Ahh finally got flake tobacco right!

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Ive been a pipe smoker now for about a month and half and for now have just been smoking standard (if i can call it that) aromatic Peterson pipe tobacco. I bought a few weeks back a tin of Kendal Ennerdale flaked pipe tobacco. After a couple of tries i could never get it quite right. i always seemed to feel that it was too wet or i had dried it out too much. Until today....

What a smoke. stunning flavours. the bowl lasted for ages. I feel like this could be the way forward.

Do people generally feel that flaked tobacco is superior? I can't wait to try more!
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
2,625
12,452
69
Sydney, Australia
I haven't tried flake tobacco that much, as I can't get the folding right. I know there is supposed to be a special way to load the pipe, but I end up shredding it.

Glad you broke through the barrier and are enjoying it!
Ditto !
No matter how I try, folding and stuffing eludes me. Too many relights which spoils the flavour for me.
But I will persist
 

DanWil84

Lifer
Mar 8, 2021
1,207
7,521
The Netherlands (Europe)
Yes and No. For versatility and straight or 2 tobacco blends I like them a lot, for multiple tobacco kinds I don't, I prefer a ribbon or loose cut for that. Versatility as in rubbing them out the way I want (fine, coarse) or fold and stuff, just what I prefer that time.

Side note; a Gawith flake is usually a bit thicker and more moist than a lets say Mac Barren or K&K flake, so they can be a bit harder to process. The Kendal Cream flake I once got as a sample was great, but It needed a bit more time to dry to what I like.
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,331
53,054
Helena, Alabama
My preferred way to smoke flakes are to cube cut them. That is where you lay the flake out, and cut across the grain, every few mm's, making the tobacco into these sorta cubes. Then just pour them in and smoke. For me, they stay lit better, and require much less fiddling with the tobacco than folding and stuffing. Worth a try.
Some prefer to fold and stuff... totally valid. Experiment, find your own way. What the majority or even what anyone else prefers should have no bearing on yours.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
21,852
20,250
Carmel Valley, CA
Ive been a pipe smoker now for about a month and half and for now have just been smoking standard (if i can call it that) aromatic Peterson pipe tobacco. I bought a few weeks back a tin of Kendal Ennerdale flaked pipe tobacco. After a couple of tries i could never get it quite right. i always seemed to feel that it was too wet or i had dried it out too much. Until today....

What a smoke. stunning flavours. the bowl lasted for ages. I feel like this could be the way forward.

Do people generally feel that flaked tobacco is superior? I can't wait to try more!
Some do! I do not.

So, you got the moisture right this time? Rubbed out or other? Or any other info as to how you achieve your nirvana smoke.

And congratulations!
 

burleybreath

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2019
545
1,889
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
Did the OP state that he used fold and stuff? In my experience, f&s is worth doing if you have the time for f---ing around, like the rest of pipe smoking. Helps to have the right sized bowl, to fit the wad perfectly. Burns longer, tastes richer. I like it, but who asked? YMMV (duh). Congratulations on a "nirvana" smoke. Unless you lower your standards, they don't come often.
 
Did the OP state that he used fold and stuff? In my experience, f&s is worth doing if you have the time for f---ing around, like the rest of pipe smoking. Helps to have the right sized bowl, to fit the wad perfectly. Burns longer, tastes richer. I like it, but who asked? YMMV (duh). Congratulations on a "nirvana" smoke. Unless you lower your standards, they don't come often.
Well i was smoking my Savinelli 616 which is already quite a big bowl. I took one of the whole flakes out of the tin and didn't intend to put the whole thing in but i just folded it back on it self twice and the whole thing went in there anyway. I was smoking it for a good hour and and twenty minutes at least but i recently suffered some tongue bite for the first time so was keen to get the temperature just right. It did pay off as the flavour really came through.
 

OldWill

Can't Leave
Feb 9, 2022
458
3,020
72
Blanco, Texas
Ive been a pipe smoker now for about a month and half and for now have just been smoking standard (if i can call it that) aromatic Peterson pipe tobacco. I bought a few weeks back a tin of Kendal Ennerdale flaked pipe tobacco. After a couple of tries i could never get it quite right. i always seemed to feel that it was too wet or i had dried it out too much. Until today....

What a smoke. stunning flavours. the bowl lasted for ages. I feel like this could be the way forward.

Do people generally feel that flaked tobacco is superior? I can't wait to try more!
In my experience, Ennerdale is not only a wonderful smoke when dried right out of the tin, but ages spectacularly. Glad to hear that a newer piper appreciates it.
 
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SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
575
1,683
NE Wisconsin
To me, Ennerdale's flavors are better when rubbed out.

(Another tip for Ennerdale: Since it doesn't like to burn, I put a small layer of an easy-burning aromatic on top, every time. I taste the top layer for a few minutes, and then the flavors transition seamlessly into Ennerdale, without any fussing to get/keep it lit.)

But most flakes taste better folded and stuffed.

F&S eluded me for years, too. It was very frustrating. Now that it works well for me, I'll share what I do:
  • Take one or two flakes, depending on the size of the flake and the size of the bowl.
    (If the vertical strands are too spread apart in the bowl, it will not burn well, and if they are too packed together, it likewise will not burn well.)
  • Fold lengthwise, once.
  • Now fold width-wise, once.
  • Now hold each end in two hands, and twist back and forth, to break it up into individual strands, if possible. (You will lose some during this process. You'll add it back in a second.)
  • Tear off any strands that now stick up far past the rest, whether on the top or bottom, so that it's roughly even on both ends.
  • Now add vertical strands of tobacco to your little bundle, padding it out until the bundle is the right width for the bowl. (Again, neither too loose nor too tight. You will get a feel for it over time.)
  • Now stuff the bent end in first, orienting it so that the "loop" (what's left of it, after that twisting) faces your draft hole.
  • If the bundle is sticking up above the rim, don't just pack it down. Pull the bundle back out and tear the top off until the length will fill only about 3/4 of the bowl. Put it back in.
  • Now try to "fray" the top ends of the tobacco. There will still be sections that are stuck together, and you want to use your finger to make them separate a little at the top, so that they burn more easily.
  • Finally, sprinkle little ribbons of the tobacco on top, as they will take to the flame more easily, and then pass it on to the folded flake. You will have plenty of these shreds to work with, after the afore-mentioned method. This is why you leave the folded bundle a bit short -- so that you can put a thin layer of loose tobacco on top.
Because I explained in detail, it may strike you as more complex than just rubbing it out. But it isn't. This takes just seconds. I just put it into slow motion for those as frustrated as I used to be.
 

dunnyboy

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 6, 2018
856
9,600
New York
^
Excellent description. That's pretty much what I do too. I prefer to fold and stuff flakes but it''s a bit harder to dry them to the right moisture level than when they're rubbed out. In any case, it takes a bit longer.
 
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Puff nstuff

Might Stick Around
Dec 2, 2021
75
456
Inland Southern California
That's a great, detailed description of the method that I have also found to work really well, @SBC ! I might also add that I've found certain pipes (like dublins with taller conical bowls) seem to lend themselves better to the whole affair. It's not as complicated as one might think it is.
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
11,288
21,336
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
flakes are great but so are ribbons and shags. They all depended on what you feel like or in the mood for. The thing is anything you change has advantages and disadvantages. It's always a trade off. So it's never flakes are where it's at or ribbons are where it's at. It's more of a this is where it's at right now for this person. I love flakes and I hate that people said they're for advanced pipe smokers. They're not. Yes their more fiddly you may need to tamp more you may need to relight more often but they handle those things pretty well especially the relights. And while I say I like to smoke flakes a certain way. If I am being more honest it changes from flake to flake. I had some Capstan blue and I enjoyed it and all that but it was actually kind of middling. I rubbed it out semi-fully and then suddenly I really like that. Usually I prefer fold and stuff or to pull into a ready rub thing. Cube cuts great but rarely do I feel like it's worth the extra work. Yeah they're great.
 

Searock Fan

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 22, 2021
602
1,534
U.S.A.
You might try my technique. I break slices into thin strips that are just a little shorter that the depth of the bowl. Then I put them in the pipe vertically so they're like sardines but standing on their tails. When that's done I top them off with a little fine falkes as a primer which make it easier to get the bowl lit. The fine flakes start the burning and it spreads to the rest. Kind of like lighting a fire with kindling. puffy
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
11,288
21,336
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
You might try my technique. I break slices into thin strips that are just a little shorter that the depth of the bowl. Then I put them in the pipe vertically so they're like sardines but standing on their tails. When that's done I top them off with a little fine falkes as a primer which make it easier to get the bowl lit. The fine flakes start the burning and it spreads to the rest. Kind of like lighting a fire with kindling. puffy
And if you're pipe is the right depth that can be achieved by folding them in half and breaking it at that point. Yeah that's a good way to smoke them works better then it sounds like it should.
 

ahouston

Might Stick Around
Jan 27, 2020
62
86
Montreal
I like to lightly roll my flakes into a ball which breaks it apart a bit, and makes it a spongey little bundle which is much easier to pack. Fold, roll, gently pack. Flake is the hardest to pack because it's the easiest to over-tighten.