Originally Posted by GreenDrake
Try experimenting with other lump. The KJ charcoal is, in reality, Wicked Good. Although a good lump, I kind of prefer the Lazari oak for the last few years. I get larger pieces and not so much fines in the bottom. When I note a drop in long cooks I also use the ash tool and give a couple pokes to the grate from the draft door, usually works just fine. Then again when doing a long cook, I make sure and really clean it out beforehand.
KJ has a North American blend and a South American blend, so it may just be one of the blends that is causing the issue. The bags are printed the same, but made of a different material. Was the bag the traditional craft paper texture, or did it look/feel a little like a synthetic material? The traditional is North American, the latter is South American.