Home tobacco press

AceFour

Well-known member
So I got bored. I had some whole leaf left, not a lot, and decided to press in it a cigar box with ribbon on the inside. Next day I didn't feel it was getting enough pressure. So I said to hell with it. I pulled the wad out and folded it over and shoved it in a 3" PVC with two steel plates and 2 c-clamps. Welcome to a one of a kind chocolate fudge swirl. It's hard as a brick. Going to put it away for a while and I will slice with the plug cutter and see how smokes then . . .

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FrankHall

Well-known member
Sales
Is anyone interested in puck trading? I'm just thinking - those of us who are really into it probably have larger supplies of our 'base' ingredients to create variations of our favorite puck blends. We're coming up with interesting, unique blends, but they would be difficult for others to duplicate, as it would require having all the same ingredients.

If there is interest, maybe we could trade several partial pucks to one another - kind of a surprise thing, but it might be interesting.
 

FrankHall

Well-known member
Sales
50g Coniston cut plug, turned back into a plug. I have a lot of Coniston, and just figured it couldn't hurt to try. If it works, I'll heat-seal each plug in a mylar bag and pull as needed. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

50g SG Golden Glow, infused with home-made nocino walnut liqueur. GG is great as-is, but the idea of a sweet walnut infusion appealed to me. If it works, the next plug will get a longer infusion - this was only about 8 hours.

I will do a smoke test tomorrow: Golden Glow plug vs Golden Glow ready rub.

Very interesting thing I discovered today when I pulled these. I had noticed before that all of my home-press plugs smoke exactly the same - light easily and generally just one light required. If it was a dry tobacco previously (like the GG) or an extremely damp tobacco like the Coniston - they still will smoke the same in plug form. The foil, wax paper, press, were all covered with tarry brown residue. But the GG was very clean and I could actually re-use the wax paper if I wanted - no residue on the design plates at all. Basically, the press squeezes the plug down to the same size, regardless of moisture content, based on my particular arm strength, any extra goo just gets squeezed out. Science is wonderful.

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FrankHall

Well-known member
Sales
Here's my first whole leaf attempt. I took three different Virginia's @Ozark Wizard sent me, smoked a little of each, decided what percentages of each I would use....and from there it all went to hell. I spritzed a little water on the leaf, put all the leaf in a large ziplock, poked a few holes, put it in the microwave, and it caught on fire. I then dumped the bag in a casserole. There was no melted plastic smell, but the tobacco was still smoking, much like a pipe (it smelled pretty good), so I hurriedly removed as much salvageable leaf as possible, put it in a bowl and added my casing. Tupperware'd it for several days, then pressed. The bowl I smoked before pressing was not actually bad.

I will get more guidance before trying this again.

FrankHall's Twice-Smoked Halloween Blend:

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Frotz

cause something to give off light
Patron
Here's my first whole leaf attempt. I took three different Virginia's @Ozark Wizard sent me, smoked a little of each, decided what percentages of each I would use....and from there it all went to hell. I spritzed a little water on the leaf, put all the leaf in a large ziplock, poked a few holes, put it in the microwave, and it caught on fire. I then dumped the bag in a casserole. There was no melted plastic smell, but the tobacco was still smoking, much like a pipe (it smelled pretty good), so I hurriedly removed as much salvageable leaf as possible, put it in a bowl and added my casing. Tupperware'd it for several days, then pressed. The bowl I smoked before pressing was not actually bad.

I will get more guidance before trying this again.

FrankHall's Twice-Smoked Halloween Blend:

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The figures on the puck remind me of how tea has historically been similarly pressed and marked. Cute name for it.
 

FrankHall

Well-known member
Sales
Pressed 2 oz of Mississippi Mud. Was in the press for about 40 hours. Pretty happy with the results. Will leave in the jar for about a week before I give it a taste.
I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from home-pressing - hope it is fun for you as well.

I'm not sure what a 40 hour press would do, but maybe more of a 'cake' consistency? I have settled on 4 days with a good turn about twice a day (if possible). The longer pressing means more sticky hard goop dried in the press, but it's not too hard to clean as long as you get after as soon as you remove the plug. I'm pulling two plugs Sunday (5 day press). Giving them an extra day since I can't mail until Monday anyway.
 
I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from home-pressing - hope it is fun for you as well.

I'm not sure what a 40 hour press would do, but maybe more of a 'cake' consistency? I have settled on 4 days with a good turn about twice a day (if possible). The longer pressing means more sticky hard goop dried in the press, but it's not too hard to clean as long as you get after as soon as you remove the plug. I'm pulling two plugs Sunday (5 day press). Giving them an extra day since I can't mail until Monday anyway.
I’m gonna try to get another couple presses to try different lengths of time in the press. This thing is hockey puck hard. I saw some vids after I loaded it about using a sammy bag or another barrier so the puck will slide out without the inner sleeve of the press coming out with it. Maybe I was lucky, but the baccy slid right out with only a few flecks on the plunger face.

I loaded up another 56 grams, but with habana daydream this time. Will go for a 5 day press this round.

My experimentation is two fold. 1. To cut down on storage space, and 2. To speed up the flavor marriage.

Regardless I’m having fun.
 

tfdickson

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
I’ve found that the benefit curve flattens out pretty quickly with the pressure and time variables. Once you pass “sufficient” you don’t get much gain (density) from additional pressure or longer time. The biggest game changer for me was adding heat. I heat my blends up in the microwave in a Pyrex bowl for 20 seconds then mix it up with my hands. Then 15 more seconds and immediately into the press. It is hot to the touch and steaming. I always work in 2 ounce batches so the microwave time might need to be adjusted for different quantities. I get pucks that are 3/4” thick, sometimes a little less, in the 2” diameter noodle press.
 

FrankHall

Well-known member
Sales
Yeah, I haven't noticed any gain after 3 days, and sometimes there is no more turning after only 2 days. But I'm in no hurry, so it's 4-5 days and keep trying to give it a little twist during that period. I don't see any need to let it sit in the press, as that will just make it that harder to open it and clean it.

But to each his own, right?