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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #10996
foam2
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I think you need to play with your intakes a little more. I have the same intake arrangement as you and I typically run one 3/4" pipe nipple completely open, one closed, and the last one has a 3/4" ball valve that is about half open which gets me to about 250 degrees. Try the next cook and adjust your intakes before you make any additional changes to your exhaust.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #10997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foam2 View Post
I think you need to play with your intakes a little more. I have the same intake arrangement as you and I typically run one 3/4" pipe nipple completely open, one closed, and the last one has a 3/4" ball valve that is about half open which gets me to about 250 degrees. Try the next cook and adjust your intakes before you make any additional changes to your exhaust.
Thank you for your comments. The problem I'm having is that (if I understand things correctly) I do not have much room to play. Two of my 3/4" holes are plugged. The third one is already partially closed.

Am I correct in thinking that shutting more of that 3rd intake would be a bad idea? Or is it okay to shut off the intake to almost nothing?

Perhaps I need to start with 10 coals instead of 15. Not sure what kind of difference that will make. But perhaps worth a shot.


Thank you.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #10998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrybird View Post
Had my first cook in my UDS that was finished about a week ago... I had some temp problems and was hoping someone could enlighten me.

I lit 15 coals in my chimney. I've got 3 3/4" intake holes and 8 1/2" exhaust holes around the circumference of the lid. I put pipe nipples on two of the intakes when temps got to around 210. The third 3/4 is a ball valve and was left open. No exhaust holes were covered.

The temp climbed and ranged mostly between 280 to 300 it probably would of climbed higher if I didn't take off the lid occasionally to cool it off. I couldn't seem to bring it down with the intake adjustments. I also didn't want to completely close off my intake ball valve on the third hole. But, I did close it about half way. Still was hot.

There doesn't seem to be any leakage in the drum. When I close all the holes, the fire goes out pretty quickly. Any ideas on what I can do to keep those temps down? Do the exhaust holes need to be slightly bigger?
Keep the lid on. Taking the lid off will let heat escape & temp will drop around your cooking grate in the short term. It also allows a lot of oxygen into the drum that will make your fire burn hotter. That's why your temp spikes when you put the lid back on. If temps spike, you can close off all the intakes to choke the fire down. Drums hold heat very well so it takes longer to bring temps down than up. Close off all intakes & wait for temps to start to fall, then open the valve up about halfway. Be patient & wait for the temps to stabilize before make any other adjustments. It can take 10-15 mins or more before it settles in. From that point on make very small adjustments to the intakes & give them time to work.

My drum has 3 nipples, one with a ball valve. I cook most of the time around 275 & have two nipples capped & the ball valve only 1/2 to 3/4 open. I use around 10-12 briquettes to start my fire. I cap off one nipple at 220-225. The second at 250-255. At 265-270, I close the valve halfway. Within 10 mins, it usually has settled in between 275-280. If not, I make a small adjustment to the valve to dial in the temp I want.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:40 PM   #10999
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I would say then try different fire management. It sounds like your fire comes on strong so I would say start closing your intake earlier (at a lower temperature as you're coming up) and then adjusting your valve until you get where you want to be. If you can snuff the fire out pretty quickly, don't be afraid to shut the ball valve a little more to get your fire under control. You're still letting in air and by leaving your exhaust wide open you have no fear of creasote smells etc. The uds responds very quickly, don't be afraid. If the temperature after that wants to settle in a little higher than you want don't fight it.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #11000
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Thanks Foam2 and olewarthog. I appreciate the pointers.

I'll start with 10 coals and shut down 2 of the intakes sooner. And even more importantly, now that I know I can completely shut off the intake (and not ruin the food), I'll give that a try if need-be.

Thanks again.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #11001
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Has anyone ever tried using a 2 inch ball valve to regulate the chimney as a damper?
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Unread 06-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #11002
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There are multiple issues that make each UDS differennt on how much they must be chocked to maintain temperature. Temperature is controlled by draft. Draft is created through your intake holes, but has no problem creating itself through cracks and the exhaust. Your exhaust holes are probably allowing slightly more draft than a smoke stack system, so I would not really worry that you need to choke at the ball valve with both nipples closed.

fwiw fuel also effects this. Damp lump takes a lot more draft to hit temps than good dry lump. I suspect that draft requirements also change between lump and briquettes.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 07:42 AM   #11003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrybird View Post
Thanks Foam2 and olewarthog. I appreciate the pointers.

I'll start with 10 coals and shut down 2 of the intakes sooner. And even more importantly, now that I know I can completely shut off the intake (and not ruin the food), I'll give that a try if need-be.

Thanks again.
A few other notes:

Check for air leaks into the drum. Anywhere that air can get in is going to allow more oxygen in for burning and temp will be higher. I can put a full chimney of charcoal in on top of what's loaded in the basket and still control temp because it's all about how much oxygen can get in, not how many briquets you start with.

If you're using lump, you'll need less air than using briquets, it just burns hotter normally.

I have run anywhere from 1 cap off + the valve 1/2 open to just the valve open maybe 1/3 depending on what temp I'm shooting for. This is using Kingsford, 2 3/4" pipe nipples and 1 3/4" valve, all of which are air-tight to the drum with a Weber lid and a rope seal in it to tighten it up to the drum.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #11004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperJETT View Post
A few other notes:

Check for air leaks into the drum. Anywhere that air can get in is going to allow more oxygen in for burning and temp will be higher.
What do you recommend to check for leaks? If I close off my intakes and exhaust, my fire goes out pretty fast. I'm under the assumption that means there are little air leaks in my setup.

Thanks
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Unread 06-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #11005
BigBoi
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New here, and ready to build a UDS.

Ive had this old Shasta soda barrel in the shed for years holding shovels, rakes, etc.

It measures 36x18 (40 gallons maybe)

Can you guys tell by the pics if its lined or not? The bottom just has surface rust, but is pretty dang solid.



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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:11 PM   #11006
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Bigboi looks to have the tan liner in it.. Your gonna wanna remove that eather by sandblasting or burning it out... Thats a smooth drum with no ribs should make for a clean looking drum when shes done..
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Unread 06-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #11007
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If you sandblast it, the paint job might stand up to the heat....
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Unread 06-19-2013, 09:31 PM   #11008
BigBoi
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Ok, Cool!

And as for the lid, I found out that my local Home Depot has the Masterbuilt 18-1/2 in. Kettle Charcoal Grill's for $39. Not a bad price, IMO.

Now I need to find some 18" grates that will fit.

Thanks guys!
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Unread 06-19-2013, 09:47 PM   #11009
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Just emailed 5 sand blasters in my area. What is a decent price?
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Unread 06-19-2013, 10:36 PM   #11010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrybird View Post
What do you recommend to check for leaks? If I close off my intakes and exhaust, my fire goes out pretty fast. I'm under the assumption that means there are little air leaks in my setup.

Thanks
Cap/close the nipples/valve and put a little water inside to see if it leaks. The lid is easy to tell when you're smoking, all smoke should come out your vent if sealed properly. I get a little leakage with my Weber lid/rope seal but it's not enough to affect anything.
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