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 What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?

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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:34 am

Could someone explain to me real quick the thought behind filling our bowl only a quarter of the way while breaking in your new pipe and gradually adding to it.

I understand that it's supposed to aid in an even cake build up, but what I'm thinking is, wouldn't an even build up through and through mean starting with a full bowl? Top to bottom? If I STARTED about a quarter of the way, wouldn't this mean that quarter full area of the chamber would have a LARGER build up than the rest thus having an UNEVEN cake when you reach the "full bowl" part of this technique?

Just how wrong am I? What's the problem with breaking in a new pipe by filling it completely and smoking it completely, no tricks... scratch


Last edited by Rusty Mouse on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:10 am; edited 3 times in total
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:58 am

I would say forget about it. I've done it both ways, and it doesn't seem to matter in the end.
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Boxerbuddy

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Location : Boston, Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-06

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:53 am

The idea behind this technique is to make sure you build a cake at the heel and bottom of a bowl. Whats most likely going to happen if you load up to the top from the beginning is the tobacco on the bottom will be too wet, to harsh or too difficult to keep lit to begin a good cake there.

I've used this technique on a couple of my pipes and it worked real well...got cake all the way to the bottom. On the pipes that I just filled and smoked the bottom didn't develop a cake.

But I've found that I rarely smoke a bowl to the absolute bottom anyways, so for me the cake there isn't even neccesary. Most of my recent pipe aquisitions I've just filled and smoked...and I'm gonna continue that for the forseeable future.

I guess its really just a matter of whether or not you smoke till there's nothing left....if you do, then I would recommend this method, if you don't, pack it up and smoke it.
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 am

Boxerbuddy wrote:
The idea behind this technique is to make sure you build a cake at the heel and bottom of a bowl. Whats most likely going to happen if you load up to the top from the beginning is the tobacco on the bottom will be too wet, to harsh or too difficult to keep lit to begin a good cake there.

I knew I was probably missing something. It does make sense. I WANT to smoke to the very bottom, I really do, but I find it's just so damn hard to keep lit down there and the taste just isn't as.... well.... tasty any more. Oh the woes of a total newb Sad
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:22 am

Rusty.. If the bottom is to wet, or taste bad, or you get board with it, or for whatever reason you don't want to smoke the bottom of the bowl..DON'T.

The proper way to do it is the way that relaxs and bring you enjoyment.


I aint going to ramt about people messing eveything up, trying to make things harder than they really are, and impose their rules on everyone else.. I'm not gonna do it..
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:20 am

When I started this interesting and sometimes-overcomplicated-for-no-reason hobby, I smoked half bowls, mostly because I found out that one, aromatic sweet additives were too much for me, and two, they smoked a little wetter than I liked. On a few new pipes, I noticed I was getting a little better cake buildup in the bottom. Considering I wasn't smoking an entire bowl, and when I did, I wasn't usually able to get all the way through it.

I think even cake build-up is important. I smoke only once a day, and have a rotation of pipes, so needless to say, it's slow-going with me. With that, I can't keep track of exactly which pipe I've filled only half-way or...was it the whole way? Oh no! Laughing

Just smoke the pipe, and to the bottom the best you can--that sad point where you've lit it a couple more times, just to make sure... Laughing ...then again, that's both my favorite and least favorite part of the bowl--it means I had a good smoke, but don't want it to end... Cool
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:03 pm

Boxerbuddy wrote:
The idea behind this technique is to make sure you build a cake at the heel and bottom of a bowl. Whats most likely going to happen if you load up to the top from the beginning is the tobacco on the bottom will be too wet, to harsh or too difficult to keep lit to begin a good cake there.

I've used this technique on a couple of my pipes and it worked real well...got cake all the way to the bottom. On the pipes that I just filled and smoked the bottom didn't develop a cake.

This. I still smoke 1/3 bowls, 2/3 bowls, and then full bowls. Sometimes I'll smoke a bunch of 1/3 bowls until the cake really starts to build up in earnest, then move up. Honestly, I don't see this as being an over complicated way of breaking in a pipe. The pipes that I've done this with are much more likely to smoke to the bottom. So much so that I've actually reamed some of the others back until the cake was relatively even all the way down, then started with 1/3 bowls again. Those pipes are now much more likely to smoke to the bottom.

It might mean that you won't smoke a full bowl in a pipe for a while, but when you do you'll be able to enjoy it from first list to the last little bits of dottle. Smile
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:47 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Rusty.. If the bottom is to wet, or taste bad, or you get board with it, or for whatever reason you don't want to smoke the bottom of the bowl..DON'T.

The proper way to do it is the way that relaxs and bring you enjoyment.


I aint going to ramt about people messing eveything up, trying to make things harder than they really are, and impose their rules on everyone else.. I'm not gonna do it..

Phew, I'm glad you didn't.

I know this is about enjoyment, and I am enjoying it! Don't get me wrong. I'm just trying to do what's best for my pipes and their longevity. If building a cake on the bottom means a longer life for my pipe, I'd like to put up with the frustration temporarily and reap the benefits later.


Last edited by Rusty Mouse on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:52 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
Boxerbuddy wrote:
The idea behind this technique is to make sure you build a cake at the heel and bottom of a bowl. Whats most likely going to happen if you load up to the top from the beginning is the tobacco on the bottom will be too wet, to harsh or too difficult to keep lit to begin a good cake there.

I've used this technique on a couple of my pipes and it worked real well...got cake all the way to the bottom. On the pipes that I just filled and smoked the bottom didn't develop a cake.

This. I still smoke 1/3 bowls, 2/3 bowls, and then full bowls. Sometimes I'll smoke a bunch of 1/3 bowls until the cake really starts to build up in earnest, then move up. Honestly, I don't see this as being an over complicated way of breaking in a pipe. The pipes that I've done this with are much more likely to smoke to the bottom. So much so that I've actually reamed some of the others back until the cake was relatively even all the way down, then started with 1/3 bowls again. Those pipes are now much more likely to smoke to the bottom.

It might mean that you won't smoke a full bowl in a pipe for a while, but when you do you'll be able to enjoy it from first list to the last little bits of dottle. Smile

Well, I guess it's all about experimentation too right? All I've done is load it up and go and like I said, when I get to the bottom (still not totally sure what the actual end of a smoke is, I think I've been smoking ash or something pale ) I've had incredible difficulty keeping it lit. Maybe I'll just shut up and give it a whirl. Just so long as I'm not harming my pipe at all with experimenting. Obviously I don't want to be causing preventable burnouts.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:18 pm

Rusty Mouse wrote:
Well, I guess it's all about experimentation too right? All I've done is load it up and go and like I said, when I get to the bottom (still not totally sure what the actual end of a smoke is, I think I've been smoking ash or something pale ) I've had incredible difficulty keeping it lit. Maybe I'll just shut up and give it a whirl. Just so long as I'm not harming my pipe at all with experimenting. Obviously I don't want to be causing preventable burnouts.

It is tough to know when a bowl is over, whether via denial if it's a particularly good blend/smoke/both, or simply going on technicalities. Laughing I'm pretty sure you haven't been simply smoking ash, as it has a tough time burning. If you've been getting mouthfuls of ash, I think it's safe to say your bowl is finished. Razz

By "incredible difficulty keeping it lit," is it a matter of you take a drag while lighting, and it goes out within seconds or are you simply going for that whole silly "least amount of lights" ideal that seems to rear its ugly head?

Overall, I doubt you're really harming your pipe; unless it's getting super hot while smoking (minus the thick-walled bowl variable) I'm sure your experimentation is safe. I started to over-smoke the bottom of one of my non-hardwood-heeled cob bowls, but I caught it in time, removed the soft spots, and threw in some pipe mud--lesson learned. Cool
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 pm

To veer from the subject a bit: I have never understood the "smoke it to the bottom" religion. Do you do the same with a cigar? Obviously you wouldn't throw away something that's cookin' good, and I have had smokes that went down to "a fine grey ash," but that's rare. The dottle, to me, is little more than a nasty filter, and I treat it as such. Ever sniff dottles when they grow cold? Why ruin your palate trying to smoke the damn thing?
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Rusty

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Registration date : 2010-06-04

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:14 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
When I started this interesting and sometimes-overcomplicated-for-no-reason hobby....

Ya think? Laughing

In addition to the excessive myth making and, some might say, the monotony of faint variation (just try explaining the details of the hobby to a non-smoker, esp things like grain on a pipe) there is a suspicious reliance on branding. The marketing guru's tell us that branding is most intense when the products suffer from poor product differentiation. Branding helps to differentiate things that otherwise are poorly differentiated. The closest commodity product (in a marketing sense) is probably laundry detergent.

All of the brand myths and nonsense goes along with this too. Go stand in the grocery store in front of the laundry detergents and see if you can discern the luxury brands without looking at price.

So what do you folks think causes cake?

If we start there we can probably work backwards and see an obvious benefit to starting the break in with partial bowls.
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:52 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Rusty Mouse wrote:
Well, I guess it's all about experimentation too right? All I've done is load it up and go and like I said, when I get to the bottom (still not totally sure what the actual end of a smoke is, I think I've been smoking ash or something pale ) I've had incredible difficulty keeping it lit. Maybe I'll just shut up and give it a whirl. Just so long as I'm not harming my pipe at all with experimenting. Obviously I don't want to be causing preventable burnouts.

It is tough to know when a bowl is over, whether via denial if it's a particularly good blend/smoke/both, or simply going on technicalities. Laughing I'm pretty sure you haven't been simply smoking ash, as it has a tough time burning. If you've been getting mouthfuls of ash, I think it's safe to say your bowl is finished. Razz

By "incredible difficulty keeping it lit," is it a matter of you take a drag while lighting, and it goes out within seconds or are you simply going for that whole silly "least amount of lights" ideal that seems to rear its ugly head?

Overall, I doubt you're really harming your pipe; unless it's getting super hot while smoking (minus the thick-walled bowl variable) I'm sure your experimentation is safe. I started to over-smoke the bottom of one of my non-hardwood-heeled cob bowls, but I caught it in time, removed the soft spots, and threw in some pipe mud--lesson learned. Cool

I'm not really shooting for the "two light smoke" I know that's a fools errand, but MAN you should have seen the amount of matches I used last night. Unbelievable. I know that's due in part to my crappy packing but towards the bottom I found I was lighting more and more.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:13 pm

Rusty Mouse wrote:
I'm not really shooting for the "two light smoke" I know that's a fools errand, but MAN you should have seen the amount of matches I used last night. Unbelievable. I know that's due in part to my crappy packing but towards the bottom I found I was lighting more and more.

Geez, you must have some dense bacca or it seems you're cramming in there way more than you need. I'm stating the obvious here, but before you get the typical re-posting of ideas, pack less, blah blah, I figure I'd give you the benefit of the doubt. Any theories? Tobacco too wet/not broken in enough/smoking under a waterfall?

Cool
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:43 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Rusty Mouse wrote:
I'm not really shooting for the "two light smoke" I know that's a fools errand, but MAN you should have seen the amount of matches I used last night. Unbelievable. I know that's due in part to my crappy packing but towards the bottom I found I was lighting more and more.

Geez, you must have some dense bacca or it seems you're cramming in there way more than you need. I'm stating the obvious here, but before you get the typical re-posting of ideas, pack less, blah blah, I figure I'd give you the benefit of the doubt. Any theories? Tobacco too wet/not broken in enough/smoking under a waterfall?

Cool

It does seem a bit moist, but not enough to bother doing anything about it. I'll try packing a little lighter tonight, I've also got a feeling that this is my problem.


Last edited by Rusty Mouse on Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:48 pm

Rusty Mouse wrote:
It does seem a bit moist, but not enough to bother doing anything about it. I'll try packing a little lighter tonight, I've got a feeling also that this is my problem.

Dry out the pipeful you intend to smoke tonight, just for gits-n-shiggles--a few minutes under a hot lamp (close, but not too close...) ...or carefully watched under the airflow of a space heater can usually chase away too much moisture. I usually equate just-right moisture to be dryer than damp, but not cracker-dry. If you can bend the bacca strips/chunks without breaking but it doesn't feel soggy, you're in the zone. Combined with a little lighter packing, if you will, I think you'd be set.

Luckily, packing problems are easy. As I've found out recently, developing bad habits while smoking is another matter. Cool
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J Soshae

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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:36 pm

Quote :
towards the bottom I found I was lighting more and more.

This happens with my larger pipes. I hit the heavy nicotine dottle and slow down when the room starts to spin. bounce

Small bowls with light nicotine, just tamp when the bowl gets a little too loose.
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mark
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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:08 pm

personally I find the whole list of customary pipe procedures bullshit. If you're aware of the various techniques that's fine, and if your tobacco has to be at 9% moisture content hooray, 7 thousandths too much cake on the walls? ream away, it's all too structured for me.

I understand the need for some to have a ritual,,matching tobacco to pipe,,,packing just so,,,lighting procedure,,tamping technique,,
cleaning regimen,,blah blah blah,,,go for it and enjoy yourself,,,just be aware of the flip side of the coin when advising newbies,,,,,,
,,,,stuff and puff, you'll figure out what works for you as you go.

it's dried vegetation burning in a chunk of wood with two holes,,,nothing more

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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:09 pm

J Soshae wrote:
I hit the heavy nicotine dottle and slow down when the room starts to spin. bounce

Damn, you smokin Salvia or what?
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:11 pm

mark wrote:
personally I find the whole list of customary pipe procedures bullshit.

Absolutely, Mark. Pack, Light, Tobacco will Rise. Tamp, Relight. It's really that simple. Never did the 1/4 bowl crap either.
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J Soshae

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PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Quote :
you smokin Salvia or what?


lol! No, I am just a weenie! Especially after after a double knuckle deep bowl of the stronger stuff! geek
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: What's Up With This "Quarter Fill" While Breaking In Idea?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:48 pm

If memory serves. back in the day, the lining of a new pipe bowl was bare briar and building a thin layer of carbon helped protect it from burn out. Other than cobs, I don't think I've had a new pipe in decades that didn't have some treatment of the bowl that eliminated the need for the old style break in. Others' exp may vary, to be sure.

I'd say, if you're having probs with a wet smoke and relights, you need to be a bit more artfull in filling the pipe. A pipe that isn't loaded carefully will require heroic puffing to maintain the ember which creates steam in the chamber which leads to the problems you describe. Least that's my current understanding.

Remember the needed carbon layer is very thin. Some pipers think they've built up a carbon layer, but it's actually a layer of semi-burnt vegetation that's glommed onto the inside of their bowl.

I think if you work on the knack of loading your briar, everything else will
take care of itself.

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