1. If you cannot verify your email address or recover your password, you need to call your ISP and tell them to stop blocking your email from this site.
    Dismiss Notice

Slow Smoking

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by User4408, Aug 17, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. User4408

    User4408 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,140
    The other night, in a fit of laziness, I decided to see how long I could keep the pipe going without having to reach for the lighter.

    Rather than fannying about with all sorts of techniques, I just used slow rhythmic puffing with an occasional tamp. And lo and behold the damned thing kept burning for a little over 1 hour and 40 minutes! I believe this is a pretty respectable time even for those slow smoking contests.

    It was also a very relaxing experience and put me in a good mood. Some would find it boring, but it's ideal for creating the time and space to sort things out in your mind. My life is more complicated than it needs to be, so this kind of activity is both useful and refreshing.

    If any of you know about slow smoking techniques, please post. All I did was to synchronize puffing with breathing: after every 2 breaths I puffed, and then after the next 2 breaths I blew lightly into the stem followed by a puff. It was definitely burning faster than it needed to, but I didn't worry too much about that. The smoke remained nice a cool. And the pipe never got hot either.

    For reference I used a Savinelli 315 EX filled with about 3 gm of Mac Baren Va. No. 1. After 1:40 there was still enough tobacco left for another 30-45 minutes of smoking.
     
    Old Codger, dBear, surlysoul and 3 others like this.
  2. MakDragon

    MakDragon Illegitimi non carborundum

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    9,973
    I too have enjoyed smokes like this however I feel like I am in a packing slump right now. Just one of those stretches where I cant get the darn thing packed the right way to keep burning more than a few minutes without a relight!
    This too shall pass.....
     
    dBear and Rockbass like this.
  3. User4408

    User4408 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,140
    There's definite help for that! I only went through 38 years of pipe smoking until packing wasn't a matter of hit or miss.

    Here's one approach that works like a charm every time. The air pocket method is another. Once you master it, you'll wonder why you ever left things to chance.

    Good luck!
     
    wmblake and MakDragon like this.
  4. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    I've always used the 2 fingers over the bowl trick to bring life back to dying embers. This is less a slow smoking trick and more a trick to reduce the need for a relight, it can make some blends burn hot which I expect would defeat the point of "slow smoking" but I find it handy if, for example, my lighter dies on me! That's my 2 cents anyway.
     
    Wookie Hunter likes this.
  5. User4408

    User4408 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,140
    Now that you mention it I started using that technique at about the 1 hour mark. It was surprising how fast the burn would go from sluggish all the way up to roaring. It's a clever way of getting a bellows effect with very little effort.

    However I'm nowhere near mastering the technique, because at the very end I stoked it up pretty well but then it went out about 10 seconds later ... in other words I misjudged how well it was actually burning. That was irritating because there was actually a fair amount of tobacco left. With a little more attention I could have gotten 2 hours.

    I think the trick was to first cover the bowl with the fingers to get a good strong burn, and then to immediately tamp lightly to bring up the draw pressure to the sweet spot. If I recall correctly, all tamping in a contest has to be done by feel: you're not allowed to take the pipe out of your mouth while tamping.
     
    Wookie Hunter likes this.
  6. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,031
    I've found that when you're about to release your fingers, starting a gentle prolonged draw and then releasing your fingers half way through creates a surge of smoke when the flow of air to the embers returns to normal. I find this more efficient than just releasing my fingers at random.

    Gotta love how in depth these conversations about technique get ;)
     
    Wookie Hunter likes this.
  7. Wookie Hunter

    Wookie Hunter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    621
    The second I read the 'two fingers over the bowl' trick, I instantly tried it to see what would happen. That's a pretty neat little trick! I've been working on getting longer smokes. My main issue is I smoke too fast, which my tongue pays for sometimes. I just can't resist take a good draw of good tobacco! I'm working on breaking myself of this habit though, and I've been getting better smokes. I've also been taking my time when packing.
     
  8. jeff394

    jeff394 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    598
    I'm really trying to get a handle on the slow-smoking thing. I tend to smoke too fast in the first half of the bowl and am all smoked out long before I should be. It's a mental thing, I'm sure, trying to convince myself to just SLOW DOWN AND RELAX, STUPID!
     
    User4408 and Wookie Hunter like this.
  9. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    4,883
    By jove!....I think he's got it! :)
     
    Old Codger likes this.
  10. Fat Lenny

    Fat Lenny Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Messages:
    73
    I wholeheartedly concur that there is a supreme feeling of satisfaction when a large bowl, packed to the gills, receives its finally draw after 1-2 hours of slow methodical smoking. It immediately hammers home the notion that it is the "small things in life" which make it all worth while.
     
    User4408 likes this.
  11. MakDragon

    MakDragon Illegitimi non carborundum

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    9,973
    Never tried it that way. Will do it tonight after dinner. Thanks!
     
  12. User4408

    User4408 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,140
    Easier said than done, isn't it!

    Slowing down and relaxing is definitely the key, but it's tough to make that into a habit. Last night, for instance, after my triumph of 1:40 the night before, I managed to keep my Billiard lit for a whopping 12 minutes. After suitably berating myself, the next round went for 54 minutes. Obviously I've got some work to do.

    I think one of the pitfalls in slow smoking is trying to be too clever. That's what happened last night: by nursing the ember too carefully in an attempt to get it to burn longer, the damned thing went from what seemed to be a reliable burn to a fizzle in a very short period of time.

    Rhythmic puffing seems to work much better, even if the tobacco seems to be burning more strongly than it should. My plan is to train myself on rhythmic puffing until it becomes a habit. Once my body does that instinctively, then I can let my mind move on to the trickier details. Other variables seem to be frequency, duration and intensity of draw, and how often to puff into the stem (or to cover the bowl with 2 fingers) to get the bellows effect. And then there's tamping, and how firm the draw pressure should be.

    Other than that, it seems like a pretty simple game. I've ignored loading and packing, but air pocket works so well I don't see any reason to change.
     
  13. Smokes

    Smokes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    315
    Also, may I add a very entertaining one, if you use the YouTube closed captions option for English.
     
  14. MakDragon

    MakDragon Illegitimi non carborundum

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    9,973
    Worked like a charm! I filled a cob with some CH and gave it a go. Only had 2 - 3 relights. Very enjoyable! Thanks again for the tip!
     
    User4408 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.