Fired the Retort
again last night. This time, tried it with 2 55 gallon drums standing on end. Loaded the rest of the masonry structure with slab firewood.
This firing seemed to go very well. The barrels started producing gas quickly, and were still producing gas 3 hours later when I decided to go to bed. The burn seemed nice and steady.
I am optimistic that I am going to find some very good charcoal in them this morning.
If this turns out like I think, then I will stick with this method for the time being. It should yield around 70 gallons of charcoal per burn. This is more than adequate to meet our needs.
I realize that this method is not as "efficient" as the Hookway method in terms of firewood consumed. However, I am merely "rescuing" mill waste that is slated to be burned in big pits and burning it a little bit at a time (comparatively speaking) in my retort.