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Bulk coals

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  #1  
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Default Bulk coals

Ok this is probably a multi-part question but since I don't really have a plan I will just see where it goes.

We were at a hookah lounge recently and they used bulk coals. Main thing I noticed was since we weren't given tongs it was a little difficult to manage the heat. Other than that it was the most pleasant experience we have had to date. So a few questions here.

Why are these almost never discussed here?

How big of a pain is it to make your own and out of what wood is best?

Are they that much cheaper if you have to use twice as many?

Flavor wise how do they compare with pressed natural coals? I am wondering this because it seems the pressed ones would be easier but since they are made by pulverizing charcoal and then using a binding agent like corn starch or other starches does that affect the flavor. To me there wasn't like a night and day difference in the naturals and QL's but my wife seems to think they are like a completely different experience.
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  #2  
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Mainly because of the mess they can create most people stay away from them. They are very cost effective and put out good heat. But they ash to hell and due to shape can be messy trying to break them into usable sizes.
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  #3  
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

I use them but the problem is the huge amount of ASH.
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  #4  
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Yeah we noticed the ash but didn't really have much problem with it. We learned a few tricks from the people at Tarboosh. Mostly they don't mean for you to move them around. So they place them where they feel most needed and expect you to leave them the hell alone. Ok fine I am cool with that We usually do a little more than that but we usually are using different coals. They gave plenty of heat without having to ash them and when it was time to change the coals out they pulled off the coals and picked up the head and dumped the ash out then blew through the bottom put it back in place and then put more coals on. It was like a new bowl every coal change. LOL. It didn't seem like too big an issue except for keeping the coals going. How do you light them best? Like naturals?
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  #5  
Old November 25th, 2008, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

I light my AF bulk coals just like my others. Set on the burner and let em go.
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  #6  
Old November 25th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

DO they take longer
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  #7  
Old November 25th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Anyone try making their own? I ask because I have heard easy-ish methods for making artistic coals and I figure the method is the same just the wood is different.
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  #8  
Old November 27th, 2008, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

I love using bulk coal at home (we just call them BBQ coal here as briquettes aint so wide spread). I light them on a gas stove and they literally take as much time as i need to prepare a bowl. I usually have the hookah ready, put the coals on the gas stove and when am done packing the bowl they are glowing red.
Making your own would be time consuming and really not worth the trouble. I can get a 5 kilo bag of best quality bulk coal for 3.20Euro. Thats about 4.90dollaras. At less than 1Dolar per KG i believe it cant get any better.
But for 5 Euros i can alos get a 3 kilo bag of bioCoal (olivepip or coconut shel) so i have lots of options to choose from. I am always stocked up on coal. Right now i prolly have more than 10KG of naturals laying around for less than 20 dollars
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  #9  
Old November 27th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

so wait? where do you get them and what are they called?
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  #10  
Old December 1st, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

See the thing was Tarboosh makes theirs in an iron wood stove thing and for my wife it is like night and day. When we were just smoking quick lights we had no problem but after trying those she says you can taste the QL's but the bulk coals were clean and smelled pleasant no taste. Sure they ashed like no body's business but if you don't move them very much and only put them in a different place when you put new coals on it isn't a problem. Just dump the ash blow out the bowl and place new coals.
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  #11  
Old December 1st, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

mainly due to ashing, therefor people would stay away from them if using it indoors, they are difficult pieces, because they don't come in any specific size, its a mix of sizes, hope this helps. They do provide great heat and last a good amount of time, ideal for outdoors.
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  #12  
Old December 1st, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

I kind of liked the varied sizes. There are times you want bigger or smaller ones as your second or third coal and you can't do that with standardized coals unless you want to cut them and stuff. However, as I say if you make your own you can do it however you want. I was just wondering if anyone had interesting or easy ways to do that or do you just buy them. I have heard a few seemingly easy ways but they turn out being somewhat expensive. So it goes back to the old kiln firing or start them on fire and then seal them in.
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  #13  
Old December 1st, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

true, mixed sizes can be good, but as for producing your own, it would be a pricey operation, it would cost time and money, to have a consistent and efficient product, just go for something that has already been established, basically a brand name charcoal. We have a good selection of charcoals, and if you are into the naturals, give the lemon wood charcoals a shot.
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  #14  
Old December 1st, 2008, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Yeah I saw lemonwood and orangewood. Those intrigue me and I may have to try them. Hickory was just really nice though. LOL.
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  #15  
Old December 1st, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

hmm all this talk about these coals i tihnk im going to get me a massive bag and use it every now and then jsut as a reassurence that i always have coals.
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  #16  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Those coals are good if your going to be outside you change them very frequently so if you want to relaz and watch a movie its going to be annoying. as far as blowing the bowl and jputtign the charcoals on the reason why it tastes like a new bowl is because there is no smoke or ash inside the bowl after you blow into it and you could do that with any type of charcoal.
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  #17  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

I have about 8 different kinds of natural coal open which I rotate thru trying it all. They are all great but the bulk defiantly ash up a lot more and need more attention as compared to something like Coconara that you never need to touch all the way thru your session. The bulk coals are much cheaper and also more work.
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  #18  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Is there a taste difference between them. I just wonder if the burning bonding agent makes a difference.
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  #19  
Old December 4th, 2008, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

Every company's coal has different characteristics like light time, burn time, heat, wood used, bonding type, amount of ash, smell,flavor and coal size. and the best way to figure which one is right for you is to try them all for your self until you find one. Everyone is going to have their preferences for certain coals. a very large part of it is personal choice.
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  #20  
Old December 4th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Bulk coals

naturals are wonderful outdoors or someplace where you don't care about powdered ash getting all over the place; most of my smoking is done indoors though. naturals are also unpredictable; for my heads i know it takes 3 coco naras. everytime. with naturals, you usually make too little or too much, and too little is a hassle because you have to interrupt the session to make some more, and too much is annoying because you just wasted some coals that could be used on another head.

like i said, i prefer cocos because they are STUPIDLY convenient, they are idiot-proof (not saying i'm an idiot, but at least the coals are one less thing i have to worry about). that being said, i still like to use my good old nakhli orange/lemonwood coals every now and then.

also: i think there is a slim, almost negligible difference between bulk coals, and other naturals - it is more pronounced when smoking certain flavors though.
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