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Harm Reduction Notes for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pipe Tutorial: By 420chan for 420chan

- Mon, 05 Nov 2018 02:28:23 EST huAUtvdf No.174170
File: 1541402903752.jpg -(152909B / 149.33KB, 800x800) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Pipe Tutorial: By 420chan for 420chan
There's many howtos already out there, but this is mine.
This one is locally produced.

So you want to smoke a pipe.

To smoke a pipe, you will need a pipe.
At a first pipe you don't need to (and should not) spend a lot, and might be detrimental to your experience if you're scared of ruining it (you can). And a more expensive pipe does not necessarily smoke better.
Your options,
Corn cob pipe:
  • Very affordable
  • All of them smoke well
  • But not "classy"
Clay Pipes
  • Very clean taste, only taste the tobacco
  • Cannot burn out, can handle being tossed in a fire
  • Usually cheap too
  • Available with stems
  • May have too tight draw
  • Fragile, don't drop it
Cheap briar
  • Varying quality, not necessarily dependent on price
  • It's a pipe.

So you have a pipe.
Now to smoke your pipe, you also need
  • Tobacco (duh)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Pipe tool (for stoking/packing your lit pipe, emptying, etc)

Also, your first pipe, it's good if you get a bent one, cause then you can see what you're doing. A straight pipe you're only kinda guessing what's going on in the bowl, if the ember is good and all that.

A good tobacco to start with will be a bold flavourful one. Something like an english or a Virgina/Burley flake. You need something that will provide the punch, starting out with a mild blend might make you puff harder to try to get some more flavour out of it, while it's the other way around. The slower you smoke the more flavour and nuance you'll get. A strong tobacco will provide the goods front forward so you won't feel the need to puff harder. If you want some tips for blends just give me nod. If you get a briar pipe, you'll want to either smoke upwards (lighter to heavier flavours of tobacco) to try what tobacco smokes best in it. You can smoke burley after a virginia with no lingering flavours, but not the other way around. Same for english towards burley/virgina. So if you like both english and virginia tobacco, you'll need to keep one dedicated for each to get the most out of the tobacco.

So you have a pipe, and tobacco to put inside it.
Packing the pipe, there's loads of different methods to use, and many have their method they swear by. It's all just what works for you, and to have something to work from before you can tell the right pack by feel.
When you know it you can literally just put it in there, grab some and stuff it. The one I liked to use as a beginner though was to measure out enough tobacco to fit the bowl nicely (pseudo pack it and take it out again to get a know for your pipe), put the tobacco in your hand, and then swirl your pipe bowl open end down into the tobacco until you've swirled it all up into the bowl. Always check the draw, you can always repack before you light up. If you have to fight the pack to puff, redo it. Too airy or light a pack is never a problem, almost for the best when beginning. Pack down as you smoke to get to know how firm is perfect or too firm. It also varies between tobaccos, cuts and types.
PipeTool - Mon, 05 Nov 2018 03:01:31 EST huAUtvdf No.174171 Reply
1541404891251.jpg -(62027B / 60.57KB, 460x350) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
Now, to actually smoking your pipe.

Before packing, you need to make sure your tobacco is not too dry or moist. If it's too moist you won't be able to keep it lit. Too dry might not be that much of a problem, depending on the tobacco. But generally not dried out is better. So if it's a bit too squishy, just leave it out a bit beforehand, keep a check on it. 15-30 minutes is generally here, but might differ depending on your humidity. I mentioned on method of packing above, but just keep trying different ones until you find one that does it for you.

You have your pipe, you've packed it, and you're good to go.
On most pipe sites and vids, they recommend matches. I do not, I heeded that during the start of my piping and when I tried a lighter instead I never looked back. Matches alter the flavour a bit, you have matches you either have to take care of or you litter, and it's a pain if there's even a hint of wind.
You light your pipe (while taking light puffs as you do), make sure to light it evenly all over, some tobacco will plop up by the heat.
Now you use your pipe tool to flatten it down again. Light again, still keeping it even, and if your tobacco wasn't too moist it should now be going, and you're smoking a pipe.
The weaker puffs you take the more nuance and flavour you'll get out of the tobacco, because you're keeping the temperature down. It's different between different tobaccos, but mostly you won't get huge clouds of smoke, that's not what you're looking for. Don't look for clouds, look for flavour.
So yeah, you sip the pipe, you don't glug the pipe. And you keep the smoke in your mouth, don't inhale. Believe me, for the strong kinds you don't need to inhale to have your shit pushed in by Big Nic.

As you smoke down a layer of ash will form, usually about halfway down it gets a bit too thick for air to get down to the ember, just poke it a bit with your pipe tool and turn your pipe over, a good time for a relight to get the ember more even again. On that note, you'll need to relight every so often through the bowl, it's not a problem.
If your ember seems to be dying down, you tamp a bit with your pipe tool while puffing, and/or take your fingers and cover the top of the bowl with them and take some long but weak puffs, taking the fingers off when you're not puffing. Changes the airflow somehow and revives the pipe. On tamping though, only ever push if you thing the pack is too light. If the airflow is already to your liking you'll only make it too firm and fuck it up, nonpacking tamping is done by letting the weight of the tamper itself push down (if it's of metal, wood peg or stuff you have to add some slight force).

Then you just keep going until you're done.
As a sidenote, generally when smoking in a briar you're supposed to break it in by smoking half full bowls at first a while, before starting full ones.
This is cause before the pipe has developed cake (pipe stuffs residue that cling to the walls of the bowl chamber) it's not as heat proof and won't smoke as good. Smoking half bowls at first makes sure you can smoke to the bottom, cause in the beginning it will get more moist.
If you get a cob instead you don't have to worry about this.

After you're done smoking, give it a good clean with your pipe cleaners and give it a rest. You can smoke a pipe once a day, if you don't let it rest it doesn't have time to dry out, and won't smoke as good. If you disregard cleaning and smoke it too much it can turn sour and foul.
PipeTool - Mon, 05 Nov 2018 03:14:08 EST huAUtvdf No.174172 Reply
> cob pipes; all smoke well
Assuming you get a Missouri Meerschaum one, cheap(er) chinese ones and others are said to just burn through.
MM use special cobs grown for pipes, and treat them with plaster to make them more tough. There's untreated ones too, but even them are good as long as you don't smoke them in strong wind.

Maybe I'll make another post later and write up some about what kinds of tobacco and cuts there are.
James Mangerworth - Thu, 08 Nov 2018 11:58:57 EST CP8hB593 No.174174 Reply
Nothing really new here but I enjoyed the read. Feel free to post some more on tobacco types. I'm especially interested in flake tobaccos and the differences between Virginia / burley / black cavendish / perique etc. For some reason I have a inclination towards Virginia and against black cavendish but I am not sure why. Probably because my first tobacco was some old ass Capn Black and I just assumed black cavendish was horrible from that point onwards.
Graham Nappertet - Fri, 09 Nov 2018 03:23:37 EST 6biCAZHY No.174176 Reply
Yeah, I just found the thought neat, if an interested 420channer could pick up pipe smoking without referring elsewhere except a tobacco shop for the materials.
Tobacco stuff coming up, and also some critical pieces I forgot to mention before.

One important thing I forgot to mention is bite.
If you're lucky you'll smoke a while before encountering it, if not you might bump into it with your first blend.
In short it just feels like.. It's hard to, maybe like a chemical burn or something. Some tobacco just don't agree with us, might be some type of tobacco you're not compatible with, or it might just be that one blend for some reason, might be PH of it not agreeing with that of your mouth, but it's uncomfortable and it'll happen sooner or later.
Sometimes it can be mended by drying it a bit more or less, or sipping very carefully, using a smaller pipe, but sometimes it'll occur whatever you do. If the tobacco still tastes good, save it. It might get better if it gets to sit in a jar some months, and if not you can still mix it with something else in small batches until you find something that combats it. This is also true for tobacco that you don't like so much, maybe it's monotone or harsh. Won't work if the tobacco tastes like ass, then you'll just ruin more tobacco, but if it's just flawed somehow you should save it.

Example, I have one tobacco that's really good, but it's bity whatever I do and it's weak (nic wise), and another that tastes mostly like salty tar and blasts my face off (if that sounds interesting, Old Joe Krantz by Cornell&Diehl). Mixed the two up, now I no longer get bite, the nicotine levels are there but comfortable, and it tastes great. Two tobaccos can be be saved by one mix. Mind you tobaccos don't have to be bad to benefit from mixing, rum rope and a burley flake mixes fantastically, makes packing/smoking easier and makes for a more stout smoke.
Only thing to have in mind is to only mix small volumes, so you don't waste on borked attempts. Mix maybe two bowlfuls at most and write down the ratio, if it was good, mix more then.

Now, to the tobacco itself.
The two main tobaccos are burley and virginia, and make up most of most blends and mixtures.
Virginia is lighter and sweeter, burley is... Burley. It almost has more presence than flavour, a deep feeling in your mouth. Needs some virginia to open up, give off a pleasant nuttiness. Very satisfying though.
Everything else is there as spice and condiment, but what would cooking be without spices?

Latakia, a smoked tobacco, it's not just simply smoky in flavour but you'd have to smoke it yourself. Generally people tend to love it or hate it, I like it a lot. Makes a blend cooler to smoke, easier to handle. If you've only smoked cigs before you'll be surprised tobacco can taste like this.
Used to be a syrian latakia, now most blends use cyprian latakia instead because the syrian isn't being made anymore. Still some blends that use it on the market though, old stock is available.
Perique is grown and made in Louisiana, pressed and fermented in barrels. Very commonly added to virginia, called VA/PERs in pipe circles online. (Escudo is probably the most loved one, can recommend) Gives pepperiness, a bit of spice, sometimes some fruitiness. The tobacco itself is a kind of burley, but it's been grown there long enough to be kind of its own "thing". Untreated probably wouldn't taste the same as other burley.
As a sidenote related to that, another burley that's been grown elsewhere is Semois, grown in Belgium by a dude. Very special stuff, I'd describe it as a floral mushroom in taste, sometimes when you sip it real slow notes of chocolate come up as well. Almost reminds me of cigars, except I don't like cigars, but I like this. Also a good example of how different tobaccos can be, it comes almost bone dry, and you have to pack it down with all you might so it won't burn like a fuse, but it still draws fine even though any other blend would be packed shut and unsmokable without that kind of force.
There's different kinds of Orientals, which Latakia is one of but it's the most well known and used so it's usually named on it's own, makes sense too since the other ones aren't smoked. Loads of other different ones though, and I haven't smoked much oriental.
Another smoked one though is Dark Fired Kentucky. Not as smoky though, and tastes very different. Like a more complex and heavy burley.
Cavendish is more of a process (heat/steaming, adding sugars) than a tobacco, and even then there's an older and a modern way to make cavendish, so it can vary alot. Sweet, and softens the body of the smoke a bit. Supposedly there's higher quality stuff, but I haven't smoked either lower or higher so I've not much to say on it.

Gonna add a post on tobacco cuts later, gonna need a pipe after all this writing.
Archie Tootcocke - Sun, 11 Nov 2018 23:07:05 EST 6biCAZHY No.174179 Reply
1541995625605.jpg -(211647B / 206.69KB, 1600x1200) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

You should only dry on a per pipe basis. Not only cause if you overdry you overdry it all, but also cause you don't generally want the same dryness every time, and the tobacco keeps better as is. In general if it feels moist to the touch it needs drying, but it should still be flexible, if it's brittle it's too far gone.
If it's too moist, you'll struggle keeping it lit, and those moments you do there'll be too much steam in the smoke diluting the taste. Might gurgle alot (moisture collects at bottom of bowl/stem, gurgles when you draw).
If it's too dry, it'll burn too fast and too hot, harsh and almost astringent smoke. Also somewhat counterintuitive, might also start gurgling (moisture is released while you smoke, more the hotter the ember).

It all depends on the weather though, if it's a rainy and moist day outside you can still have a good smoke if you let the tobacco get a bit more towards almost too dry since it'll take moisture out of the air and get soggy otherwise.

If tobacco ends up bone dry (forgetting a bunch of tobacco in a temporary not airtight container etc), there's things you can do. Alot of flavour wafts off with the moisture, but it being so dry means it'll absorb other flavours better. If you have some nice spirits, rum especially, you can put the tobacco in a sealed container with a shot of it (in a small glass, better effect than putting spirit directly on the tobacco), and the tobacco will wick up moisture and aromas as it evaporates. Using other (still too moist for smoking) tobacco works good as well, aromas that would otherwise disappear into the air while drying it (for smoking) gets absorbed by the other tobacco instead.
Of course you can remoisten with just water also, but then you're not replacing any flavour you lost.
Archie Tootcocke - Mon, 12 Nov 2018 02:01:17 EST 6biCAZHY No.174180 Reply
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Kinda forgot about this, but having a drink to your pipe makes a huge difference. I didn't really start enjoying pipes for real until I did. A standard black tea works with everything, but other stuff might do better / worse depending on the tobacco. I cannot have anything fizzy, even beer, to my tobacco cause it hurts my tounge when combined with pipe smoke for some reason, but if it doesn't for you that's a whole spectrum to try.

Green tea does really well with virginias, the bitter and slightly acidic notes makes for a good contrast really bringing out the sweetness of the tobacco. Will not work with most other tobaccos though, tried it with burley once and it was just bitter stacked on bitter and became too much.

Coffee has been too overpowering for most tobaccos I've tried it with, you need something that really can stand up to it. I suspect a feisty latakia blend with more spice than depth might suffice.

Herbal teas work great too, pic related is almost as versatile as just black tea with milk, done well with every tobacco I've thrown at it.
Therm0ptic !cyBOrG7t12 - Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:26:05 EST 0gsN3Lm4 No.174419 Reply
Yes absolutely. I find tea is generally my go-to drink to pair with tobacco. With a pipe I'll like some hot earl grey or english breakfast in the morning, or iced sweet tea later on in the day. Although with cigars I tend to prefer sweetened coffee drinks that don't include milk, but yeah iced tea with a pipe or cigars is always great, but it's got to be actual tea like home made or something like Pure Leaf. In a pinch, their plain black sweet tea will do the job nicely. Maybe it depends on what you're smoking, too. I can't say I've explored a lot of varities of blends yet but I tend to like the really musty, smoky tasting English blends.
Eugene Pockstone - Sun, 22 Sep 2019 11:04:26 EST 8QK9gsO8 No.174421 Reply
One of my best smoking experiences ever was with some Nightcap and a flavoured tea-blend with milk and a citrus honey, recieved both the tea and the honey as a gift from a good lady friend. Each and every small part of the tastes really shone, magical. Only shame is, I can't for the life of me find the precise tea blend again, even know the shop she got it at but I can only find similar ones, not THE one.
I don't even have any nightcap anymore but it'd be nice to revisit at least one part of the experience.
But I'd recommend trying some lemon-infused honey (don't think just honey+lemon-juice would be the same, tasted more like the rind than the flesh) with something nice and smoky, it really brung out a special experience, and the acidity offsets the sweetness of the honey so it doesn't get cloying.
Therm0ptic !cyBOrG7t12 - Sun, 22 Sep 2019 18:21:44 EST 0gsN3Lm4 No.174422 Reply
That sounds fun. The gf and I like trying out all sorts of fancy honeys with our fancy teas, although I tend to like cane sugar for black teas but I've been wanting to try to find some honey that works with black tea for my taste buds. Lemon infused honey sounds like it'd be a good idea actually because I do like a bit of lemon in some otherwise plain black tea.
Thomas Wuffingmot - Mon, 23 Sep 2019 03:56:54 EST 5D3AMVs7 No.174423 Reply
are you sure it isn't lemon blossom honey?

bees will be monogamous with a single flower type if they have enough of that flower around to satisfy needs and the flavors of that plant will end up in the honey those bees make in special ways

that's what it means when you see things like orange or lavender honeys
Barnaby Chuvingkit - Mon, 23 Sep 2019 15:20:51 EST 8QK9gsO8 No.174426 Reply
Actually very sure, still have the jar (use it as a solder trash jar), checked now. Says on the ingredients they used lemon oil.
Oliver Crullerfield - Sat, 12 Oct 2019 09:52:37 EST 8QK9gsO8 No.174451 Reply
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Hey, noticed I never got back to you on the flakes.
Pressed tobacco comes in a bunch of different forms,
most common is flake. Looks like rectangular slices, vary in thickness from thin like a bacon strip and thick leather. Can be handled in a bunch of ways, easiest is just to rub it out a bit and stuff like regular tobacco. Either just between your fingers to keep it a bit more thick than usual, keep some flaky characteristics, or put a flake between your palms and really grind at it to get it to mixture type fluffiness.
You can also do some variation of fold or roll it up and just put it in your pipe, but it'll smoke very differently than usual, and also slower. In my experience it can be hard to get it the right thickness, since it expands a bit when you light it up. What I will say though is that it can be more resistant to windy conditions when you get it right. Lighting is more of a process too, important to get it evenly lit all round, but when you've got it going it will keep lit more easily.
Something inbetween would be to cube cut it, just take some scissors or a knife and cut against the grain to make a diy cube cut. Much easier to deal with than folding, but keeps most of the burn characteristics. Just pour some into the bowl and you're done, it's so dense so no packing needed. Easier to get lit, cause of the increased surface, but also will smoke slower cause of the density of the cubes. In short, best of both worlds. Only, there's a small risk of the whole bowl of tobacco falling out when turning the bowl over to get excess ash off. Haven't figured out if that has to do with cube-size or if maybe the bowl was too smooth and uncaked, too little friction. Also a cube can block the bowl-hole, and the last part can be hard to finish, but I figure it'd be an easy fix to fill up enough rubbed out tobacco to cover the airway and it'd fix both problems. Or maybe put it in a cob, they feel like they have more bowl "grip" inside, rather than the smooth wood.

Then there's coins looks kinda like flakes but are round and spun, cut from a tobacco log kinda. You can actually buy a whole log, but it's a super uncommon format, only one I know is Peter Heinrichs curly block, pic related, would really like to try it sometime.
Can treat them mostly like flake, except they're easier to just fold and stuff, the shape makes packing less of a hardship to get right, easier to light. Just bunch some up and put them in.

Then there's cake.
Essentially just uncut flakes, big brownie shaped thingie you carve flakes from. Tends to be more tasty and potent because of the tobacco getting to meld together better as one uniform big piece in the tin. Just needs a sharp knife and you can carve as thin/thick pieces as you'd like, or the weather demands. Thick will resist wind better, but it'll also taste different. Some will taste weird if you slice them too thin, burn too quick.
(Also not to be confused with crumble cake, which is just mixture pressed together into cubes. Those you just break pieces off with your fingers and crumble up. Real cake has layers of the actual leaves, which you cut against the grain to get the whole mix.)

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