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Storing Tobacco

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BubbaL002

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As you all know by now I'm really Green when it comes to pipes. Just curious how I should store opened tins. I have a couple of tins coming and I don't want them to dry out and go bad. I have at my disposale zip lock bags. Mason jars are a no go and my hooch has AC. Anybody out there have some good ways to keep my baccy fresh?
 

Doc Manhattan

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For stuff I'm regularly smoking through, I put the tobacco into a plastic bag, then return it to the tin and recap it. If I know I'm going to smoke a tin infrequently, a sheet of plastic wrap sandwiched under the lid works pretty well, but remember to push the plastic down to touch the remaining tobacco to minimize air contact.
 

Justpipes

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If they are 50g tins you can seal the whole tin in a zip lock bag.
 

Mongo

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For flat metal tins (round or square), I put the tobacco into a platic bag, fold up the bag (expelling as much air as possible), put the package back into the tin, then wrap a rubber band tightly around the tin to hold the lid down on the base. This pushes the soft sealing strip that's inside of this lid down onto the base, and has greatly extended the amount of time that my tobacco stays moist in these tins.

For the "tuna can" style tins (the type used by C&D, for example), I put the tobacco into a zip-lock bag, seal it with as little air as possible, put it back into the can, then place a double layer of aluminum foil over the top of the can before putting the lid back on. This will keep the tobacco reasonably moist for a few weeks to a month, but not much longer. Unfortunately, there's no way to get a great seal on this type of tin, because you remove the sealing mechanism when you open the can.

Best of luck.
 

BubbaL002

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I take it putting it in the fridge is a no no. I put my redman in there to keep it fresh.
 

Mongo

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BubbaL002":qbv1umic said:
I take it putting it in the fridge is a no no. I put my redman in there to keep it fresh.
With most non-aromatic pipe tobaccos, "fresh" usually isnt' the goal Tobaccos mature over time, and change in amazing ways given enough time. (I recently opened an eight year old tin of GL Pease' Haddo's Delight, and it was truly remarkable. I enjoy the tobacco when it's young, but after this much time it was simply amazing.)

There are a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to put tobacco into a refrigerator. First, don't put it anywhere where it might freeze. Freezing the water in the tobacco leads to mushy tobacco when it's thawed out. (Ask me how I know...)

Next, refrigerator air is notoriously dry. If your tobacco isn't sealed in a metal or glass container, it's going to dry out. Even heavy plastic bags won't stop this from happening. A sealed tin, or tobacco put into a canning jar and well sealed, wouldn't dry out, as long as the seal was good. (Vaccuum freezer bags seem like a good idea, but they don't work well at all for tobacco.)

Finally, 'fridges are notorious for picking up odors. Any odor that's in there can be transferred to your tobacco if it's not well sealed. I think we've all experienced what a 'fridge smells like when something "gets lost" in there. Definately not a good scent for tobacco.

About the only thing I can think of that a 'fridge might be good for is keeping a wet aromatic tobacco close to the state it was in when it was purchased. If that's the plan, make sure it's sealed up in a non-paper and non-plastic container, keep the temperature above freezing, and you should be OK. (As long as the container's sealed, you won't have to worry about the tobacco spoiling.)

If you're not smoking goopy aromatics, try to keep your tobacco around 65-70F in well sealed glass or metal containers. A few years of being treated this way will lead to major changes in your tobacco. In my experience, those changes range from good to profound.

Best of luck.
 
A

Anonymous

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If Ball/Mason jars are ruled out, plan "B" is just have one tin open at a time, and smoke it within a week or so of opening it.
G. L. Pease":rcvpkdp0 said:
Plastic bags are permeable to small molecules.

If you can smell the contents through the bag, you're losing flavor and aroma!

Mason jars, bail-top jars and so on are good candidates . . .
http://www.glpease.com/FAQ.html

Regards to you guys

:face:
 

BubbaL002

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I think I'll stay away from the fridge. I did on the other hand come across an ammo can that has a airtight seal and has no more ammo smell left. i think this might become my makeshift storage container.
 

Vito

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BubbaL002:

Storing your weed in plastic bags of any kind is a short term solution...meaning, a couple of weeks to a couple of months at most, depending on the tobacco and ambient air conditions. In the desert (high temps, low humidity), you're at the low end of the scale, timewise.

If all you want is to keep the weed reasonably fresh while you smoke it to oblivion, then put the tobacco in a Ziploc bag, put the bag inside the tin, and put the lid on the tin. A well-sealed tin will do more to protect the weed than the baggie does, but it's pretty tough to get metal lids (like Dunhill or SamGaw tins) to seal after they've been opened unless you have a vacuum device. Mongo's rubber band idea is a good one. Anything that puts pressure on the lid is good, and the more pressure the better. Clamps. Weights. Something. Anything.

I imagine you've got some severe conditions over there, so you'll just have to mess around with it until you find what works. Glass jars are best, of course, but if those are out, then the methods above will get you close. Just remember, plastic isn't permanent. Soft plastics (low-density polyethylene) are gas-permeable, and that includes water vapor. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) like the lids on G.L. Pease and Cornell & Diehl tins offer pretty good protection. Weed stored in a Ziploc bag inside one of those tins should keep just fine until you smoke it...er, assuming you don't have a zillion open tins. Yak's advice on that point is sound; keep the number of open tins to a minimum.

There is another plastic storage option that is often overlooked but nonetheless offers a reasonable alternative to glass: Polyethylene terephthalate ("PET", or sometimes "PETE"). It's a relatively high-density, usually clear plastic that's commonly used for food packaging. (Skippy peanut butter uses PETE jars.) They're non-breakable with normal use, and they provide excellent protection against moisture loss and oxygenation. But there are three caveats:
  • Make sure you clean the jars thoroughly before you store your tobacco in 'em; you don't want your weed tasting like pickles or peaner bickle.
  • It's always best to use a Ziploc bag inside the jar. If you use a relatively large bag (say, the one-quart size), you can open it up and out to a wide-area "fill zone" in which to pack your pipe—one that funnels any spillage neatly back down into the jar. When you're done, carefully fold the bag back into the jar, leaving one end unzipped to expel the air, and then seal it as you stuff that end in last.
  • Check the fit between the rim and the lid. If it's going to leak air, that's where it'll happen. Even the smallest irregularity can result in an air leak. Some kind of gasket will help, as will making sure the lid is torqued on as tightly as the plastic threads will allow.
I assume you're not concerned with long-term storage, but for the record, it's glass. Aluminum tins are OK as long as they remain sealed. Steel tins are a time bomb. They last longest in a dry environment, but they can still rust from the inside out. In a humid environment, they'll rust from the outside in as well. Sooner or later, all steel tins degrade if you wait long enough. Hopefully, you'll be coming home before long-term storage is of any concern.

:joker:
 

BubbaL002

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Long term storage won't be happening. I've got the other Dog guy here wanting to try his hand at pipe smoking again. So if he takes to it we probably won't have it long.
 

thomas james

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I assume mason jars are a "breakable" issue.

Nalgene makes backpacker containers that are indestructable and impart no smell or taste. Maybe someone stateside can send you some small ones.
 

BubbaL002

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The Nalgene Bottles are perfect just order a couple. THanks for the tip thomas. I think my drying woes have been solved.
 
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