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trying to boil 3 cups of water
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douglas ray
(Dray)

Locale: Olympic Peninsula
trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/11/2006 19:38:47 MDT Print View

So, I'm preparing for an upcoming 7 day trip with a friend. I have used a Minibull Elite stove and a snowpeak Ti Bowl to good effect as a solo cook set up, and I recieved a Trek 900 kettle as a gift last Christmas. I want to be able to boil 3 cups of water in this pot over an alcahol stove for my friend and I, but it's not working. I have the Elite and the Minibull and 5' hight windscreen 1/4 in from the side of the pot, and even with 2.4 oz of alcahol I still didn't quite get it to boil. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/11/2006 20:43:34 MDT Print View

consider trying 2 batches of 1.5 cups each

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/12/2006 09:22:50 MDT Print View

I haven't used a minibull elite, but I have used simular stoves. I would have expected 24oz could be boiled with around 1oz of alchohol. My ion stove uses around .7oz with my Evernew .9L pot.

Are most of the flames staying under your pot or are they going up the sides. What cool are the flames? I assume that you are setting the pot directly ontop of the minibull?

--Mark

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/12/2006 11:05:43 MDT Print View

Have you tried a lid? If you haven't, that sometimes helps. (Aluminum foil will work.)

Also, do the instructions with the stove (or on the website) give any indication of maximum batch size? Maybe the flame size just isn't designed large enough to do what you need to do. If so, your solution may be a different stove (consider the Clikstand.)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/12/2006 11:55:39 MDT Print View

Also, do the instructions with the stove (or on the website) give any indication of maximum batch size?

Glenn might have a good point here. Some of Tinny's stoves tend to be finely tuned for fairly specific uses. The elite is one of his smaller stoves.

For alcohol stoves where the pot is in contact with stove, the pot draws heat from the stove, which in turn reduces the rate at which the alcohol vaporizes, which in turn reduces the the heat available to vaporize fuel, etc, etc, etc.

You'll see evidence of this at work when you read Tinny's instructions. There are three stages of burn 1) the stove is lit 2) flames show up from the jets 3) the flames "blossom" (get much bigger). If you set the pot on stove before stage 3 the stove often is not generating enough heat to keep running.

It could be that your 3 cups of water draw so much heat from the stove that it is operating a low output and never generates enough output to exceed the rate at which the pot of warm/hot water looses energy.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/12/2006 14:23:27 MDT Print View

Jim,

I agreed with your first post. Alcohol needs to vaporize to burn. Large quanities of alcohol are a heat sink that delays vaporization.

If you want to heat more than 2 cups of water then it is best to use two stoves or use the same stove twice.

Soft drink cans are used because they are the optimal gauge and the Al has good thermal properties.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/12/2006 23:44:23 MDT Print View

As others suggested... if you aren't using a lid of some sort, do so. It should improve things.

> If you want to heat more than 2 cups of water then it is best to use two stoves or use the same stove twice.



If the mini-bull elite is so fine tuned that it max capacity is 2 cups, and Douglas wants to boil three cups then I would respectfully suggest the answer isn't two stove or using one stove twice. I would suggest use the stove which matches his needs. The vast majority of alchohol stoves can efficently boil 24oz.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 09/12/2006 23:46:30 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: trying to boil 3 cups of water on 09/13/2006 04:19:41 MDT Print View

It pays to read what Tinny says about the stove:
"This is a very frugal stove perfect for the solo backpacker who is counting grams and only cooking for one."

Have you thought about buying a slightly larger stove designed to cook for two?
The Sketti is a much more powerful unit - see the review on this website.

douglas ray
(Dray)

Locale: Olympic Peninsula
Given up for the moment on 09/13/2006 20:53:06 MDT Print View

Well, thanks for all of the input people. The stove I have been trying to use is not the Elite but the Minbull, wich is much bigger. The elite in theory might do the trick with 1oz of alcahol but alas it was not to be. The Minibull is a much bigger stove and I've been able to put at 2.4oz of alcahol in it. But it doesn't seem to work right. It's sopposed to burn 1oz un 8min but it has burned 2oz in 8min and still not boiled three cups of water. My little Trek 900 is pretty narrow and the minibull is not, so I tried an old stainless pot that's wider but still to no avail. All tests have been with a lid and fairly tight windscreen. I even built a 5" hight ex-tra-tight windscreen for my Trek 900 to try and capture more of the heat from the Minibull. For the moment I've decided to take my canister stove on this hike and figure out an alcahol solution later.
I'm thinking that the theory about the extra water obsorbing to much heat from the stove and not letting it work right might be the issue. I'm seeing a lot of yelow flame wich is not a good sign. Perhapse a stove that uses a seperate pot support is what's called for. But that's more weight and complexity, and I already own 3 different alcahol stoves (I've also got a mini sith that I havn't tried for this experiment. Based on past experiance I don't think it would work and I'm paranoid about loosing the thumbscrew.)
I know the use one stove twice thing would probably work but it would be a real pain in the neck and not so effecient. So I've got to crack this nut eventually but I think I'll do some more research and wait for annother pay check to come in. What stove(s) have people used to cook for two?

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Given up for the moment on 09/13/2006 21:31:37 MDT Print View

Douglas,

What type of alcohol are you using?

Ben

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Another plug for Clikstand on 09/14/2006 11:10:56 MDT Print View

I've got a Clikstand gathering dust in the basement. I'll pull it out tonight or tomorrow and verify that boiling 3 cups of water is a piece of cake for it. I'll check the weight, too. If it works, and if you're interested, I'll make you a good deal on it (with right of return if you don't like it) - we can work that out later.

I really like it, for an alcohol stove. However, I've decided that for most trips, I prefer the slightly lighter weight and greater convenience of a canister stove (current favorite: Snow Peak with a Trek 700 pot and spork.) Also, I work with pre-teen and teenage kids a lot, and there's just too strong a chance that one of them will decide to see if I'm lying to them about the alcohol being poisonous ("He's just saying that so we won't drink it...")

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Clikstand "test" on 09/15/2006 14:19:45 MDT Print View

Doug:

I've just conducted a backyard test of my Clikstand. Caveat: conditions may not be what you normally encounter. It's about 75 degrees here, with very light breeze (<5 mph.) I put 3 cups of water in a .9L Evernew titanium pot, with the lid laid on (not firmly in place). I only used the Clikstand base, not the upper windscreen, hoping to simulate a stronger breeze. I filled the Trangia stove about half full. At 5 minutes, I had small bubbles clinging to the bottom; at 10 minutes, larger bubbles on the sides and bottom, at 11 minutes I had steam and a light boil, and at 12 minutes I had a full rolling boil. I still had about a third of the fuel left.

I think the Clikstand will do what you need it to do. It also has the capability of using the 1.3L Evernew Titanium pot. It's incredibly stable, and the base (which is also a ventilated windscreen) and upper windscreen have managed any wind I've encountered. (I didn't go look this up, but there's a review of the Clikstand on this website and I seem to recall that, to a point, wind actually improved its fuel efficiency - but you'll want to find the review and verify this yourself.)

Now, as to weight: The .9L pot and lid weighs just shy of 5 ounces. The Clikstand base, upper windscreen, and Trangia stove (with both lids) weighs 9 ounces. So, you pay a weight price to get the performance you need (you can get the same performance with a 3-ounce canister stove - but you need to include the 3 ounce empty cylinder weight, for a total of 6 ounces.)

If you're absolutely wanting to use an alcohol stove, and are willing to pay the slight weight penalty, the Clikstand will work. If you're interested in having one, I'd be willing to part with mine (plus both pots) in exchange for the shipping cost. Give me your email if you're interested, and I'll contact you outside the forum.

Edited by garkjr on 09/15/2006 14:23:40 MDT.

douglas ray
(Dray)

Locale: Olympic Peninsula
Thanks for the research but... on 09/16/2006 23:22:44 MDT Print View

The wight penalty makes it not really worthwhile, and I guess I'm just a bit obsessed with really light stoves at the moment. The fuel ends up weighting more on long trips and the stove has to be really lite to make up for it. It's encouraging to hear you results though. I'm thinking that the stoves that use a seperate pot support are the way to go for this application. I'm thinking about trying my hand at home brewing a Go-Torch. Thanks again for your testing and hopefully someone will by your stove.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Given up for the moment on 09/17/2006 04:07:36 MDT Print View

> I'm seeing a lot of yelow flame wich is not a good sign.

Not only is it not a good sign, it is a really wierd observation. As Benjamin asked, just what are you burning as a fuel???

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Re: Thanks for the research but... on 09/17/2006 04:22:49 MDT Print View

Sounds like we're headed down the same line of thought. I was, at first, fascinated with alcohol stoves and the Clikstand seemed to be the best out there. (I was seduced partly by the Trangia snuff-and-seal feature, thinking perhaps that would let me get by with just a tankful of fuel for a weekend. It doesn't.)

After a lot of two-night side-by-side tests (camping where it was easy to loop back by the truck during the day), I've come to prefer the small canister stoves (Snow Peak, in my case.)

I'll gladly keep my Clikstand; if nothing else, it's good for doing Scout demonstrations. I wasn't really trying to sell it; I just thought if you could use it, you could have it - better to get trail dust on it than basement dust.