Getting The Right Volume, Temperature, And General Feel Of Smoke

Posted on: 20 September 2017

There are many different "right" ways to deliver smoke and mist from pipes, and it all comes down to what you or your guests are interested in. Some may want the thickest, purest smoke volume possible, while others prefer their "smoke" to be more of a fog that has just a bit of burnt material in it. It all feels different, and can even taste different, but you need to know what techniques and materials are used to deliver that specific body of inhaled bliss.

Technique And Purpose Behind High Smoke Drags

Whether you're using a traditional hookah pipe set or an innovative percolator system, getting the right mixture of water vapor and smoke can make or break a smoke session. There are many different volumes and mixtures to consider, so start with density first.

The lightest density of water vapor will yield the highest amount smoke. Higher amounts of smoke does not necessarily mean higher potency of your smoked material, as some smoke can be lost in the pulling and inhalation process as it moves too quickly away from your pipes.

The real benefit of low vapor, high smoke is the burning sensation. Some people enjoy a hotter, harsher burn as they smoke. There's a risk of burning the inside of your mouth or esophagus when going low vapor, but this can be offset by slowly increasing the amount of water vapor.

In traditional hookah pipes, this means opening the small know used to allow air to enter. A small amount of air will agitate the mist within the pipes and will cause more vapor to mix in, which can extinguish loose embers without changing your smoke profile to a mist. 

Water-Heavy Pipe Management

As you transition to heavier vapor content, avoid turning the air knob completely open. Although this will allow a lot of air to enter and pull as much vapor as possible through, the outside air will displace both smoke and water vapor. The three factors of air, smoke, and water won't mix well, and you'll just get a weak delivery of all three.

With traditional hookah sets, turn the knob slowly and decrease heat intensity. This means moving the coals slightly to the sides, or removing a percolator pipe system closer to open flame. The tip of the flame is hotter than near the source of a burner because of the air and fuel being pushed up. You can also take the pipe completely away from the heat source, although you will lose some potency while taking longer to heat up.

When you get your preferred mist mixture, take note of the position. In future sessions or later in your current session, consider adding ice water to the liquid chamber. This delivers a cool, dense mist, and only requires a slight correction (if any) to the air intake.

Contact a glow in the dark pipes and accessories professional, such as from Glowpipes, to discuss models that can show the mist with illumination, as it can be a big help when getting the right ratio of air, smoke, and water vapor.