How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 218
Location: West Central MO
I've got all my 2010 crop cured, dried, fermented and blended/shredded for cigarettes. Pretty much the end of a somewhat successful season, although it's still a little harsh to smoke yet. Just the aging and rolling to do. Hopefully, a nice blend of virginia's, burley & turkish.

I've got most of the shredded tobacco packed/stored in large glass jars, at a decent moisture content for rolling, sealed tight to keep it from drying out. Will leave it like this for 3 to 6 months to age, before sampling.

Question for the more experienced HTGT'ers: Does tobacco need an air-exchange while aging? That is, will it properly age just sitting in an air-tight jar? My thoughts are that this isn't any worse than bricking or baling it up, and wrapping to keep the moisture in. I guess I could open my jars about once a month, fluff it up, and repack, if needed or will improve the final product.

For what it's worth, WallyWorld sells nice big 2-gallon clear glass cookie jars for $10 each. I can get about 4-5 pounds of shredded tobacco in them. Real nice to have these sitting around the rec room, to show off my efforts and flaunt my success, and makes a good conversation starter to the non-believers.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
> I am a first year grower <

Hi LR,

If your baccy is, as you say, a little harsh, perhaps you might wish to store it so it is somewhat exposed to the air and changes in the atmosphere. I am keeping my dried un-processed leaf in brown paper shopping bags up on a shelf in an unheated garage.
I take small amounts from the oldest of my harvest and blend it with other baccy for use. I store that, for the short term, in mason jars to keep it in proper case.

You could also try 'sweating' baccy that has not quite come around to your standards.

And then there is roasting/toasting in the oven, and additionally the application of flavoring 'sauce', which I've been experimenting with a bit. It will get results... some not necessarily great for a LOT of baccy, but fun for smaller amounts, especially when blending.

Good luck !
rc


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 218
Location: West Central MO
Rusty
This tobacco was fermented for 4 to 7 weeks (most of it 6 weeks) in my crockpot kiln - don't know if I will gain much more through 'sweating' this.
I am not much into 'flavors' - I like just the full flavor tobacco taste.
I have 'roasted' some of last years stuff, and that turned very tasty and smooth. Roasting is a good finishing process, but the high temperature destroys the enzymes/bacteria, which kills any further natural aging. I'll probably roast some of this later, before rolling cigs, but only after I've got decent aged tobacco.

So, back to the original question - Is there distinct advantage to an air-exchange during aging ?


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
LeftyRighty wrote:
So, back to the original question - Is there distinct advantage to an air-exchange during aging ?


OK, LR...

To be precise, IF there is some note, or tone, to the baccy in question that you wish to escape, you will need to store it in an environment to allow that quality to go elsewhere. ie, open to the air.
Sealed up tightly within a vessel will retain everything contained within.

If there is a quality you wish to 'mellow', perhaps the sealed vessel will suffice.

Seems to me you shall be experimenting with aeroebic and anaroebic processing.

Have fun !
rc


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 1572
Location: West Central Fl.
hi
I really don't know about air exchange helping ,but thought I read some where that it did.
I was thinking if you going to store it in glass jars where they are seen a lot, if mold would start, you could see it fast and pull that part out quickly. Next thing I thought was try some get taste.If need be roast enough to do a week or so. Then next time sample again, if you still need or want to roast do a small amount . If it gets to flavor that you like with out roasting stop. Even If you end up roasting all of it , it is still cheap good tobacco. so you are ahead either way.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 218
Location: West Central MO
smb
Since the shredded stuff is not packed real tight, I am thinking 30+% of the total volume of the jar is probably air anyway, so it's not totally anaerobic. and I'm not too sure if there is much nitrogen or other compounds coming off the tobacco as it ages. Since the 115-125 degree temperatures in the fermentation kiln killed off most of the bacteria & yeasts, it's mostly enzymes doing the aging work.

I'm still thinking this isn't any worse than bundling leaves in a bale and wrapping tight, to age.

yeah, glass jars help to watch for mold. I may still dump the contents after a while just to check that it's not molding in the center of the jar. I did lightly spritz the shredded stuff with Serenade as a preventive step, and tossed it a bit before packing in the jar. Kept thinking of the ole DuPont slogan "Better Living through Chemistry" while spraying.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
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Location: West Central Fl.
hi
I think you right again but as far as mold growing inside I never saw it. Mold always grows on out side where spores land and they is easy access to mositure. If moisture is down I don't look for problem.lee


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 1572
Location: West Central Fl.
hi
was reading on pipe site and saw they all recomending storing in Mason jars. smaller jars better. also saw one said not to open
jars so that aging can continue with out interruptions.
quote"Yep.

JarS (plural). Small ones with new lids (for good seals).

This so that opening one to smoke doesn't stop & reverse the aging process for the rest of it.
end quote"

This is talking storage for pipe tobacco Lee


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:06 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Illinois
LR, I wish I had the answer to your question myself. Last year, I shredded up my entire crop of Rose tobacco and stuffed it into 2 Mason quart jars to age and checked it every couple months or so. Then a few days ago when I checked it, it had molded. I have NFI why because it was in a very light case, much lighter than the case that the loose tobacco that you buy is in.

Everything else I grew last year was put in cardboard boxes unshredded and kept in the house where the temp was constant at around 70 and humidity was mostly 70%. It aged nicely and I smoked it all.

With everything I've read on this, I'm still not clear on how the pros avoid mold when storing to age. Until I find out, I'm going to stick with what has worked for me so far.....cardboard boxes.

Problem is, last year I had only a few pounds to store and this year I grew a whole lot more. I have 38# boxed up so far and at least 13# more to go. I'm keeping a few boxes of the strains that have already cured in the house, and I put the rest in the crawlspace. The humidity down there stays pretty much constant at around 70% which is OK, but the temps in the winter are around 50-60 degrees which I've read is less than ideal (70) for aging. The good part is that mold is much less likely to grow at those temps.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 218
Location: West Central MO
Jim....
Yeah, I'm still a bit worried that I may get mold, but am holding hope that this light spritz of Serenade before sealing the jars will help. Maybe I need to do some more research as to what the commercial companies add or do to their mix before packing.

WallyWorld & Target both sell these nifty decorative clear glass cookie jars, in the 2-gallon, 1-gallon & half-gallon size. So, as I've been shredding and blending different mixes, I'm packing them into different jugs. Makes a great display arrangement in the rec room, and being that it's stored right where I live everyday, am hoping I'll keep a better eye out for mold.

Last year, I had some I kept in a quart canning jar and it did OK, and improved with age. I also did the cardboard box thingy, as well as baling it.

I had some Virginia that went into a box after fermenting last year - it was in low-case, and quickly went to crispy dry. My house is low humidity pretty much year round, between heating & A/C, it's at around 20-30 RH, except for a few short periods when it's rainy for several days. This stuff never did age well, but I'm blaming that on my curing last fall - did a poor job but eventually got it to brown. But still, I'm hesitant about box-aging. I keep trying this stuff, but it's still harsh and off-flavor - still not sure if it's the bad curing or that it takes several years to improve at low humidity.

I also baled some burley - wrapped some low-case stuff in plastic wrap. It aged well, could easily tell the difference, but smoking straight burley sucks - am mixing with some commercial RYO.

Anyway, my successful experience has been with jars & baling. Since I decided to blend & shred this stuff before aging, going to stick with jars.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:34 pm
Posts: 2738
I box stored my 2009 crop, fairly dry and it's now 14 months old and beginning to have a good flavor.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:06 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Illinois
LR, I like your idea of storing in big glass jars. I think it solves the "where to store" problem for people (like me) who don't want to look at a big stack of cardboard boxes in a living space every day.

On another thread on this subject, there's a link to a pipe tobacco expert who stores in jars and the reasons he gives sound logical. He also says he has seen mold in many circumstances, even dry ones. But he doesn't give any for sure methods of preventing it. Probably because it rarely happens if stored in a very light case. But it happened to me and now I'm getting a little "mold shy", or more specifically, "storing compacted in sealed container" shy.

Even though I lost only 2 qts. and no big deal, it could happen to a much larger amount. Still the idea of storing compacted and sealed seems to be the best way to get the very best taste and aroma and I'll probably give it another try just to find out how much better tobacco can be than some of my 2010 strains that are already putting me in Tobacco Heaven.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:06 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Illinois
wydeboi wrote:
I box stored my 2009 crop, fairly dry and it's now 14 months old and beginning to have a good flavor.

Wyd, did you store in the house where temps are usually around 70? Or in an unheated/uncooled space like a shed or attic? What did you grow in 2009? Was it the KY14 x L8 that you grew this year? If that's anything like the Kentucky Burley that I grew last year and this year, it takes a while to get it to smoke good.


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 1572
Location: West Central Fl.
Hi

I haven't did any canning for long time. I think to can and get steam like we used to would defeet the ageing process, But I might be tempted to use something like an old baby bottle sterilizer. Some thing you can put water in couple inches deep set a jar of tobacco in with out being on bottom of pan. When every thing gets to 120º remove jar and tighten lid on quickly. when jar cools lid is pretty well sealed . Jar should not get to 120º again in normal storage. so seal should hold. air tigh no mold. less than 130º so enzimes should still work. I have never tried this just think it is possible. comments welcomed lee


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 Post subject: Re: 'proper' storage method ?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:58 am 
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Jim, I stored it in my bedroom stacked up against the wall. Central heating for the most part with temps around 60-65F (we like it cool) as for RH, don't really know but gas heating is usually dry. On the other hand, I live in a humid area as it rains all winter.

2009 I grew 3 heirloom varieties. Yellow Orinoco, Bonanza and Banana Leaf. I'll be going back to those in 2011 as they aged out very good and make a good smoke.

This year the L8 didn't grow well and produced no seed. The Virginia Coker 371 grew ok and I have lots of seeds from it. The heirloom varieties have grown best for me.


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