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One More Question on Aging Tobacco!

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    pipe8

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    I wanted to know if I should dry Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake out some before storing as it comes really wet and am worried of mould growth over the years, or shall I just put it in clean jars and forgot about them?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. sparroa

    simenon

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    No, I personally would not dry it out in advance.

    I am skeptical that there would be any mold growth in a clean jar.

    It is better to have moist tobacco for aging than dry tobacco, as far as I am concerned.

    With moisture, you retain all of the oils and flavour compounds that could be compromised by drying in advance.

    Without moisture, you are losing more than water - you are evaporating a lot of the other volatiles that impact flavour...

    Just throw it in the clean jar, seal it up, put it in a safe place and forget it for a few years!

    FYI, look up pictures of "bloom" or "plume" or "sugar crystals" on pipe tobacco.

    It is very common for these granular crystals to appear on FVF with time - it is a good sign and NOT mold.

    If it smells moldy, has a fuzzy appearance, and takes on various colours then you know you have a problem!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Simenon is spot on, IMO. I never dry a blend prior to jarring it either.

    I would stress, however, that you use new unused jars (new jars don't require washing), or, if using used jars, both the jars and lids should be very clean (dishwasher washed, hot cycle). Canning jars should be completely DRY before filling. If the lids look in any way funky or cracked, replace it with a new lid -- they're cheaper than dirt; spoiled tobacco isn't.

    I've refilled canning jars with the same (or similar) blend without washing the jar and lid and never had a problem. If you're reusing a jar that had tobacco in it previously but the type of blend was quite different, I'd wash it as above to avoid any possibility of ghosting.

    The "safe place" is a relatively cool, dry, dark place where the jars can be stored and undisturbed.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Thanks very much for answering so quickly guys! Spot on. I thought I'd ask it here too as you both will probably be back to read this thread.
    Will English / Latakia blends in particular Nightcap and Squadron leader age well for a few years? I understand not as nicely as VA's, but would you advise it or is it really a waste of time and unnecessary suspense for very little improvement?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. sparroa

    simenon

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    No problem.

    As well, if you find the Samuel Gawith blends irritatingly wet for immediate smoking, I find that they blends are not harmed by being left in the opened tin for 2-3 weeks as you finish up the blend. (I still usually place said tin in a Ziploc freezer bag, though)

    Just monitor the tobacco to see that it is not getting too dry. It will gradually come down to more normal humidification levels. By the end of the tin you will start to see it get a little dry, but you will be able to smoke right out of the tin without further airing time. Whereas, initially, you could wait anywhere from 15-30-60 minutes for a blend to dry out enough to be free of steam burn or tongue bite...

    Using jars right away for your immediate smoking probably preserves the true flavour best, but keeping a really moist blend like that in the tin (kept inside plastic) will cut down on drying time and be a more practical compromise if you are a frequent smoker.

    EDIT - Latakia really mellows too much for my taste within a year or two. If money is not an issue, you will have to set a few tins aside for yourself to see what you think of the development.

    Ask yourself this: what do you like more, over the top smokiness or a more balanced flavour?

    You'll have to experiment.

    I got some SG Balkan Flake. I found it was too mild from the start. Didn't like it fresh - didn't like it aged. (I expected the Virginias to liven up and make the blend sweeter. Two years later, it didn't, but the Latakia presence it had was receded well into the background so I found little left to like)

    Your mileage may vary.

    Nightcap is a complex full bodied tobacco so it could have good results with aging.

    Squadron Leader has a high proportion of VAs and orientals so it could also benefit from aging - but once again it will be a medium English blend that will mellow into a "medium minus" or light English blend so expect that dose of campfire smokiness to fade and other flavours to step into its place.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Heck, I'm very excited and will continue with the original plan of storing (800g) 12 tins: 4 fvf, 4 nightcap and 4 squaddy in glass mason jars.

    Thanks very much for all your help guys, as I always say and really mean, you guys have been awsome.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    As I posted in another thread here today, and as Simenon mentions, the latakia in a blend will mellow out noticeably in 2-3 years. Blends with a good amount of virginia will sweeten. I've found that Perique mellows a bit with age, other orientals hold up rather well and burley doesn't change much. I'm talking flavor here BTW -- and YMMV.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. cigrmaster

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    pipe8, I would not recommend taking tobacco of sealed tins and then storing it in mason jars. Mason jars are for bulk tobacco not tins. I may be reading your post wrong so excuse me if I am. I store my tins in a cool dark place and they age great like that.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. sparroa

    simenon

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    Personally I am also a fan of leaving them in the original tins unless there is evidence to suggest that it has been compromised somehow.

    The round Nightcap tins should be fine unless they were knocked around pretty bad, but I have heard a few complaints about the Gawith tins over time. I defer to you, though, Harris because you have handled a lot more of them than I have.

    It won't really hurt to jar them but I don't think its a necessary step unless the seal has already been popped or if you can strongly smell the tobacco from the tin... YMMV

    By the way, I also think FVF is the best for aging by a long shot out of all those listed so I would encourage you to put away more than 4 tins if you can spare it. It will probably be more rewarding when aged than either of the latakia blends, but again I can't predict your tastes, that is just how I feel and how many others have expressed their views as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. cigrmaster

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    Anthony, I don't have that much experience with the SG tins, the oldest I had was a 2006 and that was fine, what have you heard about those. I have never had any issue with the round, or the older rectangle tins. I think the new square tins will be great as well. Everyone went to them so there must be a reason for it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. sparroa

    simenon

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    I have heard some people say the Gawith ones are prone to having their seals pop/fail easier than most.

    I don't know how true that is but when I come across a Gawith that is drier than usual then I have to wonder if it is the tin itself. Again, I don't have any solid answers, but I am a bit more suspicious of these Gawith tins due to the forum gossip I've read. lol.

    I agree though that the round tins are pretty reliable.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. judcole

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    pipe8, I would not recommend taking tobacco of sealed tins and then storing it in mason jars. Mason jars are for bulk tobacco not tins. I may be reading your post wrong so excuse me if I am. I store my tins in a cool dark place and they age great like that.

    I totally agree.

    I have heard a few complaints about the Gawith tins over time.

    I have had no problems. I have a tin of BBF from '04 sitting in the cellar that is fine.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. sparroa

    simenon

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    Experience trumps conjecture - as I said I am just going on other tidbits I have heard here and there.

    To me they are definitely less sturdy than the round ones, which I have a high degree of confidence in, but they are definitely not the worst.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    hmmmm, thank you all for the input...

    I'm a little lost as what to do! I haven't brought the tins and the tobacco is comming tomorrow. Is there any negatives to storing in glass jars, besides the faf preparing them?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. crpntr1

    Chris

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    You can stor them in jars but as long as the tins are in good shape and there is no evidence of the seal not being sealed you can leave them in the original tin until you open them. It's pretty standard practice. If you buy in bulk, you'll want to jar that immediately tho.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. rmbittner

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    pipe8:

    I store all of my tobacco in its original tins. (Obviously, I don't buy bulks.)

    As for the benefits/drawbacks of aging latakia blends. . . I've found that Syrian latakia changes dramatically after about 8 years in the tin. The qualities that make good Syrian so amazing disappear almost entirely after that time, and it becomes much closer to its Cyprian brother. It's still perfectly smokable, of course. But you may find that a blend's flavor profile becomes something quite different down the road.

    I've said this here before, but I believe in cellaring/stockpiling as a hedge against a blend's demise, not primarily for the taste benefits that come with a little age. I buy with the mindset that a blend won't be around at all in five years -- because I've seen so many blenders and blends disappear over the last 30 years. (Crops fail, companies merge and change recipes, leaf becomes unavailable, fires destroy warehouses, etc., etc.) The drawback is that all of these tins I'm storing won't taste the same in 20 years, should I be fortunate enough to still be around smoking them. But that's a price I'm willing to pay to have my favorites available down the road.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Right, I have ordered 6 more tins of Full Virginia Flake.

    I will have a total of 10 now so 500g. Will store in tins if they all seem ok and jar the ones that aren’t.
    Thanks for the advice RMBittner I think I will just stick with aging the Virginias and just store the 8 other tins and 2 aro tins and smoke through them.

    AHh this wealth of knowledge is hard to keep up with, I do love the fact that everyone is different though!

    This whole storing business is all very new to me, the only reason it cropped up was because I wasn't impressed with FVF from the tin. I forgot about it for about a year or so after sticking it in a bail top jar and it was a completely different blend. Whether this was that my tastes have changed or it had aged somewhat!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. crpntr1

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    FVF is probably my favorite smoke. I was fortunate enough to work out a trade with a friend for 8 oz back in Dec. what I got was an oz of 1 yr aged, & 7 oz of 6 yr aged, I have some fresh...it changes drastically and gets VERY good..I like it fresh tho so I'm a little bias

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Also, can tobacco tins that have been sealed at the factory rust from the moisture in the tobacco inside the tin? I would hate to have a 6 year old tin and realise that it's actually rusty inide when I come to open it and the tobacco be ruined!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. sparroa

    simenon

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    Pipe8,

    Jarring a tinned blend upon arrival regardless of the tin's condition is a way to eliminate that chance of rust or a broken seal. It is probably unnecessary more often than not, but if you want to have more "control" over the matter then by all means just throw them in jars...

    There are two reasons why you liked the aged FVF better. It changed, and you changed. The changes on both accounts may have been subtle, but as you've seen it adds up to a more pleasant experience...

    One good reason why you should not necessarily jar a tinned blend if the tin appears to be in good condition is because you often do not know how old it is already! If you bought these from a tobacconist with a low turnover, your Gawith tins could very well have a year or two or five already. (Unlikely with FVF but a guy can hope) Anyway when you break the seal on an aged tobacco, in my opinion, you should smoke it sooner than later rather than just jar it up for another indefinite period.

    Some people will disagree with that, but that's the way that I roll...

    As far as the latakia blends, I think it would be good if you put aside one or two each, but four is probably overkill because you do not know if you'll like them less when they have mellowed after a year or two.

    Perhaps you prefer Nightcap or Squadron Leader fresh and you won't know it until you try the blend later...

    Still as rmbittner notes, if Samuel Gawith gives up the ghost and goes out of business tomorrow, then you will still have some SL to remember them by... He is very right to say that we do not always just save a blend to enjoy the effects of aging! It is often an insurance policy against its disappearance.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    can tobacco tins that have been sealed at the factory rust from the moisture in the tobacco inside the tin?

    Rusting from the inside definitely can happen and has happened with vacuum sealed tins to one or two puffers I know, but I'm convinced this is very rare. I've smoked hundreds of sealed vacuum tins, some decades old, and never experienced any rusting from the inside of the tin, ever.

    I have had rusting from the inside of the tin with the "pop top" tins (such as the tins used by GLP, P&C/H&H, C&D and others), but in both cases, I found the rusted bottom right after opening the tins and jarred them immediately. I smoked the entire contents both times with no issues. I think it's also important to note that, in both cases, those rusty tins were not lined with paper -- the tobacco blend was just placed in the bare cans (which may or may not contribute to the possibility of rust forming inside).

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Thanks very much guys. Very interesting regarding company's going out of business, I never really thought that would happen, but like everything in this day and age things come and go so quickly it’s more likely than not!
    I will store ½ kg of the FVF and as you say I have something to fall back on.
    Well, thanks very much, I'll keep you updated on the condition of the tins!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. dragonslayer

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    If you dry the tobacco you’re going to lose some of the curing residue in the process. Mold needs oxygen to form, this will be consumed by the anaerobic bacterium that forms, so if mold occurs it will be within a month, the seal is not tight, too much oxygen to start with or the seal is bad and letting oxygen in.

    Copy from other post:
    From what I’ve gathered from G.L. Pease’s interviews, articles and my own knowledge of anaerobic bacteria this is the conclusion I’ve made on ageing not curing tobacco, which are two different things. To age at the best speed and result Jars should be packed with an air tight lid. If it’s a moist broken flake leave some room at the top, loose flake can just be stacked, you don’t want to crush those flake planks (I don’t). Ribbon cut you can smash as there’s enough room for oxygen. This allows for anaerobic bacteria to form and the ageing process to occur as the oxygen is depleted. If you open it, you allow oxygen in and then the process won’t start again until it’s depleted. The differences in quality of the ageing are at 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and then it slows to 5 year increments.

    So with this in mind a vacuumed sealed tin which has its oxygen removed will age, but slower as you need the oxygen for a greater amount of anaerobic bacteria to be present. So you’re better off taking the tins and putting them in jars for a faster ageing process. The plastic cap on a tin still allows oxygen to enter, so no ageing will take place.

    “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 1 year ago #
  24. dragonslayer

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    Shit I should have made a seperate post, need to get my posts to 50 so I can trade lols.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. sparroa

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    From my readings of GL Pease and commentaries on tobacco aging, it is not advisable to interrupt the tobacco aging process when it is not necessary.

    I think that is why most people advocate tins over jars unless there is a physical defect present with the tins.

    That is why one should separate their smoking stock from their aging stock.

    Every time you open the jar, all gears grind to a halt and the anaerobic micro organisms must replenish themselves. This can take ages, from what I gather, and it truly inhibits the aging process.

    I'm no expert, I've only read the Tobacco Aging FAQ and a trillion forum posts, but that is the gist of my "knowledge"...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. dragonslayer

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    Totally agree it comes down to speed vs. risk, and how much you can financially store. The buy one to smoke and one to store is a great ideal in most situations. In bulk situations the choice has been made for you, and you must take care.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    It still amazes me how, even after a few months, the lids on my screw top jars are sucked in as those little microbes are doing their thing on the tobacco and beginning to absorb some of the air in the jar. OK, I'm easily impressed LOL.

    Anyway, sure -- if you're aging tobacco, be it in the sealed tin or a properly functioning canning jar, don't open it as the aging will stop completely the second you do so. Which is fine if you are planning to smoke it, but sort of blows the whole purpose if the plan was to age it longer.

    That's why I use the small (8 ounce) jars. It's like opening a pouch or a tin to smoke while the rest continues aging.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. sparroa

    simenon

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    It is no crazier than pitching a packet of yeast into sugary liquid and drinking the results strained from that sludgy mess several weeks later. LOL. I was really impressed (and somewhat amazed) the first time I did that...

    +1 on the smaller jars.

    I used the 125 ml (4 oz) jars for the first time yesterday and 4/12 were defective and wouldn't seal. I was disgusted. That never happened to me with the 250 mls... (8 oz)

    They screw 75% of the way around and then they pop back up instead of going tight! I tried replacing the seals/lids but it didn't work. Anyway that size of jars is ideal for plugs or even some flakes if you cut them to fit, but I was not satisfied with the quality... (It was the same brand as usual) It has never happened to me with the larger mason jars.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    I have ordered 12 jars, but I will save them to store the tobacco I smoke to keep it moist and the other tobacco in the tins, if one goes mouldy, one tin rusts and one tin is lost in outer space I'll still have 7 FVF tins to enjoy :). So far, touch wood none of the seals "seem" to have been broken, I do have however 6 more tins of FVF coming.
    The question is how much force to apply to see if the seal is broken before breaking the seal yourself!?
    Those tins are little buggers to open from new anyway though and once they are open, they take very little effort to reopen in my experience. Anyone agree?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    I'm sorry guys for being such a pain the the A**

    All of the tins I have I can smell each one of the tobaccos from the tin. This is obviously worrying for long term storage, is this common?

    I have brought the jars in case I want to store them in there, but when it comes to smoking or if I want to, selling. Are they worth more in the original tin or is it much of a muchness?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. rmbittner

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    pipe8:

    Of course, it's possible that a tin here or there has "lost" its seal -- I've had this happen once, so far, out of 1,000+ tins -- but I suspect that what you're smelling is the result of your tin coming from a tobacco factory and sitting on the shelves of a tobacco retailer. You're probably not smelling the tobacco that's in the tin; you're probably smelling the tobacco and smoke that has surrounded the tin for all its life.

    If you can't pry off the lid with just your fingers, odds are the seal is good. And, assuming the seal holds, the tobacco should be fine for decades.

    If you're even thinking about selling your tobacco down the road, for me it absolutely has to remain in its original sealed tin. (And if you're selling on eBay, the only way you can do that is if it's in the original tin, due to eBay's restrictions on tobacco sales. That is, you're not selling the tobacco, per se; you're selling the "collectible tin.") Others here will have different takes on this, but this is mine: If you have a 20-year-old sealed tin of a blend I want, I'd pay $50-100 for that tin (maybe more), depending on what it was. If you had the same tobacco that had sat aging in a jar for 20 years, I wouldn't give you a penny for it.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Thanks Bob, I took your advice and left them well alone!

    You have been brilliant help!

    Posted 1 year ago #

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