What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Ageing without hoarding

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Moderator Emeritus
Yep pipe tobacco nowdays is an investment, especially if you know you will be smoking what you buy. With all the money I saved buying the tobacco today I can buy more pipes. It’s like getting them done free!
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Yep pipe tobacco nowdays is an investment, especially if you know you will be smoking what you buy. With all the money I saved buying the tobacco today I can buy more pipes. It’s like getting them done free!
I've reached (and indeed passed) the point where the investment is starting to feel like a liability too. That said, I feel very differently about buying tobacco for the front of the queue, than the back of the queue.

By this, I mean that buying the pouched tobaccos that arrived today, didn't feel like excess shopping at all, because they'll be smoked in the coming months, rather than having to wait several years to get any enjoyment from them. If I'd have bought the same quantity tinned, and just dumped them in with everything else, it would have felt like more baggage.

Same nett result, but the perspective feels MUCH better.

So while I don't plan on stocking/ageing more, I don't mind slowing down how quickly I draw from that stock, by picking up a few tobaccos to smoke fresh, while ever they are available and affordable. Even if the price goes up with a bang, I'll probably feel quite happy occasionally treating myself to something for the here and now, in and amongst smoking the cheaper aged stock. That way, I get the reward of every new purchase far sooner... if that makes sense.

For me, that's the bottom line. It's no fun till I smoke it, and I don't like spending money on something I can't enjoy in the near future. While I feel vindicated for my shopping thus far, I already have a long wait before I get the enjoyment it all owes me, and I don't want to keep buying things I can't enjoy.

Pipes are similar, in that the more I own, the longer the wait between uses, and therefore I won't feel like I'm getting my money's worth. There's one more pipe I'd like, but haven't seen it yet. A stable sitting, curved Dublin/Zulu/Horn, where I have clear line of sight to the bowl to light it. I'm in no rush, as I'm still very much enjoying the stuff I got last year. I may end up having to get a custom further down the line, but for now, I'm happy to sit back and wait.

The nearest I've seen so far is this...

24778__big.jpg

It doesn't totally match what I have in mind, but it's the nearest example to what I have in my mind's eye, that I've found so far.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Well, I buy bulk in quantities simply to amass pipe weed suitable to my simple tastes. The future has become quite uncertain and I want to have certainly that I have plenty of stash should worse come to worse. Average but plentiful beats the hell out of scarcity or nothing.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Well, I buy bulk in quantities simply to amass pipe weed suitable to my simple tastes. The future has become quite uncertain and I want to have certainly that I have plenty of stash should worse come to worse. Average but plentiful beats the hell out of scarcity or nothing.
I can understand that. I don't want to be endlessly shopping purely out of fear of that though, with no clear definition of how much is enough. I have a tin of everything I want to try, and will be trying it all with some age on it. I haven't yet decided what I want to do thereafter.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
One more "payday" left before tax rise day, and I'm left wondering if I should try to squeeze in something else, or just call it a day. My 5 year rather snail paced (circa 25g per month) smoking plan is all comfortably sorted with a modest buffer, and I already have one of everything on my "must try" list. That means anything I add now won't be smoked for years, and would frankly be verging on gluttony. The only discernible benefit would be price now vs price later, assuming I don't turn my toes up before I've had chance to enjoy it.

I have no intention to start hoarding jars, so loose favourites or stuff that comes pouched, are all ruled out (they're what I'll buy to smoke fresh, as and when I feel like it). So short of doubling up on stuff I already have a tin of, it only really leaves light to medium English blends (I do have some, but didn't make them a priority), or blends I've already tried, and wasn't totally enamoured with when they were fresh.

I did consider ageing a tin of Squadron Leader and Skiff Mixture. I can happily smoke both of those fresh, but it would be interesting to see if/how they change with time. There were also a couple of blends that didn't seem "ready" somehow, like Bothy Flake and Kendal Cream, which were nothing particularly exctiting, but may be much improved once the Virginia element wakes up somewhat.

On the flip side... I've got plenty. I'm neither a collector, nor of the apocalyptic mindset. If I bought and smoked as much per year fresh, as what I pull out of the drawer, my humble stash might last me a decade at the rate I smoke :lol: Yeah, I'll save a few quid, and some stuff might not be produced in five years time, but the cash not spent could go towards other stuff that I can enjoy much sooner. Two tins not bought, is a meal out with friends/family, or a train ticket to the coast, and I only need to wait till the Covid fiasco settles down to enjoy those. :D

I think ultimately, that's the trade off. Pay for something to enjoy now, or pay for something to enjoy later, and as a cellar grows, that "later" gets further and further away...

Ha! I've just talked myself out of it, but I know that in a day or two the temptation will arise again. I think it's these dark cold days, and not having the certainty to be able to book a summer break, or plan some other thing to look forward to, that makes me just want to grab hold of "something" to lift the spirits a bit.

I might just order a takeaway instead 🤣
 
That is the dilemma, isn't it? I wish I could help, except for this. You're still on the hunt for a sitting zulu, correct? Some of that quid that could go to tempting tobacco blends might instead go towards splurging/ treating yourself/ to the rare perfect pipe should it show itself.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
That is the dilemma, isn't it? I wish I could help, except for this. You're still on the hunt for a sitting zulu, correct? Some of that quid that could go to tempting tobacco blends might instead go towards splurging/ treating yourself/ to the rare perfect pipe should it show itself.
Quite right! I think that may need to be a custom. There's too many specifics I want on that, which aren't clearly illustrated or specified in sales descriptions online. However, it's also considerably more money.

The other option, is sit and wait, which is of course what I have been doing, while fighting the temptation to buy more tins that I don't need. Back where we started :001_tongu What I really need to do, is shift the thinking away from "shopping therapy" altogether, as the joy that brings, typically lasts for as long as it takes to open a cardboard box :lol:

In the smoking itself, I seem to be rather content. Ample amount of tobacco, and I haven't stumbled upon anything I don't like for quite a while, which shows promise for my purchasing decisions already made. Likewise with pipes, I'm perfectly happy with the bulk of them. Slight annoyance with a couple of airways, but I think using a length of old guitar string as a bendy file might help there.

The Bermuda Bulldog has a nasty habit of collecting lint off the pipe cleaners somewhere in the stem, and restricting the flow. If cleaning an empty pipe, I just need to blow down the stem to clear it, but that doesn't help me if dipping a cleaner to sop up some moisture mid bowl. The Falcon can do that too, but if I pack the pipe before blowing out any fluffy obstruction, I can just pop the bowl off for a moment. I don't need to dip that one mid smoke, due to the filter in the humidome.

The other restriction, is the Mr Brog Puella, whose stem seems to be closing up the more I smoke it, and pipe cleaners are getting harder to pass. Even the extra slim ones.

Considering the costs of those pipes, the niggles are rather minor and trivial.

I've still got the North Eye on getting a Nording Compass too, but UK sellers are showing a lack of stock at the moment. Probably Covid related delays. I'm also tempted to up the Falcon "lego" options at some point in the future, and there's a good chance that would come before any custom builds. I haven't taken the plunge on either yet, simply due to how many other fun pipes I already have. Again, it would be shopping for the sake of it.
 
FWIW: I've a Nording Compass that is a very good smoking pipe. I especially enjoy it while working in the yard or shed; it is robust and light at the same time. It is also easy to clean. The bowl is no overly large but it smokes to the bottom quite well. You just might enjoy it!
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
FWIW: I've a Nording Compass that is a very good smoking pipe. I especially enjoy it while working in the yard or shed; it is robust and light at the same time. It is also easy to clean. The bowl is no overly large but it smokes to the bottom quite well. You just might enjoy it!
I'm sure I would. Seems like the right size for a lot of my smokes (currently using Pony Express or Mizzou cobs)
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Halfway through February, and still smoking the samples from last year. With around 100g of the samples left, and another 250g or so of pouched tobacco unopened, the chances of me opening any tins this year are pretty slim. The temptation to buy any more before the expected tax hike in three weeks, has also fizzled out. I'm not short of other things to direct my limited funds towards ;)

This month, the funds have gone on freezer stocking. I placed a couple of decent sized orders with an online butcher and online fishmonger, which stocks me up for about 120 meals. 3kg of Manx Kippers (oak smoked herring), 5kg of tilapia fillets, 3kg of beef, 7kg of chicken, and another couple of kilos of other meat and fish. The next "pay day" will be directed towards some replacement kitchenalia and other houseware. All stuff I won't have to wait several more years to get enjoyment/benefit from.

In other pipe news, I had an interesting time wrestling with the Mr Brog Chocla earlier today, while trying to get a bowl of GH Balkan Mixture fired up. The draw seemed very restricted, and I couldn't figure out why. The stem seemed clear, and the stummel seemed clear, but together, it required too effort to draw.

Eventually I figured out that the 9mm reducer that I'd put in the stem in place of a filter, projected out of the stem far enough to butt up to the bottom of the mortice, partially blocking the draught hole. I simply removed the adapter, and it everything freed up. I'm not sure now whether to shorten the adapter, go back to filters, or just smoke it with the open void.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Halfway through February, and still smoking the samples from last year. With around 100g of the samples left, and another 250g or so of pouched tobacco unopened, the chances of me opening any tins this year are pretty slim. The temptation to buy any more before the expected tax hike in three weeks, has also fizzled out. I'm not short of other things to direct my limited funds towards ;)

This month, the funds have gone on freezer stocking. I placed a couple of decent sized orders with an online butcher and online fishmonger, which stocks me up for about 120 meals. 3kg of Manx Kippers (oak smoked herring), 5kg of tilapia fillets, 3kg of beef, 7kg of chicken, and another couple of kilos of other meat and fish. The next "pay day" will be directed towards some replacement kitchenalia and other houseware. All stuff I won't have to wait several more years to get enjoyment/benefit from.

In other pipe news, I had an interesting time wrestling with the Mr Brog Chocla earlier today, while trying to get a bowl of GH Balkan Mixture fired up. The draw seemed very restricted, and I couldn't figure out why. The stem seemed clear, and the stummel seemed clear, but together, it required too effort to draw.

Eventually I figured out that the 9mm reducer that I'd put in the stem in place of a filter, projected out of the stem far enough to butt up to the bottom of the mortice, partially blocking the draught hole. I simply removed the adapter, and it everything freed up. I'm not sure now whether to shorten the adapter, go back to filters, or just smoke it with the open void.
I thought you said you didn’t like kippers.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I thought you said you didn’t like kippers.
I haven't had them for years, and for some reason got the urge to revisit them. I'm fully aware that buying a box full might be a BIG mistake. I'll probably be using them for kedgeree and other similar dishes, rather than just eating them on their own. If it's still a big mistake, I have an old friend who'll gladly take them off my hands.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I haven't had them for years, and for some reason got the urge to revisit them. I'm fully aware that buying a box full might be a BIG mistake. I'll probably be using them for kedgeree and other similar dishes, rather than just eating them on their own. If it's still a big mistake, I have an old friend who'll gladly take them off my hands.
I have them with eggs at breakfast. Get them by the 18 pack I believe. A traditional breakfast in Virginia is fried salted (brined) herring with breakfast. Have never found salt herring anywhere else though - 😞. Perhaps you could get a two gallon jar, fill it with brine, toss in fresh herring and start something new in England and they would love you for it and remember you forever. Just a thought. 😊
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I have them with eggs at breakfast. Get them by the 18 pack I believe. A traditional breakfast in Virginia is fried salted (brined) herring with breakfast. Have never found salt herring anywhere else though - 😞. Perhaps you could get a two gallon jar, fill it with brine, toss in fresh herring and start something new in England and they would love you for it and remember you forever. Just a thought. 😊
That sounds.... awful :lol: I hardly eat any salt though. I like food to taste of food. :biggrin1: I think the drum of salt in my kitchen was bought around seven years ago, and there's still about 1/4 left. 🤣 I've probably used it more for de-icing the back step than I have for cooking. :001_tongu
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I do enjoy the occasional VaBur, but I'm glad tobaccos over here tend to be Virginia based, and not Burley based.

I had a bowl of Germain's Rich Dark flake a couple of days ago, and am tucking into a small bowl of Original Flake (formerly Ogdens Walnut Flake) right now. Both take the Burley content as far as I like to go. Irish Flake is another that's right on the limit for me. They're also tobaccos where one bowl is enough. The next bowl I smoke, even if it's a couple of days later, has to be lighter.

I think in part, it may be because my meds have knocked drink on the head, so I can't enjoy it with a nice glass of whisky. I'm also smoking it in the house, and not in the garden next to an open fire. Still, a heavy Burley blend could probably overwhelm those situations too. I couldn't get much beyond the first few mouthfuls of a bowl of Old Dark Fired. That got dumped pretty damn quick.

It's a Huck Finn cob I'm smoking right now, which only holds about half a flake. A flake which has been sat in the drawer here for the better part of a year. There's a good chance I won't finish this bowl tonight, as even now, I'm setting the bowl aside quite often to give the taste buds a breather. Don't get me wrong, I am very much enjoying this pipe right now, but it's not something I could smoke day in, day out.

There's just another half flake (another Huck Finn/Pony Express/Mizzou bowlful of this sample left. I don't think I'll be rushing to buy more. I do have a tin of Rich Dark Flake stashed away for future, plus a tin of Peterson’s Irish Flake, and Rattray's Stirling Flake for when I get the urge for something more robust. I think the lighter "everyday smoke" tobaccos are what I'll be spending most of my time with though. Thankfully, 3/4 of my humble stash is plain Virginia, VaPers, and light aromatics (either University Flake or not Rum Flake type, or Lakelands).
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I wasn't getting along that well with Radfords Mixture, and so decided to mix it with what's left of my Germain's Royal Jersey Cavendish and Virginia. The result is very nice indeed. There was probably somewhere in the region of 25g of the Germain's, and maybe 1/4 that of the Radfords. Now there's just a hint of aromatic, in a very nice all day smoke.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
It seems my humble stash might last me even longer than I thought.

Inspired by @brandaves and @steveclarkus talking about gravity filling occasionally, I decided to give it a try. Didn't work for me. However, packing loading smaller pinches, and just pushing each down lightly to gently nestle on the pinch before, has been working very well indeed. Somewhere inbetween gravity loading and what I was doing before.

The bowl doesn't last quite as long, and I do need to tamp ash more frequently, but I seem to be using a lot less tobacco. Maybe half to two-thirds of what I was using before, per bowl. I packed loaded a bowl of GH Broken Scotch Cake in a Pony Express cob earlier this evening, and probably only used about a gram of tobacco. That's 50 smokes per <2oz tin!

Not lasting as long, and therefore not necessarily having half a bowl left for later when I've had enough, I may end up loading a few more bowls a week. That said, I still think each pouch/tin might last even longer than it was doing before. This year's project is likely going to be finding best practice to stop my tobacco drying out before I've finished a tin/pouch. 30 to 50 smokes per factory container (subject to bowl size), with five blends open, at my low rate of consumption, is a loooong time from the first smoke to the last.
 
It seems my humble stash might last me even longer than I thought.

Inspired by @brandaves and @steveclarkus talking about gravity filling occasionally, I decided to give it a try. Didn't work for me. However, packing loading smaller pinches, and just pushing each down lightly to gently nestle on the pinch before, has been working very well indeed. Somewhere inbetween gravity loading and what I was doing before.

The bowl doesn't last quite as long, and I do need to tamp ash more frequently, but I seem to be using a lot less tobacco. Maybe half to two-thirds of what I was using before, per bowl. I packed loaded a bowl of GH Broken Scotch Cake in a Pony Express cob earlier this evening, and probably only used about a gram of tobacco. That's 50 smokes per <2oz tin!

Not lasting as long, and therefore not necessarily having half a bowl left for later when I've had enough, I may end up loading a few more bowls a week. That said, I still think each pouch/tin might last even longer than it was doing before. This year's project is likely going to be finding best practice to stop my tobacco drying out before I've finished a tin/pouch. 30 to 50 smokes per factory container (subject to bowl size), with five blends open, at my low rate of consumption, is a loooong time from the first smoke to the last.
Short of jarring them, one basic way to keep them fresher longer once that vacuum breaks is putting the open tins in ziplock bags. And especially where the tin is non-circular, a couple sheets of saran wrap between can and lid will often create an additional seal. If you are going further out than 6-8 months on an open container, then depending on ambients, a mason jar might be needed.

The good news is most pipe tobacco is packed too wet to begin with. Tins especially. Some of my best smokes have been with stuff that I thought had dried out to the point of becoming a fire hazard.

Unless it’s a heavily topped aromatic, I wouldn’t overthink it.

The other good news is dryer blends tend to smoke a little cooler. That is almost always a plus. Loading a little lighter will definitely help with something that is burning too hot for you. Packing a bowl is an acquired habit. The Internet and some kids with videos have given it an unwarranted gestalt in recent years. There’s no ritual or science to it whatsoever. Know what you’re smoking and what you’re smoking it in, and it eventually becomes automatic. Half the time, my mind is elsewhere when I do it. If it seems hard to start, finger-mill a little ‘kindling’ on top. If it takes three matches, you won’t go to pipe purgatory.

Happy puffs to you!
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Short of jarring them, one basic way to keep them fresher longer once that vacuum breaks is putting the open tins in ziplock bags. And especially where the tin is non-circular, a couple sheets of saran wrap between can and lid will often create an additional seal. If you are going further out than 6-8 months on an open container, then depending on ambients, a mason jar might be needed.

The good news is most pipe tobacco is packed too wet to begin with. Tins especially. Some of my best smokes have been with stuff that I thought had dried out to the point of becoming a fire hazard.

Unless it’s a heavily topped aromatic, I wouldn’t overthink it.

The other good news is dryer blends tend to smoke a little cooler. That is almost always a plus. Loading a little lighter will definitely help with something that is burning too hot for you. Packing a bowl is an acquired habit. The Internet and some kids with videos have given it an unwarranted gestalt in recent years. There’s no ritual or science to it whatsoever. Know what you’re smoking and what you’re smoking it in, and it eventually becomes automatic. Half the time, my mind is elsewhere when I do it. If it seems hard to start, finger-mill a little ‘kindling’ on top. If it takes three matches, you won’t go to pipe purgatory.

Happy puffs to you!
Don't get me wrong, everything was working perfectly fine before, but now everything (so far) seems to be working slightly better, and more economically too.

One thing I'm planning on doing, is cramming half(ish) of the freshly opened pouch/tin into a screw top 120ml (4 US fl/oz) jar, to preserve the second half with minimal air exposure. I'll certainly be looking into little ziploc bags for my little 1oz tins I smoke from. I'm not sure what saran wrap is, but I'll look into that too. Thanks for the input

Edit: Ahhh, OK. Saran wrap is what we call clingfilm. That little trick makes a lot of sense. Thanks again :thumbup1:
 
Top Bottom