"There is nothing good in war. At the end, the losers will be ash and the winners will be charcoal"
HOW TO CHOOSE THE GOOD CHARCOAL FOR HOOKAH
by Sy Syarien
Director of Supreme Carbon Indonesia
Charcoal for hookah or shisha smoking must be hard, high density, easy to ignite, and burn longer with persistent heat. Coconut charcoal is getting more popular among hookah community because they simply satisfy all of above requirement. Recent polling said that 77.59% hookah smokers prefer coconut charcoal among other type of charcoal (Natural wood charcoal: 16.22% and Instant Light charcoal: 6.19%). But with so many brands in the market, many consumers are confused in choosing which one is suitable and will add great pleasure in hookah smoking.
The charcoal must be hard enough so it will not be broken when you do de-ashing or when you hold it with a tong. You can see how hard the charcoal is by doing the simple trampling test:
- Put the charcoal on hard surface and under your heel
- Slowly press it with your heel by lifting your other foot up
- If the charcoal is crumbled under this test, it means the charcoal is not hard enough, therefore it's not good for shisha or hookah smoking.
Coconut charcoal has higher density dan heavier. The specific gravity of coconut charcoal is more than 1.3, it means it's heavier than water. You can do the dunk test to find out whether the charcoal is made of coconut shell or not:
- Get a glass of water and put the charcoal in the water
- If you have a real coconut charcoal, it must sink in the water due to its high specific gravity. If you found it floats in the water, then you can conclude that it's not coconut charcoal.
- When the charcoal is in the water, it must stay intact for a while. How long it will dissolve in the water will be depended on how much binder (glue) was put in it. The more binder, the longer it stays intact in the water.
Depends on the size of charcoal, time consuming for initial ignition over the gas stove or electric coil should be around 7 to 10 minutes. You will know that charcoal is ready to use when you find out that almost all surfaces are covered by a thin layer of ash. This video shows how to ignite the charcoal over the gas stove.
Depends on the size of charcoal, charcoal should last more than 1 hour of hookah session. For example, flat shape size 25x25x15mm (1"x1"x0,6") should be lasting enough for more than 60 minutes. While cube shape size 25x25x25mm (1"x1"x1") must be lasting more than 90 minutes of hookah session.
Characteristics When Burned
The good charcoal must be burned with stable and persistent heat with the following characteristics:
- Temperature and Flame stability: 40 - 45 minutes
- Hardness: the charcoal is not easily breakable while burning
- Surface temperature: around 320 ºC ( 608 ºF)
- Middle temperature: around 350 ºC ( 662 ºF)
- Less odor.
During early ignition stage, all charcoal must emit some odor due to binder content. This odor normally will be gone after a few minutes of ignition, so when you put it on hookah bowl, there's no more odor would be detected.
- Less smoke.
All charcoal has volatile content at certain level. This volatile will emit smoke when you kindle it. But after a few minutes of kindling, the smoke will be gone. Smoke usually brings odor too. Scientifically speaking, there's no charcoal in the world that has completely no smoke and no odor. So, it is a misconception if some charcoal brands claim to be odorless or smokeless.
- No sparkling.
Sparkling comes from burning of tar residue that stuck with charcoal. During carbonization process in charcoal-making, tar residual should be driven out, so there's no tar residue content in charcoal.
- Red color flame
- No off-taste
Many hookah smokers prefer to see white ash color. But based on our experience, ash color is highly depended on the soil chemistry where the trees grow. If the soil is rich of Calcium, then the ash color will be white. On the other hand, soil that has a lot of Potassium will make ash color brownish. Even some briquettes factories include such ash colorant like limestone in the ingredients to make white ash (Read here ). So, we are of the opinion that the idea saying white ash is better than brownish ash, is just a myth.
No matter of what the color of ash, the good quality charcoal in general must produce ash less than 6% (weight basis). Nevertheless, the European Standard EN 1860-2 for high quality charcoal requires ash contents below 8% only.Supreme Carbon Indonesia is the manufacturer of many best well-known brand of coconut shell charcoal for hookah, shisha, arguileh, and BBQ that available in the world market. Order now with confidence.
Interested in buying our charcoal for shisha or hookah? Please check our latest price list here , or send your inquiry here .
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