Just a dumb question.....

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Mr Fingers, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    When you smoke a pipe, moisture builds up in the bottom of the bowl and in the stem. I'm wondering, is this moisture from the tobacco, or from your breath? I kind of figured its a little bit of both. What I do exhale into the stem, pushing all the excess moisture into the bowl, and then I wave it around a bit and get it all over the wall of the bowl. Seems to dry out better and faster that way,rather than just letting it sit.

    But is it from the tobacco, your breath, or both?
     


  2. bubbagump

    bubbagump Well-Known Member

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    It's a combination of things. Technique, tobacco, pipe, etc. The more moist a tobacco is (many really need to be dried out prior to smoking), the more moisture you're going to have build up in the bowl. This is usually the case with my blends that are heavy on black cavendish content.

    Tobacco that is fairly dry (i.e. Carter Hall, SWRA, etc.)...I've not had an issue with...as far as moisture and gurgling goes.

    That being said...I have two pipes that are gurgle machines. It doesn't matter what I smoke...they'll gurgle. On one of them, I'm pretty sure that's at least partly due to the airway being drilled a little high.

    Anyways...just my $.02...
     
  3. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Water vapor is a by product of combustion in most organic materials. If I am remembering my high school chemistry class correctly.
     
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  4. Tate

    Tate Member

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    Some of it is also condensation from hot and cool air meeting.
     
  5. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I can't disagree with Bubba, however I'll also add that a lot of times what smokers term as "moisture" in the bottom of the bowl may be some "gunk" (can't think of a better word right now) that can be the result of the casings and toppings (additives) on many tobaccos and not just the moisture content of the tobacco. I really wouldn't think it is coming from your breath. As for the exhaling into the stem and waving the pipe, I have to ask: Do you use pipe cleaners? A lot of smokers will empty the bowl when done, use a pipe cleaner and then place a second one in the pipe before storing it to wait for the next rotation.
     
  6. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    I wonder if I dare make another plug for Falcons? :rolleyes:
    OT:ohyh:
     
  7. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Hmmm. Seems like you just did. :thu:
     
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  8. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    I do use pipe cleaners when I clean my pipes. I know some smokers clean them after every single use, but honestly Ive never seen the need to go through all that. Every couple of smokes I wet a bristled pipe cleaner with some rum, and run it through the stem and shank, then I'll use a fresh one to dry it out. Every now and again I'll trim the cake to an acceptable thickness but thats about it.
     
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  9. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    That's good. But, cleaning aside pipe cleaners can also be a tool for dealing with moisture when used during a smoke and can "wick" away moisture when placed in the pipe while it is set up to dry and rest.
     
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  10. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    Thanks for the tip, I'll try it.
     
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  11. Coda

    Coda Well-Known Member

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    I have a few pipes that are prone to moisture. A quick run through with a pipe cleaner, and it clears right up. On both my "drinkless" Kaywoodies, moisture builds up...the only problem is you have to unscrew the stem to get a pipe cleaner all the way down...annoying, but not a deal breaker. Also, I used to do the "keep a pipe cleaner in a pipe while it rests" thing, and the only difference I noticed was I used more pipe cleaners...
     
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  12. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    It's a mixture of both as you said. At least my .02 worth. Try drying it a little more and teach yourself not to breathe or exhale into your pipe whilst smoking.
     
  13. zacROK

    zacROK Member

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    I use that pipe cleaner to clean the pipe after the smoke is done or use it to wick the moisture while smoking. They dont seem to go to waste that way.
     
  14. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

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    You are absolutely correct, sir. Middle school science teacher here.
     
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  15. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    That may be a problem for me. I usualy keep the pipe in my mouththrough pretty much the entire smoke, and not only that but every now and then I usualy lightly exhale into the pipe to aid in keeping it lit.
     
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  16. capt dave

    capt dave Member

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    unless you are drooling into your pipe stem, then blowing it into the bowl. the fluid you speak of is a combination of a by product of the combustion of burning tobacco (even rocks have moisture content some pretty high) a condensation effect from the stem being cooler than the hot smoke being drawn through it (much like a distilation set up) and possibly moisture being cooked off the walls of the bowl and cake due to the heat, if you are not letting the pipe set long enough to evaporate it off. i think this is why we rotate our pipes...or at the very least it is a good excuse to buy more o'them at any rate. the faster(and there by hotter) you smoke the more moisture you will get, i just keep a thick cotton pipe cleaner handy and stick it down the stem if the gurgle gets bad. wait a second or too and pull it out. this is also about the same time i found my love for staight pipes. BTW if you let that stuff sit on your tougne it will give you a chemical burn you will not forget. so i would not try sucking the poison out if you know what i mean, i used to try that, and it about ruined my whole day.
     
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  17. capt dave

    capt dave Member

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    oddly enough when i first started smoking, i would try this... and it would seem that it would always go out pretty soon after this move of desperation to keep my bowl going. if its going out, i reccomend just relighting and if anyone looks at you funny or says anything...just give em the bird.
     
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  18. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Right. As Cap says, don't worry about relighting -- it's a pipe not a cigarette. If one lights a standard, OTC cigarette and sets it in the ash tray it will burn down to the filter. With a pipe (and, yes, a cigar) if "unattended" for a bit it will go out. You have to wonder what else is there in a cigarette besides tobacco that keeps that it burning. If your pipe goes out I would take it as a "badge of honor" and an indication you are smoking a better quality tobacco.
     
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  19. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Same here actually. But in the beginning, I think I was breathing heavily back into my pipe. So much so that it created a serious moisture problem for me. I too lightly exhale back in to it at times as you state, just not too much. And with a little practice, I learned to manage the saliva issue as well as an excess of it seemed to have been seeping back into my stem and bowl.
     
  20. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    Actually, the way they make them now, they burn out if you let them sit for more than a minute or so. I was told they started putting the same kind of chemical in them that they put in CARPET to keep it from going up in flames.

    Also, I have never seen anyone describe them as an "OTC-cigarette"..... are there other kinds of cigarettes made with higher quality tobacco you can buy? Just wondering?
     
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