Smoking to the Bottom of the Bowl.

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Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,654
28,352
Hawaii
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.

Packing plays a role, as to it’s importance, many might simply look at the various styles as personal preferences.

3 Step Method

Gravity Fill


Frank Method




Air Pocket Method
 
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BrightDarkEyes

Can't Leave
Mar 16, 2024
337
4,847
Shuswap, British Columbia
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.
This type of behaviour may find a resurgence in the United Kingdom.
 

Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
3,164
15,606
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
I don’t use a method. I just pack a pipe and smoke it.
Ah ! The 'No Method' Method. You should do a youtube video on this but remember to talk very, very slowly, in a low flat voice, add a few unfunny jokes to seem cool and with it, make broad generalizations that show no knowledge of pipe smoking, make it a long video but don't get to your point until the end if at all, focus on an unopened pipe box for most of the video ... oh wait ... nevermind ...
its been done already. ;):ROFLMAO:
 

steelarts

Might Stick Around
Since starting this thread I’ve gotten a few more pipes 😂 and I’ve really been concentrating on using the breath method and/or sipping the smoke. I don’t get a wet mess in the bottom of the bowl, probably because most of my pipes are filtered and most of the moisture seems to congregate there. By taking things really slowly I can now smoke to where virtually everything is ash and only occasionally am I left with unburned tobacco. I find tamping as I go and emptying the ash after tamping really helps.

l’m getting a taste for Virginia-Kentucky flakes and I’m now finding another problem. I haven’t learned when to stop. I get the vitamin-N buzz and continue to the bottom of the bowl (yes, I’ve managed almost to perfect it now) but suddenly it will kick my ass and I’ll be wiped out! I mean seriously wiped out, feeling sick and woozy. It’s like being stoned and I have to fumble my way to a chair and recline for half an hour til I feel normal again. I think my greediness is telling me I should only smoke these tobaccos in a smaller pipe.

The thing is, I never remember this happening in the past. When I smoked cigarettes I’ve been known to occasionally smoke 2 packs in a day or 1/2 oz of baccy with rollups. Is it possible that my tolerance for nicotine has decreased as I’ve gotten older? Maybe my determination to “smoke to the bottom of the bowl“ isn’t a good thing and I should learn that a little unburned tobacco just comes with smoking my pipe? What do you think?

Btw, I don’t have this problem with say English blends like Old Dublin or Squadron Leader or even Irish Cask, just the VaBur flakes.
 
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BingBong

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 26, 2024
610
2,578
London UK
Since starting this thread I’ve gotten a few more pipes 😂 and I’ve really been concentrating on using the breath method and/or sipping the smoke. I don’t get a wet mess in the bottom of the bowl, probably because most of my pipes are filtered and most of the moisture seems to congregate there. By taking things really slowly I can now smoke to where virtually everything is ash and only occasionally am I left with unburned tobacco. I find tamping as I go and emptying the ash after tamping really helps.

l’m getting a taste for Virginia-Kentucky flakes and I’m now finding another problem. I haven’t learned when to stop. I get the vitamin-N buzz and continue to the bottom of the bowl (yes, I’ve managed almost to perfect it now) but suddenly it will kick my ass and I’ll be wiped out! I mean seriously wiped out, feeling sick and woozy. It’s like being stoned and I have to fumble my way to a chair and recline for half an hour til I feel normal again. I think my greediness is telling me I should only smoke these tobaccos in a smaller pipe.

The thing is, I never remember this happening in the past. When I smoked cigarettes ’ve been known to occasionally smoke 2 packs in a day or 1/2 oz of baccy with rollup. Is it possible that my tolerance for nicotine has decreased as I’ve gotten older? Maybe my determination to “smoke to the bottom of the bowl“ isn’t a good thing and I should learn that a little unburned tobacco just comes with smoking my pipe? What do you think?

Btw, I don’t have this problem with say English blends like Old Dublin or Squadron Leader or even Irish Cask, just the VaBur flakes.
Haha, I've noticed that - if I smoke University Flake or Ennerdale, I get the N-punch in the final 1/3; they're both VaBur, I think.
 
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SmokingInTheWind

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 24, 2024
163
1,020
New Mexico
Since starting this thread I’ve gotten a few more pipes 😂 and I’ve really been concentrating on using the breath method and/or sipping the smoke. I don’t get a wet mess in the bottom of the bowl, probably because most of my pipes are filtered and most of the moisture seems to congregate there. By taking things really slowly I can now smoke to where virtually everything is ash and only occasionally am I left with unburned tobacco. I find tamping as I go and emptying the ash after tamping really helps.

l’m getting a taste for Virginia-Kentucky flakes and I’m now finding another problem. I haven’t learned when to stop. I get the vitamin-N buzz and continue to the bottom of the bowl (yes, I’ve managed almost to perfect it now) but suddenly it will kick my ass and I’ll be wiped out! I mean seriously wiped out, feeling sick and woozy. It’s like being stoned and I have to fumble my way to a chair and recline for half an hour til I feel normal again. I think my greediness is telling me I should only smoke these tobaccos in a smaller pipe.

The thing is, I never remember this happening in the past. When I smoked cigarettes ’ve been known to occasionally smoke 2 packs in a day or 1/2 oz of baccy with rollup. Is it possible that my tolerance for nicotine has decreased as I’ve gotten older? Maybe my determination to “smoke to the bottom of the bowl“ isn’t a good thing and I should learn that a little unburned tobacco just comes with smoking my pipe? What do you think?

Btw, I don’t have this problem with say English blends like Old Dublin or Squadron Leader or even Irish Cask, just the VaBur flakes.

I find myself doing the same thing. I tell myself that I will set the pipe down if I start feeling a buzz and not push to the point of feeling unwell. But if things are smoking along good and tasting good I keep going until I hit the bottom or it starts tasting bad and I regret it when I stand up. As you suggested, I now use smaller pipes for specific blends that I know hit me hard. That way I can’t push past my limit. The answer is always ”I need another pipe” 😁
 
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steelarts

Might Stick Around
I dont know if 9mm filters remove much nicotine but I have never once felt the effects of nicotine and I was never a consistent or heavy smoker. Maybe it just doesnt effect me to where I am aware its there. Maybe Im just loopy and buzzy all the time!
It definitely depends on the tobacco for me. I just smoked a pipe of Ennerdale mixture and got virtually no nicotine buzz.
 

rmcnabb

Might Stick Around
Feb 19, 2024
87
497
I just pack based on draw. It should be slightly harder to draw on the packed bowl than an empty one. If you’re able to mash the tobacco into a shape and it holds that shape, to me that’s too wet. Also I look at the bottom eighth inch of tobacco as basically a filter. If you do light it, to me it has a sour ammonia smell and the smoke is brown…yuck.
 
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Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,092
19,117
France
Well, the smoking to the bottom was always something I had problems with. I just didnt like the taste. It didnt make a difference if I dried tobacco more or not. The solution was found in the thread posted about slowing dow by @cosmicfolklore

I smoked too fast. That means I smoked too hot which lead to overstoving and burning off the flavors of tobacco lower in the bowl. I still enjoy the first 3/4 the best but the remainder is still pleasant when the entire bowl is sipped.

Thanks Cosmic!
 

JOHN72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2020
5,494
54,717
51
Spain - Europe
I adopted that technique or habit of not smoking to the fund. Currently I continue like this. As Sable says, smoking to the bottom accelerates degradation and deterioration. Or that's my impression. And the aroma or flavor becomes uncomfortable, at those depths, hahahahaha.
 
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Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,092
19,117
France
Technically Im not at the bottom because I use a small layer of meer chips but prior to smoking really slow in whisps. I still didnt like the last ten or fifteen minutes. Now I do.

Tobacco in the eu is too expensive to use as a filter. I use the rocks for that.
 
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To my mind, the “danger” in trying to smoke to the bottom is relighting when/if it goes out close to the bottom. In that instance, yes, it’s time to stop. But, if you are gradually smoking all the way to the bottom in a very slow manner, then there is less harm to come to the pipe.
I never “try” to smoke to the bottom. It just happens while I am keeping my pipe going as I do other things while smoking. And, I don’t always get tot he bottom, nor do I fret over it. Just enjoy your smoke.
 

Sig

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 18, 2023
286
1,511
Western NY
Don't get to caught up in the "rules".
Smoke your pipe until its not enjoyable anymore, then dump it.
Smoking technique is more important than all the rules.
For decades I have crammed, stuffed, poked and dumped tobacco in my pipe. Tobacco of all moisture levels even.
Most good blenders sell their tobacco at the moisture level they suggest for best flavor and burn. I personally have never dried any tobacco before smoking it.
With good puffing technique you will soon be smoking all the way to the bottom with a single light......usually.