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Unusable Tobacco in Chamber

(19 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Cranse Iron
  • Latest reply from jpmcwjr
  1. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    I have a fairly new pipe that I've been breaking in. It was quite a long break in process, but it's finally come around and the Virginias I usually smoke are tasting as they should. My perceived problem is that the last third of the chamber's capacity the tobacco becomes ashy and very skunky. I smoke dry tobacco, take it slow and pack lightly. This is a commissioned artisan pipe, it has a good light draw and I'm very satisfied with it except, as I perceive it, the amount of tobacco getting quite nasty at the end. Does the image below seem like it's on the plus side of unsmokable dottle? Most of my other pipes don't have this much. Chamber size is 1 3/4" deep and 3/4" diameter. Also, at half bowl things start to get a little ashy so I usually dump ash at this point which helps, but that last third is consistently skunky.
    Regards, Eric

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Is this much larger than your other pipes?

    How often are you smoking it?

    Taking a paper towel to wipe out the ash after a bowl will help. Even dryer tobacco will help.

    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 2 years ago #
  3. raevans

    raevans

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    The only time that I have had an issue close to this is when I had a pipe that the hole was drilled a bit high in the chamber. Pipe would smoke great until it hit the area where the hole was dilled. Then it was like smoking ash. (Actually I was smoking ash). The tobacco below the hole was goopy and couldn't be smoked.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

    mothernature

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    My guess is bad briar, and that you got the top 3/4 of the chamber to build some cake; cutting down on the skunky taste, but that the last 1/4 didn't build the same cake and you're still getting the bad taste at the end? Again, just a guess. Otherwise, I'm not sure what's going on?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    John, this is not a large pipe and I try to smoke it twice a day and have smoked only this pipe the past month or so. Very dry tobacco doesn't seem to have much effect one way or another.

    Draft hole is at the very bottom of chamber. The pipe started out smoking a bit wet, normal for a new pipe, but smokes very dry now-- just light moisture in the shànk.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    I had the same experience as raevans, above. Draft hole drilled too high above the floor of the chamber.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. josephcross

    josephcross

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    Have you tried a half bowl or maybe a third. I'm curious to know what the flavour is like toward the bottom if you don't fully load it up, and if it will burn to ash?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    josephcross, I started the break-in with half bowls and those got ashy pretty quick but not so much skunky, so no doubt with a full bowl the tar accumulation makes it go skunky. It always had dottle and never burned fully to ash.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. josephcross

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    Bummer, hopefully its a late bloomer and will come into its own eventually!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. didimauw

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    I agreewith mothernature, sounds like a cavern in the bottom of the bowl that isn't as caked as the rest of the pipe. Happens to me all the time.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    didimauw/mothernature, maybe that's it. This pipe was/is a tough one to break in and might not be there yet. I think I'll go back to half bowls then and work on the lower chamber.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. didimauw

    didimauw

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    That's one way, or you can lightly scrape the top half back slightly to even it out. That way you don't have to smoke half bowls for what sometimes feels like forever.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Eric, I've had a similar experience, in my case with tall and deep bowls. I have tried solving it by removing ash half way through but the problem persists.

    My recently purchased estate 'freehand' is a prime example...always has a pile of unburnt tobacco at the bottom of the bowl

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. mso489

    mso489

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    I'd try around with different blends and cuts. As the carbon layer develops, cake if that's what you do, I think this trait may recede.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. hawky454

    hawky454

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    I usually dump about that much with every smoke. I prefer large chambers so it doesn't bother me. I'm not one to get a cake all the way down to the heel cause I can't stand smoking the very last bit. To me it always smokes way too hot and ashy at a certain point. When I stop enjoying my pipe, I dump it. I've been doing it like this for the past 8 years and have never had a problem with my pipes and their lack of heel cake.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    Well, seems like I'm not the only one or that this is all that unusual. Ok, thanks to everybody for their input.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    If your tobacco near the heel is frequently too wet to smoke comfortably, simply dry it out a lot more before loading. Good luck!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. mawnansmiff

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    "If your tobacco near the heel is frequently too wet to smoke comfortably, simply dry it out a lot more before loading."

    With all due respect John, though I agree totally with your solution, I have loaded a tall narrowish pipe with pretty dry tobacco, forgotten about it for almost three weeks yet it still refused to burn to the heel of the bowl.

    The dottle though not soaking was nevertheless still wet even after sitting there all that time.

    I put it down to the geometry of the pipe.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    The narrow tallish pipe might be loaded first half with very dry tobacco, the top half same or slightly more moist. Yes, geometry makes it more difficult to overcome, but it can be overcome.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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