There's an old Rattrays guide out there that talks about panning and other stuff. I thought of panning when he mentioned stoving because of that guide. I think that you pressure-cook it to get Cavendish, but I don't really know.
davek, let us know what you're up to. It would educate us non-blender types, and some of the pros on Forums might have some astute advice or instructions on what can be done. Professional blenders probably aren't telling all they know, since they are selling their special expertise in their blends, but they might pass a long a few clues or some general information.
Stoving Virginia in the US is fundamentally the same as a Virginia-based black Cavendish in Europe. Dry heat is used to darken the leaf. Sometimes the finished product will be steamed and flavored after stoving. The actual process may vary from maker to maker, but the concept is the same.
What kind of leaf is affected most by heat? Is it moisture? Acidity? Sugar content?
Reason I ask is I did some aged VA's that were quite light in color in color @ 220 for 5 hours. They got darker ANd It did bring out some roundness and depth to the flavor, but it sure was subtle. The cook in me is saying to mist with a little sugar in H2O at the same time.
I am a nube at fooling around at this stuff, so apologies for stupid questions.
Jitterbugdude is a hobby grower as well, and has posted in several threads about making a cavendish using jars and a crock pot. I just did a search and came up with everything except one of his replies. Maybe he will pipe in as well. He has made some top notch homegrown blends. And, has shared some good basic tobacco cooking techniques with us.
Thanks for that info.
I have been playing around with a home roll press for plug I made. Also wondering how I can do a homemade roll where the middle has a different component than the outer layer.
I also roll sushi (weird, yes I know). I think I could do tobacco in a way similar to a sushi roll (parchment paper as the wrapper) and then load it into a tube and then press. Just from a presentation point of view, I think it would be unique.
The tricky part will be the moisture levels. I know I can spritz the middle section (and I would like to use a sugar solution but have NO IDEA about what the % of sugar should be). I'm going to play around and see what happens.
In both of my threads pertaining to "Cosmic Crop" I talk about and have photos of me rolling twists or ropes. But in http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/the-2015-cosmic-crop I have a link to a youtube video, or you can google any of the hundreds of tobacco twist DIY videos. It's really easy to do, and I steam mine, instead of spraying. And, you can combine any leaves that you want.
You will want to use some sort of anti-molding solution, honey, vinegar, or a commercial one... because every twist that I have made using only water in the steam molded right away. Tobacco will mold if you just look at it wrong, so something will have to be used.
It's not really like sushi, maybe if the leaves were thicker. Unless you are talking about rolling a ribbon cut into a leaf like sushi, then you're on your own. I have never seen that done.
I am thinking about using existing processed product to create rolls. Example, I bought some dried out Heinrich VA from 1987 that was from from PS and re-hydrated it. Smoke fine, but it really plain. So I mixed in some Wessex Burley (20%) some blenders perrique (8%) with 72% of the Virginia's. I then put them in the plug maker to form a new blend. It turned out pretty darn yummy. Apricots and honey with a little peppery chocolate and molasses.
Just playing around with how to re-purpose or tweak stuff.
Sorry, I misunderstood. If you're playing around (I do that too) then just mix and match whatever you want. But, because twists and ropes are made from whole leaf, you wouldn't be able to do it very well with that form of tobacco.
I have seen youtubes where someone will press a whole tin of an existing blend. Then, crumble it and smoke it, and I have to wonder if that does anything at all. I mean you just squeeze it and then re-crumble it apart back to where you started. If you are mixing things, you could just mix them, maybe let them set overnight to meld flavors. YMMV
Putting the plant under pressure will burst the cell walls. The theory is that disperses the flavors. I know in order to make that happen, the press needs to be pretty tight. I'm a cook, so most of this is pure guesswork. If I don't post again, it means that I've smoked something that was really bad for me....wonder what hot sauce would taste like? lol
But, I see people using c-clamps, when for the width of the plug and ratio of the cubic inches being pressed, you'd need a 12 ton press to really burst the cell walls. Then you'd get a hockey puck. You have to take in the cubic measurements when truly calculating the pressure. Just because you get a 4 ton press, if you try to press a 4 cubic inch cube, you may not be even getting one-ton of pressure. Commercially, they are using hydraulics.
Personally, I like hockey puck tobacco, but what I see on youtube doesn't come close.
"Jitterbugdude is a hobby grower as well, and has posted in several threads about making a cavendish using jars and a crock pot.".. my quote function is not showing up
Everything I learned about making Cavendish came from Chinavoodoo on the FairTradeTobacco foum. He posts on here under Rajanan.. or however you spell it.
Using the mason jar and pressure cooker makes some really fine tasting tobacco.
First, I’m feeling a little sheepish here as most on the forum are smoking finished store bought blends and I’m playing with whole tobacco trying to make a mellow smoke. I am currently off work due to carpal tunnel surgery in both hands. I’m bored and just now having the dextrous use of both hands. I have a bunch of Burley and I grew some last summer so I’d like to make up a large batch of a “base” tobacco for blending or smoking straight.
Cosmic, Jitterbug dude is indeed “da man”. He sent me a sampler of his blends some time ago. His stuff is homegrown, additive free pipe tobacco blends. I liked them as I dislike, possibly am allergic to, commercial or heavy casings. His blends are awesome and I smoked the heck out of them in “rotation”, but as an ex-cigar smoker I do enjoy straight tobacco tastes.
Straight Burley will put hair on your chest… and possibly your feet. As we discussed in another thread, it is usually cased and heated to make it more acidic, or at least smoke more acidic.
So I am trying different casing and heating methods and trying the addition of a little Virginia followed by stoving or not. I made one really good batch early on, now I have to figure out how to do it again.
I tried the traditional method of “toasting” Burley which is casing it, then toasting in an oven at 250 degrees or so till crispy, it makes a very tamed tobacco, too tamed. It tastes like cigarettes. Makes sense since that is what is often done for cigarettes.
So I’ve been playing with stoving it. I stove in a crock pot on low. I fill it with water and float a bowl with the tobacco in it in the water for about 5 hours. I’ve read of the 200 for 300 method, 200 degrees for 300 minutes. A crock pot on high will boil water (212 degrees) so I’m guesstimating this will be somewhere around 200. It is consistent anyway. Steams it a little too.
I’ve always liked Virginas better stoved, but with this “Va-Bur” I’m using heat to change things a lot. According to this discussion, the flavors change dramatically in the week or two after stoving as much as they do in the stoving itself. I’ve found that to be true. I’ve always given things a week before really sampling.
“After tobaccos are "stoved" in this manner, it'll take them a week or two to settle down. The changes over that timeframe can be nearly as dramatic as what you experience from the process itself! - GL Pease, 2004-11-11”
My question at the moment is how quickly flavors might change and stabilize enough to get a rough estimate of what I have created. Would a few days rest make the tobacco somewhere in the ballpark of the final taste? I’ve got 6 small jars on a shelf right now which I would like to sample to see what effect various things I’ve tried have had.
I like your avatar Folinator. Get to see any shows? I’ve never smoked anything that was bad for hnsdhflg.
Cosmic: Honey is anti-mold? Sweet! (That’s what I’m using)
Regarding pressure and marrying flavors: Do you think juices kind of ooze together to marry? I know it seems to do a shotgun marriage to an extent. It’s hard to get a proper cake though.