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What the hell is up with my hookah?

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  #1  
Old April 11th, 2009, 02:55 PM
tempest
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Default What the hell is up with my hookah?

Help me figure this out guys.

I currently have a KM Coppertone something (one of these http://www.**********.com/product.sc?categoryId=8&productId=142

I use Exotica Coals from hookah-shisha.com; 2 per smoke, each coal being a quarter of the bar. These are placed on opposite ends of my bowl.

Setup: I typically open my little bucket of shisha, give it a good stir to get the tobacco moist and then sprinkle it into the bowl to ensure that it isn't too tightly packed. I make sure that the shisha doesn't go over the edge of the bowl. Then cover it up with foil (shiny side down), poke in a bunch of holes and fire up the coals.

Now here's my problem. As of late, I've noticed that the shisha isn't nearly as flavorful as I remember it. I smoke Al Fakher Mint and Double Apple and Starbuzz Vanilla, White Peach and X on the Beach. These are very tasty flavors; plenty of people on here that can vouch for that. Yet, I'm having trouble getting any flavor. I thoroughly clean out the hookah before every smoke and yet the amount of flavor I get in each session is hit or miss.

Additionally, a few minutes before my first set of coals is out, I typically start up another set and replace the coals on the hookah to continue smoking. I've noticed that, once this 2nd set of coals is on (typically broken from the same bar), I lose all hints of flavor and the smoke becomes either completely bland or, on a few occasions, a tad harsh.

I've tried everything I can think of to correct this but have had no luck. The kicker is that I've been smoking for a really long time now and this is the first time I've had any issues whatsoever.

Note: The box of Exoticas I have now is relatively new, don't remember having issues before I started using this box. Thing is, I've used Exoticas for a while now and had no such problems so I'm hesitant to place the blame on the coal. Can you guys think of anything that might be causing the issue?
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  #2  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

hrmm... try a touch less heat... do 2 1" piece of exotica. im sure you do this but: make sure the coals are completly lit.
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  #3  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

There is always a trade off with heat and flavor as wonderland stated. More heat = more clouds but less flavor and vise versa.
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  #4  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

this is gotta be one of the best new member posts ive ever read.
so much info given.

maybe your foil is sinking and burning the tobacco extra? is there tobacco on the foil when youre done?
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  #5  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

before I start smoking a bowl I let the shisha roast a bit without pulling on it. Seems to help solidify the top layer of tobacco and allows the other layers of tobacco to roast a lot better
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  #6  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

It sounds like the coals are fine.

Here are some thing I would recommend:
- Check to see if the tobacco is burning to a crisp befroe you put on the second set of coals. Starbuzz takes heat very well up until a certain point - at this point it turns on you immediately. Al Fakher can sometime tend to smoke tingly, even harsh feeling, like a some cigars.
- What kind of bowl are you using? I would recommend buying a phunnel if you do not have one. A Vortex would work too.
- Dry-pull your hose (inhale and see what it tastes like when it is not plugged intot he hookah). If it has a strong flavor that is either offensive or very strong, you need to get a new hose. Or wash it if it is washable. If it is not a Nammor/Razan/Grand hose, it's not washable.
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  #7  
Old April 11th, 2009, 03:37 PM
tempest
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Thanks for the quick responses guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderland View Post
hrmm... try a touch less heat... do 2 1" piece of exotica. im sure you do this but: make sure the coals are completly lit.
I typically use coals that are 1.25" long. Will give this a try tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolinger View Post
this is gotta be one of the best new member posts ive ever read.
so much info given.

maybe your foil is sinking and burning the tobacco extra? is there tobacco on the foil when youre done?
Thanks for the kind words. I'm quite positive the tobacco isn't burning. I know what that tastes like and that's not what I'm experiencing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisicool View Post
before I start smoking a bowl I let the shisha roast a bit without pulling on it. Seems to help solidify the top layer of tobacco and allows the other layers of tobacco to roast a lot better
I do this, typically let it set for 2-3 minutes before my first drag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenSilk View Post
It sounds like the coals are fine.

Here are some thing I would recommend:
- Check to see if the tobacco is burning to a crisp befroe you put on the second set of coals. Starbuzz takes heat very well up until a certain point - at this point it turns on you immediately. Al Fakher can sometime tend to smoke tingly, even harsh feeling, like a some cigars.
This makes some sense; I typically have massive clouds. But then again, I've had massive clouds and plenty of flavor before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenSilk View Post
- What kind of bowl are you using? I would recommend buying a phunnel if you do not have one. A Vortex would work too.
I have no clue what kind of bowl it is. I use the one that came with my hookah. It's about 2.5" across and 0.5" deep. I'll post a picture if that'll help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenSilk View Post
- Dry-pull your hose (inhale and see what it tastes like when it is not plugged intot he hookah). If it has a strong flavor that is either offensive or very strong, you need to get a new hose. Or wash it if it is washable. If it is not a Nammor/Razan/Grand hose, it's not washable.
Tried this, barely a hint of lingering flavor. I was under the impression that hoses that came with KMs were washable? I run some water through it about once a week.

I'm going to wait for a few more suggestions and then try another session. Will update with results post-smokage.

Thanks again guys.
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  #8  
Old April 11th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

KM hoses are not washable at all. They are made of very shoddy materials and some older models have leather which also should not be washed.

Generally, large clouds and flavor do coincide with tobacco like Starbuzz, AF, AW, HH, Fumari. A bit extra heat could result in a burning chemical flavor before the charcoal flavor comes on.

What I think is happening is that by not moving the coals around on your Egyptian bowl, the juices are dripping down the stem. The bowl heats up all around and the juices become less viscous throughout the tobacco, causing you to lose flavor, or just get the flavor of burning tobacco.

On egyptian bowls, I would move the 2 coals around the edge of the bowl every 5-10 minutes until they die, and then the next set should be around the center area. This will keep the tobacco from buring all in one place.

The loss of juices can not really be remedied without modification of the bowl or a new phunnel/vortex bowl.
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  #9  
Old April 11th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

if you're looking for flavor, and you're finding that juice is running down the stem, i would highly, HIGHLY recommend getting a phunnel bowl.

vortex bowls are great also, but they seem to need a lot more heat.

what brand of shisha are you using?
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  #10  
Old April 11th, 2009, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Well, just got done smoking. I smoked Starbuzz White Peach and had the same experience as the last few nights. A bare hint of flavor at the start, followed by a crappy taste w/ a 2nd set of coals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenSilk View Post
What I think is happening is that by not moving the coals around on your Egyptian bowl, the juices are dripping down the stem. The bowl heats up all around and the juices become less viscous throughout the tobacco, causing you to lose flavor, or just get the flavor of burning tobacco.
This could be the case; on occasion I've noticed that the water in the base is discolored. I think I will go ahead and order a phunnel bowl. What really confuses me is that, as I said in my original post, I've followed the same procedure for at least the last 6 months and I've only had any issues in the last 2 weeks or so. Dumb luck I guess?

Regarding the hose, a Nammor/Razan/Grand should do just fine right?
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  #11  
Old April 11th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

I've noticed that when I smoke one flavor for a long period, I tend to lose the ability to taste it. IDK why, it heppened to me when I smoked Nakhla DA for 8 months.
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  #12  
Old April 12th, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
I've noticed that when I smoke one flavor for a long period, I tend to lose the ability to taste it. IDK why, it heppened to me when I smoked Nakhla DA for 8 months.
Well I currently have 5 250g boxes that I like to rotate between :P
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  #13  
Old April 12th, 2009, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Clean the hookah good with lemon juice and try getting a new hose
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  #14  
Old April 12th, 2009, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

So you haven't changed anything with the water temperature at all? What kind of packaging do you keep the tobacco in?
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  #15  
Old April 12th, 2009, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport City View Post
Clean the hookah good with lemon juice and try getting a new hose
I'll try out the lemon juice deal, ********** should be sending me a new razan hose tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSexyPanda View Post
So you haven't changed anything with the water temperature at all? What kind of packaging do you keep the tobacco in?
I remove the shisha from the little bag it comes in and put in all in a ziplock bag, leave that in the original tin/bucket.
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  #16  
Old April 13th, 2009, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Have you tried smoking a brand new container of shisha compared to the stuff you already have?
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  #17  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

The only problem I can see is the hose. Washing a non-washable, not the best idea >.>
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  #18  
Old April 13th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

I had a similar problem around 2 months ago. Really similar actually. Everything I tried resulted in the same flavorless session. Everything. It drove me nuts to no end and unfortunately I was smoking late after work and didn't have anyone to verify my flavor. (if you can, see if it's you or the smoke... most likely it's the smoke but just to be sure)

Pick up a couple new flavors and see if that fixes it. I ended up tossing around 300g of shisha in frustration and picking up some new stuff which seemed to help. In the end a little break and new shisha seemed to fix the problem.

Everything you're doing sounds perfect. Give it time and fool around with bowls, shisha, charcoal, and setup. Good luck!
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  #19  
Old April 13th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Well, I've been having similar problems with this too. I'll take all of the suggestions into account. I would REALLY love a vortex bowl for my Sheecool, but unfortunately, I'm on hookah probation. :-( Sad. If anyone feels bad for me, I would love one! :-) plz? Anyway, I agree with these suggestions, I mean smoking the same flavor will burn you out on it. I'm doing Blue Mist right now and i gotta switch to some AF or Nak for a while before it's epic flavor comes back.
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  #20  
Old April 13th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tempest View Post
Help me figure this out guys.

I currently have a KM Coppertone something (one of these http://www.**********.com/product.sc?categoryId=8&productId=142

I use Exotica Coals from hookah-shisha.com; 2 per smoke, each coal being a quarter of the bar. These are placed on opposite ends of my bowl.

Setup: I typically open my little bucket of shisha, give it a good stir to get the tobacco moist and then sprinkle it into the bowl to ensure that it isn't too tightly packed. I make sure that the shisha doesn't go over the edge of the bowl. Then cover it up with foil (shiny side down), poke in a bunch of holes and fire up the coals.

Now here's my problem. As of late, I've noticed that the shisha isn't nearly as flavorful as I remember it. I smoke Al Fakher Mint and Double Apple and Starbuzz Vanilla, White Peach and X on the Beach. These are very tasty flavors; plenty of people on here that can vouch for that. Yet, I'm having trouble getting any flavor. I thoroughly clean out the hookah before every smoke and yet the amount of flavor I get in each session is hit or miss.

Additionally, a few minutes before my first set of coals is out, I typically start up another set and replace the coals on the hookah to continue smoking. I've noticed that, once this 2nd set of coals is on (typically broken from the same bar), I lose all hints of flavor and the smoke becomes either completely bland or, on a few occasions, a tad harsh.

I've tried everything I can think of to correct this but have had no luck. The kicker is that I've been smoking for a really long time now and this is the first time I've had any issues whatsoever.

Note: The box of Exoticas I have now is relatively new, don't remember having issues before I started using this box. Thing is, I've used Exoticas for a while now and had no such problems so I'm hesitant to place the blame on the coal. Can you guys think of anything that might be causing the issue?
as to the taste it could be that the tobacco is losing the flavor from not being as sealed or it could be that your hookah needs to be cleaned.

as to the recoal issue, the bowl is already warm so the over all heat is higher, leads to the issues you are having. i honestly dont do more than 1 round of coals unless i use my phunnel or i am smoking starbuzz because i use less heat on the SB and it doesnt dry out as fast

-matt
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  #21  
Old April 13th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

It could also be the bowl; not just in the sense that you need a new one. As bowls get used more, black gunk tends to accumulate inside around the rim. This can muddle the flavors.

There are two ways to get rid of the gunk. One way is to fill a *** with water and your bowl, and set it to boil. The boiling water will loosen it up enough to get rid of it.

The second way is to take a piece of very fine steel wool or sandpaper and just scrub out the gunk. Both ways work well. Try this before buying a new bowl, and see if that clears up your problem. As you've had good luck with this bowl for a while, it doesn't sound like you quite need a funnel bowl—though it's an excellent purchase regardless.
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  #22  
Old April 13th, 2009, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: What the hell is up with my hookah?

^^ i prefer the scotchbrite scrubby side of sponges to clean it out, works really well. same idea though

-matt
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