banner

Pipes Magazine » Pipe Tobacco Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Baking Tobacco

(21 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Cranse Iron
  • Latest reply from jpmcwjr
  1. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 569

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Egads, another fox exploded! This time I stoved a three year old tin at 185 degrees and at about the three hour point it just couldn't take it anymore-- boom! It's gotta be the pressure already built up from the aging. Eh, it's Briar Fox-- no great loss....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Man, I'm not sure if anyone else has stoved sealed tins, but there is the building of pressure from moisture, with no relief.

    Personally, I put it in tin cans with out decals and adhesives to funk things up.

    It works. The flavors mellow and round off. The different leaves blend their flavors as well.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    200 degrees F for 200 minutes will work some magic

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 569

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Backwoods, how do you prevent the tobacco from drying out if your tin can is unsealed?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    If the tobacco is very dry, hydrate the tobacco somewhat before hand. Place a lid on top, but not an air tight seal.

    Just like cooking a turkey. It has worked for me. I used the metal tins from McClellands, tinfoil top.

    Any metal soup can would work. Just make sure it is clean, maybe boil some water to sterilize it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I think low and slow is the method, hence 200 F for 200 minutes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 12,304

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    If a sealed tin, take an icepick and punch a hole or two before baking. After, jar up or put tape over the holes.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. downinit

    downinit

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2016
    Posts: 164

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    With a non-sealed container to prevent the tobacco from drying completely out you can also put a baking dish full of hot water in the oven.

    [No man has the] right to mislead others, who have less access to history, and less leisure to study it. . . . Thus substituting falsehood and deception for truthful evidence and fair argument.
    — Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union Address, 1860
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 569

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Okay, thank you, backwoods

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Not to get things totally off track, but, I once read a recipe for cooking a mixture in which all the components and magic additives were placed in a crock-pot and stewed for 2-3 hours. The guy was trying to make a long lost Balkan Sobranie.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2013
    Posts: 569

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Jpm, if a very small hole was drilled into the tin bottom some moisture may even be retained. Thanks!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. balkisobrains

    balkisobrains

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 1,467

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    My McClelland tin of Wilderness held up to ~185f for 3.5 hours, mainly because I forgot it was in there. I was shooting for a little over two hours, and 220f, but I guess my oven thermostat runs a little cool at the low end. So it was probably swinging between 170 and 200 as it cycled. The tin came out at 185f, checked with my temp gun. It swelled up, but returned back to normal when it cooled.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,012

    online

    Login to Send PM

    Not to get things totally off track, but, I once read a recipe for cooking a mixture in which all the components and magic additives were placed in a crock-pot and stewed for 2-3 hours.
    I've heard of this method being used before, and I've thought to try it. The problem is I don't know, and can't find out, what temperature or setting to use or how long it should be done. This is something I'd like to try soon if possible.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. balkisobrains

    balkisobrains

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 1,467

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yes, that is out there, some of the stuff is hard to get though.

    http://www.puff.com/forums/vb/general-pipe-forum/55091-homemade-balkan-sorbanie-original-mixture.html

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. backwoodsjack

    backwoodsjack

    Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Anthony,

    The chef, mixed his different components in measured amounts and the rest is in his words:

    Mix ingredients into a crock pot and lightly mosten the tobacco with distilled water. put setting on high and close the lid. stir every 5 minutes or so for up to 40 minutes. let cool and place in an air tight container for aging. 2-3 months of aging will be enough.

    Second attempt-

    Blended, spritzed with sprays of distilled water, then "stoved" in a crock pot for one hour, stirring every 10 minutes ........ Cooled and then jarred away. .....Crock Pot on high, Mine has two settings...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. skraps

    skrapsoftobacco

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 801

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I believe Bradley bakes tin on the regular. If I'm not mistaken, he wraps them in tinfoil so that if they pop their seal, they still have some protection from the elements.

    "People are not made better by a briar. An idiot before smoking a pipe is still an idiot after smoking a pipe, they're just more likely to speak less drivel with something in their mouth. For that, all society should be grateful."

    - Bob Runowski
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,012

    online

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks, Backwoods. I've been wanting to try that for some time. I'm wondering if longer times at lower temps would benefit much differently. I'll try that, but after I try what you said first.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. pagan

    pagan

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5,933

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Now ya'll got me thinking of trying this in my smoker, ummm mesquite

    Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. snoopy311

    snoopy311

    Senior Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 309

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Why?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. andrew

    Andy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 2,967

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Interesting read in that thread posted above, now is Smokers Haven Our Best Blend Balkan Sobranie or was it "at that time" Balkan Sobranie and has since changed?

    The original Balkan Sobranie is the holy grail of pipe tobacco, and when even its subsequent, inferior versions garner four stars from virtually every reviewer in these pages, it deserves more than a few words from an old codger who's never found an acceptable substitute. Between 1965 and 1970 I smoked pound after pound of the real Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture. I say “real” because that was the last of it. From the company's (the name and the recipe's) sale and in sale after sale after that the blend has been cheapened and diminished, with production moving to Jamaica (“Made in the U.K.”) and elsewhere. By the mid 1970's, as inventories of the real stuff had disappeared, the changes became obvious.
    First, a bit of history learned from Joe Zieve, the founder of Smokers' Haven in Columbus, Ohio, where I went to Ohio State and, with a friend from Kent State, studied more with Joe than at school. Balkan Sobranie literally was Our Best Blend at that time. During the Second World War Joe was stationed in England, where he visited Balkan Sobranie and made a deal with them to sell Balkan canned by them in London and labelled as Best, exclusively. This was an open secret at the store by the '60s, and many's the two, four or eight ounce can of Our Best Blend we opened and found inside the Balkan Sobranie rice paper or card stock insert. Joe made a similar agreement with GBD, and became the largest distributor of that pipe in the world. I don't know if he wholesaled GBD to other dealers in the U.S., but certainly he bought his stock directly, and at all times had just about every grade of every shape they made on hand and available in the periodic brochures he sent to those on his huge mailing list. Joe worked closely with GBD on developing new shapes, e.g., #263 extra long Canadian, the “glass-blasted” Militaire, and his masterpiece, the original, Collector-sized Cognac (#9621), made exclusively of Greek briar (as were Charatans). He considered the Cognac the perfect shape, growing thicker as the smoke proceeded, keeping the pipe cool. It's a great mouth pipe, hand pipe, and sitter. Joe had some sort of preferred agreement with Charatan, I believe, and also sold lots of Dunhills. Those were the three pipes he believed in, BBB, Petersen, Comoy, Sasieni and even Barling having already begun to slide. At that time one never saw a fill in a GBD. . . until their sale in the '70s. Then it was no fills in Virgins, and then it was fills in them, too. (By the way, the letters die-stamped on GBDs indicated which subcontracted carver had done the pipe after initial curing. Joe maintained that the curing after carving was determined by grade, Virgins, and later Pedigrees and Uniques, getting, of course, the longest cure.)

    British pipes were it, and though Joe had other makes on hand, I don't remember any Danish or Italian goods. British tobacco was it, too. Better, he used to say, to let the expert blenders blend and then find what you like rather than try and have a store, or you yourself, do the mixing. While he had Baby's Bottom, Three Nuns, various Dunhill blends and many others, along with a logically progressing series of tinned, Lane-blended American tobaccos exclusive to the store, the main event was a complete line of English tobaccos based on Balkan/Best. Ones “below” Best were proportionately milder, and the only one stronger than Best was Exotique, which was merely Balkan with some prime cigar leaf added. Balkan made them all, including Krumble Kake, which was Balkan pressed and sliced, considered by “flake” smokers to be superior. I don't remember seeing 759 until Balkan was sold. It was, at that later time, a more piquant, far more acrid blend with other orientals added. I don't think it was ever labelled by Smokers' Haven.

    Before the (retroactive) taste test, here's some more history. The Redstones were a Jewish family who left (fled?) Russia and settled for some time in the Balkans. They perfected Sobranie (which simply means “parliament” in Slavic languages) either there or in London, their eventual home, along with their delightful, white Turkish cigarettes, and their renowned Russian Black and Gold (- tipped) cigarettes. They, too, were masterpieces. The sad history of Balkan Sobranie after its initial sale, years later, is available in other reviews on this site.

    The original Balkan purportedly contained latakia (I don't know if it was Syrian, Cyprian or both), Virginia (I don't know the varieties, but none of these ingredients were toasted except, of course, the latakia), high grade English Cavendish, and Yenidje from Macedonia, as advertised on the can. To my knowledge, the only other ingredient, that which imparted some of the creaminess and the hint of vanilla, was deer tongue, the leaf of a weed(!) apparently admissible under the non- adulteration laws at the time, which prohibited all topping but did permit Cavendish. I've tried dried deer tongue leaf broken or crumbled in blends and gotten nothing out of it. Perhaps, despite the common wisdom, Balkan used it fresh. I've heard that its inclusion is why Balkan was labelled a “smoking mixture” rather than “tobacco.” I don't know any of the ingredient ratios, but I was told that the ratios changed every year to compensate for seasonal changes in the individual ingredients' strength and taste.

    I've tried Balkan Sasieni, the current Balkan Sobranie, the current Best Blend from the current Smokers' Haven, and Balkan Sobranie throughout the '70s, '80s, 90's and '00s, as well as Margate (probably the currrent Best, as Germain now blends for Smokers' Haven, I've heard), Caravan, Penzance, McClelland's Yenidje Highlander and Yenidje Supreme (which lacks latakia), and countless other English/Balkan/Oriental blends from the late-lamented Dunhills to those corner tobacconist bulk-bought or hand blended attempts to clone Balkan. None have answered, though many are excellent. Yenidje Highlander, though rather light and not very sweet or creamy, at least gives one a real taste of the Yenidje-latakia interplay.

    The high quality of the tobacco in Balkan might have been just as important as the types of tobacco in it. Samuel Gawaith's Balkan Flake, supposedly 30% latakia and 70% Virginia (despite the Balkan name) is a good, honest, high quality tobacco to which one could maybe add high quality Cavendish, Yenidje and deer tongue and get somewhere close to Balkan (despite Balkan Flake's caked form). Most related blends already contain Virginia and latakia, so the ratios are problematical. Gawaith's Commonwealth is supposed to be 50%-50% Virginia-latakia and is not caked. Who knows? I've had no luck trying to blend existing blends to emulate the original Balkan.

    When taking the little built-in triangular “knife” in the lid of the old Balkan Sobranie, retracting it from the lip and reclosing the can, thus piercing the inner tin lid, the escaping hiss was divine. As one spun the lid, cutting out the inner lid, one caught the full old-leather, old-whisky, old-wood aroma that promised the same consistent taste as always. Yes, the contents were a bit moist and could do with a couple of days' drying, and were springy thanks to the ribbon cut. But who could resist, especially after retrieval of an eight ounce can from a ten can rotation, grabbing an immediate smoke?

    As the tobacco rose on the initial light and one tamped it with the index finger and relit, all the wonderful, contradictory adjectives began to pertain. The smoke was so creamy and rich, yet light and subtle, so sweet yet so interesting, it was magical. We used words like “ephemeral” and “protean” to try and capture it, but one couldn't. The smoke, always changing yet always characteristic and steady, could never be ignored, no matter what you were doing: each draw was a conscious pleasure, the whole, like true art, more than the sum of its parts.

    Now, it wasn't perfect. Balkan could smoke wet if you didn't dry it out just right, and hot and bitey if too dry. The ribbon cut was tricky to load, and if clumped up could cause voids. There was lots of relighting. While the ash was white, the pipe's heel usually got wet, which certainly demanded a pipe's traditional day's rest for every time smoked. The room note was pretty awful (until you were hooked), almost as gross as that of a yesterday's cigar. Balkan was definitely true to the old bromide that the worse the room smelled, the better the tobacco (don't the girls just love the smell of Cherry Blend).

    But such pleasure, such balance, such lack of bite, such a variety of delicious flavors melded into a rich, creamy whole that was somehow also light and fleeting. . . . To this day I don't see why some blender with a microscope and a Japanese degree of patience couldn't reverse engineer a can of pre-sale Balkan strip by strip, testing the pieces against known samples and smoking from each separate pile to verify its identity as accurately as possible. Sure, a truly faithful representation would cost a lot, but what a ready market in the curious, and in anyone else who wanted to smoke heaven to the extent his budget permitted. Anybody out there game?

    I welcome other reminiscences, additions, corrections; but, N.B.: the above description is not an unattainable, sentimental concoction born of distorted, rosy memory: it is as accurate as I could make it. Balkan's near universal appeal in those days to lovers of English/Balkan/Oriental blends as a steady or special smoke attests to that fact.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 12,304

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    What's the attribution to the above?

    Posted 2 years ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   anthonyrosenthal74, daniel7, smittyd, mechanic