Progressing Newbie Questions

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apatim

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
497
0
Jacksonville, FL
I want to first THANK each and everyone of you guys for all the information, support and virtual friendship you've provided to me and all other newbies who find our way into this community. Sincerely... this is the finest group forum I have ever participated in and I've been a member of several related to my business and other hobbies/interests. :worship: :clap:
Although I first tried smoking a pipe last fall (just prior to Thanksgiving I think), I didn't really get into the hobby until a couple of months ago when I found this community and began unlearning what I had done wrong in my first attempts at smoking. After tossing out the technics that didn't work, I began to put into practice the things you guys have shared from your own experiences.
I hope to not make this a long post because I have a couple of questions at the end and I really want your input. If you are totally bored by my rambling, please skip down to the questions at the end. :lol:
Two months ago when I began doing things "right enough" to make the hobby enjoyable and downright addictive (in a positive way), I was able to clumsily smoke a bowl but must admit that I went through a hell of a lot of matches relighting in the process. Fortunately, I only experience tongue bite the very first time I tried smoking last fall... I feel fortunate because I certainly did smoke too fast and too hot for the first month or so. A bowl would only last about 20 minutes before I'd become frustrated and let it go out completely, empty and try again a couple of days later. I was amazed when reading that a bowl could last an hour or more and that the tobacco could burn down to a small amount of white ash - when I dumped my bowls after smoking, I saw very little white ash, a bit of chard tobacco pieces and about a quarter bowl of tobacco that still looked fresh as could be.
About 3-4 weeks ago I decided to pack SUPER LIGHT... in fact, I didn't pack at all; I just put some tobacco in and tapped the outside of the bowl till it settled and repeated until full. At that point I would tamp it down a little and then light. Surprisingly enough, this method was FAR MORE successful for me but I knew it could get better so I gradually - very gradually over several days - began VERY LIGHTLY packing each layer until I found what I think is pretty much the right density for me.
I now enjoy smoking sessions of an hour and more, depending on the size of the bowl, rarely relighting and enjoying it more than I would have thought possible. The process has seemingly become a part of me... it just feels natural and easy. Little thought is given to the process and more time is spent enjoying my own thoughts, the nature in my backyard and/or the music playing in the background. Conversations with my wife are better than ever before - probably because I spend more time listening than talking. ;-) -- and, now, I am becoming more of the subtle flavor differences between blends and even in within the same bowl as it burns down. Also, when the bowl is done, I have just a small pile of white ash to empty.
If there is a downside to any of this it is only that I have spent about $1500 in the last 2 months on pipes, tobacco and accessories. Hopefully the costs will decrease now that I have a number of pipes and quite a bit of tobacco on hand as well as all accessories I need (and many I just wanted). The other downside is that I prefer blends with Latakia and my wife and friends don't really like that odor (I call it aroma but they call it "stink"). When I want to smoke in the house, I choose something with a pleasant room note such as Molte Dolce. Everyone seems to enjoy all the aros I've tried. I like them, too, but prefer the "stinky" blends. :puffy:
NOW MY QUESTIONS:
1. How long will tobacco stay fresh after the tins are unsealed? (I have quite a few blends that I haven't tried yet because I think I need to finish what is already open first. I'm dying to dig into the others!)
2. Do the cardboard type containers (the kind that Frog Morton, Molte Dolce and Wilderness come in) keep the tobacco fresh after opening or should those be transferred to ball jars? I have put any bulk blends I've bought into jars and I've read that regular tins do a good job of keeping the tobacco fresh so I'm not so concerned about them.
3. What is the value of cellaring large quantities of tobacco? I assume there are 2 reasons: to allow aging which improves flavor and as a hedge against inflation. Are there other advantages?
MANY THANKS!!

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,099
0
1. I think most would say 30 days/ a month, assuming you keep the plastic top on.

2. I'd say "Ditto." -- These should be fine for 30 days/ a month.

3. Yes to your two reasons. I'd add a third: a hedge against companies going out of business, dropping certain blends, or changing recipes to something you don't like as much.
Bob

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
0
Bob's #3 reason is maybe the best reason. If you find a blend you really like, stock pile it just in case the company goes south and it goes away.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Hmmm, #2, my empty Frog Morton and Wilderness tins are tin, not cardboard. They have a paper sleeve over them, but the base material is a metal. Did they release some in cardboard?
Sutliff is the only tobacco that I have seen with cardboard. Not that there isn't another brand that does use them, but I just don't know which ones if they do.

 

apatim

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
497
0
Jacksonville, FL
They feel like cardboard and have a plastic top as opposed to tin bottom and top. Maybe it has to do with quantity in the tin? I'll look closer... Maybe they are tin with plastic top cover.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Yes, and the Sutliff cans are rolled paper, like the inside of a roll of paper towels or toilet paper. And, I hate that about Sutliff. It really brings down my opinion of the quality of their products.

 

apatim

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
497
0
Jacksonville, FL
Ok, since I only smoke 2-3 bowls per day - one morning, one evening and occasionally another in afternoon or night - should I jar those that aren't going to be consumed within one month?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
That would be my suggestion. I put all of my tobacco that is in my rotation in those Lock-it plastic food storage containers. They will keep for a few months in there. But, jars are great if you have them. It's just that I like that these are plastic and carrying a small plastic container in my pocket feels less bumpkinish than wagging around a glass mason jar. Plus, I can toss it around without worrying about it breaking or breaking something else.

 

fadingdaylight

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,194
0
Can't hurt. I usually leave mine in the tin, but I am lazy and I generally like most of my blends dried a bit anyhow. If your worried about retaining moisture, than sure, toss them in a jar.

 

apatim

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
497
0
Jacksonville, FL
I'm not so much worried about moisture as I am with it just going bad. If the main issue is losing moisture, I too like my blends on the dry side. I suppose if they get too dry, I can always rehydrate.
Thanks!

 

hotshot

Member
Feb 26, 2014
269
0
My suggestion is to quit worrying about it and just jar it. It won't hurt anything, jars are cheap and the worries are gone. :) But that's just me. I don't jar my flake tobacco as I'm like FadingDaylight, and like mine dried some.