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pellet or solid ice in pea souper


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Using a pea souper and pellet ice I get a lot of "blow back" :D of "fog" as soon as I start pouring in the pellets, to the point I often cannot see!


Have thought of using BLOCK dry ice.


So questions are:


What is the preference of users out there : pellet or block


Yes, I am going to try the block, but thought I would see what the expereinced people here have to say and any thoughts, recommendations. I fill with 13 lts. of water which IS below the basket level.

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Using a pea souper and pellet ice I get a lot of "blow back" :P of "fog" as soon as I start pouring in the pellets, to the point I often cannot see!

As Mac has already said, pellets will give you more fog, quicker, but you do need to control it better when dropping it into the basket. That is, of course, assuming youre using a Pea Souper with a basket, and not just pouring them into the hot water..... If you ARE just tipping into the water, then that is half your problem.


If the pellets are falling through the basket then the best idea would be to reduce the sise of the holes in the basket - look at some fine metal or synthetic gauze, maybe, to line the basket.

The principle of the basket is that this is above the water level, and thus only allows contact with the water when you want it to - ie when you lower the handle, AFTER you've secured the lid. Used properly this will always be successful.


Now, using a block of CO2 would of course solve the problem of falling thru the holes, BUT has it's own inherent problems.

What happens with dry ice is that when it comes into contact with the hot water, you'll initially get a good flow of fog, but soon after contact you'll find you'll get a coat of forozen water around the dry ice, which then creates a barrier to the fog-producing stuff. If using large blocks of CO2, this can happen quite quickly and therefore greatly reduce the amount of output drastically. What you need to do with blocks, is break them up - properly - before inserting into the basket. This increases the available surface area of CO2, and thus the output.


This is exactly why pellets are better for sustained flow of fog, as they can dissipate fully before too much protective ice forms - they're also much more efficient because of that.


In addition, the baskets have levels controlled by notches - for a reason - you can drop a large basket full in bit by bit, thus adding more ice slowly without having to refill.


A note on breaking up blocks...

Put the block into a large hessian sack, and in a controlled area (ie away from stage, on a hard floor, with NO-ONE else in the vicinity) use a large hammer to break the block into much smaller pieces.

Safety equipment MUT be used when doing this - ie all-over goggles, heavy gloves ec.

Cover your arms with long sleeves as well - although the CO2 is in a bag, there's always the chance of some escaping.


And the same applies to broken-blocks as pellets - you'll probably need to reduce the basket hole size if you want to avoid premature fogging....! :D


Hope this helps.



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we use the blocks as they keep longer in a cool box, wrap them n hit them, you get a varied size with practise, so you can get a good amount of fog fast, but sustainable, as for loading the basket, we got a cheap chip pan basket from the super market, bent it to fit the souper then can load the basket first, get more than one if you need a long duration on the fog
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