Tracking Mold (not a complaining thread!)

#1
OK so I would like peoples' ideas on this. What I do not want it to turn into is a b*tch fest about thus and thus brand. Not that I think everyone would be wanting to do that, I just want to make sure mods and everyone know my own attitude on the matter. I want us all to help, not just complain.

Some of us have had mold issues with our pipe tobacco. Sometimes straight from the tin, others, after having transferred and jarred it. The latter is possible that it is our own fault, but seeing as this has only happened one time to me and with a C&D blend that I had previously ordered another tin that came with mold already on it, and based on others' experiences with C&D, i think it is a fair hypothesis that C&D itself has a problem. HOWEVER , while my idea is mostly with C&D in mind, i recognize other brands may have this happen and this is not just about C&D.

So I was wondering, could it be not just a mostly C&D problem but possibly a certain blend problem, or a certain tobacco that C&D uses that is the problem tobacco, or something...

My idea was to come up with some way for all of us to report mold problems, have some way to log the brand, the blend, maybe the tin date if we have that info, whether the mold was straight upon opening the tin or if it happened later, etc. If we could crowdsource this info and compile it into some kind of document that keeps updating, perhaps we could see a pattern emerge with certain blends or leafs. Not to be hard on C&D but to help both us as consumers make better decisions about what we're willing to risk buying, and also maybe even enough info would become helpful that maybe C&D itself may be interested in seeing the data, and possibly changing something based on it. again, i'm saying C&D because it seems we have more stories from them, but in my mind we should be reporting all brands we encounter issues with. then we would also have hard data from our sample to support whether it is in fact a c&d problem or we are making too much of it and suffering from confirmation bias.

now maybe no helpful patterns will come up from this, but I am kind of tired of being scared to order from C&D or a favorite blend of mine. C&D has some amazing blends out there and i would like to do something to make some progress on fixing this issue, or at least knowing whether or not i'm takign more of a risk with one blend over another.

so do you guys think this would be useful, and have ideas of how we might do this? maybe a google doc spreadsheet with sharing priviledges open to users who can click on a list on a sticky in the forum or something? that was only one idea i had but i wanted to hear from other people about how this might best be executed, assuming everyone was on board with it and the mods were cool with it.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#2
Interesting thread idea, but I'm not sure anyone can really say what causes a tobacco to mold. Personally I have had no issues with C&D blends molding, but I recognize the problem others have had. And I don't smoke anything from that blending house currently for reasons that have nothing to do with mold, so I'm obviously unlikely to see mold in C&D as a problem.

My one and only mold issue was with Mac Baren's Old Dark Fired in bulk. Two separate batches that were purchased in two different years molded. It was fine when I got it. I sterilized the jars I put the tobacco into, just as I always do. The tobacco wasn't overly moist (this was one pound of flake, one pound or ready rubbed) and I dried it out to a degree before I jarred it. I typically do not dry out my tobaccos too much before I jar them, preferring to store them more moist and dry them just before smoking.

ODF was my only Mac Baren in my cellar. I did have Symphony for a few years before it was replaced in my rotation. I have no idea what caused the mold in ODF. I have a few tins left that are 5+ years old and I checked them - no mold. It can't be a batch problem, unless it happened twice in two separate years. So I'm stumped. I've had no issues with anything else, and I have several pounds of aged tobacco in my cellar that has been jarred for a long time.

No clue on this one.

C&D folks, did your tins show mold as soon as you opened them? What about bulk purchases?
 
#3
Interesting thread idea, but I'm not sure anyone can really say what causes a tobacco to mold. Personally I have had no issues with C&D blends molding, but I recognize the problem others have had. And I don't smoke anything from that blending house currently for reasons that have nothing to do with mold, so I'm obviously unlikely to see mold in C&D as a problem.

My one and only mold issue was with Mac Baren's Old Dark Fired in bulk. Two separate batches that were purchased in two different years molded. It was fine when I got it. I sterilized the jars I put the tobacco into, just as I always do. The tobacco wasn't overly moist (this was one pound of flake, one pound or ready rubbed) and I dried it out to a degree before I jarred it. I typically do not dry out my tobaccos too much before I jar them, preferring to store them more moist and dry them just before smoking.

ODF was my only Mac Baren in my cellar. I did have Symphony for a few years before it was replaced in my rotation. I have no idea what caused the mold in ODF. I have a few tins left that are 5+ years old and I checked them - no mold. It can't be a batch problem, unless it happened twice in two separate years. So I'm stumped. I've had no issues with anything else, and I have several pounds of aged tobacco in my cellar that has been jarred for a long time.

No clue on this one.

C&D folks, did your tins show mold as soon as you opened them? What about bulk purchases?
Right, we don't have any real answers to anything, and part of that is that we don't have real data to look at, just anectdotes thrown around. My idea is if we could track the data in a single chart we may find something. Not just a thread of more stories, but something tallying up the numbers of reports, and what tin dates, and info like that.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#4
Right, we don't have any real answers to anything, and part of that is that we don't have real data to look at, just anectdotes thrown around. My idea is if we could track the data in a single chart we may find something. Not just a thread of more stories, but something tallying up the numbers of reports, and what tin dates, and info like that.
It's worth a shot.
 
#5
if anyone has a better idea than a shared google doc, would love to hear it! (I know not a lot of people have seen this thread yet) Also, if you are good at setting up something like this, would be helpful. I'm not sure i'm the person to make the spreadsheet, i don't know if i would know the best way to make it. I'm sure there are more scientific, data-logging heads in here than mine
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#6
if anyone has a better idea than a shared google doc, would love to hear it! (I know not a lot of people have seen this thread yet) Also, if you are good at setting up something like this, would be helpful. I'm not sure i'm the person to make the spreadsheet, i don't know if i would know the best way to make it. I'm sure there are more scientific, data-logging heads in here than mine
@dwaugh. He can make graphs, too.
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#7
Other than the already mentioned blending house, I've seen/heard of/experienced these with mold....

Sam Gawith boxes of St. James Flake
Sam Gawith boxes of FVF
Sam Gawith boxes of Firedance Flake

Germaine Brown Flake
Germaine RDF

Mac Baren Bold Kentucky
Mac Baren ODF

Mold is everywhere. The only thing I can think of that I have not seen mold growing on is a MacDonald Happy meal left in an abandoned vehicle for seven years according to the receipt in the bag of trash it was in. Even the toy was clean.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#8
Other than the already mentioned blending house, I've seen/heard of/experienced these with mold....

Sam Gawith boxes of St. James Flake
Sam Gawith boxes of FVF
Sam Gawith boxes of Firedance Flake

Germaine Brown Flake
Germaine RDF

Mac Baren Bold Kentucky
Mac Baren ODF

Mold is everywhere. The only thing I can think of that I have not seen mold growing on is a MacDonald Happy meal left in an abandoned vehicle for seven years according to the receipt in the bag of trash it was in. Even the toy was clean.
Woody sent me his jar of St James Flake a couple of years ago to see if I thought it was mold. It was mold. I don't think he had anything to do with it getting there but it was almost pure white by the time I saw it.
 

HDXR

Hammer down.
Sales
#9
Other than the already mentioned blending house, I've seen/heard of/experienced these with mold....

Sam Gawith boxes of St. James Flake
Sam Gawith boxes of FVF
Sam Gawith boxes of Firedance Flake

Germaine Brown Flake
Germaine RDF

Mac Baren Bold Kentucky
Mac Baren ODF

Mold is everywhere. The only thing I can think of that I have not seen mold growing on is a MacDonald Happy meal left in an abandoned vehicle for seven years according to the receipt in the bag of trash it was in. Even the toy was clean.
The more McDonald's I eat, the more preserved I'll be!