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Blue Max


Location : Earth - mostly
Registration date : 2010-05-10

PostSubject: Loose filling   Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:13 am

Not my teeth, my pipe. I a post from the other day there was talk of filling your pipe VERY loosely and smoking it VERY slowly. I use the 3-step method which seems to work most of the time but I do get a little bite sometimes from it being too hot. But I'm afraid that if I fill it too loosely I will spend most of my time re-lighting. The slow part I get (don't always do, though) but if I go too slowly it goes oout on me.

Any suggestions?
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Age : 34
Location : Tulsa, Oklahoma
Registration date : 2010-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Loose filling   Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:15 am

I keep waffling on this issue. When I loose fill, I literally just let the tobacco fall in gently until it's slightly over the rim, then I VERY gently push the excess down to about even with the rim. This, in my head, fights the issue you're concerned with; namely that there won't be enough tobacco to keep an even burn. And, it seems to work for me.

The waffling comes in when I sometimes think it's better to Frank method it. I do Frank with Latakia heavy blends; theoretically the latakia is so much cooler with the burn that having it all super packed doesn't seem to overheat the pipe. But all this is just variable A in the bigger equation of a pleasant and flavorful smoke.

Draw rate is the another major factor, one which I try to keep consistent at this stage. A super slow and gentle draw is terribly important, from my perspective.

THen you get to the other variables like moisture content, which pipe you're using, lighting, etc. The grand alchemy that makes up our pursuit. In experimenting with various process options, I try to only shift one variable at a time. While imperfect, it does at the very least give the illusion that I know what I'm doing. Laughing
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Age : 40
Location : Somewhere near Philly, PA
Registration date : 2009-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Loose filling   Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:20 am

The pack depends at least a little on the cut of tobacco.

If you are smoking cubed burley or a particularly rough cut (rubbed out plug or rope or something), then a loose pack is the way to go I think. A looser pack may tend to burn a little quicker and/or hotter, so smoking it extra slowly keeps it at a good pace without getting too hot. A flake that is rubbed out can be packed a little more snug than a folded & stuffed flake I think. If the flake is still relatively intact and/or moist when you stuff it, then packing it down too tightly will prevent airflow, make a tight draw and render the bowl virtually unsmokable.

Relights are not a big deal and are at least to some degree to be expected, especially with flakes & such.
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Age : 61
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Loose filling   Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:12 am

Loose is relative. When I am packing a bit looser than normal, I am giving room for the tobacco to expand when the coal gets to it and heats it up. Cubed burley is a fine example as you can see the cube expand a lot when the fire gets to it. Too loose and it won't stay lit at all. Too tight and when it expands it will restrict the airflow, increasing the velocity of the moving air, and increasing the temperature of the burn.


"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Loose filling   Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:11 pm

It seems to me that if you load a pipe loosely, you can adjust the pack during a smoke using a tamper, however, if you have packed your tobacco too tightly, you are forced to cut short your smoke, possibly wasting the tobacco remaining in the bowl.
I suppose, early on in a smoke, you could use a pick to loosen a too tight pack, and salvage the smoke, but I find, if I am very far into the bowl, I get some ash through the stem.
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Age : 48
Location : The South
Registration date : 2011-01-04

PostSubject: Re: Loose filling   Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:52 pm

This topic is interesting, particularly since I happened to do this today. I gravity fed my bowl and then tamped it down gradually. I did notice that by the time I had the bowl firm enough my bowl was only half full. Despite this, I smoked it all day off and on, from about 9am until 4pm when resting from my yard work. So it was a nice bowl. I guess I'll have to pack more in the top next time. It's also suprising that the bowl was that nice since I was smoking it in a $20 drug store Carolina Briar.

The problem I have most of the time is that unless I'm packing thinly cut ribbon, I always pack it too hard and end up having a horrible smoke, no matter what method I use. I've been using the Frank method mostly, but it doesn't seem to work to well for me with flakes, or coarse ribbon. My squadron leader always smokes like heaven, but everything else is terrible, except for using the totally gravity fed method today. I think I'm going to experiment more with this and try a little extra on top from now on.

But the Old Church is something I haven't smoked for months and it was heavenly today, so despite my crap day, my pipe was and excellent companion all day long.

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