Dry tobacco - how do you revive it?

RedScot

Well-known member
#21
I cut a little rectangle off one of the cheap synthetic "sponges" my gal uses for washing dishes, and glued it to the underside of a Ball jar lid. The few occasions when I've needed to rehydrate a blend, I'll wet the sponge then squeeze out as much water as I can, and jar the tobacco for a night or two. This way the air inside the jar gets close to saturated, but I don't have any water standing on the surface of the leaf.
I've only used this rig a handful of times, and it works well. A few points, though:
  1. Allowing time for normalizing is important for flakes and twists. Just because the surface "feels" right doesn't mean it's humidified through the whole thickness. Patience is key.
  2. Even "crispy" tobacco still contains a lot of moisture. Perhaps living in the Deep South spoils me to this a bit, but I've smoked some crumbly virginia flakes that were still delicious. More moisture would most likely have made 'em easier to load, but the taste wasn't noticably diminished.
  3. Aromatics rely more on moisture to deliver the scent and taste molecules than nonaromatics. It follows, then, that nonaros will suffer less from low humidity. The natural oils will eventually evaporate too, but at a slower pace than water.
  4. Ozzie already pointed out that PG evaporates, too, so sauces applied to aromatics will suffer. No amount of rehumidification is gonna bring those back.
 

blackmouth210

Friendly Misanthrope
Patron
#23
I spritz with distilled water and seal in a jar. Then check it and spritz again if needed. If it still tastes like doggy doo, I toss it.
It sounds like you smoke it before attempting to rehydrate. That is probably the best take-away from this thread.
I recommend ALWAYS smoking the tobacco before trying to rehydrate. It may be better than we would expect.
 

jdto

Likes Lumpy Pipes
Patron
#25
It sounds like you smoke it before attempting to rehydrate. That is probably the best take-away from this thread.
I recommend ALWAYS smoking the tobacco before trying to rehydrate. It may be better than we would expect.
Yup. Smoke it first. If it’s a tobacco I know I like and it is hot and flavourless (as some overly dry tobacco can be), I give it a chance with rehydration. I had a tin of Bengal Flake that came back wonderfully like this and smoked really well. If it isn’t doing anything good after rehydration, then I consign it to the dustbin of history.
 

SeanConnery

Well-known member
Sales
#30
The matured bright virginia Samuel Gawith made for the Stokkebye private label is a really good rehydration project. The avery box has lost 8-4grams of water weight by now. Throw a boveda 55 with it in a jar, and just leave it be for a month. That's a good storage humidity. You may take it out of the jar and let it "dry" (meaning, you put it on a plate or prep tray and let it breathe) and depending on where you live and the local climate, that's gonna have different effects.

I gave up trying to get Firedance Flake to dry out in a subtropical wet zone. It just kept getting wetter.

But 55% is a pretty good starting RH to take tobacco out of the tin at. It should be pliable but not too wet to smoke.

Since Boveda and the new competitor Humi- ... I forget the name but they are 2 way systems.

You can moisture correct really wet blends as well by using 2 way humidity packs that have dried. I do this sometimes myself and I'll keep some fully charged, and some fully crispy depending on what needs to happen. Imagine you throw firedance flake into a jar with a crispy boveda and a month later you have a brandy flake that isn't sopping wet, but all the flavor is still in it. The boveda just sucks up the water weight. It doesn't remove flavor.

But most people aren't patient and are looking for a quick fix that is also a perfect one. It's tobacco. Just light it up and enjoy already and stop overthinking it.
 

SmokeRings

Well-known member
Patron
#32
The most often used method I employ is a match or a zippo...smoke that bugger and let my tastebuds make a decision about taste rather than my fingers or my eyes, it is very rare that I have found any attempt to rehydrate tobacco yield any satisfactory results and I almost always ask myself afterwards why I bothered wasting time trying to rehydrate it instead of incinerate it.
 

RedScot

Well-known member
#34
Thank you guys.

I really don’t have that problem a lot, but I was interested in what you guys had as an experience.
Many interesting answers.
I've only very rarely had to use it. Again, living where 80%+ RH is the norm may spoil me a little, along with my penchant for virginias and VaPers, where a little dryness isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The last time I rehumidified was a little sample of McC Anniversary that was almost dust. I let it sit for a week in the jar and it came out perfectly... I can't say it was as good as fresh since I never tried it fresh, but it was amazing, regardless; one of those "I'm gunna remember this bowl for a long time" amazings.
 

Sinzalot

Well-known member
#38
Aside from my first gifted batch of Stonehaven where the sender told me to never smoke it anywhere north of crispy, i discovered this the same way you did. I smoked a tin of McClellands Latakia Flake and pronounced it good but nothing to write home about. My 2nd tin got opened and forgotton until i stumbled upon it many months later, totally crispified. It was ambrosial. From then on, all my flakes are fully dried to ensure maximum flavor.
Crispy you say, I always worry i'll dry it out too much. Do you fold and stuff or rub it out when it's crispy? I always imagine it crumbling to dust. I still think im not crispifying it enough.