If charcoal is doused while it's still red-hot, the force of the water exploding into steam blows the pores wide open. I don't know if this is exactly as effective as the chemically-activated charcoals, but it's very close, and very simple to do.
He baked a muffin that stole my car! And this tiny ad:
Binge on 17 Seasons of Permaculture Design Monkeys!