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I am an Alcohol Convert!!
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Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/11/2012 15:57:09 MDT Print View

I recently acquired the Backcountry Boiler II. At the time I purchased it I bought the FireFelt that Devin sells separately. After a couple of wood burns in the Boiler I decided to become more familiar with the Alcohol usage.

So this morning I bought the Klean Strip SLX Denatured alochol thanks to some research on this site about the best brand/type of alcohol to use. I was really stunned at just how little it takes to boil 16oz of water (20ml). I have now decided to plan to use alcohol full time in the boiler with wood burning as a backup option. With so little alochol required and the fact it's so much more clean burning and because I don't have to worry about a stray ember sparking another fire in the vicinity I am sold.

So the obvious question may be "Why would you purchase a wood burning stove and use it for alcohol?". The BCB II is both the water vessel and the chimney for ultra efficient heat transfer. Even if I went with a dedicated Alcohol stove I would have the weight of the stove and a separate vessel to hold the water. Moreover I have a stove that's capable of burning wood or other found fuel as a strong backup.

I am an alcohol convert!!

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
How much on 03/11/2012 16:14:05 MDT Print View

I am eagerly awaiting my BCB right now. Do you know how much alcohol you used to boil the 16oz?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/11/2012 16:18:44 MDT Print View

Not the most efficient in alcohol use but I expect you will get the same performance in the wind where other alcohol stoves tend to suffer.
(I have not tested that but I can't see why not...)
It is also very stable.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/11/2012 16:51:25 MDT Print View

I'm still waiting for my Fire felt to arrive. This is how I plan on running my BCB primarily also. edit: for now.

Edited by kthompson on 03/12/2012 21:25:20 MDT.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: How much on 03/11/2012 18:27:43 MDT Print View

So I have been experimenting this afternoon and it seems that the safe amount is 1oz of alcohol to boil 16 oz. In the instructions Devin included he suggests .65-1oz to achieve an efficient boil (ie slower boil time but less alcohol). 1oz gave a boil in 6:40. The flame still was strong for a full minute after boil so something like .8oz would have worked in my case.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/11/2012 19:31:55 MDT Print View

I tried a few stoves designs in that and ended up with something similar to the one that now is sold for it.
I used some cloth from a fire blanket and essentially one smaller can (Red Bull type) inside a standard one with the cloth in between.
My time was around about the same as yours and I did have to use 1oz , so more than in my Caldera Cone but not bad either and again in strong winds I bet that it does better than most.

Thomas Gauperaa
(gauperaa) - F

Locale: Norway
Re: I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/12/2012 02:41:37 MDT Print View

Franco: I actually think it is pretty *un*stable :). Pondering ways to make it more stable, like maybe constructing some kind of support with metal wire.

Hobbes W
(Hobbesatronic) - F

Locale: SoCal
How much fuel? on 03/12/2012 08:53:53 MDT Print View

"It seems that the safe amount is 1oz of alcohol to boil 16 oz."

That appears about right - my basic rule of thumb when I still took a stove was 1oz of denatured alcohol (fuel) to boil one pint (16oz) of water.

As for being a recent alcohol convert, your next stage could be to drop the burner altogether. I stopped taking my penny stove, fuel & utensils after I realized that all I was doing was making some coffee in the am and making some couscous at night.

Secondly, just the process of getting everything prepared, boiling water & cleaning up (not to mention getting sufficient water if I had drank it overnight) was becoming aggravating.

What I discovered is all I want to do is get up and go. Since I make my own gorp, jerky, etc, I just make a special batches of morning/evening gorp that I can munch as I continue on my merry way.

Edited by Hobbesatronic on 03/12/2012 08:55:48 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Hmm on 03/12/2012 11:52:19 MDT Print View

I don't know Randy, that seems kind of backwards to me. I went to a wood stove to save fuel weight, and carry a small amount of esbit or alcohol as a backup. If you're not going to use the BCB that way, I think it would be better to just go with a alky stove and a CC cone. Even with my kind of large 1.3L pot (so the CC sidewinder will fit in it), the windscreen, stove and pot are only 6.5 oz and really efficient. If you did go that way, you can always put the pot over a real fire if you needed to. I say I bring a backup but I only use one if it's windy. If it's raining, I usually skip cooking and have some trail mix and jerky for dinner.

But I do think the BCB is cool. My buddy sent me an email this morning that his is on the way so I'll get to check one out first hand pretty soon. Should be fun to play with.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
I am an ESBIT convert! on 03/12/2012 16:20:35 MDT Print View

After purchasing a Trail Designs Sidewinder I discovered I could use at least 1/3 less ESBIT fuel and get faster boil times as well.

AND it is more efficent with the included alky burner and the optional Inferno gassifier wood burner too!

David Vo
Thanks for the alcohol recommendation on 03/12/2012 17:12:20 MDT Print View

I have a Caldera Cone Sidewinder coming and I wasn't sure which alcohol to buy. Now I know - Klean Strip SLX Denatured. Thank you :)

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: I am an Alcohol Convert!! on 03/12/2012 19:50:51 MDT Print View

"I am an Alcohol Convert!!"

You're not the only one....


Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Esbit on 03/12/2012 21:24:33 MDT Print View

Was mentioned. I can get a boil in half or a little more of an Esbit tablet (.51 oz). So alcohol seems to be significantly less efficient. Not sure it'd work with your stove, but....... And it doesn't spill either.