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Tobacco Choice

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Tobacco Choice

Postby Wizhunter » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:36 pm

Hi Guys
I am new to the forum and would just like to ask if there is a tobacco that you can smoke straight from the tin.I have been only smoking a pipe for 3 days and am struggling with the packing and also keeping it lit, i have seen video's and reading things on the net and have come to the conclusion that the tobacco i have is to moist, so what tobacco's are available that i can smoke straight away and in the UK.
Any advice is much appreciated
Wiz
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby Geo3rge » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:16 pm

Wiz,

Thank you for sharing your post. I’ll come to your question in a moment. Look at the introductions section and post a brief note there to formally introduce yourself. That way, folk can greet you and you’ll be started then! We try to get only genuine pipe smokers on this forum (we have had lots of spammers in the past) and that’s the usual way to begin.

Tobacco usually has some moistness to it; blends can differ widely as to the amount and there is nothing wrong with moist tobacco. What tobacco have you started with?
Folk here will be able to share their own tips for this as well as packing and lighting, but here’s my penny worth!

If the tobacco is very moist, don’t panic! Put a bowlful of it out on the side and let it dry off for an hour or so. I also fill a bowl last thing at night and leave it for the morning; it will be drier to smoke by then. Ready Rubbed is usually drier, sometimes very dry indeed! If it is Flake tobacco, leaving it out will help.

Packing - with a Flake, I personally rub it out between my palms until it is well shredded. Other folk will fold the Flake a couple of times and insert vertically into the bowl. I’ve found this a bit difficult when lighting, hence my rubbing out.
Fill the bowl in a couple of stages to begin with. Press it in but not too hard, just enough for the space to be filled but with a bit of a springy feel to it. I also tap the bowl as I’m filling it and the shreds settle down.
If you press it too hard, it will be difficult to get a good draw, too loose and the tobacco will burn hot and taste not very nice.

Lighting - match or lighter - burn the entire top surface in the first lighting. The shreds will curl up. Watch for them dropping out too! Puff slowly and deeply here. You want the top to be singed nice and evenly with only grey ash showing.
Next, gently tamp this surface down, just enough to get an even surface and you can then light again, once more puffing slowly and evenly. If these two steps are practised - and it does take some time initially - you will find that you can keep the pipe lit by even, gentle puffs, sometimes called sipping.
Again, practise is the key. Keep at it. Each of us has gone through that initial stage of frustration and disappointment! You’re doing nothing wrong, I’m sure!

If it goes out? A pipe always does!That’s what happens with pipe tobacco, unlike cigarette tobacco which just goes on burning. Nothing wrong with it going out.
Simply tamp and relight. You may need to do this a few times and it is quite normal!

Manner of smoking. Do you intend to sit down and smoke a full bowl through? Practise, practise, practise! Puff steadily, not too hard or fast as you will spoil the taste and get tongue bite! Regular tamping will keep things stoked up in the bowl.
If you smoke for a period, then put the pipe down, (which is what I normally do), it will naturally go out. Simply relight when you’re ready. I make a pipe last for half a day simply because I have a few puffs each time I come back to it.

Different tobaccos smoke differently. I suggest you contact a tobacconist and buy a sample pack of blends. These will be small amounts, giving a range of different tobaccos. Saves buying a whole pouch only to find you don’t like the blend.
Virginias, Latakia, Perique, Aromatics, Lakelands, the range can be bewildering. Don’t panic here! A sample pack will give you something to go on.

Where are you in the UK? I’m a UK resident and there are a couple of pipe clubs in existence that you might like to consider if you want to meet other pipe smokers and catch some tips to help.

All the best. I’ve gone on far too long. I’d better leave space for others to contribute! If you want some online and/or actual shop tobacconists, I can give you a few addresses to be getting on with. PM me for this.

Good luck and very happy smoking to you.
Steve
Moi, fumer une pipe, naturellement...
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby KevLa » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:07 pm

Drier tobacco burns more readily, of course, but also more quickly and hotly. U.S.A. blends tend to be much drier than British, while the rest of Europe seems to be smoking blends often of intermediate moistness.
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby Wizhunter » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Thanks for the replies, i did put an introduction post before i actually put this post, the tobacco i have at the moment is Condor blended, i have watched tons of videos about packing and also read quite a bit, i think i am being a bit too gentle putting it in. The babies, ladies and mans hand thing just doesn't fit with me as i have never shaken a babies hand and i don't remember shaking a ladies hand but must of done so sometime, i think it's a stupid way of how to insert baccy into a pipe. Also the straw thing for testing your packing, it must be over 40 years since i used a straw so i can't judge by that either, i think that's why i am struggling, the comparisons just don't make sense to me. Maybe is just me, i will keep trying because at the moment i smoke RYO and really want to stop. Got some advice from a fellow pipe smoker who said Dunhill tobacco is pretty much ready to go straight from the tin, so that is my next plan of action.
Thanks for reading
Wiz
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby KevLa » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:09 pm

All the fuss made of filling methods is what's silly, in my opinion. Just take a pinch and drop it in; repeat but add a little pressure to it; repeat but add a little more pressure. Don't overthink it, and you'll soon be doing it perfectly every time :)
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby Nomad » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:28 pm

The only Dunhill I've tried is Nightcap, and I did find that it packed, lit and smoked nicely - much less fussing compared to the flakes I had been smoking up to then.

Packing is one of those things where some sort of instruction is needed at first, but that should be seen as a starting point. It's a case of experimenting, really - note how you packed it, and then see how it lights and smokes. If it doesn't work out, change something next time and see how that goes. You eventually develop a method that suits you (and your baccy, your pipe, your puffing cadence, etc).

If you haven't found the Stuff & Things channel on YouTube yet, Bradley has a good series of beginner's videos...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpK-CT8wyew

Part 5 covers packing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQGyKVkmw4Q
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby KevLa » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:07 pm

I concur, Nomad; there is no 'one true way' to fill one's pipe, and it takes trial-and-error to discover the best fit for the smoker, the pipe and the blend. All part of the adventure :)
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby Wizhunter » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:37 pm

Doing the Frank Method and having a lot more success, much easier than the 3 step method, i don't use a flamethrower like Frank suggested on his video but other than that i am well pleased. Even with some quite moist Cherry and Vanilla it was a lot better at staying lit :)
|I did mention it on my introduction post so just ignore that, thanks for the links Nomad, much appreciated
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Re: Tobacco Choice

Postby Nomad » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:57 pm

You're welcome, Wiz. Bradley's channel is pretty good for pipe stuff. I find him engaging to listen to and, unlike many others, he sticks to what he wants to say. His baccy reviews follow a particular format and are quite thorough.

My pack tends to be a sort of sloppy Frank method for the most part. I usually do a gentle finger-prod after the gravity fill, and the pinch tends to be a bit undersize, so I top up a little after working that in. The bit with working the main lump of baccy in around the edges of the bowl is key, I think, in getting a more even pack. Two things that are well worth doing are a pinch test of the baccy to gauge how moist it is, and testing the draw before you light up. These, in conjunction with paying attention to how you do the pack, should get you well on the way to consistent, enjoyable smokes.

If you're a roll-up smoker, you might want to try some non-aromatic tobacco if you haven't already. I smoke Golden Virginia rollys, and started the pipe with Mac Baren Vanilla Flake, and found I didn't like it - it didn't taste of vanilla when smoking it (something which seems to be common with aromatics in general), and I felt that the tobacco itself wasn't up to much. After trying their Navy Flake as well, and a couple of other things, I came to the conclusion that what I was into was just good tobacco flavour. I eventually settled on Germain's Special Latakia Flake (SLF) as my main baccy, along with Dunhill Nightcap and Peterson's Irish Flake occasionally. I smoke others as well, but they're the manistays for me.

They're just what I like, though. It's hard to recommend a tobacco because people's tastes differ and, as has been somewhat alluded to already, most can be smoked right away - it's more about getting the pack and the puffing in tune with the baccy. That said, the Dunhill tobaccos do seem to be pretty easy to get going with. I also find St Bruno Flake is similar (but needs rubbed out first because it's a flake - thin slices cut from a thick slab of compressed tobacco).

One thing I would suggest is to get some Kilner jars - the type with the two-part screw-on lid. In the early stages at least, you'll probably get through a few different tobaccos to try them, and you might not finish a tin or pouch especially quickly. Once the seal has been popped on a tin or pouch, and you leave it lying around, the baccy will dry out quite quickly (within a couple of weeks). The Kilner jars maintain the moisture very well indeed - literally for years if the jar is full. The small 250ml ones will hold 50g of ribbon cut baccy just nicely. When you get a new baccy, jar it right away once it's been opened, and label the jar. If it turns out to be something you're less keen on, leave it in the jar and come back to it later - you might find you like it months later. The jars will still have plenty of mileage later as well - most people tend to have a few blends that they like, some smoked regularly, some occasionally, and jarring is the best way to keep the moisture right.
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