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Snuff making 101

JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
edited March 2012 in General
Here is a basic recipe that can be used for making snuff.

 ground and sieved tobacco flour                     1/4 cup
 distilled water                                                  2 teaspoons                       
 sodium carbonate (washing soda)                  1/8 teaspoon
 table salt                                                          1/2 teaspoon    
 
Dissolve  soda and salt in water then add to tobacco flour.
Jar and let sit for one week.

That is it in a nutshell. This recipe is quite flexible and there are a ton of details but I wanted to start simple here.

Thanks to @snuffmiller a.k.a. Jaap Bes for the original recipe this is based on, See complete recipe here

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Comments

  • GentlemanGentleman Posts: 67
    Very interesting topic and I will be keeping an eye on this thread. I'm currently growing my own tobacco to give me something to do, so no doubt that this will be very useful for me. Nice one pal.
  • XanderXander Posts: 7,382
    Good job getting all this in one place. Keep up the good work. Do you want me to move it into the FAQ section? I can delete this and any extraneous comments once there.
    Jari_T
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    edited March 2012
    Great resource, very nicely done. Definitely for the FAQ when the Master has concluded:)

    Maybe we could leave the comments and questions until it's copied onto the FAQ?



  • darklydarkly Posts: 83
    Thank you VERY much! This thread has been bookmarked!
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    edited January 2013
    "I bought 50 gr of Celikhan raw tobacco. Celikhan tobacco was used for snuffmaking by turkish government company until 1980's. Then the production stopped. This tobacco is very expensive $50 for 1 kg. It is moist and ready to smoke. I dried 50gr tobacco in microvawe for 20 minutes at the lowest heat. I ground it very fine like toque snuffs. For HDT i cook it untill some smoke appears. For scenting and maturing i use sodium carbonate and table salt 1/1 ratio (very small amounts) mix it with 2ml water. Add essential oils mixtures as you want. For plain snuff no oils. For scented 1-2 drops(it is like toque) For parfumed 6-7 drops (F&T like) and for exterem parfumed add 13-16 drops ( indian snuff like) if you want oil based use haff amount of paraffin instead of water. Mix them all with tea spoon. It doesn't become like mud don't afraid. It tastes salty but if you wait 24hrs at least salt disappears slowly."

    copied from a @linguist post
    TomStrasbourgratus
  • cstokes4cstokes4 Posts: 4,628
    Ohhhh I wish we had a "like" button.  
    haiku44thorgrimnrjpsavage
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    edited June 2012
    He's so....masterfully snuffy
  • RocktopusRocktopus Posts: 86
    Great thread.  I'm about to plant some different tobaccos bound for grinding.  Really appreciate this info. 
  • ddavelarsenddavelarsen Posts: 593
    Fantastic thread! I've bookmarked this one and it will be my bible going forward. Thanks @Juxtaposer!
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    I might be done here. I suppose there will be a few edits and additions I will do but for the most part I think I'm finished. If anyone thinks I left anything out please let me know. 
  • ddavelarsenddavelarsen Posts: 593
    I'm really sketchy on the whole fermentation process. How do you track its progress? How do you know when to stop it? How do you stop it? If these questions are covered already I apologize, but I've missed it. Any addl info appreciated. I've made snuff by grinding prepared tobacco of course, but never from leaf, and that seems like the "real" way to do it. I want to. But I'm sure I'd hose the process right off by not understanding enough about the fermentation/curing process. Are these even the same thing? Sorry for being so dense.
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    edited March 2012
    Fermentation (the breakdown of the tobacco leaf) is very complicated yes, but it is something that happens automatically and naturally starting from when the plants are harvested. Extensive fermentation is there for you to experiment with but it is not necessary. 
    I edited the recipe so now you have nothing to think about.
  • furiousfurious Posts: 311
    That is a great resource! Thank you.
  • WhalenWhalen Posts: 1,019
    Fantastic thread, still getting around to digesting it all.
  • WhalenWhalen Posts: 1,019
    How was that Guano snuff?
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Posts: 3,208
    This has to be the most interesting and useful thread on this site, thanks Jux!
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Posts: 3,208
    edited March 2012
    and I can no longer edit my posts on the mobile version.
  • GeorgeGeorge Posts: 24

    This is an excellent thread !

    Bookmarked !!

  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    This is the most extensive piece of work about making snuff that I have ever come across. As the commercial producers don't exactly give their secrets away, making your own snuff can be a daunting prospect. This shows it isn't and it's perfectly possible to make great snuff at home. 

    Hopefully this can be trimmed of comments and put onto the FAQ as one body of text.
    Talljim
  • XanderXander Posts: 7,382
    @snuffster I think @Juxtaposer has already begun something like that.
  • gavingavin Posts: 6
    edited June 2012
    Just wanted to say thank you for the guide. I made some snuff from american spirit perique RYO tobacco using this basic recipe and it turned out great! Decent nic kick and a little burn.
    The only difference is that I used baking soda instead of sodium carbonate, and I used 50% more of it (3/16 tsp total) because I read somewhere that's what you need to achieve same PH as sodium carbonate.
    I'll try this next with some strong pipe tobacco. Oh and I was wondering... what are the "undesirable qualities" of using baking soda instead of sodium carbonate (washing soda)?
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    @gavin Baking soda has a slight scent and is less interactive with the tobacco. That's about it though. American Spirit Perique is a great choice for making snuff. I ran into some mold problems with my ASP batch that was also alkalized with baking soda. I did not add any salt and I was keeping it way too moist. 
  • WhalenWhalen Posts: 1,019
    Seems that salt needs to be introduced pretty early in the process. I have been adding salt after 5 days of "making" the snuff. The salt seems to stop any unwanted growth. I give a free five day period for any thing beneficial to grow first.
     You know I went to  a lot of trouble to get the MSDS for the washing soda, lifetime supply of calcium carbonate for under $5. Pure stuff. I think baking soda is an evil and easy product, everybody has it, but not a good idea for snuff. I learned that the hard way BTW.
  • kougykougy Posts: 364
    @Whalen Baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate, right ?
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    edited June 2012
    Not all snuff has salt or carbonates in the mix. Some snuffs rely more on the blending and cure aspects of the base tobacco. Sometimes it reads like you can't have snuff without them, but it's not always the case; there are good snuffs without either.
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    @Snuffster Can you tell us which snuffs are those with no added salts.
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    edited November 2012
    Dragun doesn't, nor do the two other Draguns that will come out, hopefully, before winter. They are the only recipes I have access to but I would be surprised if DW and snuffs like that have much if any. One of the old FandT booklets quotes a blender saying that many of the original snuffs were nothing but blended tobacco. In an industry where people guard their recipes to the extent that only two people per generation know them, like WoS, it's impossible to be certain. No disrespect to this excellent work, I'm really just saying that it's not possible to state that all snuffs follow a standard chemical model.

    I would imagine if you look for all the references to snuff making - not snuff use or general points, but the actual practice of manufacturing, that most of the literature is about European type snuffs and that most, if not all of the written sources are actually very old ones - give or take the odd bit of tobacco lit. that is not snuff specific. Probably very little on Indian types or ethnic variants apart from the odd remark or paragraph and what there is specifically about snuff manufacturing is very fragmentary. Given the overall lack of recipes and specifics on manufacture the question 'which snuffs don't use salts etc' is, it seems to me, not really answerable.

     Anyway, that's just my take, this a great piece of work and I don't want to get in the way of that.
    I_snuff_therefore___fredh
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    Good answer and point well made. Tobacco certainly need not have anything added to become snuff. 
    fredh
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
  • XanderXander Posts: 7,382
    Jaap once mentioned that the fermented Virginia varieties of the Kralinglse snuffs have no salts. As such they have a tendency to get moldy if not used quickly.
  • snuffmillersnuffmiller Posts: 404

    @Xander: Only the Bon Bon and the Mettaijer snuff don't contain salt. The other snuffs do.

    Jaap Bes.

    SirSnuff
  • XanderXander Posts: 7,382
    @snuffmiller Thanks for the clarification.
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    @snuffmiller What about alkalizers?
  • snuffmillersnuffmiller Posts: 404

    @Juxtaposer: The Bon Bon contains Sodium carbonate. The Mettaijer wine vinegar.

    Jaap Bes.

  • KebAMPKebAMP Posts: 212
    If you add some sodium carbonate to Mettaijer, will it start to bubble? :)

    Sounds funny but I have a 100g tub of this and last week I found a little mold on it and the snuff started to "cook together" in some sort of snuff bread. I removed the mold and managed to break the bread into snuff again and air it a bit.

    I keep my snuff in a wine cellar.

    Would adding sodium carbonate prevent this from happening again?


     
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    I remember reading about vinegar being given separately to add to snuff before use. Way back when. 
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,443
    There was a mid 18th century snuff; Spanish Bran, which was sold with a small flask of scented vinegar called vinegrillo. Another oddity of the time was Spanish Sabilla which people used to clean their teeth with.
    fredh
  • stogiestogie Posts: 3,046
    Just a side comment regarding initial drying....I live in a fairly low humidity environment.  We can dry tobacco, fruit, vegetables, most anything simply by  placing in a thin layer on a permeable surface, then placing in the car with the windows nearly rolled up.  You know how hot it gets in there.  a bit difficult to sustain given temperature, but very effective at drying things out.  you can raise or lower temp to some degree by how open the window is.  Very low tech and 'hillbilly' like but effective.
  • ScurvyScurvy Posts: 763
    I have a couple questions on the recipe at the start of this thread... Is the purpose of letting your snuff sit for one week to aid with moisture levels? Or is it whatever chemical reactions that need to take place take that long? Also, I assume that the container is meant to be airtight... but does it need to be left undisturbed, or should you let it air out once in a while? I can't seem to refrain from opening the jar and checking on the status of my snuff, I hope I'm not mucking it up... 

    Sorry if these are silly questions, but I didn't see the answers anywhere.
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    edited June 2012
    Generally after about a week you will have a relatively stable mix. If you try it right away you will notice subtle changes after about a week or so. Disturbing it will not matter at all unless you are adding something to it. Airing out is recommended only before use as in putting some in a snuff box. While air tight storage is mainly for the purpose of keeping it pure if it is kept long enough in an anaerobic environment (at least 90 days) some changes will start to take place .Please don't wait and go ahead and fill a box. It may be you will enjoy it more when it is fresh.
    DICECelsenJari_T
  • ScurvyScurvy Posts: 763
    Great! Thanks for the info! I've got to say that I'm very impressed by all the knowledgeable people on this forum.
    OleFactoryHugh
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