Weber 22.5 with Auber pid problems.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by rickw, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I cant seem to keep temps up using this Auber controller. I get the temp up to where I want the old fashion way, Th en when I try to use the controller it drops the temp down 25 to 30 degree below to the target temp. I got the 10cfm fan to be able to get higher temps when doing poultry but can't even get it to run at 240. 

    I load up the lit charcoal with enough to get it up to temp quick, right in front of the fan. But can't seem to get a handle on these falling temps. Any advice would be helpful.

    I called and was told to change a couple settings but to no avail, was also told the fan might be to large as they recommend the 6cfm fan. 
  2. fdannyw

    fdannyw Smoke Blower

    Could be temp gage is off on it so it's not running right
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    So the auber controller is not keeping it at its own set point? I would think the larger fan would cause it to jump up in temp too fast not keep it too low. Are you running it in a PID mode or a simple on/off mode? 
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    are you sure your not going through auto tune when this drop acures ?
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Positive, no auto tune. I ended up opening the other the other two vents and let the temp run high (270) shut them down and let the controller take over once it dropped. Seemed to run good like that, stayed a few degree +/- of target temp. I'll try it again like that and see if that's the ticket. 
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm clear you are not in auto-tune mode, but did you perform an auto-tune to calibrate the PID setup to your WSM? I know some of the Auber units that are at the core of their kits are factory tuned for other purposes.  I would try an auto-tune with no meat, but you might put a brick or two on the grate to simulate a meat mass (as the meat will suck up some of the heat normally).  Do the auto-tune from a low temp state and set it for your desired control range (ie, 350'ish).    The PID will need to do the calculations differently to keep the pit at 350* vs 225*.  And again, if it's still set to the stock programming it may be tuned to an even lower target.

    I call BS on the 10cfm fan being too large.  I'm running a BBQ Guru DigiQ 2 with a 10cfm fan on my 18.5" WSM (been running this setup since 2006).  It's not too large for a 18.5" so how can it be too large for the bigger 22.5".  Besides, when the controller is working right, there is no air at all via the fan.  If anything, if the fan was too large you would have trouble keeping the temps down as it would spike high and overshoot.

    Top vent is 100% open, right? (should be).  And again with my Guru and 18.5" combo I never have to open the other lower vents.  Only air source is that one hole in the one vent (other two holes are blocked by aluminized foil tape).
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree, don't think the size of the fan is an issue. It is most likely user error, I'll get it figured out with time. Yes top vent is open, always is when I'm cooking. 

    How do you load your lit coals? 
  8. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Depends on what I'm smoking.  If it chicken or something I want at a high heat I may load two full charcoal chimney's of lit coals.  If it ribs or something I want to smoke a a lower temp, I put unlit on the bottom with a few chunks of wood for smoke in the middle and lit coals on top.  My opinion is the lit coals on top will help burn any acrid smoke produced by the unlit below as it lights.  I do give the WSM time to settle down and usually any fresh acrid smoke is long gone before I put the meat in.  Depending on how long a smoke I'm anticipating dictates how much unlit I put on the bottom.

    For an overnight smoke of pork butts, I load the fire ring nearly to the rim, put in 3 chunks of smoke wood, and top it with a single even layer of lit.  My standard smoke for 4 pork butts (I have the 18.5" WSM) is get the meat on the smoker between noon and 2PM.  Around midnight I will check the pit.  I usually pull the body of the WSM off (lid still on to retain as much heat as possible), grab the fire ring with welding gloves to give it a good shake to drop the ash below the grate, then use tools to push the remaining lit to one side in a cluster with one edge in front of the GURU inlet.  Then dump in more unlit and put the body back on.  Temp will spike by about 10-20* within a half hour, but settle down for the rest of the night.  Whole process takes 2 minutes tops.  After I'm satisfied the spike is settling down, I'm off to bed and sleep well.  Depending on the stall, meat is done between 6:30am and 8:30am (and also depending on exactly when I got it on the smoker, more often than not it's on the 2PM side of the range).  I run shoulders at 225* and never have to touch anything from loading the meat until topping off the smoker.  I run a clay pot base and have run the entire smoke on a single supper stuffed load of charcoal, but charcoal is cheap and the midnight top off gives me peace of mind there is plenty of fuel for the pit to run on until the end.

    Some people use modified minion methods.  Some make a ring of charcoal around the outside edge of the fire ring and put the lit on one end.  Some people use a can in the middle or just leave an empty hole in the middle surrounded by unlit and then dump in a small amount of lit in the can or hole.

    They all work, but for me, it's lit on top of unlit (just a single layer of lit is all it takes).  Once the WSM is stable on a BBQ GURU or other power draft, it should remain stable as long as their is fuel to burn.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    rickw likes this.

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