+1 what the gentlemen said above.
Most if not all of the bitter taste comes from white billowy smoke. White billowy smoke comes moist/wet wood (including soaked chips) and/or smothering the fire. Keep the
wood (with bark ON if you like) dry, put it on the fire in small amounts so as not to
smother the fire, keep the smoke very thin in that "sweet blue" hue we talk about.
You wont have a problem with bitter....
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.