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 First attempt at re-hydrating

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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:53 pm

So, during a recent 'stock check' I discovered that a few of my bagged 'harder to get hold of' blends that I save for special occasions and that are a year or so old were becoming a little a dry. After consulting Mr YouTube for guidance I emptied the blends into bowls, laid a damp paper towel over the top and sealed with a saucer. Some of the blends I had to repeat this a couple of times with until they would clump when squeezed. What I hadn't bargained on is how much of a difference it would make to the taste. As the drying process happened over a period of time I didn't really notice the change, but after the re-hydration the complexities of the 'baccy has instantly returned. To try to combat this happening again I'm currently experimenting with using a large Tupperware container with a rolled up damp paper towel tucked into one corner to act as a humidor. Into this I've placed my opened tins and baggies. We'll see how it goes. I've also just returned from an outing to Ikea where I scored several Kilner style jars as I reckon these might improve things a little. I have to say I'm almost enjoying the 'tinkering' as much as the smoke!
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:18 pm

Yo Stick!! I'm going to suggest you put that rolled up wet/damp paper towel into a large baggy also. I do this so that I can put a bit more water into the baggy thus keeping the paper towel at a constant moisture level. This is how I typically rehydrate pipe 'baccy and how I keep my cigars at a fairly constant moisture content. Just some "food for thought!' Cheers Matey cheers FTRPLT
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:31 pm

ftrplt wrote:
Yo Stick!! I'm going to suggest you put that rolled up wet/damp paper towel into a large baggy also. I do this so that I can put a bit more water into the baggy thus keeping the paper towel at a constant moisture level. This is how I typically rehydrate pipe 'baccy and how I keep my cigars at a fairly constant moisture content. Just some "food for thought!' Cheers Matey cheers FTRPLT

Hey FTRPLT! Sorry mate, I'm not sure I follow old chap...? Put the wet paper towel in a plastic bag, keep the end open and then place in the Tupperware?
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:29 pm

David mate, if you're going that route be sure to use distilled water only! Tap water can and often does contain all sorts of things like chlorine, fluoride, and such that you don't want to taint you're precious pipe weed.

Your "Kilner" jars sound like what we call "Mason" jars. So that's always your best storage options. Unless you plan on smoking the re-hydrated 'baccy soon that is.

HTH


Cheers,

RR
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:23 pm

What you're doing To hydrate your desiccated stash is fine, but an alternative I use is as follows -- get one of those "spritzer" bottles, some distilled water, and borrow a colander from the kitchen. Put the dry tobacco n the colander, set the spritzer on the lightest setting and spritz a very small amount in a "fog cloud" over the tobacco, allowing the fog to settle on it like dew. Do not spritz the tobacco directly; you don't want to even come close to saturating any part of it. Before tucking the tobacco into a Mason jar, toss it a bit, like a salad, to sort it out evenly. Then let it sit in the jar for a few weeks. I've found the flavor and smoothness of overly dry tobacco can be recovered with this method. For short-term rehydration of small quantities, the Atmos disks have worked well for me. To rehydrate a pipeful of tobacco, just breathe into the full bowl before lighting, though this should only be done privately, since it can cause friends to display their sixth grade sense of wit. I have a suspicion that the aversion to using tap water may only apply to long-term storage. My understanding is that tobacco should not be hydrated if it is going to be aged, though others may disagree. My experience with hydrating aged tins is that the spritzer method works fine and allows more control than the alternatives.
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:37 pm

P.S. I meant to add to my post a question -- has anyone, while hydrating tobak,added a nip of rum or whatever to the spirits or cloth? I've long wanted to do this, but when I'm actually in the process, I plumb fergit, until the jar is sealed.
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nismo270r

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Age : 38
Location : Northern KY
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:55 pm

Stick wrote:
ftrplt wrote:
Yo Stick!! I'm going to suggest you put that rolled up wet/damp paper towel into a large baggy also. I do this so that I can put a bit more water into the baggy thus keeping the paper towel at a constant moisture level. This is how I typically rehydrate pipe 'baccy and how I keep my cigars at a fairly constant moisture content. Just some "food for thought!' Cheers Matey cheers FTRPLT

Hey FTRPLT! Sorry mate, I'm not sure I follow old chap...?  Put the wet paper towel in a plastic bag, keep the end open and then place in the Tupperware?

I use a similar process when rehydrating dried out blends. I use a "snack size" ziplock bag, a half sheet of paper towel, and a spray bottle with distilled water. Fold the paper towel twice length-wise and spritz with distilled water until the whole towel is damp, but not dripping. Place in the ziploc bag and close the bag leaving a small opening in the middle. I push the top of the bag together a bit from the left and right to bend the opening some so it stays open better. Place tobacco and bag into an air tight container and wait. Keep an eye on the paper towel, even with distilled water, sometimes you can get some funkiness on the paper towel if it picks up anything from the tobacco. If you see any spots starting to form on the paper towel, just pitch it and the bag and swap in a new one. If the towel looks good and has dried out, but your tobacco isn't where you want it, just re-spritz your towel, rinse and repeat.

Here's a couple of quick photos so my contraption makes more sense:

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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:15 pm

I do something similar, using a damp paper towel & distilled water. However I use a disposable Ziplock container. Just make sure the towel doesn't touch the baccy. Here's a pic of my last rehydration project. Turned out good.

BTW, the seal on those anchovy style Germain Flake tins are worthless.

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Timbo

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:07 pm

I regularly rehydrate dry tins with a splash or two of whiskey, as I've never distilled water around. It doesn't seem to have much effect on taste, just rehydrates the baccy nicely after letting it sit for a few days.

Cheers

Tim
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:30 am

I second the recommendation for distilled water. I also use Tupperware containers to rehydrate, but I just simply mist the inside of the lid. Usually within 24 hours the tobacco has absorbed the moisture from the underside of the lid, enabling me to repeat the process if need be.
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Ozark Wizard

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Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:45 am

DrumsAndBeer wrote:
I do something similar, using a damp paper towel & distilled water. However I use a disposable Ziplock container. Just make sure the towel doesn't touch the baccy. Here's a pic of my last rehydration project. Turned out good.

BTW, the seal on those anchovy style Germain Flake tins are worthless.



Yes, they are not good seals.....

Otherwise, all good suggestions for rehydration....
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alandadp

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Age : 61
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:55 pm

Oh come on Stick! Just leave it outside for a day - the British climate will re-hydrate anything!! lol!
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nismo270r

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Age : 38
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:29 pm

DrumsAndBeer wrote:
I do something similar, using a damp paper towel & distilled water. However I use a disposable Ziplock container. Just make sure the towel doesn't touch the baccy. Here's a pic of my last rehydration project. Turned out good.

BTW, the seal on those anchovy style Germain Flake tins are worthless.

+1 those are the same type of containers I use as well. I toss the tobacco and bag in and let 'er rip!
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:10 pm

Thanks for all your replies and thoughts fellas. There's a few other methods there I'll give a shot in due course. Misting the inside of a tuppaware container seems very straight forward Dutch as it misses out the paper towel middleman.

Nismo - what you said makes perfect sense, thank you.

Rande - I'd read somewhere never to use tap water but didn't have any distilled water. A good rummage in the cupboard revealed some bottled spring water which I considered to be the next best alternative. Certainly no unsavoury smells present, and it seems to have worked ok.

As for using spirits I'm intrigued. I think I'll try that on a straight 'ginny of some sort to see if I can detect any added flavour.

Adam - fair point, that did make me laugh! That said, we have been blessed with what some would call and Indian Summer over the last two weeks...?!


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ftrplt

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Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:21 pm

Stick wrote:
ftrplt wrote:
Yo Stick!! I'm going to suggest you put that rolled up wet/damp paper towel into a large baggy also. I do this so that I can put a bit more water into the baggy thus keeping the paper towel at a constant moisture level. This is how I typically rehydrate pipe 'baccy and how I keep my cigars at a fairly constant moisture content. Just some "food for thought!' Cheers Matey cheers FTRPLT

Hey FTRPLT! Sorry mate, I'm not sure I follow old chap...?  Put the wet paper towel in a plastic bag, keep the end open and then place in the Tupperware?

Late answer, but Yes!!! May sound funny but works well. It does take a bit longer than the "plate" method! cheers FTRPLT
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:22 pm

ftrplt wrote:
Stick wrote:
ftrplt wrote:
Yo Stick!! I'm going to suggest you put that rolled up wet/damp paper towel into a large baggy also. I do this so that I can put a bit more water into the baggy thus keeping the paper towel at a constant moisture level. This is how I typically rehydrate pipe 'baccy and how I keep my cigars at a fairly constant moisture content. Just some "food for thought!' Cheers Matey cheers FTRPLT

Hey FTRPLT! Sorry mate, I'm not sure I follow old chap...?  Put the wet paper towel in a plastic bag, keep the end open and then place in the Tupperware?

Late answer, but Yes!!! May sound funny but works well. It does take a bit longer than the "plate" method! cheers FTRPLT

Got it! Thank you!
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mikesan



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Registration date : 2015-05-18

PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:02 am

Timbo wrote:
I regularly rehydrate dry tins with a splash or two of whiskey, as I've never distilled water around. It doesn't seem to have much effect on taste, just rehydrates the baccy nicely after letting it sit for a few days.

Cheers

Tim

I use a modification of this method. I use a spritzer bottle containing scotch (not my single malt) and spray an amount commensurate with the degree of dryness and amount of tobacco in the jar. Close the airtight container and give a shake or two. The laws of physics dictate that the hydration will be quite uniform after a day or two. If insufficient, you can repeat. If too much, just leave the lid off for a few hours.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:03 am

Thanks Mike. Noting Timbo's comments, do you experience any change in taste?
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mikesan



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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:13 pm

Stick wrote:
Thanks Mike. Noting Timbo's comments, do you experience any change in taste?

A slight change in the jar aroma, but no change when smoking.
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Timbo

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:45 am

Funnily enough, I was just coming here to update this post. I rehydrated some Westminster which was a bit dry with some Bushmills Black Bush a few days ago and opened it tonight. The tin aroma was significantly whiskey but the taste was the same smokey, leathery beauty that it always is. I think this is because the whiskey has similar flavour tones as the Latakia.

As I rarely smoke straight VA or VA/Per I would have no clue about the flavour given to them from whiskey from rehydration.

Cheers

Tim
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MichaelM

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:19 pm

I don't want to contradict the excellent advice in this thread, but I'm very very low tech on rehydrating. I fold up a paper towel, run under tap water, give it a good squeeze and toss in the tin/jar/bag for 24-48 hours. Never had a problem or noticed an off taste. Of course all tap water is not created equal, but if you can drink it...
Mike.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:38 pm

That's a more belt and braces approach there Mike, but hey, if it works!

I reopened a tin of Sammy G's SL today that I hadn't visited for a while; after my first foray into the lat weed I wasn't convinced I was going to be a lat fan. For some reason I figured I'd give it another shot only to find it was too dry for my liking so fell back on a bowl of SJF instead. Not wanting to lose the SL I hydrated as per my previous posts to good effect only to find there was no way it was going back into the tin. Good job I bought a bundle of mason jars. Not sure if you chaps across the pond have the delights of Ikea yet but the size I went for were only 80p each and will comfortably hold 100g of baccy. Other sizes and brands available... geek
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MichaelM

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:47 pm

Stick wrote:
That's a more belt and braces approach there Mike, but hey, if it works!
Well, I would have called it lazy, but you are a kinder soul Very Happy
I thought some more about the distilled water point (I really do have too much time on my hands) and realised that distillation is simply heat accelerated evaporation followed by cooling and condensation.  When a water molecule transitions to the gas phase it does not take along solvated ions, which is why distillation works.  So if you do keep the damp towel from touching the tobacco (which I don't) there should be no difference between using tap or distilled water.  I think, and I could be wrong, that the water would evaporate and be absorbed by the tobbaco leaving any ions or other nastiness behind on the towel. Hmmm....  on the other hand, distlled water is cheap enough, so why not use it.
It is amazing how much the flavor profile changes with proper hydration, but the term proper is relative.  I like some blends on the verge of crispiness.
Mike.
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Bugsahearn

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:02 pm

Stick wrote:
That's a more belt and braces approach there Mike, but hey, if it works!

I reopened a tin of Sammy G's SL today that I hadn't visited for a while; after my first foray into the lat weed I wasn't convinced I was going to be a lat fan.  For some reason I figured I'd give it another shot only to find it was too dry for my liking so fell back on a bowl of SJF instead.  Not wanting to lose the SL I hydrated as per my previous posts to good effect only to find there was no way it was going back into the tin.  Good job I bought a bundle of mason jars.  Not sure if you chaps across the pond have the delights of Ikea yet but the size I went for were only 80p each and will comfortably hold 100g of baccy.  Other sizes and brands available... geek

In my opinion, Squadron Leader smokes way better fully dry. I usually leave the lid of the tin for a week...it's really tasty and so easy to smoke dry.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: First attempt at re-hydrating   Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Bugsahearn wrote:


In my opinion, Squadron Leader smokes way better fully dry. I usually leave the lid of the tin for a week...it's really tasty and so easy to smoke dry.

To be fair I have little experience of smoking SL, I just applied my recent findings with other baccys where being well hydrated seemed to reveal a greater range of flavours. I'll experiment with this though, and allow some SL to dry well before smoking.
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