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 how much water do you like to buy?

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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:14 pm

I've been thinking about this since listening to the Mark Ryan (Daughters & Ryan) podcasts and youtube interviews. How he talked about having to add chemicals to the tin if the moisture levels get above 14% (I believe that is the right number). Throw that together with how wet some tinned tobacco (ie McClelland and surely being far above 14%, so I assume those said chemicals have to be present) can be and when I'm actually thankful I order something in bulk and it comes slightly drier than expected. You know, it is obviously losing moisture content as it sits as warehouse stock, and that can be a good thing to both your volume measurement and readiness to smoke.

So yeah, I've had to revise my opinion on this. I'm not new to tobacco or re-humidification, but after receiving a bunch of Daughters & Ryan samples, I realize now that all tobacco DOES NOT take to re-humidification equally. Not a surprise? I know, but there's not good, bad, and worse. Before all this, I would have been happy to take dry tobacco because I ultimately end up with more to smoke. That is, unless the tobacco is difficult to rehydrate. I personally haven't had an easy time re-hydrating these D&R samples, and whether psychological or other, I also feel I'm losing flavor beyond the pale. Harder than normal to hydrate and losing more flavor than normal. That's my feeling here. And though I constantly do it, and consider it normal affair as a pipe smoker, I feel I lose flavor every time I have to re-humidify my working, open jars (as opposed to my aging, sealed jars). Maybe akin to the angels' share in scotch whiskey aging. It's the price of playing the game. Avoid it at all cost, but chances aren't in your favor.

In my perfect world, McClelland would arrive drier and D&R would arrive wetter. Just as two examples. Not to pick on either blender.

So, what is your preference? Dryer with more tobacco in the order? Working up from dry to good smoking moisture? Wetter with less tobacco in the order? Working down from wet to good smoking moisture? Don't want to deal with any of that, and it is the blender that should deliver their product at optimum smoking readiness? Or does it all go back to whether that particular blender's product tend to work with you vs. against you? I mean...who wants to pay for water? Maybe, I do.

*ps- I use the round discs 99% of the time...because they work 99% of the time, and the other 1%, which I really do not like doing, is distilled water in a spray bottle that mists more than it sprays.


Last edited by Zeno Marx on Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:27 pm

Zeno,
 I much prefer to receive tobacco's on the moist side, between 13% to 14% moisture levels. Definitely not higher than I stated. Tobacco's that arrive on the dry side can be more difficult to re-hydrate, from my personal experience. If I have a blend that's been aged well but extremely dry I wet a piece of paper towel with water that's been jarred and left aside for this purpose only. Don't soak the paper towel that it drips into the tobacco, just enough to make it damp. The tobacco trays I use are 8" in length and 4" wide with a depth of 2". Never fill the tray to the top with any tobacco's, you don't want the damp paper towel touching the tobacco. I monitor this procedure for roughly 24 hours and re-moisten the paper towel a total of 3 times. Each time you moisten the paper towel mix the tobacco well in the tray. This method has worked for me 99% of the time, rarely there is a dry blend that just will not re-hydrate with this method. In the case when a blend is difficult to re-hydrate I use natural terracotta stones well soaked and I do three layers of tobacco in a Mason jar, a damp stone goes between each layer. Tighten lid " tight " and let sit for about a week. Never failed me yet.
 I often use natural terracotta stones in blends I know have a tendency of getting dry quickly.
 Blends that are tinned with a high moisture content has a much better chance of developing mold, oh and that I've experienced often in the past 3 years!! One well known blender ( won't mention names ) changed their anti-fungal agent to save money. Needless to say that blew up in their face!! All tinned tobacco's will swell while aging. But if you have a tin that swelled like a 🏀 ball 🏀 on the top and bottom with under a year of aging, I would venture to say...." you've got mold in your baccy "! Also, that's from my personal experience.
 Your not alone when it comes to D&R blends. The blends I received as samples or gifted were on the dry side. These blends were re-hydrated using my jar & terracotta method and worked out well.
 As far as McClellands blends, they arrive overly moist and have that ketchup/ taste aroma. I like ketchup on my burgers & fries, not my tobacco's. Some pipe smokers do enjoy that " KETCHUP " in the tobacco's they smoke!!




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Slowroll

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Location : Northeast PA
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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:04 pm

Question: why do you rehydrate D&R tobacco? Many of us dry our tobacco out to roughly the level that D&R arrives at. I just smoke it as it comes. I think it's great that I don't have to dry it out. Too bad I don't smoke more of their stuff.
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:13 pm

Slowroll wrote:
Question: why do you rehydrate D&R tobacco? Many of us dry our tobacco out to roughly the level that D&R arrives at. I just smoke it as it comes. I think it's great that I don't have to dry it out. Too bad I don't smoke more of their stuff.

Basically because I find most of the D&R blends I've tried to dry for my liking. Two of which burned quite fast and on the harsh side. Every pipe smoker has different taste.



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Slowroll

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:16 pm

Interesting. I find when they're more moist than D&R, I have trouble keeping them lit and they seem to bite.
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:30 pm

I found the D&R blends to be both a little harsh and flavorless because the harshness overrides any flavor there. For instance, when I added a little moisture to Two Timer, more flavors came out, and the harshness was all but eliminated. Another example was Three Sails. While not harsh, it was little on flavor. With a little additional moisture, the flavors bloomed. Those are the two I had the best luck re-hydrating.

I'm not crazy about the moist towel method. Don't get me wrong, I've used it in the past. I've also bought those kitchen towelettes of fiber (usually blue, green, or orange). Even placed them in ziplocks with the corners cut or left slightly opened, so no water directly touches the tobacco. It works, but I also find it easy to over-hydrate with them. I'm guessing I don't enjoy screwing with tobacco as much as some do. I do it because it is necessary, not because I enjoy the experimentation etc. Not part of the hobby I'm all that interested in giving thought.
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Slowroll

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:13 pm

Zeno, you're right, optimal moisture provides the best smoke. I find it so fiddly to achieve that, I usually error on the side of too dry.
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:21 pm

Slowroll wrote:
Interesting. I find when they're more moist than D&R, I have trouble keeping them lit and they seem to bite.

That's true, but now I can adjust the moisture level just how I enjoying a particular blend. By letting it air dry for 30 minutes and sometimes up to a full day ( depending how moist the tobacco is ) I can smoke a tobacco at a moisture level I prefer.



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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:26 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
With a little additional moisture, the flavors bloomed.

I also find the tobacco's with proper moisture levels definitely has more complexity and no harshness.  For me, much more enjoyable.

I've done the fiber cloth before and it can cause the tobacco too also become very moist. You have much better control of the moisture level using damp paper towels due to they dry faster than cloth.


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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:54 pm

Lonecoyote wrote:
Zeno,
 I much prefer to receive tobacco's on the moist side, between 13% to 14% moisture levels. Definitely not higher than I stated.
If Mark Ryan is accurate with his D&R moisture levels, those tobaccos are at your numbers. He says they're at 14% (again, going from my failing memory). To me, they're very dry. I can't even take a stab at the number I prefer. Maybe if I knew that of a tin of McClelland, I'd have an upper limit to average against D&R. I'd like it somewhere in the middle? When I think of the possibility of paying for 20% water, I have to admit it makes me feel a little ripped off. If I then have to leave it out to lose a few percentage points of moisture just so I can smoke it, yeah, it irritates me a little. I'm already paying you $10-16 for a tin, and 1/5 of that is water? Please allow me to continue to bend over.
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:16 pm

I like it on the moist side. Seems to keep better over time, even if the total weight to volume might be a little less. I have no idea what the percentage would be.The HH ODF flakes are just about right. SG stuff is way too wet. The Patton blends (Stormfront, et al) are too dry. The Goldilocks scale. That's about as scientific as I get about it.

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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:37 pm

Zeno, I've yet to smoke a D&R blend that arrived near 14% moisture level. The blends I've received were around 10 to 11%, and a few drier.

MisterE, I guess everyone's perception of dry is different. I've yet to receive either John Patton's Storm Front or Crossroads on the dry side. Usually they need to be a bit drier for my liking. I order both blends by the pound, which might make a slight difference.



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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:40 pm

For my tastes, I prefer steak to jerky. That is to say, while both have their place, and are fine of themselves, I don't mind paying for some water content. Of course with tobacco, as with meats, it is not so much water content as it is oils. Those oils are what contain the bulk of the flavours, not so much the fibers. You get a nice dank flake like SG St. James Flake, or Stonehaven, those oils from the leaf get the taste going. You let them get dried out, then merely hydrate them, they still won't be quite right. Like if you take jerky and soak it in water, it'll never be that steak again. Rehydrating tobacco seems so much of a grasping at straws. Sure, it slows the burn down. but the flavours seem hollow and wanting, a shadow of their former selves.
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:47 pm

I meant to include this in my opening rant, but I forgot.

One of the easiest to keep at an optimum, steady moisture level, and that seems to arrive at a consistently perfect moisture level, is Stokkebye's Luxury Navy Flake. It also being one of the most fail-proof tobaccos to load, sort of makes it the perfect, no-hassle tobacco in my opinion. Fold it. Break it up. Tight pack. Loose pack. Light it up and away you go to the very bottom of the bowl. Stokkebyes in general are the least hassle for me.
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:05 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
Stokkebyes in general are the least hassle for me.

You betcha!! Especially LBF.. bounce cheers



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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:22 pm

Lonecoyote wrote:
Zeno Marx wrote:
Stokkebyes in general are the least hassle for me.

You betcha!! Especially LBF.. bounce cheers



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Ja ja, for me diss is alvays der case py golly!


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RR
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:39 pm

Ozark Wizard wrote:
For my tastes, I prefer steak to jerky. That is to say, while both have their place, and are fine of themselves, I don't mind paying for some water content. Of course with tobacco, as with meats, it is not so much water content as it is oils. Those oils are what contain the bulk of the flavours, not so much the fibers. You get a nice dank flake like SG St. James Flake, or Stonehaven, those oils from the leaf get the taste going. You let them get dried out, then merely hydrate them, they still won't be quite right. Like if you take jerky and soak it in water, it'll never be that steak again. Rehydrating tobacco seems so much of a grasping at straws. Sure, it slows the burn down. but the flavours seem hollow and wanting, a shadow of their former selves.  

This is what I believe, also. I can't recall ever rehydrating tobacco with complete success, though sometimes it's smokeable if you're desperate. I've had better luck just dribbling bourbon on it. A few weeks later I say, "What the hell is this?" and throw it away. Fortunately that hasn't happened since, let's see...1989.
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Slowroll

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:11 am

Yep, I too find it counterproductive to try and rehydrate. No need unless it's crumbly, then it's too late to bother.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:53 pm

I'm a moist type of chap.

The general measure for me is that the 'baccy should just about start to clump if a pinch is squeezed hard, but then should start to break up if dropped. Hardly scientific but it's a good rule of thumb that works for me. I find my smokes more flavoursome this way.
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:58 pm

Stick wrote:
I'm a moist type of chap.

The general measure for me is that the 'baccy should just about start to clump if a pinch is squeezed hard, but then should start to break up if dropped. Hardly scientific but it's a good rule of thumb that works for me. I find my smokes more flavoursome this way.

Excellent " rule of thumb "! Basically you'll know it's at the point where the tobacco should be at it's peak of flavor.



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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:33 pm

Lonecoyote wrote:
Stick wrote:
I'm a moist type of chap.

The general measure for me is that the 'baccy should just about start to clump if a pinch is squeezed hard, but then should start to break up if dropped. Hardly scientific but it's a good rule of thumb that works for me. I find my smokes more flavoursome this way.

Excellent " rule of thumb "! Basically you'll know it's at the point where the tobacco should be at it's peak of flavor.



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Smile

I find it takes a bit more tending when it's like this and the burn is less reliable, but I find it most rewarding and more engaging too. I like this as when I smoke it's my sole activity so I'm completely focussed on the experience, rather than smoking whilst completing another activity. Most bowls last a good hour or so in an average sized bowl too. Not everyone's cup of tea perhaps, but it blows my skirt up.
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:36 pm

I like my tobacco on the drier side of what most blenders ship. McClelland, GK&Co, Sammy G ship their blends with way too much moisture for my likes and unfortunately most of the blends I prefer are made by them. This means long periods of drying and/or using a filter in my pipe. Wet tobacco equals tongue bite for me and with the combination of drying and filter use eliminates this painful problem. Smile

AJ
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:55 pm

I am buying a lot of water because my favorite blending houses are McClelland, Germain and Sam Gawith. Razz

I agree with the notion that it's much easier to dry tobacco to your liking than it is to rehydrate it. I have had some decent results doing so, but I have found that the various methods work best when I am only dealing with, depending on the cut, around 1 ounce at a time. One thing is for certain, unlike drying a small amount of tobacco down, rehydrating takes time and cannot be rushed. So, as long as the tobacco's to my liking, I'll take the water.


Last edited by DrumsAndBeer on Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:58 pm

I smoke a lot of Semois... so I guess not so much water. Laughing
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: how much water do you like to buy?   Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:02 pm

Simple Man wrote:
I smoke a lot of Semois... so I guess not so much water. Laughing

True! Razz

There are a number of very good blends that are less hydrated, Manil's Le Petit Robin is fantastic and it burns like dry brush in a hot wind. A number of the D&R's are winners and like Ted mentioned, the John Patton's are excellent too.
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