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Dilemma of Seasoning a Pipe

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alfredo_buscatti

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I recently opened a 50 g tin, and as I didn't have a dedicated pipe(s), I had to season one. Doing so ate up approximately 20 g, leaving only the other 30 g for pleasurable smoking. But with only one pipe-I didn't want to use up even more of the tin to season two pipes-I'm only able to smoke that pipe every third day, my minimum for resting a pipe. Thus the repetitive aspect of getting to know a blend by smoking it daily, is not possible.

I got this tin in trade and thus had no other choice, but if I'm going to try a new tobacco, I order 2 tins. This gets around the seasoning requirement, and sometimes it takes me 2 tins to know if I like a blend.

Comments?
 

Justpipes

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Find your "Arcadia" and stick with it and then you don't have to worry about seasnoning so many pipes for so many different blends.

I couldn't resist!
 

Muddler

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I'm not just sure why you need to have a pipe dedicated to the blend. Unless the blend is way off anything you're currently smoking, that is. I personally experience little real ghosting unless the previous blends had been aromatics or English-type blends. I tend to find far more variability after the tin has been opened i.e. the first few bowls as very different from the last few out of the same tin - for SOME tobaccos. My POV.
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Hey Muddler,

I wonder if our different experiences in smoking a new tobacco in a pipe that's been used to smoking a different tobacco come down to differences in our palates.

Your experiences remind me of the way Vito (freevito) writes a tobacco review. He grabs a pipe whose cake reminds him of what cake the new tobacco will probably create, smokes one bowl and while doing so writes the review. This would not be my method given the foregoing.
 

Tony Ferrill

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LOL over the last couple years I have marveled repeatedly at the sensitivity of your palate,Mike.You are truly gifted!
50 gr would season any pipe I chose to use in my rotation to the point that I could detect nothing other than the current blend;I'm afraid that I have overly abused my taste buds. :(
Respectfully,Tony
 

Vito

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alfredo_buscatti":qnsc4d5b said:
...Your experiences remind me of the way Vito (freevito) writes a tobacco review. He grabs a pipe whose cake reminds him of what cake the new tobacco will probably create, smokes one bowl and while doing so writes the review. This would not be my method given the foregoing.
Most Esteemed Signore Alfredo:

I have long been aware of the differences between our respective approaches to pipe smoking. Mine has evolved—and continues to evolve—over the course of more than 44 years. Through it all, I have developed my own little rituals and "rules", just as you have. Such self-imposed constraints come and go as I develop new perspective. It's called growth. Only one rule remains inviolate: Enjoy your smokes.

I trust you will do whatever it takes to make that happen, and you may rest assured that I will do the same. :mrgreen:

 

tin man

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alfredo_buscatti":9uunb53b said:
Doing so ate up approximately 20 g, leaving only the other 30 g for pleasurable smoking. -------- I didn't want to use up even more of the tin to season two pipes -----------
Comments?
That sounds about right to me. When I'm trying to get a handle on a new blend it takes about 1/4 to 2/5 of a 50g tin to get into the repeatable zone with the same pipe. I guess at that point you could say the pipe is "seasoned". Although, as you know, a dedicated pipe is a level beyond that. (That's why JP is a happy man!)

What to do when you only have that rare, single, irreplaceable tin? Pick a pipe, "season", and enjoy it to the end. When it's gone, it's gone.
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Apparently my remarks about Vito's way of reviewing a tobacco were taken out of context. Folks, I truly didn't mean any criticism of him but was simply comparing how different one's palate can be compared to another's.

I hereby publicly, fully and extremely apologize for any harm I've caused, unknowingly. I in fact have always found Vito's pipe and tobacco knowledge encyclopedic, and that opinion has not changed.

Whew! don't know how much I'm going to post here again if such a simple statement is to be taken so disparagingly. I've reread my post and find nothing there but a simple statement of what Vito himself has told me of how he reviews a tobacco. Maybe I've got it all wrong; Vito please post what you do do if I am in error.

Nothing like this has ever happened to me on any board. I consider Vito a friend and one of the greatest storehouse of pipe and tobacco lore that I have ever had the privilege to know.

I would never take potshots at such a person.

Again, I'm very sorry for any harm I've caused.
 

Slow Puffs

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Don Alfredo,

Reading your post, I didn't take anything from it other than what your original intent was. The same with Vito's response.

It's a delight to see you both posting.

If anything, I hope you both post more often as both of your posts are always thoughtful. I thought Vito was just expanding upon his process and affirming that we each have our own ways of approaching things like "pipe seasoning" and enjoying blends.

It's helpful for me to note the differences and learn from everyone.
 

Vito

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Mike:

No harm done on my account.

As for the subject of your original post, I don't find much of a dilemma in seasoning a pipe...well, except in deciding what tobacco I'm going to smoke in a new pipe.

It's true that many of my pipes are dedicated to a single tobacco, and have been from the first time I smoked them. (I think we've hashed out the reasons for dedication elsewhere...probably ad nauseum.) But many are simply dedicated to a type of tobacco — VaPers, traditional English, imperial English, matured Virginia, Euro-style Ginnyflakeweed, Syrian Latweed, Cyprilat with Perique, straight Burley,...etc.

I treat each smoking experience as unique. I do have expectations about a certain amount of repeatability, which of course is one of the reasons for dedication. But I don't consider a review to be much more than a snapshot of a moment in time — one in which my perceptions of a blend have as much (or even more) to do with my mood or what I've eaten or my body chemistry or the ambient air quality as they do with the pipe I've chosen. I'm just looking to make the smoking experience as enjoyable as possible. If I happen to have time to write a review...well, that's nice; but for me, the review is incidental. And it's just my opinion, right then, right there.

As for the crossover effect (lingering effects of a previously smoked tobacco in a pipe that now contains a different one), it's minimal if you make your pipe selection carefully so as to minimize it. I can name any number of tobaccos I could smoke in a given pipe with no significant crossover effect interference. With experience, it is entirely possible to select a well seasoned pipe that is perfectly compatible with a similar tobacco I've never smoked in it before, and write a review that does justice to the blend.

Of course, then there are those occasions wherein I deliberately choose a pipe and weed combination because of the crossover effect. It can be quite remarkable, and really can produce wonderful smokes that can be achieved in no other way.

In any case, I think there are many different approaches to tobacco reviews. The approach I take is not one in which I expect the reader to trust my review as anything like a complete or "objective" evaluation of any given tobacco. I trust my reviews to be accurate representations of my experiences at the time, but I do not (and cannot) offer them as absolutes. They simply record my subjective experiences. I already know that for every person who can relate to something I write about a Syrian Latweed blend there might be two or three who immediately tune out and flush it as irrelevant because they know that French Vanilla Walnut Creme Delight is better than any other tobacco in the known universe, and if anyone sez otherwise, them's fightin' words. I yield to superior intelligence in such cases.

Nevertheless, it's a truth that there are no absolutes in matters of taste, and there are damned few absolutes that apply to the rest of pipe smoking. Case in point: Your 3-day rest rule for pipes. I presume you have excellent reasons for sticking to it. I have no such rule. If a pipe is dry and smells OK and never gets hot when I smoke it and I want another bowl of the same stuff, I'll just refill and go for it. The only criteria are that I enjoy it, and that I don't harm the pipe. By the same criteria, if a pipe is burning hot, or it's just not in the "zone", I'll set that puppy down. If a pipe I smoked yesterday is OK and I want to smoke it today, it's fair game. Sometimes a pipe smokes much better when it's smoked more often.

Anyhow, all reviews are opinion. Some opinions are interesting, some are not, and some are even useful. But the only opinion that really counts when it comes to your smokes is your opinion. :mrgreen:

Vito

 

Bulldog Bruce

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What it all comes down to is a vicious never ending circle requiring more pipes and more tins or bulk, and more smoking of aforementioned.
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :D

Bd

Never Forget!
 

Vito

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Bulldog Bruce":r1zakyam said:
What it all comes down to is a vicious never ending circle requiring more pipes and more tins or bulk, and more smoking of aforementioned...
BdB:

Obviously you're a veteran. But in my own case, I can say that by the time I crossed the 200-pipe mark and I had accumulated enough weed to last into the next century, I did notice a slight tapering off in the rate of increase. Might just be an anomaly, though. And I'm usually powerless to resist new temptations from GLP's weedworx. :twisted:
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Thank you Tony and Slow Puffs for your support.

The tin in question that started this thread was Wessex Red VA, 5 y/o. It has a heavenly pouch aroma that has, to some extent, translated into taste. It is a fine smoke. I posted about it since it was properly aged and took umbrage that so much of it was spent seasoning.
 

Bulldog Bruce

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Vito":086lfkxe said:
Bulldog Bruce":086lfkxe said:
What it all comes down to is a vicious never ending circle requiring more pipes and more tins or bulk, and more smoking of aforementioned...
BdB:

Obviously you're a veteran. But in my own case, I can say that by the time I crossed the 200-pipe mark and I had accumulated enough weed to last into the next century, I did notice a slight tapering off in the rate of increase. Might just be an anomaly, though. And I'm usually powerless to resist new temptations from GLP's weedworx. :twisted:
LOL Actually Vito, I just picked up the tobacco pipe 6 months ago, but being amongst the retired I have a lot of time to lurk around boards and forums, and as I have aged a _littll_, have learned to heed the advice of same alluded to veterans. Wow, I don't usually use so many fancy words. SHMBO'd would kill me if she knew I strive to one day have upwards of 200 pipes, and a huge cellar, but, OH, to dream and strive. Back to original beginng of this thread, tying a lot of diff. blends IMO is the way to go, and giving them a chance, if you find one you really don't care for after several attempts, Ball jars are our friends, and have I been told many times tastes@palates for a fancier word) often change. They also can 'keep' some pretty good trading material. Hmmmmm, slight tapering off, you havn't been in touch with my wife have you Vito? :lol:

Bruce
 

alfredo_buscatti

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The tobacco in question is Wessex Red VA, 5 y/o.

I know what I'm going to say will leave some of you scratching your heads, but here goes anyway:

Bowls 1-8: clearly seasoning
Bowls 9-14: variegated tastings of a good tobacco
Bowls 15-18: complexity gone and in its place a wonderfully, rich, sweet, red VA, which is what I had expected, given age and a quality red VA

Thus, as the tobacco changed the more I smoked it, I'd say bowls 1-14 were seasoning. This goes against my experience of seasoning requiring quite usually 3-6 bowls.

When I opened the tin and removed the wrapper of wax paper, the paper was stained throughout light brown. Also, the flakes were wide, shaped to the tin (small and rectangular), and stuck together so that I had to use a knife to separate them. These characteristics I put down to age.
 

Muddler

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Alfredo, how sure are you that the change is due to the seasoning of the pipe & not due to the exposure of the backy to the air? It's been my quite regular experience that a tin will change its temperament quite markedly over the course of a few weeks - sometimes even a few days - after it has been opened. Almost every tiime its a continuous improvement. And it has been irrespective of the specific pipe - as long as it has stayed within the genre (sorry for using that word). Quite frankly, I don't know how you'd practically eliminate that effect (unless you open a fresh tin for every bowl!).
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Hey Muddler,

My position that an inordinate number of seasoning bowls finally yielded a monochromatic, rich, superb red VA and your position that air improved the tobacco
are both unprovable.

I've heard someone say that air "opened up" a tobacco, and I believe that I've heard some others say the same thing. However I keep all opened tins and their tobacco in jelly jars. When I want to smoke something I extract enough tobacco for the bowl but am always careful to close the jar and keep it closed as much as possible while I load the pipe. So for me the time that the tobacco is in contact with air is kept to a minimum.

This is the only caveat that I have to your experience. Both of our positions are worthwhile. Thank you for voicing yours.
 
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