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Thermoworks Billows?


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/27/2020 at 3:43 AM, pittmab said:

Would anyone in the US be willing to send me a billows damper?

Postage to the UK is $40 from Thermoworks and there are no plans to sell here.

 

I would of course cover all costs.

pm sent, happy to help if still in need 

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/30/2020 at 12:57 PM, RoodyPooBBQ said:

I mounted billows by simply drilling a 1.25” hole in the stock slider. If I don’t want to use billows, I can cover the hole with high-temp tape or a magnet.

 

Haven't had time to test it out yet but I’ll do so this weekend and report back.
 

Also - ThermoWorks now sells a plastic damper that you put over top of the fan and you can reduce the cfm, which is probably necessary for the Akorn since the Billows seems like it was built for bigger cookers that need more air.

 

you can also see my Nomex gasket and a little of my copper rtv.   
 

 

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Wow - that's actually a fantastic idea!  Can I ask of you a favor?  Can you post a photo of what the 1.25" hole looks like in your Akorn damper plate?  Did you just use a regular drill bit?  

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/4/2021 at 11:45 AM, DJDDay said:

 

Wow - that's actually a fantastic idea!  Can I ask of you a favor?  Can you post a photo of what the 1.25" hole looks like in your Akorn damper plate?  Did you just use a regular drill bit?  


sorry for late reply. Used a step bit that I had laying around after my uds build. It didn’t take much effort, though the diameter is practically as wide as the slider opening. 

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  • 1 month later...

Tried the Billows again yesterday for the first time since my initial attempt many months ago.  Much better results - not perfect, but better.

 

I got their plastic damper thingie that goes over the fan to reduce the CFM, and opened it to only like a CM.  Maybe even less.  Then put a half Weber wax cube in the middle of the charcoal, lit it, and immediately installed the deflector and grate and shut the lid.  Typically I'd let it sit for 10 mins wide open in order to let the air get the fire going, but not this time. 

 

I only had the top vent open a tiny crack (even though my Akorn is very well sealed, I find that I simply cannot have the vents open more than a crack unless I'm actively raising the temp rather than holding it.  

 

Billows was set to 225.  It overshot a tad, but went from nothing to a relatively-stable 242 in 12 mins, and the smoke turned clear quicker than I'm used to.  It held between 225-250 (which is an acceptable variance for me) for the roughly 6 hours of my test (so basically the fan never needed to even kick in after it got to temp).  I then raised the temp using Signals just to test the fan actually contributing, so I set it to 275 while it was down around 225, and it hit the mark very quickly and stayed around there.

 

So my conclusion is that it's overkill for the Akorn - moves too much air unless you totally choke it down like I did (or even more).  It will probably work if you all but shut down your top vent, and choke the Billows intake down to next to nothing, so it blows to get to temp, but there's not enough air flow otherwise to hold the temp so it drops, then Billows kicks in (I guess that's kind of the point of it though.)

 

Every Akorn owner knows that once the fire gets going too much, you're pretty much toast - you're going to overshoot, and obviously a fan can't lower your temp, only raise it.  So let it do that - let the bare minimum of air in and let it go.  It gave me enough confidence to at least attempt an overnight cook.

 

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:25 PM, moloch16 said:

Anyone use one on their Akorn?  If so what did you do to make it fit?

 

With the new Smoke X release, I'm starting to think it's time...

Yes.  I cut a piece of tin that wraps over the edges and cut out a whole in it for the air.  You will also need to either tape down the fan hoke, or get the optional damper.

 

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I used my billows again yesterday, second time of using it with the damper that @BillCarr very kindly sent me :)

 

I hadn't really used it as like most others I find the Kamander can hold temp very well all on its own. 

 

My previous experiences with the fan weren't great, I had overshot the target temp by quite a long way. However with the new damper installed on the fan, I found that I had a lot more control and it worked a treat. 

 

Pork belly burnt ends rubbed with my own five spice blend and finished with a honey sriracha sauce.

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I used my Billows again with Akron yesterday, and played around with changing the temp from 225, 250, 275, 300, and it adjusted and held almost perfectly for hours. 
 

I think the fan damper is critical, as I had it barely open, which helps it hold the temp once the fan stops moving rather than still letting in air that could allow the fire to continue rising. 
 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Did a 14 hour brisket cook with Billows on Akorn, and it held between 220-230 the entire time until I cranked it to 250 towards the end. The Akorn holds temp well, but the Billows has provided extra piece of mind and allows me to sleep comfortably.  

the fan damper is the absolute key, as you want it just barely cracked. Without it, you’ll never keep your temp from shooting through the roof. 

 

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