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 Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?

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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:23 am

So I got a bunch of cobs because I wanted to try blends that I normally wouldn't smoke so I wouldn't taint a briar if I didn't like it. Do cobs need a break in period? I find that everything tastes the same in new cobs. I tried a blend that I really like out of my briars and it wasn't the same at all. So I'm guessing there is a period with new cobs where you're burning off some of the inside of the bowl and that dominates the flavor and adds a lot of harshness. I'm hoping that does go away after a few smokes. Thoughts?
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:59 am

I have a couple of cobs with custom stain jobs and forever stems on them, they look darned cool and smoke pretty well. My own personal experience, after going through at least half a dozen different cobs over a dozen years, is that they are a neat little novelty and smoke OK but fall well short of a briar. A lot of guys love em and god bless em, but for me I find that rather than being neutral they impart taste, and unless you change out the stems they come with they'll smoke rather poorly, as the stems that come on them are awful. What works for me is smoking a simple burley like Prince Albert in a cob with a good stem. That's about all I use mine for. I've never really found them to excell at being used to try a new blend because that blend will taste different in a briar. Better to clean up a briar and use that. If you really want to get along with a cob find a tobacco you like and smoke a few bowls through it, then judge the pipe for yourself. If you keep throwing different tobaccos in it don't be surprised to find the pipe tasting confused.


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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:07 am

Yes, they taste like cardboard at first and require a break-in, and yes, they impart a taste, though it seems more like a sweet mellowing effect to me, which is why I like them. I stay away from the smaller versions, and opt for the Country Gentleman, General, etc. It wouldn't bother me too much if they were the only pipes in the world.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:34 am

I have cobs that smoked great from the very first bowl and then I have some that are just over heating hot boxes that should be trashed. And there ALL MM cobs, there is either no consistency in quality of the cobs
or I'm just the unlucky slob to get my hands on the bad ones, and yes I smoke slow and easy. Thank God for briar. Wink
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:10 pm

I have just two cobs, each around 10 yo now and both are MM Country Gentleman models. They did seem to require a short "break in" as I recall and now just add a subtle earthy sweetness to whatever I smoke in them. I do think there can be some variance in quality in them depending on how the corn grew in the year they were harvested. JMHO Twisted Evil
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:38 pm

Guess i just need some more briars then. Anyone know of cheap but beefy briars? Everything I own with nice thick walls smoke the best for me. And I just like chunky pipes.
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SpeedyPete



Age : 72
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:32 am

Richard Burley wrote:
It wouldn't bother me too much if they were the only pipes in the world.

Yes!!  cheers bounce cheers


Last edited by SpeedyPete on Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ozark Wizard

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Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:51 pm

ZeroContent wrote:
Guess i just need some more briars then.  Anyone know of cheap but beefy briars?  Everything I own with nice thick walls smoke the best for me.  And I just like chunky pipes.

A lot of B&Ms have what I think are referred to as 'Basket Pipes'. Super cheap, no names that you can burn up if you want. Mind you, they are not as cheap as a $5 Chinese cob, but still, for around 20-30 bucks how can you go wrong?
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:13 pm

I actually think I may have found the problem. Or rather I may have found a solution. Since cobs have pretty unrestricted airways I could feel that the smoke was a little on the hot side and with less restriction there's not as much contact area to cool the smoke. So, I packed the bowl tighter than I would normally pack my briar to get the same resistance, about a medium thick milkshake through a straw. Seems to have done the trick.

I have recently bought a few ebay maker pipes that I've really like. An Albin and a B&B, with shipping they were around 40 bucks each and I'm quite impressed with the quality and they both smoke like a dream. I like the big chucky pipes but with normal sized chambers so they're right up my alley. So I'll just keep snagging those when they're cheap at the end of the auction still.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:14 pm

The draw on an MM is wide open, and a small bowl, plus tight packing, plus heroic puffing might affect taste for the worse. If you get a new MM and lightly puff it with no tobacco inside you'll notice a sweet corn flavor. But after a few smokes, it should be neutral. Now and then, I come across a rec to use small cobs as testers. I disagree. Use a larger bowled MM. I have couple 20-plus year old cobs that at this point have bowls that may qualify as charcoal briquettes ... But they smoke nice and cool. Anyway, avoid cobs with small bowls, and I'm predicting a better experience. They do not have the personality of a good briar, and they might not be the best for a complex English, but they're always willing.
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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:43 pm

Said Mark Twain, “I always hire a cheap man–a man who doesn’t amount to much, anyhow–who would be as well–or better–dead, and let him break in the pipe for me. I get him to smoke the pipe for a couple of weeks, then put in a new stem, and continue operations as long as the pipe holds together.”
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:48 pm

Im smoking MM Prides which have .7" chambers which seems pretty average. Since i plan on doing tobacco reviews on my youtube channel I snagged a bunch to use for various aros. For non-aros I have latakia and non-latakia briar rotations. I'll have to start building an aro collection of briars. Cobs I've dedicated so far to vanilla based, chocolate, berry, rum/whisky, coffee, and honey. 5 more I'm just breaking in with a straight VA so they're ready to good when other flavors need pipes.
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SpeedyPete



Age : 72
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:51 am

The new COBBIT range of cobs are quite a nice size. I don't like their stems though and replaced mine with ordinary cob stems. I like the bigger cobs more too. Smokes cooler and sweeter.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:57 am

ZeroContent wrote:
Im smoking MM Prides which have .7" chambers which seems pretty average.

My .02 is that size chamber is okay for Va, but Lat blends and Aros need a little more room to breathe. FWIW.
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leacha

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Location : Colorado
Registration date : 2014-01-08

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:44 am

ZeroContent wrote:
Guess i just need some more briars then.  Anyone know of cheap but beefy briars?  Everything I own with nice thick walls smoke the best for me.  And I just like chunky pipes.

Chris Morgan - Bones Pipe
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:10 pm

leacha wrote:
ZeroContent wrote:
Guess i just need some more briars then.  Anyone know of cheap but beefy briars?  Everything I own with nice thick walls smoke the best for me.  And I just like chunky pipes.

Chris Morgan - Bones Pipe

Nice blasts on some of those. Too bad you can't choose the one you want.

For testing purposes, how about The Pipe? A lousy, heavy smoking instrument, but you can just rinse them out after smoking, as I remember.

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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:21 pm

Yep! I had The Pipe, an apple if memory serves. "Space age technology," LOL. It was easily the wettest smoking pipe I ever owned. I think I finally threw it way rather than inflict it on another piper.👻 But it could be rinsed out after a smoke.
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
leacha wrote:
ZeroContent wrote:
Guess i just need some more briars then.  Anyone know of cheap but beefy briars?  Everything I own with nice thick walls smoke the best for me.  And I just like chunky pipes.

Chris Morgan - Bones Pipe

Nice blasts on some of those. Too bad you can't choose the one you want.

Yeah i want a Bones but I still want to have a style I like even if it's just a tester pipe.
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:12 pm

KevinM wrote:
ZeroContent wrote:
Im smoking MM Prides which have .7" chambers which seems pretty average.

My .02 is that size chamber is okay for Va, but Lat blends and Aros need a little more room to breathe. FWIW.

I just measured and the bowl on my best smoking lat pipe is exactly the same size as the MM Pride by just using a relative measurement. If in deed the Pride is a .7", though Smoking Pipes says it's .89" and Pipes and Cigars says .6" and MM's Website says .75" so I'm going to go with MM's at .75" I have two pipes that are maybe 1/16th smaller in my lat rotation, 3 that are exactly the same, 3 that are 1/16th bigger and then two that are 1" bowls. I've never really noticed any difference with bowl diameter.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:36 pm

The rule of thumb I follow is that tall skinny bowls work well for Va's, and bowls .75+ with a close to square depth for Lats. This wasn't on the tablets Moses carried down from the mountain, of course😊 I just finished a very tasty bowl of 2001 Dunhill EMP in an Ashton with a .7 diameter. But this pipe seems to be delighted with everything I put into it. You might enjoy experimenting a bit with blends and bowl sizes. Re: cobs -- I think the SP site has a disclaimer that it makes no promises about its MM bowl sizes. I guess it all depends on the cob. The SP estate pipe section is precise about bowl sizes and often has very reasonable prices for non-collector pipes.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:10 pm

It's been a while since I've broken in a new cob, but if memory serves I don't recall anything like harsh or hot. In fact I believe remembering that the initial smokes had a faint sweet corn taste. And the 'baccy I would have been burning would've been on the milder side of things like a straight 'ginny. So no forthright flavors from something like a Lat blend or the like.

I always trim off the protruding stem into the bowl after the first several smokes, as when the level gets down that far and the stem protrusion starts to burn it provides an off-taste. Could this be what you are referring to Eric?

I'm still smoking mostly on a cob I've had since about '01. OK, so I don't light it up all that often, but it's developed a nice cake and it smokes cool and dry. What more could one ask?

Cool


Cheers,

RR
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ZeroContent

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Age : 34
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:34 pm

Brewdude wrote:
It's been a while since I've broken in a new cob, but if memory serves I don't recall anything like harsh or hot. In fact I believe remembering that the initial smokes had a faint sweet corn taste. And the 'baccy I would have been burning would've been on the milder side of things like a straight 'ginny. So no forthright flavors from something like a Lat blend or the like.

I always trim off the protruding stem into the bowl after the first several smokes, as when the level gets down that far and the stem protrusion starts to burn it provides an off-taste. Could this be what you are referring to Eric?

I'm still smoking mostly on a cob I've had since about '01. OK, so I don't light it up all that often, but it's developed a nice cake and it smokes cool and dry. What more could one ask?

Cool


Cheers,

RR

I pretty much get the flavor starting at the beginning of the bowl. Ive smoked 3 bowls of VA in one. Each time getting near the bottom i stopped smoking and just gently blow into the bowl to burn off the end and the excess wood. I loaded some Penzance and it was close to normal but it was still burning too hot and biting my tongue where as if i smoke in a briar PZ is about as smooth and velvety as you'll find.
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: Corn Cobs and Harsh Smoke When New?   Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:12 am

I smoke cobs quite a bit. There's no perfect formula for breaking them in. Like briar, they are all a bit different. I tend to keep all my latakia blends in briar, period. For some reason, English mixtures in cobs don't float my boat. I break my cobs in with a stronger burley mixture. Something that stands up to the cob flavor. Burely builds a cake quick and doesn't impart too much of a flavor influence, if any at all on the internals of the pipe.

With new cobs, I too get what Rick described, that sweet cardboard kind of flavor. Usually it's gone after a handful of smokes.

I have a bent diplomat in my rotation that smokes the most delicate Virginia, (flakes like Hamborger Veermaster), with amazing clarity. This cob is supremely broken in and it has a nice cake in it and truly smokes nuetral. But I have smoked the beejeezuz out of it.

I think cobs are great, but just like meerschaum pipes, there are a lot of misnomers put out there about them. No break in, neutral tasting, no resting them, etc...All B.S. Just like any other pipe, some break in time is required with a cob.
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