The Size of a Flake

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bcharles123

Member
Mar 18, 2014
236
0
Generally I like to cube cut my flakes, dry the cubes as needed, and gravity feed with a little packing pressure at the top. As described, this is typically about 75-80% of one flake. I don't mind the bit leftover but I'm wondering if flakes are designed to be a standard?
In other words, does the blender cut the flake to be one standard portion? Is there a one flake to one bowl rule of thumb?

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
2
In other words, does the blender cut the flake to be one standard portion? Is there a one flake to one bowl rule of thumb?
Nope ... depends on the size of pipe, how you prep the flake and how long you want to smoke.
I find that one and a half flakes is my usual amount with just a little left over.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,770
2,257
Those Watch City Slices are thick too, but man are they great! As to the OP, flakes are just an easier format to store, and they leave it up to the consumer to fold, cut, and stuff what they need. Love flakes here, very versatile for however I decide to smoke.

 

johnbarleycorn

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,081
7
I'm relatively new to this game but predominately smoke flakes and I too only get about 75% of a flake in most of my pipes. The only exception is my poker. But I just use the left overs for kindling.

 

texmexpipe

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2014
972
3
I like to fold and stuff a whole flake into the bowl. Most of the time I get all of one and sometimes in my larger bowls I get two.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
I have found huge variations in flake size. For example Condor Long Cut & Erinmore Flake are perfect for hand rubbing out whereas Gawith's 1792, Dark Rum Flake, Bob's Chocolate Flake is much chunkier and needs a quick blast in my coffee grinder after hand rubbing to make it smokeable.
Regards,
Jay.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,494
23
As a kid I was usually or at least often the one who got up in the a.m. and either started or rekindled the furnace fire we used to heat our two story NH home.

You learn the dynamics of fire in relation to the size, shape, and species of wood you might be using when you do this over a period of time and use a variety of woods.

The big pieces, once 'caught' will burn and burn.

The smaller ones, of course, thinner, tend to burn much faster.

It is said that slow smoking your tobacco so as to not over heat it, yields the most flavor.

Early on in my current pipe foray, I watched a video of one of the Danish blenders discussing the way his flakes were intended to be smoked.

He explained that smoking a flake, essentially intact, was preferred.

Sure, as long as you burn it, it will deliver its energy, but burning your flake to its best advantage might start with a gentle fold, rub and load.

The term 'stuff' is most often used, but I think that may cause some to take it literally, and you don't want a bowl 'stuffed' with flake. (flakes are compressed and expand with heat)

You don't puff a flake when you smoke it intact, you sip it slowly enough to keep it burning and enough to get a draw you can taste and feel. Riding a bicycle analogy here.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
1
Moody, AL
So the lesson here is that it's not the size of the flake that's important, but how you cut it up into pieces that matters? That's sick.

 

jvnshr

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2015
3,974
25
Baku, Azerbaijan
Newbroom +1
I cannot agree with you more, sir.
As a fan of samovar (container used to heat and boil water) tea I am the one burning the samovar all the time and keeping it lit among my family and friends. Oh man, I can do that all the time. The most important thing is keeping the air coming all the time. Without air you are just going to be left with lots of smoke.
While preparing the flakes I try not to damage the flake. Fold and stuff method doesn't work out for me, rubbing a flake out breaks the tobacco a lot. Most of the time I fold it, then twist it a little and put it into the bowl. After the first light I wait a little for the tobacco to expand. I don't use the first light as charring light but an expansion light. Then comes charring light and then real light. I am a very slow smoker so I enjoy flakes all the time. Hope that helps.

 

jvnshr

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2015
3,974
25
Baku, Azerbaijan
By the way, this is how you make a samovar tea. I don't know if you guys have it in the States.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0miY5E4b24

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,494
23
jvnshr, quite an interesting look at Russian culture as it relates to tea.
I'm embarrassed to reveal that I brew my tea in the same Proctor Silex Coffee Maker as I do my morning java.

I make about 3 pots a day right to the brim. I use all sorts of tea 'bags'. I'm finding that mint flavors seem to go well with the pipe.

 

edgreen

Preferred Member
Aug 28, 2013
3,581
0
For some flakes I use fold, fold/twist, stuff and for the Samuel Gawiths I have to cube cut because of the thickness and moisture content. Coins always get rubbed out.

 

jvnshr

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2015
3,974
25
Baku, Azerbaijan
@newbroom, I don't prepare my tea like that all the time. Think about it like a bbq parties you have over there. From time to time we gather with friends and prepare a samovar tea for us after a nice lunch or dinner. In order to boil water in that thing you will need at least 30-40 minutes and lots of wood.

 

bcharles123

Member
Mar 18, 2014
236
0
I like the idea that the flake is designed to be a portion, but clearly that is not always the case. I have mostly gotten frustrated with folding but have enjoyed cube cutting. This seems to be a good intermediate step in preserving the characteristics of the flake but makes lighting and drying more predictable.

 
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