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Slow Smoke Meaning

(78 posts)
  • Started 11 months ago by ignaciojn
  • Latest reply from pianopuffer
  1. ignaciojn

    ignaciojn

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    One of the most frequent advices is to smoke slow.

    It's not clear to me if by slow they refer to the frequency between sips, or the intensity of the draw.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ignacio
    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Both. I get the best out of my tobacco when it's been dried to almost bone dry, then slowly sipped and enjoyed. I keep the tobacco simmering at the edge of going out, sipping just often enough to keep the tobacco simmering, and I let the smoke out through my schnoz to pick up the flavor nuances.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. ignaciojn

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    I can do the low intensity just fine. The tobacco is dry, and I believe my packing is correct.
    But if I take too long between sips, it will invariable go out.
    I still enjoy the smoke though.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. skaukatt

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    Are you tamping diligently? If not, the tobacco will have more of a likelihood of going out and will need relights. If you tamp diligently, this will happen less frequently.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  5. ignaciojn

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    Even the lightest of tamps usually makes the pipe go out.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  6. olkofri

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    I have the same problem.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 10 months ago #
  7. upnorth1

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    If you tamp as you puff instead of between puffs you should find that it keeps it lit. Tamping without puffing is akin to snuffing out, while tamping while puffing is kind of a venturi effect. Tamp lightly as you do this. That's how it seems to me.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  8. pepesdad1

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    ^^^^^This.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  9. irishearl

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    Wine I sip. Tobacco I puff, though not maniacally. In my 40+ years of smoking a pipe, have never gotten into the go slow and sip approach. I like to see the results of my effort literally. Smoke rising like a thunderhead out of my bowl. That probably explains why I could never understand how folks can claim to get an hour's smoke out of a bowl of any size. Even with my largest bowled pipe, I wouldn't be able to get more than 20-25 minutes of smoking out of it.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  10. mso489

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    After you tamp, you can sometimes boost the ember just slightly, just enough, by partly covering the bowl with two fingers. I think this raises the heat, and maybe increases the fuel-to-oxygen ratio, or something like that. One finger either side of the bowl, leaving a nice wedge of "flue" to draw in air.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  11. ignaciojn

    ignaciojn

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    @irishearl

    That sounds great. Sipping takes effort (to me), while puffing feels more natural.
    But don't you get moisture and a hot smoke that way?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  12. chasingembers

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    But if I take too long between sips, it will invariable go out.

    Sounds like the tobacco is packed too loosely. I made this video a while back about the breath smoking technique and a couple of times in the video I stop sipping the pipe for a minute or more, and it remains lit. The pipe in the video can almost always last me nearly two hours.

    https://youtu.be/Jw8R7mxECvY

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 10 months ago #
  13. irishearl

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    Ignaciojn, I don't puff so hard as to heat up my pipes much. I also don't tend to smoke tobaccos with a lot of moisture content.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  14. ignaciojn

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    @Chasing Embers
    I've never even been close to that. A video of you packing the pipe would be most appreciated.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  15. chasingembers

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    At work now, but can certainly do that when I get home.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  16. ignaciojn

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    @irishearl
    I smoke mostly good quality english blends.
    With my cobs I don't have a problem, but the briars almost everytime will get wet.

    @Chasing Embers
    Thanks! Looking forward to it.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  17. chasingembers

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    Very welcome. I'll shoot it to you in a PM, and let me know how it works out for you.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  18. thomasw

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    Wine I sip. Tobacco I puff, though not maniacally. In my 40+ years of smoking a pipe, have never gotten into the go slow and sip approach. I like to see the results of my effort literally. Smoke rising like a thunderhead out of my bowl. That probably explains why I could never understand how folks can claim to get an hour's smoke out of a bowl of any size. Even with my largest bowled pipe, I wouldn't be able to get more than 20-25 minutes of smoking out of it.

    This sounds like a technique to produce both a hot and wet smoke! It would for me even with a dry burley like Semois. Consider also that the slower smoke renders more flavours and more Vitamin N absorption. But perhaps you don't want those? I must say after 40 yrs of that technique you must have a tungsten tongue

    After some time he felt for his pipe. It was not broken, and that was something. Then he felt for his pouch, and there was some tobacco in it, and that was something more. Then he felt for matches and he could not find any at all, and that shattered his hopes completely.

    The Hobbit
    Posted 10 months ago #
  19. irishearl

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    Thomasw, my approach doesn't heat up pipe or tongue. Nor does it get particularly wet, though that can vary from pipe to pipe. That's what they make pipe cleaners for, though. As to whether it causes me to experience less than full flavor, couldn't say for sure. Only that what I do taste is sufficiently good for me. I think I may be a bit of a pipe heretic as it seems that I smoke in ways that occasionally run counter to common dictates without ill effect.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  20. chasingembers

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    I think I may be a bit of a pipe heretic as it seems that I smoke in ways that occasionally run counter to common dictates without ill effect.

    Not all, you've just found what works for you.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  21. olkofri

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    Very welcome. I'll shoot it to you in a PM, and let me know how it works out for you.

    Oh, c'mon Cap'n, others like me could benefit from your wisdom. Packing is a hit or miss for me.

    Been trying the swirl method but apparently I'm still packing too loose. I was relighting like a firefly last nite.

    @ irishearl: my hat's off to you: if I did that my tongue would fall off and out from the burns.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  22. workman

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    I could never get any of my pipes to last less than 45 minutes. The moisture kills both the flavour and my mouth.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 10 months ago #
  23. thomasw

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    Not all, you've just found what works for you.

    Exactly, be sure I am happy for you if you are finding your technique enjoyable, as that is what the aim is. But your 'freight-train' method isn't the old school, slow-smoking manner in which my pipe smoking dad and opa taught me to breathe slowly and savour the flavour, that's all. But pipe smoking is indeed not an activity where everyone enjoys doing things the exact same way!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  24. perdurabo

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    First, forget trying to smoke without relights. My experience with tamping: Lightly tamp when you first light the pipe. Lightly tamp in the middle of the bowl, Little bit stronger tamp at the bottom. Now, when you have to relight, only tamp once and let the tobacco burn down. I've heard to tamp before you relight the pipe, this is probably the sure shot advice. I use this technique from time to time. With experience you'll know when to tamp when the pipe is drawing more air because of so much ash on top of the tobacco from lack of tamping.. I have this issue with bent pipes, because I sling the pipe to clear the gurgle, this displaces the tobacco and ash, which is something like Chasing Embers descibes with a loose pack.

    Also dry tobacco smokes better, taste better and packs better IMHO.

    Smoking slow is simply just sipping like sipping on a straw. Just getting a little bit of smoke.

    I've only smoked a pipe all the way to the bottom with one light once. I've tried and tried but I always at least have one relight. I'm very proud of that once upon a time. Thanks Cosmic. Something he said on a thread inspired me one day. I chalk it up to him. He was there sitting on my shoulder. I wish he'd come back around for a visit.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 10 months ago #
  25. workman

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    What's the point in having expensive life-time guaranteed lighters if not to relight a lot?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  26. artificialme

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    Slower pace and use breathing method. That's what I do. And remember don't get your pipe to hot. It taste better when not too hot

    Adhie was here
    Posted 10 months ago #
  27. chasingembers

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    What's the point in having expensive life-time guaranteed lighters if not to relight a lot?

    Now there's one I'll never figure out.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  28. olkofri

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    Agree on the moisture. I tried (finally got to try) some Lane BCA last nite: that thing is so goopy that ~15-20 min on a coffee filter wasn't enough to dry it; also, first toby that stains my hand brown and sticky when swirling it into the pipe. I was disliking it already even before I fired it. I think my constant relighting was due to the moisture more than poor packing, but I won't say my packing was superb. The dottle left quite a bit of moisture at the bottom of the bowl.

    One thing I did like: first blend that doesn't bite me like a snapping turtle. Practically biteless, even though I was drawing faster and stronger than usual, trying to keep it lit. My tongue does feel a little spiked, as if I had eaten too much pepper, but that might be the remnants of the HH Vintage Syrian I had last Monday. Guess I have to dry BCA for about an hour next time.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  29. jpmcwjr

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    I think my constant relighting was due to the moisture more than poor packing, but I won't say my packing was superb. The dottle left quite a bit of moisture at the bottom of the bowl.

    Right, but cut yourself some slack as aromatics take forever to dry out, if they ever do.

    If your tobacco is dry enough going in, you don't need "technique" at all (plugs and flakes excepted).

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 10 months ago #
  30. hoosierpipeguy

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    Be interesting to know if those that smoke one bowl or less per day smoke the slowest and stop while those that smoke 2 bowls or more per day of more aggressively and deeper. I smoke 4 to 6 bowls per day. While I don't puff like a freight train, I'm definitely not a sipper. Three is no right or wrong though, if you're happy with the satisfaction level you're getting from your pipe smoking, that's what it's about. If you're not, then there's plenty of expert advice here. I've certainly increased my satisfaction level from many things I've learned here.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  31. chasingembers

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    On work days, it's one pipe. I'll light it when I get in the car, and smoke during the 20 minute drive. Then relight on each break 10 min/30 min/10 min, then smoke on the 20 minute drive home and finish the pipe once I'm home. On off days, I generally smoke 1-2 bowls.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    64alex

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    One thing can help with tamping is using a tamper with holes on it so when you tamp lightly with it while puffing air can still get in the bowl making easier to keep it lighted. I found it pretty useful.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  33. chasingembers

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    Or use a smaller diameter tamper.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    jonas

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    I let the tobacco dictate my cadence. If I’m being honest I usually push it to it’s or my limit. As a cigar smoker I smoke for flavor but also enjoy a healthy amount of smoke. So depending on the tobacco I’ll smoke it to just below the point where it starts to get too hot for my pipe or my tongue.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  35. cosmicfolklore

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    There is no right or wrong. But, if you are smoking for affect, then puffing clouds of smoke are probably what you are looking for, and that is not to be criticized, perfectly ok.

    But, if you want the most flavor and the most absorption of nicotine, then smoking slow is the better way. Smoking slowly, rolling the smoke around my tongue, playing with it in my mouth, frolicking even, relishing every nuance of flavor is what I enjoy the most. Just puffing smoke in and out isn't giving me anything except a nervous habit... for me. You may have your own reasons.

    But, I have noticed that when I smoke slowly, my pipes all seem to cake more evenly and faster, which means I have to clean more often, but it could be a sign that my pipes like being smoked this way. I intake more nicotine, making me more relaxed and languid in my seat.

    I have rarely ever had a whole bowl last less than 45 minutes also. And, I am a ribbon cut fan. I would feel sort of cheated if a smoke went any faster. Quick is just not a term I associate with pipe smoking.

    By the way, I tamp early when lighting my pipe, and maybe one more time near the bottom, but I don't make tamping a big part of keeping the bowl lit, unless I just packed to loosely. It's interesting how different people use the tamp differently. It's interesting that some would tamp to keep a bowl lit. Pipes are just interesting altogether.

    Michael
    Posted 10 months ago #
  36. bluegrassbrian

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    I skimmed through most of the replies, so apologies if I'm rehashing an already mentioned point.
    If the tobacco is on the drier side, you tamp lightly and frequently, and the pipe still extinguishes too often.. I may have some advice.

    I think the charring light is very important. It sets the tone for the rest of the smoke. When I watch someone new to the pipe trying it out I like to watch their technique and their instincts. I've often observed weak charring lights!

    In my opinion, being thorough is the key. Make sure you hit the entire top of the tobacco.. It should create a sizeable cloud of smoke. Tamp it down snug, then hit it quickly with flame to get the bowl rolling.

    So that's my advice. Focus on a thorough charring light.

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 10 months ago #
  37. irishearl

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    Hoosierpipeguy, I smoke a pipe 3 times per day on work days and 4 times on non-work days. I never smoke just 1 bowl at a time, always 4 bowls. Given my method, 4 bowls takes me around 45-50 minutes.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  38. johnbarleycorn

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    Pipes are just interesting altogether.

    Couldn't agree more cosmic. That is the thought of the day IMO.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 10 months ago #
  39. pianopuffer

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    +1 on the charring light.

    I've found that whether I pack loose or tighter, ribbon or flake, moist or on the dry side, a proper charring light definitely gives me better results most of the time.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  40. ignaciojn

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    How do you get a thorough charring light without scorching the tobacco or making the pipe unbearable hot?

    Please note that I use a very simplified version of the Frank Method to pack my pipe (I could never get good smokes with other methods, or even without a method), so the tobacco doesn't rise with the charring.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  41. cosmicfolklore

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    How do you get a thorough charring light without scorching the tobacco or making the pipe unbearable hot?

    I am trying to figure out what aspect of the char would make the pipe unbearably hot. I am not understanding. Also, eh, you will scorch the tobacco, in fact, sometimes it even catches on fire.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  42. curl

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    venturi effect?
    It was my understanding there's be no math on this forum.

    I tend to pack my bowl lightly, so I have to tamp from time to time to keep the fire going.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  43. cosmicfolklore

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    To get the Venturi, you really need to cap the bowl with your thumb and let up as you puff, like rev'ing the engine on the heat.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    cam9

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    I have a question that fits this thread vs starting a new thread. If you let the pipe sit to the point where it gets cold, do you suggest doing a thorough relight (as if it was the charring light) or once the initial charring light took place, any relight should just be a "quick relight"?

    Thanks.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  45. chasingembers

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    A regular relight is enough.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  46. ignaciojn

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    Duane, still waiting for your video.
    Don't want to be a pill, but I think it'll be truly enlightening.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  47. bluegrassbrian

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    As an addendum, when smoking a smooth pipe i lick a finger (any digit will do) and wet the rim before the charring light.
    If the pipe gets hot from the charring light.. You've got other problems.

    The confusion surrounding the packing of the bowl is something that's bewildered
    me. I always felt like I just used common sense and natural feel and within a week of my first pipe I never had issue again.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  48. ignaciojn

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    I didn't use the right words.
    It's not the pipe getting hot, but if I do an "intense" charring light, the smoke coming in from the pipe into the mouth feels hot.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  49. chasingembers

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    Duane, still waiting for your video.
    Don't want to be a pill, but I think it'll be truly enlightening.

    Yeah, sorry about that. Got "voluntold" to pull a double last night. Putting together the visual aids now. Going to cover a couple of tobacco cuts for contrast.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  50. ignaciojn

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    You're the best.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  51. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Video made, and PM sent. Hope it makes sense.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  52. ignaciojn

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    You're the man Duane. I really appreciate you taking the time to make this. Honest.

    It's one thing to read about it, or watch some hipster doing it. But watching a real seasoned piper do it it's on another level.

    If you ever find yourself in Argentina, I'll buy you a beer.

    PS. I'm a fan of southern american culture, and I love your accent.
    PS2. Man, you have beautiful pipes.

    Here's the link to the video, for all of you to enjoy: https://youtu.be/OP5MjK8KS7U

    Posted 10 months ago #
  53. chasingembers

    Embers

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    If you ever find yourself in Argentina, I'll buy you a beer.

    I'll hold you to that.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  54. chasingembers

    Embers

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    PS. I'm a fan of southern american culture, and I love your accent.
    PS2. Man, you have beautiful pipes.

    Thanks on both counts. I'm about as country as they come, and I do love handmade pipes.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  55. mso489

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    I almost hate to say it, but once you have the technique and routine down, it is also a mindset. Ease and reflection.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  56. chasingembers

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    I almost hate to say it, but once you have the technique and routine down, it is also a mindset. Ease and reflection.

    The prep work becomes a meditation itself.

    Posted 10 months ago #
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    derekflint

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    Good video CE........

    Posted 10 months ago #
  58. deckpiper

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    ... I tried (finally got to try) some Lane BCA last nite...

    My favorite so far, but I'm just starting out.

    ...that thing is so goopy that ~15-20 min on a coffee filter wasn't enough to dry it; also, first toby that stains my hand brown and sticky when swirling it into the pipe. ...

    Haven't had this experience.

    One thing I did like: first blend that doesn't bite me like a snapping turtle. Practically biteless, even though I was drawing faster and stronger than usual, trying to keep it lit. ...

    Agreed. Very little bite. I tend to puff away at a rate that I assume is more vigorous than most, given the comments here. I will have to try to do it slower next time. But, I like a lot of thick smoke.

    ... Guess I have to dry BCA for about an hour next time.
    I never thought about drying my tobacco. I just keep it in the state that it is when I buy it. Should I be leaving the pouch open? (I'm a newbie.)

    Posted 10 months ago #
  59. olkofri

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    I wouldn't leave the pouch open, unless it's a super tiny amount. I only dry roughly the amount I'm gonna fill the pipe with. Once I've filled the pipe, the remnants of the dried toby go back to the mason jar where it 'rehydrates'.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  60. jpmcwjr

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    I dry 2-4 ounces at a time in the Mason jar, so I always have a handful of ready to smoke tobacco. I'd recommend using a hygrometer for so doing as it's not easy to have any degree of accuracy by just time or feel. (Too many variables)

    Posted 10 months ago #
  61. chasingembers

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    With 1-Q and BCA, I will microwave a bowl full on a paper towel for about 8 seconds, then load and enjoy.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  62. anthonyrosenthal74

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    If you tamp as you puff instead of between puffs you should find that it keeps it lit. Tamping without puffing is akin to snuffing out, while tamping while puffing is kind of a venturi effect. Tamp lightly as you do this. That's how it seems to me.
    I think that's the one thing most of us forget to mention when we bring up tamping. That's exactly how I tamp, and I'm sure most of us do the same. But we just say... "tamp." We don't say, "tamp while you draw." The only time I tamp without the draw is when I'm not really tamping at all, but rather using the tamp to smooth the tobacco or ash in the chamber when I'm getting an uneven burn. Good that you pointed that out. Well done.

    Duane, that was a good video. Well done.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 10 months ago #
  63. chasingembers

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    Thanks, it was a little quicker than I would have liked, and more could have been covered, but I was pleased with it.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  64. anthonyrosenthal74

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    . I'd recommend using a hygrometer for so doing as it's not easy to have any degree of accuracy by just time or feel. (Too many variables)
    Time and feel works great for me, as it does with most smokers I'm sure. You tend to get a "feel" of what certain blends should feel like when ready to burn.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  65. jpmcwjr

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    Sure, if you're smoking a limited number of blends, have fairly constant ambient humidity, and a superior feel to your fingertips. Otherwise it can be a crap shoot. And doing small batches by feel can waste time, and try one's patience.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  66. chasingembers

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    If I don't microwave, I just leave it out overnight. Getting too technical would make it less relaxing.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  67. anthonyrosenthal74

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    Sure, if you're smoking a limited number of blends, have fairly constant ambient humidity, and a superior feel to your fingertips. Otherwise it can be a crap shoot. And doing small batches by feel can waste time, and try one's patience.
    Nah... not really. I live in North Texas, humidity can be all over the place from one day to the next. I just set it on a paper towel, and let it dry until ready. If I want it to dry a bit quicker I'll put it on a mug warmer, checking every few minutes until I think it's right. I like to keep it simple. Works swell for me.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  68. buckaroo

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    Great vid Chasing. I'm sure it help quite a few.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  69. chasingembers

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    I hope it does. When starting out, it seems we all overthink packing, and smoking becomes frustrating.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  70. anthonyrosenthal74

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    When starting out, it seems we all overthink packing, and smoking becomes frustrating.
    Indeed. When it should be the opposite.

    Posted 10 months ago #

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