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Alcohol Stoves

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    • Alcohol Stoves

      And for the stats: My setup will boil 3 cups of water in 11 minutes on .75 oz of alcohol with a burnout time of about 14.5 minutes. I normally boil 3 cups of water on the trail and use the .75 oz just to have a buffer. It is a slow burner, but I have that kind of time on the trail. Boil time could be increased by drilling the holes larger. I like it as is.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      not sure about mine, if memory serves, it takes about 3-4 mins to boil about 1 1/2 cups of water...i'm not that into it, though I did time it when I made it about a year ago. I have another one around here somewhere that is a little different design, and I think it boiled a little quicker...like 30 seconds maybe...it's the pressurized type, and was summer when I tested it..so it was already way hot out...things like a torch when it's flowin.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      BirdBrain wrote:


      This is mine:

      Roll top aluminum bottle stove, homemade aluminum heat shield for stove, cut down MSR gripper, 2 part homemade caldera cone, and Kmart grease pot. Forgot to include MSR piezo igniter in picture.


      I quote myself here to bring the subject back around. For those that tinker, build, and test stoves I have a question: Have you tried the Green Kleen Strip denatured alcohol?

      I test my stoves using yellow Heet because it is the worst performer. I had been using SLX on the trail, but recently found out that it can be as low as 40% ethanol. Green is at least 90% ethanol.

      The primary issue I had with the design I use is priming time. I have it down to 18 seconds and am now just trying to perfect the jet dimensions. I am going to try some Green soon and will report my findings.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      BirdBrain wrote:

      BirdBrain wrote:


      This is mine:

      Roll top aluminum bottle stove, homemade aluminum heat shield for stove, cut down MSR gripper, 2 part homemade caldera cone, and Kmart grease pot. Forgot to include MSR piezo igniter in picture.


      I quote myself here to bring the subject back around. For those that tinker, build, and test stoves I have a question: Have you tried the Green Kleen Strip denatured alcohol?

      I test my stoves using yellow Heet because it is the worst performer. I had been using SLX on the trail, but recently found out that it can be as low as 40% ethanol. Green is at least 90% ethanol.

      The primary issue I had with the design I use is priming time. I have it down to 18 seconds and am now just trying to perfect the jet dimensions. I am going to try some Green soon and will report my findings.
      That's all I've used too, the SLX Kleen Strip from Home Depot...and some generic alcohol from CVS, it didn't do as well, but I'm not really a tester, it was just by happenstance that I used it.

      ...come to think of it, i did try Heet once.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      I haven't been able to test this - but side shooting stoves do not transfer the heat as efficiently as a bottom burner... on a stand. IMO. someday I will get to it.
      There was an Old Man with a owl,
      Who continued to bother and howl;
      He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
      Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.WOO
    • Alcohol Stoves

      You need a wide pot with a side burner. They work great with the Kmart grease pot. I am partial to the design. I have the priming time down to 18 seconds. I changed the jet height and distribution on this one. With my caldera cone system, I am happy with how they are performing.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      rocksNsocks wrote:

      Now I notice you didn't roll the bead over the funnel this time...is that what I'm lookin at? have I got that right?

      ...she's a bueat.


      Correct. I rolled the bead and then shoved part of a Dollar Store water spray bottle in it. It is pretty but does not perform as well as my last one that was similar to this. I changed a few too many things at once to know why. Doing more testing.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      BirdBrain wrote:

      rocksNsocks wrote:

      Now I notice you didn't roll the bead over the funnel this time...is that what I'm lookin at? have I got that right?

      ...she's a bueat.


      Correct. I rolled the bead and then shoved part of a Dollar Store water spray bottle in it. It is pretty but does not perform as well as my last one that was similar to this. I changed a few too many things at once to know why. Doing more testing.
      ah, necessity (in this case optimal efficiency) is the Mother of invention...Brilliant, I like your so dedicated and passionate. I used to be that way about a lot of things...I gotta get some of that back
      [ just a personal note to self]
    • Alcohol Stoves

      IM likes to make different types of pepsican stoves.
      I long ago decided that my virtually indestructible titanium one meant I could stop fiddling.
      When on my own I enjoy the quietness and the "real" flame of an alcohol stove.
      As I tend to carry 2 or 3 times the minimum fuel needed for any leg I am doing, I don't particularly care about measuring precise amounts. I just fill the stove, boil the water, and then enjoy "sitting by the fireside" until the fuel runs out.
      Very un gram weenie of me I know but it's part of my "don't sweat the little stuff" attitude.
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      My issue is I am yet to see the advertised 17ml fuel for 2 cups of water at 70° boil in any stove. I can do it with 20 ml. I wonder if there is an exaggeration somewhere. I am testing with Heet. I figure if I can do it with Heet in a lab, I ought to be able to do it with the good stuff on the trail. As far as buying: Ya'... I could do that. But where is the fun in that?
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      I'm with OzJacko and IM on this one. I can boil my 2 cups of water on about 20 ml of denatured alcohol in good conditions. It'll take more on the trail in cold weather, because I find that I have to start with more fuel to prime the stove adequately; a small charge seems to burn out prematurely. And then I wind up sitting around by the fireside, as OzJacko put it.

      In any case, 'don't sweat the small stuff' seems to be the right approach here. I'm a short-sectioner and weekender, and a 375 ml bottle of fuel will last me until I'm off trail even if I'm doing multiple boils a day. (Which I will likely be doing in the winter: I might want a hot drink at every meal, or need to melt the ice in one of my water bottles, or want some extra hot water to wash something.) For me, the thing is that my alcohol stove just works (at least once I added a primer to it), while a canister stove is very temperamental (I see a lot of hikers trying to warm up their canisters in the winter), and a Whisperlite is heavy, noisy, and stinky.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      I agree too. I am, however, trying to make my setup as efficient as possible. I plan on allowing for a "safety factor". I have no intentions of cutting it too close. My stoves are an indication of how I am wired. I am not sweating anything. I am having have defeating Murphy.

      I may have had a break through on my design today. I have been testing with Heet because it is the worst performer. I tested my final setup with Kleen Strip Green today and got marginally better results. This baffled me. After some thought, I theorized that my caldera cone was starving the hotter fuel too much. I tried an old stove with half the jets and without the cone and did better than my "refined" stove.

      I plan to build another one Monday. It will have half the jets and jets 75% of the diameter of the old stove I used today. I am thinking that if I can slow the fuel consumption rate, it may help. I will find out Tuesday when I test it.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      After building another stove with much fewer and smaller jets, I have decided I do not like Kleen Strip Green as a fuel. It burns too hot for my setup. I cannot control the burn rate. Flames lick up over the side of the pot too much. Boil rate is good, but I am afraid the excess heat is going to warp my caldera cone.

      Test results with 1/2 ounce of fuel and 2 cups of water at 70°:

      prime at 0:23
      boil at 4:36
      out at 5:23

      Given these numbers, I could likely get a boil with 4/10 ounce of fuel. However, I do not like how hot the cone is getting. Will try SLX next.

      For those that don't know:
      Yellow Heet = methanol
      SLX = 60% methanol / 40% ethanol
      Green = 95% ethanol / 5% others

      Those numbers are approximate and vary by batch. Bottom line is ethanol is too hot for my setup.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      WiseOldOwl wrote:

      BB its the style of stove... the hotter the better - ya could switch to a bottom burner.


      I agree, but I really like this stove. It is weighs an ounce and you can stand on it without crushing it. It is smaller than most stoves. It primes in 18 seconds. I don't have to dump fuel on the side to prime it. I can light it with an MSR piezo igniter. If I use Heet, no flames lick up the side of the pot (Almost none with SLX). After further testing, I am down to 17.5 ml to bring 2 cups to a boil just as it goes out using SLX. Using 20 ml, I have about 1 minute of boil.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      BirdBrain wrote:


      This is mine:

      Roll top aluminum bottle stove, homemade aluminum heat shield for stove, cut down MSR gripper, 2 part homemade caldera cone, and Kmart grease pot. Forgot to include MSR piezo igniter in picture.


      I quote this picture again to mention another item some may find of interest. I use a 2 piece homemade caldera cone. It is not hard to make, but it had a few surprises along the way. Namely that you need very little air supply at the bottom and as much as you can provide at the top or it will not run right (with my stove that is).
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      Dmax wrote:

      Do you know what your boil times are with and without a windscreen?


      Inside where the air is not moving, the boil time difference is negligible. I made a cone after trying to deal with light weight screens in blowing winds. This thing shields the stove and the flame barely flutters in the wind. I do not test much outside. I try to find its limits inside and have a safety factor outside. With my stove from last year, I could boil 3 cups with 30 ml of SLX in 45° weather outside. I have to believe my refinements will exceed that. I will likely not change the 30 ml for 3 cups. I will just have a greater safety factor.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      The reason I ask is because a couple of years ago I quit using a windscreen. Now I just stack rocks around and was wondering what the time difference might be. .. Not that it matters for my hikes. I always seem to take too much fuel. And this works for me to heat water for oatmeal or a cup of coco. I don't need a long rolling boil for that.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      Dmax wrote:

      The reason I ask is because a couple of years ago I quit using a windscreen. Now I just stack rocks around and was wondering what the time difference might be. .. Not that it matters for my hikes. I always seem to take too much fuel. And this works for me to heat water for oatmeal or a cup of coco. I don't need a long rolling boil for that.


      I am with you on that. I don't cook in a pot. I boil water and pour into a bag and cup. The bag goes in a cozy and coffee or tea goes into the cup. Every second the stove burns after the boil is a waste of fuel.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      Dmax wrote:

      Do you know what your boil times are with and without a windscreen?


      My timer keeps freaking out on me. This messed up some of my earlier testing.
      Was able to get through 2 tests finally.

      Test results with 20 ml of Heet and 2 cups of water at 70° with cone:

      prime at 0:24
      boil at 5:05
      out at 5:36

      Test results with 20 ml of Heet and 2 cups of water at 70° without cone:

      prime at 0:47
      boil at 5:17
      out at 5:32

      Most of the time difference may be because of differing prime times. I held pot over stove during both prime durations. This stove was built in an attempt to slow down the burn of Kleen Strip Green. It has fewer holes and smaller diameter than what I will build in future. It primes to slow and violently when it does. But ya'... thems the results with and without the cone.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.
    • Alcohol Stoves

      I have been dabbling with a couple of these raging inferno type stoves. I started with the most basic (cat food style) and tried to tone it down from there. I do not understand the appeal of these things. The fuel delivery is out of control. The fuel burns way too fast for the water to fully benefit from the heat exchange. The other thing is you need a pot stand for many of them. The stand is either a balancing act tiny thing or a an added weight that puts the stove in a weight class that defeats the purpose of having a lightweight stove.

      I am likely wrong on many counts in my rant. There has to be a reason people like these fireballs. I love the design I am using. It is tough as nails, weighs an ounce, delivers fuel at a controlled rate, does not require a pot stand, can be lit with a piezo igniter, does not require dumping extra fuel over the side of it to prime it, primes in 18 seconds, and is smaller than most stoves. The only thing I don't like about it is you have to be efficient in measuring fuel because you can't recover excess fuel easily.
      Non hikers are about a psi shy of a legal ball.