When to Use Humidifiers?

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ItsKarl

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 3, 2024
121
196
Norway
Simple question, really. Should humidifiers be used pro-actively, to prevent tobacco in jars from becoming dry?
Or should they be used as needed, to restore humidity to tobacco?
 
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captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
2,356
12,349
North Carolina
There shouldn't be a need for a humidifier in a "properly" sealed jar. In general pipe tobacco is better drier than you might maintain cigars. If it is really dry, I mean crispy crumbly turn to dust dry, then one way to rehydrate is to mist some water on a paper towel and then place the paper towel over the container with the tobacco. This seems to be a rare occurrence though.

For some perspective, I've never used a humidifier for pipe tobacco.
 
Nov 20, 2022
2,426
24,141
Wisconsin
As stated above, a sealed jar should not need humidification as it should be air tight. The anaerobic fermentation is what ages tobacco, and if it is exposed to air it halts that process.

I do use humidification for opened jars / tins that I am actively smoking to prevent them from drying out which I have in a water tight tub on my smoking desk.
 

ItsKarl

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 3, 2024
121
196
Norway
As stated above, a sealed jar should not need humidification as it should be air tight. The anaerobic fermentation is what ages tobacco, and if it is exposed to air it halts that process.

I do use humidification for opened jars / tins that I am actively smoking to prevent them from drying out which I have in a water tight tub on my smoking desk.
That answers the question I was going to ask: "but won't opening the jars (you know, for smoking purposes) expose tobacco to drying?"

I have 11 different tobaccos right now, all of them on jars and I am smoking from all of them. And I am pretty sure some of them are not as lovely moist as when I first got them.
 

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,092
19,117
France
Most tobacco is too wet when you crack the tin. You want it do dry out some. I have a bunch of jars open and I grab what I want and close the jar. im not a heavy smoker and a couple of months later (or more) for some blends and all is well. Yes it has lost moisture but a few weeks later and its perfect to smoke straight from the jar.

I presume since you are in the EU you probably dont use mason jars but maybe the bailing wire and rubber seal jars? That is what we have in France. I dont know about Norway. Old jelly jars from the grocery dont reseal well. Stuff will start to dry faster than one wants.
 
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ItsKarl

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 3, 2024
121
196
Norway
Most tobacco is too wet when you crack the tin. You want it do dry out some. I have a bunch of jars open and I grab what I want and close the jar. im not a heavy smoker and a couple of months later (or more) for some blends and all is well. Yes it has lost moisture but a few weeks later and its perfect to smoke straight from the jar.

I presume since you are in the EU you probably dont use mason jars but maybe the bailing wire and rubber seal jars? That is what we have in France. I dont know about Norway. Old jelly jars from the grocery dont reseal well. Stuff will start to dry faster than one wants.
Mason jars are sold here, though the ones I've seen did not have bailing wire. But we also have our own versions of mason jars, Norgesglass ("Norway jar"), and there are lots of other brands besides - both with and without rubber seals. Even the ones without rubber seals - the ones with continuous threads at least - should provide a perfectly adequate seal.

Here's a typical Norgesglass (I use smaller ones):

DSF8831.jpg
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
6,032
50,709
Minnesota USA
But won't they dry out gradually anyway, depending on the air volume inside?
I keep 2 oz. quantities in small “working” bail jars near my desk in my home office. They get a little dry if I haven’t smoked enough and there’s still tobacco in them. After like 5-6 years. A little spritz of distilled water in a spray bottle and a good shake. The next day it’s all good.
 
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Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,092
19,117
France
Yes that’s what I called them because I dont know a better term. That is what we have in France also. They work fine for your open blends. Since we really dont have bulk in the EU you should be fine.
 
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woodsroad

Lifer
Oct 10, 2013
12,125
17,817
SE PA USA
Mason jars are sold here, though the ones I've seen did not have bailing wire. But we also have our own versions of mason jars, Norgesglass ("Norway jar"), and there are lots of other brands besides - both with and without rubber seals. Even the ones without rubber seals - the ones with continuous threads at least - should provide a perfectly adequate seal.

Here's a typical Norgesglass (I use smaller ones):

DSF8831.jpg
Those are perfectly good jars. The only caveat is that, depending on the quality of the rubber, the seal will deteriorate over time. I’ve seen silicone seals, they should be a lot more durable and reliable.

Which brings up a sore point: WTF is up with rubber bands? They used to last a long time, nowadays they seem to deteriorate pretty quickly, especially when they’re left stretched and under tension.
 

krizzose

Lifer
Feb 13, 2013
3,219
19,207
Michigan
But won't they dry out gradually anyway, depending on the air volume inside?
Short answer: no, at least to the point where it’s actually too dry. I have 80+ “open” tins in jars. I’ve never to had to rehumidify anything except for a couple of occasions when I carelessly closed a jar lid down on a chunk of tobacco so it didn’t seal properly. For me, the last half of the jars is usually better for the drying that has occurred.

Unless it’s dried to dust, there’s no need to humidify pipe tobacco as long as it’s properly stored in a mason jar or resealable Mylar bag. However, tobacco left in a tin that’s been unsealed will dry out given enough time.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
Bail top jars with a good seal will dry out only due to use. They are fine for L/T storage if left undisturbed, in my experience.

Each time you open it to grab a bowlful, the air exchanged will dry it somewhat- unless it's Midwest-Southwest in Summer!
 
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FLDRD

Lifer
Oct 13, 2021
1,898
7,207
Arkansas
Those are perfectly good jars. The only caveat is that, depending on the quality of the rubber, the seal will deteriorate over time. I’ve seen silicone seals, they should be a lot more durable and reliable.

Which brings up a sore point: WTF is up with rubber bands? They used to last a long time, nowadays they seem to deteriorate pretty quickly, especially when they’re left stretched and under tension.
I personally think one could make this observation about ANY product we typically use in the USA.

My opinion is that it's our own fault in the end, as most of us as consumers have recently (last few decades?) told the market what we want by purchasing the options which cost the least. I've also read that on the global market, we do not necessarily have access to the "best" (quality) products due to that nature. Combined with corporations existing solely for stock profit...........

I am not learned on these matters but I see very little of ANYTHING that is made in the manner and quality now, compared to what my parents had access to.
 

woodsroad

Lifer
Oct 10, 2013
12,125
17,817
SE PA USA
The profit motive in business has been there since the first caveman sold his wife and kids. What is missing is the long view, since so many manager's and executive's pay is tied to short term growth, which comes at the expense of long-term health of the company and quality of the goods produced. I try and avoid Chinese goods whenever possible, so I've done the drill-down many times. It's often a slow and frustrating process.

There are still plenty of quality goods produced in the US, but you really need to hunt for them, and get familiarized with the companies producing them. And you have to stay current, stuff changes constantly.
 

mpjetset

Starting to Get Obsessed
Relevant report: After finally pulling some of the American tins from deep in the cellar I transferred several to jars thanks to a wake-up call here. They had a little pinhole rust so were dry but thankfully stored in food saver bags so no loss. I will smoke them as-is. They aren't aging anymore but what the hell, I bought them because I liked them.

Tins from almost 40 years in food saver bags just to keep the ocean salt off of them are mostly fine even though 90% of the bags had failed by now. Interestingly, 99% of the tougher European tins including a couple old-old Escudo and 1980's VA#1 are just fine.

It's the 25 year old tins that have about 75% pinholes, and the failures seem to run in batches. For example, from Pease blends, all Fez are great but Fools Cap and Inverness are dry and Haddo's are 50-50.

Cakes just don't smoke dry well for me and I consider Bengal Slices my only true loss (but haven't given up hope). They are all dry.

As long as there's no mold I'm fine with the dry tobacco, but am experimenting with a drop of PG in a few jars of Inverness and the Bengal Slices. I'll report on those in 10 more years, or one of you youths will when I leave the lot to y'all. Don't go getting any ideas though.
 
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