May 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm #1259432
Today I bought two bottles of 190 proof everclear. My intent is to use it has my fuel for my alcohol stove with my tri-ti caldera cone (when I can't burn wood).
I've done searching on this and couldn't find the info I needed. Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!
#1. I'm hoping to be able to use wood as the main fuel source in my stove. However, if it is really rainy, I still need to be able to heat up water. Should I bring my alcohol stove as a backup with everclear? I am hiking in the Absorka-Beartooths near tree line in early August. If you think I should bring this, how many meals should I bring enough fuel to cover…just in case?
#2. I've heard of people mixing gaterade or crystal lite with everclear…any other suggestions for mixing drinks with everclear? How much everclear should I use for a 1 or 2 cup drink?
#3. I've never had everclear before, and I'm kind of nervous just to take a sip of the stuff. Is 190 proof everclear too strong to drink as shots?
I really like the duel purpose of everclear. If I can use the wood for fuel the whole trip, we can drink all of the fuel (unlike denatured alcohol). But I also don't want to carry a ton of it either.May 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm #1613707
@magillagorillaLocale: Southwest Ohio
I have experience with Everclear.
Under no circumstances should you drink this in a strait shot. The alcohol content is too high and you may burn/dammage your throat or hurt your stomach.
The product is intended for mixing and cooking only. Since it is twice the proof of normal spirits just use half the ammount for beverages. I don't know what your tolerance for alcohol is. An example of a normal drink would be a half shot of Everclear in a 16.9 OZ water bottle add a chrystal light single and fill the rest with water.
This is also an expensive and less effecient fuel for your stove. I find that it does not burn as hot.May 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm #1613711
#1. Using dry wood is good. If the wood is really soaking wet, it can be a challenge to find anything dry enough to burn well. When I was snowcamping two weeks ago, I reported that my Ti-Tri burned damp twigs with reduced heat. I was able to melt snow and boil water, but only very slowly. With that in mind, it would seem that some alcohol burner would be good as a backup. How much alcohol you bring depends on the complexity of your intended cooking or boiling.
#2. Gatorade is heavier than Crystal Lite because it has real sugar in it. That can be a plus or a minus. Booze can hit you pretty hard if you've had a hard trail day or are otherwise dehydrated. My old personal rule is that I could have one spiked drink, but I would not drink another one unless I had one unspiked drink, then alternate. At an elevation of 10,000', I figure that it hits me three times as hard as at sea level.
#3. Everclear is, as they say, and acquired taste. Actually, it has no taste at all. A serious overdose can be lethal, and that is why it is banned in some states. Just consider it to be 2 or 2.5 times as powerful as ordinary 80 Proof booze.
–B.G.–May 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm #1613713
That is great info on the warning. I'm glad I haven't tried to drink any.
It is more inefficient? Hmmm…after going through several threads on the site, it seemed to me that people said this is the most efficient method for alcohol stoves? I know the alc. stove and conditions make a difference, and I was not satisfied with the denatured alc. I got from wal-mart. What do you use?May 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm #1613715
I don't anticipate it be soaking wet 100% of the time. In fact, the more I think about it, it may be worth the weight savings to always keep some dry tinder in my pack (especially if it starts raining).
I'm really not much of a drinker…especially hard liquor, so I would guess it wouldn't take much for everclear to take me over the edge. I'll have to do some "testing" with it before I take it on a trip.May 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm #1613716
After Daniel's warning, I will add a personal experience from my college days. We would have a party called a Purple Passion Party. We had a galvanized wash tub, and we filled it with 50% Everclear and 50% grape juice. We would just dip our paper cups in the tub and drink. Drunkenness ensued.
But, that was long ago, back during the Taft Administration, I think.
–B.G.–May 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm #1613718
"I'll have to do some "testing" with it before I take it on a trip."
Don't you dare do any unassisted testing. Invite us over.
–B.G.–May 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm #1613770
Sound advice from Bob on this.
It clearly states on the bottle (but didn't always), that Everclear is meant to be consumed mixed only. I'm sure they're mandated to say that now. From what I've been told, EC used to be one of the cheapest liquors available in the "good ol days". Now it's pretty expensive.
I've tried a shot of it before, but unless you're the alcoholic masochist I seem to be, don't waste your time. It's well disgusting.
I have unfortunately a very high tolerance, and don't generally find myself affected by hangovers, but any amount of EC will be at least mildly felt the next day. I'm not sure it's the proof (infact I'm sure it's not), but just the quality of the ingredients and process. If you suffer from bad hangovers from light drinking of good quality spirits, I'd avoid everclear.
Obviously though, since you're as keen on using it and trying it as you are, this advice is pointless, have fun, and don't call me when you pick yourself up off the floor in the morning. ;)
edit: As to it's efficiency as a stove fuel, I've found it to be top choice. Sunnyside denatured seems to burn hotter, and maybe even as long even though it has big yellow tales on the flame, but it's a soot monster and will leave everything black. Everclear burns nice and clean.May 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm #1613876
Thanks Javan! Those are some great tips.
I've only had one hangover in my life and it sucked. I'll make sure to do my testing in very light moderation. And Bob…if you are in Montana, feel free to stop by and we can have a drink! :)May 25, 2010 at 8:17 pm #1613877
Chris, where in Montana are you? I'm heading out to Glacier this summer! (I know its a pretty big state…)
Ah Everclear. I only tried it once. Half-shot down the hatch…..almost came back out of the hatch.
I find it works better than any other fuel for my Gram Weenie stove.May 26, 2010 at 6:03 am #1613963
@magillagorillaLocale: Southwest Ohio
My findings for Everclear as fuel are similar to Javan. While it works well, it seemed that Sunnyside burned hotter. Seeing that hardware store ethanol is 1/16th the cost of EC I will admit my experimentation was limited.
And yes, EC yeilds a horrible hangover if you drink more than your fill. 1-2 drinks shouldn't hurt the next day.May 26, 2010 at 6:29 am #1613972
Travis: I live in Helena, MT. Just shout if you are in the area and we can meet up. I honestly have not met an ultralight backpacker (I'm lightweight going in that direction), and all of my friends think I'm crazy for doing this.
The sad thing is that I have not been to Glacier National park for almost a decade, and I have not backpacked there.
I didn't find everclear overly expensive ($18 for a bottle seemed reasonable to me), but I guess compared to the other stuff it probably is quite a bit more expensive.
Thanks everyone for the valuable information!May 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm #1614326
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
you guys are lucky, here in california all we can get is 151 proof everclear…
and I can tell you first hand it is inefficient as a fuel for stoves, fuel for boxing matches is a different story…May 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm #1614330
"you guys are lucky, here in california all we can get is 151 proof everclear…"
Jesse, that is why we make the drive to Reno once in a while, to stock up.
–B.G.–May 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm #1614595
@johnzLocale: East Bay
For you Cal Bay Area folks, this option got posted awhile back. Cheaper than everclear actually I believe.May 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm #1614618
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Jesse, that is why we make the drive to Reno once in a while, to stock up."
Is Everclear available all over Nevada? Like Gardnerville, Minden, Carson City, etc?May 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm #1614681
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
I was in lake tahoe a few months back, went to the nevada side to try to find something over 151 proof, but the clerk said that they dont have it nevada… what spots do you go to?
i went to http://www.beltramos.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=300949
how can they sell 192 proof? anyone order, or deal with this company? they also dont state the size of bottle you get
any input much appreciatedMay 31, 2010 at 9:28 pm #1615565
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Chris, here is a review on an unusual type of denatured alcohol that I recently submitted:
This review isn't about an actual alcohol stove, but rather about the fuel that all these stoves use. For the vast majority of the alcohol fuel enthusiasts the fuel of choice has been a denatured alcohol such as Klean-Stip's S-L-X brand. However, as Roger C. points out in his series on stoves, the caloric output of denatured alcohol is rather disappointing because it is actually a mixture of ethanol and methanol (about 50/50 according to the MSDS). It is the ethanol that provides the highest heat output, but the effect is dampened by the large amount of menthanol. Buying pure ethanol is prohibitively expensive and illegal in some states.
Recently I came across a type of denatured alcohol that is 90 – 100% ethanol and less than 10% methanol: Kleen-Strip Green! It's marketed as 95% natural and renewable content and biodegradable. And looking at the MSDS it has fewer additives, so one could assume a less toxic fume. The cost is also less than S-L-X by about a buck-and-a-half for 32oz, which is just fine by me! (About $5.50/qt.)
But to the nitty gritty. I tested the two types of denatured alcohol using my mini Caldera Cone, a BPL 550 Ti pot, and the Trail Designs burner that goes with the set-up. Using 14ml of the S-L-X I brought 2 cups of 65F water to a vigorous bubble formation before flame out at 6 min. 40 sec. The same set-up using the Green DA resulted in a vigorous, roiling boil in 6 minutes…in fact it blew the lid right off! And it hadn't even flamed out.
In conclusion I ascertained that this new type of DA is cleaner burning, has more heat output and requires less fuel to achieve a roiling boil. It is superior to SLX type DA and HEET (the latter is about 99% methanol and thus has a very low heat value). I gave it a 4 rating because even though it is "greener" it still has some additives.
The seemingly lower heat output of Everclear that some have experienced may be due to the residual amount of water left over from the distilling process. I have used USPS grade ethanol (99.99% pure), a chem lab grade, and I guarantee it burns hot!
Chris, I envy your planned trip into the Absarokas…my old stomping grounds, not to mention the Elkhorns right near Helena, did a wilderness inventory there once for the USFS back in the day.Jun 1, 2010 at 8:00 am #1615649
I make give Kleen-Strip Green a shot. Where can I buy it?Jun 1, 2010 at 8:05 am #1615652
Ah, n/m. I found that it is sold at Ace Hardware and/or Lowes. I'll do some testing on my end and I may add to the review you posted here about it: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_id=32813
My only hesitation is that I sacrifice my cocktail if I don't use my 190 proof everclear. But this is a much cheaper option, and my main concern is how hot it burns.
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