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Hydrating Tobacco

ZuluCollector

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I have several tobacco pouches that do a poor job of keeping my tobacco from drying out too much and I've been trying to think about how I deal with that. I've got several small hydrators that I've used for transporting cigars that I've thought about using but haven't found them particularly effective.

I just finished Frank Delaney's novel, "Ireland" where one of the pipe smoking characters in the book refers to using a chunk of raw potato in the tobacco as a means of keeping the tobacco fresh. Has anyone tried this? Evidently, it is a time-honored, old-fashioned 19th century way of dealing with this issue.

I'm not sure about potato starch on the tobacco. I assume with McClelland blends that the ketchupy note and potato would work just fine.

At any rate, I'm tired of some of my favorite blends overdrying in my pouch. Since I don't have a baccyflap, I'm reduced to using the old standard snap pouches and roll-ups. Oddly, my worst pouch in terms of keeping tobacco fresh is a Dunhill latex-lined version.

Maybe the potato will save me....
 
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Anonymous

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Try a small wedge of apple
My grandad always put a piece of apple in his humidor and it worked for him

And apple shouldnt change the tobacco in any way
 

gallant

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If the tobacco is already too dry though, you may want to hydrate it first, Russ Oulette says that it takes 48-72 hours after being spritzed with distilled water for tobacco to regain proper hydration...
 

Justpipes

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Wet Dottle":kg6v1lhz said:
Be very careful with it. You're inviting mold...
That's what I have always heard about using a piece of apple.
 
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Anonymous

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With apple you use a small wedge not a large one
Gramps used it I have so far no mold
It takes a couple days to rehydrate dry tobacco but it does work
 

Bulldog Bruce

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Still awfully new to tobacco and pipes, but before I got a batch of ball jarsn and was using ziplocks, I just tossed one of those little round hydration disks in. I also grabbed a couple of SHMBO's clay hydration,dryness figures. Is there some reason I'm not aware of these shouln't be used, a couple hours usually did it??
 

Carlos

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I have used the hydration disks. But they seem to get a buildup on them over time. Have to wash them real good. I always wonder about the chance of mold starting on that tobacco which may have been in contact with the disk and therefore is more wet.

My last big hydration project was very successful I thought. 11 and 14 year old Dunhill tobacco. 8oz that was in a plastic bag and a tin can with a simple lid on them. Not vacuum sealed. They felt very dry. So I dump the baccy into a hard ziplock container and took one of those water pillows from the cigar stores. Laid the little plastic bag ontop of the tobacco. Then laid the fully hydrated water pillow on top of that. No direct contact. Then the Ziplock lid. Let it sit several days, checking it daily. I like my tobacco a bit dry and I think it was about 5 days to a week and it felt right. Smokes great. The water pillow lost about half it's water. Not really very much in 8 ounces of tobacco.
 

Wet Dottle

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Carlos":ip19mku7 said:
I have used the hydration disks. But they seem to get a buildup on them over time. Have to wash them real good. I always wonder about the chance of mold starting on that tobacco which may have been in contact with the disk and therefore is more wet.
So true. I like best the GLP method: put tobacco in bowl and cover with damp cloth, careful to avoid it from touching, and ensuring cloth remains damp until the desired results are reached. That way there is no need to worry about geting destilled water, and the method is fast enough for me. But mostly, it allows for fine control of moisture levels.
 

regor

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Wet Dottle":61vb0lmz said:
Carlos":61vb0lmz said:
I have used the hydration disks. But they seem to get a buildup on them over time. Have to wash them real good. I always wonder about the chance of mold starting on that tobacco which may have been in contact with the disk and therefore is more wet.
So true. I like best the GLP method: put tobacco in bowl and cover with damp cloth, careful to avoid it from touching, and ensuring cloth remains damp until the desired results are reached. That way there is no need to worry about geting destilled water, and the method is fast enough for me. But mostly, it allows for fine control of moisture levels.
This method has worked for me several times over the years and it does seem to work fairly quickly. :sunny: :sunny: :cyclops:
 
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Anonymous

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Just lit a pipe of re-hydrated tobacco ten minutes ago. For a fairly smallish amount (maybe up to a couple of ounces), put it in a baggie (not tightly wrapped at all), and the baggie on top of the dampest similar tobacco you have jarred, and re-seal the jar. It takes a while, but it gets there.

:face:
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
 

hazmat

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I have a couple of different ways of doing this.

1) Wet down a paper towel and wring it out until it's just damp. Put the tobacco you want to hydrate into a zip lock with a strong seal. On top of the tobacco, place the sandwich bag with the damp paper towel. You want to leave the towel bag open so the moisture transfers but you don't want to get the baccy to get mixed up in it. If you leave it sit for a few days it should rehydrate your tobacco nicely. Just have to check up on it and get the towel bag out when the baccy's where you want it.

2) Once again, the paper towel trick. Wet it, wring it out. Fold it up as small as you can get it, approx. 2x2 or 1.5x1.5, whatever works. Now, this is like a poor man's hydration disk from here on out. Get a piece of aluminum foil and poke some holes in it with whatever hole poker is readily available. Lay your wet towel on it and make a neat little package of the two, the towel being inside the foil. Place this whole mess inside your baccy jar/bag/pouch and let it sit for a few days.

These are both cheap methods of getting the job done, but they both work pretty well. Just remember, no matter how you go about it, you have to check the baccy from time to time and get the wet stuff out as soon as the tobacco's where you want it or you will invite mold.
 
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