Quantcast

Learning about moisture and dryness

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

Psmith

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
195
Reaction score
0
Lately I have been discovering more about how different tobaccos behave at different levels of dryness. I think that is because I only began smoking a pipe about 4 years ago and as I accumulate more tins of this and that, other ones take the backseat until being re-discovered down the line.
Case in point, Full Virginia Flake. I had finished off BBF a while back, loved it and thought I should check out that hallowed Full Virginia Flake. Got it and like most people's experience marveled at the dark brown slabs before me. Pungent, moist and rustic I couldn't wait to dig in.
I treated it like BBF. tore strips off along the grain and let those dry out for about 30 minutes. Then rubbed it out a bit and let it dry out a bit further. But no matter what, every experience was the same...endless relights and mouthfuls of steam.
Finally with so many other choices in front of me I gave up on it and relinquished it to the back drawer. Fall came and went and now the deadly dry Korean winter is upon us. Wonder what that FVF is up to? I wondered. Cracked it open and found it had dried out completely. The moist slabs of jerky had transformed into crispy flakes of what what resembled hard table veneer. Interesting. I grabbed a flake and snapped it right across the grain and began to crumble it up. Unlike Macbaren flakes that when broken apart resemble finely cut shag, the FVF crumbled like desiccated tree bark.
I filled up a BBB banker. Due to its consistency it didn't really require any special method...just filled it to the brim and gave a firm press. After that it was bliss!
It burned without fail delivering copious plumes of thick smoke. I usually smoke and walk at the same time. This experience forced me to slow down my walk to a distracted stagger. Eventually I had to find a nearby bench to sit on and delve into the experience. Time seemed to stop.
For the last few years I have been in a period of discovery just trying out different blends, manufacturers and genres. Now I feel like I am entering a new stage of discovery...how tobacco performs and all the nuances that can be found within each tobacco itself. Some need to be slightly moist...some need to be bone dry...some need to be somewhere in between.
Enjoy your pipes bros!
 

monbla256

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
8,704
Reaction score
0
Psmith":z88d2rf8 said:
Lately I have been discovering more about how different tobaccos behave at different levels of dryness.  I think that is because I only began smoking a pipe about 4 years ago and as I accumulate more tins of this and that, other ones take the backseat until being re-discovered down the line.
Case in point, Full Virginia Flake.  I had finished off BBF a while back, loved it and thought I should check out that hallowed Full Virginia Flake.  Got it and like most people's experience marveled at the dark brown slabs before me.  Pungent, moist and rustic I couldn't wait to dig in.
I treated it like BBF.  tore strips off along the grain and let those dry out for about 30 minutes.  Then rubbed it out a bit and let it dry out a bit further.  But no matter what, every experience was the same...endless relights and mouthfuls of steam.
Finally with so many other choices in front of me I gave up on it and relinquished it to the back drawer.  Fall came and went and now the deadly dry Korean winter is upon us.  Wonder what that FVF is up to? I wondered.  Cracked it open and found it had dried out completely.  The moist slabs of jerky had transformed into crispy flakes of what what resembled hard table veneer.  Interesting.  I grabbed a flake and snapped it right across the grain and began to crumble it up.  Unlike Macbaren flakes that when broken apart resemble finely cut shag, the FVF crumbled like desiccated tree bark.
I filled up a BBB banker.  Due to its consistency it didn't really require any special method...just filled it to the brim and gave a firm press.  After that it was bliss!
It burned without fail delivering copious plumes of thick smoke.  I usually smoke and walk at the same time.  This experience forced me to slow down my walk to a distracted stagger.  Eventually I had to find a nearby bench to sit on and delve into the experience.  Time seemed to stop.
For the last few years I have been in a period of discovery just trying out different blends, manufacturers and genres.  Now I feel like I am entering a new stage of discovery...how tobacco performs and all the nuances that can be found within each tobacco itself.  Some need to be slightly moist...some need to be bone dry...some need to be somewhere in between.
Enjoy your pipes bros!
What you are describing is the process of smoking a pipe !! Welcome to the fantastic world of smoking a pipe !! :twisted: :twisted:
 

balkan_boy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
The reason why FVF comes so moist, (sometimes soaked like sponge) has nothing to do with flavor or anything else.

That's their best seller, and if you're good at math, you'll figure out pretty soon that you make 200 grams of wet tobacco out of 100 grams dry one. Or at least in perfect condition to be smoked.

And that's it, you can't complain, nor ignore them since that's hell of a good tobacco, it's among top 5 of all times for me and for many others. So people will continue buying it anyway, and go on drying it and be left with half amount of what they've ordered, and that's just fine, that tobacco is worth it.

 

MisterE

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
6,042
Reaction score
2
The SG flakes are probably the most water saturated tobacco I've seen out there. Some have gone as far as to argue that it´s a "scheme to maximize profits" since it's heavier. Whatever. It is what it is.

A lot of people prefer to dry FVF out a lot before smoking. I just popped a tin the other day and have been enjoying it at various degrees of moisture. Even though it's more difficult to smoke, I find there's more overall fullness to it at tin moisture level. That's not to say it's not as good drier, just different to my tasticles.

You might try cubing it up if you want to smoke it wet. Just tear a 1/4 in. strip off, ball it up, and drop it in the pipe. It'll take a minute or two to expand. That's your grate to keep the smaller pieces from going up the stem. Then cut the rest of the flake across the grain into very thin strips. Maybe the width of the scissors blade. Rub that up a little, dump it in the bowl, and give it a light tap to settle it. You're good to go. Relights will be necessary, but the tobacco will burn evenly and easier.
 

DrumsAndBeer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
6,594
Reaction score
1
I am only replying to let MisterE know that the word "tasticles" did not go undetected. :lol:
 

Dave_In_Philly

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
1,584
Reaction score
0
I prefer not to dry my tobacco at all, but I admit, my beloved FVF comes a bit too moist right out of the tin even for me. I don't remember it being this way with the older stuff. It only seems to be since it came back on the market a year or so ago that it has been quite this significant, though.

Edit to add: My preferred method for tackling FVF is to rub it out (as with all flakes). I find that for the most part, two flakes (from a tin) is too much, but one is not quite enough. So I rub two out fully, load about 2/3 into the pipe and put the rest back in the tin. From that point forward I use that extra little rubbed out bit from the previous smoke, as kindling on top of the freshly rubbed out flake.
 

Simple Man

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
2,746
Reaction score
1
DrumsAndBeer":q49aqn40 said:
I am only replying to let MisterE know that the word "tasticles" did not go undetected. :lol:
^This. :lol:

Enjoyed reading your journey, PSmith. You should take some pictures around your neighborhood. I always enjoy seeing how and where others live. I have been to Korea, but only off the coast and in sub-zero temps... that was dreadful. I mean the cold weather, not Korea.
 

Brewdude

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
12,740
Reaction score
14
I've consistently found FVF to be way more fussy in prep than BBF. To the point that I almost don't want to deal with it, since it seems so difficult to get right.

Not yet found a reliable method for FVF, but drying it down significantly is a good starting point for me at least.

YMMV



Cheers,

RR
 

Psmith

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
195
Reaction score
0
Mister E- Thanks for the tip. I will give it a try when I receive my tin of Winter Flake that I recently ordered. I expect it will be much like other SG flakes so I will try the cubed method you described.

Simple Man-I will try to snap some photos and post them. I'm in a pretty scenic spot here. Sokcho, my town, is way up in the north-east corner of the country, just an hours drive from the North Korean border. Its all beaches, mountains, rivers and temples. Being from British Columbia originally it's great.

I will try to post some pics of Seorak Mountain, its the second highest mountain in Korea and I live right at the base of it.
 

balkan_boy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
I've  watched so many Korean movies, that I started to speak a bit Korean, and understand some very simple sentences. I even got enthusiastic to learn to read hangul, (or as the Dear Leader would say - Chosongul) and for my surprise, it turned up to be quite easy. I've always wondered how it is to smoke a pipe in Korea, especially in the rural areas, it seems so calm and contemplative.
 

Psmith

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
195
Reaction score
0
Thats impressive Balkan Boy! I speak, read and write Korean too but I learned it from textbooks, night classes and on-the job pressure. I'm the translator at the Intl School where I work. Also, my wife is Korean so we speak a lot of Korean at home. I wish I could make it through Korean movies but their banality is too much to bear.

Tell me the photo in your avatar is not you. If you look like that at 37 I better send you a few bottles of Koreas million brands of skin cream. :D

Yes...the scenic beauty here is perfect for pipe smoking. The Seorak mountain range with its rock ridges, ocean views and pine forests is a pipe smokers haven. Every now and then my boss lets me have days off unannounced, just show up and "Take the day off..you've been working hard." When that happens it is hiking boots on, backpack stuffed, pipe and tobaccos prepared and off to the mountains. I'm also into brewing beer and recently I have been bringing back water from the mountain for my brews.

Likewise I think Bulgaria must offer exceptional nature. Many of my university friends made trips to Bulgaria specifically for mountaineering.
 

balkan_boy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
That's me after the "soyong susul" (not sure if it's written that way) to make me look older cause looking younger is too mainstream. :)
 
Top