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How to store Snuff?

AlexAlex Posts: 569
edited November 2006 in Snuff House Library
Unfortunately, Snuff cannot be stored very long. As all tobacco products, the material gets dry and loses its taste. To keep your Snuff or Schmalzler fresh anyway, you should keep it where it is:

1. dry
2. dark
3. cool

Some month of storage should be no problem. It depends on packaging and how long the Snuff was stored at the retailer, of course. Snuff should be aired once in a while to avoid a mouldy taste. This applies to Schmalzler also. If you are uncertain about the condition, just try it. If it feels too dry or develops a strange taste, throw it away.

Furthermore, you should only carry a one-day amount in your pocket, to prevent the snuff from losing moist caused by not tight snuff boxes and body heat.

John Arlott mentions the use of slightly salty water, "distributed by stirring, turning and, at need, sieving" to enliven older Snuff. (The Snuff Shop, John Arlott, p. 28) I have not tested this method yet, but it may be worth trying.


  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    edited November 2006
    I keep my snuff in the freezer!

    I heard this doesn't work, because the freezing process would split some of the moist from the rest of the snuff. After that it wouldn't be usable anymore. Had you never have experienced something like this?
  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    Sound good then. I will try it myself with some of my snuffs. Good hint by the way.
  • Most important when you keep snuff in a freezer is that you keep it in an air tight container. So you prevent the sublimation of ice to the freezerbody. Microorganisms (moulds) will not develop under these conditions. When you keep snuff in small portions that is something to bear in mind to. In an air tight container you prevent desiccation. When temperatures are high and when there is little salt and enough moisture in the snuff microorganisms can grow.

    Jaap Bes.
  • Personally, I keep them all in small (4 oz.) labeled and dated canning jars. Then they go in a wooden cabinet with doors to keep the light out. Never had a problem yet-- and I have some Old Paris and Morlaix that are at least a couple of years old. My only gripe is how fast the moist snuffs dry out in my snuffboxes-- I'm forever rehydrating snuff!

  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    I'm forever rehydrating snuff!

    I would like to know which method you use for that. Slightly salted water, or just water?
  • Just water-- I let the water evaporate into the snuff, rather than applying directly. I've been thinking about experimenting with some food-grade glycerin, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    edited January 2007
    @ junior:
    Welcome to the forum!
    I heard using a humidor may be too moist for some snuffs, developing an ugly taste. Did you ever had problems like that? If not, a humidor sounds like a great solution to me.
  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    By the way thanks to the creator of this site is deffinatley great to find a site and group of such great people who have a passion for nasal snuff as i do.

    You're welcome. :)
  • macalpemacalpe Posts: 130
    I use some vacuum jars to keep my pipes tobaccos...maybe this is a good way to preserve snuff taste and freshness...????

    Pedro Macias (Spain)
  • AlexAlex Posts: 569
    Vacuum is fine, right. Especially to keep the moist and scent.
  • RoderickRoderick Posts: 1,867
    As a snuff producer it is imperative that we keep our Toque and Snus in peek condition. The best way of storing snuff at the optimum quality is to store it in a humidor. You don’t need an industrial humidor like ours any small cigar humidor will do and your snuff will be as good a year later as it was the day you bought it. Just don’t use the same one you store cigars in or an old one that has been used for cigars as snuff is very sensitive to aromas and you will end up with a horrid smelling snuff that has been over powered by the cigars aroma. Also Macalpe, whatever you do don't put your snuff in with your pipe tobacco.
  • macalpemacalpe Posts: 130
    Hello Roderick, are you a snuff producer? this case, what type of snuffs you have?
    Thanks in advance,

  • macalpemacalpe Posts: 130
    Thanks very much indeed Roderick...I will visit you this moment...I am a lover of English Snuffs...they are the best!!!
  • RoderickRoderick Posts: 1,867
    If you ever hear of any Spanish snuff producer still in business try and get some Spanish yellow. It is rumored to be one of the finest snuffs in the world.
  • macalpemacalpe Posts: 130
    OK, I just visited your site. Congratulations !!!...within your next six next types, may we found unscented (plain) snuffs ?...or with no menthol or peppermint?..thanks again.

  • RoderickRoderick Posts: 1,867
    Sorry Macalpe,
    Just read your comments in Spain and snuff. I see you all ready know about Spanish yellow.
  • macalpemacalpe Posts: 130
    I do not heard about any Spanish snuff producer, but I will ask to a snuff fellow I know, and then I will tell you.

  • RoderickRoderick Posts: 1,867
    If you do find some i'd love to know. It was supposed to be bright yellow and had the most beautiful aroma of bergamot and fresh orange.
  • PhaedrusPhaedrus Posts: 14
    Some input from a chemistry geek. This is mostly speculation, as I'm new to snuff. However, I've been smoking and ageing cigars for years now.

    Snuff is an interesting hybrid of problems in terms of storage. First, it's a tobacco product, and so as indicated by Roderick, maintaining the moisture content is very important. Keeping it in a humidor may well work, so too would keeping it in an airtight container, as long as the snuff filled at MINIMUM 80% of the container and was not opened too often.

    The second problem is that snuff contains added aromatics, such as citrus, floral, etc. Many (if not most) aromatic compounds are horribly prone to oxidation. That is to say that they react with oxygen and are broken down. So I would imagine that it is entirely possible to have a snuff kept at the right moisture level and still have it go horribly stale rather quickly, if the snuff did not fill enough of the container (thus allowing a large amount of oxygen into the container) Roderick and others could expand on this, to agree or disagree. As I said, this is my speculation based on general knowledge of aromatic compounds, but practical experience always reigns supreme.

    To store snuff you have to keep moisture levels constant, but I would imagine keeping oxygen out would be equally important. If your moisture was right, the snuff would still "feel" right. But the aromatic intensity of your sought-after flavours would likely diminish significantly if you do not also keep oxygen out.

    Airtight mason jars, glass jars, etc. would likely work best. The goal being that you ensure that the snuff always almost completely fills the container. If you have no choice but to partly fill a container, I would highly recomend jetting in some inert gas such as CO2 or N2 (nitrogen). These are available commercially, mostly centered around wine storage, as products such as "Private Preserve". You give a little shot of gas into your container, and seal it quickly. It is then full of inert gas, and little if any oxygen. The cans are cheap, and last hundreds of uses.

    Let me know what you guys think. No, I don't get kickbacks from private preserve, and yes, it is likely that there is a cheaper and equally convenient source of nitrogen or CO2 gas. Just not sure what it might be.
  • RoderickRoderick Posts: 1,867
    Love the idea of CO2 gas if you can’t fill the container. I used to use Sulphur SO2 on wine to the same effect. Don’t you just love modern technology.
    I always had the intention of offering a cheap snuff humidor, however there are so many good kilnar jars out there I feel it would be a bit unfair to charge for what you can do yourself.
    I have been aging some Toque natural with some 1936 Levi Garret in the solera system. I now have 2.5 kilos and when I get to 10 kilos I will start to sell it as it’s very, very good.
    Your point about flavoured snuff is correct, it wouldn’t work with a flavoured snuff as the flavouring would oxidize.
  • like to recomend snuff store have placed two orders both arrived in first class condition and in a couple of day after i ordered ronnie
  • VikingViking Posts: 459
    I've kept Tom Buck for 3 and a half years, and it's still perfect. French Carotte for 2 years - also still perfectly fresh. I always keep my snuff in sealed plastic containers in the refridgerator.
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,444
    I'm not convinced there is any point at all in humidors and refrigeration for snuff. I have several snuffs that are around 30 years old that are still in perfect condition simply because they are in airtight containers. My storage method is just to use the airtight cannisters that half pound measures of Wilson's come in. I've just used the last of some IHT 22 that I've had for several years that was literally as fresh as when I bought it. I can't help thinking that this stuff about freezing and keeping in humidors is just a snuffing urban myth.
  • ermtonyermtony Posts: 1,393
    I'm inclined to agree. I don't put snuff in the fridge at all. I just use a variety of ziplock bags and airtight containers which are kept in drawers and a cupboard on a north facing wall. The temperature in there stays pretty stable and never gets very warm. The snuff keeps just fine. I think temperature stability counts for a lot.

    Of course Pieter will want a south facing wall for such an arrangement ;-)
  • LuisLuis Posts: 14
    Question: would it be better for snuff to be store in a food saver bag?like the ones use to store food?that would keep the air from drying ou the snuff, right? and if this was the case does snuff needs to be store in the refrigerator or can it be still store dark cool place?
  • You can really store them into anything that seals. Like ziplocs, food saver bags, tightvac jars, canning/mason or kilner jars, tupperware, water bottle, thermos, ammo cans etc. And dark cool storage is fine.
  • LuisLuis Posts: 14
    thank you for your quick response!
  • bobbob Posts: 6,777
    Why doesn't anyone direct this question at Tim of Snuff Store?
  • SnuffboxSnuffbox Posts: 578
    Great news, I'll get some of the local imposter tupperware and use those.
  • JuxtaposerJuxtaposer Posts: 2,892
    Plastics are not recommended. Glass is best. Air tight is important. A constant temperature is too. Cool is fine. Warm may grow things. But a fluctuating temperature especially to freezing can be harmful. This for me is optimal storage.
  • SnuffboxSnuffbox Posts: 578
    edited November 2008
    I guess glass bail jars would seal as well as some of the plastic stuff we get but it seems like the plastics seal pretty good. I don't think we can get normal canning jars here and not sure what good they would do without pressure sealing them anyway.

    The plastic ones are easier to deal with since they're wide and flat, pretty good for stuff like snuff cans. WIth jars you have to drop stuff in and fish it out when you need it. Not sure how good an idea that is.
  • O.k.. this is something I would like to know as much about as humanly possible. I am in a certain situation where my income fluctuates a great deal. One month I have a great deal of disposable income, where the next I don't have 2 pennies to rub together. That being the case. I often by my snuff in quanities, and also a wide variey so I usually 15 to 20 various types sizes and containers on hand at a given time. My way of keeping them currently is in quality wood cigar boxes I had and aired out until the smell was gone, I then removed the side slats which were dry and soaked them in a salt water solution for 2 hours or so until they were of the moisture of fresh cut wood. I keep my snuffs in their original containers. The basic thing I would like to know from you folks here who definitely know your stuff is this. Is this a decent method in lieu of a humidor (I am investing in one soon) and in general what is the timeframe they will remain fresh and enjoyable?
  • PhilipSPhilipS Posts: 573
    I’ve consumed tins after 25 years storage in their original container without mishap. The best 'tins' are those of Fribourg & Treyer - both in shape and alloy. Most tin manufacturers cut costs by applying differential calculus to determine the minimum surface area for a specified volume. The result are tins that, if not completely full or vacuum sealed, can compromise the contents quality in a relatively short time since the radius is invariably too large and the tin too flat thereby exposing a greater amount of snuff to the effects of air. Moreover the tin is sometimes subject to rust either from external environment or the content's moisture level. Decanting opened drums or tins into the tubes which are subsequently stored in a cool dry environment works well enough for me.
  • FretlessFretless Posts: 107
    edited August 2010
    Ironically, I had some advice "from the top" on this one, at the end of a conversation with a lady at Wilson's of Sharrow recently.

    Her advice: Keep it in the fridge - either in the salad drawer or some kind of salad box [sealed plastic type for anything with an especially strong aroma].

    Now this makes sense. I have always stored good coffee [especially once ground] in this manner, after the advice of a particularly experienced coffee importer and former coffee and tea grower. That said, a cool place in my document drawers [under my desk] is convenient and works well.

    As to the recommendation of the Fribourg tins - yes, the screw lids with rubber seals make these very fine - they're also so damn elegant. As for the need to use a spoon to convey to the hand - I thank Fribourg / Wilsons here as well - I find using a spoon rather than pinching such fine-quality snuff as Fribourg & Treyer helps to retain the quality in some way.

    Incidentally, SnuffStore do excellent spoons, of perfect length for F&T tins for a very reasonable price.
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,444
    The most perennial of questions - simply: store in an airtight glass or food grade plastic jar and decant what you need as you need it. Humidors, keeping it in fridges or freezing it will do no harm, but won't achieve anything an airtight jar won't. I've got 30 year old snuff thats in perfect condition just through doing that. But like all things its a personal choice.
  • You are right snuffster, but I had an obsolete Humidor laying :)
  • I have two 1L bail-top Kilner jars which are perfect for storing my collection which hovers around the 30-40 tin mark. The neck of each jar is just big enough to allow a 25g Toque tin through it, intelligent design right there :D
  • AbraxasAbraxas Posts: 5,444
    Well, a good humidor is a beautiful thing, nice to having something fancy to keep the stock in. I use a carved Indian box and two polished cases that held single bottles of good claret. I think the ancillary things, good snuff boxes and all, are 50% of the pleasure of snuff for me.
This discussion has been closed.