More Frustration W/SG Flakes

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milk

Lifer
Sep 21, 2022
1,019
2,585
Japan
It's hard to imagine that too dry could make it harder to light, but perhaps it's possible...

Are you using matches, or a lighter of some kind? I'm still trying to figure out why, but matches seem to work better for me. I suspect a lighter allows me to apply the flame for too long, and so too much moisture builds up from the combustion and it actually starts to get too wet again. I've had SG tobacco refuse to light AND start to sizzle! So if a match doesn't get it going somewhat easily, I set the pipe down and give it more time to dry out.

I'll re-iterate, make sure you aren't tamping it too hard. Maybe even put away the tamper and use your pinky for a while to make sure you're doing no more than touching the ash from time to time. Looser is probably better until you find the right balance with this stuff.
I’ve tried both matches and a lighter. I admit that I’m still new to pipe smoking and I’m sure part of the problem is in packing. I’ve studied the issue, as newbies do, but I just think other tobaccos are more forgiving when it comes to this question. I know I haven’t got the hang of it perfectly. Most tobaccos remain soft and crispy as they’re dried out so they’re forgiving. I think overly dried, hard-as -rock SGs, aren’t forgiving when packing. They aren’t malleable. Maybe I got frustrated and impatient. I’m going to put them on hold and then start from the beginning with them down the road. As I said before, something like Peterson Flake is much easier as it remains very soft and flammable when dry. Anyway, I feel like I’ve tested everyone’s patience with this question. I really do appreciate the attention to the problem. It did frustrate me and burn by mouth more than once with relighting.
 
The first time I tried smoking FVF I found it disgusting, just flavorless, difficult to keep lit, tasting more like stable hay after the horse had shit in it. A member here advised me to give it about 5 hours of drying time, which a did, and the difference was amazing.
I had the exact same experience sans the horse shit.
 

n_irwin

Can't Leave
Apr 15, 2022
322
1,376
Texas, USA
I'll re-iterate, make sure you aren't tamping it too hard. Maybe even put away the tamper and use your pinky for a while to make sure you're doing no more than touching the ash from time to time. Looser is probably better until you find the right balance with this stuff.
This is exactly what I was thinking as I read through this thread. I have had trouble with other cube cuts becoming very hard in my pipe and the problem was overtamping. With flakes and cube cuts, I’ve learned to pack it very loose and to not tamp, allowing the tobacco to expand in the chamber.
 

milk

Lifer
Sep 21, 2022
1,019
2,585
Japan
This is exactly what I was thinking as I read through this thread. I have had trouble with other cube cuts becoming very hard in my pipe and the problem was overtamping. With flakes and cube cuts, I’ve learned to pack it very loose and to not tamp, allowing the tobacco to expand in the chamber.
This is something for me to think about too.
 

Puff nstuff

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 2, 2021
210
1,021
Inland Southern California
I recently had some similarly dried out Hansom Flake that I was concerned about because it was so dry and hard. I decided to rehydrate it just enough so that it was workable again, to be able to rub it and separate the chunks enough to be able to fill the pipe. It was still fairly dry, but not hard or crunchy. That seemed to work well for me. Still required relights, and the tobacco still expanded in the chamber, but the smoking experience was good.
 
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skydog

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 27, 2017
582
1,539
I've never enjoyed cube cutting tobacco. No matter how loose or tight I pack it or how much I dry it I never get a good smoke. I personally never dry my tobacco anymore no matter how moist it is out of the tin. With flakes I just rub them out and pack them and they smoke fine for me. I think with flakes it's easier to over tightly pack a pipe than with ribbon cut so you just have to careful with how much pressure you're applying when packing and tamping.
 

Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
3,095
38,816
Casa Grande, AZ
Since @The Amish Tyrant revived this thread, I’ll do my first experience with FVF from this morning.
Remembering how SG (or was it GH) tobaks are meant to be smoked “as tinned” and not “faffed about” with, I opened the tin last night and let it breathe a bit while wrapped in its tin liner (maybe an hour).
This morning I popped it open, stripped enough skinny long flakes out that I thought I would need, and rubbed/rolled the between palms to create a loosely tight “football” that I twisted into bowl and left an air gap at bottom. After charring light/soft tamp, I lit with multiple forceful puffs to get rolling, then slowed to sipping.
Bowl only went out when set down for enough time to go in and make another cup of coffee, and relit rather easily and burned to bottom.
I did have to unscrew the Briarlee and blow out wetness midpoint-I’m unsure if that’s my technique, the humidity, or the tobak.
YMMV
 

Puffaluffaguss

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 30, 2021
692
2,192
32
The City Different
Honestly, I rub the heck out of SG flakes. I rub them all the way down to almost a shag. I rub out the whole tin at once. Same with the new BS flake or any flake thicker then say PS LNF. Let the tin air out for a few hours and put into a jar. I've learned this is the my best method for thick cut flakes. I let them age in flake form until I Crack the tin, after that the flakes get the full treatment and anytime I want that blend I have no fuss with drying or rubbing or folding. Yes it takes some time to rub out a whole tin but it's so worth it
 
I cube cut, dry for a day, and then put in a real tin from another company that uses tins that makes sense, and let the moisture from deep down in the cubs acclimate for a few more days, and then dry a tad more. Peck had posted about doing this for FVF and some of the other hard as shit British flakes that saturate their flakes. I find that it works best for me. YMMV
 
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condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
8,261
28,659
New York
I am perplexed! I have opened tins of FVF, taken out a flake, folded it and stuffed my pipe with it. Lit the damn stuff and tamped it down and off to the races I go. Other than the nicotine flavored water two thirds of the way through the bowl I have never experienced any issues. The same applies to Best Brown, St James or any of the Gawiths flakes before the changing of the guard and the new batch of Oompa Loompa's in the blending department arrived. The plugs are a little more challenging and are best cut up in a plug cutter to get uniform sized slices that can be folded and stuffed. YMMV but once you get the head lit and burning you should be fine.
 

autumnfog

Lifer
Jul 22, 2018
1,192
2,586
Sweden
I rub it out and let it dry for an hour or more. Then I try to practice ultra slow smoking.
But most of all I expect FVF to come with some hassle so I'm never surprised by relights and such.
 
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coys

Can't Leave
Feb 15, 2022
337
786
Missouri
Just musing:

Gawith tobaccos are packed wet as we all know. And our friends there are adamant that they do not produce tobaccos that are meant to be stored. They produce tobacco as they always have which is meant to be bought and enjoyed right away.

Given those things, could this not be why they are packed so wet? The formula a hundred years ago was that you’d walk into a shop on the high street and buy a tin, open it, and the flakes would ride around in the opened tin for a while until you finished them. They never would have been sealed at all in those days. So the wetness they were packed with may have been meant to keep them from getting too dry in an unsealed tin for as long as they’d need to survive.

But today, we store the tins years for age, open them up and jar it all, and then pull wet flakes for smoking and have to contend with the moist condition. But this was not the way in the beginning.

This is just a post-bowl hypothesis, but maybe if we use the tobacco in the same way one did in days gone by, the result calibrated by our friends at GH will be achieved?

Perhaps I’ll open a tin and just leave the tin out on my desk and have a bowl each day until it’s gone to see how it goes.
 
Jul 26, 2021
2,340
9,519
Metro-Detroit
Just musing:

Gawith tobaccos are packed wet as we all know. And our friends there are adamant that they do not produce tobaccos that are meant to be stored. They produce tobacco as they always have which is meant to be bought and enjoyed right away.

Given those things, could this not be why they are packed so wet? The formula a hundred years ago was that you’d walk into a shop on the high street and buy a tin, open it, and the flakes would ride around in the opened tin for a while until you finished them. They never would have been sealed at all in those days. So the wetness they were packed with may have been meant to keep them from getting too dry in an unsealed tin for as long as they’d need to survive.

But today, we store the tins years for age, open them up and jar it all, and then pull wet flakes for smoking and have to contend with the moist condition. But this was not the way in the beginning.

This is just a post-bowl hypothesis, but maybe if we use the tobacco in the same way one did in days gone by, the result calibrated by our friends at GH will be achieved?

Perhaps I’ll open a tin and just leave the tin out on my desk and have a bowl each day until it’s gone to see how it goes.
Science.
 

elvishrunes

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2017
310
541
I had the most trouble smoking an Ennerdale flake tin than any other brand I’ve had before, however, after I did this, they burnt fine, even wet. They are dense heavy flakes.

Rub out as usual, but once you have the pieces keep shredding them, pulling them apart sideways, until you have much thinner tobacco strands than typical ready rubbed.