How to Re-Hydrate Pipe Tobacco

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Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
575
1,383
Yorkshire, England
If it is of any help, my grandad’s technique for rehydrating tobacco - not that he allowed this to happen regularly - was Apple peel for aromatics and potato peel for others and never a lot of either, just a shaving of the required one usually popped into the pouch.
He used a similar tactic with dried out cigars also.
 

Mdutson

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 21, 2021
193
3,784
38
LaCenter WA
I am definitely not an expert on this but a slice of white bread has help me save some old Sugar Barrel.
 

Duke of Erinmore

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 5, 2020
270
1,319
43
Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany
I use moistened charcoal filters (that's the only thing they are useful for).
Depending on dryness and quantity of tobacco I throw 1-4 filters into the jar.

When they are dry, I repeat that exercise until the tobacco is good to smoke.

I can highly recommend this method, the results are awesome.
 
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Servant King

Lifer
Nov 27, 2020
2,681
12,987
37
Frazier Park, CA
www.thechembow.com
I use moistened charcoal filters (that's the only thing they are useful for).
Depending on dryness and quantity of tobacco I throw 1-4 filters into the jar.

When they are dry, I repeat that exercise until the tobacco is good to smoke.

I can highly recommend this method, the results are awesome.
Verrrrry interesting...thanks for the tip! I have about two dozen of those things collecting dust, and a jar of Peterson Irish Whiskey that's a little too crispy.

Much obliged!
 

LikeDadDid

Can't Leave
Apr 27, 2021
426
972
Virginia Beach
During my first week of smoking I opened a tin that I'd gotten from my brother. I decided it was too dry, filled as I was with the confidence of total inexperience, and so I poured in a teaspoon of tap water and closed it back up for a couple days. When I opened it again the moisture was evenly distributed throughout, and a pinch would clump together nicely. I thought, "that's ready!" Haha. You know the rest.
 
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ChippewaAce

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 20, 2021
204
379
Tennessee
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.
This is FANTASTIC! Can get mighty humid here in Tennessee so this may be something I try with an old tin this summer!
 

snagstangl

Lifer
Jul 1, 2013
1,493
550
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.
 

ChippewaAce

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 20, 2021
204
379
Tennessee
I have a near full tin of Drew Estate "Harvest on Hudson" from 2012 (forgotten about and quite dry) and a half full, opened a month and a half ago tin of Mac Baren's Danish Mixture that could also use a little moisture. I thought the Hudson smelled heavily of tea when I reopened it, so I used a paper towel wetted with some black tea to rehydrate and just water for the Danish Mixture. I'll let you know if I can taste the tea when done (highly unlikely, I know)!
 

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JOHN72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2020
3,891
39,242
49
SPAIN
Yesterday I opened a jar of byzantium hydrated with whiskey. After a year. Smells like rotten pineapple. Fermented. I had to add virginia. I could fly out the window,but it could hurt some martian, so i decided, I take out and let it dry to smoke, hell, you can smoke..............If you want a vinegar stew, call me....................
 

JOHN72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2020
3,891
39,242
49
SPAIN
It's already dry and it had that tobacco fragance again. The initial smell of tobacco can be smelled. All you have to do is let out the gas from the alcohol.............My mistake was to close before the alcohol evaporated completely and let the tobacco dry. And finally, close the bottle again............I put too much liquor , that was my most important mistake.........
 
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molst

Lurker
Sep 8, 2021
43
96
Sweden
This might be a new strategy for some, but very simple.

I move the tobacco (mostly Samuel Gawith) to air tight jars right after the first smoke.

Every time I'm about to close the jar I check the tobacco moisture and put 4 drops of water from a tea spoon if needed. Over a couple of days the moisture spreads evenly to all tobacco in the jar.

I try to keep it slightly more moist than smoking level at all times and then let it dry rubbed out for 1-20 minutes before smoking.

Very easy and no problems with mould so far. But I think I'm among the wettest 1% smokers in this forum.
 
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leonardbill1

Part of the Furniture Now
May 21, 2017
860
5,355
Denver, CO
The easiest approach that I have used is with a Vaporette (a small vial with an emitter top filled with distilled water) in a Mason jar. Unfortunately it appears that the Vaporette product is no longer being made (maybe there are still some to be found in older tobacco shops). I have also used Jelly BeadZ (available on Amazon) and distilled water in a Xikar humidifier jar (I removed their crystals and dropped in a dozen or so Jelly BeadZ, then poured a small amount of distilled water in the jar; any excess water after the Jelly BeadZ are fully saturated is poured off). I put the tobacco in a Mason jar and then put the Xikar humidifier jar on top of the tobacco. The Jelly BeadZ will slowly release the moisture. I check the tobacco every week or so until it is at the rehydration level that I want. Either way, I believe that the key for best results is to slowly rehydrate, then let the tobacco sit for a few weeks in the Mason jar after it has been rehydrated.
 
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Buckler

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 25, 2020
103
147
NSW, AUSTRALIA
Fantastic article. Thank you. Have had mold trying to just mix the tobacco with water from my fingers. I think the cloth method is what ill try next so nothing (especailly water) will touch the tobacco! C

Cheers
 
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mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
3,064
7,444
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Fantastic article. Thank you. Have had mold trying to just mix the tobacco with water from my fingers. I think the cloth method is what ill try next so nothing (especailly water) will touch the tobacco! C

Cheers
Don't overthink it. Here's the late Steve Books doing his thing. Not in the picture is the spray bottle he kept nearby. I doubt he used distilled water. I never saw any jugs laying around.
steven-books.jpg