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View Full Version : Is it Worth the Trouble to Make Lump


jeffreywp1
05-16-2014, 08:18 AM
I do woodwork for a living and have access to unlimited wood scraps, mostly soft maple. I have in the past just used it as is for charcoal to grill, and for fuel for smoker. As charcoal, it burn out fast. But since I usually grill hot and fast it does ok for that purpose. Is it worth the trouble to make it into lump just for a longer burn?

jestridge
05-16-2014, 08:27 AM
No, unless you have spare time

ButtBurner
05-16-2014, 08:31 AM
I think its worth it

ODU Dad
05-16-2014, 09:50 AM
Charcoal is wood that has had impurities driven out to make it hotter, take up less volume, and less weight. I always relate charcoal to seasoned wood as grain alcohol to 80-proof whiskey (wine would be considered a comparison to green wood). So the answer is, what do you need? If the scraps are not "burn worthy" but is compact enough to make charcoal then sure, why not? Remember you will use energy to make charcoal so you won't get as much BTUs out as what you put into it but that is more up to you. I have to think that making charcoal on your level is like making your own beer. You can because you enjoy it but there is some damn fine stuff out there so you don't do it because you're getting a better final product. JMHO

Fwismoker
05-16-2014, 09:54 AM
Absolutely worth it, Why not? I'm gonna use a 30 gallon and 55 gallon one to make some as soon as i secure a 30 gallon barrel.

ButtBurner
05-16-2014, 10:23 AM
No, unless you have spare time

how much time does it take you to make it?

takes me about 1/2 hr, to cut the wood and stuff the barrels and get it burning

then its just keeping an eye on it while doing other things.

and the result is better than any store bought lump I have tried. No popping, or fireworks.

just a good, hot, clean burn from leftover junk wood I have on my property

how can you beat that?

Fwismoker
05-16-2014, 10:54 AM
how much time does it take you to make it?

takes me about 1/2 hr, to cut the wood and stuff the barrels and get it burning

then its just keeping an eye on it while doing other things.

and the result is better than any store bought lump I have tried. No popping, or fireworks.

just a good, hot, clean burn from leftover junk wood I have on my property

how can you beat that?

I don't have the property but have hardwood trees galore in neighborhood that i might as well start collecting the fallen branches from for that purpose.

ButtBurner
05-16-2014, 11:15 AM
I don't have the property but have hardwood trees galore in neighborhood that i might as well start collecting the fallen branches from for that purpose.

just be forewarned its gonna smoke like crazy

if you live with other houses close by I would be careful they dont call the fire dept

Fwismoker
05-16-2014, 11:17 AM
just be forewarned its gonna smoke like crazy

if you live with other houses close by I would be careful they dont call the fire dept

I'm planning on doing it at a friends place that has acres...right at the fire pit.

ButtBurner
05-16-2014, 11:19 AM
I'm planning on doing it at a friends place that has acres...right at the fire pit.

ok good. that will work!!

jeffreywp1
05-16-2014, 01:33 PM
how much time does it take you to make it?

takes me about 1/2 hr, to cut the wood and stuff the barrels and get it burning

then its just keeping an eye on it while doing other things.

and the result is better than any store bought lump I have tried. No popping, or fireworks.

just a good, hot, clean burn from leftover junk wood I have on my property

how can you beat that?
What causes the fireworks from store bought lump? I had sparks land in my hair last week! Good thing I don't use hair spray.

jeffreywp1
05-16-2014, 10:48 PM
No explanation of the fireworks?

captndan
05-17-2014, 07:19 AM
Soft maple probably not. OK for the burn wood but find some oak for the lump.

ButtBurner
05-17-2014, 07:30 AM
No explanation of the fireworks?

its leftover gunpower from when they explode the trees to get the lump into usable pieces

dwfisk
05-17-2014, 07:32 AM
No explanation of the fireworks?

IDK but but it sure is true.

To me it is not about cost, but I do feel it is pretty cost effective now that I'm set up. The other gripe I have with most retail lump is the way most outlets handle it it gets so broken up the sizes are way to inconsistent with lots of little crumble and dust. If you make your own you have much more control over size consistency and quality of the final product and it REALLY makes a big difference at cooktime.

Like others I use the "30gal in a 55gal" barrel retort, simple and quick to use. I've started cutting various wood to size as I trim stuff around the farm so it's a simple matter of loading and monitoring the burn, about a 1/2 hour per 40-45 pound load (output).

angryfish01
05-17-2014, 08:27 AM
I make my own using 55/30 gal retort. It's fun and since I have a lot of down limbs to burn anyway....
I have a lot of white maple at my place and it makes for a mediocre lump because it's less dense than say oak. It burns fast and hot, and will break up into smaller pieces. I use the smaller pieces in the bottom of the charcoal chimney to help with a faster start up when using charcoal briquettes.
My neighbor cut down a white oak and I will let what he gave me dry out foe 3 months or so and try some of that.
I like making and using my own lump.

Edit:
The sparking was probably from the wood type in the lump. Misquote will do that.

KnucklHed BBQ
05-17-2014, 09:15 AM
Haven't tried making lump, if I had more hardwood available near me I would definitely do it though...

The sparking is pockets of unburnt hydrocarbons (wood gas) that is trapped inside the coal, when you apply heat quickly it expands rapidly and ignites, seems like the structure of some woods makes them more prone to doing it.

For you guys that brew your own, are you able to ignite the heavy smoke coming from the barrel to burn it off?

CambuiAl
05-17-2014, 11:21 AM
I am hoping it is worthwhile as I am making my first batch at the moment! I am using a very simple method to start with, with one 200 litre drum, stacked with vertical logs around 30cm each, with a fire lit on top.

Will see how it goes, but I need to perfect the design with a smaller drum inside if I can find one. For me it's worth it, as I have fallen timber everywhere!

Fwismoker
05-17-2014, 11:48 AM
I am hoping it is worthwhile as I am making my first batch at the moment! I am using a very simple method to start with, with one 200 litre drum, stacked with vertical logs around 30cm each, with a fire lit on top.

Will see how it goes, but I need to perfect the design with a smaller drum inside if I can find one. For me it's worth it, as I have fallen timber everywhere!


I settled on using this..should work ok.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_94614-63872-1270_0__?productId=3475295&Ntt=garbage+cans&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dgarbage%2Bcans&facetInfo=