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Really big variation in smoking experience

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Odin, Apr 5, 2012.

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  1. Odin

    Odin Member

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    I'm a new pipe smoker (I've been smoking for three or four months now, though not very often, 5 times a week maximum) and I notice a really big variation each time I smoke. Some smokes will be very pleasurable and will just leave me at peace and feeling good, other times it just doesn't feel good at all and makes me empty the bowl before I'm done and makes me think "damnit, maybe I'll stop smoking pipe". What do you think, is this normal in new pipe smokers? Or is maybe pipe smoking not for me?
     


  2. Klauswermann

    Klauswermann Member

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    I think you need to give it some time, so you can get into the groove. When I started, like you, the experience was very hit or miss, but as I learned more techniques of packing, tamping, etc , and as I learned to listen more to my tobacco, things evened out. You will always feel a some "damnit" moment once in a while but they get few and far between.
     
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  3. Brian Damage

    Brian Damage Member

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    I have been smoking pipes for 18 years and I still have to fight with a bowl on occassion. The longer you are at it the more consistent it will get.
     
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  4. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    I agree! when I started pipe in 2004 I was smoking OTC's (not that there's anything wrong with that) and just couldn't find my nitch with smoking pipe initially.

    It took several months to of trial & error to find a methodoligy that worked for me.

    I didn't learn until becoming a member here that often times a certain blend works better in a specific type or design of pipe more so than others.

    I still consider myself new to the art, so my advice is to take some time to experiment with different pipes and blends to find what works best for you.

    A little patience is required. If you truly wish to continue, that is.
     
  5. Mike Pomery

    Mike Pomery Active Member

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    Often when you have a poor smoke, you may be guilty of concentrating too much on your technique. You might be puffing too hard chasing flavour, thus dooming a bowlful of tobacco to be harsh and tastelss.

    Slow down and try and distract yourself when you smoke. Treat your pipe smoking technique like a golf swing. Relax, and it will develop naturally over time... just don't focus too much on every little detail.
     
  6. JayinHK

    JayinHK Member

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    Some things that might help:

    1. Relax--sip, don't puff, and take your time.
    2. Pack looser than you think you need to.
    3. Don't torch the toby. Apply the flame as lightly as you can.
     
  7. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    Many things can contribute to a less then pleasurable smoke. For me, when I was starting out, it took, learning to gravity pack my pipe with a tobacco that I actually liked. Try a simple Burley type blend like Prince Albert, lightly gravity load it and after a charring light, just ever so slightly tamp it with a pipe tool or your finger. You should be left with about a ¾’s of a bowl or so. If you can feel the tobacco squeezing, you have tamped too hard. the next part is maybe the most important. Smoke slow! I mean really slow! That will bring out much more flavor. The slower you smoke the more flavor you will get out of the tobacco. Forget about trying to keep the tobacco lit. If it goes out, oh well, just relight. Which brings out another point. Do not over light your pipe. just get it lit, that's all. Don't concentrate on forming a huge ember. That can make the tobacco taste bitter and also burn your pipe and your tongue.
    The main thing is to enjoy the smoke.

    I hope this helps,
    Paul
     
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  8. Odin

    Odin Member

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    Thanks guys, this sounds helpful and I will give it some time and continue working on the art of pipe-smoking.
     
  9. JayinHK

    JayinHK Member

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    Once you get it dialed in and find the pipes and tobaccos that work for you, as well as your groove, you'll have a lot more pleasant smokes than unpleasant ones. Keeping my pipes cool by not torching them made an enormous difference to the flavor of my smoke.
     
  10. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    It may help to keep some kind of a journal so you know what's working and what isn't. Sometimes all it takes to ruin a smoke is a bad mood :(
    By the way, here's an example of a journal that's a little bit over the line ;) https://pipesmokersforum.com/community/threads/going-rto-on-nightcap.14875/
     
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  11. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    Dondi has a great idea. A journal sometimes helps.
    Like he said, a bad mood can ruin a smoke. Some have even said the weather can ruin their smoke.
     
  12. Klauswermann

    Klauswermann Member

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    I think weather really can ruin a smoke, really damp, foggy weather or extra windy for example.
     
  13. JayinHK

    JayinHK Member

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    Absolutely true. If I'm in a place where I'm getting a lot of attention for smoking my pipe, I tend to smoke hotter and faster, and windy/damp weather can really ruin a smoking experience. Indoors when relaxed, I get the coolest, most flavorful smokes. I tried smoking by the harbor on a blustery, rainy day and it was a disaster. Never again!
     
  14. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Keep at it! :puffy:
     
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