Relighting: slow smoking, packing, aros & humidity

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by AlabammyComet, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    For the past several days I've noticed my rate of relighting has gone up. Way up. Like from 4 to 7 relights to 13 to 25. Some bowls I haven't even been able to finish because I was lighting more than smoking and found it frustrating rather than relaxing (which is the whole point of the exercise.)

    I'm trying to see what's changed between now and when I was smoking more and lighting less. Here's what I came up with.

    1. My cobs have taught me to smoke much more slowly than I was. Much good has come of this: cooler bowls, a more relaxing pace and cooler, more flavorful smoke. Is more relighting just the price of admission for these benefits?

    2. I'm pretty sure I've drifted into packing too tightly. The left over tobacco in the few bowls I didn't finish (all briars, by the way) seemed more wet than they should have been. Certainly more wet than when they went in. I packed quite a bit looser tonight as well as tamped less and lighter, but still had to relight like crazy.

    3. If I smoke in the house, I have to smoke aros. It's been so hot out, so I'm inside more and smoking more aros than usual. I think I've read that these tend to be more moist than some other tobaccos and some of the ones I've been smoking are pretty moist. I left some out to dry before smoking it last night and it didn't seem to help the relight issue.

    4. When I smoke I either smoke outside or near an open widow when I'm inside. The humility here in north Alabama has felt like being stuck inside a dog's mouth as of late. Could this have an effect?

    Any wisdom would be appreciated.

    I don't mind relighting, but the rate at which I'm doing, it feels like it might be more relaxing and less trouble just to strike matches and throw them in the yard rather than try to make it through a bowl.
  2. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Are you tamping often enough? That's probably the most important thing to avoid excessive relights, well other than packing the bowl correctly. I find cobs difficult to smoke in general, but I know a lot of folks think I'm crazy (or just plain stupid) for saying so. I have a much easier time with briars in general, mostly because the draw is more normal. Cobs have too much of an open draw for me.
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  3. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    I'm not sure. I usually tamp before lights. I'm having this problem with my briars as well as my cobs.
  4. MacNutz

    MacNutz Active Member

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    I never noticed that much humility when I lived in northern Alabama.:csmile:
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  5. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    .....:xd:.......a man 'after my own heart!'....:ohyh:
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  6. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    I was going to correct that typo, but I was too humble.
  7. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

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    Smoking it nice and cool can keep you right on the borderline of "almost maybe going out" so to a point, yes, that can be a price to pay. The number you gave seems excessive though. Give your aros a little air time before packing. They tend to be well cased and I don't think you'll lose a notable amount of flavor to evaporation. Do try to be more gentle with your packing (alternatively, check a video I'll link when I'm back at my computer - I found it to work quite nicely).

    Edit: Here you go! I've found this to be quite nice, especially on the rare occasions I dip into the aros. It can be a bit messy -- I like to do it over a sheet of paper so it's easy to dump the excess back into the tin/pouch/jar.

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  8. MacNutz

    MacNutz Active Member

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    I find the method in the vid works very well, except on an unbroken kake, plug, or flake. :)
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  9. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    I live in central Alabama (Birmingham), and I know what you mean about the humidity. It hasn't been interfering with me keeping my pipe lit, though. I would say practice makes perfect, and also that packing and tamping correctly are the two most important things you can do in this area to ensure your success. I know I've got my rhythm going nicely when tamping my pipe seems like I just relit it. Almost seems like there's a little mini-flame in the end of your tamper if you do it right.
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  10. Tsal

    Tsal Member

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    Relight/tamp as many times as it takes to keep that sucker burning to your liking. Stop thinking numbers. Sometimes my tobacco is like a hot wet mop at the bottom. Who cares?Just pick it out, clean it well and let it rest.
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  11. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    Tony: I let some aro sit for a while and then used that method and was shocked at how well it packed. Relights were less as well. Thanks.

    I have never had this happen. I need to go sit down with my local pipe Yoda and go to tamping school.
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  12. Slow Tri

    Slow Tri Sales Account

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    Humidity plays a huge role when you smoke. Especially the humidity in the house when you are trying to dry the tobacco out. I live in southeastern NC and humidity is a huge problem here as well.

    I have taken to putting a sheet of paper over a lamp and drying my tobacco there.

    Aro blends take a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time to dry out.
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  13. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

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    Fantastic! Glad to hear that worked for you.