- Aug 20, 2013
Don't question success.
i had the opposite problem where I was smashing bowls in 15-25 minutes.I have what I'll call trouble and what others might call a blessing when smoking my pipes. Lately I've only been filling them halfway, and yet they still smoke for 45 minutes to an hour. If it's 2/3 full, it can go an hour and 15 minutes, even if the tobacco is drier than it should be.
Everyone says smoke slow, for several reasons. A lot of people here also say they finish in 30 to 45 minutes--and that's for full bowls! That doesn't sound slow to me. If I want to finish even half a bowl in 30 minutes, I would have to constantly puff; every breath I take would have to be a puff from my pipe.
If I go any faster than my current rate, the outside of the pipe gets hot, I get tongue bite, and the tobacco gurgles. And that's with goopy aromatics like Drew Estates' 7th Avenue Blonde, straight VAs in shag and broken-flake form (Kendal Gold and McClelland No. 27), burleys (Carter Hall, Prince Albert), English or Balkan blends (I don't know the difference, but Plum Pudding, John Bull Royal English, and Frog Morton's Cellar are my examples). You name it, I get these problems if I smoke faster than my current super-slow rate.
Thirty minutes to smoke a pipe sounds good. How can people smoke full pipes slowly for a cooler temperature and no gurgle and still be done in 30 minutes? I know I must be doing something wrong.
I don't see a chamber. Also, I wonder about the drilling.Buy a very small pipe and try it.
It sounds like your technique is good and resulting in longer sessions than you imagined.
Get a Missouri Meerschaum Tom Sawyer or similar for reference and go from there.
How large is the pipe you're using?
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Your descriptions of your smoking are always so detailed and precise. Makes me suspect that you know what you're doing!If I take a full size flake like a Rotary Navy Cut and put it in a group 5 pipe, it will normally smoke for 1.5 to 2 hours. I am a firm believer that a nice hard cake will make a pipe smoke cooler and more flavorful especially if you are dedicating in genres or specific blends. I break in every pipe I own the same way.
I fill it to the top, smoke it to the bottom and always use some type of Va,Vaper or Vabur flake or plug. This builds a nice hard cake after a dozen or so bowls and after each bowl I take a couple of soft pipe cleaners and wipe the bowl of loose tobacco and ash the next day. I have found letting the cake cool over night hardens it nicely.
I tried to relight a Punch Habana once and it was garbage on the relight. I’m not arguing your experience, but I would not say your experience is an across-the-board thing. I did not put it in a freezer and all that though. I smoked about 1/4 of it, then there was an emergency I had to tend to. Came back to it a couple hours later and finished it, but it was definitely not as good. Tasted like your typical relit cigar.I will say Havanas are an exception to this rule - you can let them go out, cool down, knock off any grey ash and save for a day or 2 in a Ziploc in the freezer (or out in an air-conditioned room). I've done this many times (out of necessity, not by choice). The only ill effect is upon first lighting, it's a bit muddled until you get past the old char.
I have never had this experience with Dominicans, Nicaraguans and the like.
Inconsistency in a Havana cigar? You don't say! Oddly enough, from memory it seems I've done this most with the Por Larrañaga Monte Carlos, a long n skinny cigar I smoke regularly. Perhaps the vitola dictates how well it works?I tried to relight a Punch Habana once and it was garbage on the relight. I’m not arguing your experience, but I would not say your experience is an across-the-board thing. I did not put it in a freezer and all that though. I smoked about 1/4 of it, then there was an emergency I had to tend to. Came back to it a couple hours later and finished it, but it was definitely not as good. Tasted like your typical relit cigar.
Totally agree on the smoking side of the equation. But as to how dry the tobacco is, how to care for the pipe, I try to get a bit scientific. Maybe a lot compared to how I read others.I never really concern myself with time of smoke. I smoke till I'm done. If i want more reload and go again. Smoking a pipe is to be enjoyed. I guess I dont get the technical side of it.
I only consider the technical side of pipe smoking as a means to more enjoyment. I will say that in the past years, treating it like a bit of a science and making a point to experiment with various levels of dryness of tobacco and firmness of packing for various blends has really helped me to get the most flavor and enjoyment out of my pipes. Done well, smoking a pipe is a science, but feels in practice like an art.I never really concern myself with time of smoke. I smoke till I'm done. If i want more reload and go again. Smoking a pipe is to be enjoyed. I guess I dont get the technical side of it.
"Friendships have been destroyed over it. Duels have been fought over it. Fortunes have risen or fallen over it."This is a very, very complex question, one that requires a lot of experience, meditation and study. One cannot approach this search for an answer without feeling some extreme level of trepidation. May pipe smokers have heatedly debated this question. Friendships have been destroyed over it. Duels have been fought over it. Fortunes have risen or fallen over it.
I have certainly devoted much of my waking existence to acquiring the knowledge necessary to contemplate a possible answer that won't see me incarcerated in a sanitarium.
And so, after nearly 49 years of smoking a pipe, I think I have stumbled upon something that could well be described as definitive. Here is the culmination of a lifetime of experience.
How long should a bowl last?
It should last until it is finished.
There you have it. No need to thank me.