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Daves Smokehouse....Part 9 Test Runs

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by s2k9k, May 4, 2013.

  1. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You can just fax it to me!
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are in a hard water area, the electric element cruds up very fast.....  They make an element that slides in where the drain plug is located... you might have to remove it every month or so to clean the scale off...   remember to put aluminum based anti-sieze on the threads... 
  3. This is a valve for an Atwood RV water heater like Dave is talking about.http://www.camperpartsworld.com/RVAtwoodWaterHeaterGasControlValveThermostat.html

    It normally feeds a jet burner that heats the water. It has pipe thread ports in the vavlve though, so hooking it to any type of burner would work.

    This is a pilot assembly that would make it work. http://www.camperpartsworld.com/GasPilotAssembly9inchForOldAtwood

    I am not sure that these parts would work together, this is just what I found to use as an example. You would have to check when purchasing to make sure. It looks like this could be done without having to have a power source for around $150 though.

    You would just need to supply the valve with gas at 11-13" H2O to make it work. You could buy an RV regulator from that site I'm sure that is already set up for the correct pressure and leave it permanently mounted. All this would be real simple to do. The gas valve has a pipe thread outlet on the back that is normally put into the water heater tank to sense water temp for the thermostat in the valve. You might be able to get the temp regulated with it, but that might take some playing around to get it right. I'm not sure of the temp range on these things.
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  4. It sure feels like continuing a hijacking, but the OP said go ahead so here goes. You need to have the pressure checked. It is easy to do if you have access to a monometer. Pull the stove top off and one burner out. Hook the hose up to the burner orfice and see what pressure you get there. If it is higher than 13" water column you need to lower it. Most RV regulators have an adjustment screw that takes an allen wrench to turn. It is under a plastic plug, probably about 1/2" thread plug. The stove and furnace will usually work with higher pressures than the water heater will.
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Thanks ras! Does that valve have an emergency shut off? It doesn't really say anything on the link.
  6. You have to mount the pilot and thermocouple above the burner so it will ignite the burner. If that thermocouple looses temp the valve will shut.

    These are not the most common for RVs anymore, but worked great for a long time. You actually have to turn the knob to pilot, push it in, light the pilot, and hold the button until it heats up the thermocouple. Then you have to turn the knob further to make it heat up water. That is way too much work and complication for folks nowadays. With the DSI (direct spark ignition) ones that take 12V to operate you just flip on a switch and it goes. You could set your smokehouse up with one of these, but it would probably cost 3 times as much and need power.
  7. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Thanks ras! I'm going to look into this since it sounds simple and rather inexpensive. I don't mind spending a few mins lighting it, not like I'm waiting on a hot shower!
  8. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    OK I'm going to throw this out there just for the heck of it and hope someone sees it.

    What if I decided to go electric, how big (in watts) of an element would I need? I want to be able to maintain about 180* but most of the time will be lower. The chamber will be 30"X30"X72". I can go a little shorter but not too much.

    Might be safer and I could run a PID which I would love to have temp control.
  9. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  10. Yes.
    I can see the advantages to the non-electric unit, but an electric set-up would allow for a more accurate thermostat or even a PID.
    Seems like that would be a big advantage.
    I'm pretty sure that NEPAS said he abandoned gas because of temperature fluctuations.
    A good thermostat or a PID should solve that problem.

  11. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Since I'm only planning on sausage and jerky (maybe some bacon) I'm not looking for a smoke ring or high temps. I just want a little warmth and good airflow, temp control would be awesome! I plan on using the AMNPS for smoke.
  12. -
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  13. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Or go "old school" and use a small cast iron stove with "wood sticks" as the heat & smoke source.  Just turn the exhaust 90* and run it into the side of the smoke house.

    I don't recall if you were going to insulate the interior walls or not.  IF you go electric, that is pretty much a "must do".  I would think a well insulated 30x30x72" space could be heated with a single 1,500 watt element.  But a larger element would give you faster initial heat up time and faster recovery from door openings, cooler weather, wind, etc...   Once you go over about 1,650 watts you are looking at a 220v power source though.  They all would work (gas, wood, electric), and each has advantages and disadvantages. Electric is about as simple as it gets though.  Once it's set up right, as long as you have power you are holding temps with no further adjustments.  With gas you have to worry about flame going out, running out of gas (if on LP tanks), and on wood you have to reload it every so often and fiddle with air flow dampers.  I vote electric....

  14. In that case, you could just "cold" smoke.
    That would save you a lot of money and worry.
    I don't finish sausages or jerky in the smoker.
    I've found that I get a higher quality and more consistent product if I finish them in another way.
    I cold smoke all sausages, (in summer warm smoke) then finish by steaming or in the new sous vide pasteurizing set-up.
    I cold smoke jerky, then dry it down in an apartment sized fridge.
    Only thing in my smokehouse if a couple A-Maze-N smokers.

    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  15. smoke slinger

    smoke slinger Smoking Fanatic

    Lookin good so far, smoke house would be nice to have.
  16. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  17. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Part 3 - Framing and Siding

    I got most of the framing done today. I used 2X3's because I thought 2X4's was overkill for something this small and I also want to cut down on weight because when I move it's going with me and they are about $1.00 cheaper! My framing is probably overkill but when I build something I like to make sure it will last.
    Here's a few pics of my progress so far:

    I put some foam tape under the bottom plate to fill any unevenness in the concrete so no bugs will crawl under. I used concrete anchors I found in my garage, they weren't really long enough so I had to improvise by drilling a recess in the wood, they tightened down just fine.

    The rectangles you see framed in, 2 at the bottom, 2 at the top are for my intake and exhaust vents. I put them on ajacent corners to hopefully get a more even airflow through it. I will be using adjustable register grills (like in your ceiling) to cover the holes.

    Just a shot of it mounted above the heat chamber.

    I just have to cut 3 rafters for the roof and build the door then I can install the siding (T1-11) and paint it.
    Lowes had to order the rockwool insulation so it will be another week before I can install the Durock but I'm going to go ahead and cut it this weekend.

    Thanks for looking and any suggestions are very welcome!
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  18. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    My friend...

    "Impressive" is not a big enough word to describe this project. You know I'm a car guy. Always felt I could bolt together a space shuttle if I had to.  But lumber? I don't think I've driven a straight nail in my 53 year history. 

    Outstanding work pal. b
  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Looking GREAT Dave!  It's easy to see you're putting some serious work and detail into this smoke house.   Can't wait to see the next update!
  20. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like you have it all under control. It is the attention to detail that makes it cool!