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The Size of a Flake

(27 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by bcharles123
  • Latest reply from mawnansmiff
  1. bcharles123

    bcharles123

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    Generally I like to cube cut my flakes, dry the cubes as needed, and gravity feed with a little packing pressure at the top. As described, this is typically about 75-80% of one flake. I don't mind the bit leftover but I'm wondering if flakes are designed to be a standard?

    In other words, does the blender cut the flake to be one standard portion? Is there a one flake to one bowl rule of thumb?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. cobguy

    Darin

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    In other words, does the blender cut the flake to be one standard portion? Is there a one flake to one bowl rule of thumb?

    Nope ... depends on the size of pipe, how you prep the flake and how long you want to smoke.

    I find that one and a half flakes is my usual amount with just a little left over.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. mcitinner1

    mcitinner1

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    These flakes of Watch City Slices are on a 10" dinner plate. Question answered?

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Those Watch City Slices are thick too, but man are they great! As to the OP, flakes are just an easier format to store, and they leave it up to the consumer to fold, cut, and stuff what they need. Love flakes here, very versatile for however I decide to smoke.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    I'm relatively new to this game but predominately smoke flakes and I too only get about 75% of a flake in most of my pipes. The only exception is my poker. But I just use the left overs for kindling.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. texmexpipe

    texmexpipe

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    I like to fold and stuff a whole flake into the bowl. Most of the time I get all of one and sometimes in my larger bowls I get two.

    Procrastinate Later. - I'll say this one day!
    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. bcharles123

    bcharles123

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    Maybe Watch City Slices are designed for Boswell pipes? I'll have to try it!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    I have found huge variations in flake size. For example Condor Long Cut & Erinmore Flake are perfect for hand rubbing out whereas Gawith's 1792, Dark Rum Flake, Bob's Chocolate Flake is much chunkier and needs a quick blast in my coffee grinder after hand rubbing to make it smokeable.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. newbroom

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    As a kid I was usually or at least often the one who got up in the a.m. and either started or rekindled the furnace fire we used to heat our two story NH home.
    You learn the dynamics of fire in relation to the size, shape, and species of wood you might be using when you do this over a period of time and use a variety of woods.
    The big pieces, once 'caught' will burn and burn.
    The smaller ones, of course, thinner, tend to burn much faster.
    It is said that slow smoking your tobacco so as to not over heat it, yields the most flavor.
    Early on in my current pipe foray, I watched a video of one of the Danish blenders discussing the way his flakes were intended to be smoked.
    He explained that smoking a flake, essentially intact, was preferred.
    Sure, as long as you burn it, it will deliver its energy, but burning your flake to its best advantage might start with a gentle fold, rub and load.
    The term 'stuff' is most often used, but I think that may cause some to take it literally, and you don't want a bowl 'stuffed' with flake. (flakes are compressed and expand with heat)
    You don't puff a flake when you smoke it intact, you sip it slowly enough to keep it burning and enough to get a draw you can taste and feel. Riding a bicycle analogy here.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. iamn8

    Nate

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    So the lesson here is that it's not the size of the flake that's important, but how you cut it up into pieces that matters? That's sick.

    Nate @ Moody AL
    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. jvnshr

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    Newbroom +1

    I cannot agree with you more, sir.

    As a fan of samovar (container used to heat and boil water) tea I am the one burning the samovar all the time and keeping it lit among my family and friends. Oh man, I can do that all the time. The most important thing is keeping the air coming all the time. Without air you are just going to be left with lots of smoke.

    While preparing the flakes I try not to damage the flake. Fold and stuff method doesn't work out for me, rubbing a flake out breaks the tobacco a lot. Most of the time I fold it, then twist it a little and put it into the bowl. After the first light I wait a little for the tobacco to expand. I don't use the first light as charring light but an expansion light. Then comes charring light and then real light. I am a very slow smoker so I enjoy flakes all the time. Hope that helps.

    Javan
    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. jvnshr

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    By the way, this is how you make a samovar tea. I don't know if you guys have it in the States.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0miY5E4b24

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. newbroom

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    jvnshr, quite an interesting look at Russian culture as it relates to tea.

    I'm embarrassed to reveal that I brew my tea in the same Proctor Silex Coffee Maker as I do my morning java.
    I make about 3 pots a day right to the brim. I use all sorts of tea 'bags'. I'm finding that mint flavors seem to go well with the pipe.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Interesting video.

    The way you smoke a flake depends on which flake you're smoking. What works with FVF does not work well with Embarcadero or Union Square (as I learned when I switched).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. edgreen

    edgreen

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    For some flakes I use fold, fold/twist, stuff and for the Samuel Gawiths I have to cube cut because of the thickness and moisture content. Coins always get rubbed out.

    Tobacco's a musician.And in a pipe delighteth;It descends in a close,Through the organ of the nose, With a relish that inviteth.
    Barten Holiday
    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Nothing like a thread where people whip it out and compare flake sizes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. mcitinner1

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    Nothing like a thread where people whip it out and compare flake sizes.

    My flake is bigger than your flake...

    Here's a BIG ONE.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. jerwynn

    jerwynn

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    I'm 6'4" and 250 pounds. OH! You meant the tobacco!!! sorry...

    “Deep peace of the running wave to you.
 Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
 Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
 Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace of the infinite peace to you." - Fiona Macleod
    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. jvnshr

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    @newbroom, I don't prepare my tea like that all the time. Think about it like a bbq parties you have over there. From time to time we gather with friends and prepare a samovar tea for us after a nice lunch or dinner. In order to boil water in that thing you will need at least 30-40 minutes and lots of wood.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. bcharles123

    bcharles123

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    I like the idea that the flake is designed to be a portion, but clearly that is not always the case. I have mostly gotten frustrated with folding but have enjoyed cube cutting. This seems to be a good intermediate step in preserving the characteristics of the flake but makes lighting and drying more predictable.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. jvnshr

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    I will try cube cutting next time. Let's see how that works.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. mawnansmiff

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    Could someone kindly explain to me exactly what 'cube cutting' actually entails?

    I keep coming across the term but am unsure of the precise meaning

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. mso489

    mso489

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    I probably need to work on my technique, but I like to rub out flake, for a more even burn and fewer relights. With a standard size flake, like Mac Baren's or Orlik, I think a medium bowl is about 1 1/2 flakes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    Mawnansmiff, it literally means to cut the flake into cubes, typically about the length and width of the thickness of the flake, thus a literal cube. It is an alternative to rubbing or folding.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. ericthered

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    This LINK on the front page has a nice summary with videos, I think, (I'm currently behind a firewall, so videos are blocked for me) of several ways to prepare flake tobacco, cube-cutting included.

    I don't know that cube-cutting those Watch City Slices would be effective, you'd just end up with a bunch of mini plugs!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. tmb152

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    I think the size of the flake relates more to intended packaging and how its maker prepared it, rather than portion to be smoked. Further, however you prepare the flake, I think the essential result is that the fibers be broken apart in a way well enough that air can be reasonably drawn /through/ the tobacco. How you decide to achieve that, by twisting, rubbing, folding, compressing or some combo, will likely depend on the user and the size pipe it is going into, I think.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Thanks for the explanation chaps. I normally just rub out my flakes so will try cube cutting next. I did try 'fold & stuff' once but must have cocked it up somehow as it was a pig to keep it lit

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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