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Sea Level Affecting Heat Management?


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So, I do a lot of reading on this forum, taking in all the information from those of you that have done this for a lot longer than me. I have tried a lot of things that people say work great for them, and more times than not, it doesn't work that well for me.  I've talked with a fellow FL user here in the past, and he also had similar issues as me with the information on this site.

 

What I'm wondering is, do you think how high above sea level you are affects your heat management?  It got me thinking because when I go to Colorado, it takes less time to get water boiling, would the same go for vaporizing tobacco?  Less heat for higher altitudes, more heat for lower?  

 

It always seems like I need more heat compared to everyone else, so I'm thinking this may be part of the reason.

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I cannot say definitively, but seeing as I live in colorado, it takes me maybe 10 or so minutes to get a bowl of tangiers smoking well with japanese silver flint coals. WHen i used coconut coals it would take a little less time, using 3/4's of a coal.

How long does it take you?

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I cannot say definitively, but seeing as I live in colorado, it takes me maybe 10 or so minutes to get a bowl of tangiers smoking well with japanese silver flint coals. WHen i used coconut coals it would take a little less time, using 3/4's of a coal.

How long does it take you?

I can't use Japs.  I've tried after Eric recommended it a while ago...and I just couldn't get the bowl smoking good (wimpy...very wimpy smoke).  I have to use 3 halves on just my pico bowl to get it smoking well.  Anything less doesn't produce much smoke.

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Shit, totally meant 3 halves...that is what happens when I am tired and trying to be helpful...maybe someone can get in there and fix it for me...

 

if japs arent working down in FL, then I bet that altitude is playing a part in it, or possibly the humidity. 

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we get crazy humidity in mass and I have never noticed needing more coals during the humid months (summer/spring)

 

it must be the sea level, either that or packing. I find if a bowl is packed too low it always needs more heat.

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we get crazy humidity in mass and I have never noticed needing more coals during the humid months (summer/spring)

 

it must be the sea level, either that or packing. I find if a bowl is packed too low it always needs more heat.

I've tried everything. Dense pack, light/sprinkle pack, high pack, low pack, medium dense pack, lots of big holes, few big holes, lots of small holes, few small holes.  There are some methods I've left out of the list, but that's just an example of what I've tried.

 

If anyone came down to Florida, I'd gladly invite them over to see if they can get it working better down here.  I still have japs to try out again too.

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Actually I should mention also that coals will absorb water from the environment. the more water they absorb the lower heat they will put out. It is also suspected that water-retention in coals could de-acclimate the tobacco (arguable but I have come across it in rare instances...). 

 

To avoid water absorption in coals store them in an airtight container. Avoid exposing them to humidity.

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Perhaps you should be using many, good sized holes and not small pin-sized holes. If its taking 10 minutes to get a bowl smoking right, one of three things may be true:

 

1. You're using too small/too few holes. 

2. You're using a crummy bowl that has a poor heat conduction

3. You're underpacking the bowl.

 

I took Tangiers with me on a road trip in 2003 and I noticed no substantial changes in smoking condition based on altitude. Denver was fine. San Diego's altitude is similar to Florida's, or perhaps a smidge lower, I'd imagine. 

 

I didn't smoke in Holbrook, AZ because there was a huge fire and it was like wading through an incinerator outside, so I just holed up in my room. 

 

In Michigan, using very hard well water, the flavor was significantly impaired. Michigan has extensive iron reserves and the resultant water quality from unprocessed water is quite poor. 

 

Those are the only two things I noticed. Also, acclimation was not ever an issue. Watermelon smoked fine in Denver, for instance. As did Kashmir Peach.  Well, acclimation could have been an issue in Central Michigan, it smoked so awful from the water, I'd never have known. I also smoked it at a little above freezing in a yard metal-sided workshop.

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I've never had acclimation issues in denver, the only flavors that were ever odd for me were guanabana that I had hiden away for over a year, koke, and red tea(which i think just wasnt for me). 

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Perhaps you should be using many, good sized holes and not small pin-sized holes. If its taking 10 minutes to get a bowl smoking right, one of three things may be true:
 
1. You're using too small/too few holes. 
2. You're using a crummy bowl that has a poor heat conduction
3. You're underpacking the bowl.
 
I took Tangiers with me on a road trip in 2003 and I noticed no substantial changes in smoking condition based on altitude. Denver was fine. San Diego's altitude is similar to Florida's, or perhaps a smidge lower, I'd imagine. 
 
I didn't smoke in Holbrook, AZ because there was a huge fire and it was like wading through an incinerator outside, so I just holed up in my room. 
 
In Michigan, using very hard well water, the flavor was significantly impaired. Michigan has extensive iron reserves and the resultant water quality from unprocessed water is quite poor. 
 
Those are the only two things I noticed. Also, acclimation was not ever an issue. Watermelon smoked fine in Denver, for instance. As did Kashmir Peach.  Well, acclimation could have been an issue in Central Michigan, it smoked so awful from the water, I'd never have known. I also smoked it at a little above freezing in a yard metal-sided workshop.

I'm not sure if you were replying to the guy that said it took him 10 minutes, or to me (the OP). The problem is not acclimation or the amount of time it takes to get the bowl smoking. It is more about how much heat/coal is to be used. I've used big holes and it seems to take a lil more heat when I do (but easier to manage if I use too much heat). I'll quote myself on all the different ways I've tried.

I've tried everything. Dense pack, light/sprinkle pack, high pack, low pack, medium dense pack, lots of big holes, few big holes, lots of small holes, few small holes.  There are some methods I've left out of the list, but that's just an example of what I've tried.
 
If anyone came down to Florida, I'd gladly invite them over to see if they can get it working better down here.  I still have japs to try out again too.

BTW, I store my coals in a screw lid container (from a powdered supplement), in case anyone was wondering and I'm using a Tangiers Pico Bowl. 

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