What is a Glycerin Coil?
Smokers are constantly looking for the most optimal daily driver setup that gives them the biggest clouds and richest flavor, without choking from the harshness of the smoke. Everyone has their own method for the perfect toke, and many include a combination of percolators and ice-catchers to chill the smoke before it reaches your lungs. These help, but the ice soon melts, adding water to the chamber that can eventually cause splashback into your mouth. To remedy this, glycerin coils were designed to efficiently cool smoke as it passes through your bong.
What are Glycerin Coils?
While they’re an older concept, glycerin coils, also known as condenser coils, are making their way back into the forefront of the smoking community. These freezable parts help keep your bong ice cold when incorporated into your setup. Once frozen, as smoke travels through your bong it will begin winding through the extended smoke path of the coil. Here the smoke will be cooled by the glass walls before it reaches your lungs.
You can use these coils in two ways; you can pick up a bong with a coil already incorporated into the detachable tube of the bong, or simply add a glycerin adapter to your current bong or rig’s joint. These detachable hollow glass coils are surrounded by liquid glycerin, or glycerol, a non-toxic FDA approved liquid that can be found in cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, and food products.
How Do They Work?
Organic and made from fatty acids, this liquid glycerin prevents ice particles from forming, meaning it won’t expand as it freezes and affect the integrity of your glass. Its high melting point will keep it frozen for longer than ice and won’t melt, overfilling your water and splashing into your mouth when you draw. It also freezes faster than water so you can enjoy it quicker. Take the coil and place it in the freezer for a few hours before integrating into your bong. Never put your entire bong into the freezer. Glass cannot withstand the cold temperatures of the freezer without cracking.
As mentioned above, some glycerin coils work as an attachment similar to an ash catcher slipping into your bong’s joint. Others are combined with the tube of the bong and need to be assembled with a keck clip. A keck clip is a clamp made of plastic or metal that securely holds the glass joints together, preventing them from accidentally detaching. Once the coil is frozen, just use the clip to attach the tube to the base of your bong.
Normal ice catchers or ice notches require ice cubes that 1) take a long time to freeze, 2) melt quickly, and 3) overfill your bong. After a few hot hits you’ll need to pour out the water and add more ice. The glycerin coil stops this cycle in its tracks, keeping your bong chilled with no overfill. You can keep it frozen until you need to use it and simply return it to the freezer when done.
When it comes time to cleaning your glycerin coil, you can proceed the way you would any other piece, using 91% isopropyl and salt or another glass cleaner. Just fill it up, plug it, and give it a good shake. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, especially if you don’t clean your pieces as often as they need to be. Due to the coils being small, this is an opportunity for resin blockage to occur, so I would suggest cleaning them often.
As someone who is known for their “baby lungs”, I employ the use of ice catchers very regularly to smooth out my hits. I was skeptical about glycerin coils at first, but these novelty percs have improved considerably since the first time I tried one out a few years ago. The hit was icy, and after already passing through my diffused downstem, it was filtered to perfection. There was a little drag, so I wasn’t able to immediately clear the bong, but overall it really upped my smoking experience.