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dpramsey



Location : south carolina, United States of America
Registration date : 2013-01-10

PostSubject: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:12 am

I'm generally new to smoking flake tobacco and am having a good deal of trouble getting the tobacco lit when using the folding method. Any advice is welcomed. I would really like to keep using the folding method or similar "quick" pack type method.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:46 am

Why is quick-stuff-n-smoke important? Just wondering.
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tgwilt



Age : 65
Location : Kissimmee, Florida
Registration date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:08 am

Try this link - http://mac-baren.com/flake

It has some nice pics for filling your pipe with flake tobacco.
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taharris

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Age : 49
Location : Central Ohio
Registration date : 2011-11-10

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:14 am

My 2 cents:

If you are fairly new to pipe smoking you may want to rub out your flakes for smoking because folded flakes can tend to get hot if you're not careful.

Also, you will want the flakes to be a little bit drier that you might think. I find that flakes give me the best smoke when they are dried to the point that it is a little bit tricky to get them in the bowl without them crumbling or falling apart. The tobacco should feel dry to the touch.

Good luck.

Todd
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 37
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:30 am

I prefer to rub out my flakes. I probably smoke flakes (or broken flakes) 90% of the time, and 90% of the time I smoke flakes I rub them out. But that's just me.

If I'm out and about sometimes I will just crush them up in one hand and give them a kind of broken flake quality. When I do fold and stuff, I find that the MacBaren method tends to leave too much tobacco above the rim of the pipe, so I'll fold a single flake in thirds. I also find its helpful to give the folded flake a good twist to loosen the strands of tobacco.

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dpramsey



Location : south carolina, United States of America
Registration date : 2013-01-10

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:08 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Why is quick-stuff-n-smoke important? Just wondering.

Well, I guess its not that important but I like the concept of being able to just fold up a flake and pack it.
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PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:14 am

It's a tricky operation to get down. As you've noticed Very Happy

For one thing, different flakes/broken flakes behave very differently. FVF, Union square and Embarcadero are three distinctly different weeds in terms of how they need to be packed. So there's a getting-familiar-with-that-given-flake's personality factor involved.

Drying flakes out probably makes then marginally "easier to smoke," but does so at the expense of flavor depth & richness. Proceed accordingly.

The way I do it (to the extent that anybody cares) is to cut the flake (with scissors) into lengths a little shorter than the depth of the bowl. The reason for that is, I don't want tobacco touching (let alone, jammed up in) the bottom of the bowl, where it will soak up the moisture released in the process of smoking what's above it, turning into a wet, sour mess. (A.k.a., a "dottle").

These I abuse a bit until they're still intact but barely so, and re-straighten them. With a bunch of them on a paper (or whatever) in front of you, it's easy to eyeball about how many to combine and load. What you want is a pack that's just full enough that it stays suspended above the bottom of the bowl, leaving an air space for ventilation down there.

Another thing to bear in mind is that your flakes will absorb moisture as you smoke them, expanding (laterally) in the process. The result can be that a pack that seemed too loose can turn into a solid clump that smokes steamy/hot when you can even draw air through it. Figure that "Less is More" here until you know that given tobac so well you're going on autopilot with it.

If you end up with Irish Pennants sticking up (I do), trim with scissors to forestall rim char.

With the first light, all you're accomplishing is beginning to dry the very top of it enough to light the second or third time. Give it about a minute or so and re-light (bics are ideal because of the low-temperature control they offer), paying attention to the edges.

This will die away within 30 seconds or so, and you'll notice that the top of your bowl feels warm. Steam heat penetrates. Including briar. That's your pipe's way of signaling that you've generated enough steam in there for a while. So put it down for as long as it takes for it to go all the way back down to as cool as the rest of the bowl. If you cheat because you're greedy +/or impatient, you'll pay for it with your tongue.

Once it has, just touch the top of the tobac with your finger to level it. NO pressure. Because you want the pack staying where it is. Screw this up, and you're in for it.

OK. Light and smoke. This time it will stay lit (kind of), but gradually burn down the middle. Stop every time it starts feeling warm and let the steam dissipate again. By this point, the unburnt tobac around the edges should be crispy enough to carefully fold over toward the middle, after you've fluffed the accumulated ash and tipped it out. (A blanket of ash holds moisture and heat. Both of which you want, if not rid of, at least held to a minimum).

Here is where your previous care & patience really pays off. Enjoy ! As always, when the bowl starts getting anywhere past "warm," give it a time out.

This probably sounds like a lot of hassle to the immediate-gratification mentality. And maybe it is. But you're going to be sipping nothing but the best your tobac and pipe can give you. As in, every puff exquisite in quality. While they'll be finishing ahead of you -- with tongue issues.

FWIW

What a Face


Last edited by Yak on Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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beetlejazz

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Location : Finland
Registration date : 2012-08-17

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:53 pm

I enjoy packing & smoking my flakes whole, and I like to smoke them moist. I practically never dry my tobacco... more relights, but I just tend to enjoy the smoke consistency more. Perhaps SG flakes being an exception, on humid/ cold weather... not always.

Yak makes an important point about expanding. Noticing that one made a huge difference for me.

It was hard at first but nowadays I experience little trouble with packing flakes. It was just a sudden "click" in my head and it started going right (enough?).

This is what I do:

1. I look into the bowl of my pipe. Unless I remember the shape well already.

2. I take a flake /sufficient amount of flake depending on the pipe/flake size. One gets used to gauging this with time (alhtough not that much time, if you keep smoking the same flakes and don't have too many pipes)

3. I fold the flake in half length-wise, and pinch the both ends. Then I mold, while twisting the flake a bit to loosen the tobacco, it to something resembling the shape of the bowl. Important to not to get the bottom-end (where the fold is) to get too too thick. Also important to not to be afraid to break the flake. I mold in in my fingers like it was clay.

4. I stuff the lump into my pipe. Too much or too little? Take it out, and remove/add some, or change pipe, and stuff the pipe again with better luck.

5. I pinch the tobacco at the top of my pipe and give it a firm but gentle twist. This way I manage to break the top of the tobacco for easier lighting and get it sitting more comfortable in the bowl.

6. Several careful lightings, and if the bowl is wide, I sweep the lit matchstick over the top of the tobacco to get as even light as I can. Indeed as Yak says there, there will be a relight soon with some ash at the top. And this is when a long, pleasant, easy smoke starts! cheers


I haven't smoked pipes that long so I'm not an expert, but this has worked really well for me. Sounds more complicated than it is really. Nowadays with my favourite tobaccos, it's just stuff-and-light, takes less time than filling a pipe with loose tobacco... and just somehow is very much fun.



Adding a note about "cubing" the tobacco (cutting into little squares with scissors and gravity filling) - something I learned from this forum and used this often when I was having trouble smoking flakes. Works like a charm. I still like to do it with SG Balkan Flake. A bit like smoking rope tobacco cut into pieces. But with some flake tobaccos, the whole flake just works so much better for me.
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idbowman

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Age : 36
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:25 pm

Yak wrote:
...shorter than the depth of the bowl. The reason for that is, I don't want tobacco touching (let alone, jammed up in) the bottom of the bowl, where it will soak up the moisture released in the process of smoking what's above it, turning into a wet, sour mess. (A.k.a., a "dottle").

Personally, I think that what Yak said there is probably the single best piece of advice you can have when it comes to flakes.

Otherwise, my preferred overall method for flakes is pretty much identical to what Beetlejazz described.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:15 pm

Yak and Beetle nailed it (she came in with a left hook of goodness mentioning cubing...I love cubing certain flake, but it does give a different attitude to the smoke...as does other methods of prepping.)

Never mind "quick" when it comes to pipes, the least instant-gratification method of using tobacco, but the most generously-gratifying when approached well.

Cool
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PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:18 pm

Good points.

A good shortcut that doesn't sacrifice taste is to combine these :

Cut off part of a flake & abuse it into something like a scouring pad.

Push this most of the way down.

Top with cubes.

Gets going quicker.

Method 1A -- save the little end bits & leftover cubes in a separate jar, where they'll dry. Sprinkle these on top for a burst of flavor on lighting that will help the main load get going.

What a Face
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somedumbjerk

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Age : 32
Location : Palo Alto, CA USA
Registration date : 2012-08-26

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:21 am

Yak wrote:
Good points.

A good shortcut that doesn't sacrifice taste is to combine these :

Cut off part of a flake & abuse it into something like a scouring pad.

Push this most of the way down.

Top with cubes.

Gets going quicker.

Method 1A -- save the little end bits & leftover cubes in a separate jar, where they'll dry. Sprinkle these on top for a burst of flavor on lighting that will help the main load get going.

What a Face

I just did this, minus the cubes. I roughly rub out flakes and stuff em. I always have left over bits, and I decided to save them because I was only smoking FVF and ODF. I sprinkled a bit of what I had saved on top and man what a flavor! Initial light is usually "meh" at best but the made it have flavor and led to lighting the moist flake a bit easier.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:35 am

Yak's brillo-pad technique is one I prefer for certain flakes that I cube, primarily those that can be cubed small enough to block draft holes and/or restrict draft. That, and they tend to expand as the bowl gets more narrow, and this does one of two things...wedges the crap out of everything at the bottom, or restricts air flow. Just the extra moisture and heat filtering through the packed bowl is enough to make things start movin' around, not just embers or flame. The brillo-pad of rubbed-out flake (maybe 1/8th the bowl) at the bottom does wonders to cushion the cubes, and tastes pretty derned good once the bowl is about to finale.

Cool

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mark
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PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:49 am

Yak wrote:
Cut off part of a flake & abuse it ,,,,


coffee on keyboard through nose,,,

_________________
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Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let her sleep.
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beetlejazz

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Location : Finland
Registration date : 2012-08-17

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:15 am

[quote="somedumbjerk"]
Yak wrote:
Good points.

A good shortcut that doesn't sacrifice taste is to combine these :

Cut off part of a flake & abuse it into something like a scouring pad.

Push this most of the way down.

Top with cubes.

Gets going quicker.

Trying this instantly. Cool
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bosun1

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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:40 am

First, sounds complicated but I think I'll finally try some flake.
Second, thanks Yak for reminding me about "Irish Pennants" from my military days (g). Had to think for a couple of minutes why "Irish Pendants" didn't look quite right but my half-zeimers cleared up enough to remember!
Smoking some Sugar Barrel at the moment BTW! (another grin)
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dpramsey



Location : south carolina, United States of America
Registration date : 2013-01-10

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:04 pm

I suppose I should have stated this in the beginning: I can pack the flake using the fold and stuff method, it is lighting it that is giving me trouble. Should I take some smaller pieces and top of the bowl with that to help the combustion?
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:12 pm

Hrm. Well, it takes some getting used to, the fold-n-stuff, as has been impled. It's a matter of merely cramming it in the pipe and not getting it lit versus doing it in a manner that will yield a good smoke. Anyone can stuff tobacco in a pipe, it's the smoking it part that really lets ya know if you're doing it the way you should be. Back to basics, combustion needs air (O2), fuel and fire. Have you made imbalanced any of the three?

Maybe I'm confused as to the "why," but you seem to be pretty fixated on fold-n-stuff. What's your goal, besides keeping it lit, if I may ask? You've gotten a ton of good alternate tips... scratch

Cool
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PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:13 pm

Thanks for the spelling correction, Bosun Cool

Fixed ! cheers

What a Face
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dpramsey



Location : south carolina, United States of America
Registration date : 2013-01-10

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:20 pm

I have an obsessive personality I guess haha. I plan on trying the other methods but I specifically want to learn the fold and stuff for whatever reason. I guess it just seems interesting. Also, i'm a very visual person when learning something new and i've only seen the fold and stuff method for packing flake (and rubbing out of course). I want to learn a variety of ways to tackle flake though.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:38 pm

Fair enough. We're more alike than you know, then.

Learn a bit more about the other techniques first, then advance toward a fold-n-stuff method. Patience is a virtue with this hobby.

If we're alike at all, please trial-n-error plenty and find what works, experimentation is encouraged. Making submit the tobacco to a focused urge will usually result in a painful tongue and unpleasant smoke. Fortunately, pipe smoking is not a race or an endurance contest, so the only winners, really, are those repeatedly satisfied. Smile

Cool
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beetlejazz

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Location : Finland
Registration date : 2012-08-17

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Learn a bit more about the other techniques first, then advance toward a fold-n-stuff method.

Good point Kyle - this is what I did as well. It's good to try easier ways at first (cubing was "the thing" for me, while rubbing the flake out never worked... strange huh!) and then progress to the fold-n-stuff. I get the feeling it's not a very popular one here, but I think it gives me some of the most slow, even, fuss-free smokes nowadays. But first breaking the flake in a way or another gives you a better perspective to how much a given pipe can accommodate, and the expanding of the tobacco etc.

You'll get there, but you might save yourself a lot of trouble by approaching the problem from a couple of different perspectives.
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PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:33 pm

Odd man out here. I molest the ash (gently) with the Czech pipe tool rod & tip it out before re-lighting.

IT just works.

What a Face
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:36 pm

I still can't get fold'n'stuff quite right, and I get near "10" smokes on other methods (including cubing...). I've cut flakes in half and stuck the "grain" of the folded tobacco lengthwise into the pipe. That kind of worked, but failed halfway down. I've rolled them up and put the resulting cylinder in the bowl. Same thing. I've rolled flakes into a loose ball, and that worked a little better but...

...I just get along with a rough-chunk of the flake or cubing. It works, and one thing is for sure: I hate chasing and managing a troublesome bowl of tobacco for sh*ts'n'giggles. Laughing

Cool
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: packing and lighting flake tobacco   Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:38 pm

Yak wrote:
Odd man out here. I molest the ash (gently) with the Czech pipe tool rod & tip it out before re-lighting.

IT just works.

What a Face

http://www.brothersofbriar.com/t21295-relighting

So we're both odd. Go figure.

Cool
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