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Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

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  #1  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Default Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Ok so I know I am all about asking questions here and officially I won't get my own hookah till Christmas and until then I am only renting on occasion but I am trying to understand as much as I can.

First I see you guys a lot of times using 1, 2, 3, and sometimes 4 coals, how do you decide how many and when? Does it depend on the size of the bowl, the tobacco, the coals or something else entirely?

I can see how ice would be nice and cool the smoke even more than a hookah already does but do you always use it, rarely use it, or occasionally use it? So far at the place we go they never put ice in the base and we have been pleased with it. Does it even feel like smoking if you put ice in there. Seems like cold smoke would be weird.

We usually get about 1.5 hours out of the hookah at this place but I think my bowl is considerably larger than these. Does that mean we will have much longer smokes? Will I need to set it up differently?
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  #2  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
mr2guy
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
Ok so I know I am all about asking questions here and officially I won't get my own hookah till Christmas and until then I am only renting on occasion but I am trying to understand as much as I can.

First I see you guys a lot of times using 1, 2, 3, and sometimes 4 coals, how do you decide how many and when? Does it depend on the size of the bowl, the tobacco, the coals or something else entirely?

I can see how ice would be nice and cool the smoke even more than a hookah already does but do you always use it, rarely use it, or occasionally use it? So far at the place we go they never put ice in the base and we have been pleased with it. Does it even feel like smoking if you put ice in there. Seems like cold smoke would be weird.

We usually get about 1.5 hours out of the hookah at this place but I think my bowl is considerably larger than these. Does that mean we will have much longer smokes? Will I need to set it up differently?
Hey man, knowledge is power


Coal use depends on the types of coals you use, the shisha, and the size of the bowl... i don't have alot of experience so i can't tell you what coals give off more heat, but wetter shisha will take more heat, and you will need more heat in order to heat up a larger bowl.

I almost always use ice. The colder the smoke, the more i enjoy it. There is a point though when the smoke can become to cold and you just get a cold feeling (like smoking a mint flavor shisha) and no flavor. The only time that happened to me was when it was in the low 40's (fahrenheit) outside and the hookah had been out for about 4 hours.

I think the only reason hookah bars don't use ice is because that is just another thing to set up and takes time. It might also be due to the condensation on the vase that would mess up tables or something....
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  #3  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Hi man!

Well, I'm a brazilian smoker and I have the following comments to you:

1) As far as the coal is concerned, it really depends on the size of the bowl, quantity of the tobacco, etcs.... By the time you get your own sisha, you will understand how it works fine and the amount of coal you will have to use.... Each hookah demands an unique set up!

2) ICE and cold water: Yes, it makes a big difference.... As I said, I live in Brazil and its quite hot here most of the times.... So, by getting a cold smoke provided by the iced water the taste of the smoke and flavour gets better .... not if I could make yo understand but lets say that its better to put cold smoke inside... ok?? And it seems to me that the smoke is more condensed, stronger too...

3) I always try to find the largest bowl I can find... For me its a fact: The larger and deeper the bowl is, the more your hookah will last in good taste.... Of course that would depend on you making the right things... not using too much coal, etc... But yes, theres a huge difference from a bigger bowl and deeper.... you can put more tobacco and wont let it burn very soon...

Hope it helps!!!!!

Cheeers!!!!!

Victor Motta
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  #4  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Use enough coal to get great flavor, I never use ice in the base, and if you're smoking by yourself, get a standard Egyptian clay bowl. Big bowls are a waste of tobacco and coal IMO. Oh yeah get a wind cover too.
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  #5  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Cool. I was going to ask about wind covers. I have been seeing you guys talk about they are used for heat control. How does that work? We don't have the wind covers at the place I go so I don't really know how to use them. you know for anything other than blocking wind.
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  #6  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

OH and I haven't seen it just a picture but my understanding is the head is huge. I have been thinking about a Vortex just because I like the look and it sounds cool. I mean having the holes higher up and all that. Seems to make sense to me.
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  #7  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by victormotta View Post
Hi man!

Well, I'm a brazilian smoker and I have the following comments to you:

1) As far as the coal is concerned, it really depends on the size of the bowl, quantity of the tobacco, etcs.... By the time you get your own sisha, you will understand how it works fine and the amount of coal you will have to use.... Each hookah demands an unique set up!

2) ICE and cold water: Yes, it makes a big difference.... As I said, I live in Brazil and its quite hot here most of the times.... So, by getting a cold smoke provided by the iced water the taste of the smoke and flavour gets better .... not if I could make yo understand but lets say that its better to put cold smoke inside... ok?? And it seems to me that the smoke is more condensed, stronger too...

3) I always try to find the largest bowl I can find... For me its a fact: The larger and deeper the bowl is, the more your hookah will last in good taste.... Of course that would depend on you making the right things... not using too much coal, etc... But yes, theres a huge difference from a bigger bowl and deeper.... you can put more tobacco and wont let it burn very soon...

Hope it helps!!!!!

Cheeers!!!!!

Victor Motta

I wondered about the condensed smoke. I may have to try it at least a few times anyway.
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  #8  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

The Vortex is a great bowl!

Windcovers will help you to be able to use less coals inside, and concentrate heat down around the bowl.
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  #9  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
First I see you guys a lot of times using 1, 2, 3, and sometimes 4 coals, how do you decide how many and when? Does it depend on the size of the bowl, the tobacco, the coals or something else entirely?
To me it depends on the size of the bowl. If I'm smoking out of a Medium phunnel bowl, i'll probably use 3 pieces of coal evenly spaced. If I'm using like a standard egyptian bowl I'll usually just use 2 pieces of coal on opposite sides of the bowl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
I can see how ice would be nice and cool the smoke even more than a hookah already does but do you always use it, rarely use it, or occasionally use it? So far at the place we go they never put ice in the base and we have been pleased with it. Does it even feel like smoking if you put ice in there. Seems like cold smoke would be weird.
I occasionally use it when I load a bowl of mint and I really want it to feel cool. Honestly I don't think it does much. It still feels like smoking but I guess the smoke cools down a little. Now if you really want a minty experience, add like a shot of Listerine in the vase. Minty!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
We usually get about 1.5 hours out of the hookah at this place but I think my bowl is considerably larger than these. Does that mean we will have much longer smokes? Will I need to set it up differently?
Yeah you most likely will be able to smoke for a while longer. I don't ever really have to set it up different. Just better heat management and keep dropping more coals on the bowl until its dead.
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  #10  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

the main variable in the coal equation is the size of your bowl. Bigger bowl = more coals. In the end it really comes down to trial and error on this, because three coals of one brand can provide a very different level of heat than three coals of another brand.

I have tried ice in the bowl and i can't really say i hav enoticed too much of a difference, just use the coldest water your tap can provide, or keep a jug in the fridge and you should be golden.
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  #11  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

How long does it take to light natural coals, and are they generally better than QL's or is there another alternative?

Is there a certain percentage of the bowl that needs to be covered as a general rule of thumb or is it just a matter of heat and you just add until you have enough and take away when you have too many?
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  #12  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

I use ice , but first i put it in a towel and smash it : this way your water is immidiatly very cold .. (like snowish-water)

i just use 1coal(33mm) on a small bowl
and on a big bowl i use (if i have them) a 44mm coal , there bigger ...

and i use a really crappy looking screen (selfmade) , but it rocks !

is has holes all over , and a "relief" cross in the middle , to put your coal on

.

i don't have a phunnel so ... i always use 1 coal
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  #13  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
How long does it take to light natural coals, and are they generally better than QL's or is there another alternative?

Is there a certain percentage of the bowl that needs to be covered as a general rule of thumb or is it just a matter of heat and you just add until you have enough and take away when you have too many?
Man, you have now enough information that will teach you how to set up and smoke the hookah....

I suggest you to get your own sisha now and try!!!! Once, twice.... As the time comes by, you will have enough experience to decide if you should use two, three coals...remember: Each hookah is quite unique...

OKAY?

Let me know if I can help you still!

Cheers!
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  #14  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Coals, ice and other Newbie questions

Eh that is the thing till I get it (Christmas) I can't try it. I can only ask ridiculously elementary questions. LOL.
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