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Tobacco Too Dry???

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Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby BackyardBushman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:19 pm

I used the search function for this topic and did not come up with anything. So, I apologize if it has been discussed before.

I have a semi-real, semi-hypothetical question for those smarter and more experienced than myself. I will tell you the reason for the question later.

I have read descriptions about how to determine if tobacoo moisture content is correct. I have seen videos on the same topic. I have also seen and read about how to rehydrate tobacco. I see talk here on the forums a lot about letting tobacco sit about before smoking it.

But here is my question. What is the downside of it being too dry? There are a lot of tips for pipe smoking that focu on a cool and dry smoke. So, what is the downside of having too much moisture removed from the tobacco in the first place?

I am assuming that it will burn too fast and too hot, but I figured you guys would know.

The reason behind my question is that I recently picked up a tin of Cornell and Diehl’s Easy Times. I really like the stuff, but it seemed pretty dry straight from a fresh tin. Other than taking 3 or 4 false lights to get it going properly, it burns just fine, has a typical burn time, and is great stuff in general.

It just got me thinking of what is the negative side of tobacco being too dry. I personally don’t have any experience with that.

Thoughts?
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby NCDuke » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:50 pm

Hi all, (I had to do it Gerry :lol: )

Tobacco moisture between different blends can vary strongly. From dry as dust, to pick it up, and have liquid dripping out of it. (Altadis anyone?) Personally I think a lot of different blends have their own personality, which reflects how much moisture it needs to produce the " best smoke" for that blend. For instance, if I took a single flake of MBNF and left it out for 1 hour Vs. a flake straight outta the tin, I would much prefer the one that has been left out. Do the same thing with Peterson's Sherlock Holmes, and I would get the opposite reaction. It all depends on the tobacco.. They are all different. So you really have to experiment and see what's best for each particular blend, and find out what you like best. Being too dry, will usually end up as a fast smoke that burns quick and hot if not "sipped." Not in all cases though. If too moist, The tobacco will not produce the best flavor, and become a gurgler. :evil:

So it all has to do with what feels right with each blend.
Just remember. Too hot, sip it. Too wet, let it sip air. Just MHO.. :)
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby Gondar » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:24 pm

I just wanted to say that I found this to be a very good question and eagerly await more answers. I like my tobacco on the dryer side. Does both too dry and too wet tobacco burn hot and increase risk of tounge bite, because that is mostly read concerning "wet" blends?
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby burro » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:47 pm

it's really a matter of personal preference.

one of my favorite smokes is bone dry erinmore flake. i stuff a flake in a pony cob and let it sit
in the +100F sun for a few hours.

keep in mind that tobacco is sold by weight, water is cheaper than tobacco leaf, so it is in the best interest
of the seller to convince you that moist tobacco is "better".
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby HowlinWolf » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:01 pm

Fall leaves from trees:
very dry and papery = burns fast and hot
moist, as from rain or damp weather = burns slow and smoky

Does that observation apply to tobacco?

I really don't know.
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby bob9039 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:51 am

BackyardBushman wrote: What is the downside of it being too dry? There are a lot of tips for pipe smoking that focu on a cool and dry smoke. So, what is the downside of having too much moisture removed from the tobacco in the first place



I agree with everything Duke said...summed up in one word, taste. It depends what taste you like. I've found that Virginias loose some of the sweetness if bone dry. Others have stated that the sweetness comes through only when bone dry. So, it just depends what your taste buds tell you.
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby NCDuke » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:03 am

Mine is around 70% dry on most blends that I account for flavor. It has to be able to burn thouroughly but have enough wet in it to produce good amounts of smoke
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby Falconeer » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:22 am

Hi All,

“To dry or not to dry, that is the question” as the Bard might or might not have said , is a subject of much discussion discussion, and I really do suspect there is not a definitive answer – I think it really comes down to personal preference.

By and large, traditionally Brits were brought up in the belief that dry tobacco guaranteed tongue bite and went to great lengths to keep their tobacco moist going as far as inventing “Baccyflaps” (like a large compact and guaranteed to be airtight) to prevent loss of moisture, or keeping a docken leaf, slice of potato or apple in their tobacco pouches to retain moisture whereas Americans routinely dried their tobacco before smoking it.

This British belief accounts for the enduring popularity of pipes such as the Falcon and the System Peterson this side of the pond as these pipes were designed to deal with moist/wet tobacco.

For what it is worth Tobacconists University still say that pipe tobacco is in perfect condition moisture wise if you pick up a pinch of it and it just holds together.

Personally with most traditional British tobaccos like Condor, St Bruno Flake, Erinmore Flake, Walnut etc I smoke them as they come straight out of the packet or tin and keep them moist in my pouch, as I believe these do lose flavour if dried.

With Gawith's tobaccos, especially in bulk I find them on the wet side and to even get them to stay alight I dry them for up to a day before attempting to even fire them up. On the other hand I would never dry an aromatic as I believe much of the flavour in such a tobacco would be lost.

I suspect though that the answer is to try your tobacco both ways and see which you prefer,

Happy Smoking either way!

Gerry
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby ScotsJim » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:00 am

Falconeer wrote:Personally with most traditional British tobaccos like Condor, St Bruno Flake, Erinmore Flake, Walnut etc I smoke them as they come straight out of the packet or tin and keep them moist in my pouch, as I believe these do lose flavour if dried.


I agree. I find the same applies with HOTW / Marlin / Old Gowrie and practically all the tobaccos in my regular rotation.

Except.....

Falconeer wrote:...With Gawith's tobaccos, especially in bulk I find them on the wet side and to even get them to stay alight I dry them for up to a day before attempting to even fire them up.


If I've just opened a new tin of FVF and want a smoke then I microwave a couple of flakes for a few seconds. Works a treat.
I did smoke FVF without drying straight from the tin the very first time I bought some but it was a bugger to keep lit.

Falconeer wrote:On the other hand I would never dry an aromatic


That sounds about right. But then, I'd never light an aromatic...

HowlinWolf wrote: Fall leaves from trees:
very dry and papery = burns fast and hot
moist, as from rain or damp weather = burns slow and smoky

Does that observation apply to tobacco?


Burns slow and cooler ? I'd say yes. Nice analogy :)

Regards,
Jim
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby KevLa » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:29 am

ScotsJim wrote:...I'd never light an aromatic...

...except maybe that Royal Yacht you told me you enjoyed...?
;)
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby ScotsJim » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:50 am

KevLa wrote:
ScotsJim wrote:...I'd never light an aromatic...

...except maybe that Royal Yacht you told me you enjoyed...?
;)


I used a zippo to light that though.

Regards,
Jim
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby KevLa » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:03 am

ScotsJim wrote:I used a zippo to light that though....

Does that render it no longer an aromatic? :)
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby ruraldean » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:09 pm

Broadly, I'd say you'll have fewer problems with a too dry tobacco than you will with a too wet one. You'll know if flakes are to dry because they'll splinter. However, I have been known to smoke virtually tinder dry tobacco with no ill effects. You just have to be gentle when sipping.

Since Dencappo became an expert on all things pipe and tobacco-related he bollocks me regularly for the dryness of my tobacco. I don't care. Nothing worse than a steamy, damp smoke.
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby Gondar » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:12 pm

When it is so dry it wont stay in the pipe I usually put the bowl in my mouth and breathe a few times into it and that usually leaves me with a fair enough tobacco.
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby ScotsJim » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:36 pm

KevLa wrote:
ScotsJim wrote:I used a zippo to light that though....

Does that render it no longer an aromatic? :)


Read Gerry's post in this thread ;

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1953&p=21332&hilit=aromatic#p21332

When I first smoked a pipe, and before the days of the internet, an aromatic was a tobacco that had a pleasant room-note.

Definition : Aromatic - Having a strong pleasant odour. Troost, for example.

Call me old fashioned, but I find it hard to think of blends like, say, UF or Royal Yacht for that matter as an aromatic.

Regards,
Jim
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby KevLa » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:24 am

ScotsJim wrote:...Definition : Aromatic - Having a strong pleasant odour. Troost, for example.
Call me old fashioned, but I find it hard to think of blends like, say, UF or Royal Yacht for that matter as an aromatic...

I call that fair enough, mate :)
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby Dencappo » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:54 pm

Falconeer wrote:Hi All,

“To dry or not to dry, that is the question” as the Bard might or might not have said , is a subject of much discussion discussion, and I really do suspect there is not a definitive answer – I think it really comes down to personal preference.

By and large, traditionally Brits were brought up in the belief that dry tobacco guaranteed tongue bite and went to great lengths to keep their tobacco moist going as far as inventing “Baccyflaps” (like a large compact and guaranteed to be airtight) to prevent loss of moisture, or keeping a docken leaf, slice of potato or apple in their tobacco pouches to retain moisture whereas Americans routinely dried their tobacco before smoking it.

This British belief accounts for the enduring popularity of pipes such as the Falcon and the System Peterson this side of the pond as these pipes were designed to deal with moist/wet tobacco.

For what it is worth Tobacconists University still say that pipe tobacco is in perfect condition moisture wise if you pick up a pinch of it and it just holds together.

Personally with most traditional British tobaccos like Condor, St Bruno Flake, Erinmore Flake, Walnut etc I smoke them as they come straight out of the packet or tin and keep them moist in my pouch, as I believe these do lose flavour if dried.

With Gawith's tobaccos, especially in bulk I find them on the wet side and to even get them to stay alight I dry them for up to a day before attempting to even fire them up. On the other hand I would never dry an aromatic as I believe much of the flavour in such a tobacco would be lost.

I suspect though that the answer is to try your tobacco both ways and see which you prefer,

Happy Smoking either way!

Gerry

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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby ChuckMac » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:14 am

ScotsJim wrote:
Falconeer wrote:Personally with most traditional British tobaccos like Condor, St Bruno Flake, Erinmore Flake, Walnut etc I smoke them as they come straight out of the packet or tin and keep them moist in my pouch, as I believe these do lose flavour if dried.


I agree. I find the same applies with HOTW / Marlin / Old Gowrie and practically all the tobaccos in my regular rotation.

Except.....

Falconeer wrote:...With Gawith's tobaccos, especially in bulk I find them on the wet side and to even get them to stay alight I dry them for up to a day before attempting to even fire them up.


If I've just opened a new tin of FVF and want a smoke then I microwave a couple of flakes for a few seconds. Works a treat.
I did smoke FVF without drying straight from the tin the very first time I bought some but it was a bugger to keep lit.

Falconeer wrote:On the other hand I would never dry an aromatic


That sounds about right. But then, I'd never light an aromatic...

HowlinWolf wrote: Fall leaves from trees:
very dry and papery = burns fast and hot
moist, as from rain or damp weather = burns slow and smoky

Does that observation apply to tobacco?


Burns slow and cooler ? I'd say yes. Nice analogy :)

Regards,
Jim


In my case they burn slow but hotter. Must be the moisture turning to steam. Just a theory. Something makes them hotter but I've recently noticed that I'm getting to the point where I no longer need them as dry as I did a month ago. Progress? Who knows!
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Re: Tobacco Too Dry???

Postby eric » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:40 pm

C&D tobaccos are usually just right in terms of moisture although their flakes tend to be moist. For my tastes "too dry" is when the tobacco turns to dust if I pinch it. If it remains intact after a firm pinch its fine. I much prefer it be on the dry side than too moist.
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