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 Breaking in a pipe

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Jacob the coldblooded

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Age : 25
Location : Barrington, NH
Registration date : 2013-01-16

PostSubject: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:55 pm

This is probably a pretty dumb question, but i bought a nice new pipe (posted it in PAD/TAD) and was wondering if i had to "break it in" in any way?

Thanks for any help

-Jacob
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deepbass9

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Age : 47
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-02-21

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:45 pm

There's lots of views out there...pick your poison.

What did I do, you ask? Packed it full of pipe tobacco and smoked it! I was just conscious of the temp and didn't let it get too hot (you know, I smoked the pipe the way you're supposed to...), and it all sorted itself out.

Have fun, congrats on the pipe, and welcome aboard!


Last edited by deepbass9 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jacob the coldblooded

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Age : 25
Location : Barrington, NH
Registration date : 2013-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:50 pm

Thanks, i've only been smoking for a short while and just recently joined the forum. i love the community! its great!
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:58 pm

Just as you hear of 100 different ways to break in a new motor, the same applies to a pipe.
Some generalities would be:
* Smoke a blend you like and are familiar with. Don't try a NEW blend while breaking in a NEW pipe Razz
* As with ALL 'bacs, SIP it and don't try to keep it lit all the way to the bottom. Just take it slow and easy.
* Whether you smoke many partial bowls or a full bowl at a time, let it REST btwn smokes, 24 hours min .
* Smoke it inside, away from extremes in ambient temp. and wind. It needs to build some cake to handle that.
Basicaly, TAKE YOUR TIME as there is NO hurry Razz
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Brewdude
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Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:05 pm

While there are many different approaches to this, I like to break in a new pipe with full bowls. Never had a problem with this.

Lately I've been using PA, and find it takes 6 bowls or so. That seems to build enough cake to go from there.

YMMV, as always.

bom


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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alfredo_buscatti

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Age : 63
Location : Piedmont, North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:31 pm

In general I am a dullard regarding pipes, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Everything that's been said is fine.

I dedicate pipes to single tobaccos or at least to tobacco families. I decide what I want to smoke in that pipe and smoke it in that pipe until I feel the blend is fully emerging. Some guys like to lay down cake, as that is what you're doing, with burley. I don't think there is any point in breaking in with, say, burley, but then switching to the target tobacco. The cake is composed of carbon totally and partially incinerated tobacco and does color taste. What I'm saying is that smoking a tobacco in a particular pipe will yield a fuller taste if that pipe has been caked by that tobacco. Usually it takes about a half-dozen bowls to cake it.
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kaiser83

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Age : 35
Location : Wherever the smoke clears
Registration date : 2012-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:40 am

Pack it and smoke it. While you smoke, if the bowl gets hot in your hand....slow the heck down. I have yet to worry about "breaking in" a pipe the way some say to, and have had no adverse reactions yet. Enjoy it brother.
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gravel

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

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:21 am

Your question is not dumb and is common for a beginner.

You are getting different pieces of advice. You will get different pieces of advice. Some advice is better than others. Others are not as good as some. Some are trumped by a few. The few make way for the one piece of advice.

THIS IS THAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE:

Take a good long look at your pipe. Make a note of all its qualities you enjoy. Now, imagine life without your new pipe. Terrifying? I hope so, for it means your heart is ready.

Warm up your hands and gently take your pipe in your dominate hand. Go outside. Take another affectionate look at your new pipe. Now, in a brisk motion, swing your pipe hand in a circular fashion and release the pipe at the apex of your motion.
Follow the motion of your now airborne pipe with your eyes, making sure to stay in one spot until the pipe has finished its break in flight.

Now walk to your pipe and assess its condition.
Did it land in fecal matter? Toss it out. Seriously. No, you can't wash that out.
Did it land and scatter its components to the four corners of the earth? Oh, sorry about that. Love is like that. You had to release it. It didn't return to you. It wasn't meant for you.
Did it land in one piece? Love returned whole. Pack your pipe with whatever you want to smoke in it (flour, mead, small bits of melba toast, tobacco) and enjoy, knowing this pipe was properly broken in.
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George Kaplan

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Age : 48
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:51 am

Gravel, acerbic as always. Good show.
Jacob, smoke the new out of it. Make mistakes. Take chances. Collect memories. Obsess over the next pipe. Have fun with this one.
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Dutch

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Age : 53
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:28 am

My break in process is slightly different than most, however I am not a big fan of cake, and usually keep my pipes reamed as close to the briar as possible. This is because I like the sweet taste of the briar when it is heated, and too much cake can have you tasting only the tobacco and cake and none of the briar.

In the past I have experimented with a thin layer of honey, and have also tried wetting my finger with water, and swabbing the inside of the bowl. Using my current process, I find neither of the two necessary.

I simply load my bowl loosely at the bottom, and progressively tighter as I fill the bowl. Then, using my pipe tool or nail, I punch a hole in the center of my tobacco with the nail, which will insure a center burn, keeping the burning tobacco centered, and away from the vulnerable inside walls of the bowl.

Once I have smoked the bowl 2/3rd's to 3/4th's the way down, I will let it go out and completely cool down. Then I will dump any loose ash, reload the pipe, and repeat the process 4 to 5 times. By leaving a small amout of tobacco in the bowl before reloading, I can easily protect the bottom of my bowl from a burnout during the break in process. If I am smoking a Virginia flake blend, I find the center punch technique unnecessary, as most Virginia flakes burn center of the bowl on their own without any special efforts.

My goal here is to simply season my briar, similar the the technique used to season a cast iron skillet. You will find that once your briar has absorbed some of the juices from the tobacco during the combustion process, it will have the ability to withstand the burning process, without the need for excessive cake in order to protect the briar.

Once seasoned, you can keep your cake to a minimum, which will allow you to taste the sweetness of the briar, a characteristic which a meerschaum or cob pipe cannot offer.

If during the break in process the pipe gets a little hot, as kaiser83 suggests, don't hesitate to sit the pipe down and let it cool completely before you relight.
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PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:44 am

FWIW : listen to your hand.

Whenever it starts getting warm (including the rim), put it aside until it's cooled all the way back down again. Re-light & continue as above. That approach will not only come as close as any single variable-adjustment to guaranteeing a tasty smoke, but will double as insurance that you're not being thermally hard on the inside of the chamber.

It becomes second nature after a while. IMO it's one aspect of the slow-things-down-and-enjoy tempo adjustment that pipe smoking is famous for.

What a Face
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gravel

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

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:27 pm

George Kaplan wrote:
Gravel, acerbic as always. Good show.
Jacob, smoke the new out of it. Make mistakes. Take chances. Collect memories. Obsess over the next pipe. Have fun with this one.

It may have been the melba toast.
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Northern Neil

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Age : 34
Location : Calgary AB. Canada
Registration date : 2012-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in a pipe   Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:43 pm

There are so many points of view on breaking in a pipe. In the end, all you are trying to achieve is a nice protective layer of "cake" inside your bowl to protect the briar from the buring tobacco. Also, a bowl with perfect "cake" (not too thick and not too thin) will smoke better than a new bowl.
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