How to Setup Hookah





Introduction: How to Setup Hookah

Tired of wanting to smoke hookah, but don't know what you need or how to set everything up? If so, you came to the right place. One of my friends taught me everything I know, so now its my turn to teach you!

On the table below, I have laid out everything we are going to be using-minus ice cubes, which are in the freezer, and the stove.

In the following illustration, I have made silhouettes of everything we are using, completely disassembled as well as a letter next to it for further explanation. It goes as following:

A: The Vase-holds the water and ice
B: Tin Foil-placed on top of the bowl for the coals to rest on
C: Bowl-holds the shisha(flavored tobacco)
D: Upper Stem-where you draw the smoke from through the bowl and into the hose
E: Grommet-fits on top of the stem to give a proper seal with the bowl
F: Ash Catcher-catches any ash that might fall from flipping and rotating the coals
G: Tooth Pick-used to poke holes in the foil
H: Hose-used to draw the air through the hookah
I: Coals-heats the shisha
J: Lower stem-screws into upper stem and sits in the bowl under the water level
K: Shisha Jar-the flavored tobacco we are going to smoke
L: Tongs-allow us to handle the coals without getting burned
M: Scalli Mod-fits in the bowl so shisha can't fall down the stem and promotes even airflow

Step 1: Initial Setup

First pick out which flavor shisha you would like to smoke and set it aside.

Bring your vase over to the sink and fill it up to the blue arrow with cold water. We will be putting ice cubes in later so the water will rise, but we can't put them in now because the glass might crack from the heat difference.

Pick out two nice looking coals and place them by your stove top for later.

Turn on your stove to high so it heats up fast. We are using natural coals and can't be lit with a lighter like quicklights can.

Step 2: Bowl Setup Part 1

Get your bowl and scalli mod out. If you are using a different bowl and do not have a scalli mid, ignore the next step.

Put the scalli mod in the middle of the bowl so it covers the raised hole that the air will travel through.

Pick some shisha out of the tub and start placing it in the bowl around the scalli mod. Do not pack it too tight-you will not have any airflow and do not pack it too light-the shisha will just burn. Have the shisha at the same density as the following picture. Try not to play around with the shisha you have already packed it in the bowl to try and get the "perfect bowl." The more you play with it, the easier it is to mess it up.

Step 3: Bowl Setup Part 2

With the bowl now packed, tear off a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the head of the bowl. It doesn't have to be exact, but the top of the bowl must have a good seal. Having a large amount of extra foil isn't bad, but is not as aesthetically pleasing.

Place the foil on top of the bowl and give it a nice, tight seal around the edge.

Take out a toothpick and poke holes in a circular pattern on the foil.

Step 4:

Now, screw in the lower part of the stem to the upper part. Do not over tighten, because then you risk stripping the threads.

Time for ice. Place about three ice cubes in the vase.

Examine the water level again and make sure it is at the new blue line as shown below. Pour out or add water as necessary.

Screw the stem into the vase.

Take the ash catcher and place it on top of the stem and then the grommet on the piece of the stem sticking out.

Step 5: Heating the Coals

Wait for the stove coils to be red hot.

Then place the coals on the reddest part of the coils.

When the bottoms are a nice red color, you can use your tongs to flip them over.

When the other side of the coals are a nice red color as well, they are done. The whole process of cooking the coals should take about five minutes.

Step 6: Final Touches

Place your bowl on top of the grommet, ensuring a tight seal.

Use your tongs to place the coals on top of the bowl, on the foil. Do not place them directly in the middle. Instead, place them off to the side. When smoking, you will be rotating the coals around the bowl every so often to ensure the shisha is being evenly heated.

Finally, insert the pipe into the hole in the middle of the hookah. It might take a few hits for the bow to properly heat up and give smoke. Now enjoy! Smoking goes great with anything from watching tv, to hanging out with friends, and is even a great way to relax while getting some work done! It has definitely gotten me through a few long, rough nights of homework up at school.

Step 7: Cleanup

Cleanup is very simple. But if you are preoccupied while smoking like getting some work done, it is perfectly ok to leave the hookah after you are done smoking before cleaning up. Just try to clean it up before you head to bed. The coals will die out on their own and cleanup will still be a breeze when you finally get to it..

First, dump the coals into the sink and the shisha into the garbage can. The water in the sink will break up what is left of the coal and ensure that it can't start a fire.

Then disassemble your hookah and wash all parts with soap and water. Dry everything off and let it air dry so water in hard to reach places can evaporate.

Once everything is dry, you can put it away in its case until your next session.



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    Where did you get this bowl?

     I've tried this several times, and it is really good. The only problem is that lately it has been tasting extremely ashy, it tastes like ash incase my made up word didn't make sense... Any suggestions as to why or what i may need to change?

    i should add to never use soap to clean your hookah, your better off using kosher salt and 30% alcohol solution to clean it, happy smoking

    on part D, the upper stem, what is the screw thing on the other side? mine has one aswell

    3 replies

    It is the valve that lets air go out when you purge.

    ah i see, mine is completely closed off, do i need to take it out when i use it or unscrew it sightly to let the air out?

    No, you don't need to take it out or anything. It might actually be a port for another hose if you have an adapter.

    sorry for a double post but in step 1 you said not to put ice iin it until later because it might break from the hot to cold change but why is this? as far as i can see, the only heat in the whole thing would be in step 6 and even then the heat doesn't really reach the glass vase, so from what i can see it cant break fro hot to cool extremes. How come we wait to put the ice in?

    3 replies

    Well, the vase is at room temperature and the water you are putting in is allot colder than that. The vase itself is not hot, but in comparison to the water, it is. And I do not know the exact physics behind why drastic changes in temperature breaks things, but I think it has to do with the rapid expansion and contraction of the glass. By waiting to put the ice in, the water cools the vase as it sits so there isn't that big of a temperature change.

    ah of course, sorry, i didn't think about that. mine lives in a tea towel so it doesnt break in my bag so i guess i should remember that step. does the ice do anything to the smoke or just help the water rise?

    The ice cools down the smoke so when you take a hit, it is smoother, cooler, and less harsh.

    im pissed. i got kicked out of a store when i tried to buy a hookah just because i rode my bike and forgot my license. im 19. the guy said i was "jacakassing" when i told him the deal with my bike and all.

    1 reply

    go in with your ID then he'll sell it to you

    What can also be used for when you don't have coals? A lighter by itself does not work.

    1 reply

    In order to smoke hookah, you need coals.

    This is a very good looking bowl I must say. In South Africa we only get the bland ceramic heads (as we call it). By the way, Just a tip. You shouldn't pack the tobacco (that's what we call it in SA) so that it's higher than the rim of the bowl. If the tobacco touches the foil, it will burn, and that leaves a very nasty taste, and it actually burns your lungs. You just want to inhale the steam coming off the tobacco. Not the smoke of it burning.

    1 reply

    You are partially correct. Actually, with the phunnel bowl, you want to pack it slightly higher than the rim. With a standard bowl, you do not want to overpack it at all. The way that the phunnel bowls work, you won't get that burnt layer of shisha on top like you would with a standard bowl.

    Sweet! Looks like I was doing it all wrong before. Where did you get that bowl, I haven't seen it at the shops by me?

    1 reply