"Over"-Lighting Wet Blends for Better Flavor (As Opposed to Drying) ?

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beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Most of the ribbon-cut tobacco I have burns beautifully and easily. Royal Yacht hardly needs the first false light: I just dump it in, one match, and could smoke it to the bottom.
Many of my favorite blends--flakes and ropes with "Gawith" in the name--are more difficult. I experimented with Rum Twist for a while, drying it further and further. By the time I finally dried it to the point where it stayed lit easily, it had lost a little of its flavor.
Now, let me say I don't mind relights--they aren't that big of a deal to me. I'd rather relight and keep the hearty flavor of the rope as opposed to drying it too much. But I've started experimenting with "over"-lighting the blend: I just keep puffing on the match, well past the point that it seems necessary--maybe an additional 10 or 20 seconds of match-assisted puffing. Of course, this produces a harsh taste very briefly, and would be QUITE overkill with any of my drier, ribbon cut blends. But with these moist flakes and ropes, I find it seems to dry them out on the spot without taking away from the flavor. The harsh, burnt tastes quickly dissipates and then the pipe stays lit.
Does anyone else use this method? Or are you just thinking, "Duh, that's just what it means to light your pipe when you're smoking a G&H flake or rope"?

 

ltstone

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 30, 2015
503
50
Sometimes I just keep "false lighting" in a wide bowl for wetter tobaccos. Just hold flame on for a second or 2 and puff puff. Then wait then do the same over and over. It may take longer for the top part to dry out and stay lit but when it does I usually get a longer smoke. I try not to take long hard puffs as that gives me tongue bite.

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Ah, a wide bowl--good insight. I'll have to try that. I need a bit bigger pipe collection.
The great thing about these ropes is I find that even if I really puff them they don't bite my tongue. So maybe there is some fearful symmetry to it.

 

deathmetal

Lifer
Jul 21, 2015
7,715
27
I've done the same thing. Drying does not work, but burning through the first two layers to get a good fire going seems to turn out OK. I love these ropes, but they are for experienced smokers, which sometimes I can pretend I am.

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
I've done the same thing. Drying does not work, but burning through the first two layers to get a good fire going seems to turn out OK. I love these ropes, but they are for experienced smokers, which sometimes I can pretend I am.

Good to know others have done the same.
I honestly didn't realize what a tough time I had with keeping them lit until I went off my rope kick for a bit and started smoking a lot of English / Balkan ribbon cut blends. I was suddenly like, "Wait. I only lit this once, and... now it's done?" It was a stark contrast to all my re-lights with the ropes, but like you, I still love them dearly.

 

beefeater33

Lifer
Apr 14, 2014
3,954
5,728
Central Ohio
Are you cutting up your ropes fine, like a shag? Thats the only way I can smoke them..... razor sharp knife, slice THIN into coins, brief dry, rub them out and enjoy.......... they are a pain to master, and I've not mastered, but worth it when the stars line up and everything clicks...... :puffy:

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
I actually kept cutting them thinner and thinner until I think I got them a bit too thin. They were so thin it was like Five Brothers or something, and they didn't seem to smoke as well. I went back to a medium coin, still very thin--about as thin as an actual dime or quarter, but it seems to burn better.

 
Mar 1, 2014
3,388
4,279
My running theory is that blends that burn slower need a narrow bowl.

If a blend burns well then it probably doesn't matter what the bowl shape is, but flakes and ropes should probably be smoked in a bowl that will encourage them to burn faster.

With a narrow bowl you have less surface area over the face of the opening, so any given puff will move more air over the embers than a wider bowl, a smaller space probably helps keep the cherry going too.
And yes, I'll usually do a lot of charring on the false light, with really slow blends it's even better using a butane torch. I can smoke a Samual Gawith flake sopping wet fresh from the tin if I just torch it enough.
Some pipe lighting tutorials say that your charring light isn't done until you get flame flaring up out of the pipe, thus far I haven't had any problems with that idea.

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Some pipe lighting tutorials say that your charring light isn't done until you get flame flaring up out of the pipe, thus far I haven't had any problems with that idea.
I've actually done this a bit, but didn't mention it for fear it was anathema in the wider pipe-smoking world.

 
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