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Shishapedia - How should I store my Shisha Kit
Shishapedia – How should I store my Shisha Kit
If you use a Hookah pipe at home, you will undoubtedly have a molasses and charcoal at the very least as well. If you haven’t, the hookah pipe won’t be getting much action. The key question is to how to store and keep all your shisha equipment, because some of the smallest mistakes could render your equipment useless. Every piece of equipment has an optimum way and place to be stored, which will stop it being exposed to the elements and wearing away. Flavour Molasses are the easiest to store incorrectly and they can be rendered useless after just a few months! The charcoal can be damaged by just one spill of water, and the pipe itself will rust away over time. In this article I will look at how to store each element of the hookah, and I recommend you follow this if you are a beginner or an advanced regular smoker!
A freshly opened bay of molasses can have a shelf life of up to a year, but if you don’t store them correctly I would say you can expect a life of little over a month. If you plan on finishing your newly opened box within a matter of days you might think this doesn’t apply to you, but it does. Correctly storing molasses doesn’t only give it a longer life, but keeps the flavour stronger.
Simply put, when you correctly store molasses you are preserving the tobacco and the sugary glycerine liquids around the tobacco. Flavours wear away and become unusable when they start to dry out. When the liquids and sugars start to dry out the flavours will soon become less and less strong. The tobacco itself will eventually dry out and then the lack of flavour will not be the only issue, but the tobacco will not burn as well and provide smoke.
When you buy shisha molasses it often comes in Zip lock bags. I would urge you to keep the flavour in a zip locked bag. Keep it out of the air. This will really help slow down the oxidisation process. If the bag is not secure I would place the molasses into a regular kitchen zip lock bag and seal it up.
This will keep out the majority of the oxidising air, but is by no means 100% perfect. If you use your molasses fairly quickly this should do the job, but if you expect your molasses to last more than a month I recommend you go one step further. After you close the zip lock bag wrap it in cling film to block out more air then place the wrapped zip lock bag inside an airtight container. Using this method you can keep your molasses for months and months and not worry.
Do not consider putting the molasses in the fridge. The fridge is for food. Molasses will not benefit at all. The freezer can be used to flash freeze the molasses which will keep the integrity of the glycerine and sugars, but it can also expose the molasses to freeze burns. Personally I would avoid both.
Storing the charcoals is something very simple to do, but very important. Whether you are a user of quick lights, log wood coal or traditional charcoal you have one key thing to remember. If you wet the charcoal, it will become less effective, and often totally ineffective.
If you are a quick light charcoal user, you will in the past I’m sure have put a lit coal onto the coal tray while the tray has been slightly wet. You will have seen the coal will start to smoulder and give of a smoke. The coal will start to crumble and will no longer produce heat where it had contact with water.
When storing your coals ensure not to ruin them by keeping them in a cool dry place. Don’t leave your lighter next to the charcoal, or the shisha molasses. Usually quick light charcoals come in rolls of 10 and in outer boxes of 80 or 100. I recommend keeping all quick lights in the outer boxes and then putting them into an air tight container to avoid moisture. Log wood or Natural coals will come in bags, and I recommend you leave them inside the original bag then inside a plastic air tight container.
The hookah pipe
The pipe itself should be stored CLEAN. Yes, I must reinforce after use you must clean the shaft, base, head, and hose before storing. If you store them dirty, you will come back and find them worse, often with growing fungus and dried marks.
For the base I would suggest you empty out the water and dry it out before storage. Any water left inside for a long time will not be good for the pipe. Once in a while I would clean it with a good cleaning agent but usually a water rinse should suffice. Remember store it dry. If you are leaving it for a while a good technique is to fill it with bubble wrap to help protect it.
The shaft should be rinsed the dried again. You must ensure to remove all glycerines and syrups from the pipe as they will dry on the pipe, and develop mould. Ensure the inside is also clean and dry then keep it somewhere dry and not exposed to the elements. There is nothing wrong storing it connected to the base, but feel free to also keep them separately!
The head should be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed so all molasses are removed. Dry carefully then wrap it in bubble wrap if you are going to store for a while. If not try to keep it in a dry cool place.
The hose should by dried out, then hung somewhere cool and dry. Hanging it will mean if any liquid is still inside it will naturally fall out, not develop mould.
I would avoid keeping hookahs/shisha molasses/coal in a carrying case for long periods of time as it is designed for ease of carrying, not safe storage from the elements.