Monday, May 21, 2012

Review of BIOS#4 Alcohol stove

(Thank you, Two Bears, for this great information!)

MiniBull design makes some good quality alcohol stoves.

I bought the BIOS #4 because of two reasons.

1. It has a Fiberglas wick glued to the outside of the stove. Saturate the wick with alcohol, then pour the alcohol into the stove, then light the fuel inside the stove and the fuel on the wick. This gets the stove hot much faster. Some side burner stoves made by White box stoves, the gram Weenie Pro by End2end trail, and many side burner stoves can take 1-2 minutes before the stove gets hot enough to send fire out the jets. This is called the bloom or blossom. With the fiberglass wick outside the stove; Tinny of MiniBull Design says that this stove will bloom in 11 seconds. In my test the stove did not bloom in 11 seconds. My stove bloomed in 15 seconds; but then I live at 4000 feet above sea level. I was very pleased with a 15 second bloom time.

2. The stove has four bumps to raise the pot about 1/16th of an inch above the rim of the stove. This prevents cold pot flame outs.

Cold pot flame outs is a problem because I have an eBay stove sold by Lost-hiker16. It was a copy of the BIOS #1. I set a pot of tap water on the stove, and the jets got smaller, and within 10 seconds the stove went out, and had to be re-lit.

Of course you can hold the cold pot over the flames ad you wait for the jets to ignite but who wants to baby a stove you expect to work.

3. With the flames coming out the jets; you can set the pot of food you are cooking directly on the stove. You do not need a separate pot stand. I like this because there is one less thing to worry about losing.

4. Some side burning stoves have problems with spurting. This is where the pressure builds up and the stove spurts long flames, then the stove goes out.

Tinny fixed that problem by drilling three holes through the wall that was folded inside the stove. This allows the pressure in the walls to equalize with the pressure between the walls.

5. All four models of the BIOS stoves from MiniBull Design are made from Budweiser aluminum beer bottles, and can withstand a 200 pound adult standing on the stove.

6. The BIOS #4 with wick weighs a little less than 1 1/4 ounces.

So with all of above I should be happy; right? Well there is one little problem that prevents me from being entirely happy with the stove.

1. You can not use small pots such as beer can pots, the GSI Minimalist cook system, and other small diameter pots.

If you are going to be cooking food for two or more people, and using pots that are at least 10 or so so centimeters (4 inches across) you could not buy a better stove.

If you will be using a Heineken or Fosters 24 ounce beer can pot, or cooking a single serving of something like an empty vegetable container that holds 15 ounces of veggies that has a three inch base; you will need to use a top jet stove with a pot stand, or you will need to use a side burner stove with a smaller diameter.

Here are some smaller side burner stoves that are supposed to work with smaller pots.

BS 1.0 -- made by Batchstovez . I tested this one so wait for the review,

Gram weenie, and possibly the gram weenie pro --made by end2end trail.

White box Soloist -- by White Box stoves.

Cobalt Blue Soloist --made by Zellph. I have tested this one time. Wait for the review

MBD BIOS#4. recommended with a score of 4 1/2 stars.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

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