Originally Posted by cmayna
Welcome to SMF. Typically when doing cheese, I never taste it for an easy 3-4 weeks plus. You need to give the cheese time to mellow out. Once smoked, I usually let it rest in the fridge for a day or two then vacuum seal.
Are you using Todd's pellets? If you are generating too much smoke, you might want to consider getting some of his dust which is used a lot for cold smoking.
I read that it takes a while to mellow, but WOW, I wouldn't have thought that COULD mellow. I might as well have sucked on a used charcoal briquette! I completely skipped the letting it age for a couple of days before vacuum packaging it. I assume that lets some of the harsher stuff flash off? How do you keep it from drying out in the fridge?
I am using Todd's apple pellets, and they work great for TBS during hot smokes. I thought about trying dust, I even saw people using techniques to turn pellets into dust. I'll give that a try and see what happens.
Originally Posted by SmokinAl
...Did you light just one end of the AMNPS?
You can also fill the rows up just half way to the top so you don't have as many pellets smoking at the same time...
I only lit one end of the AMNPS, but that thing puts out some serious smoke even so. I have been filling it all the way to the top, so filling it halfway is a great idea, I'll try that before I try anything else.
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ
You probably need to get some Draft going with all that Plumbing. Try a Blow dryer or a Heating Pad wrapped at the base of the chimney for awhile. Get the chimney warm and the rising heat will suck fresh air in to the mailbox and get things flowing through and out...JJ
I used a computer fan and a cowl made out of tin foil to develop a good draft and it continued when the fan was removed, but it still only gave me white smoke. I even tried leaving the fan in place, it just made even more white smoke!
Originally Posted by DaveOmak
When cold smoking, the smoker needs to be above ambient temperature so a draft will happen and condensate will not form.... The chimney you have, will cool the draft in below ambient temps... I would remove the chimney, preheat the smoker and see what happens... The draft should increase and help your situation...
When warm, hot smoking, the draft is increased significantly and the stack may not be cooling the exhaust..
In my mailbox, I have an upper air inlet to add additional air above the pellets.... you might try that also...
How do you keep your smoker above ambient but not hot enough to melt cheese? Maybe use a light bulb or a heating pad in the bottom?
I will try removing the chimney and see if that helps it flow better. It makes sense that even though smoke is coming out of it, the fact that it is cooling in the chimney is slowing down the system. I think I will cut/crimp that stack into sections a few inches long, that way I can add/remove pieces to tailor it's length to the conditions of the day.
Your mailbox mod is the one I used as a reference, and I have holes the same size in the same places (except for the one you have covered in the photo). I even messed around with the vertical location of the AMNPS within the mailbox. I made a stand out of coat hanger that raises the AMNPS into the middle of the mailbox. It definitely made it happier for hot smoking, I assume because it got more airflow from the bottom. But for cold smoking it didn't seem to matter, I got white smoke either way.
Originally Posted by BandCollector
When I first got my MES I experienced the same issues you are experiencing. Once I removed the smoke stack my issues went away. Try removing the smoke stack and follow some of Dave's, Al's, and Chef JJ's suggestions...
When you say your issues went away, do you mean your drafting issues, or getting white smoke? I found a thread on another forum last night that said you don't get blue smoke when cold smoking, that it is always white smoke. Is that true? If that is the case then I may be worrying about the color of the smoke for no reason. I still need to fix my drafting problems because I know I'm getting stale smoke right now when doing cold smokes, but if the smoke is supposed to be white and not blue for cold smokes that would explain a lot.
Edited by Setesh - 3/4/16 at 8:06am