Cap it for an even hit.
A carb cap is an essential instrument designed for use with domeless nails. To use a carb cap, heat up your heating element, put your oil or concentrates on the nail, and then place the carb cap over the domeless nail.
These devices have a small hole to restrict airflow to your nail and increase flavor. If you dab without a carb cap, you’ll be constantly pulling cold air into the chamber of your nail. This flow of air will cool down your heating element and concentrates before you are able to enjoy all of the flavors your concentrates have to offer.
Dabbing without a carb cap forces you to take higher temp dabs, destroying the terpenes in your concentrates. Terpenes are responsible for the flavors of your concentrates, and also alter your smoking experience—why would you want to waste that!?
Some newbie dabbers think of carb caps as a secondary accessory, but a concentrate connoisseur will never dab without one!
When you place a carb cap on top of your domeless nail, it essentially turns your heating element into a convection oven. As the carb cap restricts airflow, your nail will retain heat for a longer period of time.
Once you’ve got a good handle on nail temperatures and wait times, this extra heat retention will enable you to maintain your ideal dabbing temperature long enough to taste all of the terpenes within your concentrates.
Carb caps work with banger nails. They are designed to control air flow as a dab melts inside the nail, be it banger, domeless or curve. Carb caps, like nails, are made from glass, quartz, ceramic or titanium. All carb caps, though, work on the same principal; capping heat.
Capping that heat allows for optimum dabs because the nail retains heat longer, so you can low in order to get way high. This is especially true one you have mastered low temp dabs.
Many people, mainly newbies, think a nail has to be glowing hot. It doesn’t. This probably was believed because the first nails were probably metal, which is fun to heat to glowing temps. Metal loses heat much faster than quartz or glass, so people heated Ti nails to white hot, then let them cool a bit before use.
It’s overkill. Kills the flavor, kills the product too quickly, and is hard on the nail.
Too hot a nail ultimately means money down the drain.
Low Temp Dabs vs High Temp Dabs
The optimum temperature for wax, oil, shatter (or really any concentrate) is between 350 and 410 degrees, when optimal vaporization happens. Keep the heat with the use of a carb cap and you fully appreciate your product.
Most carb caps have a small hole that allows a controlled stream of air, helping circulate heat inside a hot nail, capturing, with convection, the best flavor and the longest savor.
How To Heat a Nail
Using a carb cap correctly starts with heating the nail properly.
Heating a nail with a refillable butane torch lighter is pretty quick, but usually happens a lot faster than people know. If Bradbury serves, paper burns at 451 degrees F.
Leaving the torch on too long means making the nail way hotter than necessary. Heating a nail for low temp dabs also preserves the nail itself. Heating too hot too fast can shorten the life of your nail, eventually cracking it from stress.
Learn to use the blue parts of the inner flame. There’s blue, and light blue. The tip of the inner BLUE flame is the hottest part of the torch flame. This is where nail heating should happen as it can achieve heat quickly, leaving fewer combustion by-products.
Timing for the Right Temp Dab
First things first- don’t leave a carb cap on a nail while it’s being heated. That can damage both the nail and the carb cap.
Timing how long the flame should be on the nail is a matter of trial and error. Remember- the lower the temperature you can achieve a vapor at, the better. If you want continuous heat, you should invest in a rig and nail that works with enails.
Most people have a counter in their head. Start by counting slowly to 7. Adjust as necessary. If oil burns away immediately, shorten the time. If it doesn’t sizzle at all, up the time.
A carb cap makes low temp dabs possible. When paired with the proper nail, these covers work with bangers, curves and domeless nails. There are carb caps designed for specific cuts of nail, like 45 degree bangers.
Working with a carb cap allows for much lower temp dabs than many previously thought was necessary. Gone are the days of shitty flavor, flash fry hacking chokes, and a poor, innocent concentrate that’s gone before you know it. Use all your grams thoroughly and invest in the right equipment; dab rig, quality nail and matching carb cap, for the ultimate in low temp dabs.
Whether you prefer glass, quartz, ceramic or titanium in your nails and carb caps is strictly a matter of personal preference. Some people like the life of titanium but others claim quartz allows for the easiest heat and purest flavors.
So, you have to take into account durability, heat retention and flavor when making your choices. Once you have learned all aspects of your perfect toke, then you will no longer be a grasshopper. You will be a master, a dab hand.
How to Use a Carb Cap
Many carb caps come with a dabber built in, making it convenient to work with one side to scoop wax out of a silicone or glass dish, and the other to cap the heat inside the hot nail, keeping smoke where it should be- your lungs!
So, once that soft stuff begins to sizzle away from the properly heated nail, carb cap that dab like a lid to a pot. Immediately the oil will start to circulate as the capped off heat swirls.
Carb caps (like stovepipes) are caps with carburetors. Go figure! That carburetor is a small hole through the cap that allows cooler air to come in gradually or not at all, accommodating circulation and smoking at your control.
Most people will pull off the carb cap once the oil is vaporized, making chamber clearing easier.
Cleaning a Carb Cap
The final thing to learn about carb caps is keeping them clean.
You can soak them in a 1-to-3 solution of isopropyl and water with an appropriate amount of coarse salt added to act as an abrasive. Seal the container (or plastic bag) and shake lightly to agitate for a few minutes. Let it presoak a few minutes before removing and wiping clean and dry with a towel. Rinse with clean water, dry again and you’re good to go for pure flavor!
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