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Help with Vortex setup

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  #1  
Old March 9th, 2010, 02:19 AM
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Default Help with Vortex setup

Based on all the hype around the Vortex bowls I went and ordered myself one. It arrived on Friday so I was rather excited to test it out over the weekend.

I had 2 trial-and-error sessions and I must say I'm rather unimpressed with it at the moment.

I smoked some HF half-baked and Nakhla DA and used similar packing methods for both i.e. packed the tobacco lightly up to the same level as the holes with a very light tap down and made sure that there was no tobacco blocking the holes (Am I underpacking?). Used HD foil with 2 x 1/4 pieces of exotica coals and a wind cover. Without a wind cover I'd have to use 3 coals as the heat just wasn't enough. I poked 3 rings of small holes; one on the outer edge, one in the center around the spire and one in between the outer and center rings.

I've watched a few Hookahpro vids on how to set it up and as far as I can see I'm doing everything right but I don't seem to be getting that smoothness and flavor overdose that everyone is raving about.

This bowl takes a bit longer to get going (compared to an Egyptian anyway) but I managed to get okay-ish clouds from it but the smoke seemed a bit strong and I was getting A LOT of throat tickle which almost never happens when I use my Egyptian bowl.

Any help would be appreciated because I'm beginning to think that maybe I was expecting too much from this thing.

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old March 9th, 2010, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

I usually do a pretty dense pack with nakhla (more intense flavor and bigger clouds), where I sprinkle the shish above the rim just slightly and then press it down where the holes in the spire are barely visible, same with HH and HF, just a little less tobacco and a looser pack, don't worry about packing over the holes, it won't hinder your session, just don't pack above the rim and you'll be fine.
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  #3  
Old March 9th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

Thanks for the advice SonOfGram. Will I definitely notice a difference if I pack this way?
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  #4  
Old March 9th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

You will more than likely notice the difference. Also when packing hh/hf I poke alot more holes in the foil using either a needle or a thumb tack, for whatever reason I get more flavor out of it and the shisha doesn't burn out as fast.
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  #5  
Old March 9th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

SOG isnt wrong but the great thing about a hookah is there are many ways to skin a cat per se. First i would suggest checking the holes themselves, sometimes the glaze drips and can block the airways, provided that isnt the case my method is as follows. I like to mix it up really well and sprinkle it in all the way to the top of the spire maybe an 1/8 of an inch from the tippy top. Then using anything around, for me its either a fork or a Popsicle stick(great during sessions) I scrap down the spires all around until the air holes are completely exposed. Once you have done this you will end up with a dense pack and the shisha will be low in the middle and high on the outside, think of a race track. Foil it up, as many holes as you see fit and you should get everything you desire from your vortex, let me know how it goes
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  #6  
Old March 9th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

Going along with the topic here, I used to pack my vortex bowl very similar to SOG, with a touch of BuzzHookah's method. I would just sprinkle my tobacco into the bowl after being mixed well, push it down just a bit and make it so I could see the holes somewhat (my vortex had the holes notoriously low on the spire). Then I'd foil it up, poke my holes with a safety pin, with no pattern being particularly dominant, and throw three 1/4 chunks of exoticas on it. I would move my exoticas quite a bit, and eventually decrease it to 2 1/4 chunks. I'm sorry to hear that you aren't experiencing any difference between your vortex and an egyptian. Hopefully, you will find the packing method that works best for you and get everything set.
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  #7  
Old March 10th, 2010, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

Thanks for the tips guys. I'll try the packing methods as suggested and report back.
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  #8  
Old March 17th, 2010, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

Okay, quick report back. I've been experimenting with a combination of the packing methods as suggested and the improvement has been huge! My sessions are getting better and better so it seems as though packing method is critical with this bowl.

Huge thanks for the help guys!

Last edited by HiToKiRi; March 17th, 2010 at 05:35 AM.
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  #9  
Old March 17th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Help with Vortex setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiToKiRi View Post
Okay, quick report back. I've been experimenting with a combination of the packing methods as suggested and the improvement has been huge! My sessions are getting better and better so it seems as though packing method is critical with this bowl.

Huge thanks for the help guys!
Packing is critical with every bowl. It'll take some time to get your methods down right, but it'll be well worth it. Nakhla is amazing but will take some time to get used to packing in a vortex because its an unwashed tobacco. Good luck!
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