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Thoughts on Beginning to Extract Tobacco Flavors

Discussion in 'Liquid Extraction From Tobacco' started by PapawBrett, Sep 13, 2019.

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  1. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    This is for all of the political @$$#0!&$ who want to ruin my life ! :mad::mad::mad:
    Just kidding ! Actually, I am thinking about the newest public/ media attacks on the vaping community. There may be more people than before wondering if DIY methods for Natually Extracted Tobacco is worth the trouble...
    When I started about three years ago, the mantra was "READ". And that still holds true. Maybe when I get time I can link a few threads to help with that.
    I personally would ask a newcomer to NETs "Can you accept failure ?". At least half of my extractions did not meet with my expectations, or approval.
    With a wide range of tobacco products available, you are not required to vape cigarette products, although you can if you want to. Pipe Tobacco Flavors are in the hundreds. Tobacco Blends, Flavored Tobaccos, Single Leaf Tobacco.... Your possibilities are basically limited to whatever restrictions you place upon yourself.
    With a little research, a little planning, careful effort and plenty of patience, you could be enjoying your own NET Flavors for less than $100 start up cost, and roughly 4 cents a ml afterwards.
    You could do this. Just set your mind to it, research what you are about to try, and exercise a good deal of patience.
    Anyone experienced in NET extractions is welcome to offer their advise to those who might be thinking of giving to this a try.
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  2. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    If you are going to try to extract flavors from tobaccos, you will need certain equipment. The equipment you will need depends on what extraction process you are willing to try.
    The two most basic and time-tested methods for extracting tobacco flavors by DIY'ers are Cold Maceration and Heat Extraction. The method you choose will depend on your lifestyle and hobbyist inclinations.
    Here is a link to a thread started by longtime NET enthusiast Str8vision, where he describes extracting tobacco flavors involving steady, monitored heating of 1/2 pint Mason Jars containing tobacco and Ethanol. This process is effective, and only takes maybe 24 hours to complete. But it does required attention to detail.

    Tobacco extraction using heated Ethanol

    And here is a link to a thread started three years ago when I first started extracting my own NETs using cold maceration. As a Career Trucker, I don't have a lot of free time, so this method works for me. Set 'em up and forget 'em for three months, storing in a cool, dark place (the top shelf of the bedroom closet works for me)

    Extended Cold Maceration ?

    Another member, YearsofCigars, has recently been posting of extractions with water. He also has developed a centrifuge method for filtering, and his experiences are posted in this forum.

    NET - Water Based Extractions (work in progress..)

    The amount of time and money you have to offer could help you decide which method would be best for you. Heated Ethanol works exceptionally well, but without expensive lab equipment the home enthusiast will have to continually monitor the temperatures for about a 12 hour period (or all day). Extraction by cooling overnight in a freezer is rather simplified. But in about one full day you can have your own NET flavors.
    Cold Maceration is simple and easy. Filtration is a little more difficult, but a day at the kitchen counter gives me a dozen new NET extracts.
    I am not familiar with the methods YearsofCigars has posted, or the forum he links to often, but there does appear to be a substantial amount of information available he provides.

    There are hundreds of threads on the topic of NET Extracts here in this sub-forum. Many are "What Do I DO Now ?" threads, and they almost always are answered by experienced NET Hunters. I really recommend taking at least a few hours to peruse this sub-forum before you begin. Plan out what you about to try. And Good Luck.
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  3. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    I suppose we should at least try to discuss the Tobacco itself. Using various internet sources, and my own limited experiences, I will at least try to put up some information on the processing and types of tobaccos. I am not an expert in this field, so feel free to comment if you disagree.
    Fire Cured Tobacco is a hearty tobacco grown on fertile soils, then during the curing process is hung of smoldering fires. This smoke effect produces a robust flavor.
    Flue Cured Tobacco (also called Bright leaf Tobacco) is a milder tobacco, usually grown on sandy soils. The Sandhills of the Appalachian Piedmont is a region suited for this type of tobacco. The tobacco itself is a weaker variety than Fire Cured tobaccos, then the leafs are cured without the smoke effect. This produces a mild, clean tobacco.
    Cavendish is a process of tobacco harvesting where the leafs are cured and then pressed into cake form, and then sliced. This is to bring out the sweeter qualities of the tobacco.

    Virginia tobaccos are grown along the southeastern US, and are a Flue Cured, or Bright, variety. This tobacco tends to be milder, and sweeter than most other types. It is the most common tobacco in the world, and chances are you've already experienced this through smoking or vaping.
    Burley are specifically grown and processed to eliminate the natural sugars that occur in some tobaccos. There are some who claim that Burley tobacco has a slightly nutty taste. Usually grown in a stretch of the US from Virginia and North Carolina westward to Missouri, but mostly grown in Kentucky.
    Oriental tobacco is a small leaf variety grown in Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria. The leaf is sun cured when harvested. Commonly used in cigarette production, and considered to be a milder tobacco.
    Latakia is an Oriental tobacco grown in Cyprus and Syria. The harvesting process includes sun curing, then barn curing the dried leaves over smoking wood and herbs to give it a distinct and powerful flavor. Most would consider this variety too strong to smoke by itself, Latakia is commonly used in English Blends of tobacco.
    Perique is a rare and specific tobacco grown in the St. James Parrish of Louisiana. The harvested leaves are partially air cured, then packed into old whiskey barrels and pressed hard to remove the air. One Year later the tobacco is removed and prepared for consumption. Often blended with a Virginia tobacco to form what many call a "VaPer Blend".
    Connecticut or "Shade" tobacco is grown beneath tents in Connecticut and Massachusetts. This method produces a light colored leaf that is used as a wrapper leaf on fine hand-rolled cigars. It is a mild and pleasant tobacco.
    Corojo is another cigar tobacco that originated in Cuba, but is extensively grown in Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Kentucky today. Used primarily as a wrapper leaf, it is said to have a peppery taste.
    Criollo is believed to be the Original Cuban tobacco. The term Criollo means native seed. It has been the primary tobacco for Cuban cigars, and is still the filler tobacco with the Corojo wrapper. Crillo is also produced in Nicaragua.
    Habana is a cigar wrapper leaf that is grown from Cuban seed in Nicaragua. A dark, spicy tobacco leaf that is used in Cigars and occasionally in pipe tobaccos.
    Maduro is a process for making the tobacco leaves sweeter. Aging under high temperature and humidity, these sweetened leaves are commonly used as wrappers for cigars.

    From my own personal experiences, Virginia (or bright leaf) tobacco is the base used for all pipe tobaccos, usually somewhere around 40%. The blend of tobacco from that point depends on whatever the maker is striving for. Dunhill's Early Morning, an English blend, adds Oriental and Latakia. Home & Hearth Louisiana Red and Anniversary Kake are VaPer blends where Perique is added to the Virginia tobacco. Many of the cased, or flavored tobaccos, such as Sutliff's Molto Dulce or Decatur's Black Cherry, will blend Virginia, Burley and a Cavendish together and then spray a light mist of flavoring over the tobacco to give it a 'top note'. Other still will take a Virginia then add a small amount of a different tobacco for flavor, such as Peter Stokkebye's 84 Turkish, or Home & Hearth's Virginia Spice. There are literally hundreds of tobacco blends out there, and I cannot tell you which you might like, Some trial and error is to be expected. But within a dozen or so attempts of various blends you should know where your own personal tastes lean.
    Perhaps this is why many NET DIY'ers refer to themselves as "NET Hunters", as we are always looking for that next great vaping experience.
    Happy Hunting.
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  4. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    Next, a few thoughts on Research and Purchasing. Let's suppose you have decided what Extraction Method you are willing to pursue, and you've got a case of 12 half pint Mason Jars (Was Mart) for your Extractions. Obviously, if you are using twelve jars you will not need to purchase 100 tobaccos. Limit yourself to the number of jars you will be using. 12 Mason Jars of extract will not only last me a full year or two, but I wind up giving at least half of my extracts away to friends here on the ECF. You will wind up with more than you need.
    Carefully research the types of tobaccos out there. I would recommend the new NET Hunter try several different types of tobacco blends. When I first started, Voodoo Queen was the rage among Latakia lovers. But it was way too strong for me. Maybe Dunhill's Early Morning or Dunhill's Nightcap would be a better introduction into English Blends.
    VaPer blends are also a favorite among NET Hunters. H&H Louisiana Red is a popular choice there, and H&H Anniversary Kake is another good VaPer. Peter Stokkebye's 84 Turkish is a good introduction to Oriental tobaccos. Flavored Tobaccos can also be extracted, but Citrus Flavors usually don't do well. Also, it has been my experience that 'Aromatic' blends usually don't fare well when using PG Cold Maceration, as the flavor fades quickly. Perhaps using Heated Ethanol would be better for Aromatic blends.
    I cannot tell you which you would prefer. You will have to find this out for yourself. Here is a link to a website that is strictly set up for tobacco reviews by smokers : The largest collection of pipe tobacco reviews on the internet.
    Yes, it can seem a little too much with all of the different blends available. bUt you't have to read each and every review. You just need to decide which type of tobacco you want to try next.
    I personally shop at Their 'Bulk Tobacco' selections come in one once packaging which is just right for a half-pint Mason jar. P&C also allows you to filter your options by several methods - by choosing non-aromatics and four star ratings (by customers) I can reduce 460 products to 110 choices. Then I can review the selections to decide if I would like to try them or not. There are other online vendors out there, many are discussed throughout this forum.
    A personal note ; there is such a thing as a Tobacco Beetle. They lay their larvae into the tobacco leaf. But the Tobacco Beetle larvae cannot mature below 72*F. This is why Humidors are kept cool and dry. As long as the tobacco is kept cool, the larvae cannot hatch. This is why I place my orders in the dead of winter (January, February) during a cold spell. Overkill ? Maybe, but I want to enjoy the tobacco flavor at it's finest.
    To the newcomer I would recommend ordering several different types of tobacco blends. English, VaPer, Flavored, Oriental. Also try different strengths - mild to medium, medium and full flavored. You will not like them all, but by finding one or two you do like you can then pursue that flavor profile across multiple makers, blends, and flavors. Once you have established the types of tobaccos you favor, the process becomes a lot more enjoyable.
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  5. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    FILTRATION IS KEY ! As discussed in a thread I previously linked to, @Str8vision has developed a method of Heated Ethanol Extraction that includes overnight cooling in the Family Freezer to remove unwanted oils and particles. And CigarsforYears has shown a method of filtering that uses centrifugal force.
    Whichever method you use, Tobacco Extracts are notorious for oils and sediments. Unless you are using expensive lab equipment featuring vacuum assisted filtration, this is the breaking point for too many NET trials. Improperly filtered NET liquids result in what is called a "Gunky" liquid. The sediments and particles with blacken your wicks and ruin your coils in as little as a tankful, ruining the flavor you were pursuing as well. Filtering your extracts properly is a MUST if you are going to continue to pursue your own NET flavors.
    Using Cold Maceration with PG as an extraction method, I use a manual method of filtering involving an Aeropress coffee maker. These can be purchased at Amazon for about $30.
    The filter papers that come with this device are adequate for coffee, but not for tobacco extractions. I learned the hard way that 2 macron filter paper is what is needed. These papers can be found at Thomas Scientific. I cut mine to match the size of the filter basket on the bottom of the aero press. First I use a 2 quart pitcher and a funnel I purchased online, with a common coffee filter to strain out the extract form the tobacco into a quart mason jar. Then I filter the extract through the aero press twice. Once with the filter paper that came with the aero press, and a final time slowly easing the extract through the lab paper. This filters the extract down to as clean as I can get it. Mixing at 10% flavor, the finished e-liquid gives me all the flavor I desire, and my coils will last for at least 10ml of vaping.
    I should note that Flavored Tobaccos (cherry, vanilla, etc.) will not be as clean as blended tobaccos (84 Turkish, Louisiana Red, etc.). Either way, you must find a filtration process that suits you if you are going to make your own NET flavors.
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  6. PapawBrett

    PapawBrett Travelin' Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Monroe NC
    And Finally... Mixing ! There are a few Hearty Souls who will mix Latakia Blends at 25%. To each their own. But if you are just starting out, I would recommend starting at 10%, and allow the mixture to steep three to four weeks. I feel this is a good starting point. Mixing small samples (10ml) will allow you to test your creations. I personally mix H&H Louisiana Red at 8%, Decatur Black Cherry at 10%, and Peter Stokkebye's 84 Turkish at 15%. This does not mean I am "doing it right", it is just mixed to my personal preferences after several trials.
    Remember, the more extract you put into your mix, then you are likely adding more sediments and particles that are common with homemade NET flavors. This is why I prefer squonker mods with simple, easy to clean RBA's for my NET flavors. Regular cleaning is a necessity with your gear if you are vaping homemade NET's. Complicated multi piece tanks can be used, but you will still have to clean them regularly. Cleaner NET flavors and clean equipment provide the vaping experience you were looking for when you began this journey.
    Good Luck, and Happy Hunting !
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