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I am such a hookah failure.

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  #1  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Salzalada
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Default I am such a hookah failure.

First of all, I'm from Sweden and I'm REALLY crappy at english. I hope you understand what I'm writing.

So, I bought a hookah when I was in Turkey, and I loved it!
It was a small one, about 30cm tall, and the smoke came out pretty good. But, the hookah was not heavy enough, it felt over really easy. I sold it and bought a taller, more steady one. This one is about 50cm tall, and totally awesome!

I got SUPER THICK clouds with it, and it was wonderful! Almost never got harsh or anything!
I smoked the tobacco I bought in turkey, called Kaya. It seems like a really rare tobacco, it is hard to find anything about it on google.

Well, off course the shisha ran out, and I had to buy some other. I bought El (Yes, El) Fakher from a local tobacco store, and it was crappy. REALLY crappy. It got harsh all the time, and the smoke was really thin.

So, I stopped smoking for about a month and was just reading on different forums instead.

I bought the flavors Grape, Two Apples and Mint. That's the flavors I have heard good words about.
Two Apple is from July 2007, Grape and Mint is from February 2008.

I opened all up, and smelled. Two Apple smelled like those licorice cough drop (I think that's the name in english). Not bad, but not really that good.
Mint smelled like the chewing gums that is good for your teeth, and Grape smelled like skittles, the candy you now.

So, I started with grape. It was good, but not that good. Better than El Fakher (duh), but worse than Kaya.
It was not really harsh, but it was an annoying tickle in the throat when I blew out the smoke. Really annoying, and I didn't get rid of the tickle until the last 15 minutes of the hookah.

After that I tried with Two Apple. It was hell.
It was REALLY strong flavor, and REALLY tickling my throat, but not good smoke. No matter what I did, it still tickled. I threw the bowl in the trash after 20 minutes.

Today, Im sitting here again with the hookah, trying Two Apple a second time. It got MUCH better, not that strong taste, a bit thicker smoke and a little less tickling. But it was still tickling, and I hate it.

I'm asking you guys, WTH AM I DOING WRONG?! Here is some photos when I'm setting it up:
http://www.bubbleshare.com/album/498767/overview

Pic 1. I sprinkle the tobacco in to the bowl, just like the guides say. I pack just a little so it doesn't touch the foil.

Pic. 2 Another view, so you can see aprox how much it is.

Pic. 3 My hole pattern. Is that good enough? I only use one foil, with two foils I get really thin smoke.

Pic. 4 I put the coals on the hookah, and let it stay there for about 3-4 minutes, just to heat up the shisha. The first two hits are actually pretty good.

Pic. 5 It started to tickle a little, so I moved the coals more to the sides. It ended up with thinner smoke, but almost no tickling.

Pic. 6 Started to tickle AGAIN after about 10 minutes, so I took off all the coals and let the shisha rest. After about 4 minutes I put on two coals, and it was pretty good for about 10 minutes.

The rest was EPIC FAILURE. The tickling was really strong, not good smoke, but the taste was ok. What the heck did I do wrong?

The coals I'm using is called Torch Coals in sweden. It is natural coals you lit on the range, not ql. It worked really well with Kaya, but not with AF.

I really appriciate your help!

Last edited by Salzalada; November 17th, 2008 at 12:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

The tickle in the throat is an issue some have had with AF. If it was harsh when you were inhaling I would suggest your heat is an issue but you did not have trouble inhaling. So too much heat is not your problem.
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  #3  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

What is my problem then? It can tickle a tiny little while inhaling, but that is barerly noticeable. The realy tickling si when Im exhaling the smoke.

It is absolutley not harsh. When shisha gets harsh I cough like hell.
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  #4  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

maybe you should try to in a way "bake" the shisha. I get tin foil, pull out like 5 inches and fold that over it self so its a double layer. pack the sisha so its barley touching the foil and wrap it tight. poke very small holes with a needle or safety pin, 1 in the middle and a circle or 2 around it. use 2 of those square japanese coals. if its not hot enough move the coals together and it should be fine. this is what I do and it always works for me. hopefully it helps.

try different foil maybe 2 layer and poke smaller and less holes.

Last edited by czerwonymike; November 15th, 2008 at 04:52 PM.
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  #5  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

I'm not sure where you got the AF from, but if you ordered it from USA and you're in Sweden... you may need to let it acclimate for a little while.

open the box, stir it up, leave it to sit for 4 hours or so, then stir again and smoke.

let us know how it works
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  #6  
Old November 15th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divine View Post
I'm not sure where you got the AF from, but if you ordered it from USA and you're in Sweden... you may need to let it acclimate for a little while.

open the box, stir it up, leave it to sit for 4 hours or so, then stir again and smoke.

let us know how it works

Could that really be the problem? I'll just have to open it up and let it be for 4 hours, then it will be good?

Last edited by Salzalada; November 17th, 2008 at 12:37 AM.
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  #7  
Old November 15th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]You didn’t load your bowl enough.
2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]You’re using way too many coals. You only need 2 for the size bowl you have. Try to keep the coals away from the center.
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  #8  
Old November 15th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Way too big holes in the foil
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  #9  
Old November 15th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Blinsky and Xazon are all right. You are using way too much coal for that bowl, and those holes are much too large. And i don't think the small quantity of tobacco in the bowl would affect the quality of the smoke, but you can certainly put more in there.
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  #10  
Old November 15th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Binsky View Post
1.You didn’t load your bowl enough.
2.You’re using way too many coals. You only need 2 for the size bowl you have. Try to keep the coals away from the center.
But with two coals it didn't get good either. :S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazon View Post
Way too big holes in the foil
I watched the "How to setup a hookah"-movie on this site, and we got about the same size on our holes. Should I use a needle instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerB View Post
Blinsky and Xazon are all right. You are using way too much coal for that bowl, and those holes are much too large. And i don't think the small quantity of tobacco in the bowl would affect the quality of the smoke, but you can certainly put more in there.
If I put more tobacco in the bowl it will touch the foil. Isn't it gonna burn?
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  #11  
Old November 15th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

use a toothpick to poke the holes, but don't poke very far down.

also, you have like a mound in your bowl, you can add more around the edges and still leave space between the foil and the shisha.

two coals shoudl do you just fine on that bowl man, just don't get ahea dof yourself, it takes a minute or two for the bowl to really get going.
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  #12  
Old November 15th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerB View Post
use a toothpick to poke the holes, but don't poke very far down.

also, you have like a mound in your bowl, you can add more around the edges and still leave space between the foil and the shisha.

two coals shoudl do you just fine on that bowl man, just don't get ahea dof yourself, it takes a minute or two for the bowl to really get going.
depends on how much tobacco hes putting in
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  #13  
Old November 15th, 2008, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

After seeing your photos, I would recommend three things.

1. Smaller holes
2. Pack the shisha a little more
3. Less coal

Too much coal makes it harsh which causes the tickle. The same is true for not packing it enough. You don't want to pack it too hard but the photo looks like it isn't packed at all.

And as for your english, you seem to do as well as most of us over here in the US
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  #14  
Old November 15th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

First of all, don't be so hard on yourself. It takes time and practice to improve your skills.

I would pack your shisha down firmer and use some more. People say don't over pack the bowl, but you will know when there is too much and too tight because it is hard to draw/inhale. I believe this will improve your sessions. I also use a sewing needle or a thin metal pin to poke my holes now.

I make lots and lots of tiny holes rather than fewer big ones. The holes your size, like I used to make, let the coals ash into the bowl as you smoke. This irritates my throat and may be part of your problem.

So, as THS above me said, smaller holes, pack the shisha more. If you still have problems use less coal, but it looks like a thick bowl so the heat may be needed.
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  #15  
Old November 15th, 2008, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

welcome to HP

first i want to say your english is great, i would not have known you were not a native english speaker.

now to your tickle issue, i had that issue when i started smoking hookah so im not sure if its just your getting used to it, also are you drinking anything while you smoke, if not just grab a drink and see if that helps, i can get a really bad tickle some times and just take a sip and im fine.

you could try more holes, it will keep the heat cooler on the shisha since it can seep out through the other holes.

your packing looks ok but you could try barely tapping it down, also there was a little pit that was sticking up to the foil so that may be a little issue.

your foil looks weird, it has some texture on it, is it very thin, not sure what brands and types you have over there but there is probably a "normal" foil and a "heavy duty", the heavy duty is double thickness and that usually helps most people, if you just have the thin foil try a second layer.

-matt
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  #16  
Old November 16th, 2008, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

i dont see the problem every1 is having with Al Fakher.. i love the stuff.. you just need to play around with it manage the heat and play around with packing the bowl.
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  #17  
Old November 16th, 2008, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

First of all, welcome to the forums! I'm pureblood Swedish, so I had to reply.

The flavors you picked are pretty harsh starter flavors. Double apple is supposed to have a strong anise (licorice) taste. Not many people like it the first time. Grape is a flavor that has had some issues with bad batches from AF and mint is a better mixing flavor than it is smoked alone.

Whenever I hear about harsh smoke, the first thing I ask about is the coals. Cheap coals can add fumes that burn your throat, or provide so little heat, you need to put way too many on to get decent smoke.
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  #18  
Old November 16th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OCMusicJunkie View Post
First of all, welcome to the forums! I'm pureblood Swedish, so I had to reply.

The flavors you picked are pretty harsh starter flavors. Double apple is supposed to have a strong anise (licorice) taste. Not many people like it the first time. Grape is a flavor that has had some issues with bad batches from AF and mint is a better mixing flavor than it is smoked alone.

Whenever I hear about harsh smoke, the first thing I ask about is the coals. Cheap coals can add fumes that burn your throat, or provide so little heat, you need to put way too many on to get decent smoke.
at first i was only mixing mint but now i can smoke it straight and enjoy it just as well, but lately ive gotten a little stuffy and want something minty to help clear me out

-matt
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  #19  
Old November 16th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

you shouldnt smoke if youre getting sick, it will prolong the symptoms.
take the right decongestant for your needs, drink lots of water.
Use a sinus rinse.

When youre not sick again, smoke a little.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolinger View Post
you shouldnt smoke if youre getting sick, it will prolong the symptoms.
take the right decongestant for your needs, drink lots of water.
Use a sinus rinse.

When youre not sick again, smoke a little.
its not sick as much as its just a touch stuffy from city living, i basically always have it now weather i smoke or not for a while. not really sick as just very light allergy like but not bad at all

-matt
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  #21  
Old November 16th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

then use the sinus rinse, its friggin weird at first but really helps with that a lot (i use it for my allergies) and I use it as part of a post smoking regime. (clean hookah, brush teeth, then sinus rinse).
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  #22  
Old November 16th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolinger View Post
then use the sinus rinse, its friggin weird at first but really helps with that a lot (i use it for my allergies) and I use it as part of a post smoking regime. (clean hookah, brush teeth, then sinus rinse).
ya my dad and brother have been suggesting it to me over and over and ehhhhh just not something i want to deal with, just saline spray works pretty well, not as great i know but water going up my nose is just one of those things i cant stand.

i used to get really bad colds/sinus infections 2-3 times a year at least and then when i found out i was gluten intolerant/celiac disease and stopped eating it i havent gotten sick at all (knock on wood). but basically other than messing up my digestive system it is an auto immune thing so it messed up my ability to fight stuff off

o and gota love that i had to have an "alternative medicine" guy tell me thats what it was not a "real" doc

-matt
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  #23  
Old November 16th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Hey guys.. first of all, all the batches are great.. The double apple flavour is one of my favourites Ive been smoking for long time, and Ive smoked about 4 packs of that same batch already. So exclude the problem witht he shisha, it is excellent tobacco !
The same goes with both the grape and mint, they work excellent and we have the same batches.
Those coals he is using is the japanese silver coal. That way he is smoking with three coals is my idea and thats how I smoked the same batch and flavour and worked great! It is half bites of the japanese chiense coals so basicly theres 1.5 coals on that bowl, not 3
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  #24  
Old November 16th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

those are weird looking japs.... but i guess i see it. think then that the issue is gonna be the hole size and the packing of the bowl, i am very familiar with japs, as it is what i have been using for the last several months.
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  #25  
Old November 16th, 2008, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: I am such a hookah failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerB View Post
those are weird looking japs.... but i guess i see it. think then that the issue is gonna be the hole size and the packing of the bowl, i am very familiar with japs, as it is what i have been using for the last several months.
they are 1/2 of japs and i think the bowl is just really really small

-matt
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