Smokong - all the way down?

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papajoe

Member
Sep 9, 2014
181
0
What is your experience, is it better to smoke all the way down until there is no more tobacco or stop a bit above the bottom?

I ask this because sometimes I feel a taste of ash in my mouth, when I get to the bottom of the bowl. Or am I doing something wrong?

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,345
16
I try to smoke down to the point that there is only fine ash left, with perhaps a tiny bit of dottle. For various reasons I am not always successful.

 

tarak

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,527
0
South Dakota
I prefer to smoke to the bottom, however, its rare. I tend to prefer large bowl Dublins...like Savinelli's KS shapes. However, a bowl full of flake in that....it smokes forever!
I find that before I hit the bottom I'm cold, tired, up past my bed time, or getting tongue bite from hurrying. So it seems more often than not I'm dumping out some left over.
I will say its more common for me to do so when smoking ribbon or shag cut vs. flake. I'm going to guess that's common.

 

papajoe

Member
Sep 9, 2014
181
0
Well that was what I thought too. So why do I sometime get a mouthfull of ash when Im smoking the bottom?

 

tinkertank

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2014
56
0
I almost never smoke all the way down. I get to the point where it's all char and usually stop, just because I don't like the taste as much, it just gets heavy and ashy at the end. Some tobaccos are better than others getting down there, but really I stop when I feel like I'm not enjoying it anymore, whether or not it's finished. Hell, it's my experience..

 

apatim

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2014
497
0
Jacksonville, FL
papajoe, it's curious that you are getting a mouthful of ash. I don't recall ever having that happen and can't imagine what might cause it.

 

tarak

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,527
0
South Dakota
+1 tinkertank.
papajoe....you must REALLY be smoking to the bottom! Are you getting to the point where you're lighting way down there, and drawing hard to get something? If you keep sucking on ash...you'll get it! Are you trying to smoke your tobacco into oblivion vs. dottle?

 

phil67

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2013
2,052
0
At times I'll smoke to the bottom, but it's not something that I consciously try to achieve. If it happens... it happens. More often than not it all depends on the type of tobacco. As for the times that I do smoke down to the bottom I've never experienced tasting any ash.

 

papajoe

Member
Sep 9, 2014
181
0
Hmmmm.... Well thanks to you all. I guess I'll just stop before i get to the bottom. Probably happens because I'm new to this.

Could it be because the tobacco is too lose at the bottom?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
I sometimes get ash. I'm a clencher, so sometimes I will still have my pipe in a clench for tens of minutes before I realize that it's finished, and then sometimes, I know that I'm finished when I get that inevitable mouthful of ash. But, I don't always make it to the bottom, usually just when I have it lodged in my teeth and forget about it.

 

hedgehog

Junior Member
Sep 25, 2013
62
0
Lately I've been trying a new rule: dump the bowl the minute something goes south. It can be an ashy taste (depends often on the shape of the bowl, and how well I've packed) or the smoke getting steamy and wetter. Some tobaccos, particularly latakia blends, fall off quite steeply from their noble beginnings. Rather than trying to stick it out to the literally bitter end, I usually end up knocking out some dottle with the ash. Personally I think there's a kind of machismo at play when people say they smoke every bowl until nothing but fairy dust and moonlight remain at the bottom.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,345
16
It's a pecuniary thing with me. I pay for the tobacco, I'm going to use it all when possible. Not a fan of throwing away money. I have no recollection of sucking ash in over fifty years of sucking on a pipe. My pipe smoking is not an end in and of itself. It is an adjunct to work, or in the evening an adjunct to a good read, a great Guinness or cognac with my feet up and my mind free of the problems of the day.
I feel a peculiar sense of accomplishment when I've managed to smoke one of my evening pipes down to ash. It's not that hard to do but, doing so makes me feel that I've gotten all the value I can from that bowl. The value not being exclusively monetary. Ash means that I've not only properly loaded the bowl with tobacco that is ready to smoke but, that I've properly tamped, lighted and regulated the intake. And, if I can do all of that almost unconsciously, then it means that I've also thoroughly enjoyed my reading material.
I've not experienced a "bitter end" when smoking a bowl unless I've smoked "wet." Rather I've experienced full flavor. I find taste gets a bit more intense as I near the end of the bowl. Sometimes a wee bit of dottle cannot be avoided. But a good tobacco should not get bitter as one finishes a bowl.

 

monk

New member
Sep 18, 2014
4
0
@papajoe
I've just joined this forum and, as in the case of so many things in life, one sees that pipe smokers vary widely in their preferences and protocols.
What I experience: I smoke to the bottom of the bowl and along the way I tamp VERY lightly so as to not form a tightly compressed mass toward the end of my smoke. (I will often lightly scrape off the surface ash instead of tamping) As a result, my tobacco usually completely burns leaving a dottle composed of nothing but ash - again, ash that is not tightly compressed. As a consequence, I will occasionally, at the end of my smoke, draw a bit of ash (few grains) into my mouth - a sure sign that I have bottomed out.
This event is not an issue for me and, I would suggest that, if you find that the presence of ash that you experience signifies that you have completely burned your tobacco, that's a good thing, i.e., you are not left with a dottle that contains incompletely burned (wasted) tobacco that you end up discarding.
Your experience also suggests to me that you are packing your pipe properly, i.e., perhaps following the age-old rule of packing in thirds: first third with very light pressure, second with medium pressure, third with firm pressure (so-called baby bear, mama bear, papa bear rule). Among other things, the initial, light-pressure packing allows for a more even (and thorough) burn.
Monk

 

papajoe

Member
Sep 9, 2014
181
0
@monk

I used to pack in thirds but i found that didnt work for me. So now I'm packind 2/3 of the bowl very very lightly, and the last 1/3 a bit(just a bit mind you) more firmly. And that is working for me. At least for now since I'm A newbe at it. Maybe with more experience i will again try to pack in third.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,888
67
I'm with the school that goes by the taste. I don't think it is a point of honor to smoke all the tobacco. I usually

dump a little unburned tobacco, dottle, and consider it has served its purpose as a bed and a sort of filter. When

occasionally I do smoke a bowl down to all white ash, that's very nice. I appreciate it. But I don't award myself

a merit badge or propose a toast or anything. When the taste goes sour or harsh or otherwise bad, that bowl

is over.

 

jsponge

New member
Sep 7, 2014
16
0
I am fairly new to this whole pipe-smoking venture as well. The best advice I got was early on... A guy told me to relax, don't worry about right or wrong, or anything. Just enjoy the smoke, and if it goes out... relight, and keep going. Now, as to the ash, I have experienced this. Personally, I think it's when you are relighting or still trying after the tobacco has gone out. I think it's coming back to 'trying too hard'. That's my 2-cents. =) Puff on, people!

 

wilson

Preferred Member
Apr 17, 2013
719
0
Smoking all the way to the bottom of the bowl is sometimes seen as a badge of honor, so to speak. However, a great many of us leave some dottle at the bottom despite our best efforts. You are not a failure if you don't smoke every bowl to nothing but ash.
If you find your tobacco tasting ashy, it is probably time to stop and dump what remains. The whole point is to enjoy, not endure.

 

papajoe

Member
Sep 9, 2014
181
0
Well thank you all. I must say I enjoy this site and forums very much. This is all very helpfull to a newbe.

 

bphilli75

Member
Apr 27, 2013
246
0
I almost always leave about a quarter of my bowl. Gets nasty at the bottom for me. That tobacco has filtered a lot of smoke and has captured a lot of the moisture. It gets sprinkled on my lawn off my patio as an offering. :wink:
Quick afterthought... Sometimes I will dump the ash and scrape the top of the bottom Dottle clean then let it sit for an hour or so to dry out. Some tobaccos accommodate this ok for me.