Smoking to the Bottom of the Bowl.

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

Watch for Updates Twice a Week

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,183
46,856
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
We do have a few members who make the pipe an ordeal and seem to revel in such behavior. More power to 'em I suppose if such keeps them distracted from life's problems for a bit.
The thing about all of these various methods is that they give the new smoker some sort of scaffold to try while learning how to enjoy smoking a pipe.
There’s no substitute for experimenting and practice, no shortcuts. But trying out some suggestions or methods may provide useful insights.
I suspect that what ticks off some of the old hands is when some neophyte proclaims a great discovery, not knowing that someone else proclaimed the same thing two months earlier, and someone else proclaimed it a year before that, etc, etc. Or someone comes up with a Rube Goldberg “solution”, which is necessitated by a lack of basic understanding.
Eventually, if the newbie sticks with it, all of the strategies fall to the wayside, replaced by a simple approach that works.
 

PiperCalvinist

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 9, 2024
132
371
South Texas
I’ve been experimenting with one of those little brass screens in the bottom of my cobs. That seems to help protect it from burning the bottom and potentially messing up the draw hole in the stem.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: warren

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,093
19,118
France
Im not trying to pick a fight but everyone in the world doesnt smoke pipes the "American way". Things like chips and keystones serve a purpose. For one thing, you get a full smoke that is almost equally good throughout the bowl. Additionally, if you lived somewhere where tobacco took effort to obtain AND cost in excess of 125 a pound you would not feel so great about dumping the bowl with unburnt filter tobacco. Sure, I dont need the chips but I get a better smoke (and a lot of european smokers agree) and I dont dump good tobacco OR punish the bottom of my pipes to get every last bit. The savings in tobacco is likely negligible but it makes me feel better. Also, I like my pipes and I want them to outlast me. If I were ordering bulk in poundage I probably wouldnt worry about it. But then again, Id experiment anway. Oh and BTW, the chips also help keep pipes cleaner so its less maintenence.

When it comes to pipes, if someone suggests a reasonable way to get a better experience I will try it any day of the week...I mean, why not?
 
Last edited:

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,183
46,856
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
Im not trying to pick a fight but everyone in the world doesnt smoke pipes the "American way". Things like chips and keystones serve a purpose. For one thing, you get a full smoke that is almost equally good throughout the bowl. Additionally, if you lived somewhere where tobacco took effort to obtain AND cost in excess of 125 a pound you would not feel so great about dumping the bowl with unburnt filter tobacco. Sure, I dont need the chips but I get a better smoke (and a lot of european smokers agree) and I dont dump good tobacco OR punish the bottom of my pipes to get every last bit. The savings in tobacco is likely negligible but it makes me feel better. Also, I like my pipes and I want them to outlast me. If I were ordering bulk in poundage I probably wouldnt worry about it. But then again, Id experiment anway. Oh and BTW, the chips also help keep pipes cleaner so its less maintenence.

When it comes to pipes, if someone suggests a reasonable way to get a better experience I will try it any day of the week...I mean, why not?
I’m curious about this “American Way” of pipe smoking. Could you elaborate?
The only big difference I’ve noticed is the acceptance of filters in pipes. The use of something like the Nording pebbles isn’t new or exotic in the States. I used them for a while decades ago.
The economics of tobacco wastage is certainly different between the US and the EU, but not much when one factors in the cost of losing a few dollars worth of tobacco VS incinerating the base of the chamber of a $$ much less $$$ or $$$$ pipe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bbailey324

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,093
19,118
France
Yes, by American I do mean no filter, codger scoop and toss when its no good. Its just fine when tobacco is crazy cheap. There are other methods and some of them IMHO squeeze out flavor from every part of the bowl. I dont expect everyone to agree.
 
Last edited:

PipeIT

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

Have you smoked any of these blends?



Samuel Gawith: 1792
 

fishmansf

Can't Leave
Oct 29, 2022
328
767
PNW
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!
I've been smoking for about 6-7 years now and just recently discovered how to smoke all the way down to the ash. This is what works for me but I offer you to give it a try. It is basically what you've been told, the three layer method. However, this one is a two layer method. Pinch in the amount of tobacco until fills the bowl but in between each pinch, gently tap the outside of your bowl until it all settles. Then continue to pinch until the bowl is full. Once it is full, gently, and I mean gently tamp it down, you should be applying no pressure except for the weight of the tamper. This should press it down to either the half way point of the bowl or the 2/3 mark of the bow. Do the same for the top layer; pinch, tap, pinch, tap, press. The only difference with the top fill is that that once you do your final press, it should be the weight of the tamper + a little amount of force, just enough to where its pressed but not enough to where you push the whole bowl down deeper. Another key step is to be tamping often I tamp once probably every 1-2 minutes. When you tamp, don't press the tobacco down, all you're trying to do is use the weight of the tamper to press the ash down, not the whole tobacco stack in the bowl.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SmokingInTheWind

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
I’ve been experimenting with one of those little brass screens in the bottom of my cobs. That seems to help protect it from burning the bottom and potentially messing up the draw hole in the stem.
It could help, but only marginally. Don't rely on them to prevent any trouble/burning in the heel of the chamber.
 

SmokingInTheWind

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 24, 2024
163
1,020
New Mexico
I've been smoking for about 6-7 years now and just recently discovered how to smoke all the way down to the ash. This is what works for me but I offer you to give it a try. It is basically what you've been told, the three layer method. However, this one is a two layer method. Pinch in the amount of tobacco until fills the bowl but in between each pinch, gently tap the outside of your bowl until it all settles. Then continue to pinch until the bowl is full. Once it is full, gently, and I mean gently tamp it down, you should be applying no pressure except for the weight of the tamper. This should press it down to either the half way point of the bowl or the 2/3 mark of the bow. Do the same for the top layer; pinch, tap, pinch, tap, press. The only difference with the top fill is that that once you do your final press, it should be the weight of the tamper + a little amount of force, just enough to where its pressed but not enough to where you push the whole bowl down deeper. Another key step is to be tamping often I tamp once probably every 1-2 minutes. When you tamp, don't press the tobacco down, all you're trying to do is use the weight of the tamper to press the ash down, not the whole tobacco stack in the bowl.

I normally use the three layer method and get mixed results. I tried your method two days in a row. Two different pipes, two tobaccos. Straight to the bottom of the bowl with a few relights, both times. Fine ash, no moisture in the bottom of the bowl. It tasted good all the way, didn’t get harsh near the bottom as it occasionally does. I will stick with it and see how it goes. Thanks!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: fishmansf

fishmansf

Can't Leave
Oct 29, 2022
328
767
PNW
I normally use the three layer method and get mixed results. I tried your method two days in a row. Two different pipes, two tobaccos. Straight to the bottom of the bowl with a few relights, both times. Fine ash, no moisture in the bottom of the bowl. It tasted good all the way, didn’t get harsh near the bottom as it occasionally does. I will stick with it and see how it goes. Thanks!
SO happy to hear it worked well for you! I have found it to be the superior method for me. I mean, back in the day, people wouldn't even fuss with it, they'd just scoop up the baccy from the sachet and shove it in there.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
Having a great smoke, to a fine grey ash if you will, has nothing to do with finicky loading methods.

Edited to change offense taken by a member.
 
Last edited:

Jon C.P.G.

Might Stick Around
Sep 29, 2023
97
842
38
Canada
Being someone who smokes Peterson system pipes 90% of the time and of those smokes I smoke 1792 flake at least 65% of the time these days in specific systems and meerschaums, I will throw my two cents out there and say smoking to the bottom is over rated. I do pack my system pipes different than non system pipes and usually have a little dottle with my favorite blend but I don't care.

This is a hobby that is to be enjoyed slowly and shouldn't be a chore. If it becomes one then why bother? Once things turn south for the worst just sit it down let it cool and clean it out, that last little bit of tobacco consider an offer to the Gods of the briar, meerschaum, cob, clay and leaf. hah!
 
  • Like
Reactions: revnatorade

Professor Moriarty

Can't Leave
Apr 13, 2023
312
887
United States
Im not trying to pick a fight but everyone in the world doesnt smoke pipes the "American way". Things like chips and keystones serve a purpose. For one thing, you get a full smoke that is almost equally good throughout the bowl. Additionally, if you lived somewhere where tobacco took effort to obtain AND cost in excess of 125 a pound you would not feel so great about dumping the bowl with unburnt filter tobacco. Sure, I dont need the chips but I get a better smoke (and a lot of european smokers agree) and I dont dump good tobacco OR punish the bottom of my pipes to get every last bit. The savings in tobacco is likely negligible but it makes me feel better. Also, I like my pipes and I want them to outlast me. If I were ordering bulk in poundage I probably wouldnt worry about it. But then again, Id experiment anway. Oh and BTW, the chips also help keep pipes cleaner so its less maintenence.

When it comes to pipes, if someone suggests a reasonable way to get a better experience I will try it any day of the week...I mean, why not?
Nording Keystones at the bottom of every bowl I smoke -- so many advantages!
For decades I was a "purist" and poo-pood every "gadget", without even giving them a chance.
Now I give things a try. I have found Keystones and charcoal filters indispensable. Also, rubber bit protectors -- particularly on vulcanite cuz I tend to bite through them.
 

rmcnabb

Might Stick Around
Feb 19, 2024
87
497
I think ... isn't it just better? ...like everything else ...;):ROFLMAO:puffy

This isn't American tobacco smoke...these are Freedom Fumes!

Enthusiasts will always take something fun and turn it into a chore. There are fly fishermen who always go out with 3 rods and 5 bulging books of flies. And there are guys who use the same 10 flies year in year out with the rod they got from their dad.
 

PiperCalvinist

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 9, 2024
132
371
South Texas
Nording Keystones at the bottom of every bowl I smoke -- so many advantages!
For decades I was a "purist" and poo-pood every "gadget", without even giving them a chance.
Now I give things a try. I have found Keystones and charcoal filters indispensable. Also, rubber bit protectors -- particularly on vulcanite cuz I tend to bite through them.
I’ve taken a liking to charcoal filters too. It takes care of so many potential issues - tongue bite, wet smoke, etc. It allows me to smoke wherever I want with no issues. I’ve thought about trying keystones for my pipes that are not filtered, but just haven’t pulled the trigger. Is Nørding the only one who makes them?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Professor Moriarty

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
2,093
19,118
France
Once you come up with what suits you its not difficult at all. I guess its more difficut than a codger scoop but my stuff stays at home all in one place. I have a little bowl with meer chips and another with filters. I grab a filter and put it in, drop in 4-6 chips, insert tobacco and go. Perfect smoke about 90 percent of the time.

I prefer the flavor of vapers with a 9mm charcol filter. It clears out some of the darker notes and the sweetness and flavors from the perique are buffed to a nice shine. Im happy enough using my no filter pipes for lat blends. I dont find that I have a big preference with those. Ive posted that before and I really suggest experimenting with vapers and a filter. Worse comes to worse you can yank out the filter if you dont like the effect.