Whole Leaf Tobacco

Optimal moisture content smoking/bunch/wrapper

waikikigun

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Saw an interview with a dude in the industry, works for Altadis, where he states this info re: moisture content:

Optimal smoking condition: 13.2% moisture content

Bunch when you put the wrapper on: ~10% moisture

Wrapper: 19% moisture content at wrap time

It takes 2 months in "the room" for the bunch to expand and the wrapper to contract as the whole thing equalizes to 13.2%. The wrapper tightens and the seam lines "disappear."
 

Feet Up

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Very interesting and makes a lot of sense. How can they tell the exact moisture content of the tobacco. I guess if it was bone dry you could do it by weight but that would be pretty intense if you had to weigh out everything all the time.
 

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That's not too expensive if that's what they are using. I'll have to get one. That's a really controlled way of doing things.
 

deluxestogie

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These meters do not directly measure moisture content. They infer moisture content based on measurement of something else.

Moisture meters that sell for under $100 are usually based on the electrochemical properties of a single species of wood. They measure electrical resistance or capacitance changes that are mediated by alterations in the material's moisture content. If you try to measure even a different species of wood than the one for which it is calibrated, you usually have to look up that species on a table, then do a math conversion to determine its moisture content. That's how they are used for most wood species, for drywall, etc.

Using one for tobacco would require your constructing your own tobacco calibration/conversion table. You could certainly do that, by weighing starting samples of your calibrating variety/priming level when completely dry, then slowly re-hydrating them, weighing with a precision balance for each moisture calibration measurement. Make a table, or interpolate it into a graph.

Bob
 

waikikigun

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These meters do not directly measure moisture content. They infer moisture content based on measurement of something else.

Moisture meters that sell for under $100 are usually based on the electrochemical properties of a single species of wood. They measure electrical resistance or capacitance changes that are mediated by alterations in the material's moisture content. If you try to measure even a different species of wood than the one for which it is calibrated, you usually have to look up that species on a table, then do a math conversion to determine its moisture content. That's how they are used for most wood species, for drywall, etc.

Using one for tobacco would require your constructing your own tobacco calibration/conversion table. You could certainly do that, by weighing starting samples of your calibrating variety/priming level when completely dry, then slowly re-hydrating them, weighing with a precision balance for each moisture calibration measurement. Make a table, or interpolate it into a graph.

Bob
Thanks for the insight.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I once at work at a prior job saw a coffee moisture meter that works by putting in a known amount of beans, which dried them out and pre and post weighed them automatically and came out with a number. Overly expensive for something you could do on your own imo.
 
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Saw an interview with a dude in the industry, works for Altadis, where he states this info re: moisture content:

Optimal smoking condition: 13.2% moisture content

Bunch when you put the wrapper on: ~10% moisture

Wrapper: 19% moisture content at wrap time

It takes 2 months in "the room" for the bunch to expand and the wrapper to contract as the whole thing equalizes to 13.2%. The wrapper tightens and the seam lines "disappear."
How do you measure such things? I have taken moisture readings from bunks of lumber where I work but there is a nail involved. My understanding thus far is, pliable Wrapper, slightly les moist Binder, just shy of crumble filler.
That would be the Jorge crunchy gauge.
:)
 

deluxestogie

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With minimal experience, anyone can judge a suitable moisture content in tobacco just from the feel and sound of a leaf. You can't do that with an entire bale or roomful of tobacco. I consider purchasing a moisture meter for personal cigar rolling to be perfectly good money that might otherwise have gone toward ordering excellent tobacco.

Bob
 
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With minimal experience, anyone can judge a suitable moisture content in tobacco just from the feel and sound of a leaf. You can't do that with an entire bale or roomful of tobacco. I consider purchasing a moisture meter for personal cigar rolling to be perfectly good money that might otherwise have gone toward ordering excellent tobacco.

Bob
You make a tremendously valid point.
 

Feet Up

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The moisture meters aren't that expensive, sheesh. I received the Amazon Choice standard meter. After reading more about them I don't think they need to be calibrated. The scale they are talking about is the scale of total moisture. For instance 10-25% scale is relevant for wood. Drywall 0.5 -1 % is relevant because it's supposed to be dry.

That being said I'm waiting for my milligram balance to accurately weigh and get exact moisture content and compare to actual reading.

In the meantime I checked my cigars in my humidor. It stands about 8 ft high and uses a controlled humidification system with fans throughout. Although admittedly it starts from the bottom and blows to the top. I also have 3 remote, calibrated hygrometers taking readings on the bottom, middle and top shelf monitoring 24/7. They typically read within 1-2 % between each other which I keep at 68% RH.

Long story short the bottom shelf cigars read an average of 12.8% total moisture and the top read 12.1 % total moisture. And in retrospect the bottom shelf cigars tend to burn slower lol.

I continue reporting once my milligram scale comes.
 

tullius

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I have one of them fancy things. Got it for free from a booth neighbor at a trade show.

IMG_20200524_224311419.jpg


Mainly use it working with wood coming off my sawmill. Just calibrated it and tested on a known piece of 4/4: read dead right on at 10%, compared to a much more expensive multiple scale industry specific device. Stuck it in a cigar that's in perfect smoking condition straight from my humidor: rh on the calibrated abbeon hygrometer in the humidor read 76% @ 74 deg F. It's very humid for here today. FLIR moisture meter read 16% on that stick.

***The FLIR device is a single scale device designed to measure moisture content between 5-60% in common building materials, not relative humidity.***
 
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