Alcohol stoves & spirit burners
These little stoves are great to use for camping or cooking outdoors. They won't run a large still, but are a great way to use up the heads and tails from a still run. Normally, when distilling alcohol using a commercial still, you should be able to produce at least 60 percent alcohol on the first run. That is the same as 120 proof, which is more than sufficient to ignite easily. See below for more information.
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Using your alcohol in alcohol stoves and spirit burners
When distilling alcohol, heads are the first few ounces of distillate that come out of the still. They contain the cogeners or off-alcohols (other than ethanol or ethyl alcohol). These would normally be discarded because of their off flavours, etc. But, as with the ethanol you will produce, they will burn well, so save it to burn in these little stoves! Free fuel!
Reminder...these are made for outdoor use...not indoors, although they can be used indoors in an emergency, as long as you use them on top of a heat-proof surface such as a range, stove or concrete floor. Alcohol burns pretty cleanly, so there won't be much in the way of smoke or bad odours. But you do need to be aware that they will generate a fair bit of heat!
And, where ever you use them, keep them well away from anything flammable...think about it...if it tips over, will the alcohol ignite anything close by?
These little spirit burners or alcohol stoves are great for backpacking, picnics or barbecues. Carry your alcohol separately in a container that won't break or shatter. You won't need a large amount, just take what you need for whichever spirit burner or alcohol stove you choose to buy.
You may need a wind shield or wind screen in breezy conditions to prevent your flame going out, but some of these units come with it.
Bear in mind the size of pot you use on top...balance is important, and you don't want to accidently get burned by a hot pot falling off!
These may not be big enough for a moonshiner, but they make great gifts for the camper in your life!
Here is a YouTube video demonstrating how to use an alcohol stove. The demonstrator uses denatured alcohol, but as mentioned before, you can use the heads from the first few ounces of distillate that you would normally throw out anyway.