First Fire in my UDS not working Help

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bigdan1122, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. bigdan1122

    bigdan1122 Newbie

    I have been trying to do my 1st seasoning burn in my UDS and cant keep the fire going:(

    I've got 4 3/4" pipe openings at the bottom, 2 have ballcock control, on the top of the lid I have 4 3/4" pipe openings 1 has a ballcock valve on it, Ive tried opening everything up, tried 2 at the bottom one at top and the temp will drop in 1/2 hour down to 100, bottom of temp gauge, any thoughts?

    I put a mix of Briquettes and Lump in my basket. started by using a chimney and added heated coals to bin of charcoal, it went out, then I took the bin out of the drum got it going really hot put it in drum and fire just goes out!
     
  2. Do you have your charcoal basket up off of the bottom of the smoker? Mine has little legs on it about 3". I see no reason why it won't get going, usually people have issues being too hot, not too cold.
     
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like an Air flow issue. Either under and around the Basket or possibly the top exhaust vents are too small. A 3-4" hole with a 12" Dryer Vent tube might be what is needed to get a good draft. If you prop the lid an inch or so does it get hot and keep the fire burning efficiently?...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  4. bigdan1122

    bigdan1122 Newbie

    OK here is a Journal I made of the first burn after posting this, don't know if it can help anyone, but I think I am getting good results got the fire going yesterday and its still going today! I did rub the inside of the barrel down with vegetable Oil and it is leaving a nice shellac type coating on the barrel, will probably coat it for the second seasoning as well.

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    UDS INTITIAL FIRE 6.1.14

    1.        Filled Chimney and let go for 30-45 minutes

    2.        Filled Basket about ¾ with briquettes and lump charcoal

    3.        Put chimney coals in basket and immediately placed into drum at about 2:15 pm

    4.        Opened 3 ports at bottom 1 elbow and 2 valves wide open 3 ports open at top

    5.        At about 3:00pm notice temperature was dropping so I closed all ports on top with valve ½ open at about 3:30pm and had 2 bottom valves open, temperature seems to be going up had gone from about 200 down to 100. I also added 1 wood chunk to see some smoke and I did for awhile, at 3:46pm temp is 160 with smoke showing from valve and a little around the top.

    6.        4:15pm temp back down to 125, I opened both bottom valves full open and opened top valve full open, NOTE Lifted top off of barrel, smoke in the barrel but seems cool.

    7.        4:30pm pulled fire basket out of Drum temp had gone down to 100, everything seemed to be cooling off, leaving basket sit out to see if I can get fire going by letting it get more air. NOTE; I think the charcoal is too tight in the fire basket to allow the fire to breath and heat up?????

    8.        5:05pm- Fire is hot in basket, put it back into drum left 2 bottom valve full open and top valve full open

    9.        5:09pm- Temp at 275.

    10.    5:42 temp dropping again, opens up all 4 bottom vents left 1 open on top

    11.    7:20pm temp came up to 250 ,I just closed 1 top port to see what temp does

    12.    7:56pm Temp 275 I cut the 2 bottom ballcock valves to ½ open

    13.    8:38pm Temp 285 added a plug to 1 lower vent

    14.    9:04pm 250 didn’t change anything

    15.    9:46 pm 225

    16.    12:04 am 200

    17.    3:00 am   200

    18.    8:56 AM next day 120  opened up all ports to see if temp goes up or down

    19.    9:43 150 up 30

    20.    11:45am Temp back up to 230!

    21.    2:00 pm Temp at 260 I added 1 top plug and one bottom plug.

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    Here is a picture of my Project, I'm going to lose the long pipes and put 18" ones on, then will add braces to prevent them from moving around, also have a couple of handles to install on the drum.

     
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My UDS has a 2" exhaust, in the lid, open all the time. I have (3) 1" valved air inlets at the bottom approx. 2"-3" off the bottom of the drum, no riser pipes or anything else attached to the valves. My charcoal basket has 4" legs welded to a steel pizza pan to collect ash. I fill the charcoal basket with unlit lump or briquettes. Place that in the drum and light on spot with a weed burner. I can run all day at 225°, or crank the heat up higher than my therm will go by just adjusting the 3 inlet valves.
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More exhaust holes wide open all the time.... maybe add 4-6 more.... If using a water pan..... ditch it.....
     
  7. I think u need a big hole in the lid to get draft. Mine is a 2" hole with a 12" stack that is still the rest open when I cook.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
     
  8. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    What mudkings said.
     
  9. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    I have the exact same lid exhaust as you do. Mine runs great. I think it's your long pipes. My valves are mounted directly to the drum. 2" from the bottom. Having the valves at the bottom does mean that you have to lean down to adjust (although I use my foot), but it also allows the breeze to get through your intake.
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    4.       Opened 3 ports at bottom 1 elbow and 2 valves wide open 3 ports open at top



    5.       At about 3:00pm notice temperature was dropping so I closed all ports on top with valve ½ open at about 3:30pm and had 2 bottom valves open, temperature seems to be going up had gone from about 200 down to 100. I also added 1 wood chunk to see some smoke and I did for awhile, at 3:46pm temp is 160 with smoke showing from valve and a little around the top.




    Me thinks that is definitely your problem...... the exhaust ports need to be open all the time..... regulate temp with the air inlets.... and make adjustments every 15 minutes to allow for your last change to take effect.....
     
  11. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Yep. Missed that the first time. My lid vents aren't even adjustable. They are always wide open. You were smothering your fire sounds like.
     
    rntommy likes this.
  12. My UDS looks like yours...even the same colors!  I used 24" nipples yours look like 36" but whatever.  Anyways, my lid has two 2" and one 1/2" bung holes and I opened up EVERYTHING when I seasoned mine.  It got up to 300 degrees on my first seasoning session before I started playing with the valves.  Once comfy with the settings my second seasoning held 225 degrees for 8 hours before I shut it down.  My 14 inch diameter 24 inch tall charcoal basket was half full of unlit brickets and I threw in a couple chunks of wood and 15 lit brickets both times.  My basket is about 3 inches from the bottom of the smoker.
     
  13. brian n

    brian n Newbie

    I have an Amazon.com exhaust vent that has 12 -1/2 in holes. The intakes are 3-3/4 pipe nipples, one with a ball valve. The basket has about 10-15 lbs of briquets and a few chunks of wood. About a dozen burning briquets are dumped on one end of the coals and about 20 min they are left outside the barrel to get things going. With everything all the way open the basket is placed in the barrel and when the needle reaches 190 or so 2 of the intakes are capped and the ball valve cracked shut just a little and it settles in for 200-230 for as long as there are coals left. I think I just got lucky.

     

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