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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya guys,

I gotten a new briar, but I'm not sure what is the best tobacco to use to break it in.

I have a Stanwell Majestic Billiard and it already has a carbon coating in it, but does this mean that I still have to form some sort of cake in it?

I guess I would like this pipe to be a non-aromatic, is Carter Hall or Prince Albert good enough? And what if I do want it to become aromatic, would it be ok to turn a non-aromatic pipe to an aromatic? I understand that ghosting occurs (if I understand the term correctly). These are available to me now: Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Silkroad (Japanese), Lane 1-Q, and Stanwell Melange.

Thanks everyone, I was thinking of getting some more tobaccos, right before the tax, however, my pet needs surgery so I have to hold out for a long while because the dollar bills will be rolling out of my hands...
 

· Obscured By Clouds
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607 Posts
I believe you have a very nice pipe there Sir. Grats :)

The cake will form no matter what. It takes a little time.

Many pipes I see come "pre-carboned" these days. I think it may help a little in providing a bit of microscopicly rough surface area for your real cake to form. No rush.. Cake will form.

I would humbly suggest that if you start to favor a pipe as being aromatic or non-aromatic goto, Just keep it that way... "Ghosts" dont last long in a new pipe like yours.

My new Peterson Aran gifted to me by my mother was filled with her favorite and requested "cherry" syrup baccy.. She bought me a pound , assuming I would enjoy the stuff.
Its not bad, But it is not for me as part of my usual selections.

It retained a slight Cherry scent for 2 or 3 bowls.. But I never tasted Cherry in it after the the first and only bowl of the stuff I smoked in it.

I smoked several bowls of 1792, Stonehaven and other non-aros in it, and all the cherry was gone.

I think some of the more experienced "Old" guys here may offer some good advice here too. But you may need to wait until they get off there rockers, unplug their heating blankets and plug in there PC's..

LOL

Enjoy the new pipe :)

You will undoubtedly have several more to worry about in due time as to what you are going to smoke in which..

You have already started the slide.

Peace Bro..
( I hope your Pet gets well soon and please except mywishes for a rapid recovery for him or her )

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for the advice, and thanks for the condolences. I hope the little guy heals well oh yeah it's a ferret named Ziggurat.

I think today may be a beautiful day to break in the pipe and it is IPSD! Now I'll have to figure out how to clean it for the first time, which I do have an idea because cleaning corn cobs are much different...
 

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That's your choice; the main thing is to smoke it down to the bottom as that's where people struggle to build cake. The whole partial bowl thing is just a way to concentrate on the bottom of the bowl, and if you don't smoke it all the way down, it's pointless.
 

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That stanwell is a nice piece of wood. Do yourself a favor and do NOT break it in with an aromatic (carter hall IS an aromatic).

You'd be better of breaking it in with a good virginia, or VA/Burley. Once you get a nice cake buildup, you can smoke anything you want and not have to worry about ghosting your pipe forever. On the other hand, if you don't mind the pipe having a permanent undertone, then put whatever suits you in it.

Hiya guys,

I gotten a new briar, but I'm not sure what is the best tobacco to use to break it in.

I have a Stanwell Majestic Billiard and it already has a carbon coating in it, but does this mean that I still have to form some sort of cake in it?

I guess I would like this pipe to be a non-aromatic, is Carter Hall or Prince Albert good enough? And what if I do want it to become aromatic, would it be ok to turn a non-aromatic pipe to an aromatic? I understand that ghosting occurs (if I understand the term correctly). These are available to me now: Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Silkroad (Japanese), Lane 1-Q, and Stanwell Melange.

Thanks everyone, I was thinking of getting some more tobaccos, right before the tax, however, my pet needs surgery so I have to hold out for a long while because the dollar bills will be rolling out of my hands...
 

· he that puffeth
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2,744 Posts
Oh I forgot to ask, if I have the carbon coating already, should I smoke it full bowl or do the half bowl couple times, then work my way up to form some cake?
Cake is a thing that will form. No matter what you do, to try to do, to not do, you'll eventually get a cake, eventually. However, cake tends to form TOP DOWN. The top of the bowl will start to cake up first and the result is often a cake along to the top half and nothing on the bottom (or heel). The heel is the problem, it is where moisture tends to collect. Without a cake to wick away this moisture, you get gurgles and burbles. And worse, eventually the briar down in the heel will start to soak up this moisture, we call that a "wet heel". This turns the heel into a mushy spongy mess. Bad.

Ergo, we try to ensure that the heel gets a good burn when the pipe is new, this prevents moisture from collecting from the get-go, and allows the cake to "catch" in those nether regions. On the other hand, one must be careful to not OVER HEAT the heel during this crucial time or you may burn through the briar there. The carbon coating some pipes have is supposed to help prevent such burnouts, and supposedly provides a foothold for the cake to catch.

The 1/3 2/3 full recommendation for breaking in a new briar is based on these points. As the first few bowls in a new pipe will result in excessive moisture being generated (no cake, unseasoned wood), only loading a third of the bowl ensures that the heel remains drier and a shorter smoke means less heat. As the heel breaks in, 2/3 bowls continue this gradual break in upward. Every pipe is unique, as is every smoking style. Some guys break in new pipes with full bowls from day one - as long as they don't overheat or overwet the pipe, it'll work too. But for a noobie, I'd say play it safe with the 1/3 2/3 9/9 method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for giving me tips. So far, I think cake is starting to build. I've been shaking ashes around and I guess that's what will turn into cake, right? I hope I've been doing it well, though there are some remnants of tobacco leaves left behind, so I couldn't turn EVERYTHING into ash. However, it was pretty dry at the bottom. I have been using Carter Hall, and at my girlfriend's request, I will turn this pipe into an aromatic... I have no qualms about that either!

Let me ask one more question, does ghosting occur in meerschaum pipes? I'm getting one from Turkey very soon.
 

· he that puffeth
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2,744 Posts
Thanks everyone for giving me tips. So far, I think cake is starting to build. I've been shaking ashes around and I guess that's what will turn into cake, right? I hope I've been doing it well, though there are some remnants of tobacco leaves left behind, so I couldn't turn EVERYTHING into ash. However, it was pretty dry at the bottom. I have been using Carter Hall, and at my girlfriend's request, I will turn this pipe into an aromatic... I have no qualms about that either!

Let me ask one more question, does ghosting occur in meerschaum pipes? I'm getting one from Turkey very soon.
Meers do not ghost, nor do they need breaking or rest periods. Just handle gently, they are more fragile than briar.

Try to avoid leaving baccy bits in the bowl, for one thing it will smell bad, and it may get embedded into the forming cake and could ignite at a later time, causing a burnout (possibly).

I'm not sure what "cake" really comes from, I doubt its the ash - although I too swirl ashes around (its fun too). Since it is carbon, I'm guessing the tars and moisture adhere to the bowl, and get cooked leaving behind a micro layer of carbon. Repeatedly, till it becomes a cake.
 

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As far as I can tell, actual cake is formed by the condensation of the smoke in the pipe against the walls of the pipe. It's sticky, so yeah, the ash will add to it and increase it's mass, but ash isn't the component of the cake that actually forms the protective barrier. Keep in mind that this is speculation on my part, and based more upon experiences with "cake" in certain other pipes smoked in my twenties with non-tobacco vegetative matter which generally are scraped clean (and the resulting cake itself smoked in lean times rather than preserved for protection). If you catch my meaning...
 
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