How much charcoal to use

When smoking hookah one of the major costs will be charcoal. You don’t want to use too much for a few reasons. One, too much will not only be a waste of charcoal and money, but also of your precious shisha stash. Too much heat will burn the shisha tobacco instead of allowing it to dissipate and evaporate like its supposed to.

Since the shisha mixture has in it honey or molasses, glycerin , tobacco and flavouring, what is needed is to get the mixture hot without burning and then it will dissipate; you getting the taste. With too much heat, your shisha will burn and taste pretty bad.

One sign of “too much coal” is viewing any smoke coming off the top of your tobacco bowl. Bad. Take off some coal.

Also look at your water bottle. Its going to fill up with smoke at the top where you left off putting water. Which is a good reason not to put too much water in, since the water contained in the bottle always cools off the smoke, but if you don’t have enough room at the top of the chamber, what you’ll get will be always too hot.Leave some room enough for the smoke to aculimate . Its cooler smoke and that’s what you’ll be smoking on your next toke.

Another sign might be not enough holes punched in the foil that is under the coals. Maybe ash has blocked it up and all your heat is at the top scorching the tobacco in the bowl.If so, puch more holes.

Remember that the tobacco bowl comes in so many sizes and material. A small bowl might be fine with one coal or even half being smaller. Also the type of shisha in the bowl matters. The premium extra fine shisha needs less coal and will burn longer. You might need a coal and a half or more for regular shisha and again half that amount for the good stuff. (Which proves that buying good shisha will actually save you money in the end.)

Often I use the gigantic “party bowl” that sells. I fill it up well, but not to the top where it will burn off from heat scorching the foil which will burn the shisha . In preparing your bowl, even if it is small do the same and leave room between the tobacco mix and the foil.

Using a regular, smaller sized bowl will get you a more even smoke, use less charcoal and will not leave shisha at the end. By using good premium shisha in a regular ceramic bowl, you can get anywhere between a 45-75 minutes smoke, but¬† after 45 minutes you’ll most likely need another coal. The gigantic “Party bowl” when filled well will last much¬† longer, but its usually used for a multi-hose smoking session of longer length. Still, if I’m busy at something and don’t¬† want to stop to make another bowl or even change a ready made one, I”ll use the big bowl¬† and have a loooong smoke.

You’ll have to try and play around with each size bowl and how much tobacco to use as well as how much coal. You can always add more as the smoking session goes on.

When you’re finished , check the left over in the bowl. Was it all scorched, or mildly so, was there any left over in the bottom? In most cases there is a hint of tobacco left.That’s normal. If you see the mixture is burnt here and there unequally , probably you weren’t moving the coals around the rim of the bowl and slowly bringing them into the center, or maybe the coal was only on one side of the bowl.

No one wants to waste money on charcoal. How about your throat? If nothing else, if you feel harshness while you are smoking, than take off some coal. Also, you can blow lightly on the hose and let out some heat so that the nest toke is smoother.

Could be your hookah is too small for the amount of coal used. While bigger is not always better, even in hookah smoking, the mini hookahs need less coal and heat since they are not as cooled by a lot of water, the hot smoke going down the shaft and material its made of. The brass or cast steel metal stems will keep the hookah from heating as much as the thin stainless steel.

Hookah 1

“Pipe Dreams”

A pipe dream:
A perfectly clear clay tobacco-shisha bowl? Not yet invented (except for the semi clear acrylic bowls which cost a big $ bundle and break easily too).

So, how to tell if you smoked all the shisha in the bowl?
I guess its up to experience.

1) how much did you pack?
What is usually for you a half-hours smoke? 40 minutes went buy and your tongue is feeling fuzzy-you are long ago finished and if you have a good burning coal, you are getting plain heat and ashes taste.
2)did you pack loosly or too tight?

If tight it will burn for sure, mostly at the bottom.

3)type of shisha being smoked.

Al-Fakher, Al-Ouns ,Al-Qemah,Roman,Fumari,Afzal are loooong ongoing good smokes.
15 grams lightly packed of Al Fakher,Al-Ouns,Al-Qemah,Roman will approximately smoke 45-60 minutes.
The same ammount of Al-Waha, Al-Sultan, El-Nakhla,El-Basha
(same company) will smoke 20-30 minutes lightly packed.
If you have been going on longer, its a burn!
These are just a few hints.

4) when you’ve finished smoking EACH time look at what is left over.
If its ash, then next time don’t smoke that gram ammount too long. Or get a bigger bowl.
The gigantic “party bowl” which I mainly use is big enough for 30-35 grams, and since its bad to add shisha up to the top where it touches the foil and will burn, I still have room left over.

I always check the remains of any bowl to see if its over burnt. There should be left a bit of lightly cooked shisha at the bottom remaining.Throw it out!

With so many shisha brands out there herbal and regular, each company brand has its own burning time.
It depends mainly on how much glycerine is in the mixture.
You’ll find Nakhal is a dryer brand. The premium brands are dripping and smell so good even before you put them in the bowl!
hookah 1

Careful with that Axe, Eugene”

Just in the last few hours I’ve come close to doing some major damage. I’m human sometimes too.
I’m a big fan of milk in my water bottle. I just cleaned it out well pouring the 3 days milk and adding cold.
You should have seen the long tube of blue’ cheese French style that came out.
That is why I use a brush in the tube, and I’ve been cleaning bottle and tube with watered down soap liquid for dishes for years. Do your dishes taste like soap? Probably not if you use rinsing hot water which can be a b— if you rinse the bottle and don’t verrrrrrry gradually make the water rinsisng it colder.Take your time or the bottle WILL break.
Also, never pick your hookah up by the top stem, or the bottle might fall and break. Eugene, as once happened to yours truly.

Another safe hint. Make sure that when you attatch the hose again, there is no ceramic head on the top as gravity or swaying wil make it fall off!

I will make this point separately, but right now I am smoking “Nakhla” cherry and mint mixed at exactly a 50-50 ratio and it wil beat your same mix anyday. How? By mixing in the same bowl, you never get it to blend well . You do get a mix, but if you use a double-clay head, and put one flavour in each side and a coal on each, you are bringing the two flavours from their bowls into a common funnel and actually tasting the 2 flavours as meant to be!
See photo: