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Growley Monster

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About Growley Monster

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    Bey - Low Lord of the Hose.

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    New Orleans
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  1. Could you take it apart and post a pic of the top of the base? Most of them are interchangeable and a basic base is inexpensive and easy to find online. Measure the hole in the top, and just order one with the same size neck. It doesn't have to be the same brand or same model, usually. And yeah, people break them a lot. Often when they pick up the hookah to move it, and they pick it up by the stem and not by the base, which then falls off and shatters on the floor. Or pavement.
  2. First of all, make sure that there are no leaks. To do this, seal the palm of your hand onto the bowl, and try to draw through the hose. You should not get any air at all, even a little. If air is getting in, then you need to find the leak. Take off the hose and try blocking the far end of the hose with a finger and draw on the mouthpiece. If you get any air, you have a leak. See if the mouthpiece or handpiece are removable. If so, maybe the seal is bad. Anyway, keep your antique hose for display, but get a modern hose for smoking. If the old hose checks out good, then try sucking in on the ferrule, the part where the hose fits into, with your hand sealing the top of the bowl. Does it still leak? Remove the bowl and seal the top end of the tube and try again. Still leaks? Maybe the tube doesn't seal well to be base. Or the tube is in more than one part, screwed together, and they are not properly sealed. Okay, so let's say you have no leaks or you have fixed all leaks, and you get good air flow through the hookah. Oh wait... DO YOU get good air flow? Maybe you should use a bowl with bigger holes in the bottom. Maybe the tube is clogged up with years of built up crud. Maybe you are filling the base too full with water. Maybe the hose is crimped or coming apart inside. Anyway do what you must to get good flow through the hookah. One common mistake is to pack the bowl too tightly. The mu'assel or shisha or whatever you call the smoking mixture where you are from, should be filled loosely into the bowl and tamped down lightly. Air must pass freely through it. Poke plenty of holes in your foil. Try without the screen and without the cap. Make sure that the foil is sealed well to the bowl. What kind of coals are you using? The top of the shisha should be about 1/4 inch below the foil. The foil may sag down slightly from the weight of the coals but that is okay as long as the foil is not actually touching the shisha. That bowl looks like maybe it was not meant for smoking shisha? I am looking at how small the holes are and how close together they are. I think you ought to try a different bowl. You can get them online for around $6. And are you sure that this is an actual hookah meant for smoking, and not just a display item of some sort? I notice your hookah is standing on a nice carpet. Sooner or later you will knock a coal off and burn a mark in that nice carpet. If it is truly an antique then very likely it was not made to use silicone rubber grommets. You will need to wind white adhesive/bandage cloth tape until the thickness is right, then seat the part tightly so it makes a good seal. In the old days they used wet cloth or leather. Or you can try adding modern silicone grommets. Your coals should preferably be out at the edge of the bowl and not in the center. Most smokers do not like the quick lighting round tablets. Natural lemon wood charcoal is considered the best but the compressed coconut charcoal cubes are good, too. Let them burn long enough to have a coating of ash before you begin smoking. They will be difficult to light. Usually we use a gas or electric cooking burner or a fire can or a propane torch such as what plumbers use, to light them. So to recap, 1. make sure that there are no leaks. If there are, isolate and fix them. 2. Make sure you have good airflow through the hookah and if not, fix that. 3. make sure tht your bowl is packed loosely and to the correct level. 4. use decent coals, lined up around the edge of the bowl top 5. replace any part that does not seem to be doing what it is supposed to do.
  3. Welcome, Ali! Coincidentally, it was in Turkey (Istanbul to be precise) that I first started smoking the hookah. If you are in Ankara or some other modern city you might wish to spend some time in an older city where old traditions are still practiced. Istanbul has lots of cafes where hookah is available. There are lots of shops that sell and even make hookahs, in both shops and cafes you can usually find someone to talk nargile with you. The Bazaars are a lot of fun but beware... you will likely end up paying too much for your hookah and smoking supplies. Currently my setup is a Kahlil Mamoun 4 hose hookah with homemade non return valves so the tips do not have to be blocked for someone to take a puff. I prefer the traditional unglazed bowl with the holes in the bottom and I fill the base with ice and water up to about one inch above the bottom of the down tube. We use large after market hoses because they draw more easily and deliver a bigger cloud of smoke. We prefer Coco Nara or some other pressed coconut charcoal because they burn for a very long time. My favorite smoke is Al Fakher Double Apple, and sometimes we add a little mint flavor to it. We only smoke about once a week due to time constraints and health concerns. What would you like to know about the hookah? Hookah smoking has a very long history in Turkey and seems to still be very popular there, especially in Istanbul. You should be able to find a lot of information locally.
  4. You are not going to make a gigantic cumulonimbus looking cloud on every puff. Concentrate on enjoying the taste and feel. Especially that thick syrupy feeling of the exhale. If you are burning shisha, try a bigger and deeper bowl. 5mm, that is about 3/16" or so, I am guessing. Should be enough gap but you could try a bit more. I go about 1/4". Me, I don't pack. I just put it in and spread it out so it has a fairly flat surface and consistent distance from the top of the shisha to the foil. It is not really packed at all. Also, if there are any stems, such as are often found in cheaper brands like Nakhla, I remove them. If you don't want a fire in the bowl, don't let there be any wood in the bowl. What are you smoking? That could make a difference. I prefer Al Fakher Double Apple and I always get a very nice smoke. Reasonable clouds, and pleasant smoke that never irritates the throat as long as I don't burn it. I usually use pre-punched foil but if I use unpunched aluminum foil from the kitchen, I apply the foil and seal it good around the bowl, then I just make about 12 to 15 holes with a safety pin in a loose circle 2/3 of the way out toward the rim of the bowl. Then just 3 or 4 closer in toward the center. I use a safety pin or large sewing needle, never one of those big pokers that are often connected by a ring to the tongs. They make a huge hole and tear the foil. I don't use quick light. I usually use Coco Nara or similar coconut cubes. Light those coals on the kitchen stove or with a butane torch or an electric coal lighter. Or light a couple of quick light disks in a fire can and pile the cubes on top. Give them a half hour to catch and develop a good ash layer before use. You can also use a few hot coals from the hibachi or barbecue grill to start the hookah coals, in the same manner. Never use any sort of charcoal lighting fuel to start them. Coconut charcoal works really well. It puts out consistent heat and burns for a long time. Natural lemon wood charcoal is great but TBH I prefer the cubes. I start out with three coals, distributed around the edge of the bowl, and add one or remove one as needed. Move them around occasionally. If you use the quick light tablets, I suggest you don't put any holes in the center of the foil, just a dozen very near the edge of the tablet. Use just one tablet at a time. Light the next one before the first one is done so you get a good ash layer before putting it on the foil. I light the coals FIRST, then fill the base, load the bowl, attach the hoses, and do all the other setup chores. Then the coals already have a head start when the hookah is ready and you don't have to wait so long. Many beginners allow too much heat to pass through the center of the bowl. You want to spread that heat out. Let the superheated gas from the coal enter the shisha near the outer edge of it and travel toward the center as it passes through to the holes in the bowl. I am not a fan of the vortex, phunnel, etc bowls but you could try one.. I like the regular 5 hole bowl, not too shallow. Make sure your foil is sealed good, and all joints seal well so you are not sucking a bunch of air into the system. Don't be greedy. When it is done, it is done. You want the used shisha load to still have some moisture at the bottom when you quit smoking. Unless there is a breeze that is causing them to burn quickly, I usually call it quits when the first set of coals is done. I seldom light additional coals. Remember though, that the coconut cube charcoal burns a lot longer than the quicklight tablets. Lastly, you can put ice cubes in the base along with the water. Try adding a diffuser to the bottom of the riser tube. You might also try higher or lower water levels. I like mine on the high side but low enough to never get any water splashing up into the hose ferrule. At the first sign of the shisha burning, stop smoking for at least 10 minutes. Have a snack or a beer or juice or soda. Start a conversation. It should go out if it is not dry and you are not still smoking it.
  5. I am very partial to Al Fakher Double Apple. It is my personal favorite. Not having a lot of tobacco taste doesn't bother me. But you could maybe mix the Double Apple with some straight Burley pipe tobacco or even a little Prince Albert which is mostly Burley I believe. You could also try a straight Cavendish in there instead of Burley or in combination. Now that I think of it, a Cavendish would probably go well in such a mixture. See your local tobacconist. A real one, not a head shop. If you see bongs, leave LOL! You want the shop that has a big walkin humidor full of cigars, and racks and racks of briar pipes. Ask for an ounce of straight Burley and an ounce of Cavendish. No flavoring added. It won't cost all that much. Start out mixing in about 25% pipe tobacco, and increase until you find your sweet spot. Be sure and let the mixture stand a few days to saturate the pipe tobacco with the shisha juice, before trying it in the hookah. Try both tobacco varieties, and try a little of both, in the shisha. Want tobacco taste? Add tobacco. Another interesting adjunct to try mixed in your shisha would be Bull Durham. Yeah, the cowboy cigarette stuff in the little cloth sack. Worth a try. Cheap as dirt. Bugler bills itself as a mixture of "Turkish and Blended" cigarette tobacco whatever that means. Cheap enough to try. Might be just the thing for added tobacco taste. I do not like all those popular blue and purple and bubblegum flavors that remind me of a urinal cake. I like the aforementioned Double Apple, Double Apple with Mint, Grape, Green Apple, and a few others, and I prefer the Al Fakher brand. You could try Egyptian or Syrian brands, too. Nakhla is one of those to try. I don't care for it all that much but it might be just what you are looking for. Oh, and I forgot about Tangiers. They have a Noir lineup that has a lot of tobacco flavor, and their Burley lineup, too. Give them a try. These are more tobacco-y than most commonly available mixtures.
  6. Try just going cold turkey for a week and see if it clears up? Actually I do think a Dr. visit is indicated here. Of course he will tell you stop smoking hookah. You: "Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do THIS!" Doc: "Well, then don't do THAT!" You: "Stop hookah??? NEVAHRRRRRRR!!!" Doc: "Okay. We're done here." Life with hookah is more enjoyable than life without hookah. Life without bronchitis is a LOT more enjoyable than life WITH bronchitis. Or throat cancer or whatever. If it seems to be causing problems, then solve the problem at its root. At least cut back to once a day. Maybe switch to beer. For that zen aspect that you don't get from popping the top of a big brand brew, try making your own. I do. It turned a mindless activity (drinking beer) into a fascinating hobby. (brewing beer and then drinking it.) A little of almost anything is harmless. Too much of almost anything is harmful.
  7. Yeah it is very relaxing. I hope you also got some shisha (mu'assel, the smoking mixture usually used in hookahs) and charcoal. Most beginners use the quick lighting round pucks because they are very simple to use. More knowledgeable and experienced smokers usually use pressed coconut charcoal cubes like Coco Nara or similar. You will also need aluminum foil and a pin to poke holes in it. The two most common beginner mistakes are packing the bowl too tightly, and over filling. You want it pretty loose, and not touching the foil. The foil is stretched tightly across the bowl and molded tightly to the sides of the bowl. The burning charcoal is placed on top of the bowl. Usually the pieces are placed near the edge, not in the middle, especially with a large bowl. Oh, but first you check your rig for leaks. Assemble your hookah and seal the top of the bowl with the palm of your hand. Draw in through the hose. You should be able to hold a vacuum indefinitely. If not, find the leaking connection and fix it. The base should be filled with water only high enough that the bottom of the riser tube is about an inch below the water level. Let the coals develop a good coat of gray ash before placing them on the foil. Periodically, remove them. Drop them in the tray to knock off the ash, and put them back on the foil in a slightly changed position. There you go, the bare basics. I suggest searching for some youtube videos, or simply go to a cafe that has hookah smoking, and observe. I don't know about Hanoi, but I know there is or was at least one cafe in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) that has hookahs.I was there maybe three years ago. Don't remember the name of the cafe.
  8. Very likely it is more harmful to smoke one bowl of shisha than a cigarette. Or even a dozen cigarettes. The thing is, you don't walk around smoking hookah all day long. Me and my GF only smoke maybe once a week on average. So it depends on your usage, I think, and it is a lot easier to put the brakes on the habit and indulge only occasionally or at least only smoke once a day. You don't see many cigarette smokers smoking just once or twice a day, or once a week. It is too simple to light up and walk around, or even work with a coffin nail dangling from your lip or stuck between your fingers. The addiction is easily and cheaply satisfied, so no barrier to getting severely hooked. It is convenient to light the next one from the stub of the last one. They are cheap and available everywhere. A hookah is something you partake in when your day is done and it is time to relax. Something you do at home, or in a cafe that has hookahs. It is something that you will commit at least a half hour to. Becoming a hardcore hookah addict just can't happen for most of us. A given volume of smoke or a given number of puffs on the hose are most definitely more harmful than the same on a cigarette. Sure, you are only vaporizing the tar and nicotine in the shisha if you smoke in the usual way, with foil or a perforated plate holding the coals above the shisha, and not actually burni. But remember also that you are inhaling Carbon Monoxide from the smoldering charcoal. And as you say, you usually inhale quite deeply. Even a first time hookah smoker will inhale a tremendous volume of smoke because it does not make you cough. Only a hardcore cig smoker inhales so deeply because the smoke is more noxious and makes you cough. It's all about moderation. Almost anything is really bad for you if you do it too much. Very few things are really all that bad for you if you do them with reasonable restraint.
  9. Didn't cost nothing. Two empty cans, some copper wire, a few minutes of my time. Not elegant, but it works I took the lid of the big can and bent down the edges so anything that falls through, lands on the elevated lid, and the bottom won't get hot. Big loop of wire for the handle so it can't get hot. The inner can where the burning coals are kept has holes in the bottom for air, and is suspended in the center of the big can, up at the top of it, with three pieces of copper wire. More holes drilled in the big can about the level of the bottom of the small can, to let air in. I think I drilled like 16 holes there. Works fine. Outside doesn't get hot enough to burn anything. The way we use it, (we don't smoke indoors) is we light CocoNara on the gas stove top, drop them in the can, and safely carry the whole mess out onto the porch. We usually make a bowl last a couple of hours so I light four coals and start with two on the bowl. We then have two coals for the bowl, and two more to keep the fire going in the can. A couple of new pieces will light in just a few minutes in contact with the first two.
  10. Wow I am surprised at the low interest in this topic. Anyway I tried the splitters with built in ball check valves, and they were a PITA because they would always work loose where they plug into the hookah. So I endeavored to create something myself. I considered modifying the base end of my hoses, then thought about the tip end. The thing is, once modified, it is modified. Can't undo a screwup, maybe. But I had a bunch of the big long disposable tips that are becoming popular in cafes these days. And I had a few of the smaller ones, too. Both are the male type, i.e. they are inserted INTO the mouthpiece of the hose, not over it. I fiddled around and saw right away that the small one will stick into the small end of the big tip. Further examination revealed that a metal check valve ball does not pass through a small tip, but will seat on it and seal reasonably well. So, I stuck a ball in a big tip and stuck a small one in the small end to hold the ball in. Of course the ball rolled right out the mouth end of the tip. No biggie. Come back to that later. So I cut the small end of the small tip off and left that in the big tip. Now the big tip can be inserted into the hose mouthpiece and hold a ball bearing securely from falling into the hose. I took the mouth end of the small tip and cut it short, and sort of crimped it so that the ball could not pass through it, and stuck it in the mouth end of the big tip. Now the ball is captive, seals on exhale (or on inhale from another hose) and cannot be sucked into the mouth. Or lungs. Ick. But the airflow through the tip is seriously impeded by the crimped piece, it looks sort of ugly, can fall apart, and is just generally kinda screwed up. I thought I might just drill a hole clear through the big tip just below the big end, and glue a piece of monofilament nylon fishing line through the holes across through the middle of the tip. I couldn't find any line sufficiently big, thinking about 200lb test or bigger, for the rigidity, but all that stuff is on my boat and I am at my GF house. Tried weedwhacker string but it isn't round, and doesn't seal in a hole good without glue. Then I thought maybe a piece of the 1/16" nickel/silver rod that I use for pinning the straight razors I make, modify, and restore. Drilled the hole, stuck the rod through, cut and filed the end and wa lah. The pic below shows the finished version. Works great. I will now make them for all four hoses.
  11. My GF just saw this and laughed. We smoke on our front porch and she says no way, at least not during daylight hours.
  12. Well, I found one solution though not a particularly elegant or graceful one. Got one of these from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073W95VJP/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1 and it fits hookah and hoses. As sort of a left handed bonus it functions as a purge valve if the unused receptacle is left open, without a hose. There are a bunch of different vendors selling similar and this one is not special... probably just the cheapest one I saw, don't remember. I guess for now I will get three more of them. But I will have created a monster... an 8 hose hookah? OctoHookah? I will probably end up 3D printing something but I just got too much going on right now. Alternately I might just fill up three hose grommets with silicone and let them cure, and use them to plug the other receptacles. (uncured common hardware store silicone has a lot of acetic acid in it and will smell and taste like vinegar for a couple of days.) The more I think about it though, the more I wish KM would just make a multi with them already built in or included.
  13. Hi everybody. New member here, first post. I just bought a 4 hose Kahlil Mamoon hookah and I am thinking it would sure be nice to have appropriate caps or plugs for unused hose receptacles, and also check valves to eliminate the bother of thumbing the hose tips. Now, I KNOW there are a lot of these hookahs out there, and I am pretty sure I am not the first person to want these little conveniences, so I am guessing that someone, somewhere, is selling exactly what I am looking for. I googled and found a few possibilities, yeah, but mostly they look like they will definitely not work for KM or other traditional type hookahs. I know the stock advice is probably going to be to stick with a one hose KM but me and GF prefer separate hoses cause we get too lazy to pass a single hose once we are well into a bowl. I figured, if two, then why not four hoses? Guests and all. I know the Mya appliances are of good quality and are great smokers, but I just prefer the look of the KM and similar hookahs. I would rather buy four ball check valves than a whole nother hookah and anyway I like this one just fine except for the lack of modern convenience, which ought to in no way detract from the appearance. Actually I think it would be kind of nice if KM made a multi hose hookah with removable check valves. It would definitely increase their market share. Hope I am not comitting some unpardonable offense with that idea... So, anybody got a source for what I am wanting? Or will I have to make my own?
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