Newbie on the hunt for flavour

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by brunchman, Jul 12, 2012.

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  1. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Hi guys,

    So im a relativly new piper, iv got a trustly corn cob which is great, however every blend iv smoked so far has let me down. Iv tried Petersons Luxuary blend, nutty blend and and few other aromatics, also nightcap too. All have been very bland, Iv been smoking them cool and have dried them out before i pack but i just dont feel iv had the "ahh i see" moment yet with pipe smoking.

    Im not expecting to taste cream custard and chocolate cake whenever i take a puff, but i would like something interesting to happen. Can anyone reccommend a blend and give some technique tips to better unlesh the flavour? (iv tried DGT and didnt work for the Luxuary blend :( )
     


  2. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    Could you at least tell a pretty significant difference in the Nightcap and the aromatics?
     
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  3. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Not really, but that may have been due to my Peterson being wrecked by a previous bad smoke, im going to try some nightcap in my cob tonight. I couldnt tell any difference between aromatics.
     
  4. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    That sounds like you're smoking everything hot enough to scorch the flavor out of the tobacco, are you having any tongue bite?

    I know you said you're smoking slow, but I'd try even slower than that. Don't worry if your pipe goes out, just relight it, it sounds crazy but the slower you smoke the more flavor you'll get.
     
  5. Capt

    Capt Active Member

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    Great answer Jussto.

    If you are unable to tell the difference from Nightcap and an aromatic, either you do not have a tongue, or Jussto's answer above. lol!
     
  6. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    +1 cha-CHING! What he said.

    Mastering the cool smoke means learning proper tobacco moisture levels so the gear doesn't go soggy, executing a good fill so you don't suck your cheeks off, lighting the entire top of the tobacco wad and having a pipe with reasonable geometry so mechanical problems don't interfere. Nail that stuff down bit by bit and presto! tiny sips produce big clouds of cool, tasty smoke. It's a process; one thing at a time. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Also: a cob takes a dozen or so smokes to "burn in" and eliminate the tongue-numbing taste of burning pine.
     
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  7. Arkie

    Arkie Well-Known Member

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    Pete's Luxury blend seems bland to me as well. Nightcap is on my "want to try" list so I can't comment on it. Jussto had some good advice about slowing down. Tobacco that is smoked too quickly gets hot and flavor is lost from the excessive heat. Have you tried "snorking"? Without pulling the smoke into your lungs, exhale very slowly through your nose. It sounds weird but it does help pick up the flavor of the smoke.
     
  8. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Hmmm thanks for the advice guys, no i havnt had any tounge bite but that may be due to the filter in my cob. Ill try slowing down and see what happens. Perhaps my lighting process is too aggressive? Im using a butane lighter and charring for about 7-8 seconds whilst puffing.
     
  9. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Oh also, my packing may also be a problem, im doing the 3-pack method however the draw always seems very loose as if theres nothing in the bowl, pack tighter?
     
  10. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    like sipping thru a skinny straw.
     
  11. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Ah ok i'll apply more pressure when pressing down
     
  12. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    Try taking out the filter, too.
     
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  13. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Moo hit the gong spot on. Moisure levels are critical. Too moist and you can't keep it lit, and the flavor is hit or miss depending on the blend (too dry alters the flavor for me). This is ~n00b~ trial & error, brother. You'll find Nirvana, you just have to make the journey (great now I have two songs stuck in my head).

    And I tried that Frank Method (3-stage packing) for two years and will glove slap Frank if I ever meet him. Gravity fill shag and ribbon with a gentle tamp between fills. Flake? Well that's another story. I dry my flake until its almost breaking on the fold; half flake, full flake, rubbed other half for char.

    May your journey be an enlightening one. All around!
     
  14. brunchman

    brunchman Member

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    Cheers Stone thanks for the encouragement, and thanks to everyone on this forum, its nice to know i can come here for advice and get some indepth knowledge.

    Wait so are you saying you like the Frank method or you dont? You put in brackets (3 stage packing) which as i understand it is the classic 3 layer method of baby, woman, man pressure.

    I may try the Frank method tommorow, it sounds like it may provide a better burn, whos knows. Can anyone weigh in on this?

    ALSO from watching the Frank method videos it seems i may have been overlighting my tobacco, Frank recommends flame-toby contact for 1 second only, move away for 10 seconds, and then repeat 5-6 times until lit. Iv been thrusting my lighter's flame well into the bowl and puffing 5-6 times whilst moving the flame around in circles. Im guessing the same principle of cigars applies to pipes here aswell, the false light needs to "toast" the toby, not burn it as such.
     
  15. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    Beware Frank and his torch lighter. The torch is not our friend.
     
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  16. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Active Member

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    If you have a cartridge filter get that out of there -- if you'd like to remain filtered, pick up some Savinelli 9mm balsa filters. They actually keep the flavor intact.

    Also go to the "Old Fart" section and look up "It's all in the snork." I'm not sure how you're handling the smoke, but it's worth a read just in case.
     
  17. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    I don't prefer it whatsoever! The Frank Method is to me the same as a three stage loading method; I just fill by gravity (shag, ribbon, ready rubbed) and lightly tamp when my bowl is at capacity. I repeat the process until its at the stage where I feel it's good to go. This could be in two stages of filling/tamping, or four or five, depending on the bowl capacity.

    Flakes are a different process altogether; as are plug and cake tobaccos.
     
  18. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Here, I found this cut & paste for you:

    1) The Stuff and Puff Method - The stuff and puff method seems to be used by the older more experienced pipers. After years of experience, they have acquired the ability to stick their pipe into a pouch or jar of tobacco and fill it by scooping the tobacco into the bowl with their finger and knowing when they have the right amount of pressure applied for a proper draw. This is done all in one step. When they pull the pipe out, they light it.
    2) The Three Step Method – This method is the most taught to and most used method by beginning pipers. It consists of; you guessed it, three steps. The key to this method is using small pinches of tobacco.
    The first pinch of tobacco should be very small and placed in the heel of the bowl and applied with very little or no pressure at all.
    The second step is a slightly larger pinch of tobacco. The pinch is put into the bowl and a little pressure is applied pushing the tobacco to the half way point in the bowl.
    The third step is placing another pinch of tobacco in the bowl and using a little more pressure, pushing the tobacco down leaving a space of about 1/4 of an inch from the rim.
    The amount of pressure used for each step is commonly described as; the first pinch should be done with the pressure of a child, the second pinch with the pressure of a woman, and the third pinch with the pressure of a man.
    3) The Frank Method – The Frank method was invented by Mr. Achim Frank and is a very hard method to describe. You want to gravity fill the bowl to the top and the work in a large portion of tobacco on top of it. Kind of like a plug. It is easier to just watch the video to see how this is done and what to do. Although Mr. Frank uses a torch lighter and recommends using one, I do not recommend it. The reason why I do not recommend it is that a torch lighter can seriously burn the rim of your pipe beyond repair. If you do use a torch lighter with this method, be careful and be warned of the damage that can occur if you are not careful.
    4) The Air Pocket Method – This method was brought to the main stream by Fred Hanna. I read about this method in an article that Mr. Hanna wrote for the 2007 Winter Edition of Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine. This method leaves the bottom of the bowl empty which creates an air pocket, hence the name. I am going to paraphrase the steps from memory.
    Grab a large chunk of tobacco and squeeze it into a clump using your thumb and first three fingers.
    Shove the clump of tobacco into the upper half of the bowl leaving the bottom half of the bowl empty.
    Force the tobacco into the bowl tightly but do not use excessive muscle to do so.
    While you are shoving the tobacco into the bowl, start twisting the chunk of tobacco into the bowl so that you are screwing it into the bowl.
    Screw the clump down deep enough into the bowl so that you will not damage the rim when you light the tobacco.
    Make sure that you do not push on the center of the tobacco.
    Remember that there should be no tobacco in the bottom of the bowl.
    Test the draw. If it is too tight, empty the bowl and start over.
    Light only the center of the tobacco making sure that you get it good and lit. The tobacco will burn outwards towards the walls of the bowl once it is lit.
    5) The Two Step Method – This is one of the hybrid methods that I was talking about. I don’t want to say that I created it because I am not sure if others have used it before I started doing it. It is like the three step method but with the first step omitted.
    I gravity fill the bowl and lightly push it to the half way point of the bowl.
    I finish filling the bowl and lightly push it down to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the rim.
    99% of the time I get a perfect draw on the first try.
    6) A Hybrid Method (The Bob Method) – I do not know what to call this method. It is a hybrid method that I started doing a few years ago. I don’t think that anyone uses it. But as in the two step method, I don’t want to say that I created it because I don’t know if anyone has used it before me. I combined parts of the Frank method and parts of the Air Pocket method to create this. This is what I do:
    I skip the first step of the Frank method and leave the bottom of the bowl empty so that there is an air pocket (like in the air pocket method).
    Then I grab a large chunk of tobacco and work it into the bowl exactly like the second step of the Frank method (I do not screw it in like the Air Pocket, I use my thumbs like in the Frank method).
    This method works great when smoking a pipe that has a ‘well’ in it. Since there is no tobacco in the bottom of the bowl, it does not allow the moisture to collect in tobacco that is in the ‘well’ causing a large amount of dottle.
    You do not have to stick to just one method of packing and as you can see from the last two methods, combining or trying out something of your own can help you out in packing a pipe. Try out new and different ways of packing until you find out some that work easily for you. Remember, what works for some people might not work for others. Keep experimenting and don’t give up. Try all of them to see how they work for you and then start changing things around until you find ‘your’ way of packing.
     
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  19. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    This:

    Plus this:

    =

    :bing:

    Filters make smoke taste bland to me. I thought pipe tobacco was less than I imagined at first too. I was a previous cigar smoker, and switched to pipes for my wife. I had some good teachers, and the practice has paid off. Pipe smoking is much more enjoyable to me now than cigars.

    Also, make sure you run a pipe cleaner through the stem and into the bowl after each smoke. A funky shank full of tar can make every blend taste like crap.
     
  20. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Active Member

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    There's also the "Spiral Method" as demonstrated by the James J Fox Tobbaco Shop. The end result is similar to the air pocket method, but the process is a little different. A little messy, too, but manageable.
     
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