Isn't that cool? This light bulb moments where you gain suddenly clarity. You figure it out in a way that makes perfect sense. I'm glad you got it. Even more glad you were rewarded with a good smoke.
On the subject of loose stems. If vulcanite, you can hold it over a cool flame like a lighter rolling it around and it will return to its original size. Vulcanite has memory. Also works rather well with bite indentations. Just don’t heat it to where it melts; be judicious. I’ve heard of a method where you run a wet q-tip around the inside of the shank and let it dry overnight. I haven’t tried that one though.I will go years in removing the stems from some pipes. With regular cleaning habits, and the occasional deep cleaning with ’pipe sweetener’, there is very little need to constantly keep removing the stem. The only exceptions are filter and system pipes. You really don’t need to remove the stem from a pipe very often.
Removing a stem too often will eventually loosen the joint. And that you don’t want. And never, ever, remove the stem on a warm pipe. That is a sure way to wind up with a loose joint right away.
For a slightly sloppy joint, beeswax is the traditional cure. Conversely, for the tight joint, a mark or two of graphite from a pencil will help provide a little dry lubrication going forward. Neither will harm the pipe, or its taste, in the least.
I have a long Savinelli that cools the smoke so much it lures me into puffing harder. I was surprised how much a couple of inches would affect the temperature so much.For gurgly tobaccos, I drop two or three Denicote filter crystals in the bottom of the bowl. They do help, and reduce the amount of dottle too. I always have a box here. I've read that churchwardens can also have a habit of luring you into puffing harder, which won't help matters with taste or smoking residue. There might be a bit of a learning curve to get the best from it.
Sometimes you'll have smokes like that. I really like Presbyterian as a go to mild English.Ran some Presbyterian through my Zulu Dog . . . I think I am going to need some time with this. I liked it . . . but if you asked me why, I am not sure I could point to anything specific. Strange . . . I mean, it just smoked really nicely, did not heat the bowl at all, took a couple of relights . . . but there was nothing that really made me go "yowza". It is a bit breezy here today, so that puts a damper on aroma (it certainly noses nicely enough).
I know where you're coming from. I felt exactly the same way at first. I've now got a rough appreciation of what I like, and what I don't - enough so I can read a write up or sales line on a blend, and think I might like this, or probably won't like that. That understanding only came this year, and from smoking samples, as I stuck to a "safe" range of tobacco in my previous pipe smoking.I will get to that point, but I am still doing the whole "subtleties" thing, to determine just "which" ones I really like and why. I liken it to anything else, whether it's booze, or foods . . . you have to understand what you like, before you can just ignore the reasons why and buy it.
It was one of his eccentrics.I find myself wondering if I am just going to settle on a short list of codger blends, and augment with the occasional "flavour of the month". I was rereading my Holmes anthology for the umpteenth time, and there was a passage that describes him reaching into a slipper to refill his pipe, and I was left to wonder, "a slipper?" Were there no tins in the Victorian era?
If you stay away from strongly aromatic tobaccos and Latakia blends you won’t need to dedicate your pipes. Perhaps just having separate pipes for those exceptions. When you try a new blend, stick with it exclusively for at least a week before going to another. It takes some time to understand a blend enough to get a comparison to another. I believe it is better to concentrate on the simplest blends in the beginning to develop your palate as well.This coming week I plan to start working through blends that have failed to impress. I am also going to start smoking with an eye towards dedicating particular blends to specific pipes.