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· Pacific Puffer
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447 Posts
I have never really "broken in" a pipe. I have never had a brand new one, but the ones I have had were all estates that were professionally cleaned. I just put them in my rotation and start smoking. If I notice that it has no cake I will load the bowl a bit smaller. I personally don't see a need to really break them in. All of that might change though if I ever get an expensive newer pipe.
 

· Registered
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301 Posts
Watch! I found this very informative and i've notice the rule burning to the bottom doesn't really create a good cake. Usually,m whenever i smoke to the bottom it tastes bitter, cruddy, and unsatisfying. Why would i undergo that suffering? Just smoke and don't worry. Avoid windy days though...

 

· he that puffeth
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2,744 Posts
Watch! I found this very informative and i've notice the rule burning to the bottom doesn't really create a good cake. Usually,m whenever i smoke to the bottom it tastes bitter, cruddy, and unsatisfying. Why would i undergo that suffering? Just smoke and don't worry. Avoid windy days though...
Burning to the bottom is more about protecting the heel than caking it down there. When a pipe is new and with unknown smokability, there is a chance that it generates excessive moisture. If you don't smoke it down all the way, the heel (the lowest point of your bowl) may collect that moisture amidst the dottle, and it may permeate the young briar and eventually soak through it or make it rancid smelling. Hence the advice to break in a new briar with 1/3 then 2/3 etc, this is to ensure you burn all the way down, keeping things dry and also start the caking process without risking a burnout. The advice is aimed more toward noobies, who may not recognize burnout or soggy heel symptoms - and could lose their new pipe.
 

· Registered
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673 Posts
Burning to the bottom is more about protecting the heel than caking it down there. When a pipe is new and with unknown smokability, there is a chance that it generates excessive moisture. If you don't smoke it down all the way, the heel (the lowest point of your bowl) may collect that moisture amidst the dottle, and it may permeate the young briar and eventually soak through it or make it rancid smelling. Hence the advice to break in a new briar with 1/3 then 2/3 etc, this is to ensure you burn all the way down, keeping things dry and also start the caking process without risking a burnout. The advice is aimed more toward noobies, who may not recognize burnout or soggy heel symptoms - and could lose their new pipe.
I'll confess I am confused here as well. If the dottle starts tasting terrible I dump it out, cheefing my way through unpleasant smoke smacks more of work than relaxation.

If I am drying a briar out normally in a rotation should I have to worry about this "soggy heel" syndrome? I thought resting pipes eliminated moisture and sour pipe issues.

It also seems like I am more likely to get a burn out smoking wet dottle at molten temperatures then just dumping it out.

Am I the only one who dumps wet dottle 95% of the time I smoke? Not that it's going to make me start smoking that nastiness, lol, but "If it tastes bad dump it" seemed so obvious to me I had been doing it months before I ever saw this type of thread.
 

· Sot-weed Bohemian
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8,944 Posts
Burning to the bottom is more about protecting the heel than caking it down there. When a pipe is new and with unknown smokability, there is a chance that it generates excessive moisture. If you don't smoke it down all the way, the heel (the lowest point of your bowl) may collect that moisture amidst the dottle, and it may permeate the young briar and eventually soak through it or make it rancid smelling. Hence the advice to break in a new briar with 1/3 then 2/3 etc, this is to ensure you burn all the way down, keeping things dry and also start the caking process without risking a burnout. The advice is aimed more toward noobies, who may not recognize burnout or soggy heel symptoms - and could lose their new pipe.
+1 and I'd say that situation persists. Smoking the tobacco to the bottom keeps a wet heel from developing and the resultant sour pipe from ever developing. Basically, if you can't smoke all the tobacco in the pipe, you've either got a pipe with a bad drill, you're packing it poorly or you need to work on your technique.
 

· he that puffeth
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2,744 Posts
I'll confess I am confused here as well. If the dottle starts tasting terrible I dump it out, cheefing my way through unpleasant smoke smacks more of work than relaxation.

If I am drying a briar out normally in a rotation should I have to worry about this "soggy heel" syndrome? I thought resting pipes eliminated moisture and sour pipe issues.

It also seems like I am more likely to get a burn out smoking wet dottle at molten temperatures then just dumping it out.

Am I the only one who dumps wet dottle 95% of the time I smoke? Not that it's going to make me start smoking that nastiness, lol, but "If it tastes bad dump it" seemed so obvious to me I had been doing it months before I ever saw this type of thread.
A wet dottle indicates a problem - either pipe construction error or operator error (bad/loose/tight fill, drawing too hard/soft). When I first started - wet, soggy messes were the norm - and the pipes were good handmades. I'd only get about 3/4 of the bowl before it would literally put the fire out from all the water. As filling improved, sipping improved, pipe burn time and smoke quality improved. Now - I smoke down to the bottom, relights are rare (except for deliberate inattention), ain't no dottle, ain't (much) moisture. Again - the "break in rules" are for noobs to prevent soggy or molten accidents. Starting with less tobacco means less moisture, and more chance of burning to the heel in a dry(er) fashion.

I haven't broken a pipe in for a couple of years now - but if I did, even now, I would still do 1/3 2/3 3/3 just out of habit and to "feel" out the new briar.
 

· Sot-weed Bohemian
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8,944 Posts
I haven't broken a pipe in for a couple of years now - but if I did, even now, I would still do 1/3 2/3 3/3 just out of habit and to "feel" out the new briar.
Or you could use the Mark Twain method: "I always hire a cheap man--a man who doesn't amount to much, anyhow--who would be as well--or better--dead, and let him break in the pipe for me. I get him to smoke the pipe for a couple of weeks, then put in a new stem, and continue operations as long as the pipe holds together."
 

· he that puffeth
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2,744 Posts
Or you could use the Mark Twain method: "I always hire a cheap man--a man who doesn't amount to much, anyhow--who would be as well--or better--dead, and let him break in the pipe for me. I get him to smoke the pipe for a couple of weeks, then put in a new stem, and continue operations as long as the pipe holds together."
Hah - there's always that method! :laugh:
 
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