I have lurked on this site for years, only posting a couple times in the past. I recently decided, however to make an attempt at building a Mini UDS and did so using a 16 gal drum, and the lid and grates from a Weber Smokey Joe. I placed four intakes at approximately 2 inches from the bottom, evenly spaced and inserted ¾“ x 2 inch threaded nipples in three of the intake holes and a ¾” ball valve in the fourth. I made a basket using ¾” expanded metal wrapped around the charcoal grate from the Smokey Joe. The charcoal grate sits approximately an inch above the intakes and the basket itself is approximately 11 inches in diameter and 9 inches tall. Using the minion method I have tried filling the basket approximately ½ to ¾ full, once with lump charcoal and hickory chunks and another time with Kingsford Briquettes and hickory chunks. I usually then light about a dozen briquettes and place them on top of the basket. Once lit, with all caps off the intakes and the ball valve wide open I can easily get up to temp, yet after capping the three nipples and no matter where I seem to adjust the ball valve and the exhaust on the Smokey Joe Lid, I just cannot seem to keep the temp below 300 degrees. Anyone have any ideas as to what I am doing wrong? I do have some smoke leaking from the lid and have even tried wrapping foil around the top of the barrel to cut down on the air leak. Unfortunately I am unable to search the site although I did read multiple posts related to UDS' and Mini UDS' to the point that my head hurts… Thanks in advance.... Mike
11-17-2012 09:56 PM
Mike, after you verify you don't have a air leak, I would start with less briquettes. I use 12 for a 55 gallon drum. Just a guess would be starting with 6. Cap off extra Intakes early and only have valve open at 200*. Then see where she settles. Pugi
11-17-2012 10:05 PM
I start mine with 6 or 7 briquettes and catch it on the way up. I have also found that I have to close off my exhaust to about 2/3 open helps.
11-18-2012 06:48 AM
Thanks for the responses. I will try your recommendations and see what happens.
11-18-2012 07:39 AM
A little bit of smoke coming around the lid isn't your problem. I always have smoke there with no problems. Sounds like an air leak around your intakes because even with starting with too much lit charcoal you should be able to catch it on the way up and stabilize it.
11-18-2012 09:07 AM
You have an air leak seal the connection where the nipples penetrate the drum with some RTV.