Casing

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Jwebb90

Lifer
Feb 17, 2020
1,969
32,700
Ruse, Bulgaria
How is the casing applied, versus flavoring? I've read about the difference but didn't retain the info, since I don't go beyond mixing pre-prepared leaf.
I found a whole bunch of post from Ernie of Watch City on another forum. He went into great detail laying out the process and different options for creating the casing.

He said "I start all casings with a 1:1 Sugar Water mixture. I add 1 part sugar by weight to 1 part Water by weight and drop in a tablespoon of white vinegar per quart. You can use apple cider vinegar if you want a nice sort of fruity undertone. Then I just bring the stuff to a boil for about 10 minutes..and that’s it. That is a basic casing for blending tobacco.... Put a pound of tobacco in the microwave in a ziplock with holes punched in it. Heat it for 2 -3 minutes. Get a spray bottle and put abou1 oz of warm casing it (that’s it...less is really more!. Store the rest in a mason jar in the fridge. If you leave it out of the fridge it may ferment and explode Dump the tobacco in one of your wife’s best bowls and spray it a few times. Mix it up. Get your hands dirty. Repeat. Seal the tobacco in Tupperware for a week. "
 
The base for both is sugar, water and a bit of apple cider vinegar. However, one has a bit of lemon peel and honey added. The other has some Prune juice added to the base.
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DON'T put vinegar on tobacco! Just... don't!
 
These look more like toppings than casings. I have found on my own homegrown...

one cup of warm water
about a Tablespoon of honey
half a teaspoon of malic acid
half a teaspoon of citric acid

This is not so much for taste as preventing mold by increasing the acidity to a range above where mold will grow. The touch of honey is barely detected in the smoke, but the malic acid mixed with Virginias adds a touch of warm apple flavoring.
I will be trying mead on my next crop, in place of honey and water, as the alcohol will help it soak in without adding too much honey flavoring.

The purpose of the casing is to help prevent mold, slow the burn rate, and compliment the tobacco flavoring... although on a commercial level, they add proprietary flavors for branding. Stokkeby, MacBaron, Sutliff, etc... seem to be the most obvious at this.
 
What is the difference - if any - between a casing and a topping? I’ve seen the terms used as if thee mean different things.
Casings are supposed to be unnoticeable, but as the decades pass by and crops taste very different, they have gotten heavy handed at this to keep their products consistent and branded with their proprietary flavorings. It is added early in tobacco processing. Toppings are added later in process, and add an actual flavoring to the tobacco.
It has gotten harder and harder to distinguish which are merely cased and which are topped.
 
May 2, 2020
4,664
23,773
Louisiana
These look more like toppings than casings. I have found on my own homegrown...

one cup of warm water
about a Tablespoon of honey
half a teaspoon of malic acid
half a teaspoon of citric acid

This is not so much for taste as preventing mold by increasing the acidity to a range above where mold will grow. The touch of honey is barely detected in the smoke, but the malic acid mixed with Virginias adds a touch of warm apple flavoring.
I will be trying mead on my next crop, in place of honey and water, as the alcohol will help it soak in without adding too much honey flavoring.

The purpose of the casing is to help prevent mold, slow the burn rate, and compliment the tobacco flavoring... although on a commercial level, they add proprietary flavors for branding. Stokkeby, MacBaron, Sutliff, etc... seem to be the most obvious at this.
How much casing are you using per pound of tobacco?
 
How is the casing applied, versus flavoring? I've read about the difference but didn't retain the info, since I don't go beyond mixing pre-prepared leaf.
I, like to case my tobacco when I am rehydrating it after curing and storage. I use a steamer to first get the tobacco softened and open the pores, and then lightly mist the tobacco with the casing. Then, I can roll twists or slice it into ribbon. If I am using a tabletop shredder, I shred it while dry, then case it, and let it dry for a bit.

To top it, just spray the stuff on before you jar it.
 

Snow Hill

Can't Leave
Apr 23, 2015
395
342
USA
Sutliff mentions sugar as a casing component on its website:

"Casing – A process in which a casing mixture is made and applied to the tobacco to help smooth out the smoke as well as act as a base flavor. Each manufacturer will have their own unique casing recipe and will typically apply it before final flavoring. Popular casing ingredients are licorice, corn syrup, and sugar."
 
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It's part of a vinegar taste fad lately but acetic acid has a long history in tobacco casing.
Lately it has. But, acetic acid also naturally forms in tobaccos for the experienced producers. McClelland never added it, according to Mike McNiel and Greg Pease. And, like wines, vinegar carries with it an essence of the fruit it was made from, which can react with the fragrances of the tobacco, and can produce an ammonia. We had a whole thread on this a few weeks ago.
I’ve played with vinegars, apple cider vinegar can turn to a vile fragrance on some tobaccos.

I would recommended using a mix of malic acid and citric acid in a very dilute spray. I think that would give you a better estimate of what you’d be looking for in a vinegar. YMMV