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Dedicated whiskey barrel COLD smoker - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
So, here is my update. I have more for the cosmetics to finish up but honestly the barrel has been running the last few days ... Sort of like having the radio on while your working. I am finishing up my trailer RF tank and FB so while working on it, I was enjoying having something running...the smoke smelled nice...like the scent of fall

Here's the progress








It seems to be running very well, temps inside are below 90 and at rack two 21" above the burning pellets it run just under 80 degrees
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
This barrel was taken apart to replace a rotten bottom and 4 broken staves. Reassembly went well and it is very tight. Used rough saw maple for the door frame and doors the tray was loaded with only 1 row of pellets. 1 day corn cob, 1 day maple, 1 day cherry....the row consistently burned for about 3 plus hours each time. No food in it yet but this weekend will see its first cheeses and some home cured bacon.
post #23 of 34

Hey knuckle 47,

Been following your build for a while, I really like your design, trying to find a barrel around me to make into a cold smoker for cheese.

Keep up the great work.

SOB

post #24 of 34

Knuckle,,,,, Looking great, What are you going to use for racks, wonder if some weber round ones will work, can't wait to see the cheese and bacon..Thumbs Up

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the nice comments. As for the racks, they are replacement racks for the Weber grill I bought at Lowe's . I have the 2 large ones about 22" or so and the smaller 18".. A total of 3 racks in all...mounting them this weekend and running the smoker for some cheese. I don't really know how much adjustment it will all require but it does seem to be working well on its own. I really believe I got plain old lucky. I am hoping that this style of door access will eliminate the need to pull out the racks to load them in a top loading barrel.
post #26 of 34
I see you put in at least 4 air intakes at the bottom. What did you do for the exhaust at the top?
post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yep, those are hard to see but there are 5 3/4" holes that I can plug with a tapered dowel if needed and the top has a 3 1/2" stack about 22" long. I was not able to find any details on the intakes to stack but I did read a change of "air" in the tank of about 30 cuft per minute. I know it sounds weird but when I light it up and look at the smoke, I visualize a box about 30 cuft in size and see if that much smoke is passing thru.

Certainly seems like it. Internal temps are ok at 50 outside so i just keep monitoring and trying
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Today was the first cheeses smoke and it is much cooler out than yesterday. My internal temps at 3 hours were barely 60, smoke billowing out nice and thin and the amnps doing it thing perfectly.

I read Mr. T's tutorial and have a quick question: is it best to let the cheese sit at room temp for a day and then vacuum seal or just vacuum seal once it's a few hours out of the smoker and then lose it in the refrigerator for a month?
post #29 of 34
I let mine rest in the fridge for a day sometimes two, prior to vacuum packing.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle47 View Post

Today was the first cheeses smoke and it is much cooler out than yesterday. My internal temps at 3 hours were barely 60, smoke billowing out nice and thin and the amnps doing it thing perfectly.

I read Mr. T's tutorial and have a quick question: is it best to let the cheese sit at room temp for a day and then vacuum seal or just vacuum seal once it's a few hours out of the smoker and then lose it in the refrigerator for a month?

 

Your temps are perfect, good job.

 

The reason for letting your cheese sit before vacuum sealing or waxing is to allow the moisture (if any) evaporate naturally.  No need to refrigerate the hard cheeses if kept at or below 70°.

 

You may find the following helpful also.My Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View, AMNPS & Smoke Daddy Myths?Understanding Smoke Management - updated 5/18/13

 

Enjoy your cheese.

 

Tom

post #31 of 34
Thread Starter 
Mr. T, thank you for the quick answer....you should know that I have read your posts as if I was studying for a CIA exam. Your words of experience have gotten me this far and it has proven to be perfect!

Thanks again
post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 


The finished cheese. Sharp cheddar and ready to sit for the next month or so
post #33 of 34

 

 

 

 

 

I had posted this on another thread, but it most likely should have been here.

 

I thought I should post pictures of my Jack Daniels barrel top loader cold smoker I built 35 or so years ago.  Someone was selling them off a trailer for $20 on the corner of the Safeway parking lot.  They were fresh, it sure smelled good on the deck in the summer for several years.

 

I have three perforated metal racks with 3/8 SS tubing rack holder pins that I can slide out to access the lower racks.  The smoke generator is an old metal milk box with a hinged lid vented on the end with a single wall 6 in metal stove pipe feeding into the bottom of the barrel.  I have a small 220 V electric cook stove element inside and at 110V it heats the small chunks of hickory placed on it, I unplug it when it seems to be getting too hot to prevent flaming.  I also have a small propane burner I can add to the bottom of the barrel if I am smoking jerky to help dry it.  I use larger wood chunks to cover the bung holes.  Yes it has dried out and leaks smoke most everywhere, but still does the job.  I try to remember to pour some water in it every once in a while.  Can’t begin to guess how many hundreds of pounds of bacon, cheese, and jerky have been smoked in it.

 

Doing 5 lbs of packaged bacon with extra ground pepper, 4 pounds of cheese sliced about 3/8 in sliced from bricks, and a dozen pealed eggs with hickory today. 

 

We are having fun and making good stuff.

post #34 of 34

I absolutely love it.  Good job.

 

Tom

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