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Airing out Pipe Tobacco like Cigars?

(25 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by diamondback
  • Latest reply from cigrmaster
  1. diamondback

    diamondback

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    I’ve a question regarding ‘airing out’ my pipe tobacco jars in the same way I do my cigar tupperdores.

    As I understand it, the conventional wisdom with cigars is to open up your humidors/tupperdores once every five or so months and let the cigars get a fresh breath of new oxygen. I’ve followed this faithfully for years and I’ve got many sticks that are aging splendidly (knock on Spanish Cedar). I’ll check and replace my Boveda packs if necessary during these airing-out sessions.

    Now, with pipe tobacco, my understanding is that you only get into your jars when you’re doling out a bowl (or two) worth of tobacco to smoke and then immediately replace the lid.

    What I want to make certain of is the difference between the two. Is there ever a time where I should open a tobacco jar briefly for fresh O2? I know my cigars need significantly higher humidity so I’d think the answer is “No. Don’t open stored/aging pipe tobacco unless you’re purposefully getting some out,” but I thought it worth asking.

    Any takers? Much appreciated.

    Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. mso489

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    I don't know the answer to your question, but I have heard that once you open jarred tobacco, the aging process is probably over, so it means you've put the blend into rotation. You don't have to smoke it up immediately, but it is not going to keep aging and improving if it would have otherwise. But I'll be interested to know what more knowledgeable folks say on this subject. When I open a tin or jar -- unless I am jarring the tin to age it -- I mean to put it in rotation and smoke it over the next year or less, roughly.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    I've never heard that as conventional wisdom for cigars and certainly wouldn't see that as a good idea for pipe tobacco. However, I would think the vast majority of humidors get opened regularly regardless.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. diamondback

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    I was told that the occasional opening of (really a ‘tupperdore’ - I got tired of wrestling with humidors and went with air-tight Tupperware(ish) containers) allowed accumulated ammonia, etc. out. I’ve got some really old sticks so probably the ammonia is very very minimal in my oldest containers. The newer ones get opened naturally a few times in the dead of summer, but I faithfully follow the airing (wives tale?) rule with cigars.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. hoosierpipeguy

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    A Tupperdor would be a different story. Humidor are not air tight. I'd open a tuppordor occasionally to prevent mold.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. diamondback

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    I don't know the answer to your question, but I have heard that once you open jarred tobacco, the aging process is probably over, so it means you've put the blend into rotation. You don't have to smoke it up immediately, but it is not going to keep aging and improving if it would have otherwise. But I'll be interested to know what more knowledgeable folks say on this subject. When I open a tin or jar -- unless I am jarring the tin to age it -- I mean to put it in rotation and smoke it over the next year or less, roughly.

    Thank you MSO!

    For jars that I know are set aside for aging, I’m planning to add aluminum tape around the jar lid. If/when I get some out, I’ll re-seal it with new tape. I’ve got some very large Mason jars that my parents originally owned. Bought new lids for them and I’ve probably ten of them full of various bulk blends. I just came across the aluminum tape idea yesterday after reading about proper pipe tobacco cellaring. What I definitely don’t want is an old jar of a sawdusted blend that I won’t be able to buy again after the FDA completes their song and dance. My (literal) OCD pushes me to take any extra measures to ensure quality storage. I’d trade my cigars for safe pipe tobacco jar access over many years

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. haparnold

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    I think the deal with aging pipe tobacco is the aerobic vs. anaerobic aging processes, which I'm far from expert enough on to weigh in here.

    But the 30,000 foot-view is that opening a jar of tobacco ends anaerobic fermentation, which I've heard mentioned as the reason an aged blend changes so much.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. diamondback

    diamondback

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    A Tupperdor would be a different story. Humidor are not air tight. I'd open a tuppordor occasionally to prevent mold.

    Cool! Thanks.

    Now the pipe tobacco jars... don’t open unless? And then re-seal?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. diamondback

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    I think the deal with aging pipe tobacco is the aerobic vs. anaerobic aging processes, which I'm far from expert enough on to weigh in here.

    But the 30,000 foot-view is that opening a jar of tobacco ends anaerobic fermentation, which I've heard mentioned as the reason an aged blend changes so much.

    I see, and many thanks!

    This thread is now re-purposed.

    At the end of the day, what I’m most concerned with now is accessing a jar, and then being able to re-seal it in such a way that I don’t have to smoke all the tobacco in the jar that I’ve opened within a year.

    I’m concerned because I’ve got some really large jars that I’m sure I’ll want to dip my paws in once every couple of years without beginning a precipitous count-down to complete degradation.

    Yes, I think too much, it’s a negative aspect of being obsessive

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. prairiedruid

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    I’m concerned because I’ve got some really large jars that I’m sure I’ll want to dip my paws in once every couple of years without beginning a precipitous count-down to complete degradation.

    When you open one of your big jars take out what you are going to smoke in the next month or 2 and transfer the rest to smaller jars, preferably a size that equates to what you would smoke in a month or 2. Pack it in tight and seal with a new lids and that should limit the degradation.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. diamondback

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    When you open one of your big jars take out what you are going to smoke in the next month or 2 and transfer the rest to smaller jars, preferably a size that equates to what you would smoke in a month or 2. Pack it in tight and seal with a new lids and that should limit the degradation.

    Boo yaa!

    Thank you sir! I’ll do exactly that. It may sound excessive but I’m thinking I’ll seal up the ‘to-age’ jars with both the mason jar lid and aluminum tape.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. chasingembers

    Embers

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    It may sound excessive but I’m thinking I’ll seal up the ‘to-age’ jars with both the mason jar lid and aluminum tape.

    Not necessary, I've got jars in my closet from the late '90s that are still airtight with no tape.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I’m concerned because I’ve got some really large jars that I’m sure I’ll want to dip my paws in once every couple of years without beginning a precipitous count-down to complete degradation.

    I fixed that problem years ago. If you only use small jars, you never have to deal with transferring the tobacco.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. diamondback

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    Thanks a ton Embers!

    Looks like I’m in the market for new jars - just replacing the huge ones. The others are sealed good and I’ll not worry with the aluminum tape given your advice.

    Noob mistake on my end. I’m glad this came up. I’d sure have been one unhappy camper here in a few short years!

    Can’t thank you all enough!!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. rdavid

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    Noob mistake on my end. I’m glad this came up. I’d sure have been one unhappy camper here in a few short years!

    I've learned a ton of tips here that saved me a lot of heartache and despair. When I first started cellaring, I had visions of row upon row of 32 ounce jars.

    Now it's all half pint jars. Definitely more work but much better for practical use. I put them in plastic totes with a layer of cardboard between each level of jars. That way, they're not sitting directly on top of each other. OCD in full effect!

    "May my last breath be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled in a jest." Charles Lamb
    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. rdavid

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    And back on track with the OP, I've never heard of airing out pipe tobacco and try to limit my open tins/jars to my current rotation. My deep cellar tins/jars will not likely be opened for years and only with the intention of consumption.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. jpmcwjr

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    Opening a jar after a couple of years or months of aging doesn't stop aging; it changes it. Maybe better, maybe worse, maybe undetectable. Anaerobic aging can resume, though with more oxygen in the jar since you've taken tobacco out will delay the resumption of that sort of aging. Meantime, there's aerobic aging going on. Maybe good, bad or indifferent.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. diamondback

    diamondback

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    @Panhandler: that pretty much how mine are, a layer of cardboard between predominantly half pint jars, stacked 3 high per ‘column’ I can very legitimately empathize with OCD!

    @Jpmcwjr: thanks! I’ve decided that I’m going to buy smaller jars for the tobacco that I’ve got in the huge ones and just transfer it over. Then I’ll just wash my hands of it. If it goes at that point it just does

    All said and done, it looks like I was probably waaay over-complicating all of this. Occurred to me as I enjoyed a bowl of old MM 965 and got in the chuff, where I was able to get some perspective. I did initially get a start though thinking that I’d jarred a lot of Deeming endangered blends and would have potentially lost them to a newbie mistake. I’m just going to downsize and ‘fahgetaboudit.’ I’m a little embarrassed, but it’s funny. And if I can’t laugh at my own old a$$ then who can I laugh at?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. haparnold

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    Meantime, there's aerobic aging going on. Maybe good, bad or indifferent.

    This. I don't think anyone really knows what the 'right' way to age is; just different approaches. Air is definitely an important factor, but I'm not sure regularly airing tobacco is the way to go.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. diamondback

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    @Hap: sounds like a plan. Unless I’m specifically getting tobacco out to dry/smoke, I’m keeping ‘em closed.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. diamondback

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    According to my wife, my ‘big’ Mason jars are two quart jars.

    So if not for this thread, I’d have been making two mistakes:

    1) Occasionally opening them just to “air” them, like I do with my Tupperdore-stored cigars.

    2) Would have dug into each two quart jar every time I wanted a bowl of one of the ‘baccys I was keeping in them.

    Wifey is going to pick me up some smaller jars after I explained what was going on with my ‘damn tobacco mountain’.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    I don't open an aged tin unless I plan on smoking it, same goes for my jars. I would never stop the aging on my bulks just to put them in different jars.

    When I was big into cigars, my humidor was opened many times a day as I chose what cigar I wanted to smoke next. My cigars aged very nicely as I kept them at around 65 degrees and 62-65 percent humidity wise.

    Here is a pic of my old humidor. The most I had in it at one time was around 3000 cigars.

    Harris
    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Harris, I remember pulling more than one cigar out of that massive humidor when visiting.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. diamondback

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    Holy smokes what a humidor!

    Puts my ~300 stick collection to shame

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. cigrmaster

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    Mark, it was a lot of fun back in the day. It used to take some time trying to figure out what to smoke.

    diamondback, 300 is a nice sized stash.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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