What is rubbing out and how does it affect flavor?

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donkeykong

New member
Mar 21, 2017
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0
I'm sure there will be a hundred comments in jest from what i've seen with you jokers... but as a noob; I keep reading about "rubbing out" the tobacco and letting it sit for a bit on a piece of paper or whatnot..
Ive been smoking Lane 1Q and Plumcake and found letting it sit for a bit, or letting the tin/jar dry it out a bit helps keep my pipe dry, but short of sorting through and breaking up the big bits what's up with this think that everyone talks about?
Thanks

mark

 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,907
125
Rubbing out is when you take a flake (or larger piece of tobacco) and simply break it up into more manageable bits.

Some blends benefit from rubbing out, while others taste better when folded into the chamber.

"Better tasting" is completely subjective of course, so experimentation is a must.
If there's a flake tobacco you like try rubbing some out completely and letting it dry out over night. Then compare it's flavor and smoking properties to another bowls worth that isn't rubbed out and dried.

Therein your answer will lay.

 

dread

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
1,619
0
I don't even know how you wrote that title without falling out of your chair.
But yes, it is a method of preparing Flake tobacco. With flakes, you can fold and stuff, cube cut, or rubbed out. Each method changes the perceived flavor, I'm assuming because it changes how it burns. Just put the Flake between your palms and rub in a circular motion and it is rubbed out. Let it dry to your taste - some don't at all, others go as long as a day, and pack your pipe and smoke. Pay attention to the density of your packing - it it is too lose the tobacco will burn hot. Hope this helps some.
Here's some more info: http://pipesmagazine.com/python/pipe-smoking/flake-pipe-tobacco-preparation/

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
0
Rubbing out is the process by which you eliminate some of your former friends you thought you could trust until you caught them stealing from your tobacco cellar. You take them very far out for a one way trip in your trunk all duct-taped up because they rubbed you the wrong way. It's called a 'Rub Out.' But you didn't hear that from me. 8O

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,533
154
Cube cutting is also a way of getting more flavor out of flakes and coins. Its when you cut a flake horizontally, and break it into little squares.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
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Sunny Cornwall, UK.
With flakes I always rub them out (never did get the hang of fold and stuff) but it is the degree of rubbing out that makes the difference.
When I started I would rub my flakes (which are usually quite thick being from either Samuel Gawith or Gawith and Hoggarth) really finely thinking this was the way to go. I have since learned that minimal rubbing out is my personal preference. I tend to get much more flavour and a slower burning smoke with roughly rubbed out tobacco.
Welcome to the forum by the way :puffy:
Regards,
Jay.

 

jabo

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2016
322
0
With flakes/coins I use a method I call was and stuff where I take a piece of flake, wad it in a ball and stuff it in. Repeat untill bowl is full. Works for me ! Also like to cube cut, especially on a broken flake.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
I use a weed grinder I bought in a head shop to reduce my flakes. It turns them into a very consistent ribbon cut.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,401
173
Chicago, IL
Hello, Donkey! And a belated welcome to the forums. :clap:

Building on the link that member Dread provided, I'd like to direct you to an old series of articles by Bob Tate in his blog: With Pipe & Pen. Scroll down through the introductory paragraphs and browse older articles to find lots of tips and techniques for many aspects of the hobby.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,923
95
I take the term literally and pretty well massage the flake (coin, sliced plug, etc.) until it reaches the size that seems to work for that blend. I was recently reminded this is important when I just packed some krumble cake without really reducing it at all, thinking it would work like fold and stuff that some recommend, though it doesn't work for me. Next time I'll reduce the krumble cake a little more and let it dry at least an hour. When I smoked the loose pieces in an earlier bowl, it was delicious. This way it was good, but not nearly as expansive and didn't stay lit as well.

 

donkeykong

New member
Mar 21, 2017
19
0
Wow! Thanks for the responses. I didn't realize that rubbing out applied to plug tobacco (or rolls or strips etc) the links were great, and I have a few more hours of reading!!
And after rereading the title, taken out of context it sounds really bad lol... I hadn't stopped to consider that prior to posting :lol:
mark

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,961
9
"Don't do it near your pipe and it won't affect the flavor."
I thought rubbing your pipe was the whole point?
Not that a bit of polish affects flavor, regular maintenance just makes you feel better about yourself.

 

snoopy311

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
349
0
Welcome to the forum @donkeykong. I suggest searching YouTube for some video insight.

 

bonanzadriver

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2016
477
0
So, quick question for the rubbin pros here.
I recently received my first tin of DNR. Haven't popped it open yet as I was unsure as to how I wanted to proceed.
I've seen where some folks fold the coins over a couple of times and stuff em in the bowl. Others rub em out.
Is there any noticeable difference in the either the flavor or difficulty in lighting/smoking with one vs the other?
dino

 

dread

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
1,619
0
I prefer to fold and stuff coins. I smoke a lot of escudo, very similar to DNR, and I find that is as easy as rubbing out for lighting and staying lit.

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
0
huntertrw - thanks for that one, been a long time since I've seen that clip and it was really enjoyed! :mrgreen:
Rubbing out is one of several possible processes, all of which merely serve to break apart the tobacco enough to expose surface area to allow oxygen to gain access to the plant fibers allowing them to burn.
Whatever the original form, plug, coin, flake etc., my own personal feeling is that the closer I can keep the stuff to its original form, the more I enjoy the flavor, but it can be hard to learn to fold and stuff it in a way to get an easy burn. Proper drying is key.

 

thefishguy

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2017
362
1
I love my herb grinder for reducing flake into piles of ribbon cut. It's less work than doing it by hand and is great for mixing blends.