I have been working with a neighbour who I introduced pipe smoking too about six months ago. He is in the midst of breaking in a pipe and is really trying to develop cake in his Peterson. The traditional thought is that you should always fill your pipe all the way to the top and smoke the whole thing to develop cake evenly in the bowl. So when he was asking me about this I had to sit and light a bowl and give it some thought. Here is what I came up with and it challenges tradition thinking. When I fill my pipe I enjoy the first half of the bowl the most. Most times I dump the bowl before it smokes all the way to the bottom. Honestly the bottom of all but the best tobacco's are wet and nasty. Soo I believe that you are actually doing your pipe a service by half filling the bowl half of the time during the break in process. That way you can actually smoke the bottom of the bowl and not just establish cake around the top third. Feel free to weight in if you guys think my thinking is flawed. So far it has worked for me but that could be more about my smoking style than this making scientific sense. Would love to hear everyone elses take on this.