How to Stop Tobacco from Aging?

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Butter Side Down

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 2, 2023
266
2,741
Chicago
Title edited for caps and brevity.

I know this is probably going to seem backwards to a lot of you, but there are a few blends that I've discovered that I like better when they're new (specifically VAs that lean towards bright VA, and most Lat blends). Unfortunately several of my favorites are hard to come by, so I feel compelled to try to keep a small stock whenever I'm lucky enough to score some.

So when I'm lucky enough to jump on a drop, is there any way to stop (or slow) aging so it'll stay closer to its original flavor profile?
 
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Sig

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 18, 2023
286
1,512
Western NY
I know this is probably going to seem backwards to a lot of you, but there are a few blends that I've discovered that I like better when they're new (specifically VAs that lean towards bright VA, and most Lat blends). Unfortunately several of my favorites are hard to come by, so I feel compelled to try to keep a small stock whenever I'm lucky enough to score some.

So when I'm lucky enough to jump on a drop, is there any way to stop (or slow) aging so it'll stay closer to its original flavor profile?
Vacuum seal your jars.
Plastic bags will react with your tobacco over time.
Tobacco needs a tiny bit of oxygen to age, its an oxidation process.
If you suck all the oxygen out, it has none to oxidize.
 

Butter Side Down

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 2, 2023
266
2,741
Chicago
Well... not being a food technologist or anything like that I'd welcome any critiques: I'd go with argon if I wanted to really do it right. Open the tin, dump in a mason jar, purge the air with argon and seal it up. Then store in a nice cool dark place.
I definitely appreciate the scientific approach, but there are several areas where this might exceed my current equipment and abilities. 😁
 

Bbailey324

Lifer
Jun 29, 2023
1,731
22,057
Austin, TX
I wonder what effect freezing would have on tobacco? Cold would certainly reduce diffusion and reaction rates. I'm not sure if ice crystal formation would cause damage since there is water content in the leaf. It might be minimal.

I like the Ar purge idea although there would still be O2 hanging around.
 
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lestrout

Lifer
Jan 28, 2010
1,771
320
Chester County, PA
The ageing of tobacco actually involves two processes, which occur in succession, which in turn involves two kinds of 'bugs': the first phase involves oxygen using bacteria/fungi. Then when the oxygen in the sealed container is used up, then the anaerobic bacteria/fungi get their turn. They're the ones that turn compounds in the tobacco to sugars, etc. I gather they're the ones that provide the flavors cellarers seek. Opening the sealed container admits air and interrupts this ageing process.
So removing the air via vacuum or flushing it out with an insert gas would presumably put the tobacco into stage two. I suppose you could slow things down by cooling everything off.
 

Architeuthis

Can't Leave
Jan 17, 2021
323
2,257
If you want it to remain as close to fresh as possible, you want to vacuum seal and keep in a cool, dark place. Also, separate it out into small quantities so that you can smoke it relatively quickly once you open it. I've never tried vacuum sealing and freezing, but lots of people do that with their special coffee beans.
 

kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
14,301
23,782
77
Olathe, Kansas
Argon is the best way I suppose but most people wouldn't think of that. You could try stuffing as much tobacco in the jar as it would hold, then purge the air as best you and vacuum seal the jars.
 
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Terry Lennox

Can't Leave
Aug 11, 2021
419
2,318
Southern California
If you want it to remain as close to fresh as possible, you want to vacuum seal and keep in a cool, dark place. Also, separate it out into small quantities so that you can smoke it relatively quickly once you open it. I've never tried vacuum sealing and freezing, but lots of people do that with their special coffee beans.
Agree with this. I have not used a vacuum food sealer myself but I have heard from people who do that the tobacco did not age the way they had hoped and were disappointed. You may like the result of very little change. Also agree that small jars or smaller containers/amounts are good because the biggest change comes when you open it after years sealed up. Within days the leaf can change color and flavor.
I actually love my Germains made Balkan and English blends fresh. The only reason I cellar them is fear of unavailability. Cheers.