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Old snuff recipes

volungevolunge Member
edited April 2019 in General
This is a very simple recipe of Peterburgian snuff, which was made in Poland (Union factory, Warsaw) in the second half of the 19th century. It was the most popular snuff among those produced by Union.

"Add 15% of wood ash, 10% of potash, 7% of salt, 2% of fragrant meleot herb to the dust of the very best mahorka; after mixing and sieving it properly, add drops of fragrant bergamot oil, then package it up".

Meleot - Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover), mahorka - Nicotiana rustica.

Though most old Russian varieties of rustica didn't bear mindblowing amounts of nicotine, it was (and still is) considerably stronger than regular tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum).

Strangely, water is not mentioned in this recipe. If anyone would like to recreate this snuff, I recommend using water instead of ash, which contains mostly potash after all, whereas the originally indicated amount of potash (10%) alone is more than sufficient for freebasing the nicotine. Potash can be substituted with 8 % of sodium carbonate (anhydrous) for the same effect. Sweet clover contains coumarin, so it can be substituted with tonka beans, adding them to taste into the finished snuff.

Here's a link to the blog in Russian where I found this recipe: https://masterok.livejournal.com/3369277.html
A very interesting article about snuff taking in Russia there with a reference to another, more sophisticated old recipe of stove-fermented Rose snuff, which I will hopefully translate and post in this thread someday.

I'll try to find out the original source of Peterburgian snuff recipe. Rose snuff recipe is disclosed in the book "Moskva i moskvichi" ("Moscow and Muscovites") by V. A. Gilyarovskij (1926, Moscow), here's a link to the snuff-dedicated chapter: http://www.gilyarovsky.ru/index.php/2010-09-11-15-43-53/2010-09-11-20-14-03

P. S. 10% of potash or sodium carbonate with 15-20% moisture makes a strong snuff even with ordinary tobacco. Expect ammonia party! :)

Comments

  • bobbob Member
    interesting

  • Excellent post!
    Congratulations my friend!very interesting indeed.
    Everybody who knows of an old recipe should post it here!

    :-bd
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited April 2019 PM
    I'm happy to share a find! I hope it will inspire and encourage some folks to try their hand at snuff making.

    Found another one yesterday. It's Zolotaya Rybka nyuhatel'naya mahorka - Goldfish rustica snuff, produced in Soviet Russia in the 1960's:

    zolotaya rybka

    "Goldfish -
    highest quality nasal rustica snuff. Fine dust-like grind, mentholated. Nicotine
    content 1.8%, moisture content 25%. Contains (in % by weight) potash 1.5,
    ammonia 15, mint oil (containing 50% menthol) 0.5 to increase the strength and
    create a cooling sensation. Packed in 50 g paper packages with inner parchment paper
    and foil lining."

    Source: http://www.mintorgmuseum.ru/vocabulary/445/

    NB! No ammonia concentration indicated for this Goldfish.
    Reproducers,
    be careful! I would advice using 10% ammonia water. Consider adding 10 parts of water to achieve the 25% moisture, too.


  • volungevolunge Member
    edited April 2019 PM
    Regarding ammonia content in Goldfish snuff, 15 parts of ammonia is a gross blunder. I tried adding such amount of 10% ammonia water to some stale snuff and binned the concoction immediately after a single pinch. It seems there's a decimal point missing - should be 1.5%, not 15. I tried 3% previously and found it all-right.

    1.5-3% meets the requirements of old Soviet snuff manufacture regulatory document VTU 256-56, which defined a total amount of alkalizers (potash, sodium carbonate and 25% ammonia water) up to 3%.
  • CobguyCobguy Member

    @volunge, I just did the same thing with slaked lime.  I could have sworn I'd read that up to 10% by weight was ok to use.  It was WAY too much ammonia!  However, after a couple of weeks in the jar, I dumped it out into a large bowl and set it outdoors in the breeze.  About two hours later, I could actually sniff the bowl without it "knocking me out".  LOL

  • volungevolunge Member
    edited May 2019 PM
    @Cobguy, White Elephant contains 6.39 g of... calcium (sic!) per 100 g of snuff:

    If calcium stands for slaked lime, that's almost 6.5% of the stuff in there. I bet moisturized Elephant would emit knocking amounts of ammonia as well.

    I would love to play with pH meter someday... You can't go wrong with that device. Here's the link to related discussion: https://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/threads/homemade-snus-with-rustica-tobacco-leaf.82566/ , breathtaking! Some interesting diagrams there.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited June 2019 PM
    Morning, friends!

    Sharing the latest find - 
    Verbesserte Rauch- und Schnupftabak- und Cigarren-Fabrikation.
      Leuchs, Johann Carl (Nurnberg, 1846).
    It's a German book on tobacco, snuff and cigars fabrication. Scanned book is available here: https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/resolve/display/bsb10305199.html

    Or you can visit Bavarian State Library :)

    Many famous recipes there. Jump to page 200 for snuff.
  • Is a good one. I used a later edition for recipes!
  • @snuffmiller Thanks for verifying the source, Jaap! I will search for different edition to make a comparisson. Interesting to explore, how the recipes evolved.
  • This is awesome. Just gearing up to start making my own. Wish Chef Daniels was still around! Good to see others involved as well.
    Hand-crafted pens and other items--www.craftedinmaine.com
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited June 2019 PM
    Many old snuff and snus recipes and other useful information shared in this yahoo group:

  • ar47ar47 Member
    Hey @volunge quick note: when possible (and convenient) please copy the pertinent quotes from the source material over here. I ask that because when reading old snuff threads so many of the links are no longer accessible. Thinking of myself when I come back to this thread years from now when I finally start making my own snuffs :)
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited June 2019 PM
    @ar47 Unfortunately, scanned Russian and German books are in .pdf and .jpeg formats, and it's impossible to do OCR conversion to editable text format due to old fonts (OCR would allow basic machine translation). Learning languages can be fun, but these two sources are probably the worst way to do that. While old Russian doesn't differ much from modern (just some obsolete letters they don't use anymore), Gothic font might be a pain. Anyway, I'll drop links for downloading these files once I have them uploaded somewhere. Or even transcribe them using modern fonts, but it's too time consuming for me at the moment.

    Some dead links can be resurrected with a help of Wayback Machine: https://archive.org/web/
  • Interesting indeed! I bought a paper package of Russian snuff on eBay 10 years ago. It was really horrible! I like the old recipes of de kralingse. I still have many 100 gram tubs in my freezer but I like to take modern snuff just as much. I wish we could still get snuff from the windmills!
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited July 2019 PM
    @mrmanos, if you still have that old Russian rustica snuff, try restoring its original moisture by adding 25% of water. Or - even better - 22% of water and 3% of ammonia water (of 10% concentration). It makes day and night difference! Regrind with spoon before proceeding, add liquids, mix properly, let it sit overnight, mix again and sift through any tea strainer. Work with small amount of snuff, add 2.2 ml of water and 0.3 ml of ammonia water to 7.5 g of snuff.

    If you don't want to mess with ammonia water, skip it. Just add 2.5 ml of water.

    Fresh stuff was released with 25% of moisture.

    Which one did you get, the regular plain one, or the peppermint version?
  • Didn't know where to post this:
  • @tobaccobob: No Sir! This picture was made after I left the windmills. I don't know what the result  was of this "exercise" but I doubt it resulted in any special snuff at all.

    Jaap Bes.
  • @tobaccobob, thanks for sharing the link!
  • @volunge here's the man himself I believe @snuffmiller.

  • @rostanf: Yes, I can recognise myself.

    Jaap Bes.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited May 8 PM
    Here's a link to snuff recipes thread in Polish snuff forum:

    http://www.top25snuff.com/forum/41-produkcja-tabaki/137-przepisy-tabaczne.html

    Just one of the recipes, originally posted there by top25snuff.com member Calculator:

    "The following recipe is a great instruction for producing Scotch snuff:

    16 pounds of potassium carbonate,

    5 pounds of ammonium chloride,
    4 pounds of salt,
    100 pounds of smalls and stalks

    Dissolve the first three ingredients in approx. 20 pounds of warm water, then pour onto the stems (finely cut) and smalls. The whole mixture must stand for 10-14 days until it is warm enough. Before it is ground, set it aside to dry. If it is to be scented, the essence of bergamot or lemon or Tonka beans will give it the right aroma."


    Rough expression in % (mass fractions of Scotch snuff components):

    Tobacco 69 %
    Water 14 %
    Potash 11 %
    Ammonium chloride (salmiak) 3 %
    Salt 3 %
  • The best way is to disolve potassium carbonate and ammonium chloride seperately and not one after another in the same volume of water, cause that gives a lot of foaming!
  • volungevolunge Member
    @snuffmiller, thank you for the spot-on elaboration!
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