MUST READ! The Thermodynamics of pipe smoking.....

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by brunchman, Aug 12, 2012.

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  1. bluepipe

    bluepipe Member

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    Of course pipe smoking is science. Everything is science. The fact that most (if not all) of us just pack, light and go and never think about these things doesn't make it "magic". We just use our personal experiences regarding packing, lighting, puffing pace, etc. to guide us.

    You may choose to think about the science behind it, or not bother with it at all. The fact remains that there is a scientific explaination behind everything.
     
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  2. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    It's not a matter of not choosing to think about it or whether or not it’s "magic". How much is practical? It's also how much of it is in control. Are we going to monitor temperature as we smoke? I guess if attaching a digital superheat thermometer to a pipe is relaxing to someone, that's fine for him. Of course you would also need a probe in your mouth to measure the temperature of the smoke as well as the temperature of the vessel. And maybe an electronic sensor located inside the bowl to let us know the psi of our packing of the pipe as well. I personally think that it is enough to say to myself that by puffing as slowly as I possibly can, that I will be extracting as much flavor from my pipe as I possibly can. I use equipment every day as part of my job and to me it is folly to compare smoking a pipe to monitoring a boiler or a chiller or cooling towers or a refrigeration system. Yes, there is science behind the application but it is not practical to apply. Nor would it be fun to me personally. But if that’s what floats someone’s boat I wish him a relaxing smoke. Me, I would rather take in a scenic moment on my deck or listen to my favorite music or maybe read a book. But that's just me. Taking notes on the temperature of my smoke and wondering if I could have had a better smoke if I just slowed down or sped up my cadence would not be on my agenda. I already know that my cadence influences the flavor of the tobacco in my pipe. and I can feel with my hand if my pipe is getting too hot and I need to either slow down or put it down and let it cool off.
     
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  3. bluepipe

    bluepipe Member

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    Monitoring what goes on while you smoke and understanding the science behind it are two completely different things.

    I did not suggest that taking readings while you smoke and keeping records is something that one might enjoy. I didn't even suggest thinking about it and bothering with it while you smoke. Reading about it afterwards and understanding what's going on and what you were doing is something completely different.

    Someone who has the urge to understand the science doesn't mean that he will become unable to relax or he will become paranoid about smoking the "right way".

    Like you, I sit back and relax, never thinking or bothering too much about my technique. That doesn't mean I won't try to understand the science behind it.

    Edit: Even if it's impractical to apply that knowledge, learning about these things is still fascinating.
     
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  4. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    Actually, upon further review. A Sasquatch Bent Dublin with matching guages and digital thermometers might be pretty cool to operate at that.

    Paul
     
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  5. Zulucollector

    Zulucollector Member

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    I'm amazed by the dismissive and disrespectful tone in some of these posts, especially talking about what I know and what I don't. Especially the snarky comment that I don't know how to light with a lighter.

    I'm guilty of that most cardinal of sins: to try and understand why different pipes and chambers might offer a different experience.
     
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  6. Kevin Keith

    Kevin Keith Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it. You know how it goes...you put something out there and people read it. They like it or find it useful or they don't. Feedback is feedback.
     
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  7. esteban

    esteban Active Member

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    My tiny metronome clipped onto my pipe, broke during my wind tunnel test. At least the temp and humidity gauge still function. The dottle measuring calibration system broke in 1989.... It's all good....Almost everything human is relative & subjective..... and in the end not too important..... :th1:
     
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  8. Doc Sixstring

    Doc Sixstring Active Member

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    are you the author? for what it's worth, I found it informative and interesting. it aligns with the laws of thermodynamics which certainly applies to pipe smoking
     
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  9. wmblake

    wmblake Member

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    ROFLMAO!
     
  10. SteveNH

    SteveNH Active Member

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    I tried matches first. I swear I used about 30 to light the pipe. They kept going out on me. So if I am outdoors, its the lighter. Inside, maybe a match....just maybe.
     
  11. Malus Rex

    Malus Rex Member

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    The science in the article is clearly valid. I don't think any of us would debate thermodynamics. However it's the APPLICATION of that knowledge that is important. It doesn't matter what the ignition temperature is if the smoker then proceeds to puff until the bowl approaches supernova. Likewise, one could light a pipe with thermite, only to over tamp & snuff it out.
    For newer smokers this knowledge may be helpful in offsetting the effects of bad technique. However, at the end of the day, it still becomes a moot point when proper packing/lighting techniques are used.

    (PS- lightning your pipe with thermite is bad, m'kay. You shouldn't do it.m'kay)
     
  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I found it interesting. Actually got a possible answer to something I've wondered for awhile and that is why I tended to puff oriental blends more slowly than (most) Virginia blends. I never knew oriental burned hotter.

    I don't intend to switch to matches because I agree with Malus Rex above - the ignition method matters much, much less than how fast the blend is puffed. Relights have to be done with care as well.
     
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  13. user6509

    user6509 Guest

    Great post, thank you! Makes total sense.
     
  14. glwanabe

    glwanabe Member

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    I like wooden matches, and not for the thermodynamics or any other rocket science. I do enjoy rocket science, but there are certain things where I want a simple old fashioned experience to what I'm doing. I want to enjoy every aspect of smoking each bowl. Slow is the word we keep hearing in pipe smoking and for me a match makes me take my time. There's a process to striking a match that for me has become a part of my pipe experience. Each match is a part of the experience of enjoying that particular bowl. I still have some bics, but if at all able a match is what I reach for, for any relight I may need.

    I try to enjoy every aspect of having a bowl. Deciding that I want a bowl, which pipe, which blend? This is just the start for me. I've on more thalesn one occasion felt like a bowl, but didn't have a blend jumping out to me. I've gone through all my blends at various times smelling them to find one that said, YES, this is what I want right now, and this is the pipe I like it in. When that YES, moment didn't happen, I've just walked away from it on more than one occasion. I don't want my hobby to turn into work, or something I do because I need to. I've learned to slow down and savor each aspect, and be deliberate. I've spent good money on putting a few things together, and I don't want to waste my hard earned tools.

    I don't want to just stuff my piped and miss the tactile feel of handling the leaf. Feel the tobacco. Is it to moist? Should you let it sit for an hour and dry out a bit. have a drink while your smoke sits and rest to dry. Maybe you have a tin of your favorite that is your ready to smoke tin for the week. A good pack and paying attention to it will help to make the down line aspect a success, or at least give it a fighting chance. There are variable's that we can't control at every turn. however pay attention to each part and you give yourself a fighting chance for that magic bowl, that is hypnotic.

    Life is fast enough already, I don't want my pipe to be fast. I want it slow and relaxed. I also like sailboats better than power boats.

    My repurposed Frog Morton match can.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    Didn't even read it because I'm not complicated and I'm lazy.
     
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  16. darkflake

    darkflake Old Ted Award 2016 Forum Guide

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    Time spent in the pursuit of knowledge is never wasted. All I've got to say. Peace.
     
  17. Huby Springer

    Huby Springer Member

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    Excellent read
     
  18. jhguthlac

    jhguthlac Active Member

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    Enjoyed the article. I always light the pipe with matches. Re-light with a lighter.
     
  19. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Where is Dwaugh when we need him?
     
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  20. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    If you continued to hold the butane flame over the tobacco as you smoked it, it really would remain at those elevated temperatures. However, it seems once you removed the flame the tobacco would stabilize to its own combustion temperature. I agree with our esteemed mayor.
     
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