DougE wrote:I've seen a ton of threads on various forums where someone thinks there is something wrong with their injector and nine out of ten times, the real issue is improper humidity level of the tobacco they are trying to inject. Tobacco that is too wet or too dry will both yield less than stellar results when trying to inject cigarettes. Tobacco that is too wet tends to clog up the injector and tobacco that is too dry doesn't compress well and will tend to shove the tube off the nozzle before the tobacco plug gets all the way back to the tube's filter.
So what is the proper humidity level and how do you know if your tobacco is in the correct range? The relative humidity (RH) should be kept in the 60 to 70% range for the best results. There are several ways to determine if the humidity level of your tobacco is right, ranging from the scientific using a hygrometer to measure the humidity level to learning how tobacco "feels" when it is at the right humidity level.
I do it by "feel". Tobacco within the right humidity range will spring back quickly when pinched. If it retains it's shape when pinched or slowly springs back, it is too wet and you need to let it sit there to dry out for awhile. If it is too dry, it will sorta feel like straw and sorta sound crispy when pinched. In this case, you will need to rehydrate your tobacco before making cigarettes with it.
There are a number of products on the market designed for this purpose and I have tried a few of them. The ones I've tried work well enough, but I keep finding myself going back to the simple method I learned when I first took up RYO. The only things required are things I normally have around the house anyhow.
You will need 3 things:
1) A piece of sponge or a folded up paper towel.
2) A jar lid,bathroom size cup, or other small container that will fit inside your tobacco storage container.
3) Water. Many debates have sprung up on whether distilled water is necessary or whether plain tap water will do. I've used both and honestly can't tell any difference between tobacco that has been rehydrated with either one. If I have distilled water handy, I will use it, but if not, I use filtered tap water.(Side note: If you are using humidity beads or disks, you definitely want to use distilled water because mineral content in tap water will ruin them)
What you want to do is dampen the sponge or folded paper towel, place it in the smaller container and place it inside your tobacco storage container. The length of time it takes depends on how dry the tobacco is, but generally a day or two is sufficient. Be sure and check on it because the tobacco can absorb too much moisture which can result in mold growth.
Just to make sure I understand exactly... do you take the tobacco out of the bag or tin that it comes in before you put it in the lock & lock container? Also, do you just put the small container in the corner or center with the tobacco around it so that it doesn't actually get in the container with the wet sponge or paper towel? I've always kept my tobacco & tubes in the containers they came in, but lately I've been having more trouble keeping the moisture right, which is causing problems with injection, so I was thinking that I need to start keeping the tobacco in jars or a container like you mentioned. Normally I only buy a 16oz bag & 2 boxes of tubes for the month from my local b&m store (mainly because of the crazy shipping cost for tubes), but would like to start mixing some tobaccos, keeping more of a variety, and/or buying the 5 lb bags online & want to try to keep the moisture at an optimal level to make injecting easier so I can get more than a pack or two done before I get so frustrated that I give up! I just moved & have a great walk-in closet that seems to stay cooler, so I've been storing everything in there. The laundry room would be good because it stays humid, but it's too hot in there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you