First alcohol stove
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Drew Jay
(drewjh) - F

Locale: Central Coast
Isopropyl on 03/22/2013 22:03:07 MDT Print View

This is exactly what my bottle stove was doing when I was experimenting with isopropyl blends. Out of control yellow sooty flame and super quick burn times, sometimes so quick it never reached boil. I would try different fuel.

Edited by drewjh on 03/22/2013 22:06:55 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Still the same results - flames up the side... on 03/23/2013 07:27:18 MDT Print View

Tyler,

From what I see in your picture you have your windscreen set down on the concrete. Also it appears that the draft holes for combustion air are on top instead of the bottom.

Your stove is searching and hunting for combustion air that it can only find above your windscreen.

I believe that your stove is overheating and thus going into an over pressurized state.

Turn your windscreen over and try raising it like you did earlier with the binder clips. I can't tell from the picture whether or not you have the wire spacer between the cook pot and the stove(s).

Have you tried using HEET in the yellow bottle as your fuel?

Party On,

Newton

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Still the same results - flames up the side... on 03/23/2013 08:31:32 MDT Print View

Oh man, I didn't even realize I had my windscreen upside down. Freshman mistake.

Thanks! I'll do it again tonight with the windscreen in the proper position. As for the clips that lifted the screen...that was just for an experiment. I'm not taking those on the trail, so I'd like to find a trail-worthy setup.

And should I add some water to the fuel? I'll try to get my hands on some yellow HEET to try that as well.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/alcohol_fuels_part_two#.UU28Y1vwJD0

Oh, and I think I did have the windscreen in the proper position for my first burn last night. So I really do think the windscreen wasn't the major issue...but definitely an issue.
Windscreen down

Edited by FightingTheTide on 03/23/2013 09:04:03 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Still the same results - flames up the side... on 03/23/2013 11:23:50 MDT Print View

Hi Tyler,

Get some inexpensive aluminum flashing or some heavy duty aluminum foil for experimentation purposes. Here is a picture of how you can achieve the same effect without the clips.

MYOG windscreen around a Fosters cook pot

Dan a.k.a. Zelph made a video showing how raising the windscreen 1/2" to 3/4" of off the ground or in your case the side walk helps to stabilize the flame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7mb-DU2sWY

As you will hear in Zelph's narration of his video it appears that even having the holes in the bottom doesn't work as well as elevating the windscreen.

"And should I add some water to the fuel?"

Give it a try and see if it helps. Jon Fong offered this same suggestion earlier in this thread. Look for the post directly under the picture of your bottle stove.

I'm not sure of the ratio for dilution of the fuel. I'd try 5% and then maybe 10% water just for grins to see what it does for the performance of the stove.

Dan (Zelph) and Jon are really good guys and will freely answer questions and give advice on alcohol stoves. I lean heavily on their advice. ;-)

Something in the back of my mind keeps saying dimples or wire spacer between the cook pot and the stove. ;-?

This may reduce what I suspect is an over-pressurization and over-heating related problem.

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 03/23/2013 11:29:55 MDT.

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Upcoming tests on 03/23/2013 12:20:22 MDT Print View

Wow, so much great information to take in at once. I know I've overlooked a good bit of advice, but it wasn't intentional. Here's what my next set of tests will all look like with the Bottlestove and White Box Stove:

-2 cups of cold water from the tap
-no windscreen (and hopefully no wind outside)
-2 types of fuel: HEET (yellow) and Denatured Alcohol
---with the denatured alky, I'll mix it with water...first with 5%, then 10%, and then more if it seems to be yeilding better efficiency as the water content increases

Question on adding water - do I add the same amount of alcohol, and then add the water? Or make a mixture that reflects the same amount of "fuel"? For instance, do I add 1oz of alcohol + .05 oz of water? Or make a mixture of alcohol and water that totals 1 oz?

And THEN I'll add a windscreen. I might take some wire cutters to it to see if I can make my own "risers" to elevate the windscreen about 1/2" to 3/4".

THANK YOU ALL for the help. I'm not done yet, but so grateful for the time put into helping me so far.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Upcoming tests on 03/23/2013 13:19:12 MDT Print View

Tyler,

"Question on adding water - do I add the same amount of alcohol, and then add the water? Or make a mixture that reflects the same amount of "fuel"? For instance, do I add 1oz of alcohol + .05 oz of water? Or make a mixture of alcohol and water that totals 1 oz?"

Keep these factors in mind.

1.) What is the total fuel capacity of your stove. You don't want to fill it with more fuel/water mix than it can hold using just alcohol. If you do when the fuel vaporizes and builds pressure liquid fuel/water mix will be forced out of the jets.

2.) Depending on the water temperature and ambient temperature you really only want enough fuel to achieve a rolling boil and a flame out very soon thereafter. Colder water and colder ambient temperatures will demand more fuel and longer burns

3.) Don't get stuck on a particular fuel charge volume. Determine what works for you and your setup within the parameters mentioned in #1 and #2.

On my last outing I used a predetermined fuel charge that boiled water for me during testing at 70 degrees F and only got hot water because the ambient temperature was in the middle 50s and the water colder than that temperature. It was sufficient for my purposes of re-hydrating a Mountain House dehydrated meal but never achieved a boil.

I was using carried water not gathered and treated water in the example above as it was an overnighter and I had packed in my water.

Caution:

On the trail if you are "treating" gathered water by boiling by all means you want to at least achieve a boil for 1 or 2 minutes. Then allow it to cool on its own if you are using it for drinking.

I carry a pre-filter and use MicroPur tablets for gathered water treatment. ;-)

BTW Don't cut your Ti windscreen until you are sure that you are getting exactly what you want and need!

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 03/23/2013 13:23:28 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Still the same results - flames up the side... on 03/23/2013 13:22:03 MDT Print View

Tyler, let's be very sure about this. You aren't trying to burn white gas, are you?

--B.G.--

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Still the same results - flames up the side... on 03/23/2013 15:45:05 MDT Print View

Nope, it's Crown NEXT Denatured Alcohol which is 95-100% Ethanol and 0 -10% Isopropanol, per MSDS.

Good question though.

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Manufacturers says "Must be covered" on 03/23/2013 15:57:57 MDT Print View

Interesting notes per bottlestoves.com: "This is a pot pressurized stove. Once primed, it must be covered with a pot to burn properly."

So does this mean adding a paperclip or dimples would then defeat the purpose of this stove? Not sure.

Thanks Newton. I won't cut the windscreen...just yet. I'm going to try variations of these tests tonight (not too different than what I said above)

No windscreen, 1oz of fuel
1) 100% alcohol, 1oz total
2) 5% water, 95% alcohol, 1oz total
3) 10% water, 90% alcohol, 1oz total

Raised windscreen, 1oz of fuel
1) 100% alcohol, 1oz total
2) 5% water, 95% alcohol, 1oz total
3) 10% water, 90% alcohol, 1oz total

And I plan on treating water with Aquamira, but I remember from my Scouting days that you need 2 minutes of a rolling boil to effectively treat water on the trail. Once at Phimont, we even double-filtered and used iodine when getting water from a murky puddle beside a highway...be prepared, right?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Manufacturers says "Must be covered" on 03/23/2013 16:43:38 MDT Print View

I have an alcohol burner very similar to this.

If you left the top completely open while burning, then a good deal of the alcohol will simply burn out of the top opening, and it won't be very efficient.

If you leave the top completely open for 30 seconds or so (for blooming) after lighting, and then if you cover the top completely with a metal cook pot, the burning alcohol forces its vapors out of the side jets, and that is what makes the efficient burn. This is the normal operation for a so-called low pressure side jet burner.

Now, if you had something unexpected occur, like from way too much alcohol or side jets that are too small or too few, the pressure will build up too much. It still burns great, but it might be too hot and force the side jet flames out too violently.

If that over-pressurization happened, then you would want to vent off a little of that pressure to bring it back to normal. You could do that by making the cook pot top seal leaky, or by drilling more side jets, or by making the side jets larger. If you purchased the burner, then the side jets are likely to be correct already. You could also do it by cooling off the base of the burner, but that isn't very convenient. You could also reduce the pressure by introducing a small amount of water to the alcohol, but if you get too much water in there, it will be inefficient.

I've never had one lick of trouble like this with any of my alcohol burners.

Due to the way that a low pressure side jet burner forces the flames outward, and if it shoots out too wide for a narrow cook pot, some people prefer an open top alcohol burner since the flames go upward more. It is easier to build, cheaper to buy, lighter to carry, but less efficient on fuel.

--B.G.--

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Much better results on 03/23/2013 20:28:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob, great info.

I did two more test boils tonight. Here are the numbers and a few pictures:

For both:
I used the Bottlestove
Air temp ~45*
VERY light wind
2 cups of cold water from the tap
6 teaspoons of denatured alcohol (up from 4.5 to see what the difference was)
I used the windscreen on both tests, first with it open, second with it closed

Test 1
Windscreen raised, not fully closed
It took 1:30 to fully bloom
Very little flames up the side
I had a boil in about 5 minutes (reset time after pot was set on the stove)
The flame went out about 10 seconds after the boil started
Windscreen open

Test 2
Windscreen raised, fully closed
It took 1:30 to fully bloom
I had flames coming up the side at about 1:45 (reset time after pot was set on the stove)
I had a boil in about 3:45
The flame went out about 45 seconds after the boil started
Windscreen closed

Here's the kicker - I did two tests prior to this without the windscreen, one with each stove, and found that I couldn't get a boil with 4.5 teaspoons of alcohol. I found that the original White Box Stove had a narrower flame pattern because it's a smaller stove, but the top is somewhat un-even (didn't get a good seal) and it seemed to flame up from the top AND the jets. When the fuel went out, the jets stopped first and there was still a flame coming up from the opening on top. So I went with the Bottlestove from there on out.

Edited by FightingTheTide on 03/23/2013 20:32:19 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Alky stove gadgeteers on 03/23/2013 21:10:16 MDT Print View

I realize alky stove afficiondos like to tinker and putter about the garage or basement with "new" designs. That's a fun hobby.

But there comes a time when you have to ask yorself, "What is my goal in all this tinkering and experimenting?"

When you find an alky stove that is fairly efficient and burns well at ALL altitudes to to 14,000 ft. then you have found your "Stove Nirvana".

So take a look at the various Caldera Cone stoves from Trail Designs and their alky stove in particular, which DOES burn well at all altitudes. They have done their homework and it works. No flames shooting up the pot sides, instead heat is concentrated by the cone shaped windscreen/pot support.

If you can find a more efficient stove (at all altitudes) & windscreen combination than a Caldera cone and its alky burner PLEASE let me know.

Until then It's just "Ho-hum" for me when I read about yet another alky stove.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Alky stove gadgeteers on 03/23/2013 21:18:32 MDT Print View

One of the few things that I don't like about the Trail Designs 12-10 burner is that it is not very compact, and you can crush it if you put your mind to it. Some of the White Box type burners are not quite so efficient, but they are indestructible.

Test 1 results looked good.

--B.G.--

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Alky stove gadgeteers on 03/24/2013 06:37:08 MDT Print View

You may be referring to others on here, in which case I understand what you are saying, but I'm not tinkering for the sake of tinkering...I'm trying to figure this thing out.

Like I said earlier, I've been eyeing a Caldera system. I'll do some math soon to see what the difference is over time in weight with a few systems.

Edited by FightingTheTide on 03/24/2013 07:23:19 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Much better results on 03/24/2013 08:54:54 MDT Print View

Tyler,

Great to hear.

FWIW my stove is a MYOG copy of Zelph's mini fancee feest stove. I consider it to be a low pressure side burner of sorts.

If you look closely you will see fiberglass wicking material between the two metal parts of the stove. The half moon cut outs at the bottom allow the fuel to wick up and burn out of the side just above the outer can.

Non vented mini Fancee Feest clone

Notice that the cook pot rests on the inner aluminum bottle portion of the stove. The outer portion of the stove is a cut down Vienna sausage can or potted meat can. I cannot remember which. ;-)

In the original the cook pot "rest" was not vented.

Final "vented"version of MYOG mini Fancee Feest clone

In the final version I made four vents with a standard paper punch. The 4 vents were cut out as half moons.

I did this because I was having similar problems to yours.

I tried 3 vents and I still had flames going up the sides of the cookpot. 4 seemed to work and 5 didn't seem to improve things much more than the four.

You're making progress and as Bob and I have suggested venting the seal on the cookpot rest would also help as would another row of jets. Another option is enlarging the existing jets. All three of these will lower the pressure inside the stove. Be aware that any of these three suggestions are changeable but irreversible. :-0

My stove is nowhere as tough or indestructible as yours but it serves me well. The 12 - 10 burner is probably more durable than my stove. Your bottle stove is at the top of the list for durability.

Wishing you much more success,

Party On,

Newton

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
Where can I find a wider Ti pot? on 03/24/2013 14:26:08 MDT Print View

Thanks again Newton!

I think I'll be good to go for a while if I can find a wider Ti pot. Most of what I've read is that the Evernew 900ml wide Ti pot (not non-stick) is the route to go, but it seems almost impossible to find online (Hennessy Hammocks apparently has some). Are there any other good wide Ti pots in this size range that I could consider?

I will mostly be boiling water for dehydrated meals and coffee. I'd like a pot (instead of a keg) so I can use it with my canister stove if needed.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Evernew Titanium Non-Stick .9L Pot (ECA422) on 03/24/2013 15:11:23 MDT Print View

http://www.traildesigns.com/cookware/evernew-titanium-non-stick-9l-pot-eca422

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Pot on 03/24/2013 15:23:17 MDT Print View

MSR Titan kettle--no non-stick coating, the same weight as the Evernew, and $5 cheaper.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Traildesigns Collection Solo Collection on 03/24/2013 15:43:08 MDT Print View

http://www.traildesigns.com/cookware/solo-pots

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F - M

Locale: Southeast
MSR Titan Kettle? on 03/24/2013 16:01:00 MDT Print View

I have a BPL 1100ml Ti pot. Does the Titan Kettle have a wider diameter? That's the biggest factor that I want to change...but those handles would be nice too.