We live in an age of customization for all different kind of products including pipe tobacco. Some of you may want to DIY (“do it yourself”) your own pipe tobacco or cigars, which is easy to do. This post will give you some tips on the process, materials, source tobacco to use, etc.
Think of Your Humidor as a “Still”
Any type of cigar humidor that has a humidifier can be used to impart unique flavoring to a cigar. Remove the humidifier and soak it in whatever liquid that you want to use to change the flavor. Kind of like cooking, test one or two cigars at first until you refine the process.
You can also roll cigars in just about an liquor such as a flavored rum to alter the taste of your stick. Let the stick age for a few days and then fire it up.
You Can Also DIY Pipe Tobacco at Home
Start off with your loose pipe tobacco and take an airtight container and place a small amount of pipe tobacco in the container. Again, just like doing some “home flavoring” for your cigars start off with a small amount of tobacco and test multiple types of flavoring and time variations to see what is optimum.
Follow these Steps:
- Add the flavoring to the tobacco in an airtight container. How much booze should you add? That’s a hard question to answer; if you are using rum, whiskey or even essential oils (these can be pretty exotic) start with a small amount and use a small test batch of tobacco.
- Once you’ve added the flavoring to the tobacco in the container shake it up thoroughly. That will help to combine the flavoring with the tobacco. Just common sense stuff.
- Let the container sit for 12-24 hours while it is sealed.
- Then, remove the lid from the container and let the tobacco dry out a little. You can try an hour or two a day for drying until the tobacco has the right moisture content.
Here are a few tips we’d recommend:
Don’t go cheap with the flavoring agent, it will give you a somewhat funky taste. Use better quality booze or flavoring. The end result will be a much better taste.
- Start with a small “experimental” container using small amounts of tobacco. Don’t go long with an ounce of pipe tobacco as your first attempt may yield mediocre results. You can even try just a pinch or two of tobacco.
- You don’t need to pour a shot of booze into a moderate amount of pipe tobacco. A few drops should impart sufficient flavoring.
- Got some old stale pipe tobacco laying around the house? Don’t toss it. Revitalize it by mixing some good rum or even Grand Marrnier to give you a unique smoking experience.
- Snuff tins can make great containers too; but, be mindful of the snuff flavoring that was used in the original product as this can have residual effects.
Can you Age Pipe Tobacco Like a Fine Wine?
There are a lot of misconceptions about aging pipe tobacco. As with anything in life the devil is always going to be in the details.
Understand not all pipe tobacco is created equally and the raw source product you are using is important. Virginia (which is what we use for our pipe tobacco) or Virginia/Perique blends will age properly and as they are aged the taste will be smoother and sweeter. Not always, but we know of pipe tobacco that has been aged for years that did improve by storing it.
Some think Burley blends don’t do well with an aging process but a stronger blend like a Latakia pipe tobacco which has a much more “in your face” taste may benefit tremendously from aging.
How do you age the tobacco? Be mindful of the container you are using. You want the tobacco to get some oxygen during the process so an airtight tin is not a good way to go. Use a container that lets air so the tobacco can breathe a bit.
- If you are aging bulk tobacco then the old standby a plain mason jar will work fine. The tobacco aging process is somewhat similar to what your grandparents did back in the day,
- Fill the mason jar about 3/4 of the way up to the top with pipe tobacco, which leaves enough air space for maturation.
- Don’t put the mason jar in boiling water as you would with food. This extreme heat is not good for the tobacco and will ruin it.
- Put the jar in your sink and fill the sink up so the water level is even with the level of tobacco and then let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and then screw the lid into place.
- Remove the mason jar from the sink and put it in a cool dry place. Don’t use a simple zip lock or Tupperware type of container for this process it won’t work well, too much air gets in and it will just dry out your tobacco.
- After you have aged the pipe tobacco for a day or two (but test this time period with smaller batches) open the container for an hour or two before smoking the tobacco.
We hope this helps all of you DIY pipe tobacco enthusiasts make your own blend at home.