How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
Tobacco Picture Gallery Click Here
It is currently Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:14 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:13 pm
Posts: 117
In my rolling and blending endeavors of late I've been doing some serious testing and note-taking when trying out different batches of my tobacco.

While there are still several I haven't gotten aroud to trying out yet, three strains jump out as fantastic cigar tobaccos in both taste and burning qualities: Florida Sumatra, Havana Long Red Leaf, and Wisconsin Seed Leaf. I think I could just grow these three types and be done.

But of course there are new strains to try out this year. This year I'll be growing some PA Red, Little Dutch, Habano 2000, Habano Criollo, and Connecticut Broad Leaf.

In my taste testing I have determined that I do not like and will not again grow Small Stalk Black Mammoth, Madole, Hungarian Smozi. I REALLY did not like the Mammoth. The Madole was OK and decently mild but kind of flat and kept wanting to go out. The H' Smozi had a taste I can only describe as fish-like--not "fishy fish" like sardines, but a "non-fishy" fish taste like grouper. Almost good, but not something I'll grow again. Compared to the absolutely fantastic taste (to me anyway) and burning/smoke qualities of the Fla. Sumatra, Hav. Long Red Leaf and Wisc. Seed Leaf, I want to try only a couple more new-to-me strains this 2012 grow year just to see if any are as good. It's more of a ruling-out stage now. Man I have a bunch of SSBM and Madole that I wish was one of the "good" ones.

I also have a bunch of Havana 503b. It's OK, even good, but not fantastic. It will be good fodder to mix in with other types for sure. A puro of this strain is not so bad really, the flavor impression it gives me is that of grilled steak, with maybe a hint of A1 on the steak. Definitely a hearty grilled meat taste to my palate.

But that Fla. Sumatra, Havana Long Red Leaf, and Wisconsin Seed Leaf . . . downright dreamy. I wanted to eat the darn things while smoking them. And especially with the HLRL, just great clouds of smoke on the first puff even after letting the cigar sit there awhile, where some other strains would nearly have gone out by then. Nice tight ash too, where some others can get all flaky.

I realize these qualities may be dependent more or less on my particular soil and fertilizer, time of picking, humidity level of leaf when smoked, and other factors, but within the particular parameters of my grow ops this is how these particular strains strike my fancy. Your mileage may vary.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I too particularly like the FL Sumatra as a wrapper. I feel it has pretty minimal flavor when used as filler. But it wraps like a charm.

One variety you may want to add to your list of varieties to try in the future is one of the Maryland varieties (Catterton, Keller, MD 509, etc). Their outstanding characteristics are mildness, excellent burning quality, and a subdued flavor. I find that Maryland (I've been using bigbonner's MD 509) allows me to incorporate a stronger, even harsh tobacco into a medium-strength, flavorful cigar. I've used a 1/4" wide strip of knock-you-dead India Dark Air, blended with mostly MD 509 to make a delightful, smoke.

Bob


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:13 pm
Posts: 117
Deluxe, I just tried a puro tonight of some Keller Brown of which I had a small quantity. Very interesting. I'd describe the smell and flavor as "campfire" (in a good way) with a marshmallow that fell into the campfire. A very different, almost non-tobacco taste. Kinda like a pipe tobacco almost. Woody smoke, with just a hint of sweet candy in there somewhere. It also had a funny crackling effect when drawing, and a very dark ash, not that that means anything but I just note it. I really kinda liked it. I am tempted to grow some more just to have some to add to a blend. Is Keller Brown considered a Maryland?

I have followed your lead and am now rolling darn good looking cigars without using molds. They're really not necessary unless you need to make a lot of cigars of an exact diameter, which I don't. And it's more fun to roll a single and smoke it right off the bat.

Any chance you've ever tried Havana 2000 or Havana Criollo that The Tobacco Seed Company sells seeds for? I have some sprouts already but would really like input from someone who's grown & smoked some. I almost would like to hear that they're terrible or the same seed as something else I already have so I don't have to grow two more strains this year on top of everything else I'm growing. I am even considering aborting my Conn. Shade Leaf sprouts as the Fla. Sumatra is great and all the wrapper I feel I'll ever want or need. Do you have experience/an opinion on this strain (Conn. Shade Leaf)?

I have some of the Fla. Sumatra seeds you gave me sprouting and will plant in a week or two. Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I have never heard of Keller Brown as a Maryland variety. I am familiar with Kelly Brownleaf, which is a burley variety. Of the 1800+ varieties listed by ARS-GRIN, there is no Keller Brown, though such a name might be buried in the original accession documents. The sole allusion to Keller Brown is on the seedman site, which contains some "imaginative" material, such as "Zimmerman" Spanish, and questionable use categorization. My guess, from your comments about your "Keller Brown" is that it is Kelly Brownleaf.

I have not grown Havana 2000 or Criollo. About a decade ago, the newly developed Havana 2000 appeared as a dark EMS wrapper on many commercial cigars. The flavor was nice, but its burn quality was notably poor. Its use has shifted to less expensive cigars. Criollo is a rather strong cigar variety that is prominently featured on a line of Camacho cigars that are too strong for me.

I'm growing CT Shade for the first time this season, so I can't comment on the result of sun-growing it, though others have been pleased with the results. In general, the CT Shade will yield a lighter color leaf than FL Sumatra, and has a quite distinctive cigar taste that is found on many lighter colored premium cigars. I'd say it's worth a try for an alternative wrapper flavor. My impression is that CT Shade, though lighter in color, is stronger than FL Sumatra.

Bob


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:13 pm
Posts: 117
I've been blending, sampling, note-taking, blending & more blending for the last couple of weeks. Man is this fun! I feel like a kid in a candy shop. This leaf is just fantastic. My store-bought premium cigars have been sitting forgotten in the humidors for weeks. I am totally spoiled. This stuff is hands down superior to anything I've smoked before. It just seems cleaner, crisper, more flavorful, and creamier than "premium" cigar tobacco.

I even printed up some labels for them. It didn't seem right not to. (Plus it helps me keep track of what's what.)

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:47 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Reno, NV
I have taken a few notes from this thread. A bit strange for a guy growing tobacco for cigarettes. With my efforts to grow 1800 plants this year I have been approached about growing tobacco for a local "Farmers Market" type store. They started out as a local brewery and have expanded to carry home made home grown products of all types. Since they specialize in high quality home brews, I have been discussing fine quality home grown cigar leaf with them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Oblofusc,
That's a handsome cigar. My experience with home-rolled cigars has been similar. Some of mine are crap, but most are better (to my jaded tastes) than the majority of the factory cigars. And every one I roll is different from the last. I'm currently smoking aged (but un-kilned) BigBonner red-tip burley, wrapped in a BigBonner Maryland leaf that just came out of the kiln.

I've made some cigar bands, but I'm not satisfied with the result. How are you making your labels?

Bob


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:13 pm
Posts: 117
Thanks for the compliment.

I played around with trying to make labels in the past and was unsatisfied too, mostly because I think I tried to overcomplicate it. What I did for these was to just open up a Word doc and play with font types & sizes, & copy/paste a whole page of whatever I want to try, stick a sheet of colored paper in the printer & print out a test sheet, then use a paper cutter at work to cut it into strips. I fasten them on with a tiny bit of Elmer's white glue (on the label only of course, never on the cigar).

Here's a pic of some different labels & a partially uncut sheet.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Been testing some different strains lately
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:34 am
Posts: 315
Location: Virginia, USA
Howdy Oblofusc,

Great looking cigar and labels! Mine aren't nothing that fancy. I think it's funny what one person likes and another dislikes, i guess the saying: "One man's Steak, is another man's poison." really applies with baccy too. I really enjoy the deep rich flavor of the Black Mammoth variety and base most of my cigars around them as a wrapper. But that's just me. I would not give up on the Madole variety, I thought the same thing the first time I tried it. Just nothing for flavor by itself, but blended with more full flavored varieties and it makes a harsh smoke more palatable; like creamer in espresso.

I should also mention that I'm growing Havana 142 & 608, CT Broadleaf, FL Sumatra, WI Seedleaf, Penn Red, plus the SSBM and a couple of Madole plants this year.

Happy Growing -- Chuck.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group