Aging Va/pers

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pistolero

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but a quick google didn't really answer it and you guys would know better anyway. I smoke 95% codger baccies mostly PA but I do enjoy a va/per as a treat occasionally.

I was lucky enough early in my piping journey to encounter the joy of a good va/per and have personally witnessed the wonderful transformation of something like buying two tins of Escudo and smoking one immediately then comparing the other 2 or 3 years later and being highly impressed at the difference. My question is does this same miracle happen to a similar degree with va/pers that aren't pressed into coins or flakes?

I am smoking a bowl of Elizabethan Mixture from a fresh tin. It's not bad, but say I had several more to put back, would they taste much better/different 5 years from now like a tinned flake or coin?
 
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DrT999

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My question is does this same miracle happen to a similar degree with va/pers that aren't pressed into coins or flakes?

I am smoking a bowl of Elizabethan Mixture from a fresh tin. It's not bad, but say I had several more to put back, would they taste much better/different 5 years from now like a tinned flake or coin?
It's been my experience that VAs and VaPers all develop over time; ribbons a bit faster than flakes.
 

Gusto

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I would answer yes with the caveat they are stored properly. I've had luck with cool "even" temperatures, not freezing, not in direct sunlight. In my experience vacuum sealing stops the aging process. I recall some talk about heating tins in hot cars and so forth but I consider that abusing tobacco. Stoving is another matter entirely.
 

Zeno Marx

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I find aging a conflicting thing for myself. Maybe if I had more discretionary monies, I would handle it differently. I'm not a speculator. But I'm also a minimalist who doesn't like clutter. I only buy tobaccos I like right now, this moment. The quandary then is not really wanting them to change...because I already like them, or I wouldn't have bought them. And I've found that I prefer many of the flavor notes that are sacrificed in the aging. The things I like are the first to go with aging. I don't end up not liking the aged versions, but I'm relatively safe in saying I like them less with age. So yeah, a good sale, or finding out your favorite tobacco increased in price 50% since the last time you looked, creating this hoarding emotion and buying backup pounds. And then, of course, you're buying that tobacco for the future, which involves aging, and then you have a tobacco you don't like as much as when it was received. argh!

Are there discussions how to keep a tobacco fresh, but prevent aging? If Gusto is correct about vacuum sealing stopping the aging process, I should really, seriously look into a vacuum sealer rig. I've never heard anyone say vacuum sealing does this. Is this common knowledge that I somehow stumbled over for decades? One of the places I used to work had "lockers" in the humidor, and you could have your tobacco held there (was mostly for cigars though). I don't have any interest in building a small walk-in humidor for keeping fresh/preventing aging my tobacco.
 

pistolero

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"Are there discussions how to keep a tobacco fresh, but prevent aging?"

I imagine vacuum packing could get you most of the way there. If I was going to pack something for long term storage and keep any chemical reactions from going on in it (that mostly require oxygen) I would look for a way to fill a jar or mylar bag with an inert gas like argon.
 

HolySmokes

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I find aging a conflicting thing for myself. Maybe if I had more discretionary monies, I would handle it differently. I'm not a speculator. But I'm also a minimalist who doesn't like clutter. I only buy tobaccos I like right now, this moment. The quandary then is not really wanting them to change...because I already like them, or I wouldn't have bought them. And I've found that I prefer many of the flavor notes that are sacrificed in the aging. The things I like are the first to go with aging. I don't end up not liking the aged versions, but I'm relatively safe in saying I like them less with age. So yeah, a good sale, or finding out your favorite tobacco increased in price 50% since the last time you looked, creating this hoarding emotion and buying backup pounds. And then, of course, you're buying that tobacco for the future, which involves aging, and then you have a tobacco you don't like as much as when it was received. argh!

Are there discussions how to keep a tobacco fresh, but prevent aging? If Gusto is correct about vacuum sealing stopping the aging process, I should really, seriously look into a vacuum sealer rig. I've never heard anyone say vacuum sealing does this. Is this common knowledge that I somehow stumbled over for decades? One of the places I used to work had "lockers" in the humidor, and you could have your tobacco held there (was mostly for cigars though). I don't have any interest in building a small walk-in humidor for keeping fresh/preventing aging my tobacco.
In the specialty coffee world some companies will flush their bags with nitrogen before sealing. I would think something similar could be done to mason jars and mini nitrogen canisters prior to filling the jars with your favorite blend.
 

Swede

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I don't know much about the gases released as tobacco ages, but home roast coffee sources recommend using bags with valves that allow CO2 to escape, while blocking oxygen entry. I suspect the more oxygen exposure the more loss of compounds that give good taste. I vaguely remember that a lot of compounds with flavor and smell are aldehydes.
 

pistolero

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Pack a jar tight with your tobacco then purge with nitrogen or argon as much as possible. Like for a long time at a slow feed rate. Then vaccum seal it. This would get the most possible oxygen out of it then protect it from any getting in later. Normal tin packaging puts a vacuum seal on the tin. I don't know if the "vacuum" in normal tobacco packaging is as good as what common vacuum sealers for food attain. But there is residual oxygen and yeast and other microbial cells in the tobacco. Enough to enable the fermentations that cause the well known effects of aging of our well loved virginia and vapers. The common availability of the "good" frozen pizzas we have now like Fraschettis and Digiorno, is they can prepare the dough with the toppings on it and "freeze" the dough with the yeast and all ready but like flash freeze it and pack it in an argon vacuum sealed package. It won't activate until the seal is broken and oxygen re-enters the system. This way it's live dough ready to rise and bake but not until you cut open the seal it's packed in. Before, frozen pizza dough had to be dead or it would rise as soon as it was packaged and that doesn't work to freeze it and open it a week or two later.
 

Swede

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This thread got me wondering about what happens when tobacco ages. The link below has some good info, and to me supports both approaches- not cellaring and cellaring depending on personal taste and type of tobacco.

 

Sturdy Papa 359

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This thread got me wondering about what happens when tobacco ages. The link below has some good info, and to me supports both approaches- not cellaring and cellaring depending on personal taste and type of tobacco.

Swede, Good article. Thanks.
 

MisterE

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My experience has been that anything with Virginia tobacco in it does pretty well aging. Some people say the changes are sublime but I'm not a super taster or anything, so all I can say is it gets a little mellower and perhaps tastier with some age. Elizabethan Mixture would a great one to try aging IMHO. Just put it in a rubber seal jar and forget about it for a while (a year), and see what happens.
 
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