Pipe Cake

Pipe and other hardware related discussions
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hugodrax
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by hugodrax » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:34 pm

Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:27 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:21 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:12 am
hugodrax wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:37 pm
7formy1911 wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:19 pm
I have a question about building up cake in a pipe and then switching over to another blend. Some people like to "break in" a new pipe and build up cake then switch to another blend. Others prefer to smoke a new pipe with only one blend, build up the cake and never switch to another blend in that specific pipe. My question is this: is there any conventional wisdom about the cake in a pipe and switching to other blends? Specifically, is there too much flavor carry over from one blend to another? I'm sure the answer is far more convoluted that I want to know about since it probably depends on the strength of the blend but let's just assume that we're working within blend "families" such as burley, virginia, VAPER and English.
I'm interested. I usually break in with Prince Albert and then smoke whatever I like--vapers, virginias, and scented flakes--and don't much notice. That said, when I have a pipe "sour" or just no longer taste right, I've found that a good reaming is usually the answer. I think the cake itself can sour.
I was mildly disappointed reading this. It's like believing newby tales. I thought you were a matured smoker. You and I smoke every day so cake is a maintenance problem and not something that requires a special blend. We'll put anything that burns in a our pipes too. So being picky about crossover flavours isn't something that we pay much attention to. It's more like a voyage of discovery. With people who don't smoke very much I can understand cake being a challenge requiring incantations and special blends, but you? It's shocking.

What causes cake?
What the heck are you yammering about, old timer?
I'm trying to get a pipe discussion started and apparently most are shy. I'm curious about the special blend for breaking in pipes. People have made claims about PA for building cake. Now I don't mind at all if folks just like PA but that it aids in building cake (over many other blends) is a suspicious claim.
Oh. Why didn't you just write that the first time? I might have answered.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:42 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:32 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:35 pm
SM Frank wrote:
Break in Your Pipe without Hurry or Haste

To Savior Full Flavor And Rich Mellow Taste, Break In Your Pipe Without Hurry Or Haste. Actually, there are only two things you must do: Fill the pipe and light it. If it’s a new pipe, fill it about a third full. Pack it a little looser than usual. Smoke it to the bottom. Do this five or six times. Repeat this half full and three-quarters full so that the pipe will start caking from the bottom to the top.

http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=81

Is he right, will the cake build up from bottom to top?
If done that way it would seem so. For cake is carbonized sugars, from the tobacco.
I'll leave the sugar comment alone except for noting that the leaf itself is organic so it has a lot of carbon. Any sucrose/sugar is in relatively small amount compared to leaf.

So imagine the following. You fill the new bowl to 1/3 and you light and smoke it to the bottom. There isn't a long smoke here because there is so little tobacco. Unless you've packed it badly or you're interrupted it's quite likely that you can smoke it to the bottom on one light. Further, keep doing this for bowl after bowl. You will get cake, but where is it?
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by hugodrax » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:50 pm

Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:42 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:32 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:35 pm
SM Frank wrote:
Break in Your Pipe without Hurry or Haste

To Savior Full Flavor And Rich Mellow Taste, Break In Your Pipe Without Hurry Or Haste. Actually, there are only two things you must do: Fill the pipe and light it. If it’s a new pipe, fill it about a third full. Pack it a little looser than usual. Smoke it to the bottom. Do this five or six times. Repeat this half full and three-quarters full so that the pipe will start caking from the bottom to the top.

http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=81

Is he right, will the cake build up from bottom to top?
If done that way it would seem so. For cake is carbonized sugars, from the tobacco.
I'll leave the sugar comment alone except for noting that the leaf itself is organic so it has a lot of carbon. Any sucrose/sugar is in relatively small amount compared to leaf.

So imagine the following. You fill the new bowl to 1/3 and you light and smoke it to the bottom. There isn't a long smoke here because there is so little tobacco. Unless you've packed it badly or you're interrupted it's quite likely that you can smoke it to the bottom on one light. Further, keep doing this for bowl after bowl. You will get cake, but where is it?
Is the JoeGoat your first new pipe, Goose? I've never had a pipe cake from the bottom up. They cake top down for me, with a little bulge towards the middle.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:08 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:50 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:42 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:32 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:35 pm
SM Frank wrote:
Break in Your Pipe without Hurry or Haste

To Savior Full Flavor And Rich Mellow Taste, Break In Your Pipe Without Hurry Or Haste. Actually, there are only two things you must do: Fill the pipe and light it. If it’s a new pipe, fill it about a third full. Pack it a little looser than usual. Smoke it to the bottom. Do this five or six times. Repeat this half full and three-quarters full so that the pipe will start caking from the bottom to the top.

http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=81

Is he right, will the cake build up from bottom to top?
If done that way it would seem so. For cake is carbonized sugars, from the tobacco.
I'll leave the sugar comment alone except for noting that the leaf itself is organic so it has a lot of carbon. Any sucrose/sugar is in relatively small amount compared to leaf.

So imagine the following. You fill the new bowl to 1/3 and you light and smoke it to the bottom. There isn't a long smoke here because there is so little tobacco. Unless you've packed it badly or you're interrupted it's quite likely that you can smoke it to the bottom on one light. Further, keep doing this for bowl after bowl. You will get cake, but where is it?
Is the JoeGoat your first new pipe, Goose? I've never had a pipe cake from the bottom up. They cake top down for me, with a little bulge towards the middle.
Interesting.

I think Goose may be cleaning out estate bowls right down to the wood before smoking. He has purchased new pipes when he was beginning but it's unknown what happened to them. But he is also fastidious in cleaning his pipe after every smoke so he may not have experience with this. One has to leave the pipe alone, more than Goose might tolerate, to see where cake actually forms.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Goose55 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:53 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:50 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:42 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:32 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:35 pm
SM Frank wrote:
Break in Your Pipe without Hurry or Haste

To Savior Full Flavor And Rich Mellow Taste, Break In Your Pipe Without Hurry Or Haste. Actually, there are only two things you must do: Fill the pipe and light it. If it’s a new pipe, fill it about a third full. Pack it a little looser than usual. Smoke it to the bottom. Do this five or six times. Repeat this half full and three-quarters full so that the pipe will start caking from the bottom to the top.

http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=81

Is he right, will the cake build up from bottom to top?
If done that way it would seem so. For cake is carbonized sugars, from the tobacco.
I'll leave the sugar comment alone except for noting that the leaf itself is organic so it has a lot of carbon. Any sucrose/sugar is in relatively small amount compared to leaf.

So imagine the following. You fill the new bowl to 1/3 and you light and smoke it to the bottom. There isn't a long smoke here because there is so little tobacco. Unless you've packed it badly or you're interrupted it's quite likely that you can smoke it to the bottom on one light. Further, keep doing this for bowl after bowl. You will get cake, but where is it?
Is the JoeGoat your first new pipe, Goose? I've never had a pipe cake from the bottom up. They cake top down for me, with a little bulge towards the middle.
I have a Mario Grandi that is new, just before Joe Goat's pipe was finished. I had a new Ardor I found on eBay but the silver ring/ band was loose and the seller refunded me. Glad because though it would have bee a good smoker, it was quite a monstrosity.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by 7formy1911 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:01 pm

Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:27 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:21 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:12 am
hugodrax wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:37 pm
7formy1911 wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:19 pm
I have a question about building up cake in a pipe and then switching over to another blend. Some people like to "break in" a new pipe and build up cake then switch to another blend. Others prefer to smoke a new pipe with only one blend, build up the cake and never switch to another blend in that specific pipe. My question is this: is there any conventional wisdom about the cake in a pipe and switching to other blends? Specifically, is there too much flavor carry over from one blend to another? I'm sure the answer is far more convoluted that I want to know about since it probably depends on the strength of the blend but let's just assume that we're working within blend "families" such as burley, virginia, VAPER and English.
I'm interested. I usually break in with Prince Albert and then smoke whatever I like--vapers, virginias, and scented flakes--and don't much notice. That said, when I have a pipe "sour" or just no longer taste right, I've found that a good reaming is usually the answer. I think the cake itself can sour.
I was mildly disappointed reading this. It's like believing newby tales. I thought you were a matured smoker. You and I smoke every day so cake is a maintenance problem and not something that requires a special blend. We'll put anything that burns in a our pipes too. So being picky about crossover flavours isn't something that we pay much attention to. It's more like a voyage of discovery. With people who don't smoke very much I can understand cake being a challenge requiring incantations and special blends, but you? It's shocking.

What causes cake?
What the heck are you yammering about, old timer?
I'm trying to get a pipe discussion started and apparently most are shy. I'm curious about the special blend for breaking in pipes. People have made claims about PA for building cake. Now I don't mind at all if folks just like PA but that it aids in building cake (over many other blends) is a suspicious claim. Seems like a good point for discussion. Where do we get cake on the chamber wall and why? Are there 'better' blends for making a coating of cake reasonably evenly distributed over the chamber walls, and what might be the blend characteristics?

Lots of relights! That’s the ticket! The pipes that have built the cake the most quickly, for me, have required the most relights. The blend didn’t matter.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Goose55 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:07 pm

7formy1911 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:01 pm
Lots of relights! That’s the ticket! The pipes that have built the cake the most quickly, for me, have required the most relights. The blend didn’t matter.
That's curious. I wonder what would be the science behind that.

I usually try to nurse the ember by tamping only the edges, so as to avoid relights. Some tobaccos flavor seem to degrade with relights.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Goose55 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm

Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by hugodrax » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:33 pm

7formy1911 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:01 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:27 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:21 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:12 am
hugodrax wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:37 pm
7formy1911 wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:19 pm
I have a question about building up cake in a pipe and then switching over to another blend. Some people like to "break in" a new pipe and build up cake then switch to another blend. Others prefer to smoke a new pipe with only one blend, build up the cake and never switch to another blend in that specific pipe. My question is this: is there any conventional wisdom about the cake in a pipe and switching to other blends? Specifically, is there too much flavor carry over from one blend to another? I'm sure the answer is far more convoluted that I want to know about since it probably depends on the strength of the blend but let's just assume that we're working within blend "families" such as burley, virginia, VAPER and English.
I'm interested. I usually break in with Prince Albert and then smoke whatever I like--vapers, virginias, and scented flakes--and don't much notice. That said, when I have a pipe "sour" or just no longer taste right, I've found that a good reaming is usually the answer. I think the cake itself can sour.
I was mildly disappointed reading this. It's like believing newby tales. I thought you were a matured smoker. You and I smoke every day so cake is a maintenance problem and not something that requires a special blend. We'll put anything that burns in a our pipes too. So being picky about crossover flavours isn't something that we pay much attention to. It's more like a voyage of discovery. With people who don't smoke very much I can understand cake being a challenge requiring incantations and special blends, but you? It's shocking.

What causes cake?
What the heck are you yammering about, old timer?
I'm trying to get a pipe discussion started and apparently most are shy. I'm curious about the special blend for breaking in pipes. People have made claims about PA for building cake. Now I don't mind at all if folks just like PA but that it aids in building cake (over many other blends) is a suspicious claim. Seems like a good point for discussion. Where do we get cake on the chamber wall and why? Are there 'better' blends for making a coating of cake reasonably evenly distributed over the chamber walls, and what might be the blend characteristics?
level

Lots of relights! That’s the ticket! The pipes that have built the cake the most quickly, for me, have required the most relights. The blend didn’t matter.
Yes. This is exactly the evidence one discovers if one does the 1/3 bowl experiment. And there are plenty of other experiments that will also lend confidence to this. The pipe develops cake at the tobacco level that one lights or relights frequently. So the top of the bowl where one normally fills to will develop a significant rope of cake. Our lighting habits may also be driven by habit. So uneven bulges in the cake are not unusual.

The 1/3 bowl experiment (and you can verify this) will put a cake deposit (it will look like a normal distribution tilted 90 degrees) on the pipe chamber wall at the 1/3 tobacco level because that's the only light-up in that experiment. There will be no cake below that and no cake above that.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
It's that Rusty fellow again. I think we actually burn mixtures hotter than Virginias & possibly Burley mixes too. For 15 years I was a latakia mixture smoker and I was frustrated with many Virginias because, by habit, I burned them hotter. Mixtures deliver more flavour with a slightly hotter burn.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by hugodrax » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm

Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
It's that Rusty fellow again. I think we actually burn mixtures hotter than Virginias & possibly Burley mixes too. For 15 years I was a latakia mixture smoker and I was frustrated with many Virginias because, by habit, I burned them hotter. Mixtures deliver more flavour with a slightly hotter burn.
Ok. You might be right. I burn everything pretty hot--I like a good mouthful of smoke. The guys that keep it barely lit swear they taste more nuances. Can't tell you which is right, only what I like.

I have a question, though. You say that pipes cake on the light and I can get that. That's where it's incinerated into cherry-red burning tobacco-magma. Why do my pipes cake, however? I'm a bellows smoker and only relight maybe once or twice. Ok, so that's the bulge a third of the way down. Why does it cake where I'm not lighting?
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Gabriel » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Yay! Resurrected smoking threads. Love it
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Goose55 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:12 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
It's that Rusty fellow again. I think we actually burn mixtures hotter than Virginias & possibly Burley mixes too. For 15 years I was a latakia mixture smoker and I was frustrated with many Virginias because, by habit, I burned them hotter. Mixtures deliver more flavour with a slightly hotter burn.
Ok. You might be right. I burn everything pretty hot--I like a good mouthful of smoke. The guys that keep it barely lit swear they taste more nuances. Can't tell you which is right, only what I like.

I have a question, though. You say that pipes cake on the light and I can get that. That's where it's incinerated into cherry-red burning tobacco-magma. Why do my pipes cake, however? I'm a bellows smoker and only relight maybe once or twice. Ok, so that's the bulge a third of the way down. Why does it cake where I'm not lighting?
Good question. I seldom have to relight and yet build cake.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:57 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
It's that Rusty fellow again. I think we actually burn mixtures hotter than Virginias & possibly Burley mixes too. For 15 years I was a latakia mixture smoker and I was frustrated with many Virginias because, by habit, I burned them hotter. Mixtures deliver more flavour with a slightly hotter burn.
Ok. You might be right. I burn everything pretty hot--I like a good mouthful of smoke. The guys that keep it barely lit swear they taste more nuances. Can't tell you which is right, only what I like.

I have a question, though. You say that pipes cake on the light and I can get that. That's where it's incinerated into cherry-red burning tobacco-magma. Why do my pipes cake, however? I'm a bellows smoker and only relight maybe once or twice. Ok, so that's the bulge a third of the way down. Why does it cake where I'm not lighting?
Do you ever get a spontaneous flame without a lighter? If you can get it hot enough then you probably can produce cake without flame.
I've played with this quite a bit and the only place I ever see cake is where I'm lighting/relighting it. And the cake has a distribution on the side of the chamber based upon where I light usually. That's the interesting evidence and of course you can simplify it so it's easily recognizable in an experiment. Lighting or relighting likely produces temps of 700-1000 C and the ember flares with a butane lighter flame. And it probably results in better combustion at that time & place. Normally we don't get full combustion and that is flavour. My Doctor actually tried to talk me into burning it as hot as I could. He saw two benefits: 1) It's not pleasant so you'll quit easier (he believes everyone wants to quit), and 2) With hotter burn there is more complete combustion, less carbon monoxide and many other carcinogenic products of partial burn, far less flavour too. Over many bowls that's lighting the whole depth of the chamber with some depths getting more lights than others. I go to the bottom with just ash remaining. So the cake isn't even unless I reduce it. For example at the top of the bowl we always light there. And it's true the cake crawls right out of the bowl like a small tower.

So if you want even cake the best blend is one that does not stay lit so you're relighting every few minutes. I rather doubt that's a PA characteristic. And the corollary is reducing the incidence of relights limits the maintenance problem by significantly limiting cake build up. I think we likely see examples of this with recent new smokers that have learned that they can smoke a bowl on one light-up. And often the next question they ask is how does one produce cake? LOL!
Last edited by Rusty on Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by durangopipe » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:51 pm

This comment will not contribute much in the way of understanding the chemistry of cake, but it might add a bit of, if nothing else, perspective.

I've read pipe smoking books and dozens of articles along with countless posts on pipe smoking forums. No doubt, there is science behind cake building and there are most certainly facts pertaining to how and why it forms. But most of what we read and hear is anecdotal and uncontrolled.

This is why Rusty's actual experiment with the repeated 1/3 bowls is interesting, and noteworthy.

But the literature is full of confusion and contradiction regarding the science and unbelievably contradictory regarding advice. I won't repeat it. Most here have already read or heard most of it.

What I've gleaned from all of this and my own experience is that, generally, it is risky to smoke a pipe in a way that allows it to get extremely hot. Other than that, if you aren't in a hurry, if you just smoke your pipe and gently remove ash and dottle when done and run a few pipe cleaners through the airway, it will eventually develop a nice cake with no harm done.

I smoke a new pipe the same as an old one.
I fill it, and smoke it.

If I unthinkingly puff too aggressively and the pipe gets hot my hand reminds me to slow down.

If cake forms unevenly, as it sometimes does, gentle use of a good reamer will even it out. I use a Senior reamer periodically.
I'm not good enough to do that with a pipe knife. Some are.

No need to hurry.
Smoke our pipes.
Smoke tobacco we enjoy.
Try not to let our pipes get too hot.

Cake happens.

I'm fascinated by this discussion, enjoying it, and eager to learn more about the science, but as far as breaking in a pipe goes that has been my approach for some time, and it works for me.

My vice, well one of them, is that I am a stem and bowl polisher.
This is a fault I cannot seem to cure.

But my tobacco chambers all seem to be healthy.
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hugodrax
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by hugodrax » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:10 am

Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:57 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm
Rusty wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:33 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Chatted briefly recently with a former U.S.A. sales manager for James Upshall Pipes and he recommended latakia blends for breaking in a new pipe, because, he said, they burn cooler.
Do they indeed? Seems to me the combustion point would be the same.

Like you, I use PA to break them in. Mostly because it's tasty and burns relatively quickly. More bowls in less time equals faster cake.

I prefer telling this to you, Goose. That Rusty fellow, I don't know abut him anymore
It's that Rusty fellow again. I think we actually burn mixtures hotter than Virginias & possibly Burley mixes too. For 15 years I was a latakia mixture smoker and I was frustrated with many Virginias because, by habit, I burned them hotter. Mixtures deliver more flavour with a slightly hotter burn.
Ok. You might be right. I burn everything pretty hot--I like a good mouthful of smoke. The guys that keep it barely lit swear they taste more nuances. Can't tell you which is right, only what I like.

I have a question, though. You say that pipes cake on the light and I can get that. That's where it's incinerated into cherry-red burning tobacco-magma. Why do my pipes cake, however? I'm a bellows smoker and only relight maybe once or twice. Ok, so that's the bulge a third of the way down. Why does it cake where I'm not lighting?
Do you ever get a spontaneous flame without a lighter? If you can get it hot enough then you probably can produce cake without flame.
I've played with this quite a bit and the only place I ever see cake is where I'm lighting/relighting it. And the cake has a distribution on the side of the chamber based upon where I light usually. That's the interesting evidence and of course you can simplify it so it's easily recognizable in an experiment. Lighting or relighting likely produces temps of 700-1000 C and the ember flares with a butane lighter flame. And it probably results in better combustion at that time & place. Normally we don't get full combustion and that is flavour. My Doctor actually tried to talk me into burning it as hot as I could. He saw two benefits: 1) It's not pleasant so you'll quit easier (he believes everyone wants to quit), and 2) With hotter burn there is more complete combustion, less carbon monoxide and many other carcinogenic products of partial burn, far less flavour too. Over many bowls that's lighting the whole depth of the chamber with some depths getting more lights than others. I go to the bottom with just ash remaining. So the cake isn't even unless I reduce it. For example at the top of the bowl we always light there. And it's true the cake crawls right out of the bowl like a small tower.

So if you want even cake the best blend is one that does not stay lit so you're relighting every few minutes. I rather doubt that's a PA characteristic. And the corollary is reducing the incidence of relights limits the maintenance problem by significantly limiting cake build up. I think we likely see examples of this with recent new smokers that have learned that they can smoke a bowl on one light-up. And often the next question they ask is how does one produce cake? LOL!

No, there's certainly no flame, but I might manage to keep it lit right to the pipe wall. Doubtful, but possible.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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joegoat
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by joegoat » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:22 am

The sorcery of pipe break in. :D Ask ten men about it and get eleven answers. I like PA for pipe breaking in because it just always burns well for me. It doesn't have any overpowering ghosts to be locked into the cake. It's easy to pack right. Most importantly it tastes good while I'm smoking it.
My cakes tend to form thickest at about a third of the way down the bowl. The heel forms last. The rest forms equally. I use a Zippo pipe lighter for relights.
I once saw a pipe maker who did something, I think he called it "carbonising." It appeared that he just charred the inside of the bowl.
Does Dr. Grabow do something similar? I was under the impression they put theirs on a "smoking machine" of sorts and burned tobacco in them.

Found it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDAgaz5VLGE
"A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth." - C.S. Lewis

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7formy1911
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by 7formy1911 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:05 pm

joegoat wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:22 am
The sorcery of pipe break in. :D Ask ten men about it and get eleven answers. I like PA for pipe breaking in because it just always burns well for me. It doesn't have any overpowering ghosts to be locked into the cake. It's easy to pack right. Most importantly it tastes good while I'm smoking it.
My cakes tend to form thickest at about a third of the way down the bowl. The heel forms last. The rest forms equally. I use a Zippo pipe lighter for relights.
I once saw a pipe maker who did something, I think he called it "carbonising." It appeared that he just charred the inside of the bowl.
Does Dr. Grabow do something similar? I was under the impression they put theirs on a "smoking machine" of sorts and burned tobacco in them.

Found it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDAgaz5VLGE
That’s one way to do it! I would think it’s the equivalent of a couple dozen bowls... but I’ve never had a carbonized pipe before.
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Hovannes
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Re: Pipe Cake

Post by Hovannes » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:24 pm

The best luck I've with building cake came from a 1970's edition of Esquire Magazine's What Every Young Man Should Know in the chapter entitled Young Man Smoke A Pipe
Essentially it's the Frank protocol with a thin smear of honey to start the ball rolling, and smoking a rough cut Burley to enhance the process---I found Prince Albert fills the bill. Or fills the bowl 2/3rds.

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