I've been in the kitchen all day with a bunch of mutilated beer cans, playing with fire, hot water, and thermometers. My wife thinks I may have been drinking some of the fuel, but I swear I'm sober. I've been on a quest to get 16 oz of 60 degree F water to a rolling 212 F boil on 1/2 oz of alcohol. I've used a MiniBull Micro-Sith, Gram Weenie, 2 kind of homemade penny stoves, a Cat stove, and a Caldera Cone with 1.3 Evernew. I employed a Heineken pot, Evernew 1.3, Brasslite 600, and MSR Titan pots. In addition to all the different stoves and pots I tried different heights above the stoves, I clamped aluminum fins on the pots and played with wind screens.
I know, I know... "How hard can this be?" Many of you can get a boil easily on 1/2 oz of alcohol, right. I could too if I started with 70 F water, but I decided 60 F water is closer to what I would find in the wild, so 60 degrees it is. (My very rough calculations showed that a 100% efficient stove could do it with about 8ml of ethanol so it is theoretically possible.)
With many of my test runs I was able to get the water up to 190-205 F which of course is hot enough to "cook" my freezerbag meals, but that is not the point. I wanted rolling boil, tiny bubbles roiling the water, heavy steam! But it was no go until my wife ( she's a chemist ) suggest I try mixing alcohols.
Turns out that isopropyl (91% rubbing) and methanol (Yellow Heet) mixed 50-50 burns hotter than the methanol that I was using by itself. And although there is some yellow flame toward the end of the burn, there was only minimal soot. Oh, and I got a real 212 F rolling boil with several stoves using a 1/2 oz. of this mixture.
Anyone else out there mix fuel. Any suggestions on better combos or ratios? Any and all input appreciated.