Breaking in a pipe

LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
I know most have said that you must break in a pipe for it to really unleash it's potential. But question, can i start out with cigars and those that i like just finish the nub in the pipe to break it in? Is it just a layer of smoke and stain that make it break in? Or is it the heat or what? It'd be nice to smoke cigars and finish them in the pipe for a few months and then be able to just smoke it as best as possible after the fact.

Comments

  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    I know of people who smoke the end of a cigar in a pipe. I myself have never tried it. However, the break in period is, in my opinion, not the time to try it. First, unless you have a pre-carboned pipe you really do need to get some cake on it. Second, briar, which I assume you are smoking, does ghost so I like to start with a more neutral tobacco like a non-aromatic VA or burly blend and then once the cake has formed a little I go to what I am planing on smoking. Also, while I have no way to verify it, I have heard that cigars burn hotter then pipe tobacco on average. It may be an old wives tale but I would not want to chance it on a brand new pipe, especially one that had no pre-carbon coating on it to start with.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Breaking in a briar is getting a nice cake on the inside; the cake helps the pipe smoke cooler, adds some of its own flavor, and protects the briar from being burned.

    The cake in the bottom is the hardest to form, which is why most people recommend smoking about the 10 bowls with the pipe only 1/4 filled, to make sure you smoke close to the bottom and get that all-important bottom cake built up, the filling it 1/2, smoke 10 bowls, then fill it 3/4, smoke, then you're ready.

    I've heard that that's the safe way to do it; you can always fill a new bowl to the rim, but in that case, since the briar is fresh and there's no cake, you really gotta smoke slow, make sure the bowl doesn't get too hot, and smoke the entire bowl to ash.

    Also remember that briars need some time to air out; you probably won't damage a good briar if you don't, but it'll smoke acrid if you don't let it dry out for a day or so
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Mine has a great cake but I have a damn hard time keeping the f'ing thing lit. Goes out after a few puffs. I take slow long draws even short ones and after a few minutes it goes out. Pisses me off.
  • Andrew_DzikoskiAndrew_Dzikoski Posts: 381Moderator admin
    Might be the blend your smoking once you have the bowl packed down a bit and you feel its starting to go out hold your thumb over the bowl and just let a little air in as your puff that should help you relight things.
  • KCWKCW Posts: 1,334 ✭✭✭
    Noob Question: I'm breaking out my Barling. Is there any way to tell if I have F'd it up already (ruined it)?
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Andrew Dzikoski:
    Might be the blend your smoking once you have the bowl packed down a bit and you feel its starting to go out hold your thumb over the bowl and just let a little air in as your puff that should help you relight things.
    I'll try that Andy, thanks.
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    KCW:
    Noob Question: I'm breaking out my Barling. Is there any way to tell if I have F'd it up already (ruined it)?
    Wait... You can RUIN a pipe and thus make it horrible to smoke out of?

    Oh man, a bad cigar and you just chuck it...
  • HaybletHayblet Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭
    Lasabar:
    KCW:
    Noob Question: I'm breaking out my Barling. Is there any way to tell if I have F'd it up already (ruined it)?
    Wait... You can RUIN a pipe and thus make it horrible to smoke out of?

    Oh man, a bad cigar and you just chuck it...
    if you use a torch to light it yes, other than smoking it 100 times a day it's not an easy thing to really mess up (imo) anyways, my pipe (first one) still smokes great and I know I didn't do anything right at first, I have a Meerschaum that doesn't smoke nearly as well due to the fact the mouthpiece is kinda loose, but I didn't know that when I purchased it off BOTL.org in their for sale section, I really only try to use that one for straight blends, dude sent me some odd ass pipe baccy that smelled like the business end of a manure truck that had mated with a skunk and found a way to get infused into pipe tobacco, sadly the bowl was ghosted with this **** so I smoked pretty much a little of everything I had to get rid of it and it's much better now, but my Briar is my first and still my go to pipe and seems fine by any standard I would know
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,675 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hello my brothers of the briar. I have begun my journey to the dark side. What started out as only the most playful of jokes has turned into a full on stogies for pipes trade with @Captain_Call. That being said, I've been researching like crazy this week to satisfy all of my newb questions, and Captain my Captain has been most helpful in answering everything I've thrown his way.

    I do have one question to ask all of you as I begin what I hope will become my third tobacco addiction. The pipes I'll be starting on are all cobs. (We felt this would be best for the price bracket and just in case I turn out not to like it.) What is the best way to break in a corn cob pipe?

    I've read several articles and watched numerous videos. Each tends to be different in their overall opinion. Some say to only gravity feed the bowl until you build up a cake, others say stuff it and smoke, and other others say to line them with a fine coating of mud. The result is a confused and slightly overwhelmed newb.

    What say you all? Should any extra care be given to these pipes, or should I simply treat them as I would a hardwood? 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cobs don't cake, and don't need to be broke in. They don't ghost, and as long as you don't suck a steady stream through it, they don't get overly hot either. 

    Just stuff it and enjoy. :)
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If they are new cobs, pull the stem and toss the filter. All it does is get wet and bitter. I smoke a cob in the car, as they are damn near maintenance free.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

  • Captain_CallCaptain_Call Cambridge NebraskaPosts: 1,509 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These guys nailed it @Markwell

    Nobody starts out perfect. I'll send enough you can afford to have several practice bowls. It's inevitable you will botch a few bowls of tobacco but pretty unlikely you will completely trash a pipe without some colossal blunder and we will all do our best to keep you on the straight and narrow. If you have any more questions, we are all here

    I should have shared the info @Wylaff gave you in some of our earlier exchanges but sometimes my train of thought takes a dirt road
  • Captain_CallCaptain_Call Cambridge NebraskaPosts: 1,509 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I tend to avoid strictly gravity feed. I think it doesn't restrict airflow enough and then burns hot. As noted above, a cob won't cake up, at least not like a briar. But you do want to take care to work the whole bowl. The quarter, half and three quarter bowls are good for your pipe too
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm easy. I just pinch and roll. Drop them in until it's full. Then I tamp with my thumb, top it off, and roll on my palm until it's packed. Takes about 30 seconds.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,675 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the input there, Wayne. Good to know. I've got a habit of going overboard with my OCD when it comes to something new like this. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • Captain_CallCaptain_Call Cambridge NebraskaPosts: 1,509 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I generally err on the loose side. I can light it and if it's too loose, tamp it down. It's much more difficult to recover if you go too tight
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