Experiments in Home Pressing

It probably ranks as one of the most enjoyable smokes of my life, but it started with primitive origins as many good things do. Some pipe-smokers noted that you could use a pasta press to make cake presses of your favorite tobaccos, so one was acquired and testing commenced.

Early results were not promising. In particular, most advice involved using Virginias and topping them heavily, which simply produces massive amounts of dark liquid oozing from the press and a low-nicotine, mild but almost flavorless puck.

Throwing caution and commonsense to the wind, your correspond dumped a bunch of Sutliff TS-12 Dark Fired Cured and some Cornell & Diehl Virginia Flake into a press in alternating pours, then packed the stuff away for a week.

What emerged will not make the cover of Pipes Magazine, or really any publication except one dedicated to objects without promise. Two ounces of prime pipe tobacco became a densely compacted plug of dark, oily vegetable matter.

However, initial inspection heartened the smoker somewhat. The dense smell of fermentation and a lack of ammonia smells suggested that the pressing had indeed smashed the little tobacco cells, letting loose their internal components and keeping the delicious nicotine.

Nothing to do at that point but fire it up. After a few slices with the trusty kitchen Buck knife, a cake even denser than the commercial variety appeared, and it packed nicely into the pipe, leaving room for the inevitable heat expansion and moisture (which we want to waft away anyway).

First light brought the almost liquor-like flavor of the dark fired Kentucky Burley and not much else, but after the char flickered out and was lightly gravity tamped, the second light brought a full flavor with the sweetness of the Virginias buoying the intensity of the smoke-cured Burley.

At this point, the heap of tobacco settled in, as it tends to do, and fell into a even smolder. Its unhurried progress moved at a glacial pace, throwing off plenty of molasses-sweet smoke, and it burned down into what all smokers desire, the fine light grey ash of a complete burn.

The flavor might not be enough in nuance for many smokers, but it worked for this one, since the mixture followed the “UK Plug” formula of light Virginias mixed with a beefy blast of Burley. It has enough internal variation to remain interesting especially if smoked without puffing, huffing, and sucking.

For now, it seems a great way to use some of the tobaccos that have piled up around here over the years. If you throw in enough dark fired Kentucky Burley, it hits the far-right of the strength scale. The smooth burning and mild flavor without bite are fairly compelling.

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21 thoughts on “Experiments in Home Pressing”

  1. Clyde Hedrick says:

    This stuff is about as metal as painting peanut butter on your dinky winky so the dog licks it off.

    1. AllThePrettySheep says:

      If you’re clever enough you can give just about any personal fetish a metallic spin. Metal’s very catholic like that.

      1. Adolf Hitlerbergsteinwitzthal says:

        Catholicism is just religious goyslop. Suck down the theological Jew turds, cattle.

        1. All religion is sugared poo. “Death is real, it scares us, here have some nonsense to baffle your mind so you don’t think about it.” Heroin is more honest.

          1. Beyond normalcy says:

            Death should be the last thing to fear. There are way scarier things… out… there…

            1. I doubt it, to be honest. The best among us fear failure and disgrace more than death, but all the mumbo-jumbo hocus-pocus about demons and hellfire strikes me as neurotic middle eastern imaginings.

          2. Doug says:

            Religion is a 24/7 buddy to hang out with that ostensibly can also use magic powers to get us out of a jam. Now we have smartphones.

            1. In the long calculus, it seems to me that religion made a wrong step by being dualistic. When the material world provides more immediate feedback, like with science and politics, the question of religion becomes mostly moot, and it has.

      2. Shitposting Account Licensed by Canadian Government says:

        Definitely intoxicants and books are not related to metal. Only pure metal!!! oh wait it all sucks lately, golly gee what to do 23 skiddoo. Fuck off Boomer.

        1. What the fuck does this even mean?

          1. Cynical says:

            I believe he is accusing you of using these articles to fill space since no good metal to write about has been released recently.

            1. He has a point. Lots of “B- if you like this sort of thing” reviews of late.

      3. Tech paraphernalia and other form of drug consumption says:

        WEED (hehehe, dude! *cough*) metal has been a “thing” for a long time, so why not add another flavor to the mix? Drug fetishism however seems like a very low-class activity from my experience, even if consumed rectally.

        1. Most drug users are wiggers.

    2. That you even think about such things makes me think you need imprisionment for life.

      1. Ancient Hellenic Traditions says:

        Zoophilia is trad and awwwwright. No need to kinkshame.

        1. Zoophilia = having sex with animals? While I admit to perking up every time I see a comely sheep, I can’t imagine making this into an identity. Don’t these people have hobbies? We need a war.

          1. Christs flock impaled on satans prick says:

            Sodomizing goats isn’t a hobby?

            1. No, it’s more like something that happens when you are walking home drunk from the pub and pass Farmer McGillicuddy’s goat pen. Personally I always liked the sheep better, since their furry little vaginas are closest to the human version, but the real drunks always go for the pigs.

  2. Nobody says:

    Though I don’t smoke piped tobacco at all, I enjoy these reviews, or whatever you wanna calle ’em, immensely.

    It’s sort of a throwback to the oldschool DLA-reviewing style, just substituting the metal with the nicotine and flavourings.

    You’re a fabolous writer Brett, and way underrated when it comes to extreme metal being valued and examined as a real artform. You were the first – and best – to do it, and yet nobody gives you credit for it.

    1. Thank you for reading. One must find inspiration where one can. I keep going through the old school canon in my private listening now that I got a more functional sound set-up, and it is wonderful to journey through the catacombs of possibility that death metal and black metal provide. Grindcore too, but mostly Blood, Terrorizer, and Repulsion, although Napalm Death is the ultimate kick back for beer and weed music for me.

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