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How Can I Re-Hydrate or Moisten Dry Tobacco?

(27 posts)
  1. haroldt

    haroldt

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    My local cigar shop is getting out of the pipe biz, so I got about 1 pound of various Cornell and Diehl tobacco at a good price... FREE!!! Most in good condition as he kept it in sealed jars, but some if very dry. How might I go about bring this back to life? Is there any good way of adding back the moisture. I thought of using my cigar humidor, if it would not take months to recover. I'm sure there's more then one frugal pipe smoker here that has done this before.

    I must say, however, one advantage of dry baccy is that it only takes one light!!

    Thank you

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    Love the briar

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    This is a quick fix. Take half of the tobacco, spread out on cutting board, are counter top. Take a fine mist spray bottle with distilled water, spray over the tobacco letting mist fall and settle onto tobacco mix occasionally. When it's moist then take the other half and place all tobacco into large ziplock, shake well to mix together. Every now and again shake again, let sit overnight. Next morning check to see if its at the right moisture level your use to. I like the pinch method. If its still too dry repeat process till desired. Hope this helped.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    rmason

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    I have no real idea how to re-hydrate tobacco, but a pound of C&D for free; you are one lucky dog haroldt. Good Luck on re-hydrating your tobacco.

    P.S. What tobaccos did you get.
    ~Ron

    Ron
    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. fnord

    fnord

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    With all respect to Love's suggestion, I'm leery of spraying water directly onto tobacco.

    Here's something down and dirty which has worked well for me.

    I grab one of my bride's narrow and shallow Tupperware containers and fill it with the dried out tobacco. I get a paper towel, moisten it with distilled water and stretch it across the top of the container. Finally, I take Saran Wrap and seal the paper towel across the Tupperware.

    Depending on the amount of tobacco being rehydrated, in 3 to 18 hours your product should be smokeable again.

    Best of luck to you, pard.

    Fnord

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. checotah

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    When I run into some overly dry tobacco, I usually put it into a Mason jar, leaving about an inch at the top, soak a paper towel in distilled water, squeeze out excess water, fold the towel in half 3 or 4 times, prop it up on the tobacco, and seal up the jar. I leave it over night and check it the next morning. It's usually back to a good moisture content, so i remove and discard the towel and seal the jar back up. Always use distilled water because it has no contaminants to promote mold or fungal growth.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    Love the briar

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    I have used this method with no problem for 20years. I have spent countless years in afghan and other desert enviroments and a lot of the time my bulk tobacco that I carry with me will get extra crispy before I make it back to the states. This method was showed to me by a third country national that had been taught this very method. This method has been working for 100's of years.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    Love the briar

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    Please note that I said QUICK FIX!! Also this is pertaining to large amounts of tobacco. I'm sure there are some better ways if you have plenty of time to spare, and time to sit around messing with your tobacco.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. junkyarddawg

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    You need this

    and something like this

    and time.

    Life is a junkyard: you never know what awaits you.

    JD
    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Tobacco Reanimation - Bringing it Back to Life, by G L Pease.

    BTW, Most C&D blends tend to be drier than usual by design. I suggest smoking it to see how it works,
    then re-hydrate only a sample of it to see if that improves the blend.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    .
    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. irwinmetro

    irwinmetro

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    I don't know about re-hydrating so much, but to keep my (typically, very dry) Five Brothers in a nicer state of moisture, I'll usually just spritz a little distilled water on the lid of the mason jar I keep it in. This has done wonders.

    In regards to the paper towel idea, has anyone done this with Rye or Rum instead of water? Might impart a nice little taste to the tobacco.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Like many things in this beloved hobby of ours, there's more than a few ways to properly re-hydrate pipe tobacco.

    I used the distilled water dampened clean dish towel over the dry pipe tobacco in a mixing bowl for years, which works well.

    Now I use Junkyarddawg's method (see above) -- aluminium coin pouch moistener charged with distilled water (a charged HumiCare Pillow works well also), and a glass jar with a good seal (an empty aluminium 2 oz. tobacco can with plastic top works too). I use a "doily" (a round piece of paper) on top of the tobacco and place the humidification device on top of the doily, then cover/seal the jar/can -- the doily is to prevent the dampened humidification device from touching the tobacco.

    My method takes a while -- a couple weeks or so on average -- I check it weekly. I personally don't like to rush things like this. If you're in a hurry, the dampened towel and bowl (or paper towel, like Jim uses) works best IMO.

    As Checotah said -- very important:

    Always use distilled water because it has no contaminants to promote mold or fungal growth. Distilled water is 88 cents a gallon at WalMart. Don't fall for using tap water cuz it's easier.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. cortezattic

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    I create a steam bath for the tobacco. I use a small soup bowl centered within a large (14"), shallow Tupperware salad bowl.
    Place the tobacco around the soup bowl; pour boiling water into the soup bowl; cover the whole thing with the Tupperware lid.
    It is very effective, but droplets of water accumulate on the underside of the lid, so care must be taken when removing it.
    (The next time I do this I'll lay some paper towels on the tobacco to guard against falling droplets.)

    The water is, of course, sterilized of biota by boiling; and only steam leaves the bowl, so it's a distillation.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  13. andrew

    andrew

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    Yes I'm considering hydrating some PS lbf with some rum and some with rye, I've read that rum makes it into a fantastic smoke on another pipe forum, I think whisky would be good also. I think you just hydrate it using rum instead of water

    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. spartan

    Spartan

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    @CORTEZ
    You could replace the "lid" with a clean towel. Steam would still fill the empty space and no droplets would be able to fall onto the tobacco.

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 7 months ago #
  15. slowwideturns

    slowwideturns

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    i just take a paper towel get it wet and squeeze just enough water out so its not dripping and fold it twice and place it on the mouth of the jar and screw the lid on over it, then i let it sit over night check it in the morning if the moisture level isnt where i want it i repeat until im satisfied

    j.k. livin'... the j's for just the k's for keep
    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. spartan

    Spartan

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    +1 Slowwideturns

    I almost do this exact thing, but instead I use a section of sponge and suspend it with a paper towel at the top of the jar.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. irwinmetro

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    Always use distilled water because it has no contaminants to promote mold or fungal growth.

    I've read that rum makes it into a fantastic smoke on another pipe forum, I think whisky would be good also. I think you just hydrate it using rum instead of water

    Hmm, I can see the logic of both. Really only one way to find out for sure no?

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    wilson

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    The few times I've done it, I've used the moist paper towel as suggested by others.

    Re-hydrating will make it so that you can smoke the tobacco again, but it probably won't be quite the same as the original. While drying, some of the more volatile essential oils have probably also evaporated. Nevertheless, you will likely still get some decent tobacco as a result.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. checotah

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    Hmm, I can see the logic of both. Really only one way to find out for sure no?

    As far as using distilled water, you can take that as gospel. I learned the hard way, lost several cigars and a tin of tobacco. But, if you are one who has to see for himself.... At least try it on something you don't mind throwing away.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. andrew

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    mm, I can see the logic of both. Really only one way to find out for sure no?

    Oh, it's been done, you can either spray it on, soak the paper towel etc... The first time I'd tried st. james flake by McC's my tobacconist had opened some tins, soaked it in rum and then stoved it. It was fantastic. The stoving part is what I'm more curious about, I'm thinking of moistening it, sealing the jar and then heating it on low for a few hours.

    I've used tap water just fine in both my humidor and pipe tobacco, it more comes down to the quality of your tap water than anything. I've heard of alot of people that use plain tap water with no issues.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    wilson

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    I've no experience with this, and free advice is worth what you pay for it, but I'd be cautious about sealing the lid and then heating the jar. I think I'd leave the lid loose, even if heating it on low.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  22. andrew

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    . I think I'd leave the lid loose, even if heating it on low.

    Yeah I was going to check about that first before doing it, my gf cans alot of stuff so she'd know, but yeah a glass jar exploding wouldn't be too good from built up pressure.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. fnord

    fnord

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    Love:

    No offense meant and, Lord knows, I certainly wasn't calling you out.

    I'm just no fan of spraying water directly onto tobacco.

    But I'm hoss enough to defer to your arid, high altitude experiences. My touchstone here is the high prairie of NE Kansas vs. the Hindu Kush.

    I don't know what you were doing all those years spent here and there, but I've got a hunch they were years spent in the service of our country. And for that, I thank you, Love.

    Fnord

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    Love the briar

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    Fnord. Non taken what's so ever I love all you guys. And I'm not done yet still a lot of work to be done

    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. haroldt

    haroldt

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    OK fellows... reporting back, I appreciate all the interest and help in this. I have used 2 sugesttions to re-hydrate my baccy.

    I 1st used what seemed to be to most expressed option which was to soak a paper towel in distilled water and I placed that on the rim of my mason jar and clasped the lid closed. After the first day I checked and there was little difference, so I did it again (real dry stuff here.) After the 2nd attempt, some difference, but not much. On the third attempt, I place a wet towel inside the jar on the tobacco and the one on the lid.

    After the third attempt, it occurred to me, that the A/C in the house is doing a good job of pulling humidity out of the air and also my paper towel. Even though the towels are in the jar, I wondered if this was drawing the moister out of the towel, so I started again, and this time put the jars on the porch in the Florida humidity.

    Yea - better results, but still a tad dry. I then went to "Love the Briar's" idea (1st reply to this post) and again used the towel in the lid - BINGO!!! I now have life in the baccy!!

    Again, folks thanks for your help.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  26. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    Coins, cheap and work all the time.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    acme

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    Open any tin of the notoriously wet matured, sliced tobbaccos and put it in the bag with the dried out tobacco. When the one is dry enough to smoke, they other will be moist enough to also smoke.
    anthony

    Posted 7 months ago #

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