Do You Do the Dottle?

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

Watch for Updates Twice a Week

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Tobacco Treasures Ad

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
34,837
67,080
Long article!
Key point:

"When the tobacco in a pipe is near the end and starts tasting bad, it should just be dumped out.

Well, yeah!

You keep hearing that you have to smoke it down until there's no more tobacco."

I seldom see/hear that.
Yeah, no point in smoking it unless you enjoy it and then there's enjoying it until you get a mouthful of ashes.🤣
 

FLDRD

Can't Leave
Oct 13, 2021
463
1,232
Arkansas
I used to fuss about smoking the last of anything in there but found that different blends / pipes / days / weather / star alignment was just going to make it different every time so I go with what is given to me.

I get much better results by tamping 1st, sometimes dumping a little ash 2nd, but never stirring and tamping again. That just never worked for me.

Cheers
 

Jimmy_Jack

Can't Leave
Jun 24, 2021
437
1,482
I enjoyed a nice bowl of aged PS Navy Flake...2008 I think. Gave it a good rub and airing out in the cold winter air on the back porch here in Florida. 60 degrees out...frigid. Packed my favorite Radice Dublin with the Frank method. Been using that a lot lately. I must report...got a lot of nice grey/white ash out of that bowl and was left with a bit of we dottle at the end, but it was just the right amount to my reckoning. I lost track at one moment and got the bowl a bit to hot so slowed down, set it down as a matter of fact. Came back to it a few minutes later and finished it off. Very satisfying.

I'm not yet at the point where I can smoke a pipe well without giving it some consideration and thought. I need to be in the moment with it...if you know what I mean. It was a good bowl.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jpmcwjr

karam

Lifer
Feb 2, 2019
1,841
7,260
Basel, Switzerland
@Morrison Jeremiah decided to do an experiment, for science.

Packed a Savinelli 904 with 3 rubbed out and 1 intact coin on top of Samuel Gawith's Cabbie's Mixture (had let them dry for an hour or so which means they retained some moisture). Had exactly two lights, the charring light + tamp, and the true light. No other lighting or tamping. Smoked for about 40 minutes walking my dog. Here are the results.

The ash retains some of the shape of the intact coin, to prove I didn't dig or tamp mid smoke. IMG-0403.jpg

I knocked out the ash at home, trying my best not to mess with it, you can actually see the tobacco strands, as well as a good 10-15 minutes' worth of smoking left in the chamber unburnt.

IMG-0405.jpg

And this is the chamber with the ash knocked out, no wiping, pipe cleaners or other shenanigans. It had almost imperceptible moisture in the chamber, but really not much. If I'd dried the Cabbie's to how I usually dry it the chamber would be dry.
IMG-0406.jpg

Was it an enjoyable smoke? Sure it was, most are. Will I smoke without tamp+relight in the future? Absolutely not, don't see the reason for it.
 
Jun 25, 2021
1,369
4,393
England
@Morrison Jeremiah decided to do an experiment, for science.

Packed a Savinelli 904 with 3 rubbed out and 1 intact coin on top of Samuel Gawith's Cabbie's Mixture (had let them dry for an hour or so which means they retained some moisture). Had exactly two lights, the charring light + tamp, and the true light. No other lighting or tamping. Smoked for about 40 minutes walking my dog. Here are the results.

The ash retains some of the shape of the intact coin, to prove I didn't dig or tamp mid smoke. View attachment 123521

I knocked out the ash at home, trying my best not to mess with it, you can actually see the tobacco strands, as well as a good 10-15 minutes' worth of smoking left in the chamber unburnt.

View attachment 123522

And this is the chamber with the ash knocked out, no wiping, pipe cleaners or other shenanigans. It had almost imperceptible moisture in the chamber, but really not much. If I'd dried the Cabbie's to how I usually dry it the chamber would be dry.
View attachment 123523

Was it an enjoyable smoke? Sure it was, most are. Will I smoke without tamp+relight in the future? Absolutely not, don't see the reason for it.
Not really sure what you mean, since I never said that I don't tamp and relight.
I always tamp, and the only time that I don't need to relight is if I'm using a ribbon cut or shag cut.
Some misunderstanding here, oh well, never mind 🙂
I think you may be referring to comments that I made in the thread Do you Dump Ash Mid- smoke.
Me ? I'm mighty confused
 
  • Like
Reactions: JOHN72 and karam

JOHN72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2020
3,493
35,980
49
SPAIN
I use the method of filling the container by gravity and then with the big toe of my hand I give it light pressure. Pulling out the last third of the ash would be a disaster and I never did that. I also don't throw the smoke to the bottom, it lights more fire, until it all turns to ash. Most of the time the last strands of unburned tobacco come out, and I don't worry about throwing some "fresh" tobacco away. I think if you smoke it all the way to the bottom of the bowl, your pipe will more quickly end up as a shapeless piece of charred wood. Ultimately, I never squeeze the smoke all the way out, my palate and my sense of smell already warn me when to stop. I don't know if the translator will make you understand what I'm saying.
 

Old_Newby

Can't Leave
Jan 1, 2022
323
706
Texas
I use the method of filling the container by gravity and then with the big toe of my hand I give it light pressure. Pulling out the last third of the ash would be a disaster and I never did that. I also don't throw the smoke to the bottom, it lights more fire, until it all turns to ash. Most of the time the last strands of unburned tobacco come out, and I don't worry about throwing some "fresh" tobacco away. I think if you smoke it all the way to the bottom of the bowl, your pipe will more quickly end up as a shapeless piece of charred wood. Ultimately, I never squeeze the smoke all the way out, my palate and my sense of smell already warn me when to stop. I don't know if the translator will make you understand what I'm saying.
It translated well enough to understand.
Except it called your thumb (finger) your big toe (foot). Lol

Bottom line is that you throw away the dottle.
 

karam

Lifer
Feb 2, 2019
1,841
7,260
Basel, Switzerland
Not really sure what you mean, since I never said that I don't tamp and relight.
I always tamp, and the only time that I don't need to relight is if I'm using a ribbon cut or shag cut.
Some misunderstanding here, oh well, never mind 🙂
I think you may be referring to comments that I made in the thread Do you Dump Ash Mid- smoke.
Me ? I'm mighty confused
Ah yes, that was it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Morrison Jeremiah

monty55

Lifer
Apr 16, 2014
1,269
1,894
63
Bryan, Texas
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you smoke out of MM cobs? If that's the case, depending on the cut, your probably always going to have some dottle in the bottom because there is a gap between the airway and the bottom of the bowl. However, if you're smoking out of a briar pipe most everything stated above is good advice.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
34,837
67,080
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you smoke out of MM cobs? If that's the case, depending on the cut, your probably always going to have some dottle in the bottom because there is a gap between the airway and the bottom of the bowl. However, if you're smoking out of a briar pipe most everything stated above is good advice.
You can correct the cob floor issue by packing as usual but leave a slight gap between the rim of the pipe and the top of the tobacco. Smack the rim of the pipe against your hand and you'll create a type of air pocket pack that allows all of the tobacco to burn.
 

JSPiper71

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 3, 2022
138
296
Toronto Canada
I don't like to be purposefully wasteful but you're talking about less than a nickel worth of tobacco. I see no need to waste my time and risk burning my pipe simply for the sake of being able to say I smoke a bowl all the way to ash.
A nickel where you live maybe, but it’s a couple bucks in Canada. Still though, not worth it. As a newby, I’m still playing around with this and have no fixed rules. Vacuuming the pool and working on my clenching skills yesterday turned the bottom of my precious FM Bayou into a mess. Learning to relax about it though from you kind folks. So many variables, but that’s part of the fun!
 
  • Like
Reactions: chopper and jpmcwjr

aspiring_sage

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 7, 2021
218
383
Southwest of Mpls., MN
Haha - I

I can see white ash sometimes looking into the chamber - but I don’t believe white ash is an indicator suggesting high quality tobacco. Some of the best tobacco I’ve smoked; has a gray ash. Anything that burns is gonna have some black in it too. I’m going to trust soil types, weather conditions, processing and blenders play a more significant role in the taste than what color the flicking ash is…. Who the hell started that stupid bullshit anyway? Probably some cigar smoker. 😂

Not to thread steal here - but, can anyone explain the nonsense associated with white ash and why it truly matters?
My ash has generally been white, with some unburnt leaves mixed in.
 

Jef

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2019
196
337
65
North Carolina
Ok as a new smoker I have found most of my bowls fizzle out with about 1/4 to 1/5 bowl remaining. I have 2 questions for all of you about what I now know to be “dottle”.

1) Am I packing the first pinch too light, too tight, or is this the norm?

2) I am finding myself dumping the top ash off the dottle and fluffing up the remaining and lighting it. I have always hated wasting anything. Sometimes it’s actually a nice flavor hit on that last relight, yet sometimes I wish I never did it. What do most of you do?
A 1/4 bowl is not dottle. Try drying out your tobacco some before you smoke.

Jef
 
  • Like
Reactions: chopper and jpmcwjr

AJL67

Part of the Furniture Now
May 26, 2022
635
4,159
Florida - Space Coast
I save it up for bong hits when my stash is low.

Actually while getting better at judging I do leave the every end dottle to just dump, some a little more some a little less, depends on the pipe, takes a bit for me to learn the pipe. A FOG on my cigar board warned against burning out the bottom of the pipe and I've pretty much been careful about that as well.
 

sittingbear

Can't Leave
Jul 20, 2015
489
1,634
Olympia, WA
If you're worried about wasting the dottle, do as Sherlock Holmes did: dump it into a silk slipper and hang out by the fire to be collected and re-smoked later. (I wouldn't do this, personally. He's supposed to be a genius, but this makes me wonder.)
 
  • Wow
  • Like
Reactions: JOHN72 and chopper