What process revives tobacco? Can it be exploited?

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posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 01:47 AM
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There is a trick lose tobacco smokers do when tobacco gets stale and dry. Place a leaf or some other fresh organic plant material such as lettuce in an air tight container and in 24 hours the dry stale tobacco will be fresh again. The lettuce doesn't even have to be in physical contact with the tobacco. Somehow, the lettuce imparts some freshness to the drying tobacco. i want to understand this process better and see if perhaps there isn't other uses for this whatever it is.

Many smokers will have tried or read about this trick. I'm sure some of you do this and know what I'm talking about.

I leave it sit for at least a day and Poof.. the tobacco is fresh again - BUT.. not only that.. the dried tobacco at the start can be so dry it powderises if you squeeze it with your fingers. After 24 hours of sitting next to the lettuce the tobacco is so fresh it will not powderize.

So the lettuce is imparting something to the tobacco. At first I'd think perhaps moisture via osmosis or through the air somehow.

Thing is, if you wet down the tobacco with a fine water mist, you might think that you can do the same thing to refresh the tobacco - but it wont work.. all you get it dry tobacco that is now wet but has none of the appearance texture feel or smokablity of being fresh.

Try this for yourself.. what the lettuce actually does for the tobacco I am sure it's got to be something more than simply moisturizing the tobacco. It really does seem (again, try it yourself) that the lettuce is causing the tobacco to in part come back to life as it were.. it seems to heal the dried tobacco from the inside - not the outside of the tobacco itself.

Your thoughts on this?
edit on 21-1-2014 by JohnPhoenix because: additional info




posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 01:59 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


This sounds like a cool experiment.




Thing is, if you wet down the tobacco with a fine water mist, you might think that you can do the same thing to refresh the tobacco - but it wont work.. all you get it dry tobacco that is now wet but has none of the appearance texture feel or smokablity of being fresh.


I think the key to the equation may be the amount of time required to "re-fresh" the tobacco with water. Instant water may be too much, whereas a tiny amount over time will "re-fresh" it.

Instead of lettuce in the sealed container with dry tobacco, try putting a small dish of water in the sealed container instead of the lettuce and see how that turns out.

ETA - This is the first thought that popped into my head. I have no clue if this will work. I don't have a PHD in anything science related.....yet.
edit on 21-1-2014 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:11 AM
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Never thought of trying plain water. I have tried lemon rinds, apple rinds and other stuff.. it all works.

But whats the process and how far can it be taken? There is a good explanation on osmosis here en.wikipedia.org... but it seems the two substances have to be in physical contact. This is why I'm wondering what other process could be taking place.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:13 AM
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potato peel and apple peel both work as well



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:14 AM
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I've heard it mentioned to use a piece of orange peel.

Moisture and other volatile compounds evaporate from the peel and are absorbed by the tobacco, thus becoming re-hydrated and mildly flavored.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:18 AM
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Not sure how it works myself,

But I use raisin's soaked in Rum for about a day, Gives a lovely taste and pleasant aroma ,
Some people use potato peel as this works just as well.
Never used lettuce though.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:19 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 





But whats the process and how far can it be taken?


"If" the plain bowl of water works *in addition to the other pieces/peels of foods that have worked as mentioned above*, then Im assuming it has to be the water particles that are "re freshing" the dry tobacco.

It is a air tight container, and (in theory I believe) nature likes equilibrium, so assuming those 2 statements are constant, moisture in the air will collect within the dry tobacco, achieving equilibrium within that air tight container.
edit on 21-1-2014 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:26 AM
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Greats answers abecedarian and buni11687 !!! Evaporation in a micro ecosystem coupled with natures striving to maintain equilibrium. Interesting. That's why the dry tobacco seems to get infused all the way through and down to the cellular level because it actually does. That's pretty neato.

It's like a way of infusion.. are there commercial process that utilize this method?
edit on 21-1-2014 by JohnPhoenix because: addition



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:29 AM
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JohnPhoenix
Greats answers abecedarian and buni11687. Evaporation in a micro ecosystem coupled with natures striving to maintain equilibrium. Interesting.

It's like a way of infusion.. are there commercial process that utilize this method?

The humidor at the local cigar / smoke shop?



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:31 AM
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reply to post by abecedarian
 


I think you nailed it. Thanks !!

Er.. you know thats exactly what we are doing here.. creating our own humidors. I never heard this trick put that way but thats just what we are doing. I dont smoke cigars. I use a e-cig mostly but roll your own tobacco like Top in an emergency. ( i prefer the e-cig)
edit on 21-1-2014 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:33 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 





are there commercial process that utilize this method?


Yes. You can really infuse any flavor you wish, although it does take time.

Example from this link.

How To Infuse Cigars


Adding flavor by infusion is a careful balance of maintaining the cigar's original natural flavor and delicately introducing a new complementary flavor.


This example uses coffee.


Place your cigars into the humidor or box with the coffee or other product you have chosen. Close the lid on the humidor or box, and make sure that it is sealed tightly.



Leave the cigars for between two and four weeks to infuse. The longer you leave the cigars, the stronger the infusion will be.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:36 AM
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Wow,

I've never heard of this before, very cool.

Will have to try it some time.




posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:38 AM
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JohnPhoenix
reply to post by abecedarian
 


I think you nailed it. Thanks !!

Er.. you know thats exactly what we are doing here.. creating our own humidors. I never heard this trick put that way but thats just what we are doing. I dont smoke cigars. I use a e-cig mostly but roll your own tobacco like Top in an emergency. ( i prefer the e-cig)
edit on 21-1-2014 by JohnPhoenix because: sp
buni11687 did a better job, providing a link to explain how to enhance the flavors.

Also, or in addition, many other fresh or even dried aromatic spices can be added to rolling tobacco such as nutmeg, allspice and clove, just be careful on how much you use and don't use anything you're allergic to.

edit on 1/21/2014 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by buni11687
 


Hey yeah, thats pretty awesome.. thanks !

I might have to try that.. the coffee flavored e-cig juice i've tried isn't so good LOL.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:41 AM
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reply to post by abecedarian
 


Don't sell yourself short. Evaporation plays a huge role in this as a chief mechanic and you provided that. I think I didnt think about it because i did't think the effects in a micro ecosystem would be so strong. It's like mini weather.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 02:56 AM
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When you find those little packets in your medicine bottles, it's called desiccation* {silica gel} (also see dehydration). The silica gel is hygroscopic.



When you put a cigar in a humidor or lettuce in with tobacco, it's called: a hygroscopic reaction.


Cigars and other tobacco are hygroscopic in nature, meaning they hold and release humidity — sort of like they breathe. Does the humidor keep your cigars at your preferred humidity level and temperature
*


Hygroscopic substances include cellulose fibers (such as cotton and paper), sugar, caramel, honey, glycerol, ethanol, methanol, diesel fuel, sulfuric acid, methamphetamine, many fertilizer chemicals, many salts (including table salt), and a wide variety of other substances.
*

Off the top of my head, I'd say that if you are adding straight water too it you are probably adding way too much. If you put a couple drops, and put it in a sealed container, eventually it will even out. But using a cloth with a bit of moisture (or something similar to this effect) is more effective.

Water is a solvent so in concentration it will dissolve chemicals in the tobacco. Another reason why you wouldn't want to apply water directly.

Tobacco is looking for equilibrium.


Sorption behavior of hygroscopic products


The profile of a sorption isotherm is characteristic of the hygroscopicity of a product, the sorption behavior of a product being dependent on temperature. Highly hygroscopic products exhibit a steep sorption isotherm, while sparingly hygroscopic products exhibit flat sorption isotherms.

A measure of the hygroscopicity of a product is consequently the magnitude of the increase or decrease in its water content as a function of relative humidity at a certain temperature. Weakly hygroscopic products exhibit no or only a slight change in their water content as a consequence of variations in relative humidity. In strongly hygroscopic products, water content may vary widely.

By determining the water content of a product, it is possible, using a sorption isotherm, to establish how the product will behave in the hold/container.


But, it's state of equilibrium is below the threshold that keeps it fresh:


Figure 2 shows the sorption isotherm for wheat at 20°C. At a measured water content of 12% and a relative humidity of the ambient air of 75%, the point of intersection lies below the sorption isotherm (see cross).

In an unventilated hold, relative humidity would decrease as a result of the absorption of water vapor by the hygroscopic product until a state of equilibrium is reached at a relative humidity of just below 60%. Since the amount of water vapor available for absorption is small, the water content of a product hardly changes during this process. In general, there is no risk of depreciation and ventilation is unnecessary, unless the product is prone to desiccation damage (tobacco, tea, wood, leather). In this case, the hold/container would have to be ventilated with suitable ventilation air to prevent drying-out.


Which is why humidors are used.

www.tis-gdv.de...
edit on 21-1-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 03:22 AM
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Works with stale cookies also. I use a piece of bread, put it in with the cookies and half a day or so later one has fresh and soft cookies and a piece of stale bread. Similar concept, although why it works is beyond my pay grade. I also have a ceramic disc that when soaked in water then inserted into a container of sugar makes it freshen up. Never tried it on cookies(or tobacco) but I'd bet it works for either.

I've never thought of trying to figure out why, I just do it because it works. I buy pre-rolled cigs so have never had tobacco that has gone stale so wouldn't know about that but that process sounds like it's the same, leeching moisture from one to the other.



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 03:59 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


I do love this area of science so I'll throw in some more stuff.

Temperature and pressure will also affect the time it takes.

If the pressure is increased, the gas (vapor) is forced to a smaller area, meaning less time to "re fresh" the tobacco. Ex - Try doing the tobacco and bowl of water in a small container vs a larger container. (Air tight, and assuming the temperature and amount of each substance is constant). The tobacco in the larger container will take longer to absorb the water vapor.

If the temperature is increased, then the rate of vaporization is increased, meaning more molecules are being released from the liquid (ex - bowl of water). With more molecules being sent into the atmosphere at a faster rate, the tobacco will retain more of the moisture at a faster rate, rather than at regular temperature. (assuming at constant pressure).

Try doing the same experiment, (same air tight box and same amount of tobacco and water) at say Denver, CO. That area is way above sea level, meaning more pressure. Then do the same at another place at sea level, and see how long it takes. (well, there might be a need for some super scientific equipment here to tell the difference since we're just smoking tobacco here, but in theory, there will be drastically different results)



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 04:14 AM
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OP a humidor is of course what you are making via the box and lettuce and as pointed out a regular humidor works great. However, why go through the expense of purchasing a humidor when you can make a coolidor. Building a coolidor is cheap and easy. It will keep all of your cigars, cigarette and pipe tobacco fresh. Personally I do not smoke cigarettes but do a pipe once in awhile. I love my cigars and having a humidor or coolidor is a must. One does not purchase premium Cuban cigars and not properly care for them.

With any of your tobacco products, you must only use distilled water, never mineral or tap water. Both mineral and tap water will ruin you tobacco. Infusion of different flavorings is great for pipe, cigarette tobacco, and lower end cigars but requires time and proper aging. In regards to cigarette tobacco, use an all natural non-chemical impregnated tobacco for best results.



Just a little tip; keep your humidor or coolidor close to the magic numbers of 70% 70' and your tobacco will last for many years.
edit on 1/21/2014 by pstrron because: add a little



posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:00 AM
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I've always used Orange peel. It doesn't effect the flavor of the smoke.





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