How moist should pipe tobacco be? Can excessive moisture harm the tobacco?

An often asked question: How moist should tobacco be? Can excessive moisture harm the pipe tobacco?

A simple test can tell you whether your pipe tobacco has the proper moisture content. Grasp a handful of pipe tobacco and press it together for a few seconds, in your fist. Then open your hand. If the tobacco falls out in flakes from your open palm, it is to dry. If it stays pressed in a tight, hard ball, it is too moist. But if the pipe tobacco remains as a loosely packed ball, it contains an ideal amount of moisture. Overly moist pipe tobacco is more susceptible to tobacco mold and will not burn easily. Dry such tobacco simply by spreading it out on a table in a warm dry room for a few hours before packing it away in your tobacco pouch again.

This Question and Answer comes from the Weber’s Guide to Pipes and Pipe Smoking, many thanks again.

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2 Responses to How moist should pipe tobacco be? Can excessive moisture harm the tobacco?

  1. avatar Steven H says:

    Good advice here. I did the same yesterday, spreading the tobacco onto a table and leaving for a couple of hours. It did the trick and is much more manageable now.
    What about very dry stuff? Some folk put it into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth, avoiding contact. Any other tips?

    • avatar Marcus says:

      Hi Steven – pleased the advice worked… For dry tobacco we recommend spraying some distilled water with a drop of vanilla essence over the top, gently mixing it together and then leaving in a tobacco jar for a few days. The moisture will slowly spread through the mixture. But go easy! It doesn’t take much to over moisten, and then you’re back to the drying process again. Too much of that and the flavour will start to each out and spoil the blend…

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