I have a problem with leaving tobacco on my shelf for too long and letting it dry out. If I had a normal collection it wouldn’t be a problem but the sheer number of flavors I have on hand means sometimes a pack will get pushed to the back of the shelf and forgotten. Revitalising old tobacco is a bit of an art form but the most simple way to do this is with the addition of a small amount of vegetable glycerin.
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The process is very simple but it starts with getting the right materials. You want to seek out food grade, 100% pure vegetable glycerin. Anything less can result in off flavors and unregulated glycerin could have nasty additives you don’t want to be smoking. It’s not an expensive product so it’s worth spending a little extra and buying from a reputable source.
I think 1/4 tsp per 25g of tobacco is plenty to achieve the desired effect. Too much more than that and you run the risk of adding off flavors. Overuse of glycerin results in a soapy flavor with a slick and overly sticky mouth feel that I absolutely hate. This can be found in overly wet, modern tobaccos that try to push out huge clouds with no regard to flavor.
Take the tobacco you intend to revitalize and put it in a bowl or tupperware container. Pour the glycerin over the tobacco and mix it in thoroughly then seal it up and let it sit overnight. This resting period allows the tobacco to absorb the glycerin. If you smoke it immediately you’ll just be smoking the glycerin on the outside of the tobacco and it will dull the flavor considerably and give you the off flavors I described earlier. Mix up the tobacco one more time before packing your bowl and you’re done.
It’s really that simple but don’t get impatient. It’s worth the wait. This same process can be used with fresh tobacco that has mediocre clouds or overheats too easily as glycerin helps the tobacco stand up to the heat of the coals. The cloud chasers among us will love this technique as it easily produces big, billowy smoke. Most tobaccos won’t need this at all but it’s something to keep in your wheelhouse and is often used with tobaccos like Zaghloul that have a tendency to sit on store shelves for a long time and dry out and have poor smoking properties by modern standards even when fresh.
One final note. This will not help a tobacco recover lost flavor. Once a flavor has faded it can’t be recovered and the tobacco should either be thrown away or refreshed with a new flavor additive, which we will go over at a later date.
Thanks for joining us today and I hope this technique treats you well. Make sure to leave any comments you have. Whether you’ve tried this method for yourself, have some additional advice or just want to ask a question we would love to hear it. That’s it for today and we’ll see you next time.