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Aging Tobacco

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Midnight Blues

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What would yield the best results:

1. Leave tobacco in tins, tin examples are GL Pease 2oz and Samuel Gawith 50gm.

2. Transfer tobacco to Ball canning jars and seal.

3. Transfer tobacco to Ball canning jars and vacuum seal.
 

Tony Ferrill

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My cellar has both tins and "Ball" jars;both work well.I believe the consensus on the sealing of the jars was that the heat required did more damage to the tobacco than any good that would come from it.
There is a very informative website on aging pipe tobacco,let me see if I can find it,been a while(years) since I visited there....
Tony
 

Tony Ferrill

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Huh.This is the place I was talking about,and he says vacuum seal!

http://agingfaq.nocturne.org

Anywho,I have some English and Balkan blends several years old in jars,doing well;I have a lot of Virginias and Va/Pers doing even better!It is cool to see the 5100Red Cake change color over time......
Hope the link helps,but I think I'll stick to screwing the caps down and leaving it alone for awhile!
Tony
 

Midnight Blues

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Tony, you bring up a good point about "heat". I wonder what happens with a blend like Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake where they steam the tobacco prior to pressing.
I've just opened a tin of FVF that I've had for ten months and its just amazing...
 

Midnight Blues

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Tony Ferrill":g068x2z9 said:
Huh.This is the place I was talking about,and he says vacuum seal!

http://agingfaq.nocturne.org

Anywho,I have some English and Balkan blends several years old in jars,doing well;I have a lot of Virginias and Va/Pers doing even better!It is cool to see the 5100Red Cake change color over time......
Hope the link helps,but I think I'll stick to screwing the caps down and leaving it alone for awhile!
Tony
To me a complete vacuum seal would not create the proper environment for aging. I would imagine that a small amount of air locked in as it were would be just about right...
 

Tony Ferrill

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And do they heat the tobacco to seal the tins to begin with??I know next to nothing about packaging this product beyond stripping,tying hands and taking to the market-and they press Burley now,and have for 25 years :lol:
Tony
 

Tony Ferrill

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Actually,aging stops with air!The microbes burn the oxygen,then-voila!!Aging!And every time you open the jar,you stop the process by adding air.Amazing,but beautiful!
Tony
 

alfredo_buscatti

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I'm of the opinion that heat-sealing jars is a waste of time.

Why? Well, when I've filled a jar, I screw the lid down as tightly as I can. I mean extremely tight. Given that force and a new rubber gasket, there is no way that there will be a gaseous exchange as the tobacco sits in that jar.

The proof will come in the next 2 to 3 years as I begin opening 5 y/o jars.
 

puros_bran

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To answer the original question if its in a tin and the tin isn't collecting surface rust leave it be.

Bulks and open tins go straight into mason jars.
Hand sealed. Don't bother with vacum sealers, boiling the jars, wax seals etc its unneeded just hand tighten the jar. As an aside the jars are reusable after a rinse and dry, just be sure to buy some NEW plates (the part with the seal) as you do not want to reuse these.


To some extent heat,pressure, cooling,air is used in the production process of tobacco blends. Its needed to get to the end product.
Some use this to argue that these things Won't hurt the finished blend, Nonsense. Another way to look at it: the best steaks are aged in meatlockers,but aint no way you'd eat a cooked steak that had been left out for weeks. Why not?
Just because something is used in the production of a product doesn't mean that it is safe to use on the finished goods.
 

glpease

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Tony Ferrill":cqsls5ff said:
And do they heat the tobacco to seal the tins to begin with??I know next to nothing about packaging this product beyond stripping,tying hands and taking to the market-and they press Burley now,and have for 25 years :lol:
Tony
Tins that are vacuum sealed (all rectangular tins, and most of the flat round ones) are done in a vacuum chamber. Heat is not part of the sealing process. Only enough vacuum to ensure a seal is used - any more than that, and the tins would collapse when they're removed. There's still plenty of oxygen in them to allow whatever is going on to go on.

My tins, and probably all pull-top tins, are sealed at atmospheric pressure. There is no need for a vacuum, as the seal is mechanical, and very solid.

The aging process is actually a great deal more complex than it seems. In addition to some amount of biological activity, there's a cascade of organic chemical reactions taking place. Any change to the environment inside the tins after the process begins will alter the balance of the reactions, and change the outcome. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's certainly unpredictable.

When you open a tin/jar of aged tobacco, I advocate smoking it. It will begin to change as soon as air hits it, and oxidation can begin to alter the delicate chemical balance of the aged leaf. It's like opening a bottle of good wine, though not as rapid. Some "breathing" will usually improve it by allowing some of the less desirable volatiles to escape, but after a while, it begins to deteriorate. Tobacco is not as sensitive as wine, of course, but if you treat your tobacco in a similar fashion, you won't go wrong.

Once you open an aged tin, transferring the contents to a jar with a good seal will help to slow down the loss of volatile aromatic components, of course, but it's my opinion that once opened, the tobacco should be smoked. For this reason, I've always advocated smaller tins for aging, larger ones for smoking "young." (That's actually the reason I originally released the GLPease blends in 2oz tins only. The 8oz packaging was a result of customer demand from those who are not interested in cellaring, and prefer the convenience of the larger package.)
 

glpease

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alfredo_buscatti":3ekcc6kc said:
I'm of the opinion that heat-sealing jars is a waste of time.

Why? Well, when I've filled a jar, I screw the lid down as tightly as I can. I mean extremely tight. Given that force and a new rubber gasket, there is no way that there will be a gaseous exchange as the tobacco sits in that jar.

The proof will come in the next 2 to 3 years as I begin opening 5 y/o jars.
Signore Alfredo, there's already plenty of evidence to support the notion that simply screwing down the lids is sufficient for a good seal, and that jars sealed this way are actually just as effective as the original tins for long-term storage.

I hope Vito will weigh in on this with his considerable experience on the subject.
 

thomas james

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I fully subscribe to the gospel of St. Greg. I buy 2ozers to cellar and transfer bulks to jars as soon I get them. Bulks are purchased only when blends are not available in tins (Stonehaven, Curley Cut Deluxe, 5100 and Cube Cut Burley.) Once something is opened it gets jarred then smoked. Hence my tendency to only have two tins going at a time. It also allows me to "focus" on individual blends and get the most out of them. And, it allows pipes to "adjust" out some of the prior signatures.

I do not vacuum seal or heat seal when using jars. Just fill em and screw the lid down securely.

Just opened a two y/o Haddo's Delight that is just sublime. Lots of HD in the cellar. With my OCD system, I will only be smoking the Delight in ever more aged versions.

The Haddo's is complimented with evening smokes of ten y/o Margate and an occasional bowl of ancient Syrian Mountain Latakia.

tj,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,capo de tutti capi
 

Carlos

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It's wise to play Scrooge McDuck once in a while and play in the cellar. Examine your tins closely. Look for rust or metal surface coating blistering up. Check those square tins for a popped seal. That sort of thing. Find something you forgot you had, to smoke.
 

Midnight Blues

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Thanks for all the great responses. I generally do what Greg has suggested, I place all my opened tins in small Ball canning jars. I'll leave the rest in the original tins to age.
 
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