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Challenging Traditional Thoughts on Creating Cake

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  1. piperl12

    piperl12

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    I have been working with a neighbour who I introduced pipe smoking too about six months ago. He is in the midst of breaking in a pipe and is really trying to develop cake in his Peterson. The traditional thought is that you should always fill your pipe all the way to the top and smoke the whole thing to develop cake evenly in the bowl. So when he was asking me about this I had to sit and light a bowl and give it some thought. Here is what I came up with and it challenges tradition thinking. When I fill my pipe I enjoy the first half of the bowl the most. Most times I dump the bowl before it smokes all the way to the bottom. Honestly the bottom of all but the best tobacco's are wet and nasty. Soo I believe that you are actually doing your pipe a service by half filling the bowl half of the time during the break in process. That way you can actually smoke the bottom of the bowl and not just establish cake around the top third. Feel free to weight in if you guys think my thinking is flawed. So far it has worked for me but that could be more about my smoking style than this making scientific sense. Would love to hear everyone elses take on this.

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Piper, many puffers feel as you do. In fact, I broke in pipes similarly for years -- mine was 1/3 for a while, 2/3 for a while, full bowl for a while -- but basically the same as you and along the same reasoning.

    Some time ago, I decided to just fill 'er up and smoke the damn thing -- and it's worked fine for me.

    I don't get the problem with the last half/dottle much anymore anyway -- I don't know if it's the tobacco, the way I dry it, how I smoke now, or a combination of some or all of these.

    But like so many things in this hobby, there are lots of different ways to do things -- we try this and do that, then end up with what works best for us.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. cleidophoros

    cleidophoros

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    You are not challenging anything; traditional way to break in a pipe is to smoke either half full bowls first or 1/3 full for a number of bowls followed by 2/3 for some more and finally smoking full bowls.

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    The cake in the bowl of your pipe is formed of many layers of carbon, and these carbon layers come from the tobacco smoke itself, not contact with the tobacco, or some magical cake fairies that work diligently to coat your pipe while you slumber peacefully, dreaming of lakes of Irish Whiskey. If smoke never or rarely makes contact with parts of the bowl surface, then they cake will build very slowly, or not at all. And the best way to get smoke in contact with the bowl surface is to ensure the tobacco burns completely when smoking, so smoke coats the bottom of the bowl and the heel as well as the upper parts.

    You can live without cake in the heel, but the pipe will smoke wetter and need longer in between smokes, and even the flavor can be affected.

    Also, if your tobacco is as dry as it should be, it will burn all the way down without a great deal of trouble. Only when your tobacco is too wet will it make the bottom of the bowl soggy and nasty.

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    some magical cake fairies that work diligently to coat your pipe while you slumber peacefully, dreaming of lakes of Irish Whiskey.

    WHAT? The pipe fairies don't exist?

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    WHAT? The pipe fairies don't exist?

    Yeah, I know, I cried for two days when I found out myself. Well, at least I still have Santa.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. eibhir

    eibhir

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    Don't forget the Easter Bunny!
    I usually only smoke 1/2 bowls and mine seem fine.

    A smile will always keep them guessing.
    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. cortezattic

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    I read, and tend to believe, that the ritual of gradually increasing the amount of tobacco during the break-in
    was to ensure that the moisture and resins in relatively "green" wood were driven off gradually.

    This may have been necessary when pipe smoking was extremely popular and stummels were pumped out
    by the millions in assembly line fashion; but for some time now the pipe you buy is not likely to have moisture issues.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. dervis

    dervis

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    Put tobacco in the big hole and set on fire. Repeat as often as possible. If you smoke it cake will come

    "You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. "

    John Wayne
    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. rhogg

    rhogg

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    I just smoke my pipes..... new or used. I don't seem to have an issue building a cake. I do smoke half bowls on pipes have an issue smoking to the heel. It seems to help in such cases, but I often wonder if it is just a learning curve for the pipe itself. They all have their nuanced smoking methods.... some more than others.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. juvat270

    juvat270

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    I have a feeling I probably shouldn't say this but here it goes: I don't give a rat's ass about cake. I buy pipes. I smoke them. If cake forms, swell. If not, oh well.

    Posted 6 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I have a feeling I probably shouldn't say this but here it goes: I don't give a rat's ass about cake. I buy pipes. I smoke them. If cake forms, swell. If not, oh well.

    Well, you're largely right, it's not something you should need to worry about, if you're smoking your pipe it'll build a cake whether you notice or care. It isn't unless you're not actually smoking all the tobacco in your pipe fairly regularly that it can be a problem, and even then it won't make any huge difference, not having a decent cake buildup in the heel, it'll just smoke a little wetter and may (or may not) affect the flavor slightly, but even that might not last too long, as the heel will still coat over with tars and sugars from the tobacco eventually, though this really isn't ideal either.

    Posted 6 years ago #

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