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Buckler

Junior Member
May 25, 2020
87
82
Hey g'day, I've found my cadence and choice of tobacco dictates how much dottle , the older I get , the slower I smoke which in turn equals less dottle and more pondering , slow down and relax and enjoy the whole bowl , and stockpile while ya can , they are makein it harder down here to enjoy the simple things , all the thanks to our briar brothers across the ocean without whom I wouldn't be able to, cheers to yas
Too right. I do smoke slowish most the time. Sped up a little on the last one or two and more dottle... 🤔
Perhaps you are on to something friend. 👍
 
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EvertonFC

New member
May 5, 2020
42
74
Philadelphia
I do like 4-5 charring lights sucking the flame into the top of the tobacco. Then tamp lightly and suck the flame to just above but never touching the tobacco to fully light it.
Hey BROBS...

Quick question. Do you set the pipe aside and let it cool a bit between each of those charring lights? Or simply char, tamp, char, tamp, etc.? Thanks.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
6,486
19,534
37
IA
Hey BROBS...

Quick question. Do you set the pipe aside and let it cool a bit between each of those charring lights? Or simply char, tamp, char, tamp, etc.? Thanks.
I char it.. tobacco raises up so I tamp it. Then char again and if it raises up tamp it. Keep on until it doesn’t raise anymore when you char. Then chill for a few seconds and light it with the flame sucking close but not touching the tobacco.

so basically when the tobacco stays fairly flat I consider it ready for the real light.
 

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lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
1,058
1,121
I smoke until I’m done. Whatever is left gets dumped.
My thoughts as well. The goal is to enjoy the pipe, not to burn all of the tobacco in it. Depending on how dry OP likes his baccy, that amount of dottle is not at all unusual. The idea that it's somehow wasteful to throw out the remaining tobacco after smoking 80% of the bowl would be like saying that you are wasteful with a cigar unless you smoke it down to the last half inch.

Some blends (Virginia-based blends, mostly) are great dry, and it's easy to smoke those pipes to the bottom. However, there are many other blends that I like to dry a little less than I'd dry a Virginia blend, and due to the greater moisture level, there always ends up being a certain amount of tobacco at the bottom of the bowl that just accumulates moisture, tastes nasty, and won't burn well. Much like the last inch or so of a cigar, that unsmoked tobacco at the bottom of the bowl is a necessary component of the smoking experience.
 

EvertonFC

New member
May 5, 2020
42
74
Philadelphia
I char it.. tobacco raises up so I tamp it. Then char again and if it raises up tamp it. Keep on until it doesn’t raise anymore when you char. Then chill for a few seconds and light it with the flame sucking close but not touching the tobacco.

so basically when the tobacco stays fairly flat I consider it ready for the real light.
Excellent. Thank you.
 

Buckler

Junior Member
May 25, 2020
87
82
Why not suck it in to the tobacco on the true light?


I char it.. tobacco raises up so I tamp it. Then char again and if it raises up tamp it. Keep on until it doesn’t raise anymore when you char. Then chill for a few seconds and light it with the flame sucking close but not touching the tobacco.

so basically when the tobacco stays fairly flat I consider it ready for the real light.
 
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Itz

New member
Jun 12, 2020
32
56
My thoughts as well. The goal is to enjoy the pipe, not to burn all of the tobacco in it. Depending on how dry OP likes his baccy, that amount of dottle is not at all unusual. The idea that it's somehow wasteful to throw out the remaining tobacco after smoking 80% of the bowl would be like saying that you are wasteful with a cigar unless you smoke it down to the last half inch.

Some blends (Virginia-based blends, mostly) are great dry, and it's easy to smoke those pipes to the bottom. However, there are many other blends that I like to dry a little less than I'd dry a Virginia blend, and due to the greater moisture level, there always ends up being a certain amount of tobacco at the bottom of the bowl that just accumulates moisture, tastes nasty, and won't burn well. Much like the last inch or so of a cigar, that unsmoked tobacco at the bottom of the bowl is a necessary component of the smoking experience.
This is music to my ears. As a perfectionist, I have a hard time with dottle at the bottom but I gotta remember that's not the point. Thanks!
 

piperwinston

New member
Jul 2, 2019
34
41
It happens all the time, not a problem at all. Especially, say...a raining day in my place, the leftover tobacco tastes harsh, too moisture and simply bad. The bottom tobacco may also absorb some 'saliva'.

A chalk filter solves this problem. Sometime, I smoke 2/3 and let the leftover straightly be the leftover. Never mind.
 

ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
549
1,486
47
Where NY, CT & MA meet
Good question.
Take notice which cuts of baccy smoke down leaving little dottle as some will burn better than others. Smoke the ones that do and you'll build cake.

You could try; when I'm breaking in a cob, to burn off the bit of hardwood stem that protrudes into the chamber, when near the end of a bowl, I add a pinch more baccy and really fire it up to get the wood smouldering.
As a bonus, that also builds up cake on the bottom rather well.
I remember cobs to be notoriously high from the bottom of the bowl. Haven’t smoked one in a while. Is that currently the case?
 
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ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
549
1,486
47
Where NY, CT & MA meet
Yeah, it’s kind of like a fantasy thing that everything smokes to a fine white ash. There are ways but it’s not always worth it. I tend to push it bc I usually get limited opportunities to smoke and don’t want it to be done, lol. The bottom of the bowl can get quite hot and it’s not always enjoyable.

Standard suggestion for break-in used to be to smoke several bowls starting with about 1/2 )depending on size) progressively adding more tobacco in successive smokes. The 1/2 bowls give you the chance to build a bit of carbon on the bottom of the bowl which can help wick moisture, insulate and protect the bottom. That will help some with the dottle. I also remember there used to be these ceramic stones you could drop in before packing the bowl. Never used them so don’t know how they are but do remember hearing about them being used successfully.

Other strategies are to make a small ball of springy tobacco that you drop into the bottom then do your regular pack.

Or roll all of your tobacco into cylinder shape that you load kind of like a single plug. Leave a little air space in the bottom.

Then there is one tip I read from someone’s post from the old PipeSmoker magazine from the 40s. Use a tiny piece of steel wool rolled up and dropped into the bottom. I’m not sure about that one myself but the original writer of the article swore by it. My concern would be who the hell knows what’s really in steel wool!

in the end, smoke and enjoy. Don’t worry about dottle.
 
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chopper

Preferred Member
Aug 24, 2019
500
1,073
I remember cobs to be notoriously high from the bottom of the bowl. Haven’t smoked one in a while. Is that currently the case?
Since I've only 'broken in' 3 MM cobs you'd get a more accurate answer if you asked that in the cob section. [there's at least a couple of members here who mainly smoke cob pipes]

But yes, all three needed the bottom to be built up with cake. [If I'm not mistaken, MM cobs that don't have a hardwood plug in the base appear to have a deeper gap. Building up cake protects the base from burning through]

When cleaning a cob I'm careful not to disturb the base cake with my pipe tool but rather, once I've cleared whatever dottle is remaining to the hole, I compress whatever ash is remaining with my tamper.
It sorts itself over time where the cake will harden.

To speed up the process, some use cigar ash to fill the space on the base of a cob. Just tamp it down firmly with a touch of moisture.
Edit to add; after just cleaning out the ash [without any dottle] from a briar, I can't see why that also could not be used.
 
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ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
549
1,486
47
Where NY, CT & MA meet
Since I've only 'broken in' 3 MM cobs you'd get a more accurate answer if you asked that in the cob section. [there's at least a couple of members here who mainly smoke cob pipes]

But yes, all three needed the bottom to be built up with cake. [If I'm not mistaken, MM cobs that don't have a hardwood plug in the base appear to have a deeper gap. Building up cake protects the base from burning through]

When cleaning a cob I'm careful not to disturb the base cake with my pipe tool but rather, once I've cleared whatever dottle is remaining to the hole, I compress whatever ash is remaining with my tamper.
It sorts itself over time where the cake will harden.

To speed up the process, some use cigar ash to build up cake on the base of a cob.
Cool. Thanks. I’ve used an ash slurry to build up the bottom on some briars that were drilled high. It works really well.
 

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