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 A dottle ditty

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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: A dottle ditty   Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:08 pm

Dear piping brethren,
So, after smoking pipes for nearly a year (I know, that's nothing compared to most of the chaps on here), I think I've got a hang of most of the fundamentals. But what are your thoughts on this...
I often read baccy reviews that says something along the lines of '...burns down to a white ash...'. Whereas it would be fair to say that there's always plenty of white ash in bowl following a smoke, a post smoke post mortem always reveals what I'd describe as charred baccy, and then at the very bottom a few shreds of wet unburnt baccy; this evening's Germain's Royal Jersey being a fine example of this outcome. My smokes are always relaxing, very enjoyable, and last approx an hour. Now, I have got through the damp stuff at the bottom in the past but it has required a draw quicker than John Wayne to keep it going and a flame every minute; not exactly relaxing and it's round about then that I get a visit from lady N which, I have to say, I don't enjoy.
What do you think chaps? Is this the norm, or are you smoking all the baccy in the bowl everytime?
Yours on smoking odessey,
Brother Stick.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Stick wrote:
Dear piping brethren,
So, after smoking pipes for nearly a year (I know, that's nothing compared to most of the chaps on here), I think I've got a hang of most of the fundamentals.  But what are your thoughts on this...
I often read baccy reviews that says something along the lines of '...burns down to a white ash...'.  Whereas it would be fair to say that there's always plenty of white ash in bowl following a smoke, a post smoke post mortem always reveals what I'd describe as charred baccy, and then at the very bottom a few shreds of wet unburnt baccy; this evening's Germain's Royal Jersey being a fine example of this outcome.  My smokes are always relaxing, very enjoyable, and last approx an hour.  Now, I have got through the damp stuff at the bottom in the past but it has required a draw quicker than John Wayne to keep it going and a flame every minute; not exactly relaxing and it's round about then that I get a visit from lady N which, I have to say, I don't enjoy.
What do you think chaps?  Is this the norm, or are you smoking all the baccy in the bowl everytime?
Yours on smoking odessey,
Brother Stick.

Very rarely do I get ANY left over bits one would call a "dottle" anymore. I've only encountered them with most of the Aro's I've smoked or blends/mixtures which contain larger amounts of humectant in them. Much of this can be attributed to the initial moisture o the blend/mixture when it is loaded and lit for smoking. I've found most blends/mixtures can stand to be just a bit drier than you'd think for smoking. I smoke a lot of Red Va's which contain large amounts of sugar naturally and if they are too moist, can leave what some would call a "dottle" and smoke "wetter" than you'd think. When I encounter a smoke which smokes this way I DO NOT try and relight to "...smoke it all" and in turn get the bite you mention, I just dump that rest out, run a cleaner in the pipe and let it sit in the rack for an extra day of drying. This is what I've experienced and found to work for me after 4 decades of smoking Twisted Evil Twisted Evil As far as if I "... smoke it all to a grey ash" every time, no but not every smoke will always be the same contrary to what many say. I wouldn't worry about it as it's sort of like the "relight" thing so many folks obsess over. JMHO  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:43 pm

Thank you Monbla Sir. I maybe need to dry a little more then. Some blends like Red Cake 5100 I have found to be particularly wet, but a damn good smoke too. Yes, I don't measure piping prowess by counting relights either, however, when I'm firing up every 60 seconds I know it's time to lay the pipe down.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:49 pm

Stick wrote:
Thank you Monbla Sir. I maybe need to dry a little more then. Some blends like Red Cake 5100 I have found to be particularly wet, but a damn good smoke too.  Yes, I don't measure piping prowess by counting relights either, however, when I'm firing up every 60 seconds I know it's time to lay the pipe down
.  

mmmmm I don't recall having THAT problem!! But I've found EACH blend/mixture demands IT'S specific loading method depending on the shape and brand of pipe. For me, my older Charatan's need be loaded and packed just a bit differently than my Edward's of the same age and shape with the same blend but that sort of thing you only learn with time spent with each blend/mixture and pipe, Stay with it and let us know how it goes in another decade !!! Twisted Evil
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J Soshae

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Age : 45
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:21 pm

Monbla256 wrote:
Much of this can be attributed to the initial moisture o the blend/mixture when it is loaded and lit for smoking. I've found most blends/mixtures can stand to be just a bit drier than you'd think for smoking.

This is right for 2 reasons.

1. Moisture from the tobacco is not constantly being pulled down into the bowl.
2. Drier tobacco maintains an ember while you are not puffing on the pipe. (more puffing creates more moisture)

When I hear the sizzle of moist tobacco, I try to swab and slow down, but I will end with wet dottle.

Monbla says to give it a decade. After 2 decades, I can still create wet dottle from a dry tobacco. By overpacking it and puffing the hell out of it.
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loneredtree

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Age : 76
Location : Nevada City, CA.
Registration date : 2011-05-28

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:36 pm

Stick: The short answer is no. That the "review" remarks on the grey ash makes me think that it is a rarity. I have had only one tobacc that ended in grey ash. That was the first and only bowl of Rattray's Old Gowrie. I do want to try that again soon. I do not recall how many relights it took but not many. Most of the time blends with Latakia have black chunks mixed with wet tobacco at the bottom. I do keep lighting towards the bottom until it does not taste good or the smoke is too hot and steam like. So, not to worry or obsess about it. Enjoy the journey.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 64
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:57 pm

About a year ago most my smokes ended in just light grey ash but, I was only smoking Escudo. Now that I've expanded a bit with tobaccos I find only about 25% of the time it ends up this way. The other 75% I'm left with a bit of dottle damp to wet. Now not having a lot of experience with anything but, Escudo some of this maybe be due to ME not
drying tobacco out when I should or not enough, or just too lazy at the time to try and smoke the very last bit. But, some tobaccos I've found refuse to burn down to ash, just the nature of the beast I reckon. Wink
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:17 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps.

Loner: 'I do keep lighting towards the bottom until it does not taste good or the smoke is too hot and steam like. So, not to worry or obsess about it.' - Reasurring to learn that others experience the same, thank you.

Ron: Like you it doesn't happen with all blends but enough to prompt me to want to review my piping technique.

Conclusion: Keep a stiff upper lip, enjoy my smoking, and carry on.
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:14 pm

As mentioned the moisture factor of the tobacco plays a major role in this. I find that if I dry my tobacco past the point of it clumping when pinched together, I get end-bowl results that are a mixture of ash, burnt black bits with just a tiny patch of moist uncombusted tobacco against the heel. Honestly I would prefer not to smoke wet bitter dottle anyway.

My overall thought on this subject has always been, smoke the pipe until it stops tasting good. Period. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improving technique a bit.

Cadence plays a huge role in this as as well. The times that I have actually smoked tobacco down to a "fine grey ash" have only been when I have all the time in the day to just relax and sip the pipe at a nice slow clip while reading a good book or listening to music. Mind off the pipe and concentrating specifically on something else. Conversation with a good pipe buddy always seems to do the trick. 

Of course mileage will vary with different baccys. Most aromatic and Black Cav-centric mixtures are going to yield more dottle and can remain deceptively moist even when appearing fairly dry to the touch.
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Old Nate
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PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:58 am

I've been a pipe smoker for a little over a year as well. I often have dottle at the end of a smoke, and it's wet, acrid, and overall not pleasant... for whatever reason, I always have it in my head to smoke this crap down to the last strand, just before it hits the briar! I believe I feel inferior as a pipe smoker if I am not smoking 100% of the tobacco, but it's not worth it... my tongue and taste buds will thank me if and when I put it down when the taste is no longer pleasant.

Good post, because it is something we all have dealt with at some time...
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:56 pm

Thanks everyone.
Nate, I suspect like you, I've never been able to share my smoking journey with other pipers so have not been mentored in any way. All my learning has come from the University of Experience and plenty of guidance from the chaps on the BoB. I find it useful to check from time to time to see that I'm heading in the right direction. Intuition had guided me too but it's good to check.
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Thomas Tkach

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Age : 31
Location : North Dakota
Registration date : 2010-11-24

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:05 pm

Everyone needs to read this thread. It is hilarious if you read far enough, and the main point is spot on.

READ THE THREAD!
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idbowman

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

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:09 pm

Stick wrote:
My smokes are always relaxing, very enjoyable,


That's all that matters. If smoking that last bit of tobacco in the bottom of the bowl intrudes on the experience, then don't. If you like that "end of the bowl" taste and nicotine bump, then do!


For my part, it usually comes down to the blend. Some are dry to the end, some leave just a bit of wet stuff (I usually give it one last relight, but if it goes right back out I don't keep after it - far easier to dump, and pick up another bowlful.)
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Old Nate
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PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:18 pm

I know what you mean, Stick. I have one pipe smoking buddy, he has a leather tongue and pounds his pipe(s) every chance he gets. Don't know how he does it without tearing his mouth to ruins!?!? Ill ask him about this or that, but we're two totally different pipe smokers and our experiences never compare. I've started packing a little lighter and that seems to help with my bottom-of-the-bowl woes.
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Domer



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PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:18 pm

Don't have this problem much. I do load in the old 3 stage method, so the bottom is very loose to begin with. Maybe that's it?

Is there a difference if it's flake or ribbon?
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Stick

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Age : 48
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Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:39 pm

Brilliant Thomas!
Thomas Tkach wrote:
Everyone needs to read this thread. It is hilarious if you read far enough, and the main point is spot on.

READ THE THREAD!
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RobJ

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Location : Mukilteo, Washington USA
Registration date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: A dottle ditty   Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:42 pm

Pretty funny stuff Thomas, thanks for the link Laughing

I don't sweat a little dottle now and then. Enjoy the smoke!

I usually have a mix of grey ash and small bits of blackened tobacco left with very little moisture at the bottom. Mostly it depends on the blend, the pipe and whether I was hurried in my smoke or not. But that's just me.
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