Author Topic: Cheese Smoke with AMNTS  (Read 2452 times)

Offline piratey

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Cheese Smoke with AMNTS
« on: March 30, 2015, 01:14:00 pm »
My 12 inch AMNTS arrived last Friday.  I bought the propane for the torch and bought cheese on Saturday and smoked it on Sunday.  I had mild cheddar, Raley's brand, mild cheddar Tillamook brand, Fontina, Guoda, Colby Jack, mozarella cheese sticks, and Muentster cheese. 

My maverick probes showed 80 degrees outside, right around the smoker, which sits under my patio cover in the shade.  I lit the tube using a mixture of hickory and cherry pellets. I placed the tube inside the tower, and it stopped smoking pretty quickly.   I figured that was due to lack of air, so I removed the smoke generator from its pegs and left about a 2-3 inch gap between the tower and the smoke generator.  The tube recovered pretty quickly.  I could see the air being sucked in the smoke start wafting around the opening.  A little bit was escaping but most was going into the tower and then out the top vent, which I had wide open.  The temperature rose to 85 degrees, so I went and got some ice.  I didn't have any 2-liter bottles or milk jugs frozen with ice, so I just used ice cubs in the water bowl and put the bowl on top of the V-vent.  The temperature inside dropped as low as 63 degrees.  Here's the interesting part.  I had one temperature probe on the bottom of the second tray, and one probe hanging from the top vent, just above the top tray.  The bottom probe was closer to the ice, so the temperature there was always low.  The top probe was showing a higher temperature.  When the bottom showed 63 degrees, the top was around 79 degrees.  The temperature was going up really slowly.  About an hour and twenty minutes later, the bottom was around 80 degrees, but the top was at 91.  I checked the ice bowl and there was still plenty of ice there.  I poured out the water from the melted ice and put the ice back.  I also got a small bowl and put ice in it and put that on the top shelf, hoping temperature would drop.  It dropped while the door was open, but climbed up pretty quickly.  The little bowl of ice didn't seem to help.  In fact, when I removed the cheese at the end of two hours of smoke, I saw some spots of moisture on cheese below the ice bowl.  The condensation had formed some moisture on the outside of the bowl and that dripped down onto the cheese below.  I wiped it off before letting the cheese rest overnight and vacuum sealing this morning.

Any ideas about what I can do to fix the issue with the top of the tower getting hot?  It went as high as 91 degrees a few times, and I would go out and open the door and let it cool down.  The bottom probe was between 63 degrees and 85, towards the end of the smoke, even though I had the ice in the water bowl the entire time.  Next time, I'll try to freeze some milk jugs or 2-liter bottles with water and see how that goes.

Cold smoking in northern california is going to be a bit of a challenge, I see. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 01:16:25 pm by piratey »

Offline manfromplaid

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Re: Cheese Smoke with AMNTS
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 04:16:55 pm »
with the frozen jugs place them on the top shelf  might work???

Offline piratey

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Re: Cheese Smoke with AMNTS
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 05:29:15 pm »
The heat would seem to be coming from the bottom, where the tube was, and the ice cubes there helped.  However, somehow, it got hotter as the smoke went up.  Putting frozen jugs higher may help, just need to figure out a way to contain the moisture so that it doesn't drip down onto the cheese.