Different Packing Methods and Different Tobaccos

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wolfe64

Member
May 24, 2015
184
0
Ontario Canada
I have now researched and tried 3 different methods to pack a pipe.

The 3 step, with the baby bear, momma bear and papa bear packing, the Frank Method and the Swirl Method, which I found on YouTube from James Fox Cigar and Whiskey Store.

I started with the 3 step, which has been working well for me and then tried the Frank with some Captain Black Gold.

For me the Frank Method worked very well, I got a great cool smoke out of it.

Then I tried the Swirl Method with the Captain Black and it too also worked well.

Last night I opened my package of Cornell and Diell Apples and Cream and did the Swirl Method and...........total failure

Didn't smoke good, no taste, just crap. I don't think it was packed tight enough

Today I'll try the Frank Method and see how it goes.

Experimentation is the key to success :mrgreen:
Mark

 

stickframer

Preferred Member
Apr 11, 2015
870
1
Cool. I use the 3 step method, and fold and stuff or cube cut for flakes. I haven't heard of the swirl method.

 

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stickframer

Preferred Member
Apr 11, 2015
870
1
Thanks. I'm a big fan of simplicity, so I like it. It seems like it would achieve a similar pack to the 3 step. I'll give it a whirl. The guy in the video said to have a bit of resistance on the draw. I'm still working on getting a consistent draw everytime . I think to loose is better than to tight as it can be packed down during the smoke.

 

cornleader

Junior Member
Mar 8, 2015
57
0
Not that I'm new to pipes, I took a about a 20 year break, I'm new to smoking correctly. I find the 3 step method works great. I just tried cube cutting my flakes, gravity feed with the 3 step method. worked amazing as roll and stuff did not appeal to me.
I am finding finesse is the key, practice. The moisture and cut of the tobacco plays a big factor as does the pipe. Certain pipes like different cuts and packing methods. Keep trying until you find whats works. I am far from an expert but I am making progress experimenting with the different techniques. Don't give up!

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
14,899
8,872
United States
I always use the 3 step method and make sure when I check the draw at the end it feels like I am sipping a milk shake through a straw. I want to have some real good resistance and would rather it be too tight than too loose. I can always run a pipe cleaner through the stem to loosen it up. I find that when it is too loose it burns hot and I lose flavor. Many times after using the 3 step, I will have to add a 4th step to make sure it is tight enough. I cube cut my flakes almost all the time and only use the fold and stuff when I smoke outside(which is not that often) as in the wind I want to make sure my bowl never gets too hot. I clench all the time and in the wind I might not be aware of how hot my pipe is so it is just safer for me to fold and stuff.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
20,860
13,792
I always have to have the same airflow as if the pipe were empty or I burn my tongue off. Practice, patience, and experiment until all falls into place.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
14,899
8,872
United States
chasing, if you are packing that loosely how do you get any flavor. Packing too tight will not cause me tongue burn, smoking too fast causes tongue burn. What types of blends do you smoke? I pack very firmly and never get tongue bite, if I pack too loosely I get a bowl that burns much too hot and has no flavor. Now I only smoke flakes which is why I asked what you smoke. I also get an acid burn on my tongue if I amoke anything that has even a little bit of red virginia's.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
20,860
13,792
Mostly Virginias and Balkans. Took up breath smoking years ago which greatly cools, and slows the burn time. I can pick out all of the flavors that way. Any resistance in my pipes, and they burn too hot.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
20,860
13,792
Took many years to get this far, and still learning as I go my friend. An elderly gentleman told me years ago, "It takes a second to learn how to light one, and a lifetime to learn how to smoke one."

 

stickframer

Preferred Member
Apr 11, 2015
870
1
Thanks for the insights, gents. A while ago my dad mentioned that he wasn't a fan of my pipe smoking. He's a big sports guy, so to grind his gears now and then I tell him I'm outside practicing pipe smoking.
Turns out that is pretty close to the truth. Lol.

 

wolfe64

Member
May 24, 2015
184
0
Ontario Canada
Yes thanks for all the replies, very informative.

Well I did get a better smoke this afternoon but I used the three step instead.......still not real good though.

I found a YouTube video review of Apricot and Cream and the one comment was it needed to be packed real loose in order to stay lit (reviewer was having troubles keeping it going).

I didn't pack it near as tight as I did the first time. It lasted about 20 minutes with 4 relights. I also let the tobacco air dry for 15 minutes before I packed it.

I used my Yello Bole again but tomorrow I will try it in my cob.
Ever Forward
Mark

 

stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
3
Interesting thread as usual.
But it does highlight one of the difficulties of a beginner.
That is that many veterans hold diametrically opposed opinions on a number of technique questions.

 

cornleader

Junior Member
Mar 8, 2015
57
0
There is another thread about cube cutting flakes. I've been posting my findings there about how using the same technique with different tobaccos gives different results. It will take some time. I usually get 45 minutes from a bowl. I sip slowly but regularly. I often find myself jamming a pipe cleaner down the stem as I get a bit of gurgle. (Except in a cob, they smoke like a champ).
Keep it up and you will eventually get the hang of it. Different tobaccos and pipes need to be packed slightly different. It takes practice, that's part of the joy for me. I may have missed it but invest in a cob. They smoke like a champ, very forgiving.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,452
1
Flakes and coins I fold or crumple and stuff very loosely, because it expands when it burns.
Ribbon cut like Dunhills, I drizzle it in to fill the bowl, tap the side of the bowl till it settles, fill again, tap again, then add a pinch on top and press it lightly. Again, if I can feel much resistance when I draw, it's too tight and will need too much puffing to keep it lit.
Rough or cube-cut like the Lane's Ready Rubbed, I drizzle it in to just overfilling, press it down halfway, drizzle again to overflowing, press it down a little harder, repeat again with slightly firmer pressure. With that cut I want to feel a little resistance when I draw unlit, as it won't expand much.
The best advice I've ever seen in print about this subject is: pack it looser than you think you should, and smoke it slower than you think you should.

 

stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
3
Thanks shutterbug.
I saw this recently in a 3-year-old thread on this site:
The best way to avoid tongue bite and other problems is to follow the advice my Dad gave me back in 1959 when I started pipe smoking. I have never had tongue bite, nor hot or sour pipes in all these years. You need to do them all to have complete success.
The Vernon Cool & Dry Method
Dry your tobacco more than you think you need to.

Pack looser than you think you need to.

Smoke slower than you think you need to.

Tamp less, and more lightly, than you think you need to.

Clean your pipes after every smoke, using pipe spirits.
This has been helping me a lot

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,108
6,512
Monterey Peninsula
Excellent advice, but one man's tight packing might be another's loose packing.
I'd add: Light as little as possible- not number of times, but as shallow as you can. I realized I was scorching tobacco deep down by firing the top too heavily, and that can be done with matches as well as butane or torch. HTH!

 

stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
3
Light as little as possible- not number of times, but as shallow as you can. I realized I was scorching tobacco deep down by firing the top too heavily.
Yes. I saw a video the other day with this same information. It has improved my smoking.
I also read this article on this site. It has some interesting things to say about the charring light.

 
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