Rehydrating dried out tobacco

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Lukasaurus, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Active Member

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    Wondered what methods people find to be most effective in this regard?

    I've often been told a piece of potato or apple in a tin/bag/jar is ideal, but I've also had good experiences with the purpose built moisture retaining pads.

    Do people reckon pipe tobacco dried out then rehydrated is as good as the original? Or do you think they permanently lose something once dry? I ask this due to my limited supply of jars... :P
  2. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    A couple drops of distilled water will re-hydrate it, however I believe once it's gotten too dry, the essential oils have dried up and it's never as good as it was. In other words "It's over Jerry"
    IMHO/YMMV/YADA,YADA.
  3. upinsmoke

    upinsmoke Member

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    My method is to put the tobacco in a small metal covered box with a little piece of wet sponge. I put the sponge on a plastic tobacco can cover to keep the water from going directly into the tobacco. It usually takes about 48 hours for enough of the water to evaporate and remoisturize the tobacco. Then it is best to wait a few days before smoking. Some tobaccos taste as good as before they dried out, some do not.
    Bob K likes this.
  4. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe Shaken, not Stirred

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    I've had great success re-hydrating tobacco that is "kinda dry", but if it's crumbly dust you're out of luck. I recently re-hydrated some 30yr old, crumbly tobacco I found hiding in an old box. It was nice and spongy after the treatment but tasted like sawdust.

    Here's what I do:
    Take a quart plastic container and deposit dry tobacco
    [​IMG]

    Wet a paper towel and wring out well so it's just damp, not drippy, place it over the top of container, pop on the lid, and wait 24 hrs
    [​IMG]

    the result is nice, supple, colorful tobacco ready to smoke. If it's really dry, just pop the lid back on and wait another day.
    [​IMG]
  5. RodneyWT1180B

    RodneyWT1180B Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I recently received some as a gift that was a little on the dry side. I'm trying the apple slice method right now.
    Rodney
  6. krusty

    krusty Active Member

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    Smokey Joe has this covered perfectly.
  7. Pipe Matt

    Pipe Matt Active Member

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    I recently rehydrated some tobacco with the following method. Get some aluminium foil and mold it into a bowl shape then put some moist paper towel inside it. Place this inside a jar of dry tobacco, screw on the lid and leave it for a few days. It worked very well. :)
  8. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Active Member

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    Awesome, great to see the ingenuity that goes into some of these methods :) out of curiosity I tried a small slice of apple and I must say, it's done a brilliant job! Of course, you run the risk of leaving it in too long and it going mouldy :P
  9. SidStavros

    SidStavros Sherlock Holmes "Nemesis"

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    Isn't a risk? The apple maturation can hurt your tobacco.
  10. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    The best and most effective method I've used was recommended by a member here. I can't remember if it was Mr. Moo or Mr. Kerr. Regardless, it works like a charm. I received an extremely dry bag of HVM some months back that I thought was beyond resurrection, but to my surprise was brought back to smokeability.

    If you have a large stainless steel bowl, place the tobacco in the bowl and cover it with a clean cotton tea towel that has been dampened with distiller water. Ring out mst of the moisture, or at least to the point where it's not dripping wet, and place it over the bowl so it covers the entire rim. Mind you the towel should be tented over the tobacco and not making contact with it.

    Use a large elastic band or rubber band (whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) and leave it until it dries. Remove the towel and check the tobacco, perhaps even turning it over or mixing it up so it rehydrated evenly. It you need to repet the process by using a spritz bottle fille with the distiller water. Give t a light spritz every few hours until you've reached the desired moisture level.
  11. RodneyWT1180B

    RodneyWT1180B Member

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    I checked yesterday, the apple slice looked a little dried out but ok. It's been a couple days since put the slice in now, I'll pull the apple slice out and give the tobacco another smoke this evening. I'm not terribly worried about mold. As long as I remember to check my tobacco every day or so I don't think it will have a chance to develop.
    Rodney
  12. Bob K

    Bob K Member

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    I put the tobacco into a large, ziplock bag. Put a little water on my fingers, and flick it in. Zip up the bag, and shake. Wait a few days. If still drier than you like, repeat.
  13. SidStavros

    SidStavros Sherlock Holmes "Nemesis"

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    Distilled water?
  14. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Using an apple slice is really old school. That was the suggestion I got once from my dad back in the 60s when I had a similar question. I think Smokey Joe's approach is better. Another alternative are the moisture buttons sold at some B&M and online stores. They can be handy to have on hand and work fairly well for a small container or pouch.
    Mr Blandings likes this.
  15. Bob K

    Bob K Member

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    Sid, I use tap water, about the only good thing about living in Chicago (well, there's also Iwan Ries). If your tap water smells, or is impure, then use distilled water.
  16. RodneyWT1180B

    RodneyWT1180B Member

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    I pulled the apple slice yesterday. The slice was just starting to show some mold but it did rehydrate the tobacco. It was noticeably more pliable than before. I usually have some apples around so I'll probably use this method again.
    Rodney
  17. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Active Member

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    Glad to hear that you had success with this method Rodney, I was very pleased with how it revived my Rattray Charles Mixture.

    I was given a nice sealed bell jar by my tobbaconist and a little hydrating pad, I've given these both to my father and he says that once the tobacco (he smokes Gawaith & Hoggarth Black Cherry) has been in the jar avec pad for a few days, he finds it smokes even better than fresh from the tobacconsits. I guess he just likes his tobacco a little more on the moist side.

    I've recently invested in some rubber sealed glass storage jars so hopefully I wont have anything dry out on me any time soon. I paid £3.75 for 3 of these jars at my local asda and they really look the part :) Little old fashioned wire snapdowns on them too, awesome!
    WrightwoodJohn likes this.
  18. Mr Blandings

    Mr Blandings 2nd star to the right and straight on till morning

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    Get yourself some nice glass kitchen storage containers with plastic snap lids. Your tobacconist should have some Plastic bottle humidistats which are about 2 inches long. Fill them up with distilled water and toss them in. Keep a close eye on the progress however, for at least the first few weeks to make sure you don't wind up with a nice science experiment! I've wrecked more than one tin of tobacco by not paying attention!