Whole Leaf Tobacco

Storing shredded tobacco

deluxestogie

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Mason jars is an expensive option for large quantities, but for small amounts, they would work well.


Some members use large plastic tubs, large plastic bags, and occasionally ordinary cardboard boxes. For the latter, you would need to rehydrate the shred for use.

Bob
 

Smileysmile66

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Mason jars is an expensive option for large quantities, but for small amounts, they would work well.


Some members use large plastic tubs, large plastic bags, and occasionally ordinary cardboard boxes. For the latter, you would need to rehydrate the shred for use.

Bob
Thanx Bob !
Would it be preferable to keep the tobacco in low case to prevent mold ?
 

Indianapiper

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Been lurking and reading threads, but figured I’d pop in and ask how low is low case? I had a bad tin of ODF that was not sealed right and the flakes shattered like glass. Are we talking crunchy? Can you give me an example of what proper low case feels like, Also how does one get a plug into low case if one makes one? (I’m considering on making my first batch a plug)
 

deluxestogie

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For a tin of tobacco that is too dry, just flick a few drops of water from your fingertips into the tin, then close it for a day or so.

Case:
  • Out of case: easily shatters with handling.
  • Low case: noisy like autumn leaves, but does not shatter. May crack some when folded.
  • Medium case: sounds like handling leather or thick vinyl. Fully flexible. Does not feel moist.
  • High case: silent when handled. Very stretchy and limp. May feel moist.
Bob
 

Indianapiper

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For a tin of tobacco that is too dry, just flick a few drops of water from your fingertips into the tin, then close it for a day or so.

Case:
  • Out of case: easily shatters with handling.
  • Low case: noisy like autumn leaves, but does not shatter. May crack some when folded.
  • Medium case: sounds like handling leather or thick vinyl. Fully flexible. Does not feel moist.
  • High case: silent when handled. Very stretchy and limp. May feel moist.
Bob
Wow thanks sir for the information. Does rehydrating out of case damage the flavors of the leaf??

Low case is optimal for long term storage but what about medium case? Is that used for anything or is low case preferable for both storage and smoking?

I appreciate your wisdom sir!!!!
 

deluxestogie

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Caution: The word "case" can be confusing. "Casing", the verb form, refers to either increasing the moisture content, or to adding chemical humectant or flavoring. "Casing", the noun, always refers to adding chemical humectant or flavoring. "Bringing into case", "coming into case", "In case", "low case", etc. always refers to moisture content, based on its feel or even its sound when handled.

Commercial pipe tobaccos all contain an antimicrobial humectant, so they feel squishy forever (known as "improved shelf life"). If you store tobacco that has not been doctored by casings at that same feel of squishiness, it will invariably mold.

At the very same relative humidity (RH), some tobacco remains in higher case than other tobacco. This is an indication of how hygroscopic (moisture attracting) the particular leaf lamina is. I've had leaf that in in low case at the leaf base, and in high case at the leaf tip, even though stored in a vapor-proof container for many weeks. Cooked leaf (Cavendish processed) is nearly always more hygroscopic than when uncooked. Burley, Maryland and some dark air-cured leaf tends toward being very hygroscopic.

When a humidor is set to maintain a specific RH, some of the cigars or tobacco in there will be in a higher case than others.

Low case leaf stores mold free. Medium case tobacco will eventually mold.

For smoking, I prefer low case, in both cigar filler and in pipe shred. That's just me.

Bob
 

LeftyRighty

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I object to a few drops of water flicked onto crispy dry tobacco to bring back into proper case !
This has caused black mold on the 'too wet' bits of shredded tobacco.

I've stored shredded tobacco (for cigs) for years in 1/2 to 2 gallon glass storage jars, available cheap at WalMart.
Since the lids fit loose on these jars, cover with plastic wrap first, then the glass lid. Still, eventually, the tobacco will start to dry out. To bring back the tobacco to proper case, lay a small square of aluminum foil on top of the tobacco, then place a piece of wet paper towel (larger & folded for more moisture available) on the foil. It is necessary that the wet paper towel piece does not touch the tobacco, as mold may form. Yes, every few weeks, the paper towel needs to be wetted again, but this works well to bring back or maintain shredded stuff in a proper case.

I've also have stored for years, shredded tobacco double-bagged in Don's plastic bags. I am currently smoking 2009 & 2010 grown crop, shredded and blended common Burley, Otterman Turkish, & Perique'd burley. It was to way-too-harsh back then, so it was bagged in low-to-mid case to age & mellow for a decade. It is an wonderful mellow & flavorful smoke now.
This has worked so well that I've started storing a portion of each years crop this way.
 

deluxestogie

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I object to a few drops of water flicked onto crispy dry tobacco to bring back into proper case !
This has caused black mold on the 'too wet' bits of shredded tobacco.
I suppose I've just been lucky. I've used this approach for about 20 years (in containers much smaller than ½ gallon) without a problem. The issue may be that su flick no es mi flick.

Bob
 

Charly

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@LeftyRighty : you are right about the caution part. If the tobacco is not dry enough, a few drops of water directly on it might be too much and could cause mold. It's all about knowing the right case.
@deluxestogie : I think you simply store your tobacco drier than LeftyRighty. That's all.

I already had mold on tobacco with humidity source not touching directly the leaves... Your technique with the aluminium foil and humid paper is as dangerous as a few drops of water ;)
 

LeftyRighty

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I already had mold on tobacco with humidity source not touching directly the leaves... Your technique with the aluminium foil and humid paper is as dangerous as a few drops of water ;)
Dry tobacco is very hydroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture from the air.
The wet paper on alum foil works because the moisture in the paper evaporates into the air, to be absorbed by the tobacco. If the air is already too humid, or the tobacco too much in case, the moisture in the wet paper stays in the paper. This is a very slow process, sometimes taking days to raise the case of tobacco.
I've never had a problem with this method, but as stated, don't let the wet paper directly touch the tobacco.
 

Charly

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My tobacco (shredded or not) will always mold when the air is too humid.

I have used the method with damp paper in closed bag with my tobacco (paper not touching the tobacco) and it molded.
This mean that if it works for you, that's because you know how humid your tobacco is, and how much water you add to the paper to get your tobacco just right (you know how much water to add to get a good relative humidity in the air of your boxes). That's why I say that your method is not safer than Bob's method ;)
I am sure Bob has his tobacco drier than you, and that's why he don't get mold with the "few drops" method.

The only way I had tobacco not molding (when in a closed box with humidity) was when I added propylene glycol to the water (water in a small cup, no paper).
Propylene glycol + water (50/50 if I remember correctly) help maintain a relative humidity in the air of about 70%.

One exeption with the propylene glycol : don't use it with very hygroscopic leaves or it will eventually mold.
 
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