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 Humidifying dry tobacco

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Idlefellow

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Location : The Kansas Prairie
Registration date : 2009-02-24

PostSubject: Humidifying dry tobacco   Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:47 pm

Not sure if this is the place, but...what techniques do you use to humidify tobacco that's dried out?  I've got several tins of pretty good stuff that I've neglected  5) .  I've always just spritzed it lightly with distilled water and sealed it up, but wondering what others have done.  I've heard of putting a slice of apple in and other things; not sure I'll go to the trouble, but I'm interested to hear opinions.
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:55 pm

This may help and is a technique I've used successfully-


http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/dust-in-the-wind-a-primer-on-tobacco-moisture/

Kyle also has a technique that works, but cannot find it right now.



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:07 pm

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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:25 am

Please never use apple or other fruit slices. It's super easy to lose the tin to mold in a very short time doing that.

Jim
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:37 pm

I use Peterson discs, aka moisture pouch buttons, aka button humidifiers. It can be a slow process, but slow is best in this context. I've also used the damp paper towel method with great success. I prefer the discs, though. One disc for a small alteration. Two for the bigger jobs.

Mr.GL Pease wrote an interesting, more scientific post or blog on this. I can't remember where I ran into it, but at his website, in the FAQs, you'll find these Q/A:

Q: How much water is in there?

A: At 10% water (by weight), a tobacco is going to seem very dry. If the moisture level is increased to 20%, it will be quite damp. Ideally, moisture contents between 13% and 18% are right for most blends and most smokers. Some heavily sauced aromatic tobaccos are reputed to have non-tobacco content that approaches 40%. No wonder some of these seem so goopy! Not all that moisture is water. Various humectants (humidifying agents) are used by some manufacturers to preserve moisture levels at the desired percentage.

Q: How can I tell what the moisture content is?

There are destructive methods to measure it accurately, but it isn't really necessary to know the precise moisture content unless you're just the curious sort. As mentioned above, at about 10% and below, tobacco will be quite dry feeling, and the strands will tend to break when handled. At about 12-13%, the strands will be pliable, and will endure more vigorous handling without damage. If you press the tobacco into a ball, and it stays compressed, it's over 18-20% - too moist for proper smoking. In the 15-18% range, the ball will be springy. Once you find your preferred moisture, you'll be able to tell by feel whether it's there or not.

Q: What should I do about a tobacco that's too dry?

A: My method is to put the tobacco in a large, clean bowl, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. The towel should not touch the tobacco. Check the tobacco every couple hours, and when it reaches the moisture level you like, store it in an airtight container. Glass "bail top" jars work well, but be sure to clean them thoroughly. (See the next item on mold.)

Different tobaccos take up moisture at different rates. The denser leaf, like Virginias and some orientals, take up moisture very slowly. Spraying with water is dangerous, since it's difficult to control the overall moisture level of the tobacco. It's hard to evaluate the difference between damp leaf and soggy leaf. The method outlined above is pretty much foolproof.
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Idlefellow

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Location : The Kansas Prairie
Registration date : 2009-02-24

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:09 am

Thanks for the replies; some good info here.  Despite it all, though, I reverted to my old method, spritized 'em and sealed 'em up: a gifted bag of Kentucky Broadcut from Diebel's in Kansas City, a tin of My Mixture, an unlabeled bag of something or other that I must not have liked at one time but will be giving another try, and a tin of Black Mallory which I thought had been opened, but found it had not been previously.  Damn; now I'll just have to smoke it up Twisted Evil !

I'm starting on a program of pipes that haven't been out of the rack in a while paired with unsmoked tobaccos that I have around; today it's a Hilson - I guess I would call it a take on a Dublin shape but slightly bent and with a square shank and an interesting finger rest on the front of the bowl - with a sample packet of Mac Baren's Mixture.
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Dottie Warden

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Age : 59
Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2014-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Humidifying dry tobacco   Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:44 pm

huffelpuff wrote:
Please never use apple or other fruit slices. It's super easy to lose the tin to mold in a very short time doing that.

Jim

If you're talking storage or aging don't even consider an apple or potato slice - it will ruin your stash!

The whole slice of apple thing is a codger trick for keeping the open pouch you are smoking from drying out too quickly throughout the week and it works fine if you're a codger. However, if you plan to store dried out tobacco, remoistening should assist in restarting the aging process. There is nothing wrong with dry tobacco as long as it doesn't begin to disintegrate into powdered dead leaf.

I have some 28-year-old bone dry cigar leaf that was abandoned and rediscovered and it is very smokeworthy.

Mmmm... sounds like I should make it my next bowl.
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