Apr 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm #1271838
I just recently cut up my own keg pot. I normally use a super cat stove, but with the 24 oz heiney keg, the stability of the keg and stove isn't very reliable. So I decided try to use a tealight stove with a hardware fabric stand.
Some details, I have used a 2" and a 2.5" stand so far with a windscreen. I have tested in a nice Georgia night with good temps. The tealight holds .5oz of alcohol. I have not gotten a burn to last the 10 minutes that most seem to need to boil 2 cups of water, and so no boil. My longest burn time was 8 and a half minutes. Is there something I am missing? Would moving the pot closer to the stove help? Moving it away gave me a longer burn time.
Or are there suggestions for a better stove to use with a heineken pot that would use a minimal amount of alcohol? Thanks for the help.Apr 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm #1721235
Travis LeannaBPL Member
I'm going to go out on a limb here and hypothesize on something I know little about. My GUESS, is that the jets in a cat stove use fuel more efficiently and/or burn hotter than a tea light stove.
That's my 12:30 am guess. Someone with more knowledge will be sure to come along….
You might want to check out smaller stoves. I use a Gram Weenie stove with a Snow Peak 450. I can get pretty consistent boils of 14 oz of water with 1/3 ounce Everclear. I've tried HEET, but I find that Everclear works better (and healthier).Apr 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm #1721240
Konrad .BPL Member
I use to be an alcohol stove fanatic…having gone through at least 15 different alc stoves, doing bench test etc. I'll tell you this…I was never ever able to get a 2 cup boil using a tealight type stove…I would always get burnout around the bubbling stage. I'm willing to put money on it that all the guys that are able to get boils using tealights live in CO or CA at 8000ft+ elevation. Because of its inefficient open flame design, the tealight was just way too small in capacity to support a 2 cup boil for most of us. For a wide open flame burn like you see in tealights, you would need closer to .75ounce to ensure a full boil. Travis's comments regarding flame patterns are spot on. I once had a stove that could do a 2cup boil with .4 ounces of alc…but it was overly complicated, as the fuel was fed through a line, and into carbon fiber wick, which slowed down the burn rate etc etc…it wasn't worth it.
Zelph makes great stoves for the heiny.
Tinny at minibulldesign used to make a good amount of stoves that worked well with the heiny—but it seems like he's strayed away from simplistic stove building and most of his new stuff is overly complex or heavy.Apr 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm #1721244
So, with that discussion in mind, perhaps you seek a simple alcohol burner that will hold more than a half-ounce of alcohol. Maybe an unpressurized top burner, since you are hitting a small diameter pot.
–B.G.–Apr 7, 2011 at 12:39 am #1721263
Yes, a 0.5 oz tealight can indeed bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil — but conditions have to be "just right". More times than not, the stove just peters out. My pot is the BPL Firelite 550.
Interestingly, my 1 oz capacity tealight didn't do a whole lot better either. The benefit of additional fuel capacity was cancelled out by the tealight's bigger / wider dimension — which apparently was too wide for my narrow pot.
Having experimented with cat food cans, tealights, and various other non-pressurized, top-burning stoves, I find the wedding tin can stove provides the best and most consistent results — and have been using them for the last 3-4 years. 9.5 times out of 10, my wedding tin can stove brings my water to a rolling boil using just 0.75 oz. of fuel. I don't know why it performs so much better than a 1oz tealight, but it does.
You can find wedding tins in most craft shops.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:03 am #1721406
> I don't know why it performs so much better than a 1oz tealight, but it does.
My experiments with open-cup burners suggest that putting heat back into the cup leads to a hotter burn. Since the wedding tin has a stepped, rolled internal lip, I supect it will pick up heat from the flame, warming the fuel, and burning hotter. A simple test is burn time; if it burns a fixed amount of fuel faster than a different pot, it's probably burning faster/hotter, assuming both are burning the fuel equally efficiently.
I've been playing with simmer burners recently, well, aluminium bottle caps to be truthful.. and notice that a pan seems to reach thermal equilibrium; bubbles form on the base of the pan, but that's as hot as it gets, no matter how long the burn goes on for (no lid on pan). i.e. the heat going into the pan is equal to the losses.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:32 am #1721434
Ben, what is the distance from the top rim of your wedding tin to the bottom of the pot? I have been tyying to find out what the optimal distance is for such an arrangement.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:39 am #1721439
Dimensions: 2.125" D x 0.6875 H (1.25" H with wire cloth potstand).
Weight = 0.3oz (with wire cloth pot stand)Apr 7, 2011 at 10:41 am #1721441
BTW, Ben, you might like to mate the ends of your windshield so that the tabs are inside the circumference of the windshield. Then the whole thing stays nice and circular, and the tabs don't spring out from the body of the windshield.
I use the same technique on inner walls for the 'classic' drinks can burners.
It will have no practical effect, other than making it look 'tidier'…
;-)Apr 7, 2011 at 10:52 am #1721446
Looks much tidier! I assume the screen is held in place with a separate band of aluminum?
Separately, referring to your earlier post, while the circumference of the wedding tin is smaller at the top, the narrowing is quite insignificant. Also, there is no "lip" — if by lip we mean the tip bending or curving inward. It doesn't.
Interestingly, I bent the tip of my 1oz tealight inward a bit all around — to reduce the opening area and size of flame — but that didn't work well either. Somehow, the 1oz wedding tin just trumps the 1oz tealight every time.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:57 am #1721450
Thanks for measuring it, Ben. So you are saying that the distance of the wedding tin to pot bottom is .563" (1.25" minus .687")? In your photo it looks like the rim-to-pot distance is roughly twice the height of the tin. Optical illusion?Apr 7, 2011 at 11:02 am #1721454
0.5625 or 9/16th of an inch. Isn't English "so much better" than metric? :)Apr 7, 2011 at 11:06 am #1721456
> Also, there is no "lip" — if by lip we mean the tip bending or curving inward. It doesn't.
Ah; the picture of the white tin looks like it's got an inward-facing rolled lip. Alcohol stoves are often confusing…
> I assume the screen is held in place with a separate band of aluminum?
The picture I posted is an inner wall for a meths burner. I'm not sure quite what you're asking, but neither the inner wall, nor a windscreen set up in the same way should need anything to hold the screen in place; it's the same mated slot system, just that the assembly is done with the ends of the screen pointing into the centre, rather than pointing outwards. Just as easy to mate. Ah, there's a picture of the mating phase on my burner article:Apr 7, 2011 at 11:13 am #1721462
Ah, I see. Thanks!Apr 7, 2011 at 11:25 am #1721469
Thanks again, Ben.May 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm #1736030
I just got a 600 snowpeak pot Ive been playing with. I have found the best alcohol stove for it to be a tealight. I can bring 2 1/4 cups of 70F water to a full rolling boil in 9:15-9:45 in my kitchen, it runs out at 12:00 using 0.6 oz (20ml). Reliably, every time. Starting with 39F water, it just reached boil when the flame went out at 12:00 (give or take ~15 sec.) I live at sea level, and fuel is SLX denatured alcohol. I can just reach boil with 0.5 oz, but not a strong rolling boil, 30 sec more and it would be. Funny thing about the tealight, the heating performance depends on how much fuel is in it, it works better starting with more. Logic says that since .5oz is enough for ~10 min,and I boil at 9:30, I should reach boil easily with 0.5oz. It just doesnt work that way though, performance in the heating stage goes down with less fuel from the start.
Outside in my driveway, it takes about 10:15 to get strong rolling boil, and runs out at 11:30 using 20 ml. The additional flame movement from light winds makes a difference I guess. I can reach a boil, and keep the strong rolling boil for 5 min on 0.6 oz if I cut heat back to ~50% with a simmer device. Starting from 70F with the simmer device, It takes 19 min to reach boil, but still also maintains rolling boil for 5 min.
Some tealights are slightly taller than others. The walmart ones are pretty short, dont hold as much as some others. Also the height from the cup to the pot is critical for faster heatup. I use a small 1/8" balsa wood spacer beneath my tealight to insulate and adjust the height. 4-square high 1/2" wire cloth pot support.
Now the trick, which as far as I know I invented. To get any tealight to hold more, you just extend the cup vertically. How? high temp aluminum muffler repair tape from any auto parts store. Put a small strip around the inside of the cup with adhesive facing outward, just at the lip, not whole cup. then another small strip around outside to match. Squeeze together, trim, and voila..the tealight holds as much as you want it too. I like a small walmart one that is extended up by ~1/4".
The aluminum tape has many uses in stove building.!
Nothing else seems to work as good as the small teallight. Other containers transfer too much heat to the liquid if they have thicker walls, or larger diameter wastes fuel with flames up side of pot. The tealight is really perfect for my small pot. Fuel efficient , no priming, simple and elegant.
The best part about the tealight stove is it can be simmered from full boil without removing pot, windscreen, etc. easiest stove to simmer ever. cut out a few vertical supports in the wire cloth so a small plate with handle can be put over the tealight to reduce heat/vaporizatin thru the opening in your windscreen,. voila, instantcontrol. Not that a pot that small will be used for anything but boiling water though, i dont foresee actually simmering pasta, etc in a 600 ml pot.May 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm #1736055
@cwayman1Locale: East Tennessee, US
GREAT idea extending the lip of the tea light with aluminum tape! Very ingenious!
And a bit off topic, but for pasta, I typically just start with the pasta already in the water, bring it to a boil, and let the stove die out. Then I simply transfer the pot to a reflectix cozy and allow to sit for ~10 min. The same can be done by bringing JUST water to a boil and pouring it into a freezer bag inside a cozy with the pasta in it and allowing to sit for ~10-15 minutes. Your pot will still be clean and ready for tea/coffee/ whatever!
Edit to the OP: I have never been able to get a rolling boil with a tea light stove, heini pot, and .5 oz of H2O.
Knoxville, TN Elevation: ~850-1300' above sea levelMay 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm #1736056
"Edit to the OP: I have never been able to get a rolling boil with a tea light stove, heini pot, and .5 oz of H2O."
That isn't much water. How about .5 oz of alcohol?
–B.G.–May 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm #1736057
@cwayman1Locale: East Tennessee, US
"That isn't much water"
That's just HOW inefficient my tea light is =P!
Good catch. Yes, .5 oz of alcohol and 2 cups of water.
Much grassMay 12, 2011 at 11:46 pm #1736060
I tend to write that way when I've been mixing my alcohol with water.
–B.G.–May 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm #1736064
@backfeets1Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
The most important factor for me has been the wind screen. It's a pain but the gap around the pot is best at .25 inches to .375. Cover as much up the side of the pot as possible to avoid wind robbing heat loss. Also use as high a content of ethanol as possible. SLX is 50/50. Ace hardware denatured is closer to 90%. Better heat content per oz. 700 ft sea level 70 air temp / water temp, 17 ml fuel, I get 16 oz to boil consistantly in 10.5 min.May 13, 2011 at 12:10 am #1736066
James, that sounds like it is fuel-efficient, but a bit on the slow side. Fuel efficiency is a good weight-saving technique. However, what would you do if you had to speed up your stove's boil time?
–B.G.–May 13, 2011 at 10:18 am #1736166
Stephen B Elder JrSpectator
@selderLocale: Front range CO
Chris, back to your initial condition (Heiniken pot not stable on cat can) which led to the tealight question:
Calling a tealight a stove is a stretch, it's more just a puddle of alcohol and as unrefined as can be. Maybe making actual stoves work with the pot is a better approach.
A sideburner pop can stove like
will fit into the bottom of a Heini pot (I'm assuming that you opened your pot from the pop top end). Not real stable, but 2 cup boil times of about 5 minutes.
If you open what was the original bottom of the Heini can and leave the pop top tab in place, so that the original top of the can is now the bottom of the pot, you have a pot that is nicely stable on either a cat can or a pop can side burner. Efficiency goes down a bit as your flame diameter is big for the pot, but you'll still see 6 or 7 minute boil times. The quicker boil time with the "right side up" pot results from the pop can stove being sort of burried in the bottom of the pot, but as mentioned it's touchy stability wise.
SteveMay 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm #1736235
Lots of people struggle with calling it a stove.
It's easy if you call it an alcohol burner.
–B.G.–May 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm #1736299
todd harperBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Whatever it is, I call it a stove, too.
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