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I need help with my mailbox mod please... will not stay lit. - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 

Last Update.... apparently shortly after I pulled the 4 pm pic the pellets went out completely.  

 

Below is the 5 pm pic and I tried to get them smoking again but they were done.

I can run another test tomorrow if it does not rain. 

 

Thoughts on the next mods?

 

thanks haeffnkr

 

post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post
 

Burn time depends on the type of fuel being burned, along with the amount of heat and air supplied. There should be no problem achieving a 15 or more hour burn using a powder not dust for fuel using a 5x8 tray.

 

I know you like to do cold smokes with very small amounts of smoke. However, I have not seen any posts in this forum indicating that people normally get five hours per row with an AMNPS. As I indicated above, I've never seen much more than three hours when using pellets, and it is less when using sawdust. Most of what I've read about smoke, and all the videos I've watched showing competition BBQ shows setups show a fair amount of air reaching the fuel. My point is that I would not recommend choking off the air in order to get a longer burn time, and that for most hot smokes, where there is going to be a stronger draft through the mod, three hours is probably more typical of what most people get. Also, he is smoking with pellets, not dust.I don't know what a "powder" is. I don't think I've ever seen "powder" for sale.

post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
 

Last Update.... apparently shortly after I pulled the 4 pm pic the pellets went out completely.  

 

Below is the 5 pm pic and I tried to get them smoking again but they were done.

I can run another test tomorrow if it does not rain. 

 

Thoughts on the next mods?

 

thanks haeffnkr

 

 

OK...  I may have missed it but....

 

Where do you live.....

What is the elevation.....

What are the temperatures...   It would make answering your questions more accurate if we knew a few things....

 

My thoughts....   Your smoker is cold...  ambient temperature or colder...  that is creating an "air dam" and stopping or blocking air flow...   You need your smoker to be 5-10 degrees warmer than ambient so it acts as a chimney and sucks air through the MB mod and keeps the pellets lit....   

I have had the same situation I think you have going...     Start the AMNPS... it burns for awhile then quits as the afternoon temps warm up, while the smoker stays cool....   the cooler air in the smoker gets heavier and will flow backwards, out the MB door holes... putting out the AMNPS....   

I had to turn on the smoker heat for a minute to warm it up...  then turn it off...    

I had the smoker operating great with the AMNPS one day....  put a cold slab of pig belly in it....   the smoke started coming out the MB mod as the air in the smoke cooled from the pig belly...

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 

 

I know you like to do cold smokes with very small amounts of smoke. However, I have not seen any posts in this forum indicating that people normally get five hours per row with an AMNPS. As I indicated above, I've never seen much more than three hours when using pellets, and it is less when using sawdust. Most of what I've read about smoke, and all the videos I've watched showing competition BBQ shows setups show a fair amount of air reaching the fuel. My point is that I would not recommend choking off the air in order to get a longer burn time, and that for most hot smokes, where there is going to be a stronger draft through the mod, three hours is probably more typical of what most people get. Also, he is smoking with pellets, not dust.I don't know what a "powder" is. I don't think I've ever seen "powder" for sale.

johnmeyer,

 

Here is one post that you have not seen. It was taken from post #1 from the following thread.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/243936/cleaning-up-your-act-clean-smoke-is-delicious-smoke

 

For the fourth and fifth tests I used powdered pellets and two ziplock baggies.  Both baggies go in at the beginning of the test, but one gets removed at 9 hours and 58 minutes, the same amount of time that the pellets burned for in the third test.  This shows us the difference in smoke produced by powder vs pellets.  The other baggie goes the distance.  The tray smoke generator is fully loaded with powder and loaded into the mailbox.  The powder burned for 15 hours 36 minutes.  That's 56% longer than the pellets, but at a lower smoke density. 

 

I know nothing about comp. BBQ therefore cannot comment on what they do. When I hot smoke, a tray type smoke generator is not used.

Like you, I figure an average of a three-hour burn rate per row when using pellets.

 

As for choking airflow, What do you have against changing the amount of draft in order to get the desired color and density of smoke for the product being smoked? I adjust mine by changing the height of the outlet, but that is rarely required.

 

As for your not knowing what powder is, if you go to our PM communication on Feb 14 2017 at 9:49 am, you will see it mentioned. Powder for sale? I’ll sell you a pound of cob powder, $25 free shipping.

 

T

post #25 of 38

OK, I forgot about crushing the pellets to create powder. I haven't tried that one yet.

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

 

My thoughts....   Your smoker is cold...  ambient temperature or colder...  that is creating an "air dam" and stopping or blocking air flow...   You need your smoker to be 5-10 degrees warmer than ambient so it acts as a chimney and sucks air through the MB mod and keeps the pellets lit....   

I have had the same situation I think you have going...     Start the AMNPS... it burns for awhile then quits as the afternoon temps warm up, while the smoker stays cool....   the cooler air in the smoker gets heavier and will flow backwards, out the MB door holes... putting out the AMNPS....   

I had to turn on the smoker heat for a minute to warm it up...  then turn it off...    

I had the smoker operating great with the AMNPS one day....  put a cold slab of pig belly in it....   the smoke started coming out the MB mod as the air in the smoke cooled from the pig belly...

 

The above poster makes a very good point on the cause of backdraft. It has been my experience that as long as the product chamber temperature is warmer than the ambient temperature, even as little as 1° or 2°, smoke will flow without assistance. The amount of flow depends on the height differences between the inlet and outlet. With my setup that height has an adjusting range of 8 ft. out of the product chamber, which sets well above the firebox.

 

 I often cold smoke below ambient temperature with the assistance of a small fan placed near the air inlet, of course if more convenient, a fan could be placed near the outlet as well. As my cold smoking equipment is in the shade, this is done when the outside air is warming up and the smoking equipment is still cool.

 

T

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 

OK, I forgot about crushing the pellets to create powder. I haven't tried that one yet.

 

More than crushing johnmeyer, I am talking pulverizing them with the aid of a blender to a talc like consistency. Oh, your wife will be proud of you. :icon_smile:

 

T

post #28 of 38

We've already had this conversation in that PM you referred to. Let me repeat here for the general public what I wrote privately in that message.

 

I am not a fan of pulverizing pellets and would recommend that other people do NOT try it. I ruined our 40-year old wedding gift Cuisinart doing this. Wood is really hard on blenders or food processors. Neither appliance is designed to handle this job. I used very tiny wood chips. They cracked my food processor blade. They then overheated and melted the plastic bowl of my Cuisinart. It took less than thirty seconds to do all of this damage. It ruined the processor and rendered it unusable.

 

Fortunately I used a spare blade that was already chipped, so I just threw that out. I was able to find a new old stock bowl (for a price, on eBay) to replace the one that melted. As a result, my wife didn't shoot me and the old, reliable workhorse is still working as well as the day we received it back in 1978. I was lucky that the story has a good ending.

 

So while most of your tutorials have been very helpful and good, this is one piece of advice that I would caution others not to follow.

 

If you want to use dust, buy some of Todd's excellent sawdust. I've used it; it works; it provides less smoke than chips for cold smoking (if you think that helps); it is a good price; you don't have to waste time trying to grind pellets; and you don't have to put your equipment at risk. I saw your exchange with Bear on this subject and I understand that you don't think the sawdust will work as well as pulverized pellets. I'm unsure as to why that would be because, having seen Setesh's picture of his pulverized pellets, the result looks pretty close the my sawdust.

post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 

We've already had this conversation in that PM you referred to. Let me repeat here for the general public what I wrote privately in that message.

 

I am not a fan of pulverizing pellets and would recommend that other people do NOT try it. I ruined our 40-year old wedding gift Cuisinart doing this. Wood is really hard on blenders or food processors. Neither appliance is designed to handle this job. I used very tiny wood chips. They cracked my food processor blade. They then overheated and melted the plastic bowl of my Cuisinart. It took less than thirty seconds to do all of this damage. It ruined the processor and rendered it unusable.

 

Fortunately I used a spare blade that was already chipped, so I just threw that out. I was able to find a new old stock bowl (for a price, on eBay) to replace the one that melted. As a result, my wife didn't shoot me and the old, reliable workhorse is still working as well as the day we received it back in 1978. I was lucky that the story has a good ending.

 

So while most of your tutorials have been very helpful and good, this is one piece of advice that I would caution others not to follow.

 

If you want to use dust, buy some of Todd's excellent sawdust. I've used it; it works; it provides less smoke than chips for cold smoking (if you think that helps); it is a good price; you don't have to waste time trying to grind pellets; and you don't have to put your equipment at risk. I saw your exchange with Bear on this subject and I understand that you don't think the sawdust will work as well as pulverized pellets. I'm unsure as to why that would be because, having seen Setesh's picture of his pulverized pellets, the result looks pretty close the my sawdust.

 

I don't recall ever mentioning using a food processor for any purpose other than making smoked butter from scratch. I certainly did not consider using our Cuisinart for this purpose.  If I recall it was recommended that you use a garage sale blender, my $2.00 blender has done a good job many, many times. If I wanted to use dust, I simply wouldn't blend the pellets as long.

 

My advice to others, use common sense.

 

T

post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
 

Last Update.... apparently shortly after I pulled the 4 pm pic the pellets went out completely.  

 

Below is the 5 pm pic and I tried to get them smoking again but they were done.

I can run another test tomorrow if it does not rain. 

 

Thoughts on the next mods?

 

thanks haeffnkr

 

 

+1 for filling the pellets to the top of the walls but not letting them spill over.  There are plenty of posts on the forum where guys have trouble keeping pellets lit around the "bend" of the row and some other posts where pellets go out and all were solved with making sure the rows were filled well but not overflowing.  I had this issue 1 time early on and filled my rows and have never had a failure with my hot smokes and my one cold smoke for salmon lox.

 

Also a hot smoke might let you know if things work fine with hot temps thereby helping you narrow down your efforts to cold smoke tuning. 

I live in TX and don't really have to worry about the smoker temp being cooler than the ambient temp so I can't comment with any experience concerning the posts made about that point.  I would think they are on to something though as my cold smoke attempt seemed to show flow through my MES than the when I hot smoke.  Again living in TX the ambient temps rise higher than the inside of the smoker and I also put a full aluminum tray of ice in my MES for the cold smoke to help keep the temps down so I was ok on that front.

 

Anyhow, report back with what you try and I'm sure it can get sorted out :)

post #31 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

 

OK...  I may have missed it but....

 

Where do you live.....

What is the elevation.....

What are the temperatures...   It would make answering your questions more accurate if we knew a few things....

 

My thoughts....   Your smoker is cold...  ambient temperature or colder...  that is creating an "air dam" and stopping or blocking air flow...   You need your smoker to be 5-10 degrees warmer than ambient so it acts as a chimney and sucks air through the MB mod and keeps the pellets lit....   

I have had the same situation I think you have going...     Start the AMNPS... it burns for awhile then quits as the afternoon temps warm up, while the smoker stays cool....   the cooler air in the smoker gets heavier and will flow backwards, out the MB door holes... putting out the AMNPS....   

I had to turn on the smoker heat for a minute to warm it up...  then turn it off...    

I had the smoker operating great with the AMNPS one day....  put a cold slab of pig belly in it....   the smoke started coming out the MB mod as the air in the smoke cooled from the pig belly...

I live in St Peters MO - 63376 - elevation 570

I smoke between 30 and 95 F - yesterday it was about 60 and overcast all day. 

I was NOT cold smoking yesterday with all the pics... I had the MES set at 225 and it was at the temp,

 

I only cold smoked once with the sausage and it flat did not work.... well it did... but it took 3 days and the end product was still lacking a bit of smoke.

post #32 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallBM View Post
 

 

+1 for filling the pellets to the top of the walls but not letting them spill over.  There are plenty of posts on the forum where guys have trouble keeping pellets lit around the "bend" of the row and some other posts where pellets go out and all were solved with making sure the rows were filled well but not overflowing.  I had this issue 1 time early on and filled my rows and have never had a failure with my hot smokes and my one cold smoke for salmon lox.

 

I had the AMPS full one time and yes it jumped over, so I had it backed down cause I did not want to do that again.

 

Thanks for the help.

I will try filling it to the top and adding another hole in the mailbox and let you all know how it goes.

Not sure if I will run another test this week or it will wait to the weekend.

 

Do all of you have a 2.5 gen smoker?  I read where they dont flow as good as the first gen ones?

 

thanks haeffnkr

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
 

I had the AMPS full one time and yes it jumped over, so I had it backed down cause I did not want to do that again.

 

Thanks for the help.

I will try filling it to the top and adding another hole in the mailbox and let you all know how it goes.

Not sure if I will run another test this week or it will wait to the weekend.

 

Do all of you have a 2.5 gen smoker?  I read where they dont flow as good as the first gen ones?

 

thanks haeffnkr

I've only used it on a Gen 1 and Gen 2.  No issues but my mailbox mod is a little different than most.  I use a wall hanging mailbox, not the traditional mailbox.  The wall hanging one has lots of airflow from under built in so I've never had an issue.  I think if you keep tinkering with your airflow you will get it.  Best of luck :)

post #34 of 38

The only issue I know about with the various MES gens is when you put the AMNPS inside. Once you put it in an external "mod box," the MES generation should not matter.

post #35 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

I put an extra hole in the mailbox, and taped up the connections out of the mailbox into the MES.

I put a bunch of foil tape around the fitting that goes into the MES to make it tight with no leaks.

There are no smoke leaks that I can see now and the smoke was rolling.

I put as many pellets into the amps as I could.

 

I have captions of the progress below with the pics.

Bottom line after 7 hours it was still smoking but probably 2-3 hours behind but not out.

So I am getting progress for sure.

 

Next Steps? 

More mailbox holes? Shorter run of hose between mailbox and MES?  

 

 

Fire started

 

 

Extra hole in the mail box

 

 

Taped up and tight

 

 

After 5 hours I am past the turn

 

 

Whole system now with tape and tight 

 

 

After almost 7 hours  it started to kick in and get close.completing the burn, a bit late but on the way.  Not sure why it is taking so long. I guess it is about 2-3 hours behind.

I pulled out the amps and I am done for the night. 

 

Thoughts?

 

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post

Hi All,
I put an extra hole in the mailbox, and taped up the connections out of the mailbox into the MES.
I put a bunch of foil tape around the fitting that goes into the MES to make it tight with no leaks.
There are no smoke leaks that I can see now and the smoke was rolling.
I put as many pellets into the amps as I could.

I have captions of the progress below with the pics.
Bottom line after 7 hours it was still smoking but probably 2-3 hours behind but not out.
So I am getting progress for sure.

Next Steps? 
More mailbox holes? Shorter run of hose between mailbox and MES?  


Fire started




Extra hole in the mail box




Taped up and tight




After 5 hours I am past the turn




Whole system now with tape and tight 




After almost 7 hours  it started to kick in and get close.completing the burn, a bit late but on the way.  Not sure why it is taking so long. I guess it is about 2-3 hours behind.
I pulled out the amps and I am done for the night. 

Thoughts?


I get about four hours per channel. Maybe taking the Amnps out of the mailbox and turning it around every four hours so it burns with the draft will help.
-Kurt
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
 

Hi All,

 

After almost 7 hours  it started to kick in and get close.completing the burn, a bit late but on the way.  Not sure why it is taking so long. I guess it is about 2-3 hours behind.

I pulled out the amps and I am done for the night. 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 

The burn rate, with your setup, will depend on the type of fuel, Apple, Hickory Cherry, together with the height difference between the inlet and outlet. 

 

T

post #38 of 38

It looks to me like you are set!

 

As long as you are getting good smoke and the AMNPS is not going out then you hare right where you need to be.  Some pellets burn faster, some burn slower.  My 100% hickory or 100% cherry burn very long.  My alder blended pellets and mesquite blended pellets burn much more quickly.

 

Congrats on your success, now go smoke something and post the pics :D

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