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 minimizing virginia burn?

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Fight'n Hampsters

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Age : 40
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-29

PostSubject: minimizing virginia burn?   Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:02 am

VA's seem to be more prone to scorching the tongue. Other than sipping, does anybody have any techniques they use to minimize VA burn? Pack more loosely/ tightly? Dry out more? Smoke while more moist?
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J Soshae

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Age : 45
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-20

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:22 am

Some brands of Virginias may bite more than others. All Virginias are not bad about tongue bite. If you are relighting often, this will lead to more damage to your tongue. You could dry the tobacco a bit more or tweak your packing/tamping routine.

Sipping an acidic drink while smoking can help if the problem is chemistry related and not from heat.
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PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:34 am

The minute the bowl starts getting warm, put it down until it's fully as cool as the pipe bowls in the rack are.

If this gives you some long time-outs over the course of the first half of each bowl, so be it. What it's telling you is, it's either packed too tightly (even though it didn't feel that way when you were packing it) OR it's packed too loosely (less likely). (Presupposing flake in particular). It WILL expand as moisture is generated as you smoke it.

Adjust each new bowl loading on the basis of how the last one felt/performed until you've zeroed in on the sweet spot.

The bowl heat is steam heat. Steam heat's a matter of inadequate ventilation (vertical). If it can't dissipate up, it goes sideways.

One correlary is that it can be advantageous to keep fluffing & dumping the fine ash, so as not to smother it.

It sounds more complicated than it is.

And don't mash it down, tamping it. The bottom of the bowl's where the moisture accumulates. If you've got tobacco there, it's absorbed by it & becomes a soggy, un-smokable dottle that takes hours (or overnight) to dry out. What you want, ideally, is an initial plug that's suspended just up over the bottom of the bowl by sideways compression pressure.

FWIW

What a Face
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:44 am

I agree fully with the "just put it down for a bit" advice. Sometimes VAs can get hot, probably because they're a bit more naturally sugary that other tobaccos. Most VAs will reward you with a "cool down" by giving you some awesome DGT once you pick it up and light it. Plus, you'll get more "relaxation time." VAs are great for work, or fueling marathon posts on BoB. Embarassed Not that I'd know anything about that.

A few tobaccos seem to produce more ash volume than others, and occasionally I'll "top dump" the loose ash on top, and that seems to help. Tamping and packing variations considered, you just gotta find the right balance for your tongue, the pipe and the tobacco you choose. Generic answer, sure, but it's true.

Cool
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 37
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Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:16 am

Moister level is also a big deal and seems to effect VAs more than other tobacco. Too wet and you'll be relighting every two puffs and the steam will scald you, too dry and the dreaded tongue bite will rear its ugly head.
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s.ireland



Age : 30
Location : South Carolina
Registration date : 2010-08-15

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:22 am

Dave_In_Philly wrote:
Moister level is also a big deal and seems to effect VAs more than other tobacco. Too wet and you'll be relighting every two puffs and the steam will scald you, too dry and the dreaded tongue bite will rear its ugly head.

Perfect moisture level is imperative. The only problem is every blend has a different optimum moisture! Lol

John Patton's advice works for me:

Basically, dry the tobacco a bit more than you think you need to.
Pack a bit looser than you think you need to. And tamp as little as possible.

Lately, I've been trying to not touch my tamper unless completely necessary. I had a bad habit of tamping all the damn time and while it was working it did lead to hotter smokes from time to time as well as increased amount of dottle depending on the pipe and blend. Anyhow, I'm now only tamping after the first light(s) and again about halfway through which is when I dump the fluffy top ash Smile
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-20

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:27 am

Wonderful answers and nothing to really add to this other than - slow down.
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PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:32 am

What everybody here keeps touching on, from this angle and that, is generating moisture (= heat = steam = tongue scorch) faster than it can dissipate.

Drying tobacco robs flavor richness & depth but makes it easier to manage. YMMV, but I think that's a poor trade-off. So I load it @ tin-moisture level, do the first char light, and put it down. A little later, it's ready for the second char light. When that dwindles and goes out, it's time for another rest-&-recovery. That might be ten minutes, but so what ?

Then it's lightly tamped (barely touched) & we're underway. If/when that gets warmish, a cleaner and back down it goes to cool all the way back down again.

Repeat as necessary.

The point is to have every toke ideally tasty -- not to win a pipe smoking contest or impose your will on something with a mind of its own.

Do it right, and there's no "dottle" left. If there is one, it dries out the same way the rest of it did & gets smoked & enjoyed just as much. Sometimes even more.

Maximising flavor & enjoyment involves cutting procedure some slack. The problem isn't that you can't do it, but that you can't do it with the assumption set you're taking for granted.

What a Face
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shootist51



Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-29

PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:53 am

I agree with pretty much all of the above.

There are Virginias and then there are Virginias. I find that bright Virginias tend to smoke better for me and with a better flavor. Having said that, many Virginia smokers seem to prefer Red Virginias, I do not.

Most tobaccos can stand some drying. Many can stand a lot of drying. As long as the tobacco does not crumble to dust with handling it should be alright.

I tend toward flakes and like to smoke them rolled and cubed. With cubed flake you should gravity feed the tobacco into the bowl. This makes for a fairly loose pack. After lighting and smoking for a bit, I use a pipe nail to tamp, using only the weight of the nail(really, really light) and then re-light as necessary.

The only time I dump ash is when it becomes impossible to re-light through it.

If the bowl becomes too warm, set it aside until it is cool.

Sip the smoke.

Some of my favorite Virginias are:
Orlik Golden Sliced
McClellands KC Pipe Club Boston 1776
Ratrays Marlin Flake and Old Gowrie
GLP Montgomery

Good luck.....and may the force be with you!
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PostSubject: Re: minimizing virginia burn?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:17 pm

FWIW, the grassy, citrus sweetness of Brights like BBF comes across no matter how they're smoked.

Reds just taste like plain white bread toast unless you're sipping them when the ember's low. And even then the taste is a subtle one; more in the middle of your tongue than at the tip of it. A re-calibration of expectations is involved.

But it's a goooooooooooodddddddd taste !

So sez

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