Tips & trics
Tips how to smoke a pipe
We guess this has happened to us all. It can happen when we smoke too fast - and this can happen any time – or if we don’t know the basis of knowledge on packing and smoking pipes well enough to smoke without tongue burn. This basis can obviously be learned. But when tongue burn has occurred, and it’s too late to learn the basics or start smoking slower, what can we do to relieve the pain? Here are some remedies (based on experiences but we can not guarantee that these are facts):
- Red wine
- Biotine mouth spray
- A warm cup of tea
Some say that tongue burn is a response to the pH-level of the smoke in the mouth. Sometimes this pH-level can be higher than the mouth and tongue are used to. Some tobacco produces a more alkaline smoke and this results in a burning feeling.
Tobacco producers try to even the pH-level by adding sugars to the sauces. If the pH-level of the smoke is too high and tongue burn has happened some find drinking fruit juices is the ultimate cure.
The best solution would be to reduce the risk of tongue burn by buying better tobacco, smoke slower or increase your knowledge on pipe smoking. For the latter, we are here to help!
It seems so easy. You buy a briar pipe, you smoke it and you look fancy as a dandy. But be careful there, nothing is worse than ruining your pipe with your first smoke. Before you can really start smoking your briar pipe, the pipe needs breaking-in. This means that the first time a briar pipe is smoked, it is important to smoke it slowly, to avoid damaging the naked briar.
- Smoke only half bowls for a while (about 10 times or so) until you start getting some carbon buildup inside the pipe’s bowl on the lower sides.
- Try to smoke to the bottom of the pipe as much as possible to create more carbon and your pipe will have the right basis for further smoking.
- If your pipe starts to taste nasty at any time, stop smoking it! If smoking your pipe doesn’t bring you any pleasure anymore because of the taste, try another or consider buying a new one.
Lighting a pipe seems to be a very common operation. A match, lighter or other tool with an open flame is used and you puff on the pipe until it is lit. But, to get maximum enjoyment out of your pipe, and to minimize the need for relighting while smoking, it is important to pay attention to your technique. Here you can find some tips and easy steps that make your pipe smoking life easier.
Tip: Light your pipe with a match. If you prefer to use a lighter, use a gas lighter and not one on kerosene/petrol. Why? Kerosene damps have a negative effect on the taste of the tobacco.
Lighting the pipe
- The ‘charring’ light (the first light). The purpose of this light is to expel extra moisture from the tobacco and prepare an even surface for the actual light. Light the match or lighter and, while moving it in a circular motion, apply it to the entire surface of the tobacco. While lighting the pipe take a few light puffs on the pipe. You will see that, if necessary, the tobacco will swell up to create a more even surface and balance out the tobacco density and moisture.
- After lighting the pipe once allow the light to go out. When it’s out, tamp the tobacco down. It is useful to twist or spin your tamp in a circular motion while doing this. If you tamp too hard on the tobacco your packing job gets ruined. So be careful! You only want to put the tobacco back onto the level it was before the first time you lit it.
- Light your pipe once again, using the same circular motion around the entire surface of the tobacco and at the same time, take a few shallow puffs on the pipe. This time you will see that the tobacco does not unravel and the pipe is lit. Enjoy your moment, sit back and relax.
The art of pipe smoking is one of the oldest forms of tobacco use. The pipe remains a comforting method of smoking often overlooked by the modern smoker. But trust us: pipe smoking is an extremely rewarding hobby for those with the patience and willingness to learn it. This means not only learning how to smoke a pipe but also how to take care of your pipes!
There are 4 steps you should take when you are finished smoking your pipe.
- Allow your pipe to cool down before smoking it again. Briar pipes need - at least - a day of rest between smokes to maintain their quality.
- “Dottle” the pipe. This means that you take the bowl of the pipe in your hand – preferably when its cooled down –, you cover the bowl and shake the ash around. This way the ashes get loosened and divided around the bowl of the pipe. Try to rub the ash into the walls of the bowl with your finger – forming a carbon cake. Everything that stays loose can be thrown out. This cake is very important to insulate the pipe and prevent you from uneven smokes.
- After this, always clean your pipe with a pipe cleaner. The cleaner should by slightly wet (saliva is good enough) and pushed entirely through the stem, until you can see the end of the cleaner at the bottom of the bowl. Try this a few times: this way you’re removing the rests of remaining ashes.
- Polish your pipe! Use special pipe polish and a clean cloth (lint free). Polishing your pipe helps to preserve the appearance of the pipe, as well as it protects the bowl from dirt, heat and corrosion.
Always remember to give your pipe a rest for at least a day! For now: good luck with mastering the art of cleaning your pipe.
Smoking too fast
Water vapor is a by-product of combustion, and rapid smoking will produce large amounts of it, which will then condense in the shank and stem.
Smoking a pipe that is not yet broken-in
It is important to smoke a new pipe slowly, to avoid damaging the naked briar.
Smoking a Tobacco that is too moist
This is self explanatory. In addition, some tobaccos--particularly aromatics--tend to leave more liquid residue than others.
Smoking a tobacco with too much humectant
Some tobaccos contain large amounts of Propylene Glycol or other additives that may create grease and cause gurgling.
Saliva in the pipe
Salivation is a normal response to smoking, and this saliva can collect in the stem. Keep your tongue away from the mouthpiece opening, and try to keep your mouth as dry as possible. If your pipe begins to gurgle while smoking, run a pipe cleaner down the stem to absorb the moisture.