Damn Dumb Storage Question
I'm sure this question has been beaten to death but I'm going to ask it anyway. I just picked up an 8oz. bag of Mylar sealed Penzance from one of our Canadian brothers. I normally pop the seal on everything I get and pack it down into wide mouth four or eight oz. canning jars. But, it's the middle of winter here and the few jars I can find are of the narrow mouth variety.
I'm a glass half empty guy so please bear with me.
Will this well sealed pouch be okay until the earth rewarms, daffodils spring up and the Dogwoods start blooming? At that time, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot and our new Menard's will be restocking their canning supplies and I'll be able to purchase the jars I prefer.
I'm also just as interested in preserving recently 8oz. purchases of well sealed P&C's Larry's Blend and 10 to Midnight.
I think you'll be fine keeping the Penzance in the mylar for 3-4 months. After all, pipe tobacco is kept on the shelf in those bags, sometimes for quite a while, without issue.
The only possible problem would be if the mylar bag has a pin hole or some other form of "leak."
Not sure about the Larry's Blend and the 10 to Midnight. I suppose it depends how "well sealed" they are (the plastic bags they come in from P&C, of course, won't cut it).
If you're super anal (like me LOL), you could use a Foodsaver, just place each the bags (or some of the tobacco, if the bags are too large) in a Foodsaver bag, suck the air out and let the machine seal it. It won't age, but certainly would keep it super safe until springtime.
FWIW, my local Lowe's appears to have several sizes of Ball screw-top jars in stock, and Wal-Mart has some too (the website states "in store only.")
Esoterica's 8oz. bags will store your tobacco for years. I just opened a 2007 bag of Stonehaven, and it's fine. They will treat your tobacco pretty much exactly like a sealed tin would. My only caution would be if you plan to store your tobacco for 5-10 years in the bag, just keep an eye on it. Sometimes bags will swell as the tobacco matures (just like some tins will, depending on the blend), and you don't want to run the risk of seeing the bag actually burst open. But that's definitely a blend-dependent situation. (I've aged Penzance in the bag for up to 6 years and never seen it swell at all.) And we're talking about quite long-term storage.
That said, if you've never tried Penzance -- and it's a fresh bag, not something with some age on it already -- I would encourage you to open it immediately and try it. Fresh Penzance has a wonderful character about it that disappears with time. I enjoy it both fresh and aged, but I definitely prefer it fresh. The orientals have a "zing" that is, for me, awe-inspiring.
BTW, I'm not understanding what the width of the jar's mouth has to do with anything. Penzance is presented in small flakes that are about 3/4" x 2". Inside the bag, the flakes are in a divided plastic tray to protect their shape. (Half the fun of Penzance, I think, is breaking up the flakes; they are tender and velvety, unlike any other flake I've ever encountered.)
rmbittner..the purpose of using wide mouth jars as opposed to normal mason jars is it is easier to get the tobacco out to pack a pipe as opposed to making a mess.
fnord...have you checked hobby lobby and the dollar stores near you? I was in Hobby Lobby this weekend and they had a big end display of various sized mason jars. I am always amazed at the items my wife is able to find at the dollar store near us. I know I am in the South and the need for preserving is not as dire but worth a shot.
I appreciate the input, guys.
Bob: Glenn nailed it. The wide mouth jars allow easier access for my oversized meathooks. As to Penzance, it is one of my favorite smokes.
Rothnh: The Mylar bag appears to be bulletproof although I won't truly be at peace until it's all under glass and a rubberized seal.
Glenn: I never think of Hobby Lobby other than being one of the fou-fou stores my bride drags me into from time to time. (However, like Chick-fil-A, I do radmire their stance on Sunday closings.) I'll definitely swing by ours tomorrow. As to the Dollar Store, I was in two different ones today and struck out. I also popped into a couple of thrift stores and came a cropper, but those stores are always feast or famine.
I remember one year, when everybody was out of jars, I let my fingers do the walking and called every conceivable storefront that might sell them within a 25 mile area.
Turned out the Dollar Store, 2 miles from my house, had 7 cases of the 8 ounce screw-tops I needed. It was a brand I never heard of, "Harvest," but I am still using them - no issues.
The wide mouths, of course, may be harder to find though. Did you try Wal-Mart? I got mine at Wal-Mart this year. If your local Wally doesn't have them in stock, you may be able to order a case or more for in-store pick-up. Quick, too.
Thanks for the suggestion, brother. My Super Center has been out for months but a Super Center across town has the wide mouth jars in stock.
Looks like I'm a Wal-Mart shopper tonight.
That's great! Lots of jarring moments in the Fnord house tonight
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