oak barrell smoker

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by bloater, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. bloater

    bloater Newbie

    Hi there,

    Having been hot smoking loads of fish and meat for years I thought I`d try my hand at cold smoking. I bought an old oak whiskey barrell from a cider brewery set it all up, i burn the oak chippings a couple of meters away with a small gas burner under an old pressure cooker and a copper pipe connecting the two with a fish tank air pump pushing the smoke into the barrell and this all works fine apart from the four or five things Ive smoked in the barrell that have an unbelievably bad taste. Its a mixture of an appley, whisky, bitter, sour, not very nice at all flavour. Does any one know if its because the barrell has been impregnated with cider, or the copper pipe feeding the smoke . Any help would be gratefully recieved.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Got to be the barrel,its sweating those things out. Somebody here will have a scientific answer ,Allblancher perhaps. But if the cider ferments inside the barrel every thing that is produced by that process isnt necessarily tasty! A whisky barrel or wine barrel might be different.
  3. bloater

    bloater Newbie

    Hi Moikel and thanks for that, I did think it was the cider, its just finding a way to get rid of it. It was originally a whiskey barrell from the Isle of Jura in Scotland, but then went to a cider brewery in Kent.
  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mate I  love the idea of using the barrel but I think what happens is they get passed down the line of distilling as the barrel gets older.So cider is end of the line so to speak.I know they reuse whisky barrels for other fortified drinks but in some instances they shave & reshave the inside or char & rechar them.Wine barrels here get reused there s a whole new oak ,old oak thing but then after a certain point they become decorative or jumbo flowers pots.If you could get one straight from the whisky distillery you might be in better shape.I dont know about cleaning it you would have to scrape it till you got to clean timber,normally a job for apprentice's at the wineries here. Good luck lovely history with the barrel some pretty fine scotch comes from the Isle of Jura. I figure you must be in the UK so thats hardly a scoop.I think there's actually a tool for scraping barrel staves or maybe its a chemical process now. The moari's in Aust use steel beer kegs to great effect to do fish & eels.
  5. rafiqrana019

    rafiqrana019 Newbie

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2012
  6. ronrude

    ronrude Meat Mopper

    The nice thing about cold smoking is you can do it injust about anything.  some even use cardboard boxes.  Use your cold smoker with a box.  If the reults are better, then it is the barrel.  If the flavor is still off, then try changing something else.  Process of elimination is your friend in this process.
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ronrude is on the $ about the box thing.If you have an AMPS you can convert anything to a chamber,just a matter of venting it. Old filing cabinets,fridges,steel beer kegs.The moari"s here in OZ use beer kegs to great effect,just a matter of having the tools to cut the right openings.Stainless steel a big plus,if a keg falls off the back of a truck like they regularly seem to do here in Sydney[​IMG],your in business. The 18 gallon ones work best Im told.

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