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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
Registration date : 2012-11-03

PostSubject: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:50 pm


After a pipe and a beer the other day I decided to try to put the dregs at the bottom of the bowl to a better use than anoying my wife by dumping them on the patio. I used the little spoon on my pipe tool to stir and "fluff up" the moist mess of soggy tobacco, hoping to salvage a few more puffs before tossing said mess behind one of wifey's flower pots. I'm pleased to report that I was able to squeeze a little more smoke out of the wet dottle and dry the bottom of the bowl a bit while I was at it.

Anyone else here stir their dottle?


Kim
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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:38 pm

I have.
The mouthful of ash made me decide against it. Laughing
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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:42 pm


Yea, that first puff after a good stir has to be a careful one. Smile
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monbla256

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Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:52 pm

Just a suggestion here: don't smoke a 'bac that leaves a "wet, moist" dottle, then ya don't have to do anything but smoke till ya get fire and ash on the last puff letting ya know it's done Twisted Evil I switched from Aro's years ago and haven't had any "dottle" prob since Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:53 pm

If you're packing and smoking it properly, there shouldn't be any dottle.

If there is anyhow, let it sit until it's dried all the way out, re-light and finish it. ("ll the way out" = maybe hours to the next day).

What you'll end up with otherwise is a sour pipe with no cake in the bottom third or quarter. Not good.

FWIW

cat What a Face study
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HCraven

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Location : Fort Wayne, Indiana - Home of the Falcon
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:01 pm

Nothing wrong with trying to salvage a little extra smoke, though when I get wet dottle at the bottom (which doesn't happen too often, mostly if I'm puffing too vigorously), I often find that it gets a little bitter tasting anyway and give up.

Incidentally, there's always the Sherlock Holmes method of dealing with dottle:

"Sherlock Holmes was, as I expected, lounging about his sitting-room in his dressing-gown, reading the agony column of The Times and smoking his before-breakfast pipe, which was composed of all the plugs and dottles left from his smokes of the day before, all carefully dried and collected on the corner of the mantlepiece."

from The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
Registration date : 2012-11-03

PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:39 pm


I must be doing something wrong then. I end up with some moist tobacco that's hard to light at bottom of every bowl I smoke. I get it with Esoterica Dunbar, Squadron Leader, Robert McConnell's Oriental, as well as Lane's 1-Q. I don't think that I'm prone to excessive slobbering while smoking and I try not to huff and puff like a maniac. I've tried packing the pipe to different degrees of compaction but still end up with the dreaded wet dottle. It's something I can live with but I would like to avoid sour pipes with no cake toward the bottom of the bowl. I'm certainly open to suggestions from the drier smoking brothers and sisters here.


Kim
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:02 pm

I can understand wet dottle with 1Q, but the other two should smoke to a nice dry ash! sounds like you might be smoking too fast. As an older smoker told me when I started, "sip your tobacco, easy, easy and SLOW" . Just about ALL blends benifit from much slower smoking than you might think. Razz
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HCraven

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:29 pm

ragged claws wrote:

I must be doing something wrong then. I end up with some moist tobacco that's hard to light at bottom of every bowl I smoke. I get it with Esoterica Dunbar, Squadron Leader, Robert McConnell's Oriental, as well as Lane's 1-Q. I don't think that I'm prone to excessive slobbering while smoking and I try not to huff and puff like a maniac. I've tried packing the pipe to different degrees of compaction but still end up with the dreaded wet dottle. It's something I can live with but I would like to avoid sour pipes with no cake toward the bottom of the bowl. I'm certainly open to suggestions from the drier smoking brothers and sisters here.


Kim
Ok, first let me say that in my humble opinion, leaving a little dottle is not a cardinal sin of pipe smoking. Plenty of smokers I've talked to do so at least occasionally, if not regularly, and so do I. That said, forgive me if I get back to basics a little. If your pipes don't have cake in the heel, or if you didn't do a break-in routine with them, it's not too late. Smoke a half-dozen to a dozen bowls filled about a third to half-way with something pretty natural and dry (I like burley for this, myself), and make an effort to smoke them to the bottom. The tobacco won't have much of an opportunity to get soggy this way, and you'll build some heel cake, which will absorb moisture in the future and help keep dottle to a minimum, plus it will protect your pipe from burn-through. Of course, slow, cool smoking and avoiding goopy blends will keep moisture down as well, but everyone generates a little moisture while smoking. If we didn't, our pipes wouldn't need to rest. The key to keeping it under control is giving it somewhere to go besides into your prized tobacco.

Good luck, Kim! It will all come together in time, trust me.

Herb
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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
Registration date : 2012-11-03

PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks monbla and Herb. I'll try to slow my smoking some more, monbla. It's hard to smoke slowly when tobaccos taste so good. I've got some Prince Albert (burley) on hand, Herb, so I'll start that break in proceedure tomorrow. Do you think it would be alright to smoke an occasional bowl of some other tobacco during the break in proceedure? I don't think I can take the PA nicotine hit all day long.


Kim
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HCraven

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:54 pm

ragged claws wrote:
Thanks monbla and Herb. I'll try to slow my smoking some more, monbla. It's hard to smoke slowly when tobaccos taste so good. I've got some Prince Albert (burley) on hand, Herb, so I'll start that break in proceedure tomorrow. Do you think it would be alright to smoke an occasional bowl of some other tobacco during the break in proceedure? I don't think I can take the PA nicotine hit all day long.


Kim
I don't think it should be any problem to smoke some SL, Dunbar, or something similar in between bowls of PA. You might stay away from the 1-Q, though.
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:39 am

ragged claws wrote:

I must be doing something wrong then.

First and foremost, if you're enjoying the smoke, than you're not doing anything wrong.

Monbla and Yak are old timers, and maybe after 40+ years of trial and error they have found the holy grail of pipe technique and tobacco so that they can smoke to a dry white ash each and every time they light up.

I started more than a decade ago and I have been smoking regularly for several years now. I still get wet dottle, and I would bet the vast majority of folks do. I know I smoke good tobacco and I'd like to think, by now, my technique is pretty good, but it still happens from time to time.

I, for one, drool. I have come to accept this. Maybe my cheeks are too chuby, maybe I'm part great dane, I can't say. I just keep a few extra pipe cleaners handy and run one through during the smoke. One pass in the middle of a bowl can dramatically reduce the wet dottle at the end. If there is a good bit of dottle that you want to smoke, you can always top off the bowl with a bit more tobacco, then typically the new tobacco will light the dottle for you. That way you don't inhale embers or anything else lurking at the bottom of the bowl.

Don't seek out an imaginary holy grail, just try to enjoy each bowl a little more than the last and you'll be a happy man.

Just my $0.02. santa
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:45 am

HCraven wrote:
ragged claws wrote:
Thanks monbla and Herb. I'll try to slow my smoking some more, monbla. It's hard to smoke slowly when tobaccos taste so good. I've got some Prince Albert (burley) on hand, Herb, so I'll start that break in proceedure tomorrow. Do you think it would be alright to smoke an occasional bowl of some other tobacco during the break in proceedure? I don't think I can take the PA nicotine hit all day long.


Kim
I don't think it should be any problem to smoke some SL, Dunbar, or something similar in between bowls of PA. You might stay away from the 1-Q, though.

FWIW, I will sometimes intentionally ghost a new pipe, especially an estate pipe, with half a bowl of 1Q to sweeten it up a bit. Purely a matter of your personal preference. 1Q and Squadron Leader are the mostly like to leave a ghost behind of those you listed.
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idbowman

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:35 am

Dave_In_Philly wrote:
ragged claws wrote:

I must be doing something wrong then.

First and foremost, if you're enjoying the smoke, than you're not doing anything wrong.

Bingo.

How are things up until you hit that dottle? If all is well, then I'd suggest accepting it for what it is and just enjoy yourself. If the dottle bothers you to the point that it takes away from the overall experience, you might want to try to avoid packing so that you have tobacco on the bottom of the smoking chamber. Leaving a bit of space between the floor and the tobacco allows for better airflow, a more complete and even burn, and less goop to deal with at the end.
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beetlejazz

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:58 am

I'm still quite new to the pipe, but I've noticed I get this problem when I get too tamper-happy. Just mentioning this as another possibility. Good thread!
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Growley

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:16 pm

I'll throw my .02 cents in here as well. Your pipe or pipes could also be the culprit. If they are poorly designed, and the airflow is interrupted by any number of things, moisture will build up and gravity will eventually win over and pull that moisture down into your bowl. You might be surprised how many pipes just aren't manufactured properly, or at least well enough to avoid gurgle and moisture buildup.

After having figured this out, I refuse to smoke a pipe that gurgles or needs any sort of swabbing out mid smoke. The only time I ever use a pipe cleaner any more is when I'm done with my smoke and want to clean my pipe out.

Oh, and I primarily smoke really heavy aros that are probably way too moist.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:31 pm

Moist/wet pipes provide a challenge.

The first stage is trying to smoke the pipe in a manner that fits the pipe, to see if that clears up the problem.

The second stage, if the first doesn't work, is to check the pipe's airway from bowl to bit, editing via experience/suggestions I've gathered here, along with my own theories.

These two fix 98% of my problems. Then again, though, I don't smoke heavy aros.

Every pipe is different. Every one of them. So, I can't see why smoking each one the same way would produce the same results. The best we can do is gather the ones that are in the zone of workability, and adjust accordingly.

One interesting variable that neither of the two stages I use above can fix: having a wet mouth. Some people drool more than others. Maybe there's always a beverage in hand. Try putting the stem above the "water line" a little more when in the mouth to see if that helps (I like to put the stem's button about one quarter inch farther into my mouth when smoking). Or, try smoking without a beverage. Just this once. If it improves things, then you know. Smile

I've been known to have moisture problems when I'm working and smoking...when I figured it out, I kind of had a facepalm moment: my head was usually nodded downward, concentrating on my work. The mouth-moisture was funneling into my stem. I now position myself so my head is level, or save my smokes for when I'm not particularly engrossed in what I'm doing.

Cool
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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:03 pm


I think you may have hit on a couple of causes for my wet dottle problem, Kyle. I do often smoke with a beverage, which may create a wetter than normal smoke, and my pipe bowl is almost always below the "water line". All of my pipes are bents to one degree or another, and I'm a holder, not a clencher, which tends to put the bowl of my pipe well below my mouth. I'm hoping that packing lighter, per suggestions from Beetlejazz and Ian, might help with my dottle problem since I'd hate to forego my beverage (especially during cocktail hour) or replace my bent pipes.

I really appreciate everyone jumping in here to guide this poor soul toward the light of smoking bliss. Over the next several days I will try all of the suggestions that you all have offered and report my experiences.

Thanks,
Kim
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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:01 pm

All of the above.

Especially this :
Bulldog wrote:
try to avoid packing so that you have tobacco on the bottom of the smoking chamber. Leaving a bit of space between the floor and the tobacco allows for better airflow, a more complete and even burn, and less goop to deal with at the end.

There are various ways to do that, but it all boils down to that plus not figuring you always have to smoke a bowl to the bottom without pausing to let it catch up with itself. If/When it starts getting a little edgy, set it down & let moisture re-equalibrium happen.

cat What a Face study
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:56 am

Here is an interesting read on the subject, for those who have the time.....




The Thermodynamics of Pipe-Smoking

Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 6:32AM


Originally Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2009



A great deal has been written about how smoking technique changes the pipe smoker’s experience. While smoking technique seems to apply only to the strength and pace of draw, we know that a number of other variables also impact the experience: the pipe selected, chamber shape, the tobacco blend selected, and the density at which the tobacco is packed into the bowl.

Most pipe smokers focus first on their pipe and/or tobacco selection, secondarily on their tobacco-packing technique, and finally on tamping technique.

From my experience, however, the method by which the pipe is lit seems to warrant far less attention than other considerations.

One recent Saturday as I commenced lighting a bowl of G.L. Pease Stonehenge – a particular favorite of mine – when I reached for my old boy lighter I realized I had left it at home, so I asked my tobacconist for a box of wooden Swan Vesta matches. As I lit the tobacco, I was struck immediately by how different my experience of Stonehenge was upon my palate. This is a tobacco I know and love. It is one with which I have considerable experience, yet it tasted markedly different.

It is not unusual to have a favorite tobacco taste somewhat different from time to time. For example, I find that if I’m drinking espresso or strong black coffee that the first tobacco sip will yield a somewhat more subdued mix of flavors. If I’m drinking bourbon whisky, the taste will be stronger and more sugary. But this difference constituted an order-of-magnitude difference in flavor. There was considerably more sweetness and muskiness in the smoke. The sugars took on the typical smoky molasses quality found in Stonehenge, but the typical burnt caramel note I had come to expect was missing.

As I sat and wondered what was going on, I inspected the moisture of the tobacco. In a moment of epiphany, I realized that I had probably never lit this tobacco with a match as opposed to with my lighter. In that moment, I decided to experiment for a month or so by lighting my pipes solely with matches. I put my lighters in the drawer and I have been using matches exclusively since then.

I also decided to do some research on the science of igniting – or pyrolizing (as scientists call it) – tobacco. This little research project has taught me a great deal more than I bargained for.

First, I had no idea that my lighting method could impact my experience so significantly nor second, that thermodynamics would so clearly explain the differences in my experiences.

Not unsurprisingly, I discovered that medical researchers and scientists had been exploring the effects of tobacco burning temperatures on the development of aromatic carcinogens in tobaccos. Two Finnish scientists Ermala and Holsti published extensively on their research in the ‘50s. Their research compared and contrasted combustion dynamics in cigars, cigarettes, and pipes. Using thermocouple devices, Ermala and Holsti established that cigarette, cigar, and pipe burning dynamics are quite different from one another, despite the fact that tobacco is burned by the smoker in each of the delivery systems.

For example, pipe tobacco burns on average (in the combustion zone) at about 500 degrees Celsius. Cigarettes burn at about 670 degrees Celsius, and cigars burn at an intermediate average between pipes and cigarettes. With each smoking instrument, however, there is variability in temperature. For example, the maximum temperature a pipe smoker might achieve is 620 degrees Celsius whereas someone who has cultivated a slow, cool smoking style might smoke as low as 380 degrees Celsius. As you might surmise, this variability in temperature significantly impacts smoke temperature on the tongue, sensitivity of the palate, and most important, the actual flavor of the tobacco blend being smoked. How is flavor affected?

Ermala and Holst established that there are three zones in the pipe chamber:


“In principle, three main zones are distinguishable in burning tobacco (cigarette and pipe) : (a) the actual glowing point, where oxidation takes place, called in the following the “combustion zone,” (b) the “distillation zone,” where no actual glowing occurs but where the temperature is high and dry distillation quite strong, and (c) the zone farthest from the glow point, where the temperature is low and where, for that reason, condensation of dry distilled material can take place, and which is hence called the “condensation zone.”

As Ermala and Holst explained the dynamics of pipe tobacco combustion, they discovered that even at relatively low combustion temperatures the heat spread out in an extensive area outside the combustion zone (the actual glow point), and that within this heated area - the distillation zone - fractions of various substances (tars, oils, moisture) escaped into the smoke stream without being pyrolized. Ermala and Holsti noted that the distillation zone within a pipe is quite large. Further, a third zone - the condensation zone – produces condensation of dry distilled materials.

I realized as I studied this that pipe tobacco flavor is actually a blend of three processes, oxidation, dry distillation, and condensation. I further understood that the smoker’s ability to regulate smoking temperature would alter the proportions of the various three flavor-production processes. A “hot smoker” would produce greater numbers of oxidation (and presumably more distillate) flavors whereas a cool smoker would more likely equalize those proportions.

As I considered this information - and reflected on its implications with respect to my smoking style - I thought about my pipe-lighting style, and also my methods of tamping and relighting. It occurred to me that 1) I almost always used my butane pipe lighter to initially light my pipe; 2) that I have recently tried to manage the light in such a way that I achieved a large combustion zone (glowing area); and 3) during re-lights I have also tried to ensure that the tobacco is well lit in a large combustion zone, applying the butane flame for a considerable period of time.

When I compared the kindling temperatures of wood and butane, (in chemistry, kindling temperature is the lowest temperature at which a substance bursts into flame) I learned that butane, when mixed with air, burns at 1,977 degrees Celsius whereas matches burn between 600 and 800 degrees Celsius, depending on the wood variety used in manufacture (most matches use Aspen wood).

When I considered that there are still people who use butane torches to light their pipes, and that these devices produce temperatures of 2,500 degrees Celsius - the temperature of the Sun - I was flabbergasted.

Obviously, the differences in temperature are so extreme as to be almost absurd. As I considered the length of time I applied the butane flame to the tobacco, I realized that I was super-heating it, which could not help but impact the flavors, especially those sugary mature Virginias that I love.

As an aside, I also learned that Turkish tobaccos burn hotter than other varieties (The highest temperature recorded, 812°C., was in a Turkish cigarette.”) When I considered those tobaccos that are present in blends of which I am particularly fond – Orientals and Latakias – I concluded that it has been my lighting and re-lighting techniques that have produced the flavor distortions that I have routinely been experiencing for years. It became crystal clear why relights of the last 30 percent of the tobacco in a bowl often yields foul flavors upon relight.

My little research project has left me both wiser and happier. I am finding that my smoking experience has been enhanced by more careful attention to managing the size and intensity of my pipe’s combustion zone. I am experiencing more complexity in my tobaccos and considerably less tongue bite.

Further, I am more aware of my own moderation of my smoking style and how important it is to match tobacco density in packing with the engineering of the pipe being smoked. Those pipes with more open draws require denser packing and more modulated sipping of the smoke stream. Most importantly, I am now aware how important it is that I refrain from periodically super-heating the tobacco when I light and re-light.

As a postscript, like many of you, I’m sure, I have often wondered at the wild inconsistency and subjectivity of tobacco reviews. I now have a better understanding of just how much one’s choices, techniques, and tools impact a smoker’s perception of a blend.


http://www.apassionforpipes.com/classic-blog-posts/the-thermodynamics-of-pipe-smoking.html
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ragged claws



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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:12 am


Thanks Dutch. That's ineed a good read.


Kim
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DoverPipes

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:33 pm

Happens every now and then to me.
Re-topping the tobacco in the bowl is always helpful.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:59 pm

The not-letting-the-tobacco-sit-on-the-bottom-of-the-bowl-thing is and can be helpful, but I find it all matters how one tamps as they smoke: if you're ram-rodding the tobacco like an ape, that little bit of gap can help offset pressure. I tamp just enough to cone the tobacco to the center, angling the tamper head inward toward the bowl, just to improve draft consistency. If I leave too much space at the bottom, I end up sucking ash at the end. I by no means pack the bowl too densely, either.

It's just a matter of practice. There's more techniques and variables out there, this tread alone, to try, I hope there's some solutions in here for those needing it! All have been great contributions, ya just gotta find that "aha!" moment when you experiment with the right technique. Trial-n-error can be very helpful.

Great article, Dutch. Matches don't work for me, as I usually smoke outside, and the winds here in Nevada aren't favorable to them. I manage to get good smokes...

...again, it's all about finding that right combination. There's one out there for everyone.

Cool

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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:33 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:


Great article, Dutch. Matches don't work for me, as I usually smoke outside, and the winds here in Nevada aren't favorable to them. I manage to get good smokes...

...again, it's all about finding that right combination. There's one out there for everyone.

Cool


Kyle, I am rarely comfortable using matches, unless I am smoking indoors and not distracted by any other activities. Since the burning temps determine how much moisture or steam is generated, then in theory it should stand to reason that a cooler burning bowl would produce somewhat drier dottle by the time we reach the end of the bowl. Good information to know, but sometimes over dissection of the process, can lead to less enjoyment during the smoking experience.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: stirring one's wet dottle   Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:45 am

Dutch wrote:
Kyle, I am rarely comfortable using matches, unless I am smoking indoors and not distracted by any other activities. Since the burning temps determine how much moisture or steam is generated, then in theory it should stand to reason that a cooler burning bowl would produce somewhat drier dottle by the time we reach the end of the bowl. Good information to know, but sometimes over dissection of the process, can lead to less enjoyment during the smoking experience.

Totally. My big thing with the whole "matches only" or other such discussions about ignition is missing a larger point: the match, lighter, torch, sunbeam, coal or whatever lights your pipeweed is never in constant contact with the contents of your pipe throughout the entire bowl being smoked, so, I'm not sure why all the fuss. I mean, get the theory, but once the match/lighter/whatever goes out, the tobacco is on its own, well, with the help of the smoker's draw, and (god forbid me mentioning) tobacco chamber. Can one singe the unburnt contents below and cause flavor issues? Probably. I don't. *shrug*

Without opening up a new age-old can of worms, call me crazy, but I think there's more of a chance of a fella burnin' his tobacco to bits (or his tongue) by having too dry or too heavily puffed-upon 'bacca than mere threat of a butane soft flame over a silly stick of burning wood. Maybe it's just me, but I don't light my pipe with a constant ten second blast of heat. It's lit in less than two seconds. I don't have re-light problems usually, and I get plenty of flavor from just-right moist tobacco.

My only warning I give people in the ignition department is not to use a jet-flame cigar lighter, because it'll eff up your briar. Granted, in a pinch, I've used a jet single flame lighter on a few pipefuls, being terribly careful to aim it where it was supposed to go (in the center) and not for too long. It doesn't work too well, and is too dangerous for me to rely on, I know that much.

So yeah, my conclusion is, use what works. If someone swears they're getting a better smoke off a wooden match, they're probably right, and have plenty of reasons for it. Fact of the matter is, I find a lighter more useful, and haven't necessarily gotten an "oh-wow" moment suddenly from match use. Plus, matches, dry desert with flammable flora, winds, etc--let's just say I'm okay with lighters since I'm an "outdoor guy." Laughing

Cool
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