Who Builds Cake In Their Pipes?

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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,674
729
United States
The question of cake on another thread has inspired me to find out what the percentage of cake builders is to guys who wipe their bowls after every smoke not allowing a cake to build. Almost every guy I learned from in the beginning of my pipe smoking told me a nice hard cake about a dime's thickness will protect your pipe, make it taste better and make for a cooler smoke. I have always built a cake in my pipe and would never think of not doing so. For me cake is easy to take care of when it gets to be too much. A pipe knife or even sometimes a reamer are the two things I use.
It wasn't till I came here that I heard of people who wiped their bowls clean and had no cake in their pipes.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,412
3
I always wipe the bowl with a paper towel after a smoke, but cake still builds anyway. Just a hell of a lot slower. (I am a cake minimalist, so this works out well for me.)

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,731
40
Robinson, TX.
What aldecaker said. Twisting a paper towel down into the bowl after every smoke will absorb any moisture and help the pipe stay dry with no gooey build-up in the bottom. And while a cake will still form, it will be much tighter and develop much more slowly. I do like just a little cake (not as thick as a dime though). Excess cake takes away from the flavor of the tobacco and I've seen enough cracked bowls from super caked up pipes to know that it is true that the expansion and contraction of the cake can indeed be a stronger force of nature than even briar.

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,316
17
Akron area of Ohio
I like a little cake in the bowl, provided it is hard and not spotty. In my experience, what is odd is that some pipes seem to build cake faster than others do. I have an older Charatan Special Prince I really have to keep an eye on. The pipe seems to build cake almost overnight. I smoke mostly Va/Oriental and Virginia or VaPers so, aside from brand names, the blends are pretty similar. I tend to have god luck forming that thin, solid cake by using a doubled over pipe cleaner every 2nd or 3rd smoke. Not too much reaming, except with that Charatan with this method. Not the thickness of a dime but it is enough. Foe me, a cake on the bottom of the bowl is the key to giving a pipe the best chance to be a good smoker.
Mike S.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,674
729
United States
When I smoke a bowl, I let it sit over night to let the cake harden. The next day I will double over a soft pipe cleaner and gently wipe out the bowl of ash and any loose tobacco. A dime is just a very loose measurment as who the hell can put a dime in the pipe and compare the thickness.
I also have pipes that seem to build cake faster. I have a Rad Dublin that I have trimmed the cake on more times than any of my pipes. I wonder if maybe a conical bowl buiids it faster. Someone may want to do some research on this subject.

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
0
Chicago
Add me to aldecaker and pipestud. When i find cake thicker than a dime I ream it down to about half that thick.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,969
995
Monterey Peninsula
I am pretty sure the cake will be as hard as it needs to be as soon as the pipe cools. When I am home I tend to rinse the bowl with hot water, then dry with paper towel in chamber, pipe cleaner the usual. My cake is thin but effective enough for my druthers.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,501
698
30
WI
I like a fairly decent cake in my pipes. As Long As it's even to the bottom.

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,677
1
I build cake. When it gets to about the thickness of a quarter, I ream it down close to wood and start over again. I don't wipe the inside of the bowl with anything. When I ream they all get some everclear.

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,873
210
I wipe the bowl out after every smoke with a paper towel. After about 5-7 smokes I use Q-Tips and Golden Grain, then remove any cake build up that the paper towel missed.

 

rcstan

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2012
1,467
0
Sunset Beach NC
I keep a little self-occuring cake that gets trimmed regularly to the thicknes of a sheet of paper, or about as thin as the precarb layer in let's say, a Peterson. I never go back to bare wood because I will have to basically re-break that pipe in.

As for rinsing bowls, every now and then when restoring a pipe that has petrified thick cake, some water in the bowl helps break the stuff out easier and quicker. I don't see how it would hurt one's pipe, other than the stain, as long as you don't reload and smoke right after you took it out of the sink!!!!

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
I'm not that big on cake in my pipe. I give the pipe a rub out with a folded pipe cleaner after each smoke. The cake still forms but it takes a while. Can't say I remember how thick a dime is but mine gets cleaned out before it gets thicker than a 5 pence piece.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,042
298
I absolutely keep a cake in my bowls. It noticeably smokes much better when I do.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,674
729
United States
Question for the non cake guys. Have any of you tried building a thicker cake to see how your pipes smoked? Also did someone suggest this method to you or did you just come by it yourselves?

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,412
3
I have, in the past, kept a lot more cake in my pipes. The reason I got away from it is that the cake seems to hold all the nastiness that I spend so much effort cleaning out of the rest of the pipe. Ghosting lives in cake, moisture lingers in cake, and cake holds that ashy "not-so-fresh" ( :wink:) flavor. After a thin "break-in" layer, the caking process is complete for me.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
Question for the non cake guys. Have any of you tried building a thicker cake to see how your pipes smoked? Also did someone suggest this method to you or did you just come by it yourselves?
I have and I no longer do for the same reasons aldecaker and pipestud mention above me. I'm not saying my way is the right way but it is the way I have found works best for me.

 

aristokles

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2011
402
0
A dime's worth is about right for me, perhaps a wee bit less if I can maintain that little. Any greater depth and it seems to become counter-productive, which has been well noted above.

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
0
Chicago
I discovered it by accident maybe 15 years ago. I have a heavily caked pipe, one I had let go a bit too far. When I reamed it, I thought I had over reamed it, maybe half a mil.
Then I smoked it and the taste was so much better I was surprised. I went through all my pipes and did the same. They all tasted better to me.
So now I do the paper towel thing and ream when it hits a dime.