The moisture of pipe tobacco
The humidity of the tobacco, dear friends, for the pipe smoker is a very important factor in achieving the desired smoke, and it is not something so obvious for the vast majority of people, even smokers.
There are two possible situations. Either the “tobacco is dry”, or when we open the can it has a very strong smell, the “tobacco is very wet”. Let's explore each case and see possible solutions.
The tobacco is dry:
When this happens beyond the fact that we are aware of the touch when assembling the pipe, we will see that the tobacco burns very quickly in the pipe, and many times, that it no longer has the flavor or strength it used to. The main cause for this to happen is that since we open a new can (or a pouch), it loses its tightness, and the tobacco begins from the moment we open it to dry very slowly, almost imperceptibly. When we assemble the pipe, the tobacco is rebellious and does not stick together due to the lack of moisture, it remains "loose", and then when smoking it, the ashes can fly off as they come off the mass. To moisten pipe tobacco, there are several methods, in this article we will cite a very simple and inexpensive, as well as a very good one. The tobacco is put in a jar that has a hermetic closure, and then in a plastic cap of a bottle, we put a little water. Then we support the cap inside the jar on top of the tobacco, taking care that the water does not spill or make direct contact with the tobacco. We close the jar and wait 2 or 3 days. The water in the cap will be absorbed by the tobacco very slowly. We can open the bottle on the third day and check if the tobacco is more humid. If so, we can return it to its can, and if not we can leave it one more day with the bottle closed and repeat the previous control the next day, and so on on successive days until the tobacco has the desired humidity. It is a very good method because it incorporates moisture into the tobacco very slowly, and allows us to control the humidity achieved. It should be noted that the place where we keep this bottle should not be hot, that is, it should preferably be cool (up to approximately 22 degrees), low temperatures help the tobacco not to lose moisture.
The tobacco is wet:
When opening a new can, tobacco is sometimes very loaded with moisture. In these cases, to achieve that the tobacco has a little less moisture, it is enough to separate a little tobacco from the can, enough to load the pipe, close the can, and then let the tobacco air for 5 minutes. After that time, it will be possible to observe how the tobacco is losing its original intensity inside the can, and in many cases flavors and odors will emerge that were not present with the original humidity. So then, after this aeration process, we can load the pipe with the right humidity, and enjoy a magnificent pipe. Of course, how long to air, and how much moisture to remove, will depend on the taste of the smoker, who should be observing his personal preference.
Tobacco loses its moisture very quickly when aerated, that is why ideally the can should be kept closed almost all the time to prevent it from drying out. Some smokers even prefer, when opening the new can or pouch, to put all the contents directly into an airtight bottle, in order to avoid moisture loss.
Flake-cut tobacco usually conserves moisture better than other cuts, as it is more compacted and has less surface contact with air.