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Ammonia from a fresh tin..

Anyone else find
that if a tin smells of amonia, even just a little, the taste is muted to a great degree?


  • I've only experienced this with Taxi Red, but I've never put the snuff in my mouth so can't say if it affects the taste or not. I find the ammonia pleasant in a fresh can of Taxi Red. It's a sign of freshness! What snuff are you talking about in particular @nosemboss ?
  • By taste of course I ment when its taken.
    I've noticed this with those subtly perfumed snuffs, Recently opened FoJ--that one especially..but I'm unsure with others like O&G and Wlsons #20
  • I personally don't notice Ammonia but the guy at work smell it every time I let him sample new snuff. The only one I had was the taxi that was strong enough for me.I was a long time smoker so that may have something to do with it.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • My dad thinks that nearly every snuff I have smells like nothing but "cat-piss". I definitely get strong ammonia on some snuffs but a bit of airing always fixes it up.

    This Dholakia White I've been working on has actually started to smell more of ammonia as I've gotten deeper into it, I guess there was some ammonia "trapped in" under the snuff on top. Good thing about D White is I can leave it to air for a few hours without worrying about anything being lost in the process - I don't think it's possible for it to become drier than it is.
  • It happens, I've noticed it most with Toque and WoS, I will usually leave the tin open to air out for like an hour, usually does the trick. Also leaving it for a few days or a week with the tin closed after its been aired out, the flavour will come out and ammonia will fade. I seem to find the nicotine is most noticed when the snuff is very fresh, but maybe that's just all in my head.
  • You will know if your tin has some ammonia if you try to take a sniff and instead of the flavor, you get a warm numbing sensation. Flours that are tightly packed are particularly susceptible. I always loosen the flour, air it out for a bit, and give it a couple days before using.
  • I get that out of a new tin of my F&T Santo Domingo. I put it (and several others) into a mason jar and after a day it sorts itself out.
  • I haven't noticed ammonia on most, but fresh fresh snuff will have an ammonia smell. Toque in particular reeks of cat piss when new, so I air the stuff out for a couple of hours and that gets rid of the stink.
  • In my experience ammonia is caused by really fresh tobacco, which is good. Just air it out for a bit. I've only experienced this in ntsu and sg kb.
  • I kind of like the ammonia to a certain degree. Too much can be off putting, but a hint of it adds a little tang or bite to a pinch.
  • I always thought of ammonia as one of the things that make the South African snuffs stand out!
  • I personally like the amonia freshness and would not air it away and am a little sad even when it has gradually naturally dissapeared but I never got any in my tins of FOJ so pehaps it's the juniper you are mistaking for amonia? FOJ is still amongst my very favourite snuffs.

    Dholakia White I like to mix with other toasts to add strength to those and add flavour to the Dholakia White. Works wonderfully.
  • I lurve the ammonia smell of fresh, or well-stored, snuff. It's to snuff what turkey smell is to the holidays.
  • I always notice the smell of ammonia coming from a lot of newly opened fresh snuff tins. Especially Toque snuffs.

    So when I get a new order of snuff, I'll basically open up every tin, set them out on my table, and let them all air out for a couple of hours. Some might people might claim it would dry the snuff out or such, but it hasn't been a problem for me, and it usually works to let all the ammonia out. It really can ruin a snuff experience to be expecting a beautiful sent and instead have your nose filled with the overbearing stench of ammonia.
  • ammonia=fresh
  • Does that mean the new Dell laptops that reek of cat pee are just 'fresh'? lol
  • Hey, may I sneak in a newbie question here? Why is there ammonia in snuff in the first place?
  • It's produced by fermentation. Fermentation makes the tobacco milder, traditionally you'd stack huge piles of leaves up and let them ferment off their own warmth.
  • Oh! Well, that explains that!
  • I noticed this with some brands. Some of the Toques that I have purchased in the past have had a slight ammonia scent to it, if you let it air out over night it tends to eliminate it.
  • I noticed this with some brands. Some of the Toques that I have purchased in the past have had a slight ammonia scent to it, if you let it air out over night it tends to eliminate it.
    Same here with Toque in economy bags. I just put enough for the day in my container and leave the lid off for a bit. Matter of fact two bags I just opened and the 25g tin had hints but not enough to be a bother.

  • I recently re opened a tin of toque cheery originally opened over a year ago and im getting quite a strong paraffin smell to it is this normal for a tin of this age. It was just stored in original tin in a drawer.
  • I recently re opened a tin of toque cheery originally opened over a year ago and im getting quite a strong paraffin smell to it is this normal for a tin of this age. It was just stored in original tin in a drawer.
    Hmm, toque cheery? sounds like something i could enjoy! whats in it, other than happiness, joy and paraffin? :P
  • @Firestarter0‌ very good :)
  • I may just have to dissent on this particular issue. I see no way in which the natural fermentation of powdered tobacco would produce ammonia gas in your snuff tin. Methane, maybe. Ammonia - no.

    I contend that what we are smelling is in all probability the common tobacco additive ammonium carbonate ("smelling salts"). It is easy to mistake the smelling salts "hit" for a supposed "nicotine hit" - which probably does not exist at all. The ammonium carbonate eventually decomposes into ammonium bicarbonate and ammonia gas - an unopened snuff-tin stored for a long duration would thus have more ammonia gas present than a fresh tin. But this ammonia is not of natural origin.

    The idea of adding ammonium carbonate to tobacco is to raise the pH, thereby increasing the total amount of freebase nicotine delivered to the addict. Without this ammonium carbonate additive, snuffs would apparently deliver zero nicotine, any freebase nicotine naturally present having been destroyed in the curing and manufacturing processes.

    Ammonia and other chemical base tobacco additives and cigarette nicotine delivery: Issues and research needs Nicotine Tob Res (2004) 6 (2): 199-205.

  • horus92horus92 Member
    edited March 2014 PM
    @Hapax I gotta disagree with you on every point here; tobacco fermentation in basic conditions produces lots of ammonia:


    Often in snuff-making tobacco which has already undergone this fermentation is then salted with sodium bicarb and sodium carbonate (perhaps rarely ammonium carbonate, not sure if they still do these days) and undergoes a second fermentation for sometimes months or years.

    Also snuff definitely provides a nicotine hit, though new users often don't absorb much if any nicotine from it. This was established in a British study. Novice and occasional snuffers don't absorb much nicotine but a regular user absorbs as much as a smoker. Hard to say why, maybe the nose adjusts, maybe regular users use much larger pinches too. Multi-dose snuffing caused nicotine levels to rise higher than had been seen in even chain-smokers, at least according to the researchers. If you don't think snuff gives nicotine try doing two big piles of Dholakia White off the back of your hand first thing in the morning!
  • AbraxasAbraxas Member
    edited March 2014 PM
    Some manufacturers - SG for example - use an ammonia and potash liquor after the flour is milled to inhibit mould growth. This will certainly add to the ammonia levels of the finished snuff. I don't use ammonia in Abraxas snuffs but the moist snuffs, such as Cerise and PBS Coarse, will develop some in the jar from a slight ongoing fermentation, which is natural. I don't have access to any commercial recipes other than my own but I would imagine the ammonia smell commonly found in snuffs with any degree of moisture arises from a combination of these factors. My methodology is afungal rather than anti-fungal which is why I recommend keeping the jars tightly closed and only decanting using a clean implement.
  • At first, when I started opening the tins, I disliked that smell intensely. But I started snuffing and now it's part of the charm. In fact, I've grown to love it over the past month.

    But now I'm taking larger pinches, the underlying tobacco taste comes through, and I love that as well. Warming burn first, then taste for the next however long.
  • I noticed light paraffin from my Toque Apricot.

    Nothing bad and something I expected from a review I saw, but its there. This is a new supply and I have not aired it much so I don’t know if it will dissipate. No worries if it doesn’t though.

  • I love the ammonia in snuff, Ntsu black with the yellow lid is famous for its ammonia and it kicks harder than a horse on steroids, if I don't get the ammonia smell in my snuff I'm not happy, but I'll try any snuff that gives me a mind numbing buzzzzzzz.
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