Smoking to the Bottom of the Bowl.

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beerandbaccy

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 22, 2015
298
212
UK
I used to have the same issue and a tobacconist suggested I try these:
Small mesh pipe screens. They're reusable and I wash rinsing under a tap every now and then. it keeps tobacco away from any moisture and for me personally I feel like I'm not wasting tobacco by having the last bit not taste as good or just thrown away. I agree with Sigmund that the first two thirds is the best, I just put this in where the less enjoyable part would be ! It's all a personal choice of course and many 'drier' smoker may well have an A1 smoke right down to the bottom of the bowl..

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Choatecav

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 19, 2023
240
671
Middle Tennessee
There's a very practical matter here few discuss, It's that smoking to the bottom dries the pipe better than days or weeks sitting on a rack.

So, I always try to do so, and if the pipe is telling me it needs cleaning due to a bitter taste, I gently exhale through the stem to keep the ember going. Then a hot water flush and a deep cleanse.
I had never thought of this before but it makes a lot of sense. The heat of a complete burn would dry that pipe out for sure.
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
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.
I find with the new Peterson it will smoke right to the bottom of the bowl with none of the bitterness I used to get. Like you, I’m definitely a filter convert. I don’t know how people can say it ruins the flavour of the smoke; in my experience I think it’s better. I haven’t tried (or even heard of) meer chips; what are they?
 
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DeerparkDays

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 30, 2022
189
658
Dannevirke, New Zealand
There's a very practical matter here few discuss, It's that smoking to the bottom dries the pipe better than days or weeks sitting on a rack.

So, I always try to do so, and if the pipe is telling me it needs cleaning due to a bitter taste, I gently exhale through the stem to keep the ember going. Then a hot water flush and a deep cleanse.
Hey there mate. Just wondering what this part is all about?
“and if the pipe is telling me it needs cleaning due to a bitter taste, I gently exhale through the stem to keep the ember going.”
Cheers, Adam.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
Hey there mate. Just wondering what this part is all about?
“and if the pipe is telling me it needs cleaning due to a bitter taste, I gently exhale through the stem to keep the ember going.”
Cheers, Adam.
Doing so dries the heel of the chamber way more than days or weeks of resting. Then a good cleaning and the pipe is ready to go very soon.
 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
10,329
34,227
Burlington WI
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
With the key stones, I imagine how some of my pipes used to turn out. Thick cake untill the last 3rd of the chamber, then nothing. Do the keystones also ..."prevent" cake from building up in the bottom?

I've just gotten used to reaming the top 2/3 of my pipe untill it finally all evens out. Cake will come down there eventually
 
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Lumbridge

(Pazuzu93)
Feb 16, 2020
716
2,614
Cascadia, U.S.
Yeah, there is a bit of a learning curve with pipes, but that's totally fine. Many smokers struggle a bit at the beginning with messing up packs and having lots of relights. Stick with it, try different approaches, and it'll click eventually.

A little bit of dottle at the bottom is normal, especially with more moist tobaccos. If it doesn't want to light, don't fight it - you'll only end up damaging your chamber with the flame. If you are getting excessive dottle, then adjust your pack a bit so that the tobacco on the bottom is more loose.

When I first started, I wanted to try every tobacco under the sun and smoke all of the pipes I had bought, but I found it helpful to stick with one blend in one or two pipes for a while until I felt I had it down. Carter Hall was my guardian angel as a pipe noob, as it's so easy to smoke, and I'm still fond of it.

Good luck, and welcome to the hobby!
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
<< Snipped bits out >>

A little bit of dottle at the bottom is normal, especially with more moist tobaccos. If it doesn't want to light, don't fight it - you'll only end up damaging your chamber with the flame. If you are getting excessive dottle, then adjust your pack a bit so that the tobacco on the bottom is looser.

<< Snipped bits out >>
Before loading the pipe, make sure the tobacco is dry enough. Packing light throughout and tamping as needed is also key
 
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LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
2,048
17,775
Oregon
When you aren’t able to smoke to the bottom of the bowl, a pipesmagazine rep immediately comes and seizes all of your pipes and pipe-related accoutrements.

You are then placed in a dungeon and fed nothing but the most delicious soups. However, once you get halfway done with each bowl, the guard seizes your soup, leaving half a soup’s worth of dottle in the bowl as punishment.

This goes on for years, until finally, miraculously, your atrophied eyesight finally see the unfamiliar sight of rays on sunshine illuminating your lugubrious cell. The tribunal date has been set.

You appear before a council of Warren, chasing embers, jpjrw (too many letters), and cosmic. You are then given 3 grams of your favorite tobacco, your favorite pipe, a bic lighter, ice water and bergs, and 2 pipe cleaners. You have up to 45 minutes to dry the blend to your liking. If you are able to smoke to a fine white ash, you are set free. If there is any amount of dottle, ANY whatsoever, you are cast back into the shadows.
 

Lumbridge

(Pazuzu93)
Feb 16, 2020
716
2,614
Cascadia, U.S.
Before loading the pipe, make sure the tobacco is dry enough. Packing light throughout and tamping as needed is also key
Packing lighter is generally good advice considering that most beginners tend to cram the tobacco in way too tight. However, I followed this advice as a beginner and struggled with excessive relights, and as it turns out I was packing TOO loosely. Most of the blends I smoke are fairly dry to start with and don't need a gravity fill. When I started packing with what I would call a medium firmness, my issues with relights all but disappeared.

However, the loose pack/gravity fill method is good for very moist tobaccos like heavy aromatics. I also agree that drying tobacco can help. I suspect that a lot of tobacco is packaged with excessive moisture to increase the weight (and therefore, profit, since you are buying more water), though I understand that some moisture is necessary for pressed blends like flakes, plugs, and cakes.
 

LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
2,048
17,775
Oregon
You forgot the monetary tributes; 1/10 of your income and net worth and your least favorite child.
The council recently made a motion to change some of those policies.

The prevalence of old men on the forum necessitated changes to the verbiage to the tribunal’s policies and procedures to include IRAs as income. Any pensions may be garnished as well.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
6,210
33,778
71
Sydney, Australia
With the key stones, I imagine how some of my pipes used to turn out. Thick cake untill the last 3rd of the chamber, then nothing. Do the keystones also ..."prevent" cake from building up in the bottom?

I've just gotten used to reaming the top 2/3 of my pipe untill it finally all evens out. Cake will come down there eventually
Yes, the Keystones and meer chips will prevent cake buildup.
It doesn’t matter to me as I don’t allow cake to form anyhow.
 
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churchlady

Lurker
Mar 15, 2024
41
129
Alabama
Does how fine the tobacco is cut affect how it burns? I've got a blackberry aro from a local shop that I absolutely cannot make burn. It's drier out of the bag than my other aros, and I let it dry in the sun for maybe 20mins earlier that day before sticking it in my cob. Rassafrassasassing stuff is the hardest to smoke of anything I've yet tried. It's also the coarsest cut of all my tobaccos, and I didn't know if that plus being in a small bowl were working against me.
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
5,501
28,082
Florida - Space Coast
Does how fine the tobacco is cut affect how it burns? I've got a blackberry aro from a local shop that I absolutely cannot make burn. It's drier out of the bag than my other aros, and I let it dry in the sun for maybe 20mins earlier that day before sticking it in my cob. Rassafrassasassing stuff is the hardest to smoke of anything I've yet tried. It's also the coarsest cut of all my tobaccos, and I didn't know if that plus being in a small bowl were working against me.
Aros at least a lot of them tend to be more "goopy" than say straight Virginias, sometimes it helps to just spread the tobacco out on a plate or paper towel and let it sit, for much longer than 20 minutes, I've had some that i literally let sit out over night and smoke the next day. There are people that will say pop it in the nuker for 15 or 20 seconds to dry it faster, there are many methods, i personally just let it sit out till it's dry enough not to clump when i pinch it, against it's all "YMMV".
Back on topic, I mainly smoke meers now and smoking to the bottom isn't an issue, i still don't do it for whatever reason, but i don't let it bother me i smoke it till i decide to dump, re-fill and smoke more. Don't let it drive you crazy, the point is to enjoy not fret.
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
I had never thought of this before but it makes a lot of sense. The heat of a complete burn would dry that pipe out for sure.
Yes, I’ve found that the breath method which involves a gentle ‘exhale‘ (for want of another word) does keep the pipe going. Along with gentle tamping throughout the smoke it definitely keeps the pipe going. I only need to relight now as I get towards the bottom of the bowl. But, depending on the tobacco (Old Dublin was fine I found) that last bit can start tasting naff so I generally quit. But I find I’m losing far less unsmoked baccy than I used to Using this method.
 

bluegrassbrian

Your Mom's Favorite Pipe Smoker
Aug 27, 2016
6,437
59,743
41
Louisville
Pardon me, I didn't read all the responses (I didn't read past the second or third one actually), but I have just two points of conversation regarding the subject.

First- of a pipes chamber isn't drilled ideally (draft hole being centered at the very bottom of the bowl) it can lead to difficulty burning the last bits of tobacco.

Second- In general I've noticed that more narrow chambers end to burn completely more easily. Say, .74 and narrower.
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
Pardon me, I didn't read all the responses (I didn't read past the second or third one actually), but I have just two points of conversation regarding the subject.

First- of a pipes chamber isn't drilled ideally (draft hole being centered at the very bottom of the bowl) it can lead to difficulty burning the last bits of tobacco.

Second- In general I've noticed that more narrow chambers end to burn completely more easily. Say, .74 and narrower.
The new Peterson Emerald I have will smoke to the bottom of the bowl especially now I’m using the breath method. That’s great with some tobacco I have, like Old Dublin but with my Erinmore it still gets bitter towards the bottom so I just stop. It’s only a tiny bit of baccy I’m losing now.