Drying aromatics

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by WLJayne, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    Hi guys,

    Having read the cellaring aromatics thread I thought I'd ask this. I've noticed that my aromatics smoke much better when slightly dried, but so far this has been down to chance. My question is, how do you dry your aromatics in a controlled way? I'm sure you all have your methods and I'd love to hear them. I noticed a profound difference between a new pouch and one that I'd had for two weeks. I have only kept them in their plastic pouches, so it's not air tight like a jar. Now that I am starting to keep my tobbaco in jars, I'd like to dry small batches of it slightly before smoking. So, any suggestions?

    Will.
     
  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Experimentation.

    The good news is that you already know the proper moisture content for your taste (if I can assume your "profound difference" was a GOOD difference, it's two weeks in the pouch). So you want to get your tobacco to that level without waiting 2 weeks. Simply pull out a small batch and leave it in the open air for half an hour. Then check it and see if it's close. If not, try another half hour until you get to the desired moisture level. Then smoke it to be sure. If all is well, you can dry out your entire batch to this level and jar it once it reaches that point.

    Aromatics can be dried and rehydrated (if you mess up and get them too dry - and I have!) without ill effects. Some non-aromatics, and particularly latakia blends in my experience, lose some flavor if they are rehydrated.

    I agree that aros generally perform better with some drying. I only smoke one regularly (McClellands Oriental Cavendish) but I also smoke C&D's Autumn Evening and some others on occasion. They all get dried out a bit. Good luck!
     
  3. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    Thanks for that, I thought it would come down to trial and error. It won't be difficult as the drier tobacco and the fresh stuff feel very different to the touch, so I should be able to go by feel as a rough gauge.

    Now I just nee to find some better jars, these stopper jars are ok but they are a little narrow and small. Mason jars must be called something else here in the UK. I'll keep looking. But seriously, I just had another jackpot of a smoke with two week old Bright and Burley - it really works for me!

    Now, do I buy that Peterson churchwarden to enjoy my found found tricks? Hmmmmmmm PAD on the horizon ;).....
     
  4. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Touch will definitely work!

    Hmm... not sure. But whatever they're called, I'm sure they're different in name only.

    Is that the G&H Bright and Burley? I just smoked a batch of that a few months ago and decided it would be an occasional tobacco for me. It was very good - nice and dry smoking with good but not overbearing flavor.

    Yes, you do! New knowledge always means new pipe! Old knowledge means new pipe. No knowledge means new pipe. Anything at all means new pipe. Go get that Pete! You know you want it. Then again, I have such little resistance when it comes to PAD and TAD. :whistle:
     
  5. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    Hahaha sound reasoning indeed :D! I'll pay the shop a visit on wednesday so I can have a proper look at it, it is a high end pipe on my budget. Its the Smooth Dublin model. I want to feel it in my hands before I buy it. Yes it was the G&H blend, not a bad one at all. It seems like a nice safe middle of the road blend with some very pleasant nutty notes, and it would probably be the one I'd give to a freind if they wanted to try a pipe. Though my favourite so far is G&H Cherry and Vanilla (which comes very moist, ick!) Now that I'm starting to get nice cool smokes from light blends I'll try some other more hearty ones.

    I had a feeling that Kilner jars would be suitable, and I found some good sized ones on ebay here. I reckon they would hold about one and a half ounces of tobacco, so I will probably get them.

    It will be good fun to test the best drying time for each blend. But it definitely agrees with my palate thus far.

    Will.
     
  6. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

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    No kowing the humidity where you live, I live in a very humid area and drying out an aro takes some time. I have a few methids that work well I will share with you. If you run central airconditioning, lay out the tobacco in a plate and place it next to one of your return air ducts where the filters are and leave it overnight. The passing air will dry it out. Or if you have a dehumidifier do the same and lay out in a plate and put it in frnt of the unit and in a few hours mix it and do again until it is at the moisture level you want. A thrid way is to lay it out on a cookie tray on a paper towel and put it in your oven under very low heat. Can also do this in a microwave put stay with it as they work fast and you don't want to cook it. You will be surprised at how much absorbs into the paper towel. Good luck!
     
  7. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Those jars will definitely be suitable for short term storage. As for long term, I'm not so sure. But then again, not too many folks store 1.5 oz for long term.

    Mason jars have a top that comes in two pieces. Not knowing their proper names, I'll just call them the top plate and the screw-on portion. Once the tobacco is inside, the top plate is placed inside the screw-on piece and screwed onto the jar itself. This creates an airtight, long-term seal that keeps the tobacco fresh, most probably for decades at least. I get 'em in 8 oz and 16 oz sizes, although the 16 oz usually holds only 8 oz of tobacco and the 8 oz holds 4 oz. Go figure.

    Anyway, the jars you have will work perfectly for a tobacco bar that you dip into regularly. Enjoy!
     
  8. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    What you described there is what we call the orginal Kilner design, the name Kilner is given to lots of types now but the top plate screwy bit design is the true Kilner. I'll look for some.

    Strongirish, It's not in the least bit humid here, and I would imagine tobaccos will dry easily at room temperature. But thanks for the tips :).
     
  9. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    I tried drying a small batch so that it felt right, was about an hour at room temperature. What a difference! This was the best smoke yet! The smoke was actually sweet in my mouth and I could taste all kinds of subtle flavours that I hadn't detected before. Also, the smoke was so cool I often thought the pipe had gone out - until I'd exhale a big blue cloud of delectable smoke! I also enjoyed a double measure of a good Scotch which enhanced the experience even more.

    Man I am loving this so much. I visited a friend today and discovered he had a passion for cigars which I hadn't know about before. Needless to say, he'll be buying his first briar soon methinks!

    Thankyou so much guys, it's been a while since a sat down and truly enjoyed something what with crazy work and hustle bustle - this is really making a difference to my whole temperament. Cheers for all the great advice, I really can't thank you enough.

    Will.
     
  10. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Will,

    I've heard of people using the chutney
    jars with success. The flip-top Kilner
    should work as well. I have two flip-tops
    that hold OTC blends, but they do tend
    to dry out over a several month period.
    At which point, I drop a humidifier disc
    in them. FWIW

    dp
     
  11. WLJayne

    WLJayne Member

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    Yes I may well buy some of those jars, I doubt I'll be storing tobacco for months just yet so they should be just fine :). But if I do I will look for the humidifier discs, cheers Snake!

    Will.
     
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