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Questions about my first Briar

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smokinghost

Member
Member
#1
Hey guys,

Have a couple questions about seasoning and breaking in a briar I just bought.

I've been smoking a cob which I still love but wanted to get a briar.

I know for the first few bowls you want to do about 1/3 bowls and smoke it slower and then add a little more ever 3 or so. I was wondering if there is anything else I should do.

Thanks in advance.
 

RTOdhner

Well-Known Member
#2
Some say that you should break in a pipe with Carter Hall because it builds up a nice cake quickly. I've never done that, but Carter Hall does build a nice cake.

You will now have a basic rotation with two pipes, but I've smoked cobs and briars back-to-back and have never had an issue.

What brand and style of are your gonna get? I'm partial to Peterson, especially the XL02 shape. But Stanwell and Savinelli also make good pipes.

No matter the pipe and tobacco, enjoy.
 

John Long

Member
Member
#3
There are several methods of breaking in a pipe with no real right answers. To put it in a nut shell, building a cake is what you're doing and you're progressively building it toward the top with it thickerer at the bottom. A lot of guys prefer to cake a pipe with tobacco that cakes fast and produces a neutral ghost such as Prince Albert.
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Member
#5
I think a guy should smoke whatever blend smokes easily and cool for him. I usually recommend Navy Flake because that one smoke like a charm for me and doesn't leave anything but a slightly sweet honey taste in the pipe.

Briars are hard to kill. Treat a new pipe with any kind of respect and it will treat you fine in return.
 

Locopony

Member
Member
#6
To break in a briar, you dont have to over think it much. I usually just pack a full bowl and smoke it all nice and slow and cool. Then I set it aside for a day. Then when I have time to smoke a full bowl I sit and do it again pack it full and smoke ybe whole thing nice and slow with nice dry toby so you can get clean down to the bottom. If ya have dottles in the bottom I just remove the ash stir tamp relight. Smoke up enjoy. Use a nice mild dry toby that you enjoy.
 

FlatbushPaul

Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker
Member
#7
Smoke what you like in it. I just try and make sure I don't let it get too hot. Bare Briar can singe easily near the bottom of the bowl. Good luck and enjoy your new pipe!

Paul
 

smokinghost

Member
Member
#8
Thanks for the tips guys. I figured it wasn't over complicated but just wanted to check. :)

I have a lighter custom blend that has a slight pastry accent I just got that I am going to start with.

I again want to thank this community for being so awesome. You guys rock.
 

ruffinogold

Well-Known Member
Mayor
#9
I attack them and scare them into submission . I got a Grad Duke Grabow a few weeks a go and a Freehand Grabow the other day w/ the boxpass ... The Grand Duke has cake already and the Freehand is still takin a beating but is getting a break cause it's a deep bowl and I'm not smoking at lenght during the heatwave . Short smokes and often for the time being . Fixin to light up the Grand Duke again . Theres a bunch of ways to break them in but smoking it is always part of the process
 
#10
RTOdhner said:
Some say that you should break in a pipe with Carter Hall because it builds up a nice cake quickly. I've never done that, but Carter Hall does build a nice cake.

You will now have a basic rotation with two pipes, but I've smoked cobs and briars back-to-back and have never had an issue.

What brand and style of are your gonna get? I'm partial to Peterson, especially the XL02 shape. But Stanwell and Savinelli also make good pipes.

No matter the pipe and tobacco, enjoy.
I got a stanwell featherweight 123 billiard that has a sandblasted finish. I heard stanwell makes a really nice pipe. I smoked a very small bowl today. I'm gonna add some more next time.

Still learning some technique though. I'm finding a good groove and really trying to enjoy the flavor of the tobacco. I have a 14 oz Carter hall and it is a really good smoke.

Been finding my bowl has been going out though and won't stay lit, even after relights, so I'm testing out a few things until I get it right. Ive been enjoying the process do no complaints.
 
#12
I break mine in with full bowls from the start. I don't see much benefit of the gradual partial bowl method as long as you smoke it as far down as you can. I cut the cake back even after it builds up enough anyways. The most important thing is to not let it get too hot until you have a good cake started. If it starts to heat up, it's best to set it down and let it cool before continuing.
 

colorduke

Active Member
Member
#13
Load it up with PA ,fire it up jump in the car with the window down and drive as fast as you can with pipe hanging out the window that will break it in real quick.
 

cobbsmoker

Active Member
#14
I attack them and scare them into submission . I got a Grad Duke Grabow a few weeks a go and a Freehand Grabow the other day w/ the boxpass ... The Grand Duke has cake already and the Freehand is still takin a beating but is getting a break cause it's a deep bowl and I'm not smoking at lenght during the heatwave . Short smokes and often for the time being . Fixin to light up the Grand Duke again . Theres a bunch of ways to break them in but smoking it is always part of the process
Those little Grand Dukes make for a nice 30-40 minute smoke with a flake tobacco, they are light weight and very comfortable for clenching too. The older I get the more I can appreciate a smaller bowled, lighter pipe.
 
#16
So I've been meaning to post this for a while. Work has just been draining me and I havent had a chance to smoke much either.

So I have a related question to my initial breaking in question. I try to smoke it cool but it doesn't seem to be working much for me. It still smoke pretty hot and I only seem to get half way down with several relights and it's a wet mess at the bottom. I havent experienced this with either of my cobs so I dont know if it's just me or if it's just the combination of a new pipe and a bent stem briar in the summer time.

I started smoking it in summer time in Nor Cal. It was pretty hot on the days that I smoked but I also tried at night a few times and same thing.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really like this pipe and want to use it regularly but it hasnt been working out. I've smoked it about 2 dozen times so far.

Here's a link to the pic:

https://www.box.com/s/mjbnqa8xqyvda272qj53
 

Arkie

Well-Known Member
Member
#17
Load it up with PA ,fire it up jump in the car with the window down and drive as fast as you can with pipe hanging out the window that will break it in real quick.
Just for the record, colorduke is pulling your leg. What he is describing is the quickest way to turn a new pipe into a cinder.
 

Arkie

Well-Known Member
Member
#18
So I've been meaning to post this for a while. Work has just been draining me and I havent had a chance to smoke much either.

So I have a related question to my initial breaking in question. I try to smoke it cool but it doesn't seem to be working much for me. It still smoke pretty hot and I only seem to get half way down with several relights and it's a wet mess at the bottom. I havent experienced this with either of my cobs so I dont know if it's just me or if it's just the combination of a new pipe and a bent stem briar in the summer time.

I started smoking it in summer time in Nor Cal. It was pretty hot on the days that I smoked but I also tried at night a few times and same thing.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really like this pipe and want to use it regularly but it hasnt been working out. I've smoked it about 2 dozen times so far.

Here's a link to the pic:

https://www.box.com/s/mjbnqa8xqyvda272qj53
You might be packing it a bit too tightly. Also, you might have some excessively moist tobacco. If the tobacco feels damp or sticky when you pinch it, allow it to dry a bit.

If it is smoking hot, slow down and draw it in small sips. That is difficult to do if you packed it too tightly because you have to pull large quantities of air to keep the tobacco lit so the two problems are intertwined. If you ask a hundred pipe smokers how to properly smoke a pipe you will get a hundred different answers. However, they will unanimously tell you to slow down. When you have the pipe packed properly for the specific tobacco you are using you will be able to make the pipe last for at least 45 minutes.
 

Morse

Active Member
Member
#19
I think a guy should smoke whatever blend smokes easily and cool for him. I usually recommend Navy Flake because that one smoke like a charm for me and doesn't leave anything but a slightly sweet honey taste in the pipe.

Briars are hard to kill. Treat a new pipe with any kind of respect and it will treat you fine in return.
McBarens I assume- not SG?
 
#20
You might be packing it a bit too tightly. Also, you might have some excessively moist tobacco. If the tobacco feels damp or sticky when you pinch it, allow it to dry a bit.

If it is smoking hot, slow down and draw it in small sips. That is difficult to do if you packed it too tightly because you have to pull large quantities of air to keep the tobacco lit so the two problems are intertwined. If you ask a hundred pipe smokers how to properly smoke a pipe you will get a hundred different answers. However, they will unanimously tell you to slow down. When you have the pipe packed properly for the specific tobacco you are using you will be able to make the pipe last for at least 45 minutes.
Ya I know there are many different ways. Lol. Ill try to dry it out longer. I usually give it 20 minutes or so and I didn't think it was packed that tightly. I will definitely take that to heart and find that sweet spot. Thanks again. I really appreciate all the feedback.
 
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