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TheFall

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2020
57
96
So I have an estate pipe, it is a Brigham from the early 80s, and it has the light brown bowl coating. When I bought the pipe it had a thin doughnut of cake in the middle, almost like the previous user had started breaking it in and then just forgot about it after 5 minutes, 3 times in a row. The pipe was pretty much new minus the small cake doughnut. I wiped out the cake and cleaned it up and did an alcohol cotton treatment, I could no longer see where the cake was previously in the bowl. At this point I thought I had done a great job because It smelled and looked like a new pipe!

Now the cake smelt floral, like a old ladies church perfume, I cant quite put my finger on the smell. As odd as it sounds, I had a barn cat that would leave the farm for a couple days at a time and when he came back he would smell exactly like this pipes cake, super strong floral, perfummy smell.

So I have smoked 2 bowls of devils holiday through this pipe so far, and while I am not experienced enough to get all the flavours out of devils holiday, the top portion of the bowl is really enjoyable with great flavour. However when I get to the center of the bowl, that old cake, that floral old lady taste completely takes over the flavour of the devils holiday, especially in the retrohale. It doesn't last long, and it isn't really bad or anything but in both bowls I could 100% tell where the old cake started and stopped. Once past where the cake ended It goes back to tasting "normal". I figure the ghost must be really strong, because I do not get overpowering berry flavour from the devils holiday, I am getting better but still learning, but that ghost is the strongest flavour I have gotten from any blend I have smoked so far, as soon as I sip and taste it, I can smell/taste that barn cat.

I managed to get the smell and taste out of the other pipes that I got from the same guy, but this one I am at a loss. So I am looking for opinions.

Should I smoke the ghost out, just keep building cake and it will go away? Or should I try and clean it some more before I build more cake, I have a decent start after 2 bowls but I don't want to smoke a whole bunch more of them if the ghost isn't going to go away.

Also I am really enjoying devils holiday, it ins't goopy, burns easy, have not burnt my mouth yet, and I can still pick out some of the tobacco flavours as they are not overpowered by the topping. Take it as an inexperienced pipers opinion
 
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rushx9

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2019
1,786
12,036
38
Shelby, NC
If there was just a small ring of lake cake, you should be able to successfully smoke it out with a few bowls. Latakia or strong aromatics will do the job the quickest. But if you feel like it might need it, try the wet coffee grounds trick.
 

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TheFall

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2020
57
96
Have you done the salt and alcohol treatment? That, in addition to the wet coffee grounds is the way to go.
I did an alcohol and cotton treatment, after wiping the bowl out with alcohol. When I was done the bowl was solid light brown, the colour of that cake building material the coated those pipes with. The coffee trick is new to me
 

TheFall

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2020
57
96
If there was just a small ring of lake cake, you should be able to successfully smoke it out with a few bowls. Latakia or strong aromatics will do the job the quickest. But if you feel like it might need it, try the wet coffee grounds trick.
Would you consider devils holiday to be a strong aromatic? I have a tin of erinmore flake that I could crack but I was going to try that in a cob since I am not sure if I will like it or not yet
 

rushx9

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2019
1,786
12,036
38
Shelby, NC
The coffee trick is new to me
Fill the bowl and shank with freshly used, still wet coffee grounds and wait 3 or 4 days for it to dry out completely. After its COMPLETELY dry, dump and rinse with hot water. This can chase out stubborn ghosts.
I haven't tried devil's holiday, but I've read that it's got a fairly prominent flavor. Sometimes it takes a little more work with Lakelands. You could just use that pipe as an excuse to start exploring Gawith blends! An unexpected ghost can be offputting, but don't let it spook you off the sauce!
 

Dave4211

New member
May 15, 2020
22
37
Tennessee
First and foremost, foller that cat. Find out who the cat is seeing and what the cat is smoking.

My guess, and it's an educated guess, on account of I ain't hardly ever wrong, is that your barn cat sees this old lady, see. But not just for the catnip and fancy feast and throw rugs and what all, but also for the potpourri.
 
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TheFall

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2020
57
96
Fill the bowl and shank with freshly used, still wet coffee grounds and wait 3 or 4 days for it to dry out completely. After its COMPLETELY dry, dump and rinse with hot water. This can chase out stubborn ghosts.
I haven't tried devil's holiday, but I've read that it's got a fairly prominent flavor. Sometimes it takes a little more work with Lakelands. You could just use that pipe as an excuse to start exploring Gawith blends! An unexpected ghost can be offputting, but don't let it spook you off the sauce!
Thanks for the tips! I will try that If I find the next 2 or so bowls have the same amount of powerful ghost still present in them.
 

TheFall

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2020
57
96
So I would like to clarify, the shank is clean, fresh filter in the brigham, stem is also clean, I can only taste the ghost where the small ring of cake was present before cleaning up the pipe. The top half of the bowl, no ghost, bottom 1/4 of the bowl no ghost. The center where the cake ring was present is the only place the ghost is present. I guess it doesn't like embers around it's home or perhaps it is fighting with the devil on his holiday for coming to close to its front yard. Perhaps it has ran into the devil before and that is why it lives in my pipe... Who knows! I will try coffee grounds if they keep battling each other.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,371
13,274
United States
My best success with getting a ghost out of my pipe was to use moist coffee grounds from your days pot and stuff the bowl and the shank. Jam it in good and let it sit for 24 hours. Next day do the same thing, Let it settle overnight and see how it tastes. If it is not to your liking try the coffee grounds again. One thing I do know is that Ozone treatments don't work, A retort system is used by a lot of pros, but I had no intention of putting flame around pure alcohol.
 
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smudgersmissingleg

Preferred Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,335
3,706
119
England
I also find that after I've done a salt treatment or two that time can help. A few weeks of airing helped my aromatic pipe that had a bad cherry ghost.

I did the same thing with a gourd calabash I bought off ebay. It really stank so I gave it a few rounds of warm, high strength vodka. It was a lot better but not 100%. So I left it for a few months to air and it was golden.

Sometimes time can be the answer. In combination with salt/alcohol treatments, obviously.
 
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BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
6,802
20,547
37
IA
rather than alcohol I prefer to use water and salt.
I flush the pipe really well with water from the chamber out the shank..
then sit in in a piperest (after drying the exterior) and fill the chamber and shank completely with salt.
let this dry overnight at least.. and pour out the salt.
it will leave a salty dust on the interior.. leave this.
then smoke a pipeful.. and clean it really well afterwards.
from my experience this somehow pulls out the ghost.

And as @smudgersmissingleg said.. then let it sit for a really long time before smoking it again. it needs to air out and fully dry throughout the briar.
 
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italiansallion

New member
Jan 5, 2020
41
122
Salt and alcohol. Fill the bowl with kosher salt, and saturate with a higher proof alcohol. I used to use 151 rum but now I prefer something less... alcoholic. A little bourbon does a good job for me, or a decent rum.
 
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hairvise

New member
May 23, 2018
47
62
Fill the bowl and shank with freshly used, still wet coffee grounds and wait 3 or 4 days for it to dry out completely. After its COMPLETELY dry, dump and rinse with hot water. This can chase out stubborn ghosts.
I haven't tried devil's holiday, but I've read that it's got a fairly prominent flavor. Sometimes it takes a little more work with Lakelands. You could just use that pipe as an excuse to start exploring Gawith blends! An unexpected ghost can be offputting, but don't let it spook you off the sauce!
Guys, in a rush to try out this coffee treatment, I mixed up the instructions and ended up putting tobacco in my coffee maker instead of the other way around!

Not bad though--perhaps the world's first "latte-kia". Retrohaling was a big, big, mistake though!
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,855
16,737
Guys, in a rush to try out this coffee treatment, I mixed up the instructions and ended up putting tobacco in my coffee maker instead of the other way around!

Not bad though--perhaps the world's first "latte-kia". Retrohaling was a big, big, mistake though!
Would probably go well with latakia pie.

 

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