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Need help from the Hookah GODS

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  #1  
Old August 14th, 2009, 06:46 PM
keadan_usa
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Unhappy Need help from the Hookah GODS

I know this is a long post, but please read it and help me out, I am desperate!!!!!!!!!!

Hello All,

I have a particularly annoying problem for the past two years and it is bugging me. I love smoking hookah and frequent local hookah bars, but when I make the hookah at home, ITS AWFUL! Really bad aftertaste and almost no fruit flavor. I have read everybody's threads about troubleshooting and tried every solution in the book but I cannot make it right. So, I will share some photos of my setup and tell you how I make it and hopefully someone will give me a solution! Before I spend my life savings at hookah bars.

My setup:
(a) Syrian and Egyptian hookahs, I have both
(b) starbuzz/al fakher/nakhla shisha
(c) three kings quick light coals
(d) mya hose/syrian hoses/ egyptian hoses

Before I start, I have tried about seven different hookah and tried to eliminate the factors that could cause the bad taste, but I have never came to a solution.

Here is the gist:

1. I clean the hookahs stems and bases with lemon juice and baking soda


2. I have washable hoses and non-washable hoses. I have tried over ten different ones.

3. I use Syrian and Egyptian bowls and I have read lots about the right way to pack them. These are my pictures of how I pack the bowls:



I really clean my hookahs very well and I have tried so many different setups and still got the same bad aftertaste, so I kinda eliminated that it is the stem or base. Then I tried new hoses and different bowls, still tastes bad. And I even tried different shishas, flavors, brands...still not right. And I tried several kinds of coals, natural wood, quick light.... still not right. So, basically, I have NO CLUE what to do to make it right. I really really need help with this because it is an expensive thing if you always have to go out to smoke. I tried all the packing techniques on the forum too, below the rim, above the rim etc., and I put the coals on the edge of the bowl. I wait a really long time on the coals too and make sure they are ready and without black spots before I use them. I have wasted so much money trying to figure it out , around 500 bowls, and cannot figure this out. Im about to bang my head on the wall. I only recall one time, about two months ago, I ordered a new can of starbuzz blumist, and it tasted pretty good for about 2 sessions, then back to the bad aftertaste.

Please help. At this point, Im so desperate, two years with only 2 good sessions, that I will award somebody 250gm of shisha if they can give me a solution. Before I go, this is the description of the taste. Its like a burning taste, but the tobacco is not burned if you lift up the tin foil. So, shoot out some solutions and we will see what happens, hopefully before I go broke.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old August 14th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

It looks like you have to much tobacco in the bowl, try less and also try to get the foil as tight as you can, in the 2nd pick of the bowl it looks like it got pushed down while you were making your holes, try something sharp to make the holes, I use a sewing needle.
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  #3  
Old August 14th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Honestly it looks like you are over packing your bowls. When I first started I had much the same issue. Try using just a little less tobacco and split the coal in two placing one half on each side of the bowl.

If you look at the second picture of the bowl the foil has been pulled down either by suction or pressed down by the process of poking holes putting it right on top of the tobacco. If you use a heavy duty foil and make sure it stays nice and tight it may help.
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  #4  
Old August 14th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

1) Make sure the coals you use are 100% fully lit.
2) That bowl you showed looks a little overpacked.
3) Try splitting that QL in half and having one half on either end of that bowl, be sure to rotate.

4) Try getting a vortex bowl... it is pretty much impossible to mess up the packing on a vortex.
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  #5  
Old August 14th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

1. stir the shisha up before pack
2. place the shisha on a paper plate or piece of foil and break it up so it is nice and fluffy
3. grab very little bits of shisha and drop them into the bowl
4. one the bowl is filled with about 2-3 mm gap at top stop
5. with a tooth pick make sure all the shisha is level
6. get 2 pieces of reynolds HD foil
7. ensure foil is nice and tight.
8. poke holes with a tooth pick all the way to the bottom of bowl
9. get 2 round quick lites like you have and break them in halfs
10. place 3 halves on the edge of bowl for about 2 minutes
11. start smoking and move coals over about a inch or 2 every 10 minutes or so

also you can try mixing baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar and letting your stem soak in it. you might have to buy a rubbermade bin but i do it once a month with my pipes and it works great. make sure you fill it with hot water and let it soak for around 30 - 45 minutes

i do the same for the base but i just fill it up and let it sit on the counter. once i remover everything i hit it all with the brushes and a little vodka/water and rise it off.

i never have any ghost smells at all doing this. even when i do have a smell that normal cleaning wont take out this hass worked 100% of the time.


good luck man
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  #6  
Old August 14th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Well to me it looks like you are rocking 2 glyphs (from that pic) and possibly the steel and not brass variety.

So I must a few questions, because these guys before me have explained what to do right but I want to take the approach of what you are doing wrong.

When you are smoking, how much effort does it take to get smoke - do a relative comparison to breathing.

when you clean your stem, and run water though, do you keep brushing till color comes out? if colored water comes out please include the color.

when you clean the base do you use soap? (don't).

if everything is fine based on that, or just the pull part was off, I am gonna go ahead and put it on your tobacco choice/coal choice/packing method/holes used (airflow)/heat management.

btw, i vote against your qls.
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  #7  
Old August 14th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Great advice so far but I thought I'd throw out that the three tobaccos you're using need to be more closely monitored than say a black tobacco and also packed lower on the rim of course. It doesn't take much heat to get good clouds from any of those three.

Another thing is you should stop using Three Kings coals, I had to use some when I ran out and my sessions were absolute garbage. Tasted like chemicals and not anything like my precious shisha.
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  #8  
Old August 14th, 2009, 09:28 PM
keadan_usa
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Thanks a lot for the replies,

I wanted to mention that i tried packing the tobacco below and above the rim and still didn't work and also I checked the tobacco and wasn't burnt!!!!!

And the 2 times that my hookah tasted good i used a QL!!!!!

I already tried everything that you said.

I am going to soak my hookahs overnight with vinegar and lemon juice.

ANY MORE IDEAS??

Thanks
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  #9  
Old August 14th, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

If you must use QL coals order some CH qls. They are the best one the market.

As for packing, I too use and Egyptian bowl, Sprinkle about 10 grams into the bowl, move it around to even it up at about 1/8 inch below rim. I use a metal screen for mine with 1 coal. Even using 3kings I can still get good flavor. If it starts to taste burnt remove the coal, purge the pipe, replace the coal on the opposite side of the bowl. Change the position of the coal about every 5 minutes.

When the smoke begins to thin and the coal is about 1/4 to 1/3 original size it may be time for a wind cover. When the coal reaches the 1/4 size mark move it to the center of the bowl and place a wind cover on. Finish smoking until it tastes burnt or the smoke thins out.

When cleaning your pipe try using scotch brite pads cut into strips on a cleaning rod. Us HOT water in the bath tub, Run water through the pipe and then run the scrubber through it. after that rinse it again. If this doesn't help run a cloth with rubbing alcohol on it through the stem then Rinse WELL.


I hope this helps.
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Last edited by paulk; August 14th, 2009 at 09:43 PM.
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  #10  
Old August 14th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Explain what you are experiencing accurately. What does this "after taste" taste like? Do you smoke anything other than hookah?
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  #11  
Old August 14th, 2009, 09:51 PM
keadan_usa
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

My hookah tastes like its burnt when the tobacco isn't burnt at all.
i get a lot of smoke but its unpleasant and does not taste fruity!!!

I already tried different kinds of coal no luck either!!!!!!

Last edited by keadan_usa; August 14th, 2009 at 09:53 PM. Reason: error
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  #12  
Old August 14th, 2009, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

It sounds like the foil is touching the foil but you should still get some fruty flavor, when you pack the bowl make sure the foil is tight like a drum top, because the wieght of the coal causes the foil to sag if not tight enough... If you blow through the bottom of the bowl after you poke the holes that helps alot.

the biggest thing to keep in mind is to mix up all the tabacco before you pack the bowl otherwise your smoking dried up tabbacco which wont be as plesent at the hookah bar they are constantly mixing their tabbacco as where you only smoke once and awhile.
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  #13  
Old August 14th, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Quote:
Originally Posted by keadan_usa View Post
My hookah tastes like its burnt when the tobacco isn't burnt at all.
i get a lot of smoke but its unpleasant and does not taste fruity!!!

I already tried different kinds of coal no luck either!!!!!!

Well considering your reluctance to answer that question I am going go say that smoking things other than hookah and the proper tobacco can ruin your taste buds and it will make everything taste like ash. this would explain all of the variables but the lack of change.
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  #14  
Old August 14th, 2009, 11:42 PM
keadan_usa
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalutika View Post
Well considering your reluctance to answer that question I am going go say that smoking things other than hookah and the proper tobacco can ruin your taste buds and it will make everything taste like ash. this would explain all of the variables but the lack of change.
Honestly i let a lot of people taste my hookah and they all agree that it sucks pretty much.
Hookah is the only thing i smoke and I extremely enjoy it at my local hookah bars. So my taste buds still function right

Any other ideas
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  #15  
Old August 15th, 2009, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

In any event, replace your 3K QL's asap, I know from experience that those coals taste like nasty burning garbage.


How dirty is the bowl you're smoking out of, like how much tar is on it? I had the problem of too much buildup on my bowl from tar and it made everything taste gross.
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  #16  
Old August 15th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

boil the bowls to clean them
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  #17  
Old August 15th, 2009, 09:29 PM
intineus
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Default Re: Need help from the Hookah GODS

I was actually having this same problem a while back and it was mostly bad coals. Try using natural coals and some of that burning taste should go away. If you take your hose off of the hookah and inhale through it is there any bad taste? If you get the same bad taste from just the hose you can take an air compressor and run compressed air through the hose to try and clean it out (if you have an air compressor) or if you have a washable hose run some water through it. You could also try adding some juice to the base with the water to try and get some more flavor.
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