Enjoyable Relights

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.

Itz

New member
Jun 12, 2020
32
54
I'm back to smoking pipes after a few year hiatus, and the thing I'm noticing now is that I have to relight after maybe 1-2 minutes of sipping. I smoke mainly Va and VaPers now, but a few years ago I mainly smoked English. I smoke ribbon or flake. If I smoke a flake Va I typically dry it out for 20-30 minutes, then I do the pinch method and if it sticks together a bunch I'll dry it more.

I typically did the 3 step packing method where you tamp down to the half way point, then 2/3, etc. I tried going a little firmer on tamping thinking that maybe it was too light. When that didn't work, I noticed some on here suggesting only gravity filling with a light tamp. I also notice a significant amount left at the bottom, indicating the embers aren't reaching down. I alternate matches and bic lighter with no change.

But as the title suggests, I don't mind it! Even slightly enjoy it. I sip till it burns out, then put the pipe down, listen to the birds or do a chore and smoke a bit again later. Anyone else enjoy this method of smoking?
 
  • Like
Reactions: B.Fee and danimalia

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.

Itz

New member
Jun 12, 2020
32
54
When smoke volume starts to decrease, lightly tamp when drawing to bring the ember back in contact with the unburned tobacco.
Thanks for the suggestion on lightly tamping to push the embers down. For some reason that had never crossed my mind. Here's an update: this morning has been a tale of two tobaccos. The first was Match EMP. I dried it for about an hour before smoking. Thanks to your recommendation I had fewer relights and less dottle at the bottom (this also reminded me how much I love the taste of EMP and proceeded to order another 8 oz to cellar). I rubbed out some Juno to dry while I was smoking the first bowl. Lit up the flake after two hours of dry time with the same results as two days ago. Maybe I'm not rubbing out the flake enough? It seems to be the same as a ribbon cut with maybe a bit longer pieces. It certainly can't be the dry time anymore.. could it?

Being my first flake and first straight Virginia, I am open to any suggestions. I also have a tin of Golden Slice, Peterson Flake, and HH Pure Virginia in the cellar.
 

EvertonFC

New member
May 5, 2020
42
74
Philadelphia
I had been constantly experimenting with drying times. If something didn't burn well after sitting out for an hour, I let it sit out for two. That said, I've trying to do less of that and simply attempting to dry the tobacco to just shy of no longer being pliable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ofafeather

ofafeather

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2020
376
942
47
I had been constantly experimenting with drying times. If something didn't burn well after sitting out for an hour, I let it sit out for two. That said, I've trying to do less of that and simply attempting to dry the tobacco to just shy of no longer being pliable.
Especially for flakes bc they can really hold the moisture. This is something I wish I learned years ago. I always noticed that the smokes in the middle of the tins were usually better than the beginning. Some blends I had open tins for months and they would finally smoke well. This was especially true I found for McClelland and Rattray. I wish I realized at the time what it was all about. Control the moisture! The mixtures would sort of fix themselves over time but the flakes, not so easily.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Itz

Itz

New member
Jun 12, 2020
32
54
Especially for flakes bc they can really hold the moisture. This is something I wish I learned years ago. I always noticed that the smokes in the middle of the tins were usually better than the beginning. Some blends I had open tins for months and they would finally smoke well. This was especially true I found for McClelland and Rattray. I wish I realized at the time what it was all about. Control the moisture! The mixtures would sort of fix themselves over time but the flakes, not so easily.
Yeah drying might be the key. Here's an update. I bought a load of stokkebye luxury navy flake. After I rub it out, it feels pretty good with no drying time. I still let it sit out for 30 mins then pack a lot lighter than I usually do and I seem to have less relights. This might be my new favorite tobacco too.
 

ofafeather

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2020
376
942
47
I’m also told that places that are very hot and humid it can be difficult to air dry so other measures might need to be taken.
 

Magpiety

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2019
312
853
Same. I smoke a bunch of flakes that go out easily, and I don't mind relighting at all.

Side benefit: my wife thinks that when my pipe goes out, it's because I'm really into what she's telling me and she thinks that's sweet. I truly am into what she's talking about, I just incidentally have to relight all the time.
 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,476
5,242
The only time I would see relights as a problem would be if you're participating in a long smoking contest. Pipe smoking isn't a race and it isn't a contest. Why anyone would be concerned about a few relights is beyond me. You can spend more time trying to dry it perfectly, pack it perfect, blah, blah or you can get it to a reasonable dryness, pack it loose, light it and start enjoying. If you're lighting for every puff or two, that's a problem you should look into. Trying to get something like SG Full Virginia Flake so perfect it will smoke without relights is near impossible. And not worth the effort compared to sparking the lighter a few more times.
 

hairvise

New member
May 23, 2018
39
38
Here's a question--are you running a pipe cleaner down the length of the pipe from time to time? I'm a wet smoker and if I don't do that, I'm left with more wet tobacco at the bottom of the bowl than I'm happy with. Run one through and feel the end when it comes out--mine are usually very damp.

Pack lighter than you think--you can always gently tamp down while smoking (@chasingembers wise advice), but once your pipe is too tightly packed, it's a bit of a cat and mouse game loosening it up throughout the bowl. I want my tobacco's "dryish", but too dry, and you run the risk IMHO of losing some of the flavor. Stay with one tobacco, smoke it slightly drier, then slightly damper. See what works. I pinch a clump of tobacco before packing, hold it maybe three inches or less above a piece of paper, and let go. If it is still together when it hits the paper, it's too wet for me!

I hope this helps!
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,596
15,894
but once your pipe is too tightly packed, it's a bit of a cat and mouse game loosening it up throughout the bowl.
Smack the open end of the chamber against your palm firmly to loosen it up. Tap the heel of the pipe against your thumb to settle the contents, relight, and enjoy.

I never use pipe cleaners until the pipe is finished.
 
  • Love
Reactions: ofafeather

hairvise

New member
May 23, 2018
39
38
Does anyone dump ash mid bowl? I remember hearing different thoughts on this. I never do.
I would love not to, but I'm sitting outside on my deck and it's always breezy. If I don't dump mid bowl, then I'm asking for an ash shower. I could use a wind cap, but then I can't tamp, relighting isn't as easy or pleasurable, etc., but I'd love to hear the seasoned smokers weigh in on this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ofafeather

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,596
15,894
I would love not to, but I'm sitting outside on my deck and it's always breezy. If I don't dump mid bowl, then I'm asking for an ash shower. I could use a wind cap, but then I can't tamp, relighting isn't as easy or pleasurable, etc., but I'd love to hear the seasoned smokers weigh in on this.
Keep the chamber capped with a couple of fingers.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.