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Vague Flavor :(((


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So ive been smoking hookah for about 3 months now, and i love it! when i first bought my starter hookah i just about a small (no name brand) $29 hookah! it came with a vortex bowl and a really small hose.

Anyways getting to the point... My first shisha was Al Fakher mint, apple, berry, watermelon, and vanialla. I hated the vanialla, but loved the rest!!! Especially the watermelon! i smoked these flavors with QL coals, just used about two each session.

Well now recently i barely get any flavor out of any tabacco like i once did :( i use to drool over the flavors but now no matter what i do i cant get any flavor! I just get a vague flavor when i pull it with my tongue to the tip, and after awhile it starts to taste and smell like tabacco!

Could someone please help me get my flavor back! its really becoming pointless to smoke with no flavor, only reason i keep doing it is for the buzz. i know Al Fahker is a good brand that should be up to par far as quality wise, but i have no clue why im not tasting it like i use to! Please help!
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if your doing everything totally the same, then the only option that is left is, something that your not in control of, hookah going bad, your hose getting clogged. if you have friend with a hookah, bring your shisha to him, and test it. If it tastes good. Its not the shisha. How ever if you bought a new batch, it maybe the batch. If you had your old batch sitting for a while, try mixing it, the juices (flavor) tends to settle to the bottom.
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When I find myself in a smoking rut, whether it's constant harshness, no flavor or small clouds, I do the same thing every time.

I reset to factory settings. That's exactly what it sounds like, just with a computer or a phone.

Clean your entire rig (along with hose if it's washable) using hot water, Isopropyl alcohol/vinegar and lemon juice (This includes the bowl!) Put all of your tobacco in new containers and mix it thoroughly. Make sure to check the expiration dates on all of your tobacco as well.

After your rig has been wiped clean of any imperfections, consider rethinking your packing, heat management, hole poking, everything. Considering you're a new smoker, your technique hasn't been set in stone yet and it's worth looking at different styles of packing, etc.

I know this seems like a lot of work and probably seems tedious to you along with other readers on the forum right now. This is just a suggestion. I recommend looking up different tutorials for packing Al Fakher, and never settle with a particular one until you fidn one that works for you.

Here's my take on packing, hole poking, water levels and heat management with Al Fakher.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTICf06_efk&list=PL9B46760337422FDC&feature=mh_lolz[/media]


Keep us updated on your problem, I hope this info has helped.

P.S. - A common problem is too much heat. Consider heating the bowl more evenly with less heat, just spread throughout the bowl. I recommend all of the steps above, but this might be a quick fix for you.
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[quote name='TheyCallMeDave' timestamp='1346289241' post='555407']
When I find myself in a smoking rut, whether it's constant harshness, no flavor or small clouds, I do the same thing every time.

I reset to factory settings. That's exactly what it sounds like, just with a computer or a phone.

Clean your entire rig (along with hose if it's washable) using hot water, Isopropyl alcohol/vinegar and lemon juice (This includes the bowl!) Put all of your tobacco in new containers and mix it thoroughly. Make sure to check the expiration dates on all of your tobacco as well.

After your rig has been wiped clean of any imperfections, consider rethinking your packing, heat management, hole poking, everything. Considering you're a new smoker, your technique hasn't been set in stone yet and it's worth looking at different styles of packing, etc.

I know this seems like a lot of work and probably seems tedious to you along with other readers on the forum right now. This is just a suggestion. I recommend looking up different tutorials for packing Al Fakher, and never settle with a particular one until you fidn one that works for you.

Here's my take on packing, hole poking, water levels and heat management with Al Fakher.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTICf06_efk&list=PL9B46760337422FDC&feature=mh_lolz[/media]


Keep us updated on your problem, I hope this info has helped.

P.S. - A common problem is too much heat. Consider heating the bowl more evenly with less heat, just spread throughout the bowl. I recommend all of the steps above, but this might be a quick fix for you.
[/quote]

thanks!! i will def try this! i believe it may be to much heat, i use to one coal then use another after a little while of smoking, but here lately i been lighting two and just throwing them on there from the start. ill def try your tips! btw, can anyone teach me exactly what heat management is and how one knows when to add or subtract heat? thanks again!
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[quote name='kenshinx23' timestamp='1346288999' post='555406']
if your doing everything totally the same, then the only option that is left is, something that your not in control of, hookah going bad, your hose getting clogged. if you have friend with a hookah, bring your shisha to him, and test it. If it tastes good. Its not the shisha. How ever if you bought a new batch, it maybe the batch. If you had your old batch sitting for a while, try mixing it, the juices (flavor) tends to settle to the bottom.
[/quote]

your right it maybe be an old batch, however my only friend with a hookah moved away recently :/
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Heat management is just knowing when too much heat is too much, and when too little heat is too little.

There's a simple cloud to flavor ratio you have to keep in mind. If your clouds are huge, but the flavor is campfire, It's too much. If you have small clouds with weak flavor, feel free to push your coals in a little.

My main tip for heat management is with most tobaccos, start off small. It's easy to add heat, but hard to undo a burn once it's set in place. I would suggest two coals on either side of your bowl far out, and then slowly push them in with every few pulls. There will be a point when your cloud size and flavor intensity cross. That's when you stay in your position.

Over time, you'll know exactly how much heat to give each brand of tobacco and will be able to just throw them on and smoke. Until that time, watch your heat lcosely and less is always more.
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[quote name='Vette' timestamp='1346296709' post='555419']
[quote name='TheyCallMeDave' timestamp='1346289241' post='555407']
When I find myself in a smoking rut, whether it's constant harshness, no flavor or small clouds, I do the same thing every time.

I reset to factory settings. That's exactly what it sounds like, just with a computer or a phone.

Clean your entire rig (along with hose if it's washable) using hot water, Isopropyl alcohol/vinegar and lemon juice (This includes the bowl!) Put all of your tobacco in new containers and mix it thoroughly. Make sure to check the expiration dates on all of your tobacco as well.

After your rig has been wiped clean of any imperfections, consider rethinking your packing, heat management, hole poking, everything. Considering you're a new smoker, your technique hasn't been set in stone yet and it's worth looking at different styles of packing, etc.

I know this seems like a lot of work and probably seems tedious to you along with other readers on the forum right now. This is just a suggestion. I recommend looking up different tutorials for packing Al Fakher, and never settle with a particular one until you fidn one that works for you.

Here's my take on packing, hole poking, water levels and heat management with Al Fakher.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTICf06_efk&list=PL9B46760337422FDC&feature=mh_lolz[/media]


Keep us updated on your problem, I hope this info has helped.

P.S. - A common problem is too much heat. Consider heating the bowl more evenly with less heat, just spread throughout the bowl. I recommend all of the steps above, but this might be a quick fix for you.
[/quote]

thanks!! i will def try this! i believe it may be to much heat, i use to one coal then use another after a little while of smoking, but here lately i been lighting two and just throwing them on there from the start. ill def try your tips! btw, can anyone teach me exactly what heat management is and how one knows when to add or subtract heat? thanks again!
[/quote]

This is your problem.

As for management, when the smoke starts to get rough, take coal off and cool the bowl, ( i can tell when a bowl is too hot by the texture of the smoke in the base without even smoking it, but thats hookah 201) if it gets wispy, ad a few more coals. There is your heat management lesson. now go practice. :)
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Dave, you are the BAMF of the day. +2 rep points for your two posts, brotha.

In other words, I agree, it's your heat management, Vette. But "resetting to factory settings" never hurts either. ;) I also agree with what Mush said. Add coal little at a time until it gets to smoking perfectly. I recommend adding your coal and waiting 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. Just be patient! Haha. This allows the bowl to heat up nicely before taking a puff, and I've had better results this way than throwing the coals on and puffing like a madman trying to get the clouds to build up in size. Make sure your coals are fully ashed over, no black left, as this can lead to harshness or impairment of taste. I know you said you used QLs- try breaking that sucker in half and putting the halves on opposite sides of the bowl.

Ummm, that's all I've got for now. I may think of other stuff later. It's early, I'm running on four hours of sleep after a 10 hour shift yesterday, and I just started drinking my coffee. :)
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[quote name='Chreees' timestamp='1346330418' post='555440']
Dave, you are the BAMF of the day. +2 rep points for your two posts, brotha.

In other words, I agree, it's your heat management, Vette. But "resetting to factory settings" never hurts either. ;) I also agree with what Mush said. Add coal little at a time until it gets to smoking perfectly. I recommend adding your coal and waiting 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. Just be patient! Haha. This allows the bowl to heat up nicely before taking a puff, and I've had better results this way than throwing the coals on and puffing like a madman trying to get the clouds to build up in size. Make sure your coals are fully ashed over, no black left, as this can lead to harshness or impairment of taste. I know you said you used QLs- try breaking that sucker in half and putting the halves on opposite sides of the bowl.

Ummm, that's all I've got for now. I may think of other stuff later. It's early, I'm running on four hours of sleep after a 10 hour shift yesterday, and I just started drinking my coffee. :)
[/quote]

what exactly will breaking the coals in half do? besides make a huge mess lol
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so last night after all of this advice i smoked some AF Apple with cool water in the vase, put on quicklight coal on and smoked it for a while then added my second coal about 10 mins later and made sure i moved themm around the bowl periodically. i noticed a good difference in flavor from before. i tasted the apple more then i did last time. but after awhile it got harsh so i pulled a coal off and smoked unitl it died down and then i put it back on. Unfortantely the flavor wasnt banging like previous hookah sessions :( and i made sure i packed the bowl full this time and poked fewer holes so the air had to go through the tobacco. thanks guys for all the help! ill keep practicing!

p.s. it feels good to be apart of a forum that actually cares about helping new comers with there noobish problems! thanks to all and i feel the love in the community
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