Do I need to press this?

Discussion in 'Blending' started by Alan Dye, Dec 7, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    I've come up with a recipe that I want to try that includes:

    3# McClelland 5100 (Red Cake Virginia)
    1# McClelland 5101 (Dark Stoved Virginia)
    1# Altadis Blending Smyrna (Oriental/Turkish)
    1# C&D Blending Izmir (Oriental/Turkish)
    1/2# McClelland Blending Latakia

    I'm looking to create a musty/incense Oriental forward blend with a sweet/smooth Virginia base and just enough Latakia to make it interesting without turning it into a bomb.

    I've ordered the tobaccos and they'll be here next week.

    I need some advice on blending. Mixing the tobaccos together won't be a problem, but the question centers around pressing and aging.

    Is pressing necessary to marry the flavors or will simply bottling and aging be enough?

    I'm perfectly willing to bottle it and store it for year before smoking, should the blend need it once completed... In fact, given the quantities involved (6.5lbs) this really is a cellaring project.
     


  2. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    6,744
    I have no idea about any of that stuff, but it seems like a good idea to do some both ways and compare the results.
     
    Alan Dye and FlatbushPaul like this.
  3. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    17,334
    Is it necessary? No. But it does seem to marry the flavors better over time. If I blend something for short term smoking, I just jar it and then mix it up again from time to time. But if I were looking to store long term, I sure wouldn't mind pressing it. But is it required? No.
     
    Slow Tri and Alan Dye like this.
  4. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,494
    I would sample that Altadis Smyrna before dumping it in to make sure it meets muster. Maybe it's fine, but I'm a little apprehensive when it comes to Altadis stuff.
    Another source for really good, legit orientals is D&R tobacco. They don't get much glory because they were (are) sort of a cigarette/pipe crossover producer. Some of their turkish stuff is the real deal, though. I'll vouch for their Ramback in particular.
    As far as pressing, I don't really know. Pressing will probably change it a little, but I wouldn't think it's necessary. If you mix everything up pretty well and jar it for a year it should be amply married, if not necessarily amply aged.
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  5. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    Good to know on the Altadis. I've generally avoided their blends, and didn't know it was Altadis until it shipped, I ordered the blending Smyrna from P&C that they use and it ended up being this. Any other sources of blending orientals besides the one Kiowa mentions, or paying for tiny cans from McClelland?

    I do have a large copy press built in the 1800's that will serve for pressing. I'll probably vacuum seal it into a large package and put it in that press. How long should I press it for?

    (press looks like this):
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    25,075
    H&H uses Altadis stuff and his stuff is pretty good .
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  7. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,494
    Could be fine, I've just had mixed results. Better to be safe than sorry, might as well give it a try before making six pounds of something ;)
    http://www.cornellanddiehl.com/blending_tobaccos.htm
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  8. JRobert

    JRobert Hermit Forum Guide

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,946
    SP has C&D Izmir in bulk. I bought some to blend and tried it straight first -- it's quite nice, in my opinion.
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  9. psquared

    psquared DGErwin, my horse would like a word with you...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,616
    :popc:
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  10. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    Agreed. I'll be tasting the components before they go in. Altadis has a respectable Bulk Balkan 1 and 2, but better safe than sorry is sage advice.
     
  11. Johnny

    Johnny Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    298
    If I remember right, Smyrna is Izmir.... just an older name.
     
    Alan Dye likes this.
  12. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    I think you're right. Both Turkish. I'm guessing that different companies will source from different estates, hopefully getting me some depth. If they are nearly identical during the tasting, I'll probably pause the blending and see if I can find some other orientals rather than just loading up on a single taste...
     
    Albert and Johnny like this.
  13. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    Well, UPS dropped off the component tobaccos today. The 5100 and 5105 are sweet, pleasant virginias. I see the 5105 doing exactly what I hoped in muting the 5100 just a touch.

    The three turkish/orientals are indeed different.

    The Altadis Smyrna is musty, like burlap. Reminds me a bit of camel cigarettes that I smoked many decades ago.

    The McClelland Oriental is sweet, pleasant, but with a muted turkish flavor.

    The C&D Izmir is dry, a bit hard to keep lit, but has a nice dry note.

    I've decided to use all three turkish blends as the flavors are indeed different.

    The latakia, well it is Cyprian and it is, um, well, Latakia.

    I'm blending today, will press, then jar/store/age and report back in a few months.
     
  14. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    I just finished a bowl of the new blend. Additional ingredient to the ones above is 3# of McClelland Blending Oriental.

    The initial pipe was quite good. Lightly sweet, muted, comfortable, a good all day smoke. It will definitely age well. The Latakia is pretty muted, doesn't rear its head up much past the initial incense note in the charring light, but that may change slightly as it starts to permeate the other tobaccos as it ages. It would definitely appeal more to a Virginia smoker at this point. I get some molasses cookie notes in the pipe (subtle spices, dark, sweet -- doubtlessly from the orientals/turkish), and the room note and aftertaste are good. I was smoking it in a well broken in tinsky blasted bulldog.

    Initial thoughts are that this is a promising all day blend. Too early to tell where this is headed, but I can tell already that this experiment did not fail...

    Were I to do it over again, I might up the Latakia to 1#, but then again maybe not. I have plenty of Lat bombs in the stable.
     
    dwaugh likes this.
  15. Slow Tri

    Slow Tri Is it Friday yet?

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,491
    Exactly what I was going to say.
     
    dmkerr likes this.
  16. Goat

    Goat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,782
    Ok, silly question here, but just how are you pressing this? Do you have some kinda form that your putting the tobacco in then putting it in the press? Are you sealing the stuff in bags before pressing to keep it from drying out? I know these questions sound silly but I have no idea just how to press tobacco.

    I'm thinking about growing a half dozen plants in my garden in the spring and info on pressing might come in handy.
     
  17. Slow Tri

    Slow Tri Is it Friday yet?

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,491
  18. Goat

    Goat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,782
  19. GlassEye

    GlassEye Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    731
    I saw a tobacco press on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago, also a lot of other tobacco farm equipment; I see so many fewer tobacco farms these days.
     
  20. Alan Dye

    Alan Dye Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    576
    I have a heavy vacuum pump used for refrigeration repairs, something like this one: http://www.thelashop.com/ac-refrige..._medium=cpc&gclid=CJWgxfOpo7QCFcaDQgodUhcAvQ#

    I bought it to vac seal mason jars of tobacco for cellaring. I built a vacuum chamber out of 6" heavy PVC black pipe. I can seal three pints or 2 quarts at a time.

    Anyway, I've used the pump to pull most of the air out of the heavy plastic bag full of tobacco and then I wrapped it with strapping tape to make a large packet. Then I put it in the press (see picture above) and cranked the press down on it. I'll check it tomorrow and tighten it more if I can, then leave it until after the holidays before transferring to mason jars.

    Real blenders do it with a box form, but I didn't feel like building one just for this. Given the mil on the plastic and the reasonably good taping job and San Francisco humidity, I'm not terribly worried about drying in the next 2 weeks while it presses... The vacuum was more to compress the packet before binding with tape, to enable me to get a uniform shape for pressing.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.