Jequan_sparxxx

To purge, or not to purge: that is the question

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Good day! I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

I did a lot of searching around the site and could not find a dedicated thread to the below questions so I wanted to invite the conversation around the topic of purging while smoking cigars.

In case anyone does not know, based on my understanding, purging refers to the act of blowing through your cigar for a brief period of time. It is said to remove any impurities or bad flavours the cigar may have picked up while lighting or smoking.

I was talking to a friend the other day and he mentioned that purging is very important to the cigar smoking process and that he does it after lighting as well as a few times while smoking the cigar but more specifically when ashing. 

So far, I've tried it a few times and I find it does make a pretty big difference when compared to not doing it. However, based on very limited knowledge, I also feel like the cigar does not evolve the same way it does when you do not purge.

The question is present to every one is.... do you or do you not purge? If so - why, when and how often? If you do not, how come? 

As I am still relatively new to cigar smoking, I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions on the topic if you care to share!

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     *When I finish properly lighting my cigar I blow through it - once. And I only do it because a LOOOONNNG time ago I'd read that it was a proper or good thing to do, I guess to blow off any "impurities"(?) I haven't come across any experts lately referring to that practice. But I just do it out of habit now. I suppose it really might not matter. But just like you I'd also like to get some other opinions and input on this too.

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I purge after each ash falls...it was actually part of the enjoyable part of smoking tatuaje broadleaf cigars years ago...the purge produced a great aroma...anyway i still do it now while smoking mostly CC...i dont know that it does anything tangible to the smoking experience...more of just habit at this point

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As far as I can see, purging is very similar to taking a strong draw: it puts more air through the cigar and more oxygen over the burning ember, so it increases the burn. I do ‘purge’ sometimes if I think the cigar is not burning enough. It seems less ‘invasive’ than touching up with a lighter.

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Someone with more experience, please correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe the primary idea behind purging relates to the smoke which lingers in the cigar after puffing. Since smoke is drawn from the ember through the length of unsmoked tobacco, when one stops drawing, the cigar itself is still filled with smoke. Presumably the smoke which passes through the unsmoked tobacco, and deposits particles along the way, contributes greatly to changes in flavor from beginning to end. So that seems consistent with your experience @Jequan_sparxxx. I think the idea is that: if the development tends toward harshness, presumably purging could arrest or slow the process. 

I used to purge a lot, particularly when smoking young CC’s. Like once after every set of two or three puffs, to attempt to stave of harshness. Unfortunately, I found that purging can also have an undesirable consequence. Since you are presumably increasing the airflow through the cherry over just puffing, the cherry tends to heat up with frequent purging... which, you guessed it, can also lead to harshness.

 

I still purge occasionally, but much more sparingly. Say never on some cigars, and 5-7 times on cigars that are getting unpleasant. I think it does make sense after lighting, both to even the burn and to blow off any excess lighter fluid or match particles which may have entered the cigar. I feel like this is likely less of consequence if one lights with a torch and does not puff during lighting, but that’s just an assumption.

Just my thoughts. Great topic btw, I’ll be very interested to hear other’s thoughts.

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I purge when the cigar gets bitter or I have to relight. From what I understand, there is tar buildup at the foot as the cigar burns. Purging burns off the tar and other impurities.

When I purge a cigar, the first thing I will do is knock off any excess ash. Then I will relight. Once the cigar is lit (or if it never went out) I hold the flame up to the foot while blowing gently into the cigar. This creates a flame at the foot. I keep blowing gently until the flame turns clear or goes out. 

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One other thing I’ve learned over time. If you take a single long draw rather than puffing a couple of times when you take a puff the cigar seems to not require purging as much. 

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I find cigars that have not been aged adequately to require it more often than those that have had what I consider sufficient time based on the blend.  I almost never have to purge a 2-year-old Partagas Short but I absolutely will find myself purging a 2-year-old RyJPC.

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I usually only purge if I have to relight or if I’m getting taste of ammonia. Generally less frequent puffs and lighter draw intensity help keep harshness/bitterness at bay.


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i purge occasionally as needed to keep a cigar lit. my thought is that pulling hot air/smoke through the length of the cigar is what causes them to heat up, which causes bitterness. if i have a cigar which is having a tough time staying lit, for whatever reason, i'll purge in an effort to "stoke" the burn without adding harshness. seems to work well for that.

i have no opinion on actual harshness removal. seems like whatever is in the unburnt leaves is gonna stay there. blowing through to blow anything out does not make much sense to me. just an opinion though.

-dobbs

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I mainly do it on younger cigars in the last third if getting ammonia. It helps get rid of the ammonia taste for a little while. 

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Like some others I mostly purge to try and get a poorly burning or going out cigar to relight rather than relight with a lighter or match. As an aside, it’s amazing how much smoke remains in the cigar (a function of size certainly) after one draws on it. I will often purge before a relight and I am often surprised at how much smoke comes out even though the cigar has essentially gone out. 

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Interesting experiences and opinions! So far, it makes a lot of sense when it comes to the initial lighting or relighting of a cigar. That, i totally understand! 

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Purge when you’re going to put it down or let it go out. That’s all.

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I forgot about purging. Just tried it with a perfectly average ryj Cazadores I’m trying to rip through. Took out all the nicotine harshness. 10/10 would purge again.  

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As others have noted, I too find it helpful in certain circumstances, particularly where a cigar is turning harsh or having trouble staying lit.  

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I purge quite a bit during the smoke, it's just a habit I have I suppose. 

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Any time I light or relight.  I have been doing it forever, so it is a habit.  Whether it works or not, I don't know for sure.  The first inhale after a purge does taste cleaner to me.  But I haven’t ruled out the possibility that this is psychological.

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It's amazing how this has become almost an instinctive habit for so many people.

For me, the more experiment with it, I feel like it does make a difference to the smoking session and is worth continuing especially after lighting, ashing as well as before and after relighting. 

I am really enjoying hearing everyone's opinions on this topic! Hopefully, we can get some more!

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I purge thru my smoke. I'm a talker for those that haven't been around me. I find myself doing quick short purges while I chat to ensure my stick doesn't lose any steam. 

Plus I'm with Elliot above. I'll purge and then do a nice pull and it's just satisfyingly better than not. It is what it is until it ain't. Purge away!

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I generally toast the cigar when lighting, then purge before putting the flame back to the stick for one last time.

I haven't really gotten in the habit of purging throughout the smoke as you all seem to do but I will give it a try the next time.

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