Virginia/Burley - Grateful Plug

Virginia/Burley whole leaf plug

Virginia/Burley - Grateful Plug
Grateful Plug Logo

I did do a Virginia/Burley plug last year but I wanted to amp up the casing.  This is going to be a 800g press of four 200g plugs.

The casing for the burley is the following :

  • 100ml water
  • 123g molasses
  • 60g cocoa nibs
  • Cap full of white distilled vinegar

Bring to boil, let cool and strain to storage vessel.

The recipe was simply a matter of math.  After stripping the stems for 1lb of whole leaf burley from I ended up with 326g.   I also hand shredded the leaves to make it easier to case and blend.  I used 2oz of molasses casing and sprayed using a small spray bottle and let the leave rest over night.

326g stripped burley

The bright Virginia was cased with blackberry casing.   The recipe as follows:

  • 100ml water
  • 123g sugar
  • Tablespoon of Brewer's Best Blackberry extract
  • Cap full of white distilled vinegar

After stripping a 1lb of Bright Virginia from I had 351g of tobacco cased with 2oz of blackberry casing and let rest overnight.

stripped Bright Virginia

So to do a 1kg press of four 200g plugs I decided to use the Cavendish that tossed in as a bonus after ordering 5lbs of tobacco.  So the 200g recipe is as follows:

Original batch:

  • 80g Burley (molasses casing)
  • 80g Bright Virginia (blackberry casing)
  • 40g Unflavored Cavendish

Currently using: (update 8/13/2023)

  • 100g Burley (molasses casing)
  • 100g Bright Virginia (blackberry casing)

Made up four 200g bags of of the recipe and started stuffing the 2' stainless steel tube (Model T43311)

80g Burley, 80g Bright Virginia and 40g unflavored Cavendish

Good thing I didn't go for four 200g plugs or I would have to put some elbow grease in getting it all to fit.   Here it is fully loaded after using a push rod on the 3/4" Richlite spacers.

Next dropped it in the frame press and cranked it down until it could not be cranked down anymore.   I used a variety of rods of different lengths to get the plugs compacted down.   After this I will probably do a poor man's stoving in the truck for a week.  Welcome to the south!

Stay tuned for how this comes out . . . .

Update: 7/7/23

Four 200g plugs pulled

Update 7/10/23

I just put the whole press in the truck cab for a week here in the NC heat.   After comparing with Stonehaven last night the noted differences is:

- Grateful Plug needs more stoving.  I will likely take one of the plugs and do it at 200F for 4 hours

- Stonehaven bag note is plum and molasses, Grateful Plug is straight up molasses/burnt sugar smell with a a hint of cacao

I may switch the casing to plum for the bright Virginia on the next batch I make.  I may drop the unflavored Cavendish as well as it is doesn't seem to add much to it other than a filler.

All in all it is in the same ball park as Stonehaven/Rich Dark Flake.

Update 8/13/2023

Ok, I have been smoking the hell out of the first batch and the longer the rest the better it gets so I am not changing any of the casing.   I have stripped another 2 lbs of leaf to make three 200g plugs.

Only change I made was dropping the Cavendish from the mix and did it straight 50/50 Virginia/Burley.  The Cavendish was unflavored and granular so it didn't lend itself to whole leaf pressing very well and probably was more a bulk it up rather than add to the experience.

I have taken 2 of the 3 plugs and put them in a smaller steel press and placed in the oven to stove for 4 hours at 185F.   Here is a picture of the third plug next to a half-plug from the first batch.

2nd batch unstoved plug next to 1st batch stoved plug

Here is the picture of the 3 plugs.  Two on the left were stoved after pulling, the one on the right was not.

2 stoved and 1 unstoved Grateful Plugs
Sept 2023 plugs