Dedicating Pipes to Certain Types.

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coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
I see that some of you here restrict your pipes to smoking similar blends in each - a pipe for Virginias, or English, or Aromatics, without mixing them. I also read here that some blends can “ghost” a pipe, which I presume means that blend’s taste will haunt the pipe on later smokes.

So, is it possible to take a pipe you’ve dedicated to VA for example and repurpose it for English? Does a thorough cleaning do the trick, or is there just something about the blends that stay with the pipe?
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
5,136
39,739
Minnesota USA
I see that some of you here restrict your pipes to smoking similar blends in each - a pipe for Virginias, or English, or Aromatics, without mixing them. I also read here that some blends can “ghost” a pipe, which I presume means that blend’s taste will haunt the pipe on later smokes.
That's the concept. In some cases smoking a different tobacco in a pipe that's had something else smoked in it can be pleasurable. A ghost can also be smoked out by smoking several bowls of something else.
So, is it possible to take a pipe you’ve dedicated to VA for example and repurpose it for English? Does a thorough cleaning do the trick, or is there just something about the blends that stay with the pipe?
Yes. Cleaning isn't always necessary as I mentioned above.

I have pipes that I've not smoked in several years that smell like nothing. But in general English blends with Latakia tend to leave a strong scent in a pipe. But its my experience that it can be smoked out with different tobacco.

I think it boils down to personal preference...
 

coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
That's the concept. In some cases smoking a different tobacco in a pipe that's had something else smoked in it can be pleasurable. A ghost can also be smoked out by smoking several bowls of something else.

Yes. Cleaning isn't always necessary as I mentioned above.

I have pipes that I've not smoked in several years that smell like nothing. But in general English blends with Latakia tend to leave a strong scent in a pipe. But its my experience that it can be smoked out with different tobacco.

I think it boils down to personal preference...
Thanks. I’ve started on English and my English pipe strongly smells like Latakia, but I have a VA pipe now that doesn’t seem to smell like anything. Aros are relegated to a co.

I wondered if I decide to be fully English or VA if I could switch a pipe over and smoke away, if a deep cleaning would be required, or if it’s inadvisable. I appreciate your advice.
 
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bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
6,805
30,978
RTP, NC. USA
Depends on how sensitive you are. Some won't notice much and many will use same pipe for different genres of blends. Some can taste everything and mixing different type will distract from their pleasure. Then there are people like me where things just fall into place and certain pipes get used for certain type of blends just because it feels right.
 

coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
Depends on how sensitive you are. Some won't notice much and many will use same pipe for different genres of blends. Some can taste everything and mixing different type will distract from their pleasure. Then there are people like me where things just fall into place and certain pipes get used for certain type of blends just because it feels right.
Thank you. I wonder if in the olden days, everyone just used the same pipe for it all and didn’t consider such things. We may not have all the great old blends of the past but we do have certain luxuries today.
 
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captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
1,671
8,254
North Carolina
I suspect that in the "olden days" there was much less variety in readily available tobacco. Thus dedicating a pipe to a particular blend was likely driven more by tobacco availability rather than sensitive palates. There are quite a few forum entries talking about fathers, uncles, and grandfathers smoking only one blend their entire life.
 

ThermionicScott

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 11, 2022
783
6,386
Cedar Rapids, IA
I see that some of you here restrict your pipes to smoking similar blends in each - a pipe for Virginias, or English, or Aromatics, without mixing them. I also read here that some blends can “ghost” a pipe, which I presume means that blend’s taste will haunt the pipe on later smokes.

So, is it possible to take a pipe you’ve dedicated to VA for example and repurpose it for English? Does a thorough cleaning do the trick, or is there just something about the blends that stay with the pipe?
I've generally seen "ghosting" used in a pejorative sense -- an unwelcome odor or taste from previous tobaccos that keeps making itself known when you're trying to enjoy something else. The worst offenders are usually tobaccos with added flavorings. An unflavored Virginia blend won't leave behind any weirdness you need to chase out, and since Englishes are built on Virginia tobaccos, you shouldn't have to do anything to switch a pipe from Virginias to Englishes. I haven't yet tried to switch a pipe from Englishes to Virginias, but I'm sure it's possible. Some people are just more picky that others about lingering Latakia flavors when they are trying to focus on the nuances of a mild Virginia blend. You'll know it if it happens, I guess. ;)

Dedicating pipes isn't just done to keep other flavors "out"; multiple bowls of the same category or blend help to reinforce the good things we like about those blends. Hooray, tar? puffy
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,247
34,503
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
So, is it possible to take a pipe you’ve dedicated to VA for example and repurpose it for English? Does a thorough cleaning do the trick, or is there just something about the blends that stay with the pipe?
You can change from a Virginia pipe to an English pipe just by smoking English in it.

Going the other direction can take a lot more work because of the ghosting properties of Latakia and other highly aromatic types of leaves. I've neutralized a lot of pipes and it starts with a prolonged cleaning that sucks out as much of the oils that have seeped into the wood as possible.

This starts with a standard deep clean, paring all build up back to the wood using glass papers, picks, pipe cleaners, Q-tips and whatever other cleaning techniques you know to be safe for a tobacco pipe. Then I'll barely moisten a fluffy and insert it in the shank airway, hanging the pipe shank down, until the fluffy has thoroughly dried, which pulls out some more oils from the wood. I'll repeat this four or five times, which usually removes the ghost. If it doesn't, then treatment with a boiling alcohol retort does the trick.

If there's a faint remnant of that ghost, smoking a half dozen bowls of your current favorite should cover it.

Smokers who really want to enjoy the flavors of a specific blend dedicate a specific pipe to that specific blend. By smoking only that one blend in that one pipe the pipe is seasoned with the blend's flavors and supports further enjoyment of that blend. No cross talk.

I'm too lazy. Cleaning dozens of pipes a week is way too much work for me, given that the internals of my pipes are kept scrupulously clean.
 

cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,255
57,194
65
Sarasota Florida
All of my pipes are dedicated to either certain genres like a Virginia? Perique or a Virginia/Burley/Kentucky and then I have a bunch of blend specific pipes.


I break in every new pipe with Virginia Flake. Once broken in I may decide to make it a Vaper or Virginia/Burley/Kentucky or keep it as a straight Virginia. I experiment and sometimes I come across the perfect blend with the perfect pipe. I have no idea why this happens it just does.

For example I only smoke my 2007 Stonehaven in 2 of my Rad Davis Lovats. I smoke my 1998-2005 Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky in a Rad Davis Billiard and a Scott Thile Bulldog. I have smoked my Mac Baren Old Dark Fired in my Rad Davis Zulu for over a decade. When I find these great combos I just go with the flow and enjoy my smokes.

One thing I always do is clean the piss out of my pipes after smoking only one bowl. I never smoke the same blend twice in a day and I never smoke the same pipe more than once a day and then let it dry out a couple of days. My goal is to always get the best smoke possible as I spend good money on my tobacco and expect my favorite blends to taste as they should.
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,153
24,648
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I suspect that in the "olden days" there was much less variety in readily available tobacco. Thus dedicating a pipe to a particular blend was likely driven more by tobacco availability rather than sensitive palates. There are quite a few forum entries talking about fathers, uncles, and grandfathers smoking only one blend their entire life.
I think we have a really tweaked view of what pipe smokers do. We're basically the nerds of pipe smoking. Using us as the example of what pipe smokers do, is like going to a film school to find out how average people watch movies. I bet more people smoke one blend or a few blends at most then we make it look like. A lot of the pipe smokers I've met in the wild smoke one thing or only a couple things. And yes when you smoke nothing but mixture 79 in a pipe for years that ghost is way more then a hint and can certainly over power what you're smoking. If you smoke two or three blends only that are very different it might be a better idea to dedicate.
In fact I think we should start calling that little bit of hint from occasional smoking a ghost and the ghost from a pipe that's had one blend in it for years should be called a poltergeist. I.E. I bought this estate pipe on ebay and I don't know what they smoked in it but the poltergeist in it literally knocked my socks off and broke my favorite lamp.
 

FLDRD

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 13, 2021
769
2,019
Arkansas
Sometimes some of us like the carry-over of flavor between genres; if the blends on hand are known to our palates, the variety of a little change can be quite intriguing.

Buy more pipes!

That way you can do both, dedicate to genres and blends, and then some special tools for hunting and sharing ghosts and poltergeists...

:col:
 

JimInks

Sultan of Smoke
Aug 31, 2012
54,354
386,938
I dedicate pipes to particular genres and often to particular blends. I don't care for cross pollination of flavors. Also, since I review blends, I certainly wouldn't want to review a burley blend in a Virginia pipe, or an English in a burley pipe, etc. When in doubt, I go to a meer for review, especially when it's an aromatic blend.
 

Cigarstopipes

Lurker
Sep 19, 2022
32
62
I have a really nice Artisan pipe that I got at a Renaissance Festival that I use to only smoke ODF and Bold Kentucky. I have two pipes, a Peterson and a Savinelli that I only smoke GLP The Virginia Cream and C&D Autumn Evening respectively. And then a few MM cobs that I smoke my other HH blends and various others that I'll try every now and again.
 

Mtlpiper

Can't Leave
Nov 30, 2019
349
2,523
Montreal, QC
I dedicate pipes to genres rather than specific blends as well. Though there are a few pipes that are becoming dedicated to a blend by chance of rotation.

Another point of interest - I tend to look at aspects of the pipe characteristics that will lend favour to particular cuts of tobacco or genres.

Tall narrow chambers or conical. Wide and shallow or deep. Longer shanks vs shorter, Briar vs Meerschaum or 9mm filter vs none.

My "English" or "Balkan" pipes tend to have wider bowls. My "Virginia" pipes tend to be long-shanked billiards or conical chambered Dublin's (some with 9mm filters).
 

cragdhack

Might Stick Around
Aug 31, 2021
75
229
27
Romania
In my experience, english blends will ghost aromatics and virginias, aromatics can slightly ghost virginias (but I generally welcome that) and virginias can slightly ghost aromatics (If it's a VaPer, then it might be a bit too spicy and I wouldn't like it)
A good alcohol and salt clean should make a pipe ready to be freshly used for something different, at least that's what I saw happen with mine, though so far I only got to do it once.
 
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