Beat the Gurgling!! Here's how . . . . .

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ItsKarl

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 3, 2024
106
170
Norway
With all due respect to all you pipe wizards and non-adepts alike, you’re all lost as last year’s Easter eggs.

The best treatment for a gurgling pipe is to smoke Harder. You’ve got to create enough pressure to suck all the moisture up through the mouthpiece, early and often. The only way to truly do that is to properly INHALE. This may be anathema to some of you Clinton strikers but be ye not deceived - real men inhale.

Now, if you are a true micro-lung, you will need to improve your diaphragm and intercosta strength. I advise heavy sets deadlifts immediately followed by sprints - with tape over your pie-hole to ensure you are breathing only through your nose. Only then will you have the requisite capability to properly enjoy your pipe. Visit my YouTube channel - PipeDick- for more helpful tips. You’re welcome.
Your pipe doesn't know if you inhale or not. You can sip it like hot chocolate, or you can suck it like milkshake. Your lungs do not need to be involved at all in order to create the desired pressure.
 

rmcnabb

Might Stick Around
Feb 19, 2024
69
377
I'm working in a new Peterson now - the draft hole is pretty dang high in the chamber, and it smokes like a champ. (It's also very high in the stem hole - you can forget passing a pipe cleaner without disassembly.) Dry and consistent. And that's with VA flakes - to me the most problematic tobaccos. You have to start a good flame - a really good one that will last - then sip it down. I often have to relight about 3/4 of the way down with flakes, but I do relight it and make the pipe burn all that stuff down to (I don't know...I'm making this up as I go along like Indiana Jones) "condition" the bottom of the bowl. Makes sense to me and it works. I can easily imagine the briar taking on a different character if the bottom of the bowl never has to take a smoking ember all the way down, becoming more saturated with liquids and tars. It's logical. Sometimes the dottle just won't light, so I dump it and rest the pipe for a couple days. Ribbon cuts, especially when dry, smoke to ash all the way down. C&D Exclusive I think would almost burn itself all the way like a cigarette.

When I do get gurgle, I let it get really wet then I turn the pipe up and just let it run down the stem and soak into my pants, or simply sling it onto the ground. It makes a little wet dot the size of a dime that is gone in 60 seconds. My pipes are always clean, never junky, and they get at most 1 pipe cleaner every bowl. This has always worked perfectly. And I don't drag around my toolbox of pipe smoking equipment (cleaners, scrapers, micrometers, thermometers, barometers) so that I can smoke - just something to burn, something to light it with and something to smoke it in. WWBD? (What would Bilbo do?)

Pipe smoking has been the simple, unthinking hobby of illiterate laborers and prostitutes for 500 years and I intend to maintain that proud tradition.
 

gord

Starting to Get Obsessed
I'm working in a new Peterson now - the draft hole is pretty dang high in the chamber, and it smokes like a champ. (It's also very high in the stem hole - you can forget passing a pipe cleaner without disassembly.) Dry and consistent. And that's with VA flakes - to me the most problematic tobaccos. You have to start a good flame - a really good one that will last - then sip it down. I often have to relight about 3/4 of the way down with flakes, but I do relight it and make the pipe burn all that stuff down to (I don't know...I'm making this up as I go along like Indiana Jones) "condition" the bottom of the bowl. Makes sense to me and it works. I can easily imagine the briar taking on a different character if the bottom of the bowl never has to take a smoking ember all the way down, becoming more saturated with liquids and tars. It's logical. Sometimes the dottle just won't light, so I dump it and rest the pipe for a couple days. Ribbon cuts, especially when dry, smoke to ash all the way down. C&D Exclusive I think would almost burn itself all the way like a cigarette.

When I do get gurgle, I let it get really wet then I turn the pipe up and just let it run down the stem and soak into my pants, or simply sling it onto the ground. It makes a little wet dot the size of a dime that is gone in 60 seconds. My pipes are always clean, never junky, and they get at most 1 pipe cleaner every bowl. This has always worked perfectly. And I don't drag around my toolbox of pipe smoking equipment (cleaners, scrapers, micrometers, thermometers, barometers) so that I can smoke - just something to burn, something to light it with and something to smoke it in. WWBD? (What would Bilbo do?)

Pipe smoking has been the simple, unthinking hobby of illiterate laborers and prostitutes for 500 years and I intend to maintain that proud tradition.
Most every suggestion I've been given works, some well, some to a degree, some very well indeed. I've tried them all. I'm going to make my final suggestion on this apparently controversial subject before signing off. As a last resort, I suggest music. Turn on your stereo with the problem pipe in hand. Turn it right up. Loud. Very Loud.

I suggest Wagner. "Ride of the Valkeries". Those babes will drown out anything. Or "Notung, Notung" as sung by Jess Thomas in the old Karajan recording of "Siegfried" on Deutch Grammophone. When that sucker hits those high A's with those trombones howling, you won't hear anything else.

Or some 18th Century French Harpsichord music. Obnoxious stuff. Stravinsky once compared the French harpsichord, or all harpsichords for that matter, as "like two skeletons copulating on a tin roof." Believe me, when you hear this racket you will be totally oblivious to any gurgling that the pipe will be making.

It's been fun and instructive, guys! I tried all suggestions including pitcihing one sucker into oblivion. T'was very theraputic. T'was, T'was!

I'm signing off now, and going into the wilderness of pipe lore to wreak more havoc. Thanks guys!! :D
 
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LongIslandPiper

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 8, 2022
221
969
I'd make two points. Firstly, drying tobacco is good advice to begin with, but as @sardonicus87 said you definitely don't need to with good technique. In fact, I think some tobaccos really lose a lot of character if you dry them too much.

Secondly, on 'slow smoking' - it's a real misnomer! We should say 'gentle smoking'. Just let the smoke drift into your mouth without really drawing on the pipe at all. It's much less about how often you puff.

But do what works for you, and experimenting and practice can only be a good thing. There's a danger of overthinking pipe smoking, but you can't get to the stage of doing it without thinking without practicing and smoking a lot. I have a lot of pipes drilled in very different ways and I don't usually have a problem with any of them.
If most of us didn’t overthink pipe smoking what would we do here (other than buy more pipes/tobacco) ?
J/k
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
I use the breath method and if I start to get the gurgles I just blow the smoke back into the bowl a few times, slightly quicker and a bit harder. The extra heat generated seems to evaporate any moisture and gurgling stops.
if I had to grind up three sizes of charcoal in order to smoke my pipe I just could not be bothered. You must be smoking very wet. Wouldn’t just getting a Peterson System pipe be a lot easier?
 

gord

Starting to Get Obsessed
If most of us didn’t overthink pipe smoking what would we do here (other than buy more pipes/tobacco) ?
J/k
Great advice. I'm trying all of the techniques and "gentle" smoking is the best remedy so far.

I think the deep cavern in a pipe below the draft hole is the biggest contributor . . . most of the bloggers who produce videos seem to agree. It's a design flaw. All my gurglers have, or had, deep caverns below the draft hole. I pitched a couple. Life is too short and as a retired professional musician, I'm too sensitive to sound to tolerate ugly. Gurgling is an ugly sound. Got to go. That's me. I didn't expect the amount of replies and opinions that this post has drawn. Surprised, really.

As a parallel in the violin world (I was a professional violinist), violin makers settled on the Strad or Guanari model in the 18th century because it worked best. They do NOT vary the model, because others do not produce the same quality and maleabilty of sound that these do. The back and sides and scroll are ALWAYS of maple, and the top is ALWAYS of spruce. Period. Variance in violins is in the densities, color, grain . . . that type of thing. Aging is also important.

Everything has been tried. All has failed except the model and type of wood. These are a constant. I don't see this constancy in the pipe world, where personal preference rules, or seems to. In the violin world, we have a pyramid shape where opinion grows less and less as you ascend. At the top, especially pedagogy, there is pretty much total agreement within the parameters of reason.

Thanks for your post.
 
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gord

Starting to Get Obsessed
I use the breath method and if I start to get the gurgles I just blow the smoke back into the bowl a few times, slightly quicker and a bit harder. The extra heat generated seems to evaporate any moisture and gurgling stops.
if I had to grind up three sizes of charcoal in order to smoke my pipe I just could not be bothered. You must be smoking very wet. Wouldn’t just getting a Peterson System pipe be a lot easier?
Have a bent Peterson. It's a terrible gurgler. I'm not a wet smoker and I'm meticulous about drying my tobacco. I find the breath method affects the taste too much to use it. ALL of my gurglers have the draft hole above the cavern. They gurgle. The others don't. The best method of getting rid of the gurgle is to give the offending pipes away as gifts or take malicious pleasure in stomping on them. I'm going to try mudding next week. Don't have time right now. T'is the season for reference letters for students ascending the ladder of progress.

Oddly enough, I DO have one cheapo Chinese pearwood pipe with the high draft hole, and it doesn't gurgle. Smokes very nicely, too. Drives me nuts.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,152
28,160
Carmel Valley, CA
Bent pipes gurgle more than straight. Location of draft hole v. heel of chamber- high location may exacerbate, but not the real cause.

So, mud up the heel to near the hole, and enjoy! Or find that there's another cause of gurgling with a particular pipe.
 

LongIslandPiper

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 8, 2022
221
969
Great advice. I'm trying all of the techniques and "gentle" smoking is the best remedy so far.

I think the deep cavern in a pipe below the draft hole is the biggest contributor . . . most of the bloggers who produce videos seem to agree. It's a design flaw. All my gurglers have, or had, deep caverns below the draft hole. I pitched a couple. Life is too short and as a retired professional musician, I'm too sensitive to sound to tolerate ugly. Gurgling is an ugly sound. Got to go. That's me. I didn't expect the amount of replies and opinions that this post has drawn. Surprised, really.

As a parallel in the violin world (I was a professional violinist), violin makers settled on the Strad or Guanari model in the 18th century because it worked best. They do NOT vary the model, because others do not produce the same quality and maleabilty of sound that these do. The back and sides and scroll are ALWAYS of maple, and the top is ALWAYS of spruce. Period. Variance in violins is in the densities, color, grain . . . that type of thing. Aging is also important.

Everything has been tried. All has failed except the model and type of wood. These are a constant. I don't see this constancy in the pipe world, where personal preference rules, or seems to. In the violin world, we have a pyramid shape where opinion grows less and less as you ascend. At the top, especially pedagogy, there is pretty much total agreement within the parameters of reason.

Thanks for your post.
I also highly recommend and regard the ‘breathe method’ to be superior. It may take some time to master but it is worth the effort. Good luck in all your pipe endeavors
 
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LongIslandPiper

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 8, 2022
221
969
Have a bent Peterson. It's a terrible gurgler. I'm not a wet smoker and I'm meticulous about drying my tobacco. I find the breath method affects the taste too much to use it. ALL of my gurglers have the draft hole above the cavern. They gurgle. The others don't. The best method of getting rid of the gurgle is to give the offending pipes away as gifts or take malicious pleasure in stomping on them. I'm going to try mudding next week. Don't have time right now. T'is the season for reference letters for students ascending the ladder of progress.

Oddly enough, I DO have one cheapo Chinese pearwood pipe with the high draft hole, and it doesn't gurgle. Smokes very nicely, too. Drives me nuts.
Imho price is the one constant that never justifies the quality of the smoke. I too have Chinese, Indonesian and other notable brands that are historically less expensive (although not as handsome to me) and they smoke equivalent to any of my artisan or high end stuff
 
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bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
9,172
38,514
RTP, NC. USA
You are clearly thinking too much. The fact it's gurgling means there's water being collected. Bad pipe drilling could do it. But there are much easier solutions than what you are doing.

1. If you are sucking on the pipe hard enough to make it gurgle, you are pulling too hard. Easy off.
2. Stick a pipe cleaner and wipe out the bottom of chamber from mortise/stem.
3. Cover the bowl, and flick the stem side quick, but not forcefully.
 
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gord

Starting to Get Obsessed
You are clearly thinking too much. The fact it's gurgling means there's water being collected. Bad pipe drilling could do it. But there are much easier solutions than what you are doing.

1. If you are sucking on the pipe hard enough to make it gurgle, you are pulling too hard. Easy off.
2. Stick a pipe cleaner and wipe out the bottom of chamber from mortise/stem.
3. Cover the bowl, and flick the stem side quick, but not forcefully.
1. I'm a very slow smoker and never pull hard.

2. I smoke mostly Church Wardens and cannot use this method on them. I've both a Peterson and a Savinelli, both bent, that gurgle badly, and I've had no luck at all with this solution. Nor has a filter in the draft hole installed before I fill the pipe. Many forum members suggested this in the forum replies, in one form or another.

3. Not tried this, and will.

All of my pipes that gurgle have a cavernous depression underneath the draft hole. Filling that gap with carbon or meer chips is the only thing that has worked for me.

I've tried every solution given to me in the forum save mudding which I am about to do, and will try your #3, for sure.

I'm not really thinking to hard, btw. I don't have an original bone in my body and all my ideas are borrowed or stolen from somebody else, lol. I'm simply meticulous to the point of being anal.
 
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bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
9,172
38,514
RTP, NC. USA
1. I'm a very slow smoker and never pull hard.

2. I smoke mostly Church Wardens and cannot use this method on them. I've both a Peterson and a Savinelli, both bent, that gurgle badly, and I've had no luck at all with this solution. Nor has a filter in the draft hole installed before I fill the pipe. Many forum members suggested this in the forum replies, in one form or another.

3. Not tried this, and will.

All of my pipes that gurgle have a cavernous depression underneath the draft hole. Filling that gap with carbon or meer chips is the only thing that has worked for me.

I've tried every solution given to me in the forum save mudding which I am about to do, and will try your #3, for sure.

I'm not really thinking to hard, btw. I don't have an original bone in my body and all my ideas are borrowed or stolen from somebody else, lol. I'm simply meticulous to the point of being anal.
You are smoking churchwarden and it gurgles. But you never draw hard. Hmm.. Clean the stem more often while smoking. Long churchwarden cleaner. Longer stem, more condensation. More condensation, more gurgle even drawing lightly. The chips you are using are just absorbing the moisture generated by the long stem. The fact both pipes are doing the same thing and you have tried everything just says you are a wet smoker.
 
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gord

Starting to Get Obsessed
You are smoking churchwarden and it gurgles. But you never draw hard. Hmm.. Clean the stem more often while smoking. Long churchwarden cleaner. Longer stem, more condensation. More condensation, more gurgle even drawing lightly. The chips you are using are just absorbing the moisture generated by the long stem. The fact both pipes are doing the same thing and you have tried everything just says you are a wet smoker.
What's a wet smoker? . . . I never have gotten that one. How do we wet smoke on an inhale? Any moisture must come from within the bowl. As I say, I don't get that moniker. And I keep my wooden stems dead clear . . . use guitar strings to keep them free of gunk. After every smoke. Have even blasted through them with my airgun compressor. And NONE of my other church wardens gurgle . . . I can keep all of my pipes going for close to an hour, smoking dead slow. Even the bad boys. Sipping. Nope . . . I'm convinced that it's that trench below the draft hole and many in forum and online agree. I'll let you know what happens when I mud up a long stem warbler next week. Promise.

I will also admit that I have stopped filling the trench with chips, etc. . . . pain in the butt and affects the taste of the smoke. Final straw, pitch the offenders or give them away. Won't hesitate to do that, like ousting a student that doesn't practice.
 
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