How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
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 Post subject: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:04 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Indiana
I just found this place.

Very informative, much information to digest.

I want to start growing and rolling my own cigars. I think I have the seeds picked out for next year.

Please ignore the newbie questions.

Our basement right now is very dry 32%RH is this too dry to do any long-term storage/aging? Will this be too dry to allow the aging occur? In the summer the RH will get up to 70-80%.

My idea is to take the leaves out of the kiln after harvest and to put them into paper grocery sacks and put them up in the joist of the first floor. They would not be in airtight bags to allow the aging process to continue into the winter for a few months. Then to process them into cigars the following summer/fall, depending on how the aging in progressing.


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:44 am
Posts: 905
Location: North-central Texas
Welcome to the forum Jaw Man. Do us a favor and indicate your location, either generally or specifically. Go to User control panel at top right, then to profile on the left and add a location. Any advice will be more taylored to your conditions if we know your general location in this country or any other.
Thanks and good growing.
Neal


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:04 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Indiana
Sorry, I was so excited about asking a question that a location might be important.

I am located in the northern part of Indiana.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 874
Location: NE Washington
Welcome Jaw Man,

32% humidity is fine for long term storage but it is a bit on the dry side for aging. It will still happen, but slower. The ideal situation for natural aging would be for the tobacco to stay in light case, or to go in and out of case with the weather and daily changes in temp and humidity.

I have tobacco stored in a couple ways. Some is tied into hands and them packed into cardboard boxes. The boxes are in my unheated attic. I took some out last week to smoke and it was in very light case, but on the dry side for smoking. I just hung the hands outside for a few hours to soften them up. Even in this cold snowy weather, they came back into case nicely.

The rest of my crop is still hanging in the barn. Most is in strings or tied into hands now, but I have a few whole plants still hanging too. It goes in and out of case with the weather, and to my surprise, it stays supple and feels almost like leather in temps below 0 and doesn't freeze dry.

If you have somewhere outside to store it, the aging will happen faster because it will lose or gain moisture repeatedly. Just be sure you get those main stems bone dry before you pack it away. If you don't, they will mold in storage. Then you can bring it back into case and store it for as long as you want. You may not need to wait for a year. Takes some out and sample it now and then. Mine is smoking nicely after 2 months of aging. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
+1

Sky has given excellent advice !
rc


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:04 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Indiana
I do have a place outside in a barn I could use, But I'm afraid of getting dust and birds on it if I hang it up just in hands or complete stalk.

OK, so the leaf going in and out of "case" (the correct moisture) is the aging process? I know this is how whisky is aged.

If so, can this be speeded up by raising and lowering the tempurature of the kiln


Last edited by Jaw Man on Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:44 am
Posts: 905
Location: North-central Texas
Bird proof the barn and smoke the dust. You don't want birds in your barn anyway, so before you need the barn next year, get some bird wire up and just keep them out. Dust is everywhere, even out in the garden so it's just something that comes with the leaf. Some folks wash their leaves before curing, but i'm too lazy and the amount of dust on a hanging leaf or stalk is minimal anyhow, at least in my barn. I don't live on a dusty road so conditions vary, so if it's a problem, wash them off after their cured, let them dry again and box them up in a dust proof box. That's my humble opinion.
Good luck next year, and thanks for the location info.
Regards, Neal


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
+1

I guess I do pretty much as Lipan sez...
...Don't sweat the small stuff! :)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 874
Location: NE Washington
Jaw Man wrote:
I do have a place outside in a barn I could use, But I'm afraid of getting dust and birds on it if I hang it up just in hands or complete stalk.

OK, so the leaf going in and out of "case" (the correct moisture) is the aging process? I know this is how whisky is aged.

If so, can this be speeded up by raising and lowering the tempurature of the kiln


Wrap some painters plastic around it. Tie it up tight at the top and leave it hanging open at the bottom so air gets in. That will keep most of the dust from settling on it and keep bird crap off it.

"Case" is a tobacco term for describing the moisture content of the leaf. Aging is the process of breaking down and removing unsavory things from the leaf, like nitrogen compounds. Water molecules moving in and out of the leaf (going in and out of case) aids in the process by helping to break down and carry away unwanted chemical compounds. A kiln increases the temps and lets you control the environment and greatly speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in aging.

Do some searching in the forum and you will find info on all these things. I am just reciting what I have learned here. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New Grower / Basement Humidity
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:04 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Indiana
I did a search, but I was not sure what to look for. I spent a lot of time looking at some very good and important information.

This is a very informative place.

Thanks to all.


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