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PostSubject: Re: Pipe Lighting   Pipe Lighting - Page 2 EmptyThu Jul 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Some real good advice in here. Especially Growley's (IMO) (& Kyle's). Knowing what's really available out of a pipe is huge.

This applies to Virginia Flakes :

Tobacco is female. There's a learning curve involved with each one of them. FVF, Union Square (and Embarcadero) are all Virginia (broken) flakes, but completely individual in the way they have to be packed if you want the best they have to offer. Achieving the memorable-smoke-every-time level with any one of them, for me, was a matter of years and pounds.

By the same token, I'm only starting to grok (from experience) that people who say flakes can taste better in a billiard than in a bent bulldog or prince know what they're talking about. (And I'm no stranger to billiard pipes. Smoked them since 1975).

With tobacco and pipes both, what works with one might not work at all with another one, and both are necessarily involved at the same time. It isn't that easy or simple.

In general, the instant it stops tasting like it did during the later char lights, stop. Let it go out & cool. There's moisture in the tobacco itself, and you've generated more of it in the lighting process, making the area directly under the ember soggy. That has to evaporate up through the top. (This is why I keep the ash fluffed up & tipped off. I don't want a heat-moisture seal). When the briar's cooled down to not-even-slightly-warm again, re-light. It only takes a touch by then -- less is more. And that less tastes 100% good.

If (since) it's burnt down the center, during one of your rest stops, fold the un-burnt pieces around the periphery down over to the center after the ash tip. When you re-light that, you're really off to the flavor races.

A key is understanding that if your tobacco column is the least bit tight going in, it's going to swell up with the added moisture that smoking it generates and create hell. You'd be surprised at how loose a pack "just right" can be. There's a LOT of wiggle room in one.

Dust & scraps on the top  Cool 

Then again, fold over part pf a flake of FVF at tin-moisture level, abuse it thoroughly, slide it in there, give it a haircut with scissors (level with the top) if it needs one, and you're good to go. It's surprisingly forgiving stuff -- within its performance parameters. Union Square and Lady 'Barc, in contrast, can be Bitches. Very demanding. Or princesses who can cross your eyes in awe of what tobacco in a pipe can be.

Think more in terms of progress than mastery, and be heartened by it.

And note that if you're constantly jumping from one tobacco to another one in this pipe and that one, your great smokes are going to be few(er) and far(ther) between than if you settle on a select few in pipes you're (and they're) used to and "dial it in" as you go. Provided you're paying attention, practice makes perfect.


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Age : 39
Location : Pasadena, CA
Registration date : 2012-06-15

Pipe Lighting - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe Lighting   Pipe Lighting - Page 2 EmptyMon Jul 15, 2013 10:29 pm

I tried Hereward's idea. If it's too hot.. it's creating steam. I set the bowl down until it's cooled off and then re-tamp and baam.. some flavor. I still have not tried my ribbon cuts in a larger bowl yet. I have a nice GBD pre-historic that should be back in a few weeks from Walker's Briar Repair... waiting for that I guess..
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