I just took up the pipe smoking hobby a few weeks ago. I like to do things the hard way, so I picked up an inexpensive briar pipe (Savinelli Natural Straight Billiard) and a few tins. I'm starting out with Davidoff Green Mixture, since I wanted something on the milder side, and want to avoid aromatics for now. I'm trying to follow the consensus on breaking in the briar, so I'm barely packing a half bowl at a time for the first four or five smokes. I am getting a nice little cake on the bottom of the bowl. However, I'm having a very difficult time keeping it lit. I know from reading here that I will have to light frequently, but I'm having to use about 15-20 matches per smoke, since I'm trying to go about a minute between draws from the pipe so I don't get the pipe too hot. I use the tamper occasionally to keep the ember going, but 90% of the time, the pipe goes out between these puffs. From this description, can anyone offer suggestions? Is this happening because I'm not packing a full bowl? Related question: How do I know when the pipe is done? I'm not a cigarette or cigar smoker, so I don't have much experience with what burned tobacco looks like. All of the break-in instructions say to smoke the bowl to the bottom. By the time I get to the bottom, however, I get some ash coming through the stem. One time I even drew some lit sparks through the stem, since there was still some charred tobacco at the bottom of the bowl. Can anyone post a picture of what the bottom of a smoked pipe looks like, before you knock out any leftovers? Thanks for any and all advice!