Making Charcoal (White Oak)

Distillation methods and improvements.

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ammo man
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Making Charcoal (White Oak)

Post by ammo man » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:28 pm

I have been searching the Internet, reading the info there, and looking at the videos on how to make charcoal. The process seems to be simple (and it is), but I have been afraid to take a shot at it until this evening. After achieving one buzz, I decided to try it. I got a VegAll can, not the small one, but the next size up, washed it good after dumping the vegs, and filled it with Jack Daniels BBQ chips. I folded some AL foil a few times, crimped it over the top, and punched a hole about the size of a pencil in the top,

I don't have a propane burner, but I do have a propane BBQer so I fired up one of the burners and put the can on it. After I guess about an hour, there was no more smoke coming out to the hole in the AL foil. To make the rest of the story short I am sitting here looking at one pint of the prettiest white oak charcoal you have ever seen.

I plan on aging some of my "experiments" with this.

Bert

Barney Fife
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Re: Making Charcoal (White Oak)

Post by Barney Fife » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:29 pm

Well done! That method is very similar to the one I've been telling folks to use for a while now. I make a lot of charcoal these days; my can may be bigger(5 gallons, now), but my method hasn't changed. If you are able to make a campfire where you live, just toss your can onto the coal bed once it's large enough, then keep the fire going as usual. Once the can stops shooting gas(you'll know what I mean once you do it ;) ), pull it out and let it cool. For a bit more flavor, pull out the can before it gasses-out. Some experience needed here, as it's a judgment call, but once or twice and you'll have it down pat. Practice with cheapo/free wood if oak is precious to you; all woods will turn to charcoal similarly, so what you learn with one translates to the other.

Grayson_Stewart
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Re: Making Charcoal (White Oak)

Post by Grayson_Stewart » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:36 pm

The best I ever tried was taking white oak sticks and carmelizing in the oven at 200 F while wrapped in aluminum foil. Then I took the sticks and held them with tongs over a flame to get a charred layer. They worked to age 3 different 5 gallon carboys full of spirit before even thinking of losing their flavor.

The carboy was glass and I even aged quicker by placing the full carboy in the deep freeze for a week then out in the sun for a week and alternated this sequence for several weeks. Of course even this process is helped with aging over several months to mellow the flavor.
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