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Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

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  #1  
Old October 14th, 2009, 02:10 PM
TC81190
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Question Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

I just bought my own hookah about a week ago, and I like it, but I've noticed a few things about that are different from the ones I usually smoke at my local hookah bar.

For one, to take a drag from mine seems to be a lot more laboring and generally kind of harder than the other ones I'm used to smoking. It really takes a lot more effort, and it offers the same amount of smoke, if even a little less. I don't know if this is because my hose is much wider through-out, compared to the smaller, narrower hoses from the bar.

The other thing I noticed is that the smoke is a lot drier and more sparse than the smoke from the lounge hookahs. At first I attributed this to the really crappy coals the guy from the smoke shop gave me, and the fact that I was smoking some cheaper tobacco (Hookah-Hookah, it's no good.) But I bought some better coals and Starbuzz, and while it is a little better, it's still pretty "dry" and the clouds aren't as thick I don't think. I would say the smoke from the other hookahs I've used before was almost like a mist, and it had a lot more flavor.

So is there anything I might be doing wrong? I've tried changing the amount of tobacco I pack the bowl with and other things, but is there anything else I might need to know?

EDIT:
I found this image in a post at the top of the board
http://digitalroundabout.net/hp/Sticky/MZ.jpg
My hookah looks almost identical to the green one, I think, at the very least, the vase is identical.

Last edited by TC81190; October 14th, 2009 at 02:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old October 14th, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

First of all, the link you posted is for a Magdy Zidan. Is that the same brand you purchased, or was it a generic, Chinese-made Egyptian knock-off? Second, have you checked for leaks? When I first got my MZ and smoked from it the first time the pull was really weird and I wasn't getting much smoke. When I went to purge I noticed a ton of smoke was escaping between the bottom of the chamber and the top of the base. I posted about it here and was told with the heavy rubber grommets you should always dampen them first. It makes them easier to insert all the way down onto the base and form a perfect seal.

You also may be having trouble with heat management, base water level, bowl packing or any combination of those. Don't forget, the folks at the hookah lounge set up hookahs day in and day out. They could probably do it blindfolded. When you get your own and it's all on you to figure everything out sometimes it takes trial and error. I had quite a few wasted sessions because of incorrect bowl packing or heat management and I really had to experiment with how high the water should be in my base. I found approximately 1" above the opening of the downstem works perfect for me. Good pull, good smoke and good flavor.

Also make sure you aren't packing your shisha too tightly and not poking enough holes in your foil. I've done that with Nakhla before and it makes the draw extremely tight. Just watch some of the how-to videos around here. Every type of tobacco requires different ratios of heat/bowl packing. Eventually you have that "ah ha!" moment where it clicks.

ETA: The best way to know for certain you have an authentic MZ is if the tray has the globe logo stamped into it and if you pull back the top of the rubber base grommet it says "MAGDY ZIDAN" along the top.

Last edited by HippieMama; October 14th, 2009 at 03:24 PM.
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  #3  
Old October 14th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

air leaks or you set up. look at some reviews on youtube (there are some really good ones)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

My friends hookah had the same problem you are explaining. It was really a task to pull from and kinda even made your jaw sore lol.

Anyways we hooked up my namor hose and that made it a little easier so maybe try using a wider gauge hose like a razan, km, or namor.

Also look at how to set up a hookah like mentioned above on you tube. The internet is your friend and thats how i learned everything i know (besideds trail and error)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 03:45 PM
opticalshadow
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

If you truly bought an MZ your doin something wrong.

a wider hose should give you a bigger cloud of smoke and easier draw, as said above water base level may be off, heat mag could acount for harshness as could packing the bowl wrong. packing the bowl to tight can also give a much harder pull depending on bowl type.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

Quote:
Originally Posted by opticalshadow View Post
If you truly bought an MZ your doin something wrong.

a wider hose should give you a bigger cloud of smoke and easier draw, as said above water base level may be off, heat mag could acount for harshness as could packing the bowl wrong. packing the bowl to tight can also give a much harder pull depending on bowl type.
Yeah i have found packing the bowl to be very critical. Good point =)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Egyptian hookah a little hard to smoke...

A lot of what I'd say has already been mentioned. Check for leaks, and check that you aren't packing the bowls too tight because it'll restrict your airflow more than anything. If you're smoking Starbuzz, I'm also wondering what type of bowl you're using since Starbuzz is a wetter tobacco, the draw of the hookah will suck a lot of glycerin down the downstem. Since the glycerin is what provides the sought after "thick clouds" if this is getting pulled down into the downstem it isn't being smoked which might make the clouds sparser. Also since the glycerin releases the vapor when heated, it might also explain the "dryer" smoke. Hope this helps.
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