Tobacco Growing, part 23 - THE HARVEST
- Today I harvested the entire 1st crop of Baccy - Total yield of leaves, around 8 pounds weight (which of course is mostly water, which as the leaves are cured / dried will evaporate, reducing the weight).
See new photos in the album.
I have discarded 90% of the bunches of original leaves that had been in the cabinet, for two reasons -
a. They were sand lugs - bottom-most leaves, containing little nicotine.
b. Due to them drying out too fast, before colour-curing had taken place, they had the green locked-in, and were worthless.
The cabinet is now full right up with large and ripe, high-yield leaves. I have reduced the temperature from 80F to around 70F to slow down the drying-out of the leaves.
Obviously I could only get a small proportion of the harvest into the cabinet, around 8 bunches of leaves, a total of around 50 leaves in all. The rest have had to be consigned to my summerhouse to colour-cure at the ambient temperature. This will obviously be slow.
Once the cabinet leaves have coloured to the required brownness the temperature and humidity will be cranked up to over 100F @ 80% RH where they will rehydrate.
After this has taken place I can take a sample of these and shred / flavour-case them and put them in the press for 30 days - then rub down and try a smoke !
Others can be made into some cigars.
The bulk of the leaves however, will be then laid-up in a box to mature further. Once the cabinet has been emptied, I'll transfer another batch of leave into the cabinet. If they require colour-curing further, this process can then continue in the cabinet.
My summerhouse roof has six horizontal canes (see photos) with the bunches hanging from them on hooks. Virtually all the canes are full !
These pictures complete that particular album.