'Proper' way to store pipe tobacco?

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by djmike523, May 29, 2011.

  1. Picked up a meerschaum pipe around Christmas time. Acquired / opened a tin of tobacco at that time, moved residence, forgot about tin, stumbled across it today.

    Tobacco in the tin hasn't been stored in humidity controlled setting, but still seems fairly moist.

    Also got a few different tobaccos at the same time (~6 months ago). Below is the What and How for storage at present; am I storing them properly, or at least in an acceptable manner? If not, what should I be doing? (note: I might smoke a few bowls in any given week; not exactly a hardcore pipe smoker, so it will take me a good while to get through the current stock).

    - opened tin: stored in duffel bag for past six months, now on desktop.

    - ziplock bag of tobacconist's house mix: stored in humidor with cigars.

    - unopened tin: stored on desktop. (probably won't get to for a good while.)

    - unopened, metal can with a plastic snap top (probably won't get to for a very good while.)

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
  2. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    As far as opened tins go a lot depends on how well the tin seals and ambient humidity. I'd probably put it in a wide mouth mason jar just to be safe and keep it fresh. Freshness is more than just keeping it from drying out. A container that does not permit gas exchange will keep it from going flat tasting over time and allows for aging if undisturbed. The biggest concern with keeping a bag in your cigar humidor is that it will influence your cigars over time, again a glass jar is your best bet. Unopened tins should be fine indefinitely, but they are best stored in a cupboard or drawer away from a heat source to ensure consistent aging and a good result when the tin is eventually opened.
  3. RazoRock

    RazoRock Vendor

    I store/age all my opened tin in mason jars.
  4. Razo & James are absolutely correct. Wide mouth mason jars are perfect for your opened pipe tobacco storage. If I remember correctly, keeping it in a dark closet or box is best as the light can affect it over time. The best thing about the mason jars imo is that for people like us who don't smoke frequently, we can have several different tobaccos in rotation with no worries about them drying out. One other bit of advice, many aromatics are really too wet right out of a fresh tin and could use a little bit of drying, but not too much or you will lose some of the aromatic flavors.

    Happy puffing!
  5. Tak


    A hearty 2nding to all the above. And if you have cigars in that box, I'd like to second the call to get that pipe baccy out of there. For the sake of your cigars and your pipeweed.
  6. If your pipe tobacco dries out an old trick is to put some fresh apple slices in the container with the tobacco-fluff up the tobacco a bit-and seal it up and let sit for a few days. May need to repeat but it works well. May add a little apple flavor but its not bad. When I smoked a pipe as a poor student I did this a few times. Some suggest using fresh potato slices but apple seems more appealing. The mason jar idea mentioned above sounds like a great one-seals tight and you can see whats inside-why didn't I think of it then??
  7. I've never tried an apple or potato because I've heard from several people that it easily causes moldy tobacco. Has it ever been an issue for you? I would instead sprinkle a few drops of distilled water on it and then seal it up. Frankly I haven't had any become too dry for my liking.
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  8. I was gifted some PS Bullseye flake which was dry as a bone. It was at a local B&M and they where going to throw it out. So I took it home and followed a technique I learned on another site with great success. Place your backy in a sealable container. Place a couple of paper towels over the top of the container and spray the paper towles with distilled water until damp but not dripping wet. Cover the container and come back in several hours. The paper will usually dry out with your backy taking up all the moisture. Do this until you get your desired moisture. Works for me and if I ever need to hydrate more I will not hesitate to use this technique.
  9. Since I don't have distilled water around, I use a few drops of scotch for the same purpose :) I think their can't be molds in a 40% alcool solution ?? About the flavor, I don't find it affect it and if it does, it's in a positive way...that being said, i'm into pipe smoking only since a few weeks
  10. Sounds like a tasty solution! I might try that with some bourbon.
  11. Thanks guys! I have some mason jars laying around, so I'll use those. Do you take the tobacco out of tin and discard tin (I assume, as the tin won't fit in the opening of a standard sized mason jar), or do you keep the leaf in the tin?

    Jeez - I ask a question and get plenty of answers, even to questions I had not yet thought of asking! That whiskey idea for ambient moisture sounds great; one of the tobaccos I have now is the McClelland 'Holiday Spirit,' which, per the labeling, is "A gentle blend of Burley, Virginia, and Cavendish tobaccos, flavored with dark rum, pecan and cocoa." Its delicious. :001_smile

    I think I'm going to try to do something similar with C&D 's Epiphany; its medium, with a mild, pleasant flavor, that I really think will benefit quite nicely from just a subtle amount of bourbon :thumbup1:
  12. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    I add bourbon to a couple of C&D blends I like it. I often repurpose tins but yes take the tobac out of the tin and into the jar.
  13. All I can say, is avoid the desert! I cannot keep my tobacco moist since moving here. Tins, masons, tupperware, humidor, etc. None of it works...I guess I will have to smoke my fresh stuff faster!

    In a normal climate, I just tossed the weed in sealed cooking jars and it worked fine for the short life (month or so) of the tobacco.
  14. I keep my MacLellend Dark Star in it's tin because it has a plastic re-sealable lit (I keep it moist by adding a few drops of water every month). The other two varieties I have are bulk blends that I keep in tobacco jars with wooden lids. Like the other tobaccos, I just add a few drops of water a month to make sure they stay moist.
  15. B&B never ceases to amaze me.

    Came looking for a way to re-hydrate some tobacco and here we are!

    Thanks for all the tips. I was recently gifted an old container full of a great smelling tobacco, but it's fully dried out. Going to try out a bourbon or scotch treatment with half, and use apple on the other.

    Anyone know anything about this container at all?

    Attached Files:

  16. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    Other than being one of the coolest I have ever seen, no. If the rubber seal is still good it should work as a practical container as well.
  17. This is pretty good thread. I started storing my pipe-baccy in my humidor. I did not realize I might be doing the wrong thing. Hmmm. Has anyone ever tried making their own pipe baccy? I recently had a very good cigar burst after I dripped some distilled water on it. I took the leaf, broke it up, and let it "cook" with some rum I like. I havn't tried it yet, but I am currios if anyone has done this.
  18. I store sealed tins in my basement. Open tobacco gets put into a wide mouth Mason Jar. I normally have 8 or 10 open at any one time so the jars are a necessity for keeping the tobacco fresh. If you only smoke one tin before you open another then the open tin should be OK for a couple or three weeks provided you close the lid tightly and keep it at a stable temperature.
  19. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    I haven't with cigars. But I have, on occasion, had an opened tin in my desk drawer work is way to the back and become forgotten. Eventually It gets discovered and I do the same with a bit of rum or bourbon. Its not bad, but properly stored and aged is far better.
  20. Tak


    Cigar tobacco and pipe tobacco are two fairly different beasts. Cigars tend to have fuller and more 'blunt' (for lack of a better word on my part) flavor profiles. Pipe tobaccos tend towards more delicate and subtle flavors. It has to do with how they're meant to be enjoyed. A cigar's flavor profile changes over the length of the stick, with all the tobacco from the cherry to your mouth influencing that flavor profile. It's to the point that a few sticks are packed with different types of tobacco along the length (an ich or so of X, an inch of an X/Y mix, and the last inch and change in Y, for example). Then there's the wrapper which can and does completely change your flavor. Pipe tobaccos are cured and blended so that the any given pinch should contain the basis of the full flavor profile, and that will further change over the course of a bowl (so some blends are better in small bowls, some in large, some wide, some deep, etc). That's not to say there aren't nuanced cigars or one-trick pipe tobaccos out there, but just generally speaking. If you grab a given chunk of cigar tobacco, what you're getting isn't the whole shebang. Your favorite stick might not taste like your favorite stick once it's chopped up and put in a bowl, just like your favorite pipe blend would probably taste flat and weird if you tried to pack it into a maduro leaf. That's 'might' and 'probably', though. Could work fine, but it could be total arse.

    But most importantly, smoking cigar tobacco in your pipe could leave you with a nigh permanent flavor in that pipe. If you want to try it by all means do, but please use a cob or a meer. For the the sake of your briar, won't someone please think of the briar! *wailing and teeth-gnashing goes here*

    All the above IMHO, YMMV, my meager amount of the smallest denomination of currency currently accepted in your country of residence, etc. ;)

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