Constant Sour Mouth -- Makes Me Want to Quit

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de513

New member
Feb 15, 2021
6
10
EDIT: Fixed Capitalization in Title (See Rule 9)

I'm a new pipe smoker and after smoking I get a severe sour taste in my mouth that can last for a couple of days. I smoke cigars on the regular and have a cigarette every now and then -- so I'm used to tobacco. I feel like I pack and light my pipe pretty well and never experience the kind of tongue burn while smoking that can indicate overheating. Rather, this sour taste develops after smoking.

Other than this, I really enjoy the pipe and the virginia/burley blend I'm smoking. But, this lingering taste is too much and I fear I'll have to call it quits if I can't pinpoint the cause. Is this a common experience for pipe smokers and something you just get used to? Or can it be attributed to a bad quality pipe? I got a starter kit from a reputable company, but some of the finish rubbed off on my fingers, leading me to think it may be cheaply made.
 
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olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
7,390
12,277
The Arm of Orion
What pipe? What blend(s)? What are you using to light it? Are you sipping, or puffing? How often are you smoking?

Tongue burn isn't always immediately felt. Sometimes you feel fine during smoking and after finishing the pipe, and then the pain/discomfort begins, even hours later, and can last for as many days as it takes the tongue to heal.
 

de513

New member
Feb 15, 2021
6
10
The Highway Nine Deluxe Smooth Starter Kit from Smokingpipes.com and Sutliff Maple Street. But, this post also got me asking myself (nothing better to do this evening) about any new foods I've eaten.

And right around the time I started smoking, I've been working through a loaf of multi-grain bread that I haven't had before. It's filled with all kinds of seeds, and it got me wondering that I may be dealing with a food allergy. Some nuts/seeds can cause this kind of allergic reaction. I'm going to take the bread out of rotation and wait a week or so to give the pipe another try.

I should have thought of this earlier -- jumping to conclusions makes me feel like one of those anti-smoking folks who blame every little discomfort on the tobacco demon.
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
7,390
12,277
The Arm of Orion
Giving up the bread for a while looks like a good idea. Also note that too much salt in the diet can irritate the tongue and make it more sensitive to other irritants, such as pipe tobacco (or more like the additives they put on it as humectants).

Try a different blend and/or blend genre. Is the Maple Street one of those soggy blends? Drying the tobacco till it's almost crisp (but not crumbling) can help greatly in reducing moisture; moisture increases heat due to steam, and it also makes the tobacco difficult to keep lit, which results in constant relights. Lighting the pipe is the point when the mouth receives the greatest heat from the pipe; if you're constantly relighting, you might just be torturing your tongue (it also depends on lighting technique, but even with proper technique lighting remains the hottest part of the smoking experience). Above all, don't try to relight dottle: toss it.
 

americaman

Preferred Member
May 1, 2019
836
2,496
Los Angeles, CA
Try a different pipe. Try a different blend. Aromatics seem to cause reactions in the mouth for certain people. Try an English blend and a Virginia blend. I remember trying a popular Cornell & Diehl blend when I first started and it had me gagging. You need to find out what style of tobacco you like.

Clean your pipe if you haven’t already after a few smokes.

Make sure your tobacco is dry. It shouldn’t be flaky dry, but should be dry with a bit of “spring” to it. A lot of tobaccos, especially aromatics, come wet.

Try taking it a bit slower. By drying your tobacco it will allow you to go a bit slower.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
27,891
44,781
Helena, Alabama
I don't think I have found a tobacco that tastes that sour.
This Receptor Actually Leaves a Sour Taste in One's Mouth


But, Star of the East has a buttermilk-like sourness to it from the Orientals in the mix. I like it though, doesn't make me pucker or anything.
 

TimeKiller

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2021
84
185
Texas
I want to mention a thought that helped me when I started trying pipes, switching from cigars:

I considered how many people over the centuries were completely enamored with their pipe smoking, and I asked myself, "Is this really the experience they all fell so madly in love with?" and when the answer was, probably not, I knew it was something of my own doing that could be fixed.
 

Grangerous

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2020
1,922
7,180
East Coast USA
☝️ ?May I make a suggestion.

Kidding aside, try a plain, simple, clean, cool, mild tobacco before starting out with goopy flavored ones.

It’s a more sensible staring place —clean tobacco taste and a pipe and palette reset to all of the unknowns, the chemical flavors that may not agree with you. If it solves your problem you can move on to try other blends.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
36,693
40,356
In my first era of pipe smoking, I had a problem with aftertastes from pipes. I cleaned the pipes well, so I thought it was the blends. I found non-aromatics gave less of this or none, though it might have been a particular flavoring on one blend -- I never figured that out. But some aromatic flavorings taste rank to some smokers, sour as you say. Mine were lingering, not just right after smoking.
 
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anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
9,335
17,395
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In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Not sure what you mean by sour taste? But try something different. And also I don't think it's been mentioned some pipes taste terrible until broken in. Especially if they have a coating of some sort. That's why some people do the start smoking with half bowls until it builds a thin layer of carbon (known as cake as you probably already know). Side note only people who I've encountered that had varnish wipe off of their pipes smoke really fast and the thing is pipes are much happier and make happier smokers when sipped not puffed like a frieght train.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
18,424
41,628
64
Sarasota Florida
It sounds like you are not cleaning your pipe properly.
I clean my pipe after every bowl. I use 2 fluffy BJ Long Tapered cleaners for the stems and BJ Long Tapered bristle cleaners for the inside of the pipe. The shank needs too be cleaned until no dirt comes out. I take a bristle cleaner double it over and run it back and forth in the shank. I do it til they come out clean. I then take a bristle cleaner doubleit over twice and clean the mortise real good. Once I clean a pipe, I put it away for at least a day but usually more. I never smoke a particular pipe more than once a day and I never smoke an unclean pipe. Running a pipe cleaner through a pipe once is not cleaning a pipe and you will get nothing but nasty tasting bowls. If you want to get nothing but great smokes, you need to work for it. I hear people complain all the time this blend doesn't smoke like it did a week ago. If you smoke a pipe time and time again and barely clean your pipes you will never enjoy your pipe as you should. I clean the piss out of mine and not once in over 20 years has a pipe gone sour or nasty on me. I only use BJ Long Pipe Cleaners and I usually get them at pipesandcigars as they are normally 2 bucks a pack. I get the 100 Fluffy tapered and the 80 Tapered Bristle. If you don't want to commit to the cleaning aspects of the hobby, you won't like it. I used to smoke lots of cigars but then after a few bowls of Escudo I really enjoyed the pipe better than my cigars.

I buy my cleaners 20 packs at a time and when I get down to about 3 of each I order another 20. I don't run out of pipe cleaners, yeah I am anal about a clean pipe, but I paid good money for my tobacco, why wouldn't I want t to taste as good as possible.
 

rushx9

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2019
2,301
17,206
40
Shelby, NC
I don't think I have found a tobacco that tastes that sour.
This Receptor Actually Leaves a Sour Taste in One's Mouth's Mouth


But, Star of the East has a buttermilk-like sourness to it from the Orientals in the mix. I like it though, doesn't make me pucker or anything.
Did you try any of Russ' Acadian Gold? Tastes like my favorite Belgian foudre-aged sour ale, Duchesse de Bourgogne, with it's lactic and acetic sour tang. Straight up funk bomb. Very first hit like lickin' a 9 volt. Also had a quarter inch of crystal crud under the paper disc that I was tempted to either snoof or boof, but instead decided to just stir back into the tobacco and smoke. Tin smelled like wook hugs... the type that make your eyes water. Mine definitely did. Third hit they turned to tears of joy. By the end of the bowl they turned to tears of sadness that it was discontinued just as I found out how good it is.