Is It Possible To Switch A Pipe From One Designated Blend To Another?

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carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
Alright, so I have been pondering this one for a while after tasting a somewhat ghosted pipe for the first time. I have a pipe that I smoked a ton of Exotic Passion in when I first got it, then decided to smoke something with more of a burley background. I could taste the fruitiness from the Exotic Passion through the burley. It wasn't bad, but got me wondering.
If you designate pipes to certain blends or styles, is it possible to actually change that pipe to another blend? The main reason I ask, is that in my year of returning to the pipe, I have been smoking a little of everything in one pipe or the other without really minding which pipe I smoke which blend in. If I do want to designate a particular pipe to a specific blend or style, what would be the best way to make that happen so as not to taste any previous blends that I've been smoking in that pipe? Coffee ground treatment? Deep cleaning with a saltwater bath?
I just never really considered when I started that I might want to designate a pipe to this blend or that blend, so if one were to try and "reset" a pipes taste in order to do this, how best could it be done?

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,107
257
Lexington, KY
Yeah, I would either tough it out and smoke through a ghost, or give it a good solid salt and alcohol cleaning and proceed like it were an estate pipe. Or hot water flush, if you're one of those guys...

 

blackadderlxx

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2018
370
1
I think the larger question here is why you stopped smoking Exotic Passion. Heresy.
Personally, I'd ream it and swab it out with alcohol then smoke a whole pouch of something with a lot of Burley through it before I went further. But this is more due to laziness and fear of messing up one of my pipes than any special insight.

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,201
59
I use 5 Brothers to get rid of ghosts. About 5 bowls thru the pipe usually does it. If it's a Lakeland ghost you may need an alcohol/salt treatment.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,145
478
Switching blends in a pipe is one thing, and easy to do, but switching from an aromatic like the orange one is much harder. I have found that once a pipe has been tainted by an aro, that it is as hard to shake as a lakeland, for the same reason. It may take a while, but even once you get rid of that initial aromatic fragrance, I have found that I still get a waxyness that seems to mute the flavors of whatever I am smoking in the pipe. And, definitely it changes the way anything smoked in it will taste, even a lat bomb, if lat bombs are in your rotation.
I had one that I picked up from ebay that came with a light vanilla aromatic scent to it. I managed to get rid of the vanilla, but I still got that muted waxy flavor that aromatics tend to have. So, I definitely couldn't smoke Virginias in it, and even English blends were muted. Oh, I could taste the latakia and comprising orientals, but it was like tasting them through gauze. It had the effect that a charcoal filter pipe has on blends.
I eventually just designated the pipe back to aromatics, where and how I still use it today. But, maybe you will have better luck. it may depend on just how deep into the pipe the aromatic-ness has set.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,243
446
I haven't designated any pipes in the past, until recently when I inadvertently designated a cob with Mixture No. 79. Does anyone just smoke alternate blends in the designated pipe and count it as another dimension of flavor in that particular pipe? I know this sounds a little lazy, or crazy, but I'm always mixing a pinch of this or that in my usual rotations (ever changing). Can you make friends with a ghost? I think of this as being one or two pipes; I wouldn't want it for the whole rack.

 

onestrangeone

Preferred Member
Sep 18, 2015
657
0
Some ghosts are harder to exorcise than others. I’ve got some estates that had a heavy

Lakeland’s essence , it took some doing but was able to make em smokable again, coffee grounds were the most effective. I have one I bought new and started it with Suttliff Summer Nights (raspberry) I only smoked maybe 10 bowls of it and to this day (approximately 4 years later) I still get a hit of raspberries when I get to the bottom!

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
654
0
Milton, FL
Does anyone just smoke alternate blends in the designated pipe and count it as another dimension of flavor in that particular pipe? I know this sounds a little lazy, or crazy, but I'm always mixing a pinch of this or that in my usual rotations (ever changing). Can you make friends with a ghost? I think of this as being one or two pipes; I wouldn't want it for the whole rack.
There was a thread on this very subject recently where the ghosted pipe actually imparted a pleasant flavor to other blends. I'll see if I can find it.
My tastes haven't evolved enough to be bothered by ghosting but I do keep aro pipes separated from the non-aro pipes. Alo, I haven't tried any Lakelands yet either.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,145
478
Does anyone just smoke alternate blends in the designated pipe and count it as another dimension of flavor in that particular pipe?
I have a couple of beater pipes that I will smoke anything in, and yes, sometimes I enjoy the mix of flavors, but I don't smoke many aromatics through those pipes. Aromatics seem to do better in a dedicated pipe, IMO. Even switching from a vanilla to a cherry blend, they sing more in a dedicated aromatic pipe. When I smoke those in a pipe after an English or Virginia, I cannot taste them as much. But, I do enjoy the mix of latakia and aromatics... sometimes. But, not always. :puffy:

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
811
285
You can smoke out most ghosts. I successfully switched a latakia pipe to Virginias. It took quite a few bowls of burley to get there, but I can't taste the faintest hint of latakia ghost in that pipe anymore. One factor to consider is that I bought the pipe new, and I never allow much of a cake to build up, so there was no latakia-infused cake to deal with.
I also successfully eliminated a Lakeland ghost from an old Comoys estate pipe. That one took several rounds of salt and alcohol treatment, followed by quite a few bowls of codger burley. I smoke Virginias in that pipe too, with no hint of the old ghost.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
I would tend to agree about some ghosts being harder to remove than others. My palate isn't refined enough at this stage to identify a ghosting outside of an aro, but Exotic Passion definitely imparted a little of the Passion on the inside of my pipe. Now I have a slight ghost from it in a cob, and not just any cob, but my Charles Towne Cobbler. If it were any of my other cobs I wouldn't really care, but that one I can't perform the same sort of exercising of the demons on.
Hopefully, I can run a pouch of something through it to remove it. I was using this cob as I didn't really have many other pipes to smoke it through. Now I do, and I can designate something I have out of my small collection to aros, but even then, if EP ghosts it, then I'll still be tasting the passion whilst I smoke a vanilla or some other aro. Not entirely a bad thing, but I never thought the lingering scent of EP would be there. I've smoked countless bowls through this cob since I last smoked EP in it, and even now, I can smell it when I sniff the bowl.
I think the larger question here is why you stopped smoking Exotic Passion. Heresy.
Oh I haven't stopped, just found a different pipe to smoke it in. Now have the distinct pleasure of attempting to remove it from a beloved cob of mine.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,243
446
This is a good thread for demystifying ghosting, a discussion long overdue.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,145
478
For those who have removed an aromatic ghost... did you find that you could still pull the sharp notes and subtle nuances from Virginias in the same way as a fresh pipe or dedicated VA pipe? Or, have you even noticed? I am curious. Greg Pease wrote about this, and that is when I picked up on this. Then once I noticed it, I tended to use those pipes less and less.

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
811
285
For those who have removed an aromatic ghost... did you find that you could still pull the sharp notes and subtle nuances from Virginias in the same way as a fresh pipe or dedicated VA pipe? Or, have you even noticed? I am curious. Greg Pease wrote about this, and that is when I picked up on this. Then once I noticed it, I tended to use those pipes less and less.
I have not noticed any difference between my ex-Lakeland pipe and my other Virginia pipes, but I will keep this in mind and see if I notice any muted notes in the ex-Lakeland pipe. I did actually taste the Lakeland soap ghost until I put that pipe through three or four rounds of salt and alcohol treatment and about twenty bowls of Carter Hall, the ghostbuster.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,145
478
IMO, latakia is not a ghost. I swap latakia out from time to time in all of my pipes. If any lingers, I can dispel it in a single smoke... except in my latakia designated pipes. But, even in those, the latakia dissipates pretty fast. A ghost, I think of as being much tougher to get rid of, possible killing all of the natural briar aroma in the process.

 
Nov 27, 2018
270
1
I love how we're talking about ghosts as if our pipes are literally haunted by the spirit of a blend. The pipe has not just been ghosted, there is a ghost in it.
That said, if you've got a really tough ghost: just ream the cake down to a minimum, then do the cotton ball/alcohol/pipe cleaner overnight trick. It's the same as the salt/alcohol but just use a cotton ball instead of salt. First take out your stem, then stick a cotton ball into the chamber and a pipe cleaner into the airway, then drip some 190 proof grain drinking alcohol onto the cotton until it is soaked and leave it overnight. In the morning the cotton ball and the pipe cleaner will have pulled out the ghost from your pipe and you can finish it off with paper towels and pipe cleaners. It's also a good idea to let the pipe rest for a day after to make sure the alcohol has completely evaporated.

 

seldom

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2018
775
159
Germany
I've found the usual methods of excising a ghost to be effective. I use a meer to judge how a blend should taste without any interference from prior smokes and find a well cleaned briar compares well.
I've an old pipe from 1899. I wonder if that pipe has actual ghosts. How many people who once smoked that pipe have joined the choir invisible?
On a tangent if you like Exotic Passion you may also like Blossom Temptation which is another Rattray blend.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,422
49
Some fellows here suggested using latakia as a deghostifier ... I ask myself, as a latakia lover, could I stand smoking 4-5 bowls of tainted latakia even if the method worked ? (I say if, because I have never tried it, just assuming). In my experience salt and alcohol is the number one ghost buster, sometimes it may take more than one bath - as in clean, dry, try, and salt/alcohol again as needed. Don't forget the mortise, as much guu is stored there too, so just pouring salt and alcohol in the bowl may not be enough. Most ghosts can be chased away by this means, maybe except lakelands. My little experience with lakelands is that they carry zounds of ghosting material.