I haven't been smoking pipes for too long, off and on for a few years, so I'm a little 'unlearned' in some areas. What used to be my main pipe is a hand me down from an Uncle, pretty cheap one I think, I can't even find a brand name though I think it may possibly be a Dr. Grabow. Anyway, the last several times I had used it I noticed an extremely bitter taste as I'd smoke it. It seems like it's coming from the stem, it almost seems acidic. I don't remember it being so bad. Is this likely a vulcanite stem? It has discoloured as well, greyish green almost. My other two pipes, a corn cob (plastic stem obviously) and a Brigham Algonquin #247, which seems to have a different stem material than this other one. My brigham is pretty new and I haven't dealt with anything like this. I have another pipe coming in the mail which has a vulcanite stem, so I suppose I'll find out if its the same material when it comes.
I have seen some adds on this site about stem polish. Is that the answer? Any old tricks to cure this?