Mold or Plume?

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Dec 4, 2017
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I'm normally pretty good being able to tell the difference between plume and mold. I recently opened a tin of Five O'cock Shadow dated 3/16 and I'm having a hard time. If it is plume, it's the most I have personally seen on pipe tobacco. At first sight I was sure it was mold, I was going to toss it. Then after holding it in the sunlight, I think I see crystals. Any help would be appreciated.


 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,296
99
To my eye plume. Mold has a "whipsy? look. But I skipped that week of school.

 

mechanic

Member
Dec 1, 2018
244
0
I used to have dealings with mushrooms mold was a big deal id say proablly what u have is plume does it smell foul?

 

unadoptedlamp

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2014
341
101
I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that it is likely mold.
I've seen the so called "plume" of sugar crystals a number of times and I've never seen it looking like that. But... anything is possible.
If you take a macro shot with high resolution so people can really zoom in on it, then you might get a better answer.
I think it's entirely possible to have both sugar crystals and mold on tobacco at the same time. The white parts on that tobacco just look an awful lot like mold to me. Almost fuzzy looking and perhaps even raised up on the left portion of the top photo.
But, smoke it anyway. What's the worst that could happen?

 

leafsmoker

Member
Oct 26, 2017
285
34
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Indiana
I have heard, if you have plume and rub it, it will disappear. Mold does not disappear. I have had plenty of plume on my Esoterica. I recently had a batch of jack knife plug and it did not stay close to the tobacco, it indeed had a growth that was domed shaped. I rubbed it and it did not go away. So, I currently have mold in one of my 8oz jars of jack knife plug. Mold does happen, but not as often as plume within my experiences. Hope this helps! :lol:

 

unadoptedlamp

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2014
341
101
I think, after seeing a lot of pictures of "plume" on cigars -and pipe tobacco- that a lot of people actually have mold.
Not that there is anything inherently wrong with every type of mold. To be completely safe, you should know which type of mold it is, and then you might know if it is going to cause problems with your lungs, etc.
I'm guessing the risk is low in a pipe.
However, most "plume" I've seen is in the form of sugar crystals. I've found it most prominently on a box of Gawith's Full Virginia Flake and a Box of Hoggarth Bright CR Flake. Both with substantial age on them.
It looked nothing like the mold looking pictures I see pop up here from time to time.
I've also seen it on a number of cigars. A box of Bolivar Royal Coronas I had were coated in obvious sugar crystals. To me, it is extremely obvious. It looks just like sugar, glinting in the light.
This other stuff that some people say is also "plume" looks just like mold to me.
I'm not saying it's bad for you, because I have no idea about that. But I would put my money down that if we had it sent to a lab for analysis, that would come back as a type of mold.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,707
2,179
Just noticed the tinning date. C&D had a lot of mold issues with their red Virginias in 2016.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,703
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WI
Could u get a side view of it...like to see if it sticks up? Like a height view?
Know what I mean?

 

unadoptedlamp

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2014
341
101
dave- I was trying to add some optimism. I'd mix that plug in to the garden if it was mine.
I sure as hell wouldn't smoke it, but I don't want to presume to tell him what to do. Maybe he's got higher risk tolerance than I do.
At the grocery store some years ago, the checkout girl was coughing all over my food. So I ask, "You seem like you've caught quite a cold. Near to the end?" Something like that, to get an idea of how contagious she was.
She said, "Nope, it's a fungal infection I've had for months. The doctors can't get rid of it."
I walked out without buying the groceries and chose a different checkout person from then on. I don't want that shit in my lungs. Not even chancing it through the "not inhaling" that I do with my pipes.
Seriously, mix it into the garden or compost. I think it's mold and I wouldn't smoke it. But, my guess (it's only a guess) is that the risk to the health is low in this case.

 
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