Help with Plum Pudding

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jdb67

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May 18, 2020
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563
I really like SPC Plum Pudding but am having a hell of time figuring out prep and technique...it just won't stay lit. For those of you that smoke Plum Pudding, will you please describe your process to prep it, what size/shape pipe you find works best, any tricks you have to keep it going? I do know it is too moist out of the tin, so already I rub it out and dry it a long time (like 40 minutes). I also rub what I put on top out even finer. Still...I have to relight it constantly. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

ofafeather

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Apr 26, 2020
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When I’m doubt, dry it more. I haven’t smoked Plum Pudding yet but there is no specific drying time that works for all tobacco. I just had a blend dry for 2 1/2 days!

Rub it out and let it get slightly crispy. There are others that might chime in about packing - I read a bit about packing looser.
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Just as a matter of course, I frequently dry a packed pipe overnight, and it often happens, on into the next day until I'm ready for a smoke. In other cases, I will dry several pipe bowls worth in a pottery bowl. Drier is usually good. You don't want to smoke dust, but it is a long way between slightly (or not so slightly) moist from the tin and dust. Try it!
 
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3rdguy

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Aug 29, 2017
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I have let it dry overnight and it still can be a raging bitch to get going. I smoked a tin of it a few years ago and decided for what it offered, it was not worth the effort. My 2 cents.
 
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craig61a

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Apr 29, 2017
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As was mentioned, you probably need to dry it more. I have some small china bowls I bought at my local dollar store that I set stuff out to dry. Or zap it in the microwave if I wasn’t thinking ahead.

With it being summer, dry time will be longer if you live in a humid climate, like me. I leave it sit on the dining room table for several hours in the AC.

If feels crispy then it’s usually good to go. After a while you’ll get a feel for it. And if it gets too dry, I’ll blow through the bowl a few times. That will add enough moisture so it’s not too harsh.
 

logs

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Apr 28, 2019
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You can also dry it pretty darn quick by breaking it up and putting it in a skillet on the stovetop. Shake the pan for few minutes on high heat and once the tobacco is steaming, you're done. I prefer it to the microwave method--it's a bit easier to control.
 
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craig61a

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Apr 29, 2017
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You can also dry it pretty darn quick by breaking it up and putting it in a skillet on the stovetop. Shake the pan for few minutes on high heat and once the tobacco is steaming, you're done. I prefer it to the microwave method--it's a bit easier to control.
I did that skillet thing once... My wife thought I had lost my marbles. “Why are you cooking pipe tobacco...?”
 

BarrelProof

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Mar 29, 2020
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The consensus is dry it more. I will report back. I think not drying my tobacco enough is a general thing I need to pay more attention to. Thanks everyone.
Take it for what it’s worth, because I haven’t been smoking a pipe very long, but I love Plum Pudding SR and have smoked quite a few bowls of it. I usually pinch some of the cake off, rub it out, and then let it sit for a day before packing and smoking it.
 

jdb67

Member
May 18, 2020
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Still not super, but I have decided for now that I will do 'touch up' lights and not really allow it to go out unless the bowl is telling me it is too hot. A touch up light is very quick and does not seem like much interruption and I just feel like my rhythm is better this way. I will still try the other recommendations...dry, dry, dry...and different packing, different pipes, etc. Thanks for the replies.
 

ofafeather

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Apr 26, 2020
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Still not super, but I have decided for now that I will do 'touch up' lights and not really allow it to go out unless the bowl is telling me it is too hot. A touch up light is very quick and does not seem like much interruption and I just feel like my rhythm is better this way. I will still try the other recommendations...dry, dry, dry...and different packing, different pipes, etc. Thanks for the replies.
I’ll be trying it some time this week since I have a tin in the way. Will report back.
 

kcghost

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May 6, 2011
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Someone from the Seattle Pipe Club ought to be chiming in on this one.
 

shanez

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Jul 10, 2018
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Moisture level is only one aspect and I've only found it to be an issue for the initial light. I can smoke it directly from a freshly opened tin (but only after some difficulty with the initial light).

Another aspect is the cut and/or crumble. Even thought this is basically a crumble kake, I've had much better results with this blend by cutting the initial kake into "flakes" about 1/8" or a little more thick instead of breaking it up by hand. Then dry and rub out.

Basically I open a fresh tin, cut it into flakes, jar it, and dry/rub out as necessary.

I let it dry before rubbing it out rather than the other way around. Dry tobacco always seems to rub out a bit easier after some drying.
 
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ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
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Where NY, CT & MA meet
Moisture level is only one aspect and I've only found it to be an issue for the initial light. I can smoke it directly from a freshly opened tin (but only after some difficulty with the initial light).

Another aspect is the cut and/or crumble. Even thought this is basically a crumble kake, I've had much better results with this blend by cutting the initial kake into "flakes" about 1/8" or a little more thick instead of breaking it up by hand. Then dry and rub out.

Basically I open a fresh tin, cut it into flakes, jar it, and dry/rub out as necessary.

I let it dry before rubbing it out rather than the other way around. Dry tobacco always seems to rub out a bit easier after some drying.
Good to know.
 

Heypat

New member
Mar 7, 2020
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For plumb pudding, Mississippi River and hood canal I crumble the entire cake when I open the tin. Then I let it sit up to a day to get the right moisture content then I store it in a mason jar. At this point the entire tin is ready to smoke on demand. If I buy the larger 8 oz tin I only crumble 2 ounces and store the remaining As a cake for later use.
 

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