Smoking to the Bottom of the Bowl.

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craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
6,032
50,709
Minnesota USA
If it happens, it happens.

Sometimes you’ll end up with soggy mess in the bottom. Usually a larger chamber.

I dry my tobaccos when necessary. Even though a tobacco feels dry to the touch, there usually some moisture still present. It can build up in the bottom, and extinguish the burn there.

Rather than torching a draft hole, I just stir it and dump it out. I’m not going to make that much of an effort over 5 cents worth of tobacco.
 

proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,340
2,262
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
I have problems with the 3 layer method as well. What method do you use? I have started to experiment with the frank/German method and have had better results but still haven’t gotten the hang of packing.
My method which works for me but hard to describe is to pull in tobacco maybe a pinch. Like a pointer finger "come here" movement. I pack the first part very very light. Then again pull in a bit and press a bit firmer and so forth until just below rim. It will expand when lit. Light and relight until you get a nice ash. I don't char as much anymore. Charring light is just really trying to get that cherry and ash mix. You know it's ready when it's gets going well. Can't explain it. You just can tell.

Plugs I make into flakes. Flakes I cut up into lengths about as long as my pointer finger from tip to second knuckle. Then I put it all in my hand and make a "dam I'm cold" motion with my two hands. Gets it the way I like it.
 

ThebigFil

Lurker
Feb 15, 2024
40
100
UK SW Plymouth
My method which works for me but hard to describe is to pull in tobacco maybe a pinch. Like a pointer finger "come here" movement. I pack the first part very very light. Then again pull in a bit and press a bit firmer and so forth until just below rim. It will expand when lit. Light and relight until you get a nice ash. I don't char as much anymore. Charring light is just really trying to get that cherry and ash mix. You know it's ready when it's gets going well. Can't explain it. You just can tell.

Plugs I make into flakes. Flakes I cut up into lengths about as long as my pointer finger from tip to second knuckle. Then I put it all in my hand and make a "dam I'm cold" motion with my two hands. Gets it the way I like it.
Great ways to explain your process "dam I'm cold" haha
 

ThebigFil

Lurker
Feb 15, 2024
40
100
UK SW Plymouth
If it happens, it happens.

Sometimes you’ll end up with soggy mess in the bottom. Usually a larger chamber.

I dry my tobaccos when necessary. Even though a tobacco feels dry to the touch, there usually some moisture still present. It can build up in the bottom, and extinguish the burn there.

Rather than torching a draft hole, I just stir it and dump it out. I’m not going to make that much of an effort over 5 cents worth of tobacco.
Agreed 💯
 

Annaresti Red

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 20, 2021
256
1,273
Concord, CA
www.tobaccoreviews.com
I've written this several times before you joined here, but it's simple: You do not need a "technique" for loading a pipe if the tobacco is properly dry. Just load it, tamp with finger medium pressure, light and enjoy. You'll tamp lightly as you smoke it down.
Ironically, this method is called the "no method" method. ;)
 

Choatecav

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 19, 2023
240
670
Middle Tennessee
My method which works for me but hard to describe is to pull in tobacco maybe a pinch. Like a pointer finger "come here" movement. I pack the first part very very light. Then again pull in a bit and press a bit firmer and so forth until just below rim. It will expand when lit. Light and relight until you get a nice ash. I don't char as much anymore. Charring light is just really trying to get that cherry and ash mix. You know it's ready when it's gets going well. Can't explain it. You just can tell.

Plugs I make into flakes. Flakes I cut up into lengths about as long as my pointer finger from tip to second knuckle. Then I put it all in my hand and make a "dam I'm cold" motion with my two hands. Gets it the way I like it.
You've got an interesting way of describing your hand and finger motions with loading, ha.

Guess I could say that when I tamp using my finger I make a "screw you" motion with my middle finger and then stick it down in the bowl..... :ROFLMAO:
 
  • Haha
Reactions: RookieGuy80

SmokingInTheWind

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 24, 2024
163
1,020
New Mexico
If my pipe goes out after 2/3 to 3/4 of a bowl and it doesn't relight easily, I just dump it. I used to struggle to smoke to the bottom, but it usually didn't taste good, so I no longer bother. This happens more often than not. I now consider the unburned tobacco at the bottom to be a "filter".
 

hakchuma

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 13, 2014
833
283
52
Michigan, USA
The best thing to do in my opinion is dump it and move on with life. No matter what you do it’s going to be wet tobacco at the bottom. Even cigarettes smokers don’t smoke their cigarettes down to inhaling a portion of their filters. And cigar smokers don’t eat the last bit of their cigar stub. Just don’t over worry about it and you will be happier.
 

SmokingInTheWind

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 24, 2024
163
1,020
New Mexico
The best thing to do in my opinion is dump it and move on with life. No matter what you do it’s going to be wet tobacco at the bottom. Even cigarettes smokers don’t smoke their cigarettes down to inhaling a portion of their filters. And cigar smokers don’t eat the last bit of their cigar stub. Just don’t over worry about it and you will be happier.
Your observations are spot on and make perfect sense but remind me of a story my dad told me years ago that proves at least one exception.

When my dad was a young man, back in the early '60's, he worked with an older man who had gone through the great depression. The man would smoke a cigar down to a stub, then put the stub in a pipe. He would smoke it down in the pipe and then take what was remaining and put it between his lip and gum. Waste not, want not. This man could have afforded cigars, pipe tobacco, and chew but the depression had changed his outlook and I believe his frugality took the pleasure out of his habit. He was just scrounging for nicotine. I could be wrong, maybe he liked the taste of ashy dottle.

I am fortunate that I can afford all the tobacco I need and not worry about discarding a little unburned tobacco here and there.
 

SmokingInTheWind

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 24, 2024
163
1,020
New Mexico
If it happens, it happens.

Sometimes you’ll end up with soggy mess in the bottom. Usually a larger chamber.

I dry my tobaccos when necessary. Even though a tobacco feels dry to the touch, there usually some moisture still present. It can build up in the bottom, and extinguish the burn there.

Rather than torching a draft hole, I just stir it and dump it out. I’m not going to make that much of an effort over 5 cents worth of tobacco.
I agree that it is more of an issue with a large chambered pipe. I tend to waste more tobacco when smoking aromatic tobacco that has not been dried enough in a large pipe. I will pay more attention to tobacco moisture levels when smoking a pipe with a large bowl and see if that helps. Thanks for pointing this out.
 

BingBong

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 26, 2024
610
2,578
London UK
I have a tin for all the blackened but unburned fragments at the bottom of the bowl, save them up whatever the blends, then load up my "Pensioners Mixture" and enjoy!

j/k. (but... sometimes lol)
 

hoipolloiglasgow

Can't Leave
Oct 14, 2023
462
2,181
United States
If I don't have to fight it, I'll smoke to the bottom. Pretty much all my pipes in rotation(the keepers) will smoke to the bottom with ease. If not, it'll only be the smallest amount of dottle of tobacco that didn't smoke dry enough. Different blends and cuts are different and if you stir the bottom up when it doesnt smoke with ease, it may be smoked. I think if you pack right and have a good smoking pipe, it's just a preference whether you wish to smoke to the very end or not.
 
Last edited:

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,183
46,856
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
@steelarts this is a good read…

Doting On Dottle: Advice On Smoking To The Bottom Of The Bowl
That’s a good article. I’ve seen a number of bowls that have been cut in half, and they exhibit fissures caused by overheating, which is why I consider “smoking to the bottom of the chamber” to be one of the dumbest and most destructive goals in pipe smoking.
 

PiperCalvinist

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 9, 2024
132
371
South Texas
I've written this several times before you joined here, but it's simple: You do not need a "technique" for loading a pipe if the tobacco is properly dry. Just load it, tamp with finger medium pressure, light and enjoy. You'll tamp lightly as you smoke it down.
Thank you, because that’s what I do and I was beginning to think maybe I’m doing something wrong. Seems to me - in my very short experience- it has more to do with the tobacco and the pipe than it does the method of packing.