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 91% RH out, ok to smoke?

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sonarman

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Age : 36
Location : Ct the land of never ending winter, and July
Registration date : 2012-08-22

PostSubject: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:10 pm

It feels like 1 million RH but my weather sensor says it's only 91%. Anyways I smoke out of a cob and have noticed sour/unflavorfull bowls today. I'm thinking it's the RH. I'm using a pipe cleaner to soak up the stem moisture and all but I'm thinking it's time to lay the pipe up until the humidity drops to a decent level. Any thoughts?
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:55 pm

My thoughts are:

"It sounds like it's pretty humid." Laughing

My advice is to buy yourself a reasonably-priced block meerschaum pipe for such occasions. Cobs soak up moisture somethin' fierce, and briars will stay dank, too.

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sonarman

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Age : 36
Location : Ct the land of never ending winter, and July
Registration date : 2012-08-22

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:58 pm

I'll look around, the humidity does not let up here till around late Sep.
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 45
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:12 pm

Where I live we often have humidity levels in that arena.

I would definitely recommend staying away from Briar when smoking outside.

With you already smoking Cobs, that's a benefit. Either a Cob or a Meer would be the better way to go.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 pm

My only warning, wanting to keep my cobs in good condition and fresh, is to not over saturate them. They're sponges for moisture, and can self-destruct at worst and get funky at minimum in high humidity, I've found. Here in bone-dry Nevada, they are perfect. I think there was a Reason why Mark Twain either had his meerschaum-bowled calabash pipes or cobs when he was visiting. Laughing

Just keep those cobs as a one-smoke-per-day, per-pipe, and you should be fine. One good thing about cobs is though they soak up moisture fast, I've found they also dry out just as quickly. Briar takes up moisture slowly, but holds onto it longer--with obvious funky results.

As Rob said, the briars should probably be given a small vacation for a while. A good meerschaum will soak up moisture alright, but it isn't affected by moisture degradation and should rebound and be able to be re-smoked without much issue.

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sonarman

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Age : 36
Location : Ct the land of never ending winter, and July
Registration date : 2012-08-22

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:43 pm

That explains a lot guys. I have been smoking 4-5 bowls a day between the two cobs I have and the bowls just kept getting worse. I'm going to let they dry for a day and revisit. Two more questions. One, will putting the cobs in a double zip lock back and putting them in the freezer make them dry any faster? Two, is it normal for the bowl to smell like an ashtray? I have been brushing it out with a toothbrush to keep the cake down but when I smell the bowl directly it's pretty rank.
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gravel

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Age : 44
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:47 pm

Just air 'em out. I guess you'll need to pick up another cob or three! That rankness is due more to overuse than RH. RH isn't helping matters, but it isn't the primary culprit.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: 91% RH out, ok to smoke?   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:51 pm

No. Putting them in the freezer while moist will make ice crystals form and actually break apart and possibly destroy the fibrous nature of the natural cob. Much like how vegetables, when fresh, do not return to their natural state when thawed--they've been literally broken apart, cells and cellulose destroyed, by ice forming inside. Not to mention, "freezer burn" with food in sealed bags is a migration of moisture from an object attempting to evaporate and condense...so a bag would only further the problem--the moisture isn't leaving the bag. Air-drying, even at 91% RH, will still dry your cobs, albeit slow. Unless you have a room with a dehumidifier contraption, it's the best you'll be able to do. Air conditioning units by their design also dehumidify a room, so keep your cobs/pipes resting in a room where this drier air can circulate.

Your bowls when unsmoked, I ascertain should smell slightly sweet, but like burnt tobacco. Not "ashtry" per se, but there's going to be a little of that "tar" smell mixed with ash, naturally. Don't go after a cob with a toothbrush too vigorously, especially when they're moist, or you might be taking out precious cob material. In fact, to get the best care information, John Patton's corn cob primer is a must-read for any cob fan:

http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=The_Complete_Corncob_primer

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