Stirring the pipe contents

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Haint

Well-known member
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#1
As I was reading the "Do you dump your ash..." thread, I noticed a couple of guys referencing stiring the contents of their bowl after they've smoked down pretty low. I didn't want to polute that thread asking a tangential question. Is this common? Doesn't it mix your ash with your unsmoked tobacco rendering a less than pleasant flavor? I could see a benefit in helping to dry the tobacco that is at the bottom that tends to get overly moist.
 

RDPipes

Mental Illness is a Terrible thing to Waste!
Sales
#10
I find some blends I smoke, especially Escudo, create a crust (for what ever reason) at the top of the tobacco that is impervious to flame and actually puts the pipe out.
So I stir/break up the crust and relight and again towards the 3/4 way to bring the burn back. Just like when you stir the embers in a campfire to bring it back but, not disturbing the unburnt tobacco............ of course unless you like the taste of ash in your mouth.
 

JustScott

Well-known member
#11
When it is uneven at the bottom or doesn't want to take a light even after dumping most of the ash is when I stir. And as stated above, don't stir the whole thing, you're just trying to even out the top layer and break the char-crust a little bit. You don't want to stir everything, all the way to the bottom. If there isn't enough tobacco left to just hit the top (like if the middle is pretty well gone and you just have some stuck to the sides down low), you're pretty much done with the bowl. Relighting just a thin disc of tobacco on the bottom will taste ashy, likely burn your tongue, and won't stay lit very long unless you're willing to give the bottom of your chamber and your draft hole some charring. I end up finding out there wasn't enough tobacco left for a stir about half the time when I try it.
 

MasterJoda

Well-known member
#15
Yep, i'll stir my tobacco when i start whisking my pipes.
What? You don’t whisk your pipes? Dude! You are missing out!!!! I learned about it from a YouTuber from a small island off the coast of Iceland. He said every piper there does it.


Seriously though, based on this thread and the Dump dat Ash thread, I’m starting to realize I could probably get more out of my smokes than I do.

I am going to try some of these things from both threads and see what happens.
 

dmkerr

No fiddle sticks left to give
Staff member
#16
What? You don’t whisk your pipes? Dude! You are missing out!!!! I learned about it from a YouTuber from a small island off the coast of Iceland. He said every piper there does it.


Seriously though, based on this thread and the Dump dat Ash thread, I’m starting to realize I could probably get more out of my smokes than I do.

I am going to try some of these things from both threads and see what happens.
Don't forget to marinate your tamper
 

FrankHall

Won't Curse You
Sales
#17
Seriously though, based on this thread and the Dump dat Ash thread, I’m starting to realize I could probably get more out of my smokes than I do.

I am going to try some of these things from both threads and see what happens.
Agreed, this is the kind of stuff that makes pipe forums so valuable (on top of the camaraderie of course). For the record, I sometimes poke, sometimes tamp, and if all is well I do nothing. And I dump the bottom if things go south.
 

RedScot

Well-known member
#18
It takes some experimentation to figure out. Never fail to listen to advice carefully, but ultimately you are the one smoking your pipe.
Coach Dan (my smoking mentor & unrepentant offensive lineman) taught me to never dump ash; it was there to keep the ember warm. So I stuck with that for longer than I should have. Sure, I remained utterly mystified at how anyone could claim to smoke clear to the heel - the ash easily forms a relight-resistant layer - but I stuck with it.
It wasn't 'til I got to PSF that I entertained the idea of dumping the ash. Once I did, however, I started looking carefully at the remaining bowl contents. A more careful tamper than I may not have the same observations, but I noticed that the ember often didn't cover the entire cross-section of the bowl. Further, the ember would sometimes funnel its way down, either down the center or tending towards the draught hole, leaving a good bit of uncombusted tobacco behind. Again, a careful consistent tamper may not experience this, but I tend to clench and sip and - so long as smoke comes out with each sip - not tamp as often as I probably should. So it may come down to tamping style. The cut of tobacco (crumbs funnel more than ribbon) and diameter of the bowl come into play, as well.
If I see this sort of thing after dumping ash, I'll gently use the pick to dislodge any remaining flotsam, dump that too, then stir just enough to allow me to re-level the top.
The only time I'll consider giving the whole remainder a stir is when smoking flakes. I tend to see more moisture buildup in the last third or so, and I've not really seen any overly un-tasty changes in the flavor.
If, however, I get ash on the test draw, I dump it, even if it looks like there should be plenty left. Life is too short to fight with the bottom of a pipe.
 

Cramptholomew

Has not made a Big Mac pancake.
Sales
#20
I dump the ash if I feel I need to. I tamp from the sides inward, like @RedScot , to avoid unburned tobacco at the sides of the bowl. I have been known to mix the remainder of a bowl, after dumping the ash, if I'm having trouble keeping the bowl lit. Sometimes that just happens, because not every bowl burns the same. Sometimes you get chunks that won't smolder. It depends on the blend, and the cut. I had a bowl the other day of a flake (forget which, but I think it was SG Navy) that just wouldn't stay lit about 3/4 down. It wasn't wet, it just wasn't burning. I had to mix it up to get it going. If you dump the ash before you mix it up, you won't get any ashy flavor at all.
 
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