I now have a tobacco shredder. I call it Fred.

It’s a simple thing but it works well. It cuts baccy leaves into 0.8mm strips. This is more than just about smoking the shred.

I have long planned to try making Electrofag juice because I have not yet come across a good baccy-flavoured one and also because the Puritans and their idiot puppet politicians will no doubt try to ban it soon.

The problem is that plant cells are surrounded by a tough cellulose layer. I can rip it apart with enzymes or solvents but I don’t want to introduce contaminants. I would prefer a simple water extraction. This does not work with my old scissors or craft knife cutting. Far too much leaf surface in relation to the cut edges.

The new shredded leaf means I can produce a hell of a lot more cut edges and those edges are where most water extraction will happen. Not through the whole cells on the leaf surface but from the smashed ones on the edges.

I still have to report on the enzyme-curing experiment and the shredder helps there too. I could cut for tubing before but not for quick rollies and if I have to smoke six, they have to be small.

Once that’s done I will try electofag extraction. Without added chemicals.

Let’s keep it simple and non-technical.

Oh and snuff? That has to be worth a try. Maybe we can find a way to make home-made Snus too.

Thatnks are due to the Dreadful Arnott, without whom none of this would ever have even been considered.


25 thoughts on “Shredder

  1. There are youtube/online instructions of making snus at home…well almost snus as the steaming process for it is really only do-able on an industrial scale. However baking it works well apparently…however it takes a day or so of baking.

    I, too, haven’t forgotten the enzymicals but ATM I am working on trying to make the leaf more plastic (?) so it tubes better and I stop losing so much to ‘dust’/’shake’/’fine’ (although I don’t ‘lose’ it- it is then ‘snuff’).

    I’m hoping this morning to do a first experiment with glycerine -which is what the big boys use.


    • For tubing, I chop my shredded stuff up into small bits. I got the idea from ripping a fag apart and noticing that the tobacco in the cig was in little bits. I find that I can spread the stuff in the tubing machine compartment more evenly. Even the dust goes in!


      • Junican, actually your ‘orange peel’ article has been a major help in my battle with perfecting tubing tobacco (as the thought of DIYing expanded tobacco at home makes me wish I had paid attention in science class to more than ‘Human Reproduction’ and ‘ Yeasts’). But with my delicate current state of health I daren’t handle anything that might contain vitamins, the toxic shock from citric acid could quite easily do for me! My topomatic tubing machineS seem to like very long strands of very fine tobacco and I have been finding that shorter strands cause premature ejaculation. Even using ‘proper’ volume tobacco, the first half of the bag will tube like a dream…and the lower half not. Worse is my home shredded to 0.8mm tobacco. The ‘top’ really long strands tube really well -all the way to the filter and carrot nicely but as I work down through the pile (a technical term) the topomatic starts to eject early or not fill.

        The other problem I am having with self shredded is the amount of fines or shake. It sometime seems that I am ‘losing’ 1/4 of the pile. ..and that’s just during the shredding and when I start to tube it gets worse. OK, it’s all good for the snuff tub but….

        So today I took some of that dried-down-to-chips baccy from my failed enzyme experiment and soaked it for a bit in a 1 tsp glycerine/15 tsps of filtered water then oven dried it down to just over ‘still too wet to shred’. I then shredded it and am still waiting for it to dry down enough to tube/roll! Seems the glycerine is keeping it moist for a lot longer. Hopefully by the end of the evening it will be dry enough to test smoke -test smoke for taste (incase the glycerine has done nasty things to the taste). I didn’t make enough to tst much in the way of tubing/how much dust it makes. That’s for tomorrow or the day after.


        • Just thought that I would mention it, BD.
          I used to get a lot of jams until I realised that I did not need to fill the whole compartment. I have got used to ‘feeling’ the softness/hardness/dryness of the tobacco and loading the compartment accordingly. I still get the odd jam occasionally, but not often.
          I’m glad that you find the orange peel moistening useful. What I do, after leaving the stuff overnight for the tobacco to absorb the moisture (and a little flavour). is to test the tobacco by clumping it in my fingers. It is sticks together, it needs a little drying. If it needs a little drying, I spread it on a tray and pop the tray in front of the fire for just a minute or two. (The fire is an open gas fire so the hearth gets pretty warm) The ideal state of the tobacco is soft but not sticky, but there is a little lee-way either side of perfection.


          • A slice of apple works too, and gives another flavour.

            I also add the dust to the fags. Although I think I should give snuff a go. If it annoys the antis, it has to be worth it.


  2. For making electrofag juice, I’d be tempted to shred the baccy as well as I could in a food mixer, then give it a good, long dose of an ultrasound bath (or use an ultrasonic pulveriser if I could lay hands on one secondhand). That ought to liberate the cell vacuole contents quite nicely.


  3. If you’re doing a water extraction, couldn’t you just pop the leaf into a blender? Then strain the resultant soup through a coffee filter (correctly fluted, of course πŸ˜‰ ).

    I appreciate that the shredder has the happy side effect of producing a more usefully sized product though!


    • Too far down and filtering becomes hard – filters block up fast. You can use a wad of glass wool as a first-filter to take out big lumps so the paper filter has less to deal with, but if it’s all fine particles the glass wool no longer works.

      There’s a balance to be struck, and I haven’t even started to find it yet.


  4. Hmm… given the regulations Junican et al have been discussing regarding the legality of the whole leaf vs the legality of (having? or just smoking?) shredded tobacco, there may be a market for a new invention: An UnShredder!

    “Quick! Mikey! The Feds are at the door! Pop that baccy into the unshredder fast!”



    • Actually, it’s best stored as leaf and shredded as required. Once shredded it can dry out horribly fast! I don’t have the means to heat-seal plastic packs like the tobacco companies so I just shred a day’s worth.

      It doesn’t take long, and shred is far easier to stuff into tubes than flakes.


  5. Anna Raccoon’s blog has been down all afternoon…I am getting worried. Anyone heard anything on FAce Ache or Twatter (two things even I will not stoop to use…not being teenage, american or Steven Fry)?


  6. If you take some cured/dried leaf and really dry it out, it will crumble. Bung it through the coffee grinder and you should get lots of tiny pieces and dust. Would that not make it even easier to extract the alkaloids?
    I accidentally dried some pieces of leaf out thoroughly because I had them on a tray in front of the fire and forgot about them.
    If the experiment with the enzymes is anything to go by, when I immersed some shredded leaf in warm water in a jar, brown liquid formed. What is in the brown liquid? If the brown liquid contains stuff like ‘tar’, how is the nicotine to be separated from the ‘tar’? I read that nicotine is a colourless liquid “one of the few liquid alkaloids”, it said.


    • Yes, you’d get a better extraction from leaves smashed into dust but then you have to get rid of a lot of wet dust. That means fine filters, and fine filters block easily.

      I’m not after pure nicotine in this one. I’m after a decent tobacco flavour. So the brown stuff might be what I want πŸ˜‰


      • The brown that collects after steaming leaves for 7 hours is impressive in its strength of tobacco extract (judging by the smell) and it stains everything including stainless steel and fingers. I haven’t tried tasting it but people do use it to case leaves when toasting etc.


  7. I write in appreciation of the name for your shredding device – one can only assume that you consider being in a position to use it as a “good win” overall? πŸ˜‰


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