Wow! I just had an incredible AHA! moment
I was packing my pipes too tight!
Now I've seen the videos on Youtube and heard the advice. But somehow I got the idea you are supposed to mound up the tobacco with each fill -- squash the first one half way, mound up, squash 3/4 of the way, mound up tamp to even with top.
Too tight! Today, I filled loose--full, but loose and LEVEL, tamp to 1/2, fill loose to LEVEL, tamp to 3/4, fill to JUST over level, tamp just below rim. What a difference! The pipe is cooler, the smoke is easier and drier, the tongue is much happier, the taste is better. Did not even know I was screwing it up!
Hope this helps other noobs!
Noble Knight of The Veg Table
Proud member of Brotherhood Of The Open Comb!