Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

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Adam Z
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Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Adam Z » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:34 pm

My local tobacconist has some of the old 1lb boxes of Samuel Gawith 1792 flake in storage. Apparently a local pipemaker used to smoke this stuff all the time, and then he cut back. When I asked how old it was, I was told that he's had it for several years, and it's been quite some time since Sam Gawith did 1lb boxes (everything is 50g tins and 250g boxes now). I got a sample that I'm trying to rehydrate before smoking, as it is beyond dry. I'm thinking about taking some of this off his hands, but I'm leery about the idea of tobacco that's been stored in a plastic-wrapped cardboard box for years. I'm still learning what I'm doing here - can tobacco such as this reasonably be salvaged? And if I do buy a box, is it better to rehydrate before I jar it, or should I just put the dry, brittle flakes into jars, and rehydrate only when I'm ready to smoke it?

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by sweetandsour » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:54 am

I don't know what's best, but if it were me I'd only hydrate small portions, and only very slightly, that I intended to put into my current rotation right away.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Joshoowah » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:45 am

Just rehydrate it. It may not be the same character it was, but it's still perfectly fine to hydrate it and smoke it.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by gravel » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:56 am

Have you tried to smoke some without hydrating it? If you like it that way, save yourself the work!

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by JMG » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:50 am

Joshoowah wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:45 am
Just rehydrate it. It may not be the same character it was, but it's still perfectly fine to hydrate it and smoke it.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by JimVH » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:24 pm

I'm with these two dudes:
gravel wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:56 am
Have you tried to smoke some without hydrating it? If you like it that way, save yourself the work!
sweetandsour wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:54 am
I don't know what's best, but if it were me I'd only hydrate small portions, and only very slightly, that I intended to put into my current rotation right away.

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Adam Z » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:31 pm

I already started the re-hydration process for the sample flakes last night before reading the replies here, so I don't have any more of the sahara-desert-dry flakes to smoke as-is - unless I do end up buying one of the 1lb boxes. I'm planning to try some of it in a little Peterson 999 this evening.

My only other experience in smoking super dry tobacco was some Frog Morton (original) that I went a little overboard on drying. I kept getting frustrated with the moisture content, and left it open for several hours, and overdid it. The result was a bland, thin-bodied smoke. It got better with some rehydration, but it never was quite the same - hence my skepticism about stuff that has gotten crazy dry.

Again though, my lack of experience is probably showing here as well. 5 months of puffing doesn't make for a veteran pipe smoker.

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by JimVH » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:18 pm

Adam Z wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:31 pm

Again though, my lack of experience is probably showing here as well. 5 months of puffing doesn't make for a veteran pipe smoker.
No worries, bud. We have all been there. Keep asking questions.

If you do decide to pursue the dry stuff I would encourage a little experimentation with a dry or slightly dehydrated flake or two. There are some blends that really do respond well.

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Adam Z » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:28 pm

I can't get this stuff to burn. I tried a cube cut with a gravity fill, and its too much work to try to smoke it. I've tried matches and butane. I dumped the bowl and let it sit out for another 30 minutes, thinking I might have overdone it with the rehydrating, and attempting to smoke it is still an exercise in frustration. Dumped that bowl again. The only similar smoking experience I've had in the 30-odd blends I've smoked is when I had a newly opened tin of Frog Morton - and I daresay that the FM still burned a bit better than this 1792.

Then I spread out the remaining tobacco on a plate, let it sit out for 2 hours, and tried again - to the same result. I like the flavor of the smoke ok, but it is a thoroughly frustrating and dissatisfying experience even when dried. At this point, I'll likely try to pick up a fresh tin sometime to give this blend another go, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be investing in one of those 1lb boxes.

Any of you guys have any experience with a flake that simply does not want to burn?

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Gabriel » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:09 pm

I’m late to this party but I was going to suggest you not mess with it unless:

1. You really enjoy rehydrating tobacco
2. He’s giving them to you free of charge
Or
3. Both

You can certainly rehydrate small batches of tobacco easily enough, but even then, it won’t be what it was. It might be enjoyable enough to smoke, so if it’s fun for you, go for it, but it won’t be what it was.

If you’re paying for a pound of tobacco that’s unsmokable without a lot of work, you’re getting ripped off.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Adam Z » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:24 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:09 pm
I’m late to this party but I was going to suggest you not mess with it unless:

1. You really enjoy rehydrating tobacco
2. He’s giving them to you free of charge
Or
3. Both

You can certainly rehydrate small batches of tobacco easily enough, but even then, it won’t be what it was. It might be enjoyable enough to smoke, so if it’s fun for you, go for it, but it won’t be what it was.

If you’re paying for a pound of tobacco that’s unsmokable without a lot of work, you’re getting ripped off.
Sounds like good advice. I got a few flakes free of charge, but I have no intention of going back and paying $50-60 for a box of this stuff in the condition that it is in. For all the work involved, it's not even worth $20 to me.

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by Thunktank » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:05 pm

To put it bluntly,I wouldn’t touch the stuff. Life’s too short.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by ryland » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:23 pm

Adam Z wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:24 pm
Gabriel wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:09 pm
I’m late to this party but I was going to suggest you not mess with it unless:

1. You really enjoy rehydrating tobacco
2. He’s giving them to you free of charge
Or
3. Both

You can certainly rehydrate small batches of tobacco easily enough, but even then, it won’t be what it was. It might be enjoyable enough to smoke, so if it’s fun for you, go for it, but it won’t be what it was.

If you’re paying for a pound of tobacco that’s unsmokable without a lot of work, you’re getting ripped off.
Sounds like good advice. I got a few flakes free of charge, but I have no intention of going back and paying $50-60 for a box of this stuff in the condition that it is in. For all the work involved, it's not even worth $20 to me.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by John-Boy » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:52 am

I thought there would be something in this thread about Jared.
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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by JimVH » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:23 pm

John-Boy wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:52 am
I thought there would be something in this thread about Jared.
There would have been, but he didn't win.

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Re: Really old bulk tobacco that wasn't jarred... ?

Post by coco » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:42 pm

If you really like the rehydrated flakes that you have and he is willing to give you a great deal, maybe. Otherwise...
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:05 pm
To put it bluntly,I wouldn’t touch the stuff. Life’s too short.
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