New Idiot member (Me)

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New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Tue May 28, 2013 10:01 am

Hi folks, rather than jump in (smoked) ham fisted I thought I'd best introduce myself here.

Gus, from Cambridgeshire

New to smoking (used to as a kid with an ABU set up, so hardly large, nor taxing).
have been salivating over smokers for years, & took the plunge after getting my daughter (9) into smoked salmon, smoked sausage, etc decided to get a ProQ CSG via Macs the other day.

I'm off to Ashwood later this week hopefully (just up the road from me) to buy in some dust, but can anyone recommend the grade / diameter from them these days which will suit the ProQ CSG please.

(If i'm going to buy in qty then make it the right stuff to smoulder eh)!?

Initial thoughts are to set it up in my office, (window & spare 316 flue to hand) effecting a good seal & airflow, we use a wood burner so are used to vagaries of atmospherics, dry material, through-flow, air regulation etc, so hopefully will make a decent job of our trial runs.

initial test smoke will be cheeses, (which I'll then vacuum seal), but am wondering what the optimum block size is & whether it's worth rotating them regularly in order to amass best smoke penetration?

I guess i'll resort to the old cardboard box method first off & build from there.

One thing which has interested me is the comments of wispiness of the smoulder of the csg, & whilst it would make for shorter burn times anyone tried a computer fan placement beneath it (more densely packed of course) who is able to comment as to performance & load times as a consequence?
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby NCPaul » Tue May 28, 2013 10:54 am

Welcome to the forum. :D I try to have the smoke leave as fast as it is generated with draft at the top and bottom of the smoking chamber. Maybe if you are inside you would need a fan.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Tue May 28, 2013 11:01 am

yup, i've 8 inch chimney flue to play with which will be joined to the window, mesh sealed against any insects, got to cobble something together regards to racking or go skip diving at the local tip for wire cooker trays.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby SteveW » Tue May 28, 2013 4:06 pm

Hi, welcome. If you want more smoke you can light it at both ends. You'll get half the burn time but twice the smoke. You will need a little butane blowtorch to light it at the end (in the middle) as well, they're cheap enough on ebay and much quicker to use than the candle.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby wheels » Tue May 28, 2013 4:18 pm

GUS wrote:I'm off to Ashwood later this week hopefully (just up the road from me) to buy in some dust, but can anyone recommend the grade / diameter from them these days which will suit the ProQ CSG please.

(If i'm going to buy in qty then make it the right stuff to smoulder eh)!?


Hi Gus, welcome.

I'd ring Ashwood to confirm that there stuff is suitable. I know that they used to supply ProQ but at one stage there were some problems as Ashwood's German supplier changed their spec. Also, get them to give you specific directions for the last bit of the journey - it's a pig to find, if you don't know where it is.

Please post back here with any info you find out.

Phil
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Wed May 29, 2013 1:41 pm

Thanks folks.

Re location, yup, i've read the thread (all 26 pages) & am aware it can be a trauma to find, i'll check it with google streetview before leaving.

Also will take a smidgen of the dust supplied with the CSG for reference as to likelihood of a match for suitability.

I'm going to take my fan operated twin chamber!? woodgasifier stove with me as a possible alternative for suitability / and/or better smoke output.

The reason for this is that when used al fresco camping it can be overly efficient in terms of long burn / smoulder time based on our "experience & surprise" to whit after making food, having fed it with twigs & dty pine cones (for instance) we have left the contents to burn down, so efficient is the stove that we've awoken on a few occasions to find it charcoaling & burning like a good-um 12 hours later, once I made the mistake at home of cooking & using it as a mini fire focal point, let it die, but stupidly popped it in the butler sink within our conservatory ...woke to a smokey smell & a thick fog, again popped it outside, still smoking the next morning.

Therefore if this can be reproduced with minimal heat output over a long period it may prove a worthy smoker tool, i'll make some guesstimates as to throughflow & density in a few jerry-rigged boxes if it looks to be a goer.

My one wholly "unvalidated" concern re Ashwood, (having read the dust change saga) is that they may have had their nose put out of join by the proQ thing, in that when I called them they were a bit backward in coming forward re the ProQ CSG in that they claimed to not know anything about it!?

..which of course by their previous association as suppliers of the old dust is clearly a slight bending of truth, OR if changes to spec of the csg has taken place then they may be being honest in claims that they don't know much about it!?

Needless to say i'll attempt to thrash this one out with them, as they've been pretty helpful in other areas prior to this.

It'd be a shame to have to get dust from outside of the area when there's a factory on my doorstep (almost), especially in qty.

I do have high hopes for my woodgas unit, which may require a bit of tinkering & initial attendance but if it works then I might well anticipate a good 15 hour burn.

Blowtorch at the ready, as is a working portable A rated air conditioner & a few sheets of celotex insulation, ready for a bit of bodging to make & keep a cool smoking chamber.

regards the Air con, any practical uses or simply adviseable to let nature do the moisture thing with a side of salmon? ..maybe a bit overkill but we can hepa filtrate the air intake if need be.

obviously this is long term (unless patently ridiculous), ..but when you've got the tools space & time to tinker...well, #shedbloke

Feel free to shoot me down if i'm getting beyond the realms of normality :lol:
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby saucisson » Wed May 29, 2013 4:46 pm

You're doing fine :D Do you have any details/links to your woodgasifier?, as it's something I've briefly looked at for camping.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Wed May 29, 2013 5:49 pm

Saucisson:

Whilst I purchased mine abroad (& it is the xl version) it's widely known as the "woodsman" by Spenton LLC, very simple unit (but sadly out of business as of jan 2013 I found out in a net search just now...

However they are still available in stores ..& are reassuringly low tech in terms of making a repair further down the road.
I've used mine a lot & alls well (now 4 yrs old)

http://www.spenton.com/WoodGasOwnersMan ... tronic.pdf

http://www.how-to-diy.org/MT0dAFiXQ8Tq6 ... ve-XL.html
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:02 pm

Well, that didn't turn out as originally planned!

Sadly the CSG had to remain unlit till today as life simply got in the way!

However yesterday, was a take the kid to wicksteed park day & drop in @ Ashwood on the way home.

Took the satnav's advice (& ashwood's) & went further up the road (2 junctions, for an easy turn into the industrial park, once JEWSON'S was spotted followed by Gregg's (industrial bakers fame) their premises were just about visible & easy to find, without trauma.

The Ashwood family were pleasant to deal with, happy to give me some pointers & help carry 2 big old sacks to the car.

As I write this the ProQ CSG has been smoking merrily with no coaxing required for 8 hours & still going strong.

Lightly tamped & started by the candle it sprung into life (I gave it extra time due to me faffing around elsewhere),possibly 1.5 - 2 minutes with the nightlight candle & since then superb constant burn, no struggling, just good solid output.

Currently smoking courtesy of the Raucher Gold Oak dust,
Räucher Gold
E 150-750
Size 0.2 to 2.5 mm

Will report back with regards to Beech Raucher hopefully tomorrow, however it's looking very positive already.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby yotmon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:43 pm

Good to hear that you have finally got round to using it. I was bought one last Christmas and used it for the first time last week to smoke a piece of cured belly pork. I placed the bacon on the top rack inside the gas bbq hood and the ProQ onto the grill. It worked a charm, burning nice and slow and producing enough smoke to give the bacon that beautiful smoked colour as well as an authentic smell/taste. Don't know why I've been putting it off for so long, was actually thinking of making a separate wooden smoke chamber but this worked fine. Once the weather cools I'll be trying some Salmon.
PS, I put a small piece of cheap Chedder on as well - didn't last long once it was brought onto the kitchen.....
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby wheels » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:54 pm

GUS wrote:...As I write this the ProQ CSG has been smoking merrily with no coaxing required for 8 hours & still going strong.

...Currently smoking courtesy of the Raucher Gold Oak dust,
Räucher Gold
E 150-750
Size 0.2 to 2.5 mm

Will report back with regards to Beech Raucher hopefully tomorrow, however it's looking very positive already.


That's fantastic to know Gus, many thanks. What sort of price was the oak and beech? They're usually the cheapest. Fruit woods were 7 or 8 times their price when I bought mine?

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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:51 am

It was a mere £10 per 15kg sack of Oak or Beech (correct as of Aug 2013)

Will be investing in some other flavours once i'm properly set with my CSG & gasifier, however it gets the thumbs up from me in terms of simplicity, sturdy packaging & assured quality.

NB please note: I am both lazy & /or methodical (take your pick) & wanted to see how many burns it wuld take to choke the csg to point of self extuinguishing..

Therefore I merely tapped residue from the csg which had been burning for a good 10 hours, & lazily brushed with my finger to vaguely clean the area (improved airflow through mesh) , clearly where I neglected to clean properly in my haste to get to bed towards the still warm mesh centre it did extuinguish 1/2 way round.

I had tamped slightly less vigourously than before & not cleaned out the csg, so wasn't surprised, cleaning properly after each burn for me is clearly a pre-requisite, & snuffed smoulder 2nd time round due to user oversight (incompetence).

After a few more burns i'll use the 88g that accompanied the mac's CSG & compare output, i've a lot to learn especially with regard to tamping in relation to maintaining a good burn.

Time to purloin a scrubbing brush to clean those mesh holes.
Would any CSG'ers please recommend the quickest & best cleaning method for a quick turn around please!?
Mac's ProQ CSG devotee.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby badjak » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:31 am

I rinse by tapping out the smoked dust, then rinse under a running tap with my fingers and a toothbrush.

I don't really think that you need to clean it quickly, even if you have big meats hanging for smoking.
I haven't done anything yet, that needs more than 1 cycle (8-10 hours of smoke), but from what I have read, the meat can only take up so much smoke and after that benefits from a period without (so you got a couple of hours to clean the thing)
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby NCPaul » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:36 am

New toothbrush; you can store it in the box with the CSG.
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Re: New Idiot member (Me)

Postby GUS » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:26 pm

Thanks folks! ..appreciated, just finished vacuum sealing the cheese, long overnight smoke for the brie & trying to find my feet for the cheddar, extended smoke times due to sheer amount of breeze which was knocking the smoke out of the box (improperly sealed) & into the room, ..but we are ok with that, so it was a bit confusing as to when the wind got up, decided to just let it burn & work back if it's too smokey.

Thanks to whoever recommended taking notes as to food items, smoke times & personal preferences, sage advice indeed!

about to chain myself to a radiator Terry Waite style in order to keep from snaffling the cheese too soon, ..admittedly the brie was only cling-wrapped, so it looks like i've lost the battle of willpower before i'd even started!

will get scrubbing Macs CSG, as there's goats cheese blazing a trail over here as we speak! ...plain smoke or add some herbs? ..i'm in your hands (& will be for sometime)
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