Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tobacco progress.

I've just tried my first smoke of dried flower-heads.

It's not what I'm used to at all. The smoke had a floral hint to it. I have to say it was very pleasant indeed and next year I'll pay far more attention to those flowers.

There is a hurricane allegedly on the way, it might hit the UK on Monday or it might not but this weekend, I think I'll pull whatever leaves are left anyway. Those tall plants suffer in high winds and if the hurricane does hit, they'll be ruined. Besides, the frosts aren't far away. It could be another nasty winter.

Drying - so far, some have dried correctly, some went mouldy and some have dried too far, too fast.

Get rid of mouldy ones as soon as you spot them. Mould will spread.

The overdry ones, I'm wondering if I can rehydrate those. Worth a try.

So, some leaves are now in little jars, some on their own, some with a dash of brandy poured over them. Others will get the quick-boil and redry treatment because that's the quickest way to get something smokeable. I expect it'll be rough but I managed to get used to Yugoslavian cigarettes once.

Air-curing might not work here, central heating doesn't leave much humidity in the air. Next year I'll make a humidity box.

I haven't yet tried my hand at cigars, I'll need more leaves for that.

This crop won't keep me in smokes for the whole year, mainly because I'm likely to ruin most of it by experimenting, but as I said before, I only need to get two ounces of smokeable stuff to cover the cost. Even if it's not great, I can mix it in with Amber Leaf and that'll save some cash.

Now I'm watching flower heads dry. I need enough for a pipe full this time.


Squires said...

"The overdry ones, I'm wondering if I can rehydrate those."

Commonly done with both cigars and pipe tobacco - some time in a humidor, or a tupperware container, should do it.

Source of moisture can range from a damp cotton ball to the special humidity-specific gel-filled widgets they make for humidors.

Anonymous said...

My grandpa used to 'rehydrate' old shag that had become to dry by putting a slice of potato in the pouch. I can attest to the method. FYI slices of apple taste better ;)

Maybe this method can be adapted to your process.

George Speller said...

While they are still hanging up if they feel a bit dry I spray them with a little water, but haven't needed to do this recently!

Anonymous said...


I'm glad that you like them.

The good thing about tobacco flowers is that, starting when they first bloom, the more you pick, the more flowers they grow.

Bearing in mind of course that we have no studies, no epidemiology and only one anthropological study from the University of Minnesota, published in 1917, to say it was ever done.


Anonymous said...

I have to say that her instructions on harvesting tobacco flowers were so clear and worked so well, that I'm seriously thinking of following her recipe for sunflower cakes.

I'm growing a row of Russian Giants and it would be nice to find something useful to do with them.


Dominic said...

The tobacco out here is bulgaria drys out so it just crumbles to dust, the farmers either just leave it hanging until we have had a few days rain or they hang it above a boiling pot of water for 5 mins if they are in a rush.

Anonymous said...

Be careful with all that at home experimenting. You don't want to end up like this guy, who was experimenting at home making his own vodka ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi LI.

I have a couple of pics of my growing crop. As you know, as a result of an initial cock-up, I was very late getting the plants out. I am hoping that they will continue to grow well. There is a 12 inch ruler in the ground to get an idea of the size of the leaves.


Mine seem to be more compact than yours.

wcoaphorse2010 said...

As said, a slice of apple or potato works well enough, I've also had some success with orange/lemon peel which adds just a subtle hint of flavour.

If you own a steamer of some sort it might be worth trying a slightly accelerated rehydrate, but it's not something I've done myself.

Anonymous said...

I have found a tiny bit about the composition of the flowers.

Distribution of solanesol in Nicotiana tabacum

"The sepal contained higher concentration of solanesol (1.192 mg·g−1) compared to any other parts in flower."



Andy said...

All the health fascism with its compulsary tax rises towards smoking and drinking is just going to push more folk down the DIY route I think,in the long run just as many people will smoke and drink and the govt tax return on it will still keep on falling.

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