I put some Hickory chips in an airtight & watertight "Lock n' Lock" bowl about a week ago to soak..plans changed & I didn't get to the smoking after all... when I opened the bowl I was surprised to see that the water didn't smell terrific (I guess they will only smell like Hickory when they're smoldering... I almost got the impression that it smelled a bit "soured" ???? Is that possible? The chips are all still very hard and perfect looking, not soft at all. My question is: Can chips (not chunks), be soaked too long so that I shouldn't use them in my Smoker (electric, I'm sorry to say..). What is the rule of thumb...shortest period of time & longest period of time for soaking chips? If it's been too long, I'll just let them dry out and toss them in my Firepit along with my oak logs this Fall. Thanks guys and gals for all the great stuff I've already learned from you all!