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Pipe 101


How to Break in Your New Pipe:

  • Begin by wetting your pipe bowl with a mixture of water and honey.
  • Fill your bowl with either a full or partial load of tobacco.
  • We at recommend a full load of tobacco. This will eliminate the possibility of scorching the inside of the new bowl with a lighter or match.
  • Important – smoke the tobacco all the way to the bottom.
  • Tamp and relight as often as necessary.
  • If your pipe gets too hot, let it rest awhile. Tamp the ash and relight.
  • You can test if the pipe is too hot by placing it against your cheek – be careful.
  • A carbon cake in the heel (bottom) of your pipe is the desired goal.
  • The carbon cake will act like a grate in a fireplace to improve the draft and insure complete combustion.

Common Pipe Problem – Tongue Bite:

  • Tongue Bite is caused by one or more of the following issues:
    • Improper cake, or no cake in the heel, causes a briar pipe to “smoke hot”.  Hot smoke causes tongue bite.
    • A poor-quality, uncured varnished and/or painted pipe. A poor filter system will trap bitter fluids in the shank of the pipe.
    • The tobacco is too tightly packed in the heel. This leaves no air pockets for good combustion.
    • Low quality, commercially packaged tobaccos containing preservatives and other artificial ingredients. Artificial flavoring agents congeal in your pipe, leaving a damp mass in the heel.
    • Not tamping evenly or often enough.
    • Smoking or puffing your pipe too fast. Cigarette smokers tend to smoke quickly when initially switching to a pipe.