Tobacco Aging

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readix

New member
Oct 3, 2018
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I've read a few articles and watched a few videos on how to seal pipe tobacco in a jar so it could age. Most of the videos were about vacuum sealing the jar, which is a nonsense. So my question is. How do you seal the jar?
I could just fill it with tobacco, screw the lid and let it rest in a dark place, but that just seems not enough to me. Or is it?
When you push the lid you hear the click sound. Isn't the click a sign of not properly sealed jar?

What do you do with the jar so it doesn't make the click sound anymore? Normally you put it in a hot water and boil it for a few minutes, but the high heat could damage the tobacco if I am not mistaken.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
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Lexington, KY
My (purely guesswork) take: you don't need a vacuum seal for anaerobic aging. You just need the jar to be airtight. Which means that as long as there aren't little bits of tobacco compromising the seal, the fact that the button clicks is immaterial. You just don't want new air getting in the jar, if your goal is anaerobic aging.
I store all my bulk blends in half-pint mason jars, and simply tighten down the ring reasonably firmly.

 

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ashdigger

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Jul 30, 2016
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I could just fill it with tobacco, screw the lid and let it rest in a dark place, but that just seems not enough to me. Or is it?
Is it just that simple.
Now, you can get NASA, Scandia Labs, Smuckers or any other agency or technique involved, but why??
It always baffles me how pipe smokers make EVERYTHING unbelievably complicated, then they complain that pipe smoking and tobacco storage is so complicated.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
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A good quality jar and lid, if both the rubber ring on the lid and the glass on the jar are clean provide an airtight seal without any boiling in my experience. Make sure the lid and screw ring are well seated and tight. Not wrench tight, but more than finger tight.
My understanding is that you actually want some air in the jar for aging to occur, but I'll let those with more knowledge and experience comment on that.

 

readix

New member
Oct 3, 2018
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Thank you!Tobacco can age in an unopened tin then, but aren't some tins vacuum sealed? How can I find out if they are?

 

cigrmaster

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May 26, 2012
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United States
When I jar something I screw the lid on tight and that is it. No need to do anything else. The tobacco will age just fine.

 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
16,356
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Monterey Peninsula
That's about it. I generally jam as much tobacco in the jar that I can for aging. There's still plenty oxygen in the interstices of the tobacco bits; the less oxygen, the faster anaerobic aging begins.

 

recluse

Member
Sep 11, 2011
145
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It always baffles me how pipe smokers make EVERYTHING unbelievably complicated, then they complain that pipe smoking and tobacco storage is so complicated.
So true. :rofl:

 

craiginthecorn

Preferred Member
May 8, 2017
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Sugar Grove, IL, USA
One thing I’ve learned is that I prefer some blends with just a bit of age. Virginias as the tobaccos which are said to age the best, but some of them lose a brightness that I greatly value. I just got a few ounces of SG FVF which was aged 20 years. It’s now almost black and coated with plume, but so mellow that I don’t like it as well as my 2-year-old stock. It makes me wonder if I really want to stock up on some of my favorite Virginia blends like FVF, SGF, Brighton, Peacehaven, and Germain’s Medium Flake.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
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It makes me wonder if I really want to stock up on some of my favorite Virginia blends like FVF, SGF, Brighton, Peacehaven, and Germain’s Medium Flake.
It's either that or learn to love Middleton's Cherry.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
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I recently found a seemingly well researched article on aging by Chuck Stanion at SmokingPipes daily reader web page. Nothing to do with jars, per se; but nonetheless informative.
Great article! Thanks for posting. I love Chuck, after years and years of reading P&T magazine, I feel like he is an old friend. He cracks me up!

 

cstanion

New member
May 24, 2018
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I did an experiment years ago, using Ball jars to store McClelland 5100 and 2015 with and without vacuum seals. After six years I tried them and could not distinguish a difference. Both had aged nicely, but any difference between them was lost on me. YMMV.
We don't get a true vacuum with vacuum sealing, and even tins are only partially vacuumed, so there's still plenty of oxygen in there for aging. I still vacuum seal my jars, but only because I think it provides a better, longer-lasting, safer seal.
I advise against using plastic, even the heavy-duty plastic bags that come with vacuum sealing gizmos. Plastic will permit the exchange of air molecules over time. Glass is the only way to go, in my opinion. I sealed some Esoterica in heavy-duty, food storage plastic for 10 years and it was dried out when I opened the bags. Re-hydrating it only made me mad, because what flavor was leftover was a weak echo of itself.
Aside: Thanks for the kind words, hawky454! I'm pretty inconsolable about P&T, but Smokingpipes is a good gig and I'm having enough fun to keep me interested, so you'll be seeing me around for a while yet. I ain't going gently into that good night.

 

briarbuck

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Nov 24, 2015
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I ASSumed that the atmosphere that promoted aging was anaerobic? Am I wrong on that?

 

craiginthecorn

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May 8, 2017
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Sugar Grove, IL, USA
I love seeing these kinds of controlled tests, Chuck. How did you vacuum seal the jars? I ask mostly to understand how much vacuum was achieved. The three methods I know are:
1) Heat the jar in hot water with lid loose, then tighten and cool.

2) Use a mason jar attachment on a countertop vacuum sealer

3) Use a commercial chamber sealer

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
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I advise against using plastic, even the heavy-duty plastic bags that come with vacuum sealing gizmos. Plastic will permit the exchange of air molecules over time. Glass is the only way to go, in my opinion. I sealed some Esoterica in heavy-duty, food storage plastic for 10 years and it was dried out when I opened the bags. Re-hydrating it only made me mad, because what flavor was leftover was a weak echo of itself.
You're referring to mylar? Plain Mylar isn't a solution for long term storage for the reason that you mentioned, but that's not true of the metallized version. I use glass jars for aging and metallized mylar as a protection for tins since tins aren't a good solution for long term aging either.
Your experiment and results are interesting because Greg Pease published an article about a similar experiment that had decidedly different results where the vacuum sealed jars did noticeably retard aging.
Very sad about P&T.

 

cstanion

New member
May 24, 2018
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I used a countertop vacuum sealing apparatus with an attachment for Ball jars, not wanting to heat the tobacco.
Regarding the plastic: I sealed the unopened, 8-oz metalized bags that bulk Esoterica came in (maybe it still does; I've not bought it in forever) inside of two heavy-duty bags each that came with the vacuum machine. I tried it on both Penzance and Dorchester, and they both dried out. Maybe I got a batch with poor seals on the original bags, but they looked airtight and didn't exchange air when squeezed, as far as I remember.
If Greg Pease can taste a difference in vacuum sealed and non-vacuum sealed tobacco, I'd err on his side. His sense of taste is far superior to mine and he's able to distinguish characteristics I can only imagine. For my personal use, with the Neanterthal taste buds my DNA shortchanged me on, it makes no difference.

 

jitterbugdude

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
993
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The quality of matalized mylar bags varies between manufacturers. I've opened 4 year old bags from MylarPro and the tobacco was just as moist as the day I put it in. I bought some cheap bags from ebay and my tobacco was dry within 1 month.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,471
5,221
I advise against using plastic, even the heavy-duty plastic bags that come with vacuum sealing gizmos. Plastic will permit the exchange of air molecules over time. Glass is the only way to go, in my opinion. I sealed some Esoterica in heavy-duty, food storage plastic for 10 years and it was dried out when I opened the bags. Re-hydrating it only made me mad, because what flavor was leftover was a weak echo of itself.
I researched this prior to converting a good deal of my tobacco storage to mylar bags. One, several members here report success with storing tobacco up to 10 years and older in mylar bags (no vacuum, just heat sealing the bags). The laboratory results I read show there is very little difference between ball/mason jars and quality 7 mm mylar bags with respect to air leakage. I have used the zip lock only sealing of mylar bags for several months this winter, in my relatively dry man cave, for short term storage of tobaccos. That same tobacco that will absolutely dry out in a regular zip lock showed no signs of dryness in the mylar zip lock bag.

 

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