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Samuel Gawith and additives

(63 posts)
  1. kabot

    kabot

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    Hi,

    I have for a long time believed Samuel Gawith tobaccos to be free from additives. (except from the toppings used in a few blends). But today I came across an old post on a newsgroup stating the opposite.
    post

    I quote a part of the post:


    Samuel Gawith for a time followed suit, but had problems with mold
    a few years back. My understanding is they now use propylene glycol
    in tobaccos destined for the United States. Other than that, they
    follow the old rules (so far as I know; likewise for GH&C).

    ALL tobacco manufacturers use propylene glycol (or - rarely - sorbitol)
    as the carrier for "American-style" aromatics, including the Gawiths.

    Craig Tarler (Cornell & Diehl) and Gregory L. Pease (company by same
    name) do not ADD propylene glycol to their premium tobaccos. If they
    notice it in tobacco delivered, they send it back, but there can be a
    a significant amount present. Acutally, even GH&C tobacco has been
    found to have trace amounts of propylene glycol, presumably due to exposure before receipt by Gawith and not detectable without expensive
    gas chromatography equipment.

    One thing I find strange is the "they now use propylene glycol
    in tobaccos destined for the United States". Is it likely that they would have separate procedure for US bound shipments?

    If there is any truth in this I guess I will start stocking up on GLP and C&D instead of SG.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Back in the late 90's there was a lot of controversy on ALt Smokers Pipes over statements like this. Not sure what the current state of play is, but only primary leaf processors (most "blenders" are not) really know for sure. Also, I do not believe Propylene Glycol is used as a mold retardent, but I could be wrong. Tobacco, in general, is a heavily processed agricultural product. These debates are really kind of pointless.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. judcole

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    The idea that a small concern - comparatively speaking - like SG would have separate processing for tobacco heading for the US seems a bit unlikely.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

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    When has Samuel Gawith ever claimed to be casing and PG free? Did they use to put it on advertisements or something? Or was this just an idea from guys at the watering hole telling fish stories?

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. kabot

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    When has Samuel Gawith ever claimed to be casing and PG free? Did they use to put it on advertisements or something? Or was this just an idea from guys at the watering hole telling fish stories?

    Hi Cosmic. I can't recollect that they themselves have stated such a thing. But It seems to be a common misconception though. I'm sure that I have read several reviews/comments about how their tobacco is manufactured according to century old techniques and without additives. All fish stories it seems.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. clickklick

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    The minute you read "no additives" its a fish story.

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. hawky454

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    They must use it very minutely if they use it at all. I get a strange mouth feel from blends that contain it, ie, McClelland and I just don't get that at all from the Gawith's.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. johnbarleycorn

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    I have never met a SG blend that I didn't like (yet). So whatever they put in it, I hope they keep doing what they are doing!

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. mortonbriar

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    I really only notice PG with the OTC pouches, and aromatic bulk maybe I have noticed (hazy memory) but certainly the pouches. As for all the brands/blends that I have smoked out of tins, or bulk that is non aromatic (or close to it) I never notice the PG in the same way so assuming it is there it is acceptably discrete as far as I am concerned. The brands I have tended to smoke are Mclelland, Sam G, G&H , Pease, Macbaren, Rattrays, Newminster and Peterson.

    Isaac

    I don't really care if the cup is half full or half empty, I just want something to sip on.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. woodsroad

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    These debates are really kind of pointless.

    Agreed.

    Without cites and verifiable lab analysis, all of this is conjecture, and not terribly useful.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. toobfreak

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    I have never met a SG blend that I didn't like (yet). So whatever they put in it, I hope they keep doing what they are doing!

    Amen to that, Brother!

    To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
    Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. deathmetal

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    Is it likely that they would have separate procedure for US bound shipments?

    American government regulation pretty much demands such things.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. woodsroad

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    American government regulation pretty much demands such things.

    As in...?
    I can't think of anything that would demand separate production for the US market.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. deathmetal

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    https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp189-c1.pdf

    Check this out. Of all preservatives, some are approved and the others are lawsuit blind spots.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. woodsroad

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    Interesting, but the word "tobacco" doesn't appear anywhere in that document.
    It reads like an intern's summer work project.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. kabot

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    I wonder if there would be a market for a eco/fair trade type of tobacco. I know that if SG would release such a version of their FVF I would be willing to shell out twice what I normally pay for a tin. And I would gladly accept the risk of mold. Irrational as it might be.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    +kabot !!

    I'd pay a truckload of money to get a blend that's simply pure tobacco. When I started smoking the pipe, I thought most pipe tobaccos would be just simple straight tobacco. No chemicals, no artifical flavours.

    Mac Barens approach of just using Sugar- and Maple-water for some of their blends is a step in the right direction imho.

    Why does almost anything have to be artifical nowadays? Food...smokes...people...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    When the settlers first found tobacco and the natives that were smoking it, they saw that the natives were mixing the tobaccos with berries, syrups, and other stuff. All it takes is for someone to go to a tobacco barn, pull down a leaf, crumble it and smoke it to see why no one would buy "pure" unadulterated tobaccos.

    Now, Virginias can aged to a more palatable tobacco, but it will be nothing like FVF.
    However, if you'd like, I can send you a few leaves of Virginia or a burley that I have grown and let you try to smoke it.
    But, there is definitely a reason why people may say that they want pure tobacco, but when faced with it, they real;ize quickly that it sucks and burns like paper and cardboard.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. toobfreak

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    I'd pay a truckload of money to get a blend that's simply pure tobacco.

    Listen to Cosmic before he decides to take you up on that bet. No you wouldn't. You might not want syrupy, goopy aros or Lakelands, but even the most straightforward english blends like 965 or Gaes 4:1 have had the leaf seriously conditioned to get it into a smooth, cool-burning and flavorful state, otherwise it would taste like you were sucking off of a pack of lit paper matches.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. cosmicfolklore

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    I think that Greg Pease is the only blender that I know of that states that he doesn't use any preservatives, but he has admitted that there is the possibility that the leaf that he uses "could" have been cased before he gets it. But, of course anti-molding chemicals are used, as we saw with his blends getting caught up in the C&D issue. But, of course he uses alcohols and such to top some of his blends, so... I think that he still tries to stay as true as possible to this notion of keeping the tobacco as unadulterated as possible. And, there are people who say they even like it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. kabot

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    I think that Greg Pease is the only blender that I know of that states that he doesn't use any preservatives

    So in other words it can be done? Why then are other blenders/manufacturers unable? Is it simply because it is more convenient to spray some synthetically produces chemical over the tobacco than to ensure the proper moisture level? Or what is the problem?

    As far as I know tobacco was produced and sold successfully for many a years under the old British purity laws. Not any more. The rules were relaxed. And it really boggles my mind that it does not piss people off.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. cosmicfolklore

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    So in other words it can be done?

    That is just preservatives. He admits (by default) the other stuff. I wish he was still active here. He could put a better spin on this.
    As far as I know tobacco was produced and sold successfully for many a years under the old British purity laws.

    My understanding of purity laws was in regards to things that add weight to the tobacco. But, when I think purity laws, I think all sorts of godawful chemical smells that are commonly used in perfumes and possible chemical warfare. NOT, pure unadulterated tobaccos.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. cosmicfolklore

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    PM me your address. I will send you some unadulterated tobacco. Or, if you don't trust me, http://www.wholeleaftobacco.com/
    But note that even the whole leaf will send you something to case it with.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. woodsroad

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    Tobacco right out of the barn tastes like...a barn. It needs to be processed in order to be palatable.

    So in other words it can be done? Why then are other blenders/manufacturers unable? Is it simply because it is more convenient to spray some synthetically produces chemical over the tobacco than to ensure the proper moisture level? Or what is the problem?

    What is the "proper" moisture level?

    Pipe smokers want to enjoy their pipe tobacco. And for most smokers, pipe tobacco is more enjoyable if it's pliable, cased and flavored. So if you are a pipe tobacco producer, and this is what your customers tell you that they want, then that's what you sell them. Pipe tobacco at the "proper" moisture level.

    And FWIW, I suspect that tobacco manufacturers have been treating with anti-fungals for a very long time.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. cosmicfolklore

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    But, don't feel bad about it, Kabot. Your ideas about "pure tobacco" has been bouncing around in tobacco lore for a long time. But, unless you have access to a tobacco farmer, you would never know what the pure leaf is like. If you read into tobacco history, there really never was a time when something wasn't mixed with the tobacco. It seems even in Native American times they couldn't tolerate the pure leaf without mixing something with it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Mark Ryan ships his tobacco basically dry, so that it does not grow mold.

    Gawith flakes being some of the wettest I've had, I never had a shred of doubt they use some additives there to keep it from molding.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. mawnansmiff

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    Quite timely is this post as last night I randomly picked one 250g box from four of FVF to rub out and put in my jar.

    Half way through the process I spied five adjoining flakes had started to mould on the edge! And yes, it was mould as I checked it under the microscope.

    I was mortified...never had that problem with FVF afore. This was by the way in a box sent from the states if that has any bearing on the matter.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. cosmicfolklore

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    Mark Ryan ships his tobacco basically dry, so that it does not grow mold.

    I am not sure that Ryan ships his tobacco dry for the sake of mold. I have never heard his say that any of his products were additive/chemical free. In fact some are rather obviously cased. I think the dry is because he just wants us to get the best bang for our buck.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. perdurabo

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    I like dry. I think Ryan likes dry too. More flavors and the burn....well you know it's a Codger Secret.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. perdurabo

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    Bang for our Buck

    Is he into Prostitution Rings, too?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. woodsroad

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    The whole "minimally processed" movement is a good thing, on the whole. But it has its downside.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

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    It would make absolutely no sense to say that the US demands that pipe tobacco be treated differently if sent to the US. There has been practically no one watching over pipe tobacco and still isn't until next year. They could be putting rat semen in the casings and aging it in the crack of their derriere, and no one would have been standing guard over any of that.
    In every discussion of any tobacco company making a separate formula for what they send the US, it has turned out to not be true. NADDA! Not until next year when the FDA kicks in.

    Jay, I got a hold of several of the same shipment of boxes that you did. No mold yet, but there is something odd about the boxes. It may be the age of the tobacco, or that they were just in an unsealed box, or something, but those were not indicative of what we in the US know of as FVF. I think that there was someone different about those boxes. Most of the flakes were cut to shag thickness, and the taste was... off.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. cosmicfolklore

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    Perdurabo, explosives.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Cosmic

    If I recall correctly he discusses that matter in this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWt34lQGsS0

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. cosmicfolklore

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    Mark is a great salesman. 16% humidity prevents it from molding. Well, now I've heard it. But, he danced a bit with his words, and he still didn't say that he added absolutely no mold preventatives. But, he does still case the tobacco. It is still great stuff. I'm a big fan of D&R.

    There are a couple of other RYO/ pipe tobaccos that were completely organic and no additives, but you never hear about anyone saying how wonderful they smoke.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. toobfreak

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    It would make absolutely no sense to say that the US demands that pipe tobacco be treated differently if sent to the US.

    I am guessing that the USA is probably the prime consumer of tobacco anyway? In that case, it would make more sense for them to alter production for the non-american markets. Not that I think they do. The idea just seems silly.

    As to mold, if you can ship it dry enough, that is the ultimate mold-inhibitor. Barring that, with all of the crazy flavors and things that people crave, you are going to have to have some sort of inhibitor in there.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. jpberg

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    Jumping Jesus this is a nonsense thread. Grow some tobacco, cure the leaf, roll it up and smoke it. It's fookin awful. I'm not sure where or when Gawith ever said said they were additive free, nor am I sure what anyone would consider an additive, but I'm not smoking any tobacco that doesn't get some pretty serious treatment before it gets to my door.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    so that makes me think...if unadulterated tobacco isnt enjoyable at all - was tobacco ever ment to be smoked?!
    I mean, if you put enough additives on poo, it may also give a good smoke....wtf, this kinda destroys my whole view on tobacco. All the times I was sitting with my pipe thinking "mhm, that backy has fine aroma" it was actually "mhm, those chemicals and additives deliver some awesome taste on this"?

    Another question that comes up: What did the indians f.e smoke? Did they adulterate their tobaccos with chemicals like PG, artifical flavours, casings and top flavours?! What the hell were they smoking, and why diddnt it taste like "cardboard" as you guys say?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. mawnansmiff

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    "this kinda destroys my whole view on tobacco."

    It's sad to read that you feel that way. Think of a slice of plain old bread...pretty boring on its own but stick some butter and jam on it and it becomes a treat.

    "Did they adulterate their tobaccos with chemicals like PG, artifical[sic] flavours, casings and top flavours?! What the hell were they smoking, and why diddnt[sic] it taste like "cardboard" as you guys say?"

    As was mentioned above, the Native Indians mixed in ground up berries, tree bark, spices etc to the tobacco that they smoked. They weren't stupid, they knew exactly what they were doing.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. toobfreak

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    I bet whatever the Indians smoked if we could try some would be some amazing stuff!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    Grow some tobacco, cure the leaf, roll it up and smoke it. It's fookin awful.

    Then whoever grew and cured the tobacco had no idea what they were doing. Properly grown and cured tobacco is outstanding.

    I bet whatever the Indians smoked if we could try some would be some amazing stuff!

    That would be a Rustica. It is tasty but the nicotine will knock you down.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. mawnansmiff

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    Toob, didn't anyone tell you the pipe goes in your mouth, not your ear

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. toobfreak

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    I guess hard to see Jay. Actually the pipe has flown out of his (now open) mouth and is simply flying up into the air!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. jvnshr

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    Grow some tobacco, cure the leaf, roll it up and smoke it.It's fookin awful.

    That's how cigars are made and they are delicious.

    Javan
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    mawansniff: yea they used berries, spices and so on as yu say. But no chemicals, artificial flavours (which mostly are chemicals too). Also if i put butter andjelly on my bread i'm puttng natural things on other natural things. Or would you make a bread with PG, Glycerin, or maybe some artificial jelly flavour? That's what makes me sad. And that's why I like Mac Barens approach of only using sugar- and maple-water for some blends!

    Why don't we do it like the indians did?
    I don't know, but I guess it has to do with MONEY, not with taste. but thats just a wild guess.

    jvhsnr: So, cigars are PURE, NATURAL tobacco? No (chemical/artifical) additives?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. deathmetal

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    That would be a Rustica. It is tasty but the nicotine will knock you down.

    Sign me up!

    As far as additives go, we know that all tobacco has anti-fungal concoctions added to it, and if you are going to have an aromatic, it needs some agent that will carry the flavor and penetrate or coat the tobacco with it. Something that behaves like a sugar plus an acid should work fine, just like a good marinade (olive oil, lemon juice, sugar and pepper, for example -- but I wouldn't put this on any tobacco except Perique).

    By the way, when we say "chemicals" we mean "refined chemicals," because basically everything is technically a chemical.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. cosmicfolklore

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    So, cigars are PURE, NATURAL tobacco? No (chemical/artifical) additives?

    Some cigars. But, the fermentation on the leaf used is different from pipe tobacco, in a way. At least in the few videos I've seen. However, many many cigars are flavored, PG'd, and anti-fungal'd.

    yea they used berries, spices and so on as yu say. But no chemicals

    Not exactly. As DM said, everything is a chemical. But, Russ and many other tobacconists use all natural chemicals, such as extracts and things that you can find at the grocery store.

    All in all, a carbohydrate is typically added in some way to control the burn. If you've ever seen whole leaf or burned whole leaf, it burns more like dried Fall leaves or cardboard with a similar flavor. Then some add flavors. An ati-fungal is almost mandatory if you want to make money. PG's I am not exactly sure whop is using this, as it can be as obvious as goopy Captain Black, but it can be invisible, so... I think it is added just to keep the tobacco moist.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. mawnansmiff

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    "Actually the pipe has flown out of his (now open) mouth..."

    That's it Toob, blame someone else

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. mawnansmiff

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    "Also if i put butter and jelly on my bread i'm puttng natural things on other natural things."

    Deniz, so the wheat used to grow your flour to make your bread wasn't fertilized with chemicals, wasn't sprayed with pesticides? The jam you use, the same thing applies, chemicals are everywhere you can't avoid them. Taken to the extreme you yourself is just a pile of chemicals with water added for good measure

    Regards tobacco, I prefer non aromatics so my interaction with chemicals in tobacco is at a minimum but they are still in there like it or no.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    thanks +Cosmic. I have Captain Black here. How do I notice the PG? What effects does it have?

    +mawnansmiff: Certainly anything has chemicals in it - as I mentioned before, it's unanvoidable nowadays. But with bread f.e I could make my own bread, my wn wheat, my own flour - and it would taste great!
    If I'd grow my own tobacco it would taste like "cardboard" (as you guys say). Thats what makes me think if tobacco is ment to be smoked, when it's un-smokeable without adding tons of (chemical) additives. I do get the fact, that without some additives it's impossible to store tobacco for the periods required nowadays and to be able to sell/export it.

    I guess I'll can't change it anyways, but still my world broke in pieces as you guys told me pipe tobacco isnt natural at all! I was telling everyone "pipe tobacco is the climax of tobacco - the best, most tasty and most natural way to enjoy tobacco" - guess I'll have to take the "most natural way" out of the sentence - the rest is still true to me.

    Thank you guys for all the informations, really appreciate it !

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    It is common in the cigar manufacturing process for cigars, even after they are rolled, to be sprayed with insecticides to kill the dreaded beetle.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  52. cosmicfolklore

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    . I have Captain Black here. How do I notice the PG? What effects does it have?

    It keeps things moist. You can notice it by comparing how long it takes for the stuff to dry out in comparison to other blends. Capt Black is what we call a goopy aromatic. It will leave your pipe wet at the bottom. Not all aromatics are like that.

    I grow my own tobacco. I use a little honey as an anti-fungal, but it's not very good. I always lose a little to mold every year. I need to check out a better one, because losing four pounds of a twelve pound harvest is not very productive.

    I try to use as little of anything added as possible, but...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. woodsroad

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    FWIW, the bread analogy doesn't hold up well here. All commercally produced bread contains anti-fungals, flavorings and a lot of it contains PG.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. cosmicfolklore

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    Even the flour bought to make it at home has a very small percentage of diamateous earth added.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  55. rigmedic1

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    Tobacco was not smoked by the native Americans for the taste, folks. It was smoked for the calming, thought enhancing, spiritual effects. We smoke it for the taste AND the way we feel while consuming those succulent vapors.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  56. cosmicfolklore

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    I guess I'll can't change it anyways, but still my world broke in pieces as you guys told me pipe tobacco isnt natural at all! I was telling everyone "pipe tobacco is the climax of tobacco - the best, most tasty and most natural way to enjoy tobacco"

    It is still the best tobacco, IMO. I am not in the camp that thinks that by adding "all natural" or "organic" makes something in any way superior. High end cigars and some pipe tobaccos are the pinnacle of tobaccos, IMO. So what if it isn't "pure" by produce market standards?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  57. deathmetal

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    FWIW, the bread analogy doesn't hold up well here. All commercally produced bread contains anti-fungals, flavorings and a lot of it contains PG.

    Either that, or it holds up very well...

    Looking for a tobacco without anti-fungals, flavorings and PG? Good luck.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. mawnansmiff

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    "I use a little honey as an anti-fungal, but it's not very good."

    Well Michael you chose the right stuff to use as I read somewhere that honey is the only foodstuff that never spoils.

    It was even found in ancient Egyptian tombs in jars. Somewhat desiccated but not spoiled by mould. Once rehydrated by all accounts it was very sweet indeed!

    Them there bees must know something we don't

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. hawky454

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    Yeah I agree with Woodroad. And then comparing tobacco to homemade bread? Well, you have to grind the wheat and mix it with yeast and water then add salt and butter, then you have to put it in the oven and bake it. Does that mean wheat was not meant to be eaten? It's not like bread grows straight from the ground. Most tobaccos are cased with a sugar water and that helps balance the PH which makes it a better smoke. I don't understand how that is depressing? Sure a lot of the OTC blends (and others, I'm sure) use PG to give it a longer shelf life so why not just avoid those? If you're wanting to avoid all additives than yes, you'll have to grow your own.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  60. johnbarleycorn

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    I hope you all quit smoking SG blends since it has been hinted that they use additives. Then I won't have to wait for them to come back in stock to buy them. Just saying. Or maybe this post has just turned into a pissing match.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. woodsroad

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    Yeah I agree with Woodroad.

    That may be the first time that someone has openly admitted that.
    Thanks, Mom!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. jvnshr

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    jvhsnr: So, cigars are PURE, NATURAL tobacco? No (chemical/artifical) additives?

    What Cosmic said.

    PG's I am not exactly sure whop is using this, as it can be as obvious as goopy Captain Black, but it can be invisible, so... I think it is added just to keep the tobacco moist.

    Found this interesting read:

    PG is propylene glycol. It is a humectant used to preserve moisture content in variety of things, from food stuffs to tobacco. It is considered safe for human consumption by the FDA and its use IS quite prevalent in modern society. In tobacco, specifically, it is added to maintain moisture and retard mold development. When used in very small quantities, it is hardly detectable. However, if used with a heavy hand it just plain tastes bad. It exists and is actually in most of the tobaccos we smoke.

    Jeff Folloder, 2000-07-02

    Propylene glycol and other humectants are heavily used in drugstore tobaccos and jar blends to keep them from drying out. Some of these tobaccos will not dry out if left loose on a newspaper for a week. Premium blends, however, usually do not have as much PG as drugstore blends, but it's hard to find one that has [absolutely] none. [...] Proplylene glycol can prevent tobacco from drying out and helps retard mold growth. It is, however, a chemical that many of us would rather not have in their tobacco. Discovering that a favorite blend has a small amount of PG in it is not going to keep me from buying it. But knowing that a blend is treated with PG and other chemicals might very well keep me from even trying it.

    Bill Burney, 2004-01-03

    Propylene glycol, used as a humectant and a preservative to extend the shelf life of tobacco and as a carrier for flavorings added to pipe tobacco, is deleterious in several respects. The abundant hydrogen in the molecule combines with oxygen very readily, inducing higher-temperature combustion and production of greater quantities of water, both of which adversely affect smoking properties. The stuff also is sweetish, but with an off-taste that some find quite disagreeable. Whether the overall effect in this realm is a benefit or a detriment is a matter of taste. My personal opinion is that use as a humectant is both unnecessary and deleterious to the smoking qualities of the tobacco, and it should never be used for this purpose.

    James Beard, 2000-07-02

    PG can be added by the retailer to the finished bulk product, or by the blender, or the grower, or the processor, or the warehouser, or anywhere in between, and in variable quantities. So yes, PG will be found in nearly every pipe tobacco blend available, and for most of us it ain't necessarily a bad thing.

    Fred Latchaw, 2001-12-12

    Propyline glycol is not the evil chemical that some believe it to be, but, like anything else, it can be abused, and often is in "cheap" tobaccos. Glycerin, glycerol and alcohol were widely used in the past in flavoring tobaccos. Why so much of the industry switched to PG is a question that can PROBABLY be answered by economics.

    In a relatively pure state, PG is viscous, and somewhat slimy to the touch. It binds readily with water, and is often used in humidifying units in cigar humidors to maintain a fairly constant relative humidity of about 70%, considered ideal by many. It has a distinctive sweet taste and substatially lower toxicity than ethylene- and diethylene glycols, but high ingested doses have correlated with hepatic and renal diseases. Don't drink it. If your tobacco is sticky, and it won't dry out, you've probably got a good dose of PG present. It's also found in oil-free salad dressings, and a lot of cosmetics.

    And, no, I don't use it, though tested samples of some ingredient leaf have shown small amounts present.

    GL Pease, 2001-12-14

    PG, or propylene glycol is a viscous, oily liquid that is a common additive in food stuffs and tobacco. It is hygroscopic in that it has a tendancy to "exist" at approximately 70% relative humidity. When combined with plain old ordinary water and held in suspension in, say, oasis foam, a realtively stable humidistat is formed. When the relative humidity drops below 70%, the water bond is "broken" and the water is "released" into the surrounding environment. When the humidity level rises above 70% water is absorbed from the environment and bound to the PG.

    Tobacco can act as the lattice that holds the PG solution. A little bit of PG is not really capable of holding 70%, but it is capable of locking in some moisture. From a manufacturer's point of view, this can help perpetuate the integrity of a product that may wind up sitting in warehouse, transit, or on a shelf for an indeterminate period of time. Kudos to the manufacturer who does their best to insure that you get a properly moisturized, consistent product every time.

    PG is also used as a flavor carrier. Since the PG will draw in moisture from the surrounding environment, many manufacturers will flavor tobaccos using PG as a "carrier". A flavoring agent is combined with water or other solution and then combined with an amount of PG. The subsequent solution is then combined with dry tobacco and the result is that the flavor is drawn into the tobacco mixture as opposed to just being sprayed or poured on.

    Jeff Folloder, 2000-08-26

    Posted 2 years ago #
  63. kabot

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    After reading this thread as well as a very interesting and informative article written by the formidable Russ Ouellette, I have come to the following conclusions:

    1. The only way to make sure you are getting additive free tobacco leaves is to grow your own.

    2. Processing the leaves does not necessarily require the use of chemicals. Heat, pressure and time could very well be enough.

    3. PG is necessary if you run a business where you sell both tinned and bulk version of the same tobacco. If you just work with tins (like Mr. Pease) you can skip it.

    4. Unless you want to keep your tobacco bone dry, think Semois tobacco, you need to think about mold. In the article Mr. Ouellette mentions the use of vinegar as a possible strategy. Honey has been mentioned, by Cosmic, in this very thread.

    I would love to be able to grow my own, but since I'm lacking both the time and space to do so (starting a small family in a tiny apartment) I will probably buy a few leaves from the leafonly web site. Provided that they ship to Europe. I'm contemplating making a simple rope containing a few different types of virginias, encase the whole rope in honey. Bake it in the owen. And then let it sit/hang for a while.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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