Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

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Pappyvanwinkle
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Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by Pappyvanwinkle » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:13 pm

I'm about to run out of dry firewood, and dry trees are hard to find up here in the PNW. I've always givien just charcoals a thought(storebought,bbq) but was worried about sufficient heat or even scorching. Keeping the keg up off the ground from them also comes to mind. Or surround the boiler with them in a drum? I'm aware propane is the best option but I don't own a burner, and I enjoy running all natural. Also, stubbornness is a factor. Bottom line is input or experience?

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WhiteDevil504
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Re: Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by WhiteDevil504 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:41 pm

I haven't done it, My concern would be the burn times, with enough oxygen to get the heat needed i think you'd rip through charcoal quick. If you were going to do it I'd make sure you found some of the shroud builds that are on here and figure out a small chimney to keep the heat even and flowing up.... You could use a rake to pull back coals if it gets too hot... But I really think it'll end up costing more than just going propane after a few runs.... At least at the charcoal prices around me...

woodshed
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Re: Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by woodshed » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:57 pm

Doesn't seem to be very practical. Temp regulation would take quite awhile to figure out and I would think the cost would be high.
Burners are cheap. Gas out of the ground is natural, although sometimes requires an extra step. Kinda like charcoal. More than likely did not become charcoal without having some gas thrown at it first :think:
Would be cool to see what you find if you pursue it :thumbup: I'm just big on predictable results. Your journey may be different.
Go electric first chance you get. You won't regret it.

Pappyvanwinkle
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Re: Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by Pappyvanwinkle » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:06 pm

Yea, I didn't think about the rate I would burn through them at the adequate temps. I may just attempt a dry(water) run as to see what it takes and ya know, cuz why the hell not! I probably won't go down the road, but food for thought.

markieb
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Re: Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by markieb » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:00 am

i know reviving this post is like raising and reviving the titanic as its so old but couldnt you make your own charcoals if you have a fair amount of spare time could even do it over a distilling weekend?people usually question the costs ect but if you make a fire in the sticks anyways couldnt you effectively just use the same fire to create more burnables?
sorry if this is a crazy idea or not :oops:
could also make a nice little bbq pit too to put your still on

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Reverend Newer
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Re: Running on just charcoal VS. wood/propane

Post by Reverend Newer » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:11 pm

If you were going to try charcoal I would use "lump charcoal", not the briquettes such as Kingsford.

Lump charcoal burns hotter and slower, it sounds a bit like glass if you drop a piece. Lump charcoal is not cheap but if it were your only choice I bet it could work depending on boiler size of course.
spiritually taxed circa 1791

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