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Expiration or Use By Date

MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
How long will an unopened pouch or tin of tobacco last? A few years ago I bought a sample box of various tobacco from Tinder Box and then had to leave suddenly for CA. In my haste I only grabbed some cigars and left my pipe and tobacco. It has been 2 years since that purchase and of the 4 pouches I had only opened one.

The other day I asked my daughter to check the pouches and she said the unopened ones feel soft when she squeezes them and the opened one the tobacco still feels somewhat moist and she added "smells really good too"

So what say you guys do you think the unopened ones are still good? How long will pipe tobacco last, will it keep like cigars. Under normal smoking conditions a 1.5 oz pouch would last me about a week or so or maybe 2 weeks so there was never a need for me to learn proper storage habits.

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Comments

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    This gets into something odd - when cigar herfers talk about cigars, age is always a good thing, provided it's at proper RH and temp. When pipers talk about tobacco, it's a bit different - either pipe tobacco is worlds different from cigar tobacco, or most pipers have no idea how to care for their stuff.

    The standard advice is taken from G.L. Pease:

    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/out-of-the-ashes/saving-for-a-rainy-day/
    http://pipesmagazine.com/python/pipe-tobacco/pipe-tobacco-storage/

    You'll notice he recommends 10-15% RH, no air exposure/airtight tins/mason jars, not storing in a humidor like cigars, etc. Most of the literature on this concerns the bacteria in tobacco; how the aerobic, or bacteria that thrive on oxygen, consume all the oxygen in a tin, then die, allowing the anerobic bacteria, those that work in oxygen-less environs, to go to work aging the tobacco; very little is mentioned when it comes to cigar oil marriage, unlike cigars, where marriage is everything and the bacteria are nonexistent/undesirable. You talk to a piper about ammonia and how young cigars give it off, and they look at you with a blank face - most of them know nothing about how cigars are aged vs pipe tobacco.

    Now, I'm not sure if this is pure ignorance, but it seems that pipers have much less contact with the blenders than cigar herfers do - on the Ccom forums and others, blenders or the retailers like Alex typically chime in and talk to the fans; on pipe forums, there's a vaccuum - it's only pipers, no blenders talking. So make of it what you will; honestly, I've no idea who's right - pipers have been at it for longer, sometimes entire lifetimes, but then again, cigar herfers seem much more knowledgable about the properties of tobacco, how the country of origin affects the tobacco, etc - it's taken as a revelation among pipers that the blends of tobacco they enjoy varies with each years crops, whereas cigar herfers almost all know that; pipers don't seem too occupied which country their tobacco comes from, whereas cigar herfers focus on the difference between honduran vs nicaraguan vs cubans quite a bit. It may well be that pipe tobacco is different than cigar tobacco, and both camps are right; I've n idea which is true though

    All in all, a very confusing topic, though I'll leave you with a pic I found; on the left is a fresh tin, on the right is something aged for 30 yrs

    image

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    MTuccelli:
    How long will an unopened pouch or tin of tobacco last? A few years ago I bought a sample box of various tobacco from Tinder Box and then had to leave suddenly for CA. In my haste I only grabbed some cigars and left my pipe and tobacco. It has been 2 years since that purchase and of the 4 pouches I had only opened one.

    The other day I asked my daughter to check the pouches and she said the unopened ones feel soft when she squeezes them and the opened one the tobacco still feels somewhat moist and she added "smells really good too"

    So what say you guys do you think the unopened ones are still good? How long will pipe tobacco last, will it keep like cigars. Under normal smoking conditions a 1.5 oz pouch would last me about a week or so or maybe 2 weeks so there was never a need for me to learn proper storage habits.


    From another pipe forum:

    Good tobacco - the fresh stuff
    Best tobacco - the aged stuff after an hour or two of air time right after opening.
    Not so good tobacco - aged stuff immediately after opening.


    EDIT - to answer your question more directly, aged tobacco is very much a desirable thing, provided it's one of two things: 1) unopend tin, or 2) Opened, but moved into an airtight container/mason jar. If it's either of these, chances are the tobacco will have undergone some very desirable changes. I've got zero experience with it, but pipers typically say you wanna go through a tin within a month or so after opening it

  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info, so if it is kept in an air tight container it should last longer. I remember my dad keeping his pipe tobacco in a glass jar similar to those clear cigar jar humidors. He would drop in a metal humidifier and close the lid. Would this be good enough to use if you don't have a mason jar? Matter of fact I have one of those clear cigar humidors sitting around doing nothing think that would work if I pulled the cedar bottom out of it?

  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,932 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I started putting mine in mason jars which is widely popular. I also keep sealed tins. I have several bulk baggies that I have because I have run out of mason jars. To be honest a few of these have been in a ziplock for 3 or 3 years and they still smoke wonderfully. I was told something is added to bulk tobacco to keep it moist longer. I am not sure how this stuff is still smokeable but I enjoy it. Trying to get through my baggie stuff before I move onto my mason jars and tin.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    MTuccelli:
    Thanks for the info, so if it is kept in an air tight container it should last longer. I remember my dad keeping his pipe tobacco in a glass jar similar to those clear cigar jar humidors. He would drop in a metal humidifier and close the lid. Would this be good enough to use if you don't have a mason jar? Matter of fact I have one of those clear cigar humidors sitting around doing nothing think that would work if I pulled the cedar bottom out of it?

    Take this with am (extreme) grain of salt, since it's all second or third hand, but I've been told that keeping it in the original tins is most preferable - opening the tin and putting it into a mason jar is secondarily the best choice, but opening the tin and transferring the tobacco re-introduces air, which (if you believe the aerobic/anaerobic bacteria theory), resets the aging clock by re-introducing oxygen, which revives the aerobic bacteria, stops the anaraerobic bacteria, and starts the aging clock over again.

    Again, no idea if this is true or not, just what some old duffers on a pipe forum told me they heard second or third hand from G.L. Pease, so it could easily be complete BS; like I said, pipers don't seem to pay near as much attention to their tobacco as cigar herfers do

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