How to dry tobacco? Shout out to tiltjlp
This was going to be a private message, but Kevin's recent post inspired me to let you all in on the conversation. Tiltjlp recently blew my mind by sending me a little present, from one experienced pipe smoker to a newb (thats me!). Thanks so much tiltjlp!
He sent me a small sampling of tobaccos, each with a description of how much drying time they need. Would tiltjlp and my other pipe mentors on this site kindly inform me how one goes about drying tobacco appropriately? Once I know this, how will I determine this myself later?
Again, special thanks to tiltjlp for taking me under his wing to mentor me a bit. With nobody in my personal life who smokes a pipe, you all are all I've got!
I find that its a matter of preference. I tend to like my tobacco on the dry side so usually dry everything in the open air for at least a half hour. I've dried tobaccos over night. Flakes are good that way and then smoked whole in chunks. they seem dried to a crisp, but the flakes are so compact that they actually burn nice and slow and sweet. Big Virginia Flakes are good like that. Just experiment...its part of the wonderful and all consuming world of pipe smoking.
So "drying" just means you let them be exposed to the air?
As Phil mentioned, it's mostly a matter of individual taste. A word of advice, it's easier to dry tobacco than it is to properly re-hydrate it so take small steps in your drying.
IMO different blends smoke better at different RH levels. Take the time to experiment and find out what works best for you.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson
There is another method of drying that is quite effective, and "gratifying".
It is referred occasionally in here as DGT. (Delayed Gratification Technique).
My method is to carefully pack a bowl of tobacco (for me generally an aromatic) then let the pipe sit for an hour, or even all night. You might find that the tobacco will light very easily and be quite flavorful.
That is just one of the roads less traveled.
"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
lawerence that is a road i walk myself quite often.
i will sometimes pack a couple of pipes up in the morning and smoke them sometime later in the day, whenever i grab at them. sometimes it may sit for most of the day.
Interesting Lawrence, that what you call preloading I call DGTing. I've always thought that DGTing meant that you smoked only a partial bowl, and left the rest of the bowl to smoke later. BTW Tim, if you find any of my blends too dry, the best why to freshen them up is to cup your hand around the bowl, and exhale 3 or 4 times. As for drying time, since I like very dry tobacco, I load about a half dozen pipes at a time.
John : The CobFather : Have Cobs, Will Smoke
I'm too impatient and/or impulsive to plan my next smoke an hour or so in advance.
I find the Heat It Craft Tool to be ideal for drying a pinch of tobacco because it is fast
but gentle and doesn't blow tobacco all over the place. Check Amazon and eBay also.
I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
Interesting Lawrence, that what you call preloading I call DGTing. I've always thought that DGTing meant that you smoked only a partial bowl, and left the rest of the bowl to smoke later.
Tiltjlp I don't think there is any hard and fast definition to the acronym DGT.
I think that the spirit of DGT is one that simply postpones/increases the antici..... pation of that really good bowl of tobacco. And, the the T is the manifestation of personal preference.
Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack the thread.
So last night I lite up a bowl full of a tobacco that tiltjlp marked "dry" for me, meaning ready to smoke immediately. It certainly seemed drier than what I have been smoking, but I had even more trouble keeping it lit. Still using a pretty light touch with my packing. Tobacco wouldn't fall out, but plenty of spring to it and draws openly. Any tips on what I'm doing wrong?
See what a great thread this turned into by making it a public post instead of a PM?
Thanks for posting it Timmay and thanks for all the responses guys.
I've been having trouble with proper drying as well. I bought Peterson DeLuxe the other day and it seems to be pretty wet. Anyone else have trouble with this type being a little wet?
I use a new fangled device called a microwave with short 20 second bursts of energy , works every time . Of course I live in a swamp called the gulf coast .
“There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
Dedicate some of your hobby time to experimenting with drying out tobacco. It's a pretty basic idea and a little imagination can go a long way. The only person that needs to be satisfied with the results is the smoker. The right way and the best way too dry out tobacco is fairly subjective.
@Timmay: I was having problems with my bowls at first, I'm assuming your using the "three step" method when loading?
I found the "Frank Method" to be much easier (for me at least) as a beginner and have been consistently getting better smokes than when I try the traditional 3-step method. You might want to give it a shot.
Also, check this out!
Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum
depending on the equipment at hand, i'll either let it sit in the open air (dry as a popcorn fart here in the winter months, which are 9/12 of the year), press it in a paper towel and shove it in a drawer of my desk, stick it in the over with the door open on a sheet of tin foil, or set it in a stoneware jar with a loose lid to slow-dry for a couple days. basically it all depends on how soon you want to smoke it, and how much attention you want to pay to it while it's drying--the proverbial watched pot never boils, so to speak
There are many packing methods, as has been mentioned. Give them a try and see if one works. It's very true that what works for one piper won't work for another. And Tim, if the blend you had trouble with was one of my own blends, it's plenty dry, at least for where I live. the humidity levels around the country do vary, so if it's fairly humid where you're at, the tobcco will absorb some of that. It's easier telling someone how to do it than it is for a newer smoker to actually do it. Trial and error and time doing it are the best teachers of all.
DGT has also become a favorite method of mine lately, and with certain tobaccos it works wonders. Thanks to Lawrence for bringing it up and giving it a bit of PR!
"The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish."
--William Makepeace Thackeray
Thanks for all the helpful info everybody. I'm gonna try again this afternoon, trying to pay more careful attention to my packing, and I'll try air drying some blends before I smoke.
Tim, another trick to try if you're having trouble keeping the pipe lit, and the draw seems a bit too tight is to use the pick or spike of your pipe tool to poke a few air holes into your tobacco. I don't need to do it that often, but it can save a bowl that gets packed too firmly.
And push it away from thr air hole
might a pack that is too light be the cause of my troubles?
Yes Timmay it very well could be!
Mason jars and bale top jars, mason jars and bale top jars.... that is all!
"There’s truth in the statement that pipe tobacco will never be any less expensive than it is today, so think of your cellar as a cost averaged investment" - G.L. Pease
Yes Tim, packing probably causes the vast majority of problems. A good rule of thumb for newer smokers is to do everything Less than they think they should, except, IMNSHO, drying their tobacco.
I never had any problem with wet tobacco. AS a matter of fact the hard thing to do is not letting it dry out in the original tins.
Dry tobacco smokes too hot for me. Use the Mason canning jars and it will stay just right.
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