Smoking to the Bottom of the Bowl.

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Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
3,164
15,606
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
Just an observation I have made of my pipes, I have two that have a tiny depression at the bottom of the chamber that goes below the, for lack of a better term, 'pipe cleaner trough' --- the small area where the pipe cleaner comes into the bottom of bowl; there is always a few grains of tobacco that have fallen in there and the ember never touches them. (Pete Pub Pipe and Savinelli 2614KS) Its just the way they were drilled. Therefore, I agree with all of the above. +1
 

Old Smokey

Can't Leave
Feb 29, 2024
380
1,420
The Hollers of Kentucky in Appalachia
There's a world of difference between ignorantly blow torching the heel and airway and simply smoking to the bottom. You can do so only if the tobacco isn't wet. Just don't force it!

The benefit is large: You'll have a nice dry chamber.
I've never had a burnout and I smoke to the bottom everytime. The dry chamber is a plus as well.
 
Jun 16, 2018
1,029
13,529
56
Athens, Greece
I've called the very small amount of tobacco left at the bottom in terms of non stop tobacco, the pipes share. I mean it's probably only a tiny bit of flake. That's the pipes share. The offering made to the pipe for a good smoke.
Very well said. Like the Angels' share, the portion of whisky that is evaporated from the barrel (and the title of a very good film by Ken Loach from 2012).
 

BrightDarkEyes

Can't Leave
Mar 16, 2024
337
4,847
Shuswap, British Columbia
Is the result the same across all pipes you own? I tend to smoke all the way to the bottom. Not because I intended to do that, but because I'm an old man at heart and I took to smoking a pipe quite readily. I've even won a long smoke.

All that to say... apart from techniques as pertain to packing, puffing, tamping, and lighting... some pipes just won't allow a full smoke based on how they're drilled. I've even got one pipe from a rather well known artisan which burns straight down the middle without smoking the tobacco along the walls of the bowl, no matter how many times you light it. I've got a couple others which always leave a little bed of slightly charred yet unburned leaf at the bottom.
I agree with jbfrady. Some of my pipes smoke to ash and some always have dottle.

orlandofurioso also made a good point about the draft hole being burned. I never dumped ash for about the longest time so I'd be trying to relight through all the ashes. When I was at the bottom of the bowl I'd be furiously puffing in an attempt to relight.

One day I noticed some slight charring near the draft hole on a 3/4 bent Dublin I have. I repaired it with some pipe mortar as described by CaneRodPiper on Youtube and never worried about smoking to the bottom of the bowl again.

Shane Ireland talked about this in one of his interviews with the Virtual Pipe Club on YouTube. He notices the deterioration of flavour. He said ne never smokes to the bottom of the bowl and prefers smaller pipes.

I would say his most important point was, "...trying to force yourself to smoke to the bottom of the bowl and trying to force yourself to go beyond the point where you are enjoying it doesn't get you anything."

I'd say just smoke a bowl as long as you are enjoying it.
 

OverMountain

Lifer
Dec 5, 2021
1,334
4,821
Western Caccalack Hinterlands
This is something I’ve always had difficulty with. I now pack my pipe as instructed with the 3 layer method and I’m now using the “breath” method to smoke (which I find greatly reduces tongue bite and the number of relights) but I’ve never been able to smoke the baccy at the bottom of the pipe bowl. Every time I clean it out there’s always some tobacco left unsmoked. I’ve tried relighting to no avail and nothing seems to work. I detest wasting tobacco especially as it’s so expensive, so what am I doing wrong? Is my first layer too lightly packed? Help, please!
Some tobaccos just don’t seem to burn to the bottom. Old codger blends do the best for me. If you gently tamp, usually nothing is left.
 

Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
420
1,256
North Carolina
The amount of blends that are worth smoking to the literal bitter end I could probably count on one hand. That's not to say you can't do it but personally I don't think it's worth it.

Even coming at it from a rotation/drying perspective I don't see the point unless you're a pipe smoking unicorn and only smoke one pipe. By the time I get back to a pipe a few days or so after I've smoked it it's as dry as it's going to get anyway.

You're fighting the mechanics of pipe smoking and combustion because the bottom of the bowl and the tobacco down there really wants to accumulate moisture. You can offset this by drying the tobacco beforehand and packing lightly but, again, a lot of effort to avoid something inconsequential. Not to mention this can sometimes throw off the other 90% of the smoke you actually care about.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
6,209
33,777
71
Sydney, Australia
I’ve never been able to smoke the baccy at the bottom of the pipe bowl. Every time I clean it out there’s always some tobacco left unsmoked.
I detest wasting tobacco especially as it’s so expensive, so what am I doing wrong?
This used to happen to me all the time
I live in Oz, where tobacco prices is exhorbitant (@AUD$150 for 2 oz)
Not having dottle is a significant saving.

I dry my tobacco, as much as possible
I gravity fill (the 3 pinch method is rubbish)
When smoking flakes, I either cube-cut or rub out completely
If it is ribbon-cut or shag, I tear the strands into short(er) lengths

I use meer chips or Nording Keystones at the base of the chamber.
These help absorb moisture.
As well as creating an airspace under the tobacco ball.

Works very well for me.
Drier smokes. And minimal dottle almost always.
A much more enjoyable smoke all round puffy
 

BrightDarkEyes

Can't Leave
Mar 16, 2024
337
4,847
Shuswap, British Columbia
This used to happen to me all the time
I live in Oz, where tobacco prices is exhorbitant (@AUD$150 for 2 oz)
Not having dottle is a significant saving.

I dry my tobacco, as much as possible
I gravity fill (the 3 pinch method is rubbish)
When smoking flakes, I either cube-cut or rub out completely
If it is ribbon-cut or shag, I tear the strands into short(er) lengths

I use meer chips or Nording Keystones at the base of the chamber.
These help absorb moisture.
As well as creating an airspace under the tobacco ball.

Works very well for me.
Drier smokes. And minimal dottle almost always.
A much more enjoyable smoke all round puffy
I thought Canada was bad. It’s still between $70-112 CAD for 50 grams here.

A well made meerschaum pipe will let you smoke to the bottom every time without burning the pipe.

I never thought about cube cutting flakes. I might look into that.
 
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Aug 1, 2012
4,741
5,380
USA
To echo a lot of people here, I'll make a cigar analogy since cigars are much more expensive here per smoking session. When I smoke a cigar, I smoke until the taste becomes a bit unpleasant and I stop.. This is because I want to remember the great flavors of the first two thirds and not the unpleasantness of trying to smoke until it burns my fingers and mouth. I realize that others don't feel the same and prize the money more than the experience. To each his or her own but to me the experience is paramount.
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
I got my new Peterson Emerald’ today. strangley it smoked right to the bottom of the bowl and all that was left was ash. The P-lip was wonderful and I got none of the bitterness I sometimes experience when my other pipes near the end of the bowl. Do you think my cheap pipes might have had something to do with the problem?
 
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Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,092
19,117
France
Im still in agreement with Mr Frank of the Frank method. The best part of a pipe is like the best part of a cigar....the first half to two thirds. Its especially noticable on vapers. He and I agree that meer chips in the bottom of the pipe give you a drier bowl and even if you smoke to the end its still nice. I fll my pipes about a third with them, sometimes less. I also agree that too wet of tobacco is a bad start. I sometimes use less chips and smoke the whole thing but its not as enjoyable. It gets a little acrid and bitter for my tastes. I like a dry, sweet smoke. I also use 9mm filters. I realize a lot of die hards will think my methods are nuts but I get the results I enjoy. So far its the best way I have found to stretch out the prime smoking experience through a bowl.

I have it worked out on how to get about a 45 minute smoke from my pipes with premium taste. I can always load another pipe. To me if you are not enjoying the bottom part of the bowl dont smoke it. I also dont like wasting tobacco so this works for me. YMMV.
 
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