Different Packing for Different Tobaccos
I was reading the Tobacco Packing Methods article and videos, and a question popped in my head. Does the type of packing matter to the type of tobacco you are smoking? For instance, would you use the airpocket method for a Va/Per? And would you use another method for burleys? I thought this could be a good thread for beginners (or returning pipers).
Hmmm...I usually wont comment on these threads because I've never gotten into the whole 3 step air pocket and whatever else there is. Not saying any of its wrong mind you. But I've always just put some in, then a little more and continued til the bowl was just shy of full, tamping more at the top.
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I usually put three pinches of tobacco in my bowl. It depends a lot on how the tobacco is cut. Wider ribbon tobaccos I pack less tight. Narrow ribbon tobaccos I pack tighter. Packing depends on the tobacco and the pipes bowl size.
I'm sure that for many, it depends on the tobacco, the pipe, the puffer, etc., but for me the packing is all prety much the same. Like the others who posted in your thread here, I simply put pinches in the bowl, tampering lightly after each pinch, until the pipe is full and the tobacco is a bit "springy" at the top. The draw should feel like sipping soda through a straw; if the draw feels like you're sipping a milkshake, the pipe is packed too tightly, so it's best to start over.
Oh, and many tobacco blends are too "wet" to smoke right away and these need to be dried and depending on the blend, this drying time can take from 10-15 minutes to as long as several hours. The "pinch test" determines if and when the tobacco is ready -- just take out a bowlful on a plate or sheet of paper, take a pinch between thumb and forefinger, lift it a few inches and drop it back on the plate/paper -- if it clumps together, it's too wet -- if it falls in pieces/ribbons, it's ready to pack.
I have found that the packing method is different for a straight sided chamber versus a tapered to the bottom chamber. It takes some experimentation. Part of the fun I guess.
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