How to Re-Hydrate Pipe Tobacco

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ADKPiper

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Dec 13, 2020
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Adirondack Mountains
I'm glad I found this thread.
I was just about to post a question about how to rehydrate tobacco.
One thing I've found is that tins can't be counted on to keep tobacco from drying out. The plastic lids must not seal tight enough.
A couple of tins that I bought some time back have gotten a tad more dry than I'd prefer. Especially some shag cut.
I put them all into a humidor and put in one of those cups with the sort of gel crystal stuff. That seemed to keep it from drying any more but didn't really rehydrate it. As an experiment I put a half dropper full of distilled water right in the tin and put the top on and shook it up. I left it in the humi over night and this morning it seems to have worked. Of course the concern is always mold. But I think I'm OK. It seems to have hit the sweet spot in terms of being moist but not over moist. It smokes fine.
I find that dry tobacco is harsh as is over moist tobacco.
It's all a matter of pleasing that blond bimbo Goldilocks.
 

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Jaycee

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Nov 7, 2020
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I put my tobacco in a food storage container. I make a digit in the center, put in a 1oz container of distilled water uncovered. I put the cover on the container on a seed starter warming mat. I leave the mat on for short periods, one I see a little humidity inside. I check on the blend daily until it gets to my liking. Hope this helps.
 

Mr_houston

Member
Dec 30, 2020
224
904
Texas
Good article. Having returned to pipe smoking recently, I had several jars/tins that were dried out.

I was taught the “best” method is to put tobacco in a bowl with a damp cloth or paper towel over the top. It restores the tobacco slowly and gently. I did that for some, but it can take days. My wife has a clothes steamer and I am not a patient person, so I also blasted steam through the cloth also.

Others I used some form of a humidification or crystals. They all worked.
I do find that you lose some of the nuanced flavors ( volatile oils, they say) any time you let them get dried out.
 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Good article. I generally use method #3 and it works great. I'm also happy that the article specifies using distilled water, which reduces the chance of introducing mold from the rehydration. People invent all sorts of weird practices, like potatoes or apples or other stuff that increase the chance of developing mold.

Thanks for sharing this one.
 

Jaycee

New member
Nov 7, 2020
39
164
I put my tobacco in a food storage container. I make a digit in the center, put in a 1oz container of distilled water uncovered. I put the cover on the container on a seed starter warming mat. I leave the mat on for short periods, one I see a little humidity inside. I check on the blend daily until it gets to my liking. Hope this helps.
 
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STP

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Sep 8, 2020
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Northeast USA
Thanks... I’ve use wet paper towel method w/success. I place it over the jar and close the lid without contacting the tobacco. I’m might have to perform this a couple times, but it has never failed me in bringing life back to tobacco.
 
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ofafeather

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Apr 26, 2020
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if you use the paper towel method try using a wider bowl and spread the tobacco out. Cover the paper towel with plastic wrap. It will humidify faster if it is spread out a bit rather than in a jar. That said, I often use a jar because it’s more convenient. I make sure to check the tobacco a couple of times a day and to mix it until it’s where I want it to be.
 
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Jeff 11B

New member
May 1, 2021
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Here is an article that I wrote awhile ago that shows a few different methods of re-hydrating pipe tobacco:

How to Rehydrate Pipe Tobacc years ago when we used
Years ago, before bulk barns, we cured tobacco on sticks. After curing we had to open the barn doors during the night to let the leaves obtain some moisture and become pliable so they didn't crumble while unloading the barn and hauling to the pack house. That's how I handle dry pipe tobacco. I pour the crunchy tobacco into my wife's biscuit pan and place it on the porch overnight. By early next morning, if pinched between the fingers, it will hold together and be soft. I just place it in a mason jar and seal it up. This works because the tobacco will only absorb the moisture amount it needs and is never introduced to liquid All that's left is washing biscuit pan and slipping it back in the kitchen before she's any the wiser.
 

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