How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: Cigar filler?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Anniston, Alabama
I've watched several youTube videos on rolling cigars and many of the "Pros" talk about the different types of filler. One for taste, one for combustion and one for bulk, I think. My questions are 1) Where on the plant do these fillers come from? 2) do I process them differently, if so how? And 3) Are they all needed or can I get a decent to fine cigar with any of the leaf that was ripe when cut and cured?


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 Post subject: Re: Cigar filler?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Newbie wrote:
My questions are 1) Where on the plant do these fillers come from? 2) do I process them differently, if so how? And 3) Are they all needed or can I get a decent to fine cigar with any of the leaf that was ripe when cut and cured?

Lower leaf is milder than leaf taken from higher on the stalk. Different varieties have different strengths. You can (and should) make cigars from any combination of stalk position and variety that you have. Each cigar will be different. Discover what you like.

Cigar wrapper leaf seems to do best if primed when barely mature (rather than waiting for it to fully ripen). For filler, you can use anything from mature to ripe. After color-curing, the leaf will need to age for at least a few months (or spend 4 weeks in a kiln), before it will resemble a cigar taste. Typically, cigar leaf needs to undergo at least one sweat (natural or in the kiln). Hanging leaf will go into a sweat naturally when the weather begins to warm during the spring or summer following harvest. Kilned leaf can be ready as early as 6 to 8 weeks after harvest.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Cigar filler?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:31 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Anniston, Alabama
Thanks Bob, that helped alot. Would you mind explaining "sweat" and going through it. Then I might leave you alone for 24 hours. :D thanks for your time and knowledge.


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 Post subject: Re: Cigar filler?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
The oxidase enzyme that naturally occurs within the cells of tobacco leaf oxidizes nitrogen compounds in an exothermic (heat producing) reaction in the presence of oxygen. If you pile enough leaf so that it insulates itself, the center of the pile will heat up--sweat.

If hanging or baled leaf has adequate moisture (~60+ RH) and a high enough ambient temperature (probably anything over 70ºF), then the oxidase becomes active, even though you may not notice any heat production by the leaf. Leaf hanging through the cold of winter "ages" very little, but as soon as the temps warm up, then every time the humidity is high enough, the leaf ages some.

Traditionally, the first natural "sweat" occurs with the onset of warm weather during the spring and summer (the year after harvest), and the character of the leaf changes noticeably. Although "aging" (oxidation of albuminous proteins and alkaloids) is a continuous process that may go on for years, the first "sweat" is the most conspicuous, since the available substrates for the reaction are at their highest concentrations.

Oxidase is denatured (destroyed) at 149ºF. Kilns are used to accelerate the temperature-dependent oxidase reaction, and are usually kept between 120-130ºF, with RH between 65 and 80%. A month in such a kiln allows leaf to complete most of its aging. Kilning can be considered as a thorough "sweat." After sweating or kilning, the leaf needs to rest and out-gas some unpleasant volatiles for one to four weeks.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Cigar filler?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:31 pm
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Location: Anniston, Alabama
Thank you Bob that was very helpful!!


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