Break=in Tobacco?

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smoker13

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Given the vast amount of pipes I have, it's funny that I haven't approached this before, but with a boatload of recent pipe purchases in my lap the question presented itself. Do any of you gentlemen have a particular tobacco you use to break in a pipe, that is, establish that first layer of cake on a new pipe before you start to smoke whatever blend(s) you go on to smoke afterwards?
 

BriarBeagle

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As @Brewdude said, Carter Hall is a good choice. I smoke a lot of Old Gowrie (my favorite baccy), and most of my pipes get broken in with this blend.
 

daveinlax

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I break in a pipe with my regular tobacco that I smoke and enjoy everyday. There’s no sense in smoking something that you normally wouldn’t smoke (ie for me Carter Hall or Five Brothers🤮) just to break in a new pipe!:geek:

 

Zeno Marx

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I break in a pipe with my regular tobacco that I smoke and enjoy everyday. There’s no sense in smoking something that you normally wouldn’t smoke (ie for me Carter Hall or Five Brothers🤮) just to break in a new pipe!:geek:

Agree. Though, if I was going for something special from overthinking the whole thing, I might go with a straight burley, like Stokkebye cubes.
 

ftrplt

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I just fill a new one like I do an old one...with whatever I feel like at the moment (except aromatics, I never use those!)! And smoke it all the way down, all the way!!!! FTRPLT
 

Jevverrett

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I use Prince Albert myself. It’s fairly neutral, and hasn’t effected anything so far as I can tell. It tends to burn pretty cool and evenly, so a nice even layer of initial cake can be applied pretty quickly. Carter Hall would probably work the same. Typically, I’d say you want to use something less distinct than what you normally would smoke. I usually try them on va/per blends to see how they work out before trying for lat blends.
 

Ranger107

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I would second CH, but then again, i love CH and smoke it on a regular basis. PA also works well. Also depends on the pipe. I have found that Savs for instance require very little break in and almost any tobacco will work. Same with most Stanwells.
 

RSteve

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I am so boring! I always smoke English blends with at least 40% latakia. It's what I use in every pipe, new or old, like me.

I will add, however, that I detest tongue bite and generally will experience it if I don't coat the bowl before the first smoke. I mix sifted cigar ash with either a couple of drops of saliva, simple syrup, or agave syrup.
I rub the cigar ash through a small strainer.
 
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SteveNH

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I mostly smoke Bob's Chocolate Flake, so why put off the inevitable. Lately I have been liking some light Virginias like Liberty and Black Locus, so I am rethinking this. Maybe I start PAD to have different pipes for different blends.
 

Ranger107

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I mostly smoke Bob's Chocolate Flake, so why put off the inevitable. Lately I have been liking some light Virginias like Liberty and Black Locus, so I am rethinking this. Maybe I start PAD to have different pipes for different blends.
Good idea, but be careful. PAD is a slippery slope, lol.
 

Blackhorse

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I think the smoking of a specific type or blend stems from the experience that some build cake more quickly than others. As I recall my tobacco lore the “faster cake” type is Burley. But I never got the impression that it was a critical issue.

Related to the first blends to smoke thing…it’s also established pipe lore that one should start out new pipes by loading the bowl about half way and gradually increase the amount over a number of bowls to a full load. This one is about being sure to not leave the bottom of the bowl uncaked while getting the upper bowl area well caked. This supposedly created significantly different pressure or heat to the different areas which could destroy the pipe. Never heard of a pipe going up in a puff of smoke or cracking due to gargantuan pressure levels…I’ve just seen that little gem in print a number if times.

Any other urban myths regarding breaking in new pipes? Honey in the bowl? Charcoal slurry painted on the inside on the bowl wall? Wearing your favorite Brooklyn Dodgers t-shirt when smoking the new pipe?
 

Gusto

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May we rephrase the question? Is there any tobacco that will not build cake when smoked in a pipe bowl. Most of my pipes are dedicated to one tobacco, in my experience they all develop cake. No, I don't use grape jelly in the bowl. LOL
 

smoker13

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HA! Yeah, I can remember those "grape jelly" and "half bowl" "special formulas" that seemed so ridiculous even when I first started smoking pipes a long time ago I wondered just how crazy some guys could be. So like I said, I never even thought about it before until now, with a bunch of new pipes, and for whatever reason, I wondered if starting off a pipe with a flake tobacco would not really be advantageous to establishing a solid cake. So I just figured I'd fling it by the brothers to see what you all thought. ( Coincidentally, Like BriarBeagle, I 've always found Old Gowrie to create instant cake). I think I'll try some good old Carter Hall in a pipe or two anyway, since I used to really like this stuff and the thought of lighting up a couple bowls or three seems inviting! Thanks to all - S13
 

ftrplt

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Oh yeah!!!
1. Lite your pipe, then hold it out your car window while driving, bowl into the wind, to really break it in faster!!
2. Rub honey all around the bowl walls to make the pipe smoke sweeter once broken in!!!!
3. The 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, fill to ensure the bottom of the bowl gets caked. May work if you really do it!!
4. Rub rum, bourbon, coffee liquor, etc. into the bowl before smoking until pipe is broken in.
Some more may come to me!! FTRPLT
 

Zeno Marx

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I've done the honey with triturated cigar ash a couple times. I didn't find it to be a good cake though, and by that, I mean it seemed to develop the kind of cake that would pop off in inconsistent ways. I'd hit it with the tamper during a smoke, and a little chunk of cake would pop off, leaving a craggy cake surface. The honey helped develop a quick cake, but not a dense, uniform cake. That's my experience anyway. The half bowl process makes some sense.
 
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thedeep

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ftrplt, your number 1---brings back a memory. There use to be a nice little shop that I visited every chance I had. Showed up one day and a customer was complaining about a pipe burn out. If I remember correctly, it was a Castello. Nice one, too! Shop owner explained he had only had two Castello burn outs--both by this fellow. Both on breaking in. He asked what the fellow did to break in a pipe. YOUR number one. Owned explained that that would turn the bowl into a furnace that no pipe would survive. So, the owner refused to take the pipe back. Disgruntled customer left.
 

ftrplt

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ftrplt, your number 1---brings back a memory. There use to be a nice little shop that I visited every chance I had. Showed up one day and a customer was complaining about a pipe burn out. If I remember correctly, it was a Castello. Nice one, too! Shop owner explained he had only had two Castello burn outs--both by this fellow. Both on breaking in. He asked what the fellow did to break in a pipe. YOUR number one. Owned explained that that would turn the bowl into a furnace that no pipe would survive. So, the owner refused to take the pipe back. Disgruntled customer left.
Good for the owner!! He doesn't need that kind of business/customer!! FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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ftrplt, your number 1---brings back a memory. There use to be a nice little shop that I visited every chance I had. Showed up one day and a customer was complaining about a pipe burn out. If I remember correctly, it was a Castello. Nice one, too! Shop owner explained he had only had two Castello burn outs--both by this fellow. Both on breaking in. He asked what the fellow did to break in a pipe. YOUR number one. Owned explained that that would turn the bowl into a furnace that no pipe would survive. So, the owner refused to take the pipe back. Disgruntled customer left.
I keep saying it. You can't fix stupid, lol.
 
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