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 Hydrating Tobacco

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smoker13



Age : 64
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Hydrating Tobacco   Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Let me start by saying I hate this topic because I hate this process. That's more than likely due to my experience being narrowed down to those awful made in China round silver discs with holes in them that you're supposed to throw in a glass of cold water for an indeterminate amount of time and then put into an indeterminate amount of tobacco.

So I usually avoid the issue entirely, heaving many $$$ worth of dried up leaf/flake into the compost heap rather than put my hopes in Anything made in China.

Which brings me to my latest batch of D & R Rimboche' S. J. tobacco. I think I'd definitely like to hydrate it some, but how in the world would I go about doing this? I know I'm asking the right bunch of experts, so please, let me have it both barrels, what's your time-honored method of moistening (ugh! terrible choice of word) up a batch of dry leaf?

On a completely unrelated note let me close with this: Tom Brokaw? C'mon!!! Ya gotta be KIDDIN' me!!!!
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cramptholomew

cramptholomew

Location : MD
Registration date : 2018-04-24

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:12 pm

I'm absolutely no expert, but I just tried this last week. I bought some Bayou Morning about a month ago from a jar in a B&M. It was pretty dry when I bought it, but it was way too dry for my taste after a couple weeks. I got one of those clay cigar hydrators, soaked it for a few minutes, and popped it in the jar. I turned the tobacco over once a day for about 4 days (re-soaked the disk after 2 days). It turned out great. Not too moist, but was malleable again. It also smelled twice as good. I didn't use distilled water, since I only have about 1.5 ounces, but I'd definitely use it for larger quantities.
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hobie1dog

hobie1dog

Age : 62
Location : Cornelius, NC
Registration date : 2010-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:38 pm

I recently rehydrated all my tobacco by taking a Tupperware container which is about 6x12" and 3" tall, dumping the tobacco in, then clear a place in the center for a container of water.....then filling a small round salsa dish with distilled water and placing it in the center of the Tupperware container. I then use the red colored Saran stretch wrap cut about 2" bigger than the container. Find a rubber band that will go over the top lip and lock in just under the rim of the top ridge that normally interlocks with the top. This seals the Saran Wrap tightly around the container. I found that most blends usually takes 2 days of absorbing the distilled water. I just pull off the rubber band each morning, peel away the Saran Wrap, check the feel/texture of the tobacco , and then seal it back up and check it the next morning. The driest tobacco that I rehydrated soaked up most of the water in the 2" diameter salsa dish over the span of 5 days.
†This effective method worked on a whole duffle bag filled with tins and baggies of tobacco.
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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:15 pm

Those discs you downplay work fantastically. I use them all the time. The design is much older than their Chinese manufacturing, so don't fret about that. Let them soak for an hour or two or whenever you happen to remember you have them soaking. I've forgotten about them overnight. Matters not. Shake them dry by hand, throw them in the container, seal it, and check back the next day...and then the next day if necessary. Use two of them, if necessary. It's better to undershoot your preferred moisture. Like cooking and letting your food to finish cooking off heat. There's always more moisture in the container than you think, so pull your water source sooner than later.

I've also used distilled water in a spray bottle that mists more than sprays. Hit the top bunch of tobacco, stir it up, seal the container, and check back the next day...and then the next day if necessary.

Or fold up a paper towel, get it wet, throw it in a ziplock in which you've cut one or two corners off, bury it in the tobacco, seal the container, and check back the next day...and then the next day if necessary.

There's any number of ways to do it. Basic no-nos are 1) to avoid using orange peels, apple slices, or other food items 2) avoid direct contact with the water source (though, the misting idea works fine).

I believe user, and blender, Mr.Pease had a formula for this. Someone here probably has it linked and can provide it for you. Measuring the tobacco weight. Wanting a certain ideal % of moisture that you can then calculate from the weight of the tobacco. Adding that much water, by weight/percentage, to the tobacco, shake it up, and let it sit until the hydration has diffused evenly. After all, you're shooting for a hydration %.

It's a lot less rocket science than you think. And then you adjust to your own preferences. It's best to not have to do it at all, and then obviously to do it as little as possible, but it ain't no big thang.
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 1:35 am

Everyone will likely have their own 'tried and tested', so here's mine...

Trap a paper towel moistened with spring water inside the lid of a mason jar using a piece of plastic water bottle. Mason jars have a recess in the lid that is perfect for this. Check 'baccy every few days. Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt.
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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 3:55 am

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.
-Pease
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ofafeather



Location : Hudson Valley, NY
Registration date : 2008-03-12

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 7:10 am

Iíve had good luck with the Pease method of covering a bowl with a moist towel as listed in the las post. Will need to try some of the others. †Stick, what do you mean a ďpiece of plastic water bottleĒ to hold the moist paper towel to the mason jar lid? †Sounds like a good method but not exactly sure what is meant.
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 8:29 am

ofafeather wrote:
Iíve had good luck with the Pease method of covering a bowl with a moist towel as listed in the las post. †Will need to try some of the others. †Stick, what do you mean a ďpiece of plastic water bottleĒ to hold the moist paper towel to the mason jar lid? †Sounds like a good method but not exactly sure what is meant.

Something like an Evian bottle, or the sort of plastic designed for food stuffs that winds up in your recycling. Needs to be flexible enough that, when cut to size, you can jam it across the recess in the jar's lid to form a shelf. This keeps the damp towel well away from the 'baccy and is easy to access when the lid is open. I like this method as it negates the need to transfer the 'baccy to and from a bowl and you can put the jar back in its place on the shelf. I sometimes leave a note out so that I don't forget...
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ofafeather



Location : Hudson Valley, NY
Registration date : 2008-03-12

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 9:02 am

Sounds great. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for the clarification.
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 3:18 pm

ofafeather wrote:
Sounds great. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for the clarification.

Here you Mr Feather...



Perhaps not the best pic, but you can make out the plastic shelf, in this instance cut out of the ribbed section of a green water bottle. †There's no paper towel in place as I remove it once I'm happy with where the 'baccy is at; what you can see under the plastic is the 'baccy label stuck to the top of the jar lid.

Let us know how you get on!
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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 4:34 pm

I've wondered about those clamping jars. I see them every once in a while at garage sales. I like the idea of them, but I can't say I've ever used one for anything of a secure nature. I have horrible luck stripping jar lids. A clamp would be cool.
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 4:43 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
I've wondered about those clamping jars. †I see them every once in a while at garage sales. †I like the idea of them, but I can't say I've ever used one for anything of a secure nature. †I have horrible luck stripping jar lids. †A clamp would be cool.

I recon they form as good a seal as you could possibly get. Super cheap from Ikea, and in various sizes too.
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ftrplt

ftrplt

Age : 72
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Tue May 01, 2018 7:12 pm

I use 10 of the big clamping jars for some of my 'baccy. I do put a double layer of clear plastic wrap over the jar mouth before I close/secure the lid. This just helps the seal stay nice and tight. FWIW cheers FTRPLT
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Fazby

Fazby

Age : 61
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Wed May 02, 2018 3:53 pm

Has anyone used Boveda for maintaining humidity for pipe tobacco? I use them in my cigar humidor, and wonder what relative humidity is right for pipe tobacco.

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KevinM



Age : 76
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Wed May 02, 2018 9:00 pm

I borrow the baking plate my Mrs uses for her pies. You also need a spritz bottle and preferably distilled water, but Iíve used plain bottled water with no ill effects. The trick is to spritz a little cloud over your pile of tobacco and let it gently fall. Donít spray right at the tobacco, because you donít want to soak it. Then play with the pile a little bit to mix it. Then transfer the tobacco from the pie plate to whatever jar youíll use to store the tobacco. Cover and let sit for a few days. Iíve read that you should not use this method on tobacco that you plan to age. Itís for tobacco thatís been aged and has dried out. Easy and works fine for me. It may be prudent to do this when the Mrs. isnít nearby to defend her baking apparatus. Also rinse, dry and replace said plate. Wives are uncanny in their ability to spot tiny tobacco shreds and quickly figure out what is afoot. I have no idea why they would give a hoot, but Iíve learned to avoid domestic situations that lead to tedious explanations.
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Corncobcon

Corncobcon

Age : 69
Location : From the prarie of KS. to Lake of the Ozarks, MO.
Registration date : 2017-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Hydrating Tobacco   Wed May 02, 2018 9:17 pm

These are all great methods of hydration. Thanks for all the ideas. So far, I have had to rehydrate one tobacco. I used a paper towel on a plate, put the tobacco on it, and then laid another paper towel spritzed with distilled water over it pile of tobacco. I left it for about 30 minutes and then mixed the tobacco. This seemed to work. Then I just put the tobacco back in the jar.
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