Need Excel 20 help

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Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:03 pm

Dr_KY wrote:Bill I honestly cant get my head around this issue. Can you post up pictures of exactly how your are firing the 20 up?

I now only fil my pan half way with water and the temps always hold.
I'm thinking if there is an air leak then the temps would spike so that's not the issue.

Is the fuel packed to tightly?

Is there too much water in the pan? Even if it's hot water it takes energy to keep it there so cut down to about half a pan.

Are you using the thermo on the lid or one like a et73 at grate level to check the cookers temps?

Dr,
I am baffled too.
As I mentioned, the problem has been with both water and no water in the pan (foil lined with foil balls).
I have used all briquettes, all lump, and a mixture of both. I have used Royal Oak and Wicked Good lump. The first time I thought it might be because it was too tightly packed, but since have had the same issue with a loser fill in the basket. Most of the time I have filled the basket all the way, but also tried not filling it as much. I started the fire by using a 3/4 full lit chimney of coals on top, and a heaping chimney full.
This last time I held my hand over the fire before I assembled the unit, and the fire seemed very hot, could only hold over for a second or so.
I have dropped a probe of a digital thermo down the air vent (would not fit through the probe hole), and it read very similar to the dome thermo. I did not have my ET-73 handy. I used an oven thermo last time, and upper grate temp was reading higher then dome temp, which kind of surprised me.
What I expected was to see high temps (300+) when first starting the unit, and then for me to back down the temps using the bottom vents to control. But that is not happening. It holds the temps for a long time, but it just gets up to 200-235 (dome temp) and stays there with all three vents wide open. I saw the video that was posted by Jim (I believe) and seems that I am doing it similar to them, but not seeing the same results.
The next time I use it, I will try and take photos of all the steps. I am going to try a couple of ideas of mine to see if it corrects the problem. One of the things I will try is to assemble it without the water pan, let it heat up, then add the pan.
Thanks,
Bill
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Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:19 pm

I understand that 200-235 is where we want to be most of the time but then again in say doing a high temp brisket you need more heat.

Now I have to ask myself if just how much math Ian used in building the 20. It would appear to be designed to perfectly run at those numbers (sort of like a long distance runner in comparison to a sprinter) so the simple solution could be you need more air intake for a hot ride and thinking so I would also assume that only using one stacker would help bring higher temps due to the lower overall volume of the cooking chamber.

The other obvious solution would be to add another intake but I wouldn't want to be the first to drill out my 20.

How about you try sticking a stopper/ cork in one of the holes on the exhaust side and see if you get higher temps. This would change the numbers of intake vs exhaust. ...or simply adjust the dial down a bit.
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Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:59 pm

Dr_KY wrote:
How about you try sticking a stopper/ cork in one of the holes on the exhaust side and see if you get higher temps. This would change the numbers of intake vs exhaust. ...or simply adjust the dial down a bit.

I have always been taught that you always leave the Exhaust vent full open, and throttle by the Intake vents. I did try and adjust the exhaust down a hair one time, but did not help much.
Actually, I am feeling a little better now. I just watched Jim's videos again, and if I am not mistaken, his dome temp hit 250 (on ProQ gauge) with all vents wide open. I did not see them mention that they closed any of them down. The first time I watched it, I thought the temp was higher.
I know others here have posted higher temps though. Is that correct, have others been able to get higher temps before adjusting the intakes down?
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Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:02 pm

I'm from the school of full open exhaust too, I was just curious if it would change the dynamics of the cooker.

I have never had mine past 230 full open and honestly never attempted to.
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