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Aging in Cigar Boxes

webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
So here's the plan: I've got a surrogate gardener who sprouted Goldie's Habano seeds which I snitched from Rain's pass. She's gonna plant a bunch. I'm digging up a string of yard myself here where I can murder some innocent sproutlings. I'll cure the leaf in the garage attic where's there's no insulation and it gets hot as Hades. I'll set the household humidifier up there. It ought to feel like Nica freaking ragua up there. Long about September, when it's cured, I'll roll maybe a couple hundred cigars. That's the plan.

Now here's where the question comes in: You may have noticed I skipped a very important step right there where the cured tobacco ferments and ages before rolling. Thing is, it's gonna get too cold for that out there. Nor can I imagine that the RedHead who enjoys the privilege of laundering my skid marks would be pleased if I brought that stink inside the house.

So here is what I am thinking: The B&M nearby sells empty cigar boxes for a buck a pop. If I keep my eyes peeled, I can **** the occasional well built tight sealing cedar lined box with a clasp and put my two hundred in those. Each box a water pillow. Check on them weekly and stir the contents to circulate air. AA bug in one does not have to affect the rest. Mold in one does not have to affect the rest. Set them on shelves here in the closet. Couple years later, voila. WebMost Sotweed Reserva Limitada Especial.

What do you think? Would my uppowoc age as well in cylinders as opposed to bales?

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


Comments

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    if you want to ferment you may be able to fake it a bit.
    though your results may not be amazing. depending on how much leaf you have you can cook them in the oven.

    i know it can be done but im not 100% on how. lemme get back to you.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cooking sounds like a good idea, at least to try on some of the tobacco... like cavendish pipe tobacco, or steaming maduros. Maybe cheating, but probably worth a shot!

    Would a cooler work for storing/fermenting. We know they hold humidity... and would insulate some from temps, you coukd maybe even move to a warmer part of the house since a cooler will pretty much seal in any smell. Or what if you used like a heat lamp (on low) or something in the attic?

    seems like itd take ALOT of little cigar boxes to store that much tobacco.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    im not sure what your crop yield will be. it may not work in an oven depending on size of the crop. and to be honest, im not sure exactly how it would work. you would also need an oven that gets very low. like 108 - 140 low
    you would pack the tobacco together as tight as you could and when the temp got to about 130 ish on the inside you would pull out the the tobacco re organize and place back in the oven. again this would be over the course of several days so an oven not in use would be better.
    of course that would put most of the project out of reach for most people.
    you would also have to regulate the humidity... a task that is more difficult in that kind of environment than i care t imagine. but it can be done.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You might try pming Long Ashes he's done it once or twice. He also has that site " crap cigars" you can probably get ahold of him that way. Somewhere he has a thread all about it.
  • ddubridgeddubridge Posts: 3,979 ✭✭✭
    Rhamlin:
    You might try pming Long Ashes he's done it once or twice. He also has that site " crap cigars" you can probably get ahold of him that way. Somewhere he has a thread all about it.
    http://www.cigar.com/cs/forums/post/546658.aspx...One of my favorites. Good thinking Ricky. Happy birthday brother.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes I have read that thread before. Been to crapnetwork many times it's a gas. Love them guys. Long Ashes used an old fridge with a crockpot to speed up his fermentation. That's a common way to do it. My old fridge is full of beer and Angry Orchard Hard Ginger Cider and Polar Bars and such. Don't know where I'd put another old fridge. Besides, I am a dedicated minimalist. Factories use a steaming hot room in a steaming hot climate, stack bales up, and turn their stack from time to time. Gotta smell wonderful, that job. Your Norte Americanos tend to use at least a metal trash can with a light bulb for heat and a can of water for humidity. Some smoke their stuff in a cooker. I am following a thread on another forum where a guy is building a thousand dollar automated plywood kiln with heat and humidity controlled by a laptop. That's the extreme. I intend the opposite extreme. No molds. No kiln. No cooker. No fridge. No hurry. Just leaves and hands over time. Long as it's just a hobby, you might as well do the way you enjoy. I like rowboats, not speedboats. Rowboats are peaceful as water. The two go together. It's a calming experience. The idea of admiring my work for a couple years, periodically opening each box, smelling and stirring the contents, periodically firing one up just to test progress, until the stash if finally ripe, that all seems more like the cigar experience than how fast can I get these done.

    So. Back to the question, that is, if we can get this question back on track:

    Would tobacco satisfactorily age in the stick instead of the stack?

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh ok, so you intend to roll fresh, then let them ferment as rolled cigars? Hmmmm... theyd have to stay pretty moist, warm, and packed together, wouldnt they?

    Just a thought, if they are fermented while already rolled, they will be very moist... come 2 years later when they dry out to a smokable level, would the filler leaves "shrink" enough to make them draw too loose? Would they "pull away" from the wrapper?

    Im not saying I dont think itll work, just trying to think of what could maybe go wrong. Maybe kuz can come in and dismiss my fears.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Would tobacco satisfactorily age in the stick instead of the stack?

    no.
    heat and pressure are not present. those are the two elements needed to create the tobacco we enjoy.
    yes, the tobacco will age and in a way ferment, but not in the way that creates good flavors. unless you can find a way to ferment your tobacco you will end up with a very tannic and acrid smoke that does not burn correctly.

    when tobacco is not fully fermented you are rolling with what is referred to as "crude" tobacco.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Oh ok, so you intend to roll fresh, then let them ferment as rolled cigars? Hmmmm... theyd have to stay pretty moist, warm, and packed together, wouldnt they?

    Just a thought, if they are fermented while already rolled, they will be very moist... come 2 years later when they dry out to a smokable level, would the filler leaves "shrink" enough to make them draw too loose? Would they "pull away" from the wrapper?

    Im not saying I dont think itll work, just trying to think of what could maybe go wrong. Maybe kuz can come in and dismiss my fears.
    Once the tobacco is cured properly then YES it will ferment rolled in the "final" project just fine as compared to in bales. This has already been accomplished with great success in the industry with the Tatuaje La V
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    90+ Irishman:
    Gray4lines:
    Oh ok, so you intend to roll fresh, then let them ferment as rolled cigars? Hmmmm... theyd have to stay pretty moist, warm, and packed together, wouldnt they?

    Just a thought, if they are fermented while already rolled, they will be very moist... come 2 years later when they dry out to a smokable level, would the filler leaves "shrink" enough to make them draw too loose? Would they "pull away" from the wrapper?

    Im not saying I dont think itll work, just trying to think of what could maybe go wrong. Maybe kuz can come in and dismiss my fears.
    Once the tobacco is cured properly then YES it will ferment rolled in the "final" project just fine as compared to in bales. This has already been accomplished with great success in the industry with the Tatuaje La V
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    90+ Irishman:
    Once the tobacco is cured properly then YES it will ferment rolled in the "final" project just fine as compared to in bales. This has already been accomplished with great success in the industry with the Tatuaje La V
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    webmost:
    90+ Irishman:
    Once the tobacco is cured properly then YES it will ferment rolled in the "final" project just fine as compared to in bales. This has already been accomplished with great success in the industry with the Tatuaje La V
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think laker is right... after the first curing.. how long is the "fermentation" stage? Maybe you could get by with a shortened fermentation, then roll them and let em finish off? Kuzis post seems to say nay on this.. but I am kind of confused as well on when the ferm stops and the rest or aging begins...

    you could box press for pressure.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    So I google up the example, which takes me to the Tatuaje site, ( http://www.tatuajecigars.com/site/smokes/smokes.php?line=La Verite Vintage ) where I read a different story: "It wasn't until late 2008 while the tobacco was still under going fermentation that Pete realized the tobacco was smoking perfectly and would make a great single farm vintage cigar."

    Then I land at HalfWheel where I read: "In early 2009, it was announced that Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars would be incorporating a somewhat unique idea from the wine industry into the cigar world. He would be releasing a cigar named “La Vérité” (or “The Truth” in French) which would be totally comprised of tobacco from one farm in Estelí, Nicaragua (Pepín’s farm of La Estrella) and one single crop year. Every year, the cigars would be rolled and then aged in Master Cabinets for a whole year or more until the next year’s release; i.e. the 2008's were rolled in 2009 and released in 2010. This years release was rolled in 2010 and released in 2011. In fact, he is not only using tobacco from one year and one farm, he has also changed the traditional cigar aging process, which normally takes place in bales, and decided to let the tobacco age in the form of a complete cigar."
    age in bales. not ferment. you dont ferment in bales. you ferment in hands built into pilones. it can take as little as 60 days to ferment tobacco.



    webmost:
    I know this much from personal experiment: I scored some brand new non aged FX Smiths direct from the factory. The owner there told me they can no longer afford to age the tobacco, cause the safety *** have4 just about taxed him out of business. FX smoked dang rough at first. Six months later, they were 80% improved. And that wasn't done by providing them any heat -- just a box. I also have my tainted cheroots I rolled from leaf I bought. They were pure horrible when I first rolled them because I got them too wet so they started to ferment all over again. I still have some, here eight months later. I can fire one up and see how it finished in the box. Haven't burnt one in a while.
    again its an age thing not a fermentation thing. if they are fresh rolled, there will be improvement over time. many factories will age tobacco in bales and the again cigars post roll. if they ferment, forgo the age in bales and the post roll age, then the tobacco will "age well" and improve drastically over time. tobacco that is unfermented and made into cigars will need decades for it to reach what most of us would call "smokable"
    webmost:


    there's guys there who age their leaf on dashboards. That's right. If you live in one of those parts of the country where everyone has two or three old cars parked in the weeds, it's natural to just lay your leaves on the dash for heat with a wet towel for humidity and there you bloody are. It's all for fun anyways, right?

    wow.
    just wow.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I seem to be beating a dead horse and getting more confused. I suppose what we have here is variable terminology. Just like the guys on the tobacco growing site who use high or low "case" to describe how damp a leaf is. Never heard dampness called case before. Took me a while to figure that beast out.

    So you pluck the leaves and hang them to dry slow, damp and hot, so that they turn brown over time. Let's call that "curing".

    Then the harshness needs to break down. What everyone else does in a box, like a fridge or kiln, or steamy warehouse. Let's call that "fermentation".

    Then they need to mellow a while. Let's call that "aging".

    Somewhere in the mix you're going to roll them.

    What I was proposing was cure, roll, ferment, age.
    You are saying it has to go cure, ferment, roll, age.

    Looks like I'm in the market for a broken old fridge and crock pot.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • macs-smokesmacs-smokes Posts: 587
    Craigslist? Or dirt road your choice for fridge...crock pot... steal wife's while she's not looking... I am just being the smart alec I am supposed to be. But I am seriously interested in your progress.
  • mmccartneydcmmccartneydc Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭
    Find one of those guys using his dashboard, I'm sure there's an old fridge right next to the car and not being used!
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep. If you can get past the dog chained to an engine block.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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