How to correctly use a mason jar?

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by William Seery, Jun 11, 2011.

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  1. William Seery

    William Seery Member

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    Hey guys, I ave a few mason jars around my house. I hear a lot that mason jars are one of the best methods to storing your tobacco, but wouldn't heating the jar with tobacco in it ruin the tobacco? That's the only method I know of sealing a mason jar, putting both pieces in boling water and closing the jar and letting it cool down. May any of you tell me if this is safe to do or if there's another method of closing it? Thanks.
     


  2. Zfog

    Zfog Member

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    Some people heat the jar and lid, fill with tobacco, then close it nice and snug.
    Personally I just fill a unheated jar with Toby and close it up. In a months time the button will suck down on it's on.

    What is really important is that the jar is clean. I would only use new and unused mason jars.
     
  3. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    If you jar it in a warmer room and then store in a cooler room (like a cellar/basement, dark closet hopefully cooler) you'll seal well with a slight vacuum. You don't wanna create much of a vacuum unless you wish to preserve it and not age it. Aros, I can understand vacuuming the beejeezus out of it!

    Hot jars may "auto-stove" of similar. I just keep it cool. Cool toby, cool jars, even cooler ride in the cellar. It's easier and you don't get burned! :)

    Ed
    Puff

    P.S. Important, GET NEW LIDS! Don't "reuse" the lids if it was actually used in a "real" home canning operation. Your toby is worth it! Now, I do reuse the lids within "Puff's Cellar". :)
     
  4. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    Heating the tobacco can change the flavor...almost like stoving tobaccos. I never heat the jars, just tighten well. Sometimes I need to really pry to open a jar that's been sitting a while. Unlike foodstuffs, you aren't preserving...just sealing.
     
  5. skaukatt

    skaukatt Member

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    I just fill the jar and cap it off - no heat. I have a buddy who uses the heat method but I haven't tried it. I agree with Zfog as I find the same thing happens to my jars after a while the lids suck down. When I go to open one the lid always takes a bit of prying and I can tell from the resistance that it had a nice tight seal.
     
  6. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I heat the jars to kill off any spores but I don't load the tobacco in it until the jar cools. Otherwise, I perform the same rituals as the above posters and get the same results. I'm not even sure if heating the jars does anything besides make me feel better.
     
  7. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I've used baby food jars for some of my smaller quantities and found some of them have even had the lid sucked down and were super hard to open.
     
  8. Bacek

    Bacek Member

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    Wow! That make me think that tobacco is "breathing", consuming some air (Oxygen, Nitrogen, CO2?). It's alive!
     
  9. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    Actually it is! There is a process going on all the time with tobacco, Aerobic and anabolic enzymes are at work...the first are breaking down the sugars in the leaf and devouring the oxygen. Once the oxygen has been depleted, anabolic enzymes continue the process. That's what we are talking about when we say "aging" tobacco...totally different from "storing". Full vacuum sealing removes the oxygen and changes the process...heating tobacco destroys these useful enzymes. I never heat my tobacco....until I light it!
     
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  10. WillH

    WillH Active Member

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    William, I wonder did I look as young as you when I started the pipe at 19? :p

    t-bear you're correct on several points, however; I just wanna say that one needs to heat tobacco above 120 degree F to kill the portiens (enzymes ). By sealing the jar I'm ensuring no excahnge of air occures. Air carries bacteria and those bacteria develop into mold! I've seen moldy tobacco - not good. Heating the jar isn't going to kill the protien action of decomposition (which is really what you're talking about) it's just ensuring a tight seal to stop any air movement. Yes, jars will self seal as decomposition occurs. It's like putting a candle in a dish of water and placing a glass over the candle and watching the water rise into the glass as the candle burns the oxygen - a vacuum if formed that the water flows into. Tobacco in a jar just takes longer.......

    I agree vacuum sealing is preserving and you must agree that's not entirely a bad thing if you just want to keep a large amount of tobacco for a extended period. Aging the tobacco is a little different operation. I'm aging Escudo, but I'm storing Squadron Leader.

    Will
     
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  11. homebrewer

    homebrewer Member

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    If I buy a couple oz in a ziploc, and plan on using within a month or so should I put it in jar?
    Wouldn't squeezing the air out and sealing the bag do the same thing?
    If one doesn't bother to vacuum heat seal the canning jar, wouldn't any old jar be just as effective?
     
  12. WillH

    WillH Active Member

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    I thinks so....... that's sorta what I do! I have smaller jars to smoke out of - an active holding container if you will. Works for me. Tobacco I don't plan to use for a long time get the "seal up" treatment. I have a jar of Squadron Leader that's almost 6 years old - never been opened and it will stay that way for awhile longer.:)

    Will
     
  13. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Short term that will probably work fine. Problem is that the plastic isn't a perfect vapor barrier and the tobacco will eventually dry out.
     
  14. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Using a sealed jar (no vacuum) would keep your leaf every bit as good but for convenience in "on the go" situations, a jar is just no fun! :) So, a suitable carry pouch/baggie/food grade whatever you wish to carry your smoke in container will work. There are the teeney weeney 4 oz jars that hold flake/cake/plug leaf quite well. So, a flat of jars allows you the freedom to not feel as if you have to finish up these here open tins before you open up another............ it's your leaf, do as you wish, but if you wish to sample it now, then get the jars. If you can hold out and wait and be happy smokin' the open stuff, that's way cool too. It's your leaf! Enjoy!

    Me, I got 4 stacks of flats (one 11 layers high, the others between 6 and 9). I enjoy smoking several different blends in series or rounds and this allows me to have hundreds of blends at my fingertips. It's way cool! :D

    Keeping it sealed in the tin is good for how ever long you can stand not trying it. I've got some that's tucked away so it's hard for me to get at, otherwise, it'd all be in jars :P

    Bottom line, enjoy your leaf!

    Ed
    Puff
     
  15. Brian

    Brian Member

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    I keep my current smoking stock in the small 1/2 pint, wide-mouth canning jars. They are small enough to carry around and put an ounce or two of tobacco in them. I rotate what I smoke a lot, so it keeps the contents nice and fresh even with opening them up ever couple days. The small jars are thick enough they stand up to abuse good. I usually grab the jar I want to smoke for the day and throw it in my backpack on the way out the door to work.

    If I really want to be convenient or have my tobacco portable, I just throw 2 or 3 bowls worth into a ziplock baggie for the day's smoke (I rarely smoke more than twice a day).
     
  16. WillH

    WillH Active Member

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    Thar ya go! Common sense and it works!

    Will
     
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