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sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
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Does anyone else here use Boveda packs for their pipe tobacco?
https://bovedainc.com/
I use them from time to time if I need to rehydrate a blend or to maintain moisture levels in my rotation jars if I notice they are getting too dry. (Often, my tobacco is around a long time before it is fully consumed)
Using these packs is a recent practise for me since I came back to pipe smoking a few months ago. Previously, I had used Boveda packs with my cigars and there doesn't seem to be any drawbacks with pipe tobacco. I have not noticed any flavour problems - rather, it seems to improve things as I only tend to use them when there is already a flavour problem due to dryness.
Your thoughts and experiences with these?
I use the ones with 62% relative humidity level which is lower than the ones they have designed for cigars.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,380
1,120
Las Vegas, NV
I’ve never used them for pipe tobacco. I just throw the leaf in a mason jar and tighten the lid down snug. It stays at roughly the same moisture level since I keep it in a cabinet with the doors closed most of the time. Also should note I live in Las Vegas where we do not know what this “relative humidity” people speak of means (it’s usually around 5-10% humidity here on average anything over 20% is abnormal and unbareable).

 
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oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
2,347
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I use the 62 Bovedas all the time. When I open a tin, after I have smoked a bowl or two, I stick a 62 Boveda in the tin, close it up and put it in a zip lock. I use Mason Jars for long term storage. For small quantities of tobacco that I am going to smoke short term, the Bovedas work great for me.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
Glad to hear I am not alone, oldgeezersmoker!
Here was a post by GL Pease on another forum regarding the ideal relative humidity for pipe tobacco:

http://www.brothersofbriar.com/t788-levels-of-humidity-in-tobacco
"Unfortunately, this isn't quite as easy a question as it may seem, as different tobaccos have different hygroscopic natures. However, you can get pretty close. An RH of between 61% and 64% will equillibrate most tobaccos to the 12-14% moisture range. This may be too moist for some smokers. To get to an average moisture content of 10%, you'd need an RH of about 56%, according to my experiments. Of course, if there are humectants used in the tobacco, these figures will not apply.
For packaging and long term storage, a moisture content of between 13-15% is ideal. Most smokers also find this to be a good moisture level for smoking. Personally, I prefer it at about 11-12%, sometimes even 10%, depending on the tobacco. (Virginias require more moisture to deliver their full flavour than Latakia blends do. The moisture helps solvate some of the sugars, delivering them in the water vapour/smoke stream, rather than simply burning them, which will tend to produce a sharper, tangier taste from the acidification of the smoke.) By the time it's down to 10% moisture, the tobacco will be rather dry; below this level, it quickly becomes friable.
It's essential to keep tobacco moist during packaging and storage. Biologically, some moisture is necessary for the aging process to occur. Mechanically, the moisture keeps it from turning to dust when it's blended, packaged, shipped. Too, given that it's much easier, in most climates, to dry tobacco than to rehumidify it, we're always better off with tobacco that's slightly on the moist side, rather than too dry.
Your fingers are actually a pretty good gauge of a tobacco's moisture content. If the stuff crumbles, it's below 10%. If it sticks together in a ball, it's over 14%. If it's springy and malleable, bouncing back when compressed, it's in the right range of 12-13%. It's remarkable how a little difference in moisture content can make such a big difference in the way the leaf feels."
This is very similar to the article he wrote for this site but I included the BoB link because he specifically references how 62% RH should allow one to find a sweet spot. The following link has more great information though:

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/dust-in-the-wind-a-primer-on-tobacco-moisture/
To be clear, when he's talking numbers in the 10-15% range he is referring to moisture by weight (percentage of water contained by the leaf) whereas when he is talking about 56-64% he is referring to relative humidity - a different concept.
One simple definition I found for RH:

"Measure of the amount of water (moisture) in air as compared to the maximum amount of water the air can absorb, expressed as a percentage. When air cannot absorb any more moisture (is fully saturated), its relative humidity is 100 percent."
It sounds like you are used to living in the desert, lordofthepiperings. I'm afraid we probably have a very different definition of when our tobacco is too dry. I live by the sea and it is 80% humidity today, but my indoor environment is not as high. This is partially why I like Boveda packs for my current smoking jars because they take away moisture when it is too damp and they add moisture when it is too dry. I think your climate is much more stable than mine and you consistently smoke tobacco that is more dry while my conditions are all over the place!

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
6,446
7,196
East Indiana
I’ve been using Bovedas for my cigars for several years, it hadn’t occurred to me to use them for rehydrating pipe tobacco, but it’s a great idea.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
2,347
4,818
I have used the 69 rh Bovedas for rehydrating tobacco. It seems to work ok,but I only have done this maybe three times with no more than a few ounces. For other purposes with pipe tobacco, the 62 rh seem to be ideal for me.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
Yes, I would say the 69% ones are too high for regular use but it just might be the ticket for bone dry blends that need saving in the short term. For the medium term, we don't need that much moisture so it is probably better to go down a notches.
As a reference, this is how they were intended to be used for cigars by the company itself:

https://bovedainc.com/support/cigars/boveda-rh-need/
"65%: Designed for Cuban cigars because Cuban cigars tend to mold at a higher RH level. Keep your Cuban cigars at or lower than 65%RH. This RH is also good for Dominican or Puro cigar due to personal preference or flavor profile.
69%: Designed for airtight humidors including but not exclusively for Boveda humidor bags, Boveda acrylic humidors, polymer travel humidor. Works well in high-end humidors including but not exclusively Elie Bleu and Daniel Marshall.
72%: Designed for most wood humidors. Wood humidors exchange moisture, it is not uncommon to see a decrease of 2–5%RH. The 72% accommodates the moisture loss allowing the humidor to maintain a high 60s RH level. We recommend the 72%RH as your first Boveda in your wooden humidor after seasoning.
75%: Designed for your inexpensive or glass top humidors. The 75% accommodates a high amount of moisture loss allowing the humidor to maintain a high 60s RH level.
84%: Designed ONLY for seasoning a wood humidor WITHOUT cigars in it. This formula is specifically designed to provide moisture directly to the cellular structure of the wood humidor. The amount of moisture required is greater than the wipe down of it. If you haven’t seasoned with Boveda 84%, you haven’t seasoned at all!
All Boveda are accurate to +/- 1% of the RH printed on the pack in an airtight environment."
I think the 58% and 62% were designed moreso for the cannabis market but coincidentally it seems to benefit pipe smokers as those RH levels are better for our tobacco than the higher moisture cigar packs.

 
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yuda

Member
Feb 28, 2017
149
391
I'm a tad weary of humidification disks or anything since I got one from a cigar shop soaked in PG solution and my whole tin of Dunhill Standard dried out in like a day. While I'm willing to bet that it was because I left the little disk thing on the paper instead of the tobacco, I'm still putting that off unless I start walking around with a little tobacco pouch.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
3
Bovedas are completely sealed and dry to the touch. They are allowed to contact the tobacco with no ill effects, although you can get slots for them to use in humidors if you want better organization inside the box.
It would be impossible for them to affect your pipe tobacco that dramatically because you are not handling straight liquid or gel, just a two-way pack that absorbs or emits moisture as required up to the stated RH level.
Whether or not they are good for pipe tobacco, they are certainly a different experience than any discs using PG or water. I would argue that they are superior but some people with the right knack can get great results from less than ideal methods so I don't claim to be an authority on what is the absolute best.
PS I wouldn't put any moisture source (such as those discs) in a closed tobacco tin if you are using an empty one as a tobacco carrying case because it will cause rust in a short amount of time.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,765
2,386
I’ve used Boveda packs for years with my cigar stash (in a very large igloodor). But I ran into a serious issue when using them with aromatic pipe tobacco. There is a chemical reaction that occurs between the Boveda pack and something that is commonly added to aros. The Boveda turns dark and emits an unpleasant, steely aroma. I’ve noticed this with the few STG aros that I cellar, as well as Erik Stokkebye’s “Family Reserve” and 4Noggins “Bald Headed Teacher”.

 

Varny

New member
Nov 3, 2019
1
0
Does anyone else here use Boveda packs for their pipe tobacco?
I use them from time to time if I need to rehydrate a blend or to maintain moisture levels in my rotation jars if I notice they are getting too dry. (Often, my tobacco is around a long time before it is fully consumed)
Using these packs is a recent practise for me since I came back to pipe smoking a few months ago. Previously, I had used Boveda packs with my cigars and there doesn't seem to be any drawbacks with pipe tobacco. I have not noticed any flavour problems - rather, it seems to improve things as I only tend to use them when there is already a flavour problem due to dryness.
Your thoughts and experiences with these?
I use the ones with 62% relative humidity level which is lower than the ones they have designed for cigars.
I just watched a vlog with a guy from boveda and he said for aromatics use 72-75% and for English blends etc. 65%
 

saintpeter

Preferred Member
May 20, 2017
1,112
2,460
Nope, haven't tried them, but they sound interesting. I buy and smoke by the tub and just dump a two month supply into one of these...
7253
 

mordy18

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2019
393
1,376
Northern New Jersey
I'm getting tired of 'decanting' the tobacco tins I buy into mason jars. Now I have 20 jars taking up space. I've read up on the problems of putting boveda packs directly into a jar (which seems completely unnecessary). But why not just put the tins (after they are opened) into a large tupperware with a few 62% boveda packs. Would allow you to keep the tobacco in the tin and control the ambient humidity.
 

saintpeter

Preferred Member
May 20, 2017
1,112
2,460
I'm getting tired of 'decanting' the tobacco tins I buy into mason jars. Now I have 20 jars taking up space. I've read up on the problems of putting boveda packs directly into a jar (which seems completely unnecessary). But why not just put the tins (after they are opened) into a large tupperware with a few 62% boveda packs. Would allow you to keep the tobacco in the tin and control the ambient humidity.

That sounds far too easy and logical
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,619
35,253
I live in a fairly humid place in N.C. so that shades my thinking, but I'd say, be sure dryness is a problem before hydrating blends. For me, a little drying is more benefit that problem, for good taste and an even burn. If you need moisture, by all means rehydrate, but see if you need it.
 
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mordy18

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2019
393
1,376
Northern New Jersey
My suggestion is solely for preservation of open tobacco in a smoking rotation and not rehydration.

I have around 15 tins worth of tobacco stored in jars that will be opened periodically as I smoke -- ie not "cellaring". I'm out of jars and really don't want to buy more. And I have another 10 tins I'd like to open and sample. I gather that just leaving the tobacco in an opened tin will probably lead to the tobacco drying out completely in a matter of months (relative RH in NJ in the winter can easily hit 25% indoors when the heat kicks in). I smoke about 5 bowls a week, so 25 or so tins of open tobacco will last a loooong time.

Thus the thought of just putting opened tins in a tupperware with 62% boveda packs rather than putting the tobacco in jars. Just like what I do with my cigars (except I use 69% for those). Gonna give that a go this winter.
 
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renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
2,202
11,709
I haven’t used the Bovedas for pipe tobacco but when I encounter tobacco that has gotten too dry I pack the bowl and then blow through the bowl. It’s surprising how much moisture you can impart this way.

Interesting idea to use the packs to dry things down.
 
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