By the sounds of things,you probably cooked you charcoal for to long,once the vent stops smoking,block the vent and allow to cool.Over cooking your charcoal will ruin it.
hello to you all again... i've tried to go one step better by using willow instead of hardwood decking which is what i've been using until now. i went to a public park, while it was dark and raining, chopped teh branch of a willow tree and dragged it home. i chopped it into foot long pieces, about 2" diameter, and put four of those pieces in an airtight metal tin, threw it in a fire for hours until it stopped smoking, then let cool, and crushed the charcoal. i mixed some new BP using this willow charcoal, i milled fo rabout an hour, just to see if it was going to prove more efficient or not, and when i went to light, it wouldn't. i lit with a blowtorch and is burned for about 10 seconds, a marble sized pile.
i did my process exactly the same as normal, just with different wood. i'm thinking maybe it may have been a few remaining bits of bentonite, as that's what i was milling last, or perhaps that i cut it off a tree, so it was still too alive. throw your ideas at me... thankyou.