Carbon Cake

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firas nofal

New member
Apr 17, 2020
34
23
‏Does any benefit to breaking the pipe other than protecting the pipe
‏ Is it useful in making the taste better
making smoking cool,
making the taste more sweet
‏reducing the bite tongue
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,186
11,348
United States
I keep a nice hard cake up to a dimes thickness in all of my pipes. In my opinion the pipes smoke cooler and tastes better as I dedicate all of my pipes to either certain genres of tobacco ( Virginia,Virginia/Perique, Virginia/Burley/Kentucky) ot to specific blends. When I find a really great combo I stick with it.

I break in all of my pipes by using some type of flake. I load the pipe to the top and smoke it to the bottom and by 12-15 smokes a nice cake is developing.
 

tokerpipes

Preferred Member
Jan 16, 2012
2,020
595
42
Eatonville, WA
Yeah about a dimes thickness is perfect. I usually pack 1/4-1/2 bowls while breaking it in. Especially if the draft hole doesn’t quite hit the bottom of the bowl. I use a piece of Emory cloth to keep it at that thickness and to keep it nice and smooth. Add a little spit or water while doing that. Or a damp paper towel works, just a bit slower.
 
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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,462
5,172
‏Does any benefit to breaking the pipe other than protecting the pipe
‏ Is it useful in making the taste better
making smoking cool,
making the taste more sweet
‏reducing the bite tongue
Protect the pipe. Checkmark but probably a bit over rated.
Useful in making it taste better. I'd say avoiding ghosting the pipe with the wrong tobacco is more important.
Making smoking cool. Some but not significant I think.
Making taste more sweet. Suppose it depends on what blend(s) you use although I doubt it adds much sweetness, if any, to any blend.
Reducing the bite tongue. Minimal if any.

After water cleansing my pipes for a year and a half now, I believe cake is over rated. In my own experience, a very thin layer of very hard, solid cake seems to be sufficient to protect the bowl (as if it really needs it anyway) and render it enjoyable to smoke. The conclusion I draw is it is a lot more important to keep your pipes really clean than it is to build up a bunch of cake.

Cake seems to be a fascination by newer pipe smokers and one they quickly get over when they learn how to smoke correctly and realize what a PITA deep cleaning and reaming is.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,186
11,348
United States
Hoosier, trust me a dimes worth of cake will make the pipe smoke cooler. There was a study done at MIT proving that cake is good. It i s a natural insulator and if you don't let cake build, you will be forever relegated to the average ability to taste. You won't have bionic taste buds like me.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
30,098
11,258
I'm part of the Forums no-cake-building gang. Just scoop out the ash and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel to maintain a thin carbon layer that never needs reaming and maintains the original diameter of the chamber. It keeps the bowl from burn-out processes, maintains the flavor neutrality mostly, and saves the cost of a reamer. You need a nice carbon layer throughout the chamber and this will do that.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,186
11,348
United States
mso, take a pipe and let it build some cake. When you have achieved about a dimes worth get back to me so we can discuss. I know you have plenty of pipes for this experiment. If it is the last thing I do on this earth I will prove to you cake matters. It is now my mission in life.
 

Sonorisis

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2019
568
1,198
I used to have a nice carbon layer in my pipes. Trouble was, it was difficult to maintain it at an ideal thickness, and sometimes it would crack and I'd have to go back to the beginning. These days, I just wipe the bowl with a saturated pipe cleaner, then a paper towel, and call it 'good.'

I feel there are benefits to having a cake built up in the chamber. These benefits -- for me, apparently -- do not warrant the extra care necessary for achieving them.

If that makes me lazy, so be it.
 
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jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,344
7,046
Monterey Peninsula
The physics of the matter should be explored. My take is that a thick cake will insulate the chamber somewhat, so that the bowl will be cooler to the touch. But internally, the temp of the ember is the temp of the ember, and hence the smoke won't be cooler.

Cake is a very personal matter to many, and I generally prefer pie to cake. Boston Cream Pie is my favorite.
 

johng99

New member
Apr 14, 2020
10
8
I'm new here, and enjoy the conversations. I keep a thin carbon layer in my pipes - not a fan of a thick cake. I have had thick and thin, and just find that I prefer to minimize it.
 
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Worknman

Member
Sep 23, 2019
296
572
The physics of the matter should be explored. My take is that a thick cake will insulate the chamber somewhat, so that the bowl will be cooler to the touch. But internally, the temp of the ember is the temp of the ember, and hence the smoke won't be cooler.
In fact, if the cake is indeed an insulator it would trap in the heat there by creating a hotter smoke. Same reason a thermos keeps coffee hotter than a regular mug.
 
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augiebd

Preferred Member
Jul 6, 2019
744
1,004
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
sonor, I only use flakes to build cake and it is hard as a rock and never chips off, you might want to try it.
At some point I should make the effort to try this experiment but at the low frequency I smoke, the relative number of bowls that are flakes and the number of pipes I have to convert to cake...the odds are not in my favour.
 

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