Dedicated whiskey barrel COLD smoker

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by knuckle47, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Hi Gang,
    I have looked in quite a few places but still have not gotten an answer to building the whiskey/wine barrel cold smoker. Was going to use a smoke daddy but read a few idea on different places and I'm thinking the amnps is a better way to go.

    Regardless, how is a smoker of this design laid out? The lid is pictured all over but the insides ....hmmm

    Do I rest the amnps on a few bricks inside and then stack a few shelves? Or use the smoke daddy piped in?

    This will be used for mostly hard cheeses and IN THE FALL / WINTER temps are the biggest reason

  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The whiskey barrel idea sounds great I would go with the amps and put it on bricks like you said, remember you will need a few holes or some kind of a draft in the bottom to keep it going. Would really like to see pics of this when you are done. Good Luck
  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I saw some wooden keg taps on ebay once that would make a really cool damper. glad you started another thread about this. mine went nowhere for some reason.
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I had an old big cheif smoker a long time ago that had a four shelf liftout rack deal. would be pretty cool to build something like that, you could lift out the whole shebang. I really liked that smoker. sadly the ex has it.
  5. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Funny you say that timberjet, it was your post that I was reading and with no replies, I essentially re-posted.

    It seems kind of simple, seems like any container would provide a space for the smoke to pass thru the cheeses. The wooden barrel has a sort of built in charm and with a few creative details, it would look pretty.

    My fear as a novice is.... Something crazy is going to be happening that I have no clue about ! :biggrin:
  6. Just my thoughts.... it would be difficult to work/refill if everything is stacked in the barrel so an outside source of smoke might simplify things. just for reference i have both Todd's AMS (shavings) and Dennis's Smoke Daddy (big Kahuna) so i can have choices depending on my needs. i could see a few holes at the bottom (for draft) and set it up for either one. i do like the thought of a barrel the key would be figuring out a door in the side for access and stay sealed as well. a little copper or stainless can resolve most issues. again just my thoughts.

  7. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Nice thoughts Tom,

    I was thinking about a side door. The nature of the barrel construction dictates securing the whole thing before cutting, I'm guessing sealing it will be a chore but can be done, and a good set of latches will keep it closed, maybe even flat gaskets against the door seam.

    I am wondering how much of the bottom to leave in place. If it had two racks like a 22 in the near middle and an 18 above, it would hold enough for my needs and I can still leave 12" or so intact for brick below the pellet tray and a few holes for draft or a smoke daddy...

    Hmmm..nice job, I think I have a plan!
  8. anchor (from the inside) the metal prior to cutting the door,,,,sealing another thought.

    good luck and progress on this endevor, it is why we play

  9. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Tom, should this barrel idea disintegrate into a woody mess, what would a good suggestion be for using another equally sized vessel for cheese smoking... Maybe just build a miniature cedar smokehouse? Make it like a model doll house with small attractive details but the inside is really just a bunch of small racks?
  10. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe something like this huh?? you could use the spicket on the bottom as a draft  - just an Idea for ya. You could also set it on end???

  11. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    So, can you hear the gears in my head spinning? Is this something you made? I like it a lot . We used to make wine with my Italian grandmother ...much of the stuff I have here is still left from 20 years ago.

    The last wine barrel was emptied about 5 yrs ago. I thinking of trying the grape crushers to try and bring the corn cobs into smaller pieces for smoking. I know about the other woods, dust and pellets but where we lived up north, cob smoke is on a ton of stuff. So, that's where I going once we get up and running.

    Temps are supposed to be in the thirties next week....seems like a good way to keep temps below 90 inside the barrel.
  12. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Are you removing the bottom of the barrel?

    If you are, I would put the barrel on 1/2" strips of wood, then put the AMNS on bricks.  You could rig up something with a screen around it to keep uninvited guests out.

    I think the biggest issue would be setting up the shelves.  I have an electric bullet smoker.  Snaking the shelves down inside is a tricky, especially if I am smoking Salt & Pepper (things that move).  If you use the lift out shelving idea someone mentioned, you could just lift the barrel off to refill.  You could have two lids, one solid for when you are not smoking, the other would have the damper built into it with some sort of rain guard.
  13. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper


    More great ideas. Lifting the barrel is going to be a problem as it weighs more every day ( I'm getting older ) but the shelves will be easier. I believe I can take out the bottom as you say and hinge the barrel in half from the middle up and even make a non flammable rolling base.
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I added the video because its pretty funny! I hope he doesn't burn down his house!

    There are quite a few resources for charcoal and electric Whiskey/wine barrel smokers. Several companies that produce the electric whiskey barrel smokers. Here's some ideas for cold smokers and openings:

    Flip side opening with bradley smoke generator. It seems to me that this type of opening would be best for cold smoking, since you are not worried about losing heat. I prefer cold smoking in my GOSM since the door is easier to load than say the UDS. I used to have a top loading big chief and I hated it compared to the front load Big Chief.

  15. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Tomorrow is Saturday... Don't call be for 4:30 pm, it's still light outside and I'll be busy cutting away at the barrel. Gotta few ideas and will post progress
  16. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So???? Hows it going??
  17. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Well, loaded question... But it is going well. I had to secure each metal ring to each barrel stave and do it so it would have some level of cosmetic symmetry. That took some time and I was working outside on a very cold windy weekend. So it slowed down more then I figured . Cut a front loading door on it to get better loading access . I also had to replace one barrel stave and I was lucky to have had several broken up barrels and saved the wood for the fire. So I had some that fit well.

    I am probably cutting the bottom off and building a large rolling and supporting plate to rest the barrel on and place the amnps onto. If it fails to work, I can re attach the bottom and try a smoke daddy piped into it or just lay the cut end of the barrel onto the round steel plate to seal it off to a small degree. The stack is my only real next guess....size and length

    I'll get a few pictures up shortly but Sunday was all ready planned so nothing got done and this week is tying up a bunch off things with the Thanksgiving holiday in a few days. I may not be able to get going again til Friday afternoon
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Since you are cold smoking all you really need is a 3" hole in the too for e vent. Putting a short pipe on it will allow you to cap it to keep rain out. That is how me UDS is set up and it has no problems drawing. I open all of my lower vents when cold smoking to get a good draft.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper


    About how big are your bottom vents?  Are you thinking that they only need to be as big as to top hole can vent out?  Good Information, thanks by the way
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have 3 1" valves on my UDS. I use the smoker for hot smoking too, so I need to be able to close them to control the heat. In a situation like yours, you could leave them wide open all the time. Good air circulation is important for cold smoking.

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