New pipe tastes bad
I received a Morino by Savinelli pipe for Christmas, and when I smoked it for the first time, it tasted awful. It looks like there might be some stain in the bowl. Should I try the salt/alcohol treatment on it, or is there something else I can do? I don't want to damage the pipe, so I suppose I could just keep smoking it until the substance burns off and a cake forms to cover it. Advice, suggestions or opinions are welcome.
That happened to me once -- I forget which pipe -- and I wiped out the bowl with an isopropyl alcohol-soaked paper towel a few times, and got dramatic improvement. When the carbon cake built up everything became OK. If you suspect the shank has stain in it a Q-tip or fluffy pipe cleaner will do the trick.
I'm surprised a Savinelli would have that problem. Their chocolate and honey flavored bowls suggest that they're sensitive to the problem.
I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
Was it new or estate?
Both Savinellis I have, I got new, had pretty oxidized stems. I'm sure they sat on the shelf at my B&M for years before they were purchased. They smelled just awful when I first got them. Just a thought.
I like to smoke pipes
It's a new pipe purchased from pipesandcigars.com. The stem looks fine. I have two other Savinellis; they are antique shell briars, and both were fine smokers from the get-go.
I see. Then I am stumped. Both mine that were oxidized I could barely tell - my 510 had small little orange patches that I later learned what they were! and my 121 looked perfect.
I've had that happen. As Cortez said, High alcohol (Everclear, 151 Bacardi, etc.) with some paper towels should remove it.
Similar issues can happen with estate pipes as well. Not so much excess stain, but some estate pipe vendors coat the interior of their estate pipe bowls with a charcoal/carbon coating. I bought a Charatan recently where the entire bowl and shank, as well as the tenon were coated with that crap -- it took me a while to remove it. The pipe was otherwise in fine shape, too -- I have no idea why anyone would do this; maybe they believe the pipe looks better
Everclear and bristle pipe cleaner . Clean vigorously , repeat a few times , then clean through the stem because the tast travels through the shaft and stem . Then run a couple dry pipe cleaners through to be sure everclear is all evaporated . Then get your favorite tobacco and smoke two full bowls . Get that bowl warm . Then pass another lightly moist ( with everclear ) cleaner through , then dry cleaner . You may have to repeat the process in 24hours . This has worked for me . Good luck . PS there should be no need for salt/everclear treatment for a new pipe .
"A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan."
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
@Rothnh , I hate those coated bowl's .
The Savinelli I bought new a while back had been in the case a while and the stem had oxidized, it also had that pre-carbed bowl as well. I cleaned the stem up and smoked it. I remember it havin' a "taste', but it went away after a couple of bowls.
Some new pipes will have an off taste until they are broken in and I seem to read this is a bigger issue with pre-carb bowls. I don't know if the Sav had a bare wood bowl or was pre-carbonized when you bought it. I know Petersons have issues of stain in the bowl because they are dipped in the stain.
Either way, do an alcohol/salt treatment on the bowl and scrub out the shank with a bristle cleaner or shank brush soaked in 151 or Everclear. Then smoke a few bowls in it back to back, with just a dry cleaner in between. I use Black House (since it's my favorite) or another Latakia blend. Some guys use aromatics.
After about 4 bowls, if the taste is still there, do it all again. If the taste is gone (YAY!) smoke some VA or VA/Per blends for a while to build a solid cake!
Proud Member of the Blackblood Society
OTCs, such as Prince Albert, Sir Walter Raleigh (regular) and Carter Hall also do a fine job efficiently building cake in a new pipe without leaving possibly unwanted flavors behind.
Thanks for the suggestions, folks. Being lazy, I think I will start with wiping the bowl down with alcohol, and give the stem a good cleaning. If that doesn't work, then I will escalate.
I was pretty excited about having an oil cured briar, but my first smoke was terrible due to stain in the bowl. I took some Q tips dipped them in 151 and swabbed out the bowl and mortise. It was pretty nasty to see what I was smoking, Q tips came out every color from black and purple to red and orange. Pipe's been smoking nice since.
An alternate is to remove the stain with Perry's Tot 114 proof gin. I use it because it leaves a fresh herbal taste. Avoid rubbing alcohol. It leaves a bad taste for a long time.
I actually had a similar experience with a Savinelli. The pipe just tasted "green," as if the briar hadn't been cured properly. Unfortunately, that one pipe never did taste good, no matter what I did. (And it actually put me off Savinellis entirely for about 20 years!)
So. . . try the solutions offered above. But if the pipe still doesn't work for you, there may be an issue at play that you won't be able to fix. (I will say that I think this is extremely rare; I've run into it just once in the 80+ pipes I've owned.)
As a follow up, I gave the pipe a good cleaning and it smokes and tastes much better. Thanks for the help.
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