Easy to Make Cold Smoke Generator

Postby saucisson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:20 pm

The can is inside the smoker on the lowest shelf. The pump came with an airstone so I made a hole in the base of the can slightly narrower than the plastic pipe on the airstone and screwed it in so the stone was inside and the pipe protruded from the base, the air hose was pushed onto the airstone so everything was held in place, fibre glass was packed loosely around the airstone and stainless steel wool placed over the top, with a can lid on top of that. The can was filled with chippings and an incense burner charcoal block placed on top of the chippings and lit and the air pump turned on. I left the top can lid from my diagram off. It was still smoking away 12 1/2 hours later . When I looked at it 5 hours after that it had gone out leaving 1/3rd to 1/2 inch charcoaled chippings in the bottom of the can. The smoker was 1-2 deg C above ambient while the burner was smoking and that never got more than hand hot, the paper on the outside of the can was unscorched. If you put a side pipe in and could seal the top I think you could easily side mount it on the outside of the smoker. This is using Franco's wood chips which are approx 5mmx5mmx1mm.

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Postby Richierich » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:07 pm

saucisson wrote:The can is inside the smoker on the lowest shelf. The pump came with an airstone so I made a hole in the base of the can slightly narrower than the plastic pipe on the airstone and screwed it in so the stone was inside and the pipe protruded from the base, the air hose was pushed onto the airstone so everything was held in place, fibre glass was packed loosely around the airstone and stainless steel wool placed over the top, with a can lid on top of that. The can was filled with chippings and an incense burner charcoal block placed on top of the chippings and lit and the air pump turned on. I left the top can lid from my diagram off. It was still smoking away 12 1/2 hours later . When I looked at it 5 hours after that it had gone out leaving 1/3rd to 1/2 inch charcoaled chippings in the bottom of the can. The smoker was 1-2 deg C above ambient while the burner was smoking and that never got more than hand hot, the paper on the outside of the can was unscorched. If you put a side pipe in and could seal the top I think you could easily side mount it on the outside of the smoker. This is using Franco's wood chips which are approx 5mmx5mmx1mm.

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Looks like quite a big tin. So you lit it from the top and let it burn down? I guess thats why it did not get too hot, I am planning on similar, but bring the air in through the side, using my trusty 9 iron shaft, into some steel wool and then round a tin lid, that way I can stand it on the ground or whaever.

I got a air stone with mine, was not sure about using it though, not sure if it would get hot or not. I think I will have a play this weekend.

What sort of air pump did you get, picked up a aqua one brand, runs off 2 x D cells, just wonder what the life will be like, its also quite noisy, well when you are close to it!!

What on earth did you smoke for 12 hours? :)
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Postby saucisson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:44 pm

It's a 1.75kg John Bull Cider kit tin so yes it's big and yes I lit from the top. My pump is an interpet apmini aquarium air pump mains operated. As far as I can tell the airstone never got hot at all, it certainly looks as new still. I smoked a kg of bacon and a 3/4kg of salmon fillets.

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Postby DarrinG » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:49 pm

Way to go Dave! Looks great, well over 12 hours of smoke that is awesome. How many wood chips do you think you used? Here is the one I build which is more like the original but since I couldn't find my pond pump I had to put my own spin on it.

Its comprised of:

1-2"x10" nipple
2-2" end caps.
1-1/4"x4" nipple
1-1/4xclose nipple
1-1/4" Gate value
1-1/4" air connector
3-1/4x20 Grub/set screws
1-small piece of 3/16 grating.

So what I did its pretty obvious. But for those of you that want step by step instructions here it is. First I drilled and tapped a hole in one end cap to fit the 1/4xclose nipple. I then connected the nipple to the value and the air connector and then the whole bit to the end cap. Then I measured 2 inches up and marked 3 spots for my set screws, drilled and tapped those. Then I measued up 4 inches and drilled and tapped that hole for my 1/4x4 nipple.

Once that was done I grabbed some tin snips and went to town cutting out my little grate to fit inside the pipe. Once it fit I screwed in my set screws so the grate had a place to sit. Found a place to mount the pipe so I could test out my project, filled the nipple up with chips and lit. Once it started to smoke real good and I could see a bit of glowing in the bottom I connected my valve to the air compressor and cracked the valve until I could hear the air and screwed the cap onto the pipe. When I connected everything, smoke just started to billow so I screwed the top cap on and I started my stop watch. So far so good and I've been running it since 2:45.

I've got $15 and about and hour invested.

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Postby saucisson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:30 pm

That definitely looks like the industrial version Darrin :D. I reckon I used about 200g wood chips for my smoke session. It would have been nice to know exactly how long it went on for but 2:40am was as long as I lasted :oops: :lol:

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Postby DarrinG » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:09 pm

My unit ran for 1.5 hours on a full load of wood chips. If it was packed solid it would have worked out to be about 3.5 cups of chips. I had to run it at a pretty constant volume of air to keep the smoke running. When the smoke ran out and I opened it up there was nothing left in the smoker. No charred bits or anything therefore no messy cleanup & I won't have to unhook it to reload it either!

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Postby Richierich » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:01 am

Great looking unit Darrin, although I suspect mine will look a little more like Daves, just need to find a big can, would be great just to leave it going.

Still not sure on how to light it, thought about a small piece of lump wood charcoal in the top, should see it right!

Got 2kg of bacon in the fridge, its been out a couple of weeks now, ready for some smoke now, will only do half though.
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Postby saucisson » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:08 pm

I got a supply of incense burner disks from http://www.incense-man.co.uk/ they light with a match and burn long enough to keep it going until it is self sustaining, I'll try a piece of lumpwood charcoal next time if you are successful Rich. I like the sound of your self cleaning unit Darrin.

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Postby Richierich » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:39 am

Today should be the day, managed to get the mother of all tins yesterday, although I think it is a little large. 2.6 litre can of sweetcorn.

Off to find my drill!
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Postby Richierich » Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:42 pm

Well, I found the drill.

Not had a chance to properly light it yet, tried a small piece of firelighter, no success there.

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Postby saucisson » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:37 pm

I think to get it working from the top you need a self sutaining bit of charcoal, lighting from the bottom may be different I might try that with the soldering iron next. Todays effort was less successful as the disk burnt its way down through the chips rather than slowly consuming them as it went, so although I got several hours out of it it then went out leaving 2/3rds of the can full of slightly charred chips. The only difference between the two sessions was that it was much windier today.

Keep trying!


Dave

Edit: I took the lower lid out so there was just the rockwool and stainless steel wool, refilled it and it worked perfectly, so I wonder if the gap around the lid had got clogged up enough to reduce the air flow, I'll put some perforations in it around the perimeter for next time.
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Postby Richierich » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:57 pm

Just tried it with the soldering iron, although only for 20 minutes or so, peeing down with rain, so I was in the garage!!

Left the soldering iron in for about 10 minutes, took it out and the smoke stopped, put it back in and the smoke began, left it for 5 minutes, took it out and turned on the air pump (noisy little bugger) and the smoke continued, I ran for 10 minutes, once I turned the air off it gradually died.

Anyone got any ideas of how to charge up a canister or something with air and then gradually let the pressure out, would be quieter than the pump, and cheaper than a full blown compressor.
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Postby saucisson » Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:31 pm

Yes :) I used to have a humbrol airbrush set that ran off horrendously expensive air cannisters so I used a car inner tube instead. Not sure how I connected them but I'm sure you could make one up with a bicycle punp tube (suitable for a tyre valve). You might need a massive tractor tyre inner tube to keep it going though.

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I'll try the soldering iron next. Let me know if you want to try out the incense blocks and I'll pop a couple in the post.

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Postby Richierich » Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:51 pm

Might take you up on that, see how I get on, at least you can use the charcoal in the rain, you can't really use the soldering iron, although I guess you coud get it going in the garage first!

Might go looking for a large inner tube.
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Postby DarrinG » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:42 pm

I don't know if you can get them but a air tank works great without the noise of an air compressor. Any gas station tire pump fills it. I use mine when I go to the beach to fill the water toys.

Don't know if it would last all that long but who knows.

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