Seven Bowls In: Tips and Comments Appreciated

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lithicus

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 9, 2023
127
807
Pennsylvania
I mostly gravity fill all of my pipes and leave the airflow the same full as it is empty with no restriction. I also lean towards very dry tobacco prior to packing. Hope that helps!
That is very helpful!! The gravity fill method leaving the airflow the same full as it is empty with no restriction has worked well for me the last few bowls. I haven't been doing a good/thorough job of drying out my tobacco and I wouldn't be surprised if that was a part of my issue! Thanks!!
 
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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,810
111,341
That is very helpful!! The gravity fill method leaving the airflow the same full as it is empty with no restriction has worked well for me the last few bowls. I haven't been doing a good/thorough job of drying out my tobacco and I wouldn't be surprised if that was a part of my issue! Thanks!!
Very welcome. 👍
 

mortonbriar

Lifer
Oct 25, 2013
2,710
5,819
New Zealand
It's interesting because I had heard similar things through other forms of media. The example one individual in particular used the washroom; saying if you packed the pipe correctly and with tobacco of proper moisture you should be able to set the pipe down, use the washroom, and come back to a pipe that is still lit.

Yet, I can't seem to go more than 30-45 seconds (if I'm being generous, it's probably closer to 20-30 seconds) without risking the ember going out. I don't think it can be that I am packing it too loosely as lately I've been doing a "gravity fill only" method and still have issues. Perhaps, my tobacco isn't dry enough? I've read it should not crumble when pinched but also shouldn't stick and stay together. Maybe I need to pay more attention to my tobacco's moisture content.

Any tips on how to keep an ember alive for a minute or two while the pipe is set down would be greatly appreciated!!
I did a quick home depot trip one time, and when i came back to the truck my pipe did not need a relight! I had both windows cracked, and I think the airflow was just enough to keep it smouldering.

The packing and tamping and drying all contribute to it staying lit, but I found it more important to just let go of the urge to keep it lit. Nothing wrong with a relight.
 

lithicus

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 9, 2023
127
807
Pennsylvania
I did a quick home depot trip one time, and when i came back to the truck my pipe did not need a relight! I had both windows cracked, and I think the airflow was just enough to keep it smouldering.

The packing and tamping and drying all contribute to it staying lit, but I found it more important to just let go of the urge to keep it lit. Nothing wrong with a relight.
That is quite impressive! You might be right that having the windows cracked could've helped.

And I certainly don't mind a relight. I think they are simply a part of pipe smoking. But, it does make me think I have a lot of room for improvement with my preparation and technique as sometimes something as simple as taking a sip or two of coffee is often enough for my pipe go out. I don't think most pipe smokers are relighting as often as I am having to. Not their anyone else's experience has to dictate my own.

It's getting better though! The whole breath method thing is starting to click a little bit and I am finding I have to relight less often. I also dried the tobacco out in the bowl I'm smoking now for over an hour. I know time is not a measurement of moisture, but I do think that drying has helped. I'll get a better feel for tobacco moisture as I get more experience under my belt.

You all are amazing and I greatly appreciate your encouragement, kind words, and advice!!
 

mateusbrown

Might Stick Around
Apr 24, 2022
84
261
Georgia, USA
Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired drying out
As much as I love this tobacco for its strength, awesome barbecue-vinegar tin note, and so on, it is tricky to smoke dried or rubbed and put into the pipe with no drying. It is always hard to get going, and I have found that after the first light, the relight, and maybe even a third light and then smoking a few minutes, if I take the the poker part of the Czech took and break up the top layer a little and then tamp lightly and then relight, it smokes better afterwards since it wants to form a layer that the flame cannot get through on relights. It will burn hot, too, about 2/3 of the way in, so you have to slow down a little later on. It's good stuff, though!
 
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lithicus

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 9, 2023
127
807
Pennsylvania
As much as I love this tobacco for its strength, awesome barbecue-vinegar tin note, and so on, it is tricky to smoke dried or rubbed and put into the pipe with no drying. It is always hard to get going, and I have found that after the first light, the relight, and maybe even a third light and then smoking a few minutes, if I take the the poker part of the Czech took and break up the top layer a little and then tamp lightly and then relight, it smokes better afterwards since it wants to form a layer that the flame cannot get through on relights. It will burn hot, too, about 2/3 of the way in, so you have to slow down a little later on. It's good stuff, though!
I agree and can confirm basically everything you said!

I did have one of my best bowls to date last night (it was the same ODF), and I think it will be a trend going forward as I finally seemed to figure out the breath method. The hardest part for me was separating the "breathing organs" and drawing slooooooow. But, now that I have it down, I think I could comfortably smoke almost anything without too much worry for tongue bite or a hot pipe.

This morning, I tried my first aromatic. I just felt it was time and broke into some Lane 1Q. I enjoyed it quite a bit! It didn't have the strength of other blends I've tried so far. But, I expected that of an aromatic. Definitely had vanilla and hints of caramel at times. It was the first time I've ever noticed moisture in the pipe after I finished. Still no gargle to date.

The journey is coming along well and I've been enjoying the ride!
 
Jul 28, 2016
7,726
37,945
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
also, fine ribbon cut tobaccies are great for teaching one to smoke slower, yet I can not stop wondering how those elder Bristih old Codgers'' are able to smoke even G&H Blends, Brunos and similar ones right from the pouch/tin with no drying time, I have to leave my tobaccos to dry at least for 30 min otherwise tongue burn is guaranteed
 

lithicus

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 9, 2023
127
807
Pennsylvania
Just popping in to say that everything is going really well. My bowls have been smoking cool and smooth. I have the breath method down pretty good now and am starting to get more comfortable clenching. I got through a few bowls of 1Q and moved on this morning to Haunted Bookshop. Two bowls in and I'm loving it. Truth be told, I'm loving all of the blends I've tried so far. But, I do imagine I will have some favorites by the time everything is said and done.

I'm going to keep smoking Haunted Bookshop for a bit and then give the stronger Old Joe Krantz a shot. Then, I have the rest of my aromatics to try before wrapping back around and maybe placing another order! I think C&D's Autumn evening will be fun to try.

I have been eyeing some corncob pipes from MM. They also have a nice combo leather pouch that will hold a pipe or two, some tools, and tobacco. I've yet to take my pipe on the road with me, but I could see this coming in handy even just around the house. I may put this purchase off for a bit, either way, as it's not strictly necessary and I'm on a budget. I'd rather spend my money on tobacco blends puffy But, I do think some corncobs and that pouch might be in my near future!
 

LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
1,995
17,249
Oregon
I would suggest gravity filling until overflowed and then GENTLY pushing the tobacco into the bawl. IMO the draw shouldn’t be that restricted. Relights are perfectly normal as well. You’ll get the hang of it especially if you’re smoking a few bowls a day. After 1000 bowls or so you won’t have to think about it.
 
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lithicus

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 9, 2023
127
807
Pennsylvania
I would suggest gravity filling until overflowed and then GENTLY pushing the tobacco into the bawl. IMO the draw shouldn’t be that restricted. Relights are perfectly normal as well. You’ll get the hang of it especially if you’re smoking a few bowls a day. After 1000 bowls or so you won’t have to think about it.
Yea, I've definitely found the gravity fill method to work quite well and would recommend it to anyone. Lately, I've been able to get by with something like a rodgers scoop; maybe my own variation of it. Number of relights have gone down drastically with general pipe smoking technique such as the breath method and proper tamping.

Been enjoying the journey for sure and looking forward to trying more blends soon!
 
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sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
1,169
12,280
37
Lower Alabama
Yea, I've definitely found the gravity fill method to work quite well and would recommend it to anyone. Lately, I've been able to get by with something like a rodgers scoop; maybe my own variation of it. Number of relights have gone down drastically with general pipe smoking technique such as the breath method and proper tamping.

Been enjoying the journey for sure and looking forward to trying more blends soon!
Sounds like you're doing just fine. It'll take a little time to really get a feel for things, but it sounds like you're picking it up quick.

Congratulations. Have fun exploring the wealth of flavor.
 
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Epip Oc'Cabot

Can't Leave
Oct 11, 2019
448
1,211
You have a lot of good advice already. I would suggest experimenting with drying the tobacco even MORE….. perhaps as long as a day…. try a bowlful of that. I suspect it may help with the other advice about sipping. I think the dryer leaf will not be as “hot” along with sipping more.
 
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Lucashly

Can't Leave
Jun 21, 2023
382
337
California
I agree with loading tobacco with gravity feed. Then apply gentle pressure on top tobacco layer to keep the tobacco from falling out of the bowl. Sip and I mean sip like sipping a chocolate soda and don't forget to tamp often, only with the weight of the tamp. Tamp often but don't crush the tobacco. Find a tamp with breather holes in the tamp if you have not already done so. This allows inhaling while tamping. Tamping in my opinion is not done enough. Tamping is best done with a concave shape. The concave shape allows one to collect the tobacco into the center of the bowel. I have learned this from the Forum who has given me great advice. Putting it all together took time. You will in general relight less when some of these ideas become natural. And don't sweat the relights.
 
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tmcg81

Part of the Furniture Now
May 8, 2020
970
15,067
NJ
ODF was a little tricky for me until I realized I needed to let it dry for 20 minutes or so after I Rubbed it out really well. I'm no expert pipe smoker, but sometimes I smoke a bowl with zero relights and other times I have a million. Doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Any time smoking a pipe is time well spent.
 

badbriar

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 17, 2012
717
1,309
Suncoast Florida by the Beach
Many English and Scottish blends will stay lit for nearly the entire bowl if sipped easily. Latakia is the tobacco that gives these the smoky taste and aroma. Latakia is one tobacco that many either like or dislike - not many in the middle. Personally, I prefer Latakia blends.
Also, don't get excited about letting the pipe go out and come back to re-light. It's called DGT.. Delayed Gratification Technique. Pipes are unlike cigars in that you can let many blends extinguish and then re-light for even more unique tastes!
As others have said, sip rather than huff! Drawing too hard will surely give you tongue burn.
Some Virginias and quite a few highly cased flavored Aromatics will do the same.
 

Stoaks

Might Stick Around
Sep 21, 2023
58
153
Canton, GA, USA
Looking back on my first year or so of being God-awful at smoking a pipe, I counseled my brother-in-law (and good friend) to first figure out what was "too loose" a pack and "too dry" tobacco when I got him a pipe, a few ounces and some accessories for Christmas last year.

I reckon I went about it backwards when trying to figure out what was loose enough and dry enough, and could have saved some time and avoided some bad smokes if I'd tackled it the other way around.

I'm pretty bad at it now so I'm moving in the right direction :ROFLMAO:
 
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Briarcutter

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 17, 2023
266
1,849
U.S.A.
I've found the pack is of critical importance. I've been smoking a pipe for so many years it's just natural and I couldn't even explain it. You'll get to know what you like. For me, if it's packed too tight when I draw, before the light I'll run a cleaner through, sometimes that will fix it. If it's still too tight, I empty it and start over. Too tight a draw will ruin the smoke without a doubt. I notice when I gently blow on the top of my bowl a nice stream of smoke will flow from the button. The only exception is Semois, I pack that one like a Yankee with a ram rod but still the draw is fine.

Pardon the Civil war anecdote, I'm reading Shelby Foote now...
 
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Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
2,808
35,423
Casa Grande, AZ
Glad it’s coming along for you.
This is the pouch I got and have been using for almost a year:


It fits a couple pipes, but stay under 6”

MM cobs are awesome and the bent versions fit pouch well, straight are a c-hair too long.
 
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