Too Hot & Goes Out

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monty55

Lifer
Apr 16, 2014
1,724
3,563
65
Bryan, Texas
What type of blended tobacco are you referring to?

If it's an Aro, it might not be as sufficiently dried out as you may think. It might also be the topping or casing used in the blend that gives rise to the need for more careful drying, packing and smoking techniques.

Generally speaking, a hot bowl means your smoking it too fast, or you're smoking it outside under windy conditions.
Generally speaking, if it continues to go out it is either too wet, or improperly packed or a combination of both.
 
Last edited:

Aomalley27

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 8, 2021
763
1,699
Chicagoland area
If it’s burning hot, that’s generally an indication of too much oxygen introduced to the ember. That could be too loose a pack, too dry tobacco, too large a draught, smoking too fast. Any and all are things only you control, and would know.
If it keeps going out, that’s an indication of too tight a pack, a restricted draught, not tamping enough (thus nothing for the ember to ignite), or just not tending to the pipe with frequent enough puffs. Again, only things you would know, can control.
Seeing as you’re getting two conditions on the opposite spectrum, the logical deduction would be too loose a pack, and not tamping. The loose pack giving you the hot bowl, the not tamping resulting in maintaining that loose pack, thus nothing for the ember to compress against and thus ignite.
 

JohnMosesBrowning

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 5, 2018
244
301
Southeast Michigan
At that moment it was a bowl of MB Navy Flake. I had partial flakes already rubbed out in the jar that’d been in there for months probably.

Smoking too fast is definitely possible. Is that what Cosmic means by “operator error” or is it the packing?

Everyone argues for loose packing so I do fear I may be susceptible to overdoing that as well. Overheating and going out just seems counterintuitive to me. Yet here I am.
 
You have a bowl of tobacco. You light the top layer of that tobacco. Whether you pull lightly or take big draws, soon those lit coals will be expended and you will have a layer of spent ash on top of unlit tobacco. If you don't tamp the lit coals to make contact with the unlit tobacco before the coals are expended, the pipe will go out.

Tip: Just use the weight of the tamp to "tamp" Starting with a loose pack is okay, it gives you more lee way to tamp as you smoke the bowl down so you don't end up with a too tight bowl toward the end.

As always, YMMV puffy
 
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Lifer
Dec 5, 2021
1,978
23,976
Southern, NM
At that moment it was a bowl of MB Navy Flake. I had partial flakes already rubbed out in the jar that’d been in there for months probably.

Smoking too fast is definitely possible. Is that what Cosmic means by “operator error” or is it the packing?

Everyone argues for loose packing so I do fear I may be susceptible to overdoing that as well. Overheating and going out just seems counterintuitive to me. Yet here I am.
I pack quite loose, but after the char light I tamp until the draw feels right. I also tamp a lot during a smoking session to make sure I keep the embers burning against the as yet unlit tobacco.
 
Smoking too fast is definitely possible. Is that what Cosmic means by “operator error” or is it the packing?
I just meant that something that you are doing outside of what you mention must be the problem.

Everyone argues for loose packing so I do fear I may be susceptible to overdoing that as well.
As I read through suggestions sometimes, I have to wonder how people even smoke their pipes at all. If you are fearing that particles of tobacco aren't getting lit because of spacing, then that is definitely not packed well. In general, I do pack a little on the loose side , because it is easier to tamp to adjust than to loosen it up once it has started. But, I have to wonder about these excessive tampers. Once I have my pipe going, I generally don't use a tamper again.
The thing that I do that most likely causes my pipe to go out is removing it from my clench. This was why I found clenching to be so much better for me than holding a pipe. Clenching creates a bond between you and the tool. You synch your breath to the fire, and one modifies the other. It is truly a synchronization. Even my worst pipe will not go out for as long as it is in clench.
Of course, I do not have any drooling disabilities, nor do I ever directly puff on my pipe once it is lit and in clench. And, my jaws are not so week that I can't carry a mere 3 oz pipe in my jaw all day. Do a search for breath smoking. It really was a game changer for me and my pipes.
 
There is little chance of us figuring out what is happening (or not happening). Just keep at it. One day you will be smoking, enjoying it all, and realize that you don't have to think about it anymore...
Absolutely, so many of these problems just tend to go away with experience. Smoke more often is always my suggestion. The more you smoke, the more you learn, know, and put into practice.
 

JohnMosesBrowning

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 5, 2018
244
301
Southeast Michigan
Absolutely, so many of these problems just tend to go away with experience. Smoke more often is always my suggestion. The more you smoke, the more you learn, know, and put into practice.
Agreed. I’ve gotten too many pipes and too many blends. Combine that with too few (overly eager) smoking opportunities and my trouble shooting becomes too scattershot.

I need to pick one or two pipes and one or two blends and commit for a month of going back to basics.
 

jiminy

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 27, 2017
266
508
Saskatchewan, Canada
This has been informative. Packing seems to be about the biggest issue with a hot bowl... Well that and wet tobacco. The latter is certainly my biggest issue, I just can't really plan ahead for my smoking times
 
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This has been informative. Packing seems to be about the biggest issue with a hot bowl... Well that and wet tobacco. The latter is certainly my biggest issue, I just can't really plan ahead for my smoking times
Wet tobacco usually doesn't have any impact on how hot the bowl gets, but it definitely makes the smoke hotter by adding steam to fry your tongue.
I used to always have issues getting a bowl's worth dried, especially with how much I smoke in a day, so I just started drying the whole tin or jar as soon as I open it. I haven't found a single reason why having dried the whole thing is a bad thing, and I've been doing this for years now. it makes life so much easier to just decide at the last minute what I am going to smoke, without having to plan ahead.