Nov 20, 2012 at 8:08 am #1296241
James DeGraafBPL Member
@jdegraafLocale: Bay Area
My wife and I have put together a little video demonstrating the Lite Trail Solid Fuel Cook Kit.
Lite Trail Ti Solid Fuel Cook Kit
Let's hope the link works. Comments or constructive criticism are welcome!
JamesNov 20, 2012 at 8:39 am #1929880
@gon2srfLocale: Southern California
Great video and cookset. For a more real field experience using some type of cozy would be nice in place of the oven mitts. Great job.Nov 20, 2012 at 11:36 am #1929907
James DeGraafBPL Member
@jdegraafLocale: Bay Area
Jhaura from Lite Trail took a look at my video and suggested something as well; use the ground protector on the bottom of the pot to help keep the stuff sack cleaner also.
Oven mitts aren't really SUL are they?! Ha ha!
JamesJun 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm #1994371
I like to cook with ESBIT because it is lightweight fuel.
** The more efficient the stove the less fuel you have to carry. That's a no-brainer.
> Caldera Cones appear to be the most efficient ESBIT stoves thus far for concentrating heat on the pot bottom as well as reducing heat loss from wind.
> Brian's Backpacking Blog shows how to make a better Gram Cracker fuel tablet holder that holds the liquid residue created when burning ESBIT tabs so it can all burn and extend burn time to about 15 minutes.
> Aluminum pots heat more evenly and rapidly than Ti pots and pots that are wider than they are tall are the most heat efficient.
With these efficiencies one gets the best out of ESBIT – faster boiling time/less heat loss, and longer burn times.
My personal ESBIT solo setup is CC Sidewinder Ti stove, 3 cup aluminum pot and homemade Brian Green design Gram Cracker tab holder.
I post all this boring info because, as my first posts on BPL years ago attest, I have been tinkering with ESBIT for years to get more efficiency. Now I have FINALLY reached "ESBIT Nirvana" – except for the gunk it leaves on pot bottoms, that is. :o)
P.S. Trail Designs includes both a Ti ground sheet (for burning wood) and a much smaller light aluminum sheet for under their Gram Cracker fuel tab holder. Now with the Brian Green improved Gram Cracker tab holder that saves the liquid residue I don't need the ground sheet but still carry the small aluminum sheet "just in case".
Stove Weight -> 1.5 oz. (includes Sidewnder stove,Tyvek stove storage sleeve, modded tab holder, aluminum base sheet)
3 Cup Aluminum Pot & Lid Weight -> 3.9 oz.
Stuff Sack, Plastic Bowl & Cup Weight -> 1.8 oz. (cut-down GLAD 'fridge bowl)
Total ESBIT Cookset Weight -> 7.2 oz.
For 5 to 8 day trips it saves me fuel and I carry less than I would with alcohol, alky stove and the Cone. I like to actually cook, as opposed to merely boiling water, hence the 3 cup pot.Jun 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm #1994414
OK, I have a question for you. What is the efficiency that you are getting out of your system? I have been working on a design and using the 14 gram tablet, I can bring 4 cups of 70 F water up to 195F-200 F. My analysis says that this is 65% efficient (better than an alcohol stove). HOWEVER, I have not been able to get it to boil. Have you been able to boil 2 cups of 70 F using half an Esbit tablet? That would be a 72% efficiency. I am currently using a titanium pot but may switch over to aluminum to see if it makes a difference. Best regards – JonJun 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm #1994990
I can always boil 2 + cups of water in my 3 cup anodized aluminum pot. I always begin with a full ESBIT tablet and usually manage to save about 1/2 of it so, yes, I can boil with 1/2 tab in the Sidewinder with my Brian Green modded tablet holder.Jun 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm #1995024
So, you're saying that after the first boil that you can boil another 2 cups with the remaining Esbit. Taht is a +72% efficiency. Is that using the TD cone witht he Antigravity 3 cup pot? Best regards – JonJun 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm #1995513
I have TD's "Open Country" anodized aluminum 3 cup pot.
As mentioned in my post above at this point I feel I have about the most efficient ESBIT cook system available.
The small size of the Sidewinder cone needed to hold the 3 cup pot may be part of the reason so much heat is retained. All I can say is that this setup is d@mn good compared to any other I've seen, including the one by the OP, which I have already tried a few years ago.
P.S. I think it is important to thoroughly clean the pot bottom EVERY time afer cooking with ESBIT so there is always good heat transfer for the next use. A crusty pot bottom would act as an insulator. Besides, at my age I'm "crusty" enough without having a crusty pot.Jun 13, 2013 at 8:32 am #1996202
Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Have you tried the Fat Cat, Epicurean Ti ESBIT Stove in your described system above?
The low and high burning mode that is built into the Epicurean stove give the user more flexibility. If you look at attached pic it also has a tray to collect the liquid Esbit material when the tablet burns to increase burn time as does Brian Green's modified ESBIT stove.Jun 13, 2013 at 8:51 am #1996209
Since Jon is on this thread I'd like to throw a question out there about the epicurean. How is it for fuel efficiency in the high mode compared to the gram cracker? Does it improve fuel economy or is it simply marketed as an esbit burner with a simmer option?
Sorry for the thread drift. I'll do push ups while waiting for the answer.Jun 13, 2013 at 9:03 am #1996213
Ken & Ian, thanks for the shout out! The Epicurean Titanium Stove was really designed to be able to simmer and Dry Bake (and ease of use). In terms of efficiency in the high mode, I can get 4 cups of 70F water up to about 185 F. Not as good as what Eric is getting on his CC with the BGET. However, in the works is this little guy (stove alone – 2 grams).
It is still in the test phase, but it looks like it can burn in three modes. High, Med-High and Simmer. At the request of another BPL’er, this will be integrated and tested with a windscreen designed specifically for the beer can group. I have been testing it with both 14 gram and 4 gram tablets. With a prototype type setup, I have been able to get 4 cups of 70 F water up to 205 F. I think with a little more tweaking, I’ll be there. I think that I am about a month or so away from have a BETA version. This is not being designed for the general market but you guys that want a UL type system. Me, I am doing just to see where it goes. JonJun 14, 2013 at 10:15 am #1996622
DeletedJun 14, 2013 at 10:18 am #1996624
Thanks from one ESBIT tinkerer to another. At one time I had tried a cut down aluminum "chimney" (from a hair mousse can) and I see your regulated burner is round as well, giving it a slight chimney effect.
I like to bake with my MSR Dragonfly stove in winter. Now maybe I can bake with ESBIT in the summer too. I may attatch my aneroid thermometer pot lid handle to my small pot lid for that attempt to get an idea of correct baking temperature.
Keep on tinkering! That's how things improve.Jun 19, 2013 at 8:15 am #1998008
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
Regarding efficiency, the best measure I've found is J energy transferred to the water / g of fuel consumed. I had my chemistry students build their own alky stoves this past semester and calculate the efficiency this way. It saves you all the guesswork of what was the initial temp? and so forth.
1. Weigh your stove before and after to find the mass of the fuel consumed in grams.
2. Record the initial temp in degrees Celsius and final temp once the fuel is consumed. (Note: You want your final temp to be less than boiling point, because otherwise energy is lost and can't be computed).
3. Measure the mass of the water used in the experiment.
4. Use the equation Q = m c T where c = sp. heat of water = 4.184 and m = mass of water in grams. Q = energy in Joules.
5. Divide Q by the mass of your fuel consumed and you get the efficency. Voila! Now you have a scientific way of comparing efficiencies.
The best alcohol stove the students achieved (sans windscreen), with no wind, was around 10,000 – 11,000 J/g fuel.
Esbit (haven't tested my Sidewinder / gram cracker yet) just burning on a piece of aluminum foil is around 12,000 J /g fuel.Jun 19, 2013 at 9:31 am #1998028
Well, if you are looking at efficiency, then you need to calculate the Energy Delivered/Energy Potential. From my spreadsheet, heating up 4 cups of 70F water to 205 F requires 296996.7 Joules. One 14 gram tablet of Esbit has a potential of 433462.4 Joules, so the efficiency would be 296996.7 Joules/433462.4 Joules or 68.52%. The numbers will vary a bit depending on where you found the energy density data (especially for Esbit). That being said, 68% efficiency is pretty darn good.
What does this practically mean? Well, it means that we are close to being able to boil 2 cups of water using two of the 4 grams Esbit tablets. I think that handling 4 gram tablets are a lot easier and cleaner than splitting a 14 gram tablet. Plus two 4 gram tablets gives you just a little bit more fuel than the bigger tablet.
In the real world, who boils 70 F? That being said, most people will either a) boil less than 2 cups of water or b) anything over the mug groaning (~185 F) is close enough.
I think that it is a fun exercise to figure out how to tweak out more efficiency from Esbit. Esbit stove/windscreen designs have been pretty stagnant and it is fun to see how far you can take it. My 2 Cents – JonJul 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm #2005660
I did 3 test today using the 4 gram esbits. Three tests and no boils. One of the tests was an "almost" I could hear the rumbling noise for about a min and then it stopped abruptly. I quickly took the lid off and the small bubbles were gone which means it was really close to a boil. I was not timing the burns and the almost boil took forever. Very little residue left in my round aluminum container. 9 grams of esbit will surely boil 2 cups. I'll burn some more tomorrow. I'll use 10 grams of esbit.
I used my 2 ounce stainless steel pot and Ti Caldera Cone. 70 degree start temp for the water, 80 degree outside air temp. Calm conditions. Two 4 gram tabs per burn test. Lots of mosquitoes.(Northern IL)Jul 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm #2005686
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"I think that handling 4 gram tablets are a lot easier and cleaner than splitting a 14 gram tablet. Plus two 4 gram tablets gives you just a little bit more fuel than the bigger tablet."
Jon, please clarify.
Surely you don't mean that two 4 gram tablets gives you more fuel than a 14 gram tablet.
Maybe you mean that two 4 gram tablets gives you more fuel than a split 14 gram tablet. But those aren't your words.
–B.G.–Jul 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm #2005781
Thank you for catching this. What I meant to say was:
To boil 2 cups of water, two 4 gram tablets are much easier to handle than splitting a 14 gram tablet in half (and dealing with crumbs and uneven breakage). Additionally, you end up with 8 grams verses half a big tablet (7 grams).
I myself seem to have reached a limit. I can bring 2 cups of 70 F water up to 205 F using two 4 gram tablets (8 grams total) or 4 cups of 70 F up to 200-205 F using one 14 gram tablet. I can't quite reach a boil. JonJul 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm #2005788
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Sometimes I get tired of trying to split a 14-gram Esbit tablet to make the fuel right for a 16-ounce water boil. Instead, I just throw the whole tablet in there, boil the water, and then blow out the remaining fire. That leaves me with something to start with for the next boil. Besides, I never measure the temperature of my starting water. Nor do I know exactly what the boiling point is at my current elevation.
–B.G.–Jul 14, 2013 at 12:01 am #2005800
Edit – need to test more to check my numbers…Jul 14, 2013 at 3:49 am #2005814
Robert MeurantBPL Member
While I'm waiting for my smart solar-powered Esbit fuel laser cutter to be repaired, I've noticed that quickly scoring all four sides of a tablet prior to splitting it helps prevent crumbling…Jul 16, 2013 at 8:10 am #2006631
James here is a short video of the esbit stove I'm working on. Can be used inside a cone or as a stand alone stove. I'll try it out with the pot that's coming.Jul 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm #2007485
James, I did 2 tests with the pot and was able to boil 2 cups with 9 grams of esbit (2-1/4 tablets)Jul 29, 2013 at 1:45 am #2010469
mik matraBPL Member
@mikmikLocale: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
…..I have never got 2 cups of water to boil in my warm windfree garage. I'd hate to think what would happen in the bush at near freezing trying to make a cup of tea/coffee or 'boil' some water for my dried food.
The T.E.A system has a windshield too and it won't boil even with 14g of esbit. It's frustrating!!Jul 29, 2013 at 2:13 am #2010471
mik matraBPL Member
@mikmikLocale: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
I bought this off ebay last night. I can see from Brian's blog that he advocates a tray to hold the esbit liquid and this pot holder/esbit fuel holder seems to do a few things in one.
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