginias have a low pH and by mixing the Virginia with Perique (which has a high pH) will reduce the harshness. On the other hand Jitterbug stated that adding sugar lowers the pH and make it smoother. Unless I am misunderstanding, it seems that these two statements are in contrast?

Toasting the Virginia reduces the tongue bite. That's something completely different from harshness. For example Burley in the pipe will have no tongue bite but it will be harsh in the throat. Adding sugar reduces the tongue bite and some of the harshness but they are two different things.


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Location: Detroit area
Thanks Don, I did not know that. I assumed tongue bite and harshness were the same. I am learning slowly. Thanks for forums as this. I would never have learned about tobacco without the kind help of forum members.

I guess tongue bite can be avoided by sipping on the pipe. I assume harshness is not usually a problem with pipe smoking since I don't inhale that much.

Harshness is probably a problem associated with cigarette smoking as the smoke enters the lungs through the throat.

This topic began by how to prepare golden Virginias such as Orlik's Golden Sliced. I am having trouble trying to make a golden Virginia that smokes as smooth as Golden Sliced or other Golden Virginia Blends for that matter.


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:19 pm 
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I don't know if it's possible to reproduce the finer commercial blends. The pros have some secrets we can't imagine. You can definitely make a blend you're happy with but the top end commercial pipe blends are amazing. I'll keep trying though, and will let you know if I stumble on a good trick or two.


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 Post subject: Re: How can I prepare Golden Virginias?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:16 am
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Location: near Rising Sun,Maryland USA
Let me clarify things. Adding sugar will lower the pH of the smoke as the tobacco burns. This will lower the availability of nicotine. If you were to inhale this lower pH smoke it would feel smooth going down the lungs. If you do not inhale, as in a pipe it will give you tongue bite but feel smooth in the mouth.


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