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Biobricks not good for wood stoves, my review

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jackington, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. jackington

    jackington New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
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    Loc:
    northern ma
    I have a Wood Stove w-Catalytic made by vermont casting (not an old stove) I started burning biobricks last year..I found them convienent,but not cheaper than firewood..I also was told by the wood stove dealer that my stove is now out of warrenty because I used biobricks.. He told me the Catalytic was damaged from using biobricks..I can used 3 cord of wood to heat my home..It took 5 pallets of biobricks to do the same and now they are getting more expensive..I stopped using them and went back to wood..I get cord wood for $250 delivered,The biobricks were over $300+ per pallet..I don't think the biobrickis are a better alternative to wood..Biobricks not good for wood stoves? Do biobricks suck? I won't used them again..I didn't find any savings..Has anyone tried the larger wood compressed logs?

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Moved to the "wood shed" as seeming more appropriate than the green room, although this is one of those "fuzzy border" subjects that is hard to classify...

    My own take is that bio-bricks and other compressed wood type logs are a mixed bag in terms of use as stove fuel, IMHO they are OK, as long as one is careful to avoid over-firing the stove, which is very easy to do when using them. One must also be careful, especially with a catalytic stove, that you are only burning logs made from pure wood with no other additives / ingredients. I do wish the stove makers and the compressed wood makers could actually work something out on this.

    However, I don't think I've EVER heard cost being used as a justification for the compressed wood products - it is rare for them to be even close to competitive with cordwood. The big advantages claimed that I've seen is convenience / neatness (easier to handle and cleaner than cordwood) and more heat for the amount of volume used... (i.e. 1 pallet is supposed to be about equal to one full cord, but take less room)

    I've never used them, and don't think I'm likely to, but that doesn't mean I think they are a bad product...

    Gooserider
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,109
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Never burned BioBricks, but I've burned a few of these:

    http://www.homefirelogs.com/

    100% Douglas Fir. They burn pretty well so long as you've got a good bed of coals to get them going. A good deal more dense than natural Doug Fir. VERY sensitive to moisture (they are, after all, just squished kiln-dried sawdust), so absolutely must be stored in a dry location. While I wouldn't choose to use them as my primary fuel, it's convenient to have some around so I can toss a couple in on the coals for the last burn of the night before I go to bed. If I had hardwood fuel available routinely, I wouldn't bother with these, but where I live I normally have access only to softwoods, so these serve a purpose. Rick
  4. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central/Eastern CT
    I didn't really like them either. I was worried about overfiring the stove, and they didn't leave any coals in the morning so you had to start a new fire. I also noted that at night when I closed down the air, I would awake to an glass that was completely black and very difficult to remove. I bought a pallet last year and still have half of them left.
  5. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
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    2,376
    Loc:
    Springfield Ma (western mass)
    anything ending in "brick" really doesnt work for me... they are ok but the stuff that ends in log, presto logs , home fire logs are 100xs better BUT you cant do more than 2-3 at a time cause they burn hot and long.... they will coal longer than any piece of wood i have ever burned.... sometimes i will do 3-4 splits and 1 log ..... they are def the best deal if you can afford.... i like them when i am not gonna be around for long times .... like say a day or so 3 of those bad boys last a long time... and put out a more even heat than typical wood from my exp my stove will stay at 600 for 3-4 hrs vs 1-2 with red oak.... these numbers arent exact just off the top of my head....
  6. Oregon Fire

    Oregon Fire New Member

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    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
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    I use "bear bricks" - same as eco-bricks but made here in Oregon by Bear Mountain Forest Products. This year they have been on sale repeatedly for $199 per ton (pallet). I ran through 2 tons last year and purchased 3 tons this year. I also have 2 cords of wood outside.

    They require a different technique - I found my stove doesn't draft as much due to the lower moisture content of the bricks - I give them more air to keep them going. I pack 15 bricks into by jotul 450 and I get overnight burns.

    I find the heat output to be lower (due to less draft for combustion) - again, they require more air, but much, much longer burn times - so total heat output is greater. Some are confused by the claim "more heat"...

    They burn extremely clean...

    From reading here - I see folks either love them or hate them. Of those that hate them - I see some close the damper at night and they smolder ; And others don't take time to figure out a "loading pattern" that works best for their stove - on this topic I have found that they work better when the "face" of them faces the combustion - they expand "into" the fire".. It's taken me a while to "get it dialed in" and now I am a very happy camper - especially at $199 per ton...

    jeff
  7. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    909
    Loc:
    Essex County, New York
    Prefer cordwood here.

    The bricks are a fine backup fuel. But, in general to me it is too much like
    the pellet stove concept if used on a regular basis.

    It is a matter of choice.
  8. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Sep 10, 2007
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    Loc:
    Whitman, Mass
    If you run out of seasoned wood in January any of these products is much better than ordering up a cord of csd wood.
  9. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    If you run out of wood in January you are either a newbie or did not plan well.
    I would just let the furnace run before buying wet csd wood in January, or scrounge standing dead, logs on the side of the road from wherever I could, burn pallets if necessary, scraps from the local lumber yard whatever it takes.
  10. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Central/Eastern CT
    I found a good use for the remainder of my supply from last year. Pack the stove with them in the morning and they'll have the place warm in no time. Of course you could accomplish this with fast-burning wood or small splits, but I don't have too much of either. It also helps if someone is there to tend the fire and add wood once they have run their course so you don't lose your coal bed. And always be carful not to over-fire the stove with the damn things!
  11. BIOBLOCKDanny

    BIOBLOCKDanny New Member

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    Jan 21, 2010
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    Loc:
    Northeast Ohio
    I think everyone is missing the benefits. Many people that use wood stoves dont always live in areas where firewood is readily available, not to mention such dedicated burners to equip themselves for an entire season (depending on how cold the season is). I have burned for about 8 years now and I recently started using bioblocks, I dont have the means to store my wood indoors and after a heavy lake effect snow (Northeast Ohio) my wood tends to get wet. I assume that Im not the only one, because I see people have uncovered wood all over Ohio. I have struggled with constantly cutting wood every year to keep up with my habit and many times I have used wood that was not as dry as I like. I know from my chimney cleanings that I need to be better prepared, but I do work full time plus and have three kids involved with every event/sport under the sun. I think the better alternative to a busy lifestyle is to use these products. I found that there is hardly any creosote created from BioBlock, and it burns extremely hot. It took awhile to control the burn, but now I have it down to a science (how many turns of the intake air control) when I burn BioBlock. I dont care what anyone says, there are no uniformities with burning cordwood. Every specie is different and moisture levels vary. I am busy and I want the piece of mind that I can load my stove and come home to it still hot and burning. I still use cordwood on the weekends or when I'm home, but my wife (who thinks Im obsessed with this stuff) loves the BioBlock. She likes loading the small pieces and can't complain about bark and bugs as much. I use to cut, split, stack, dry, etc. all my own wood, but finding the time is impossible anymore. I also can buy cordwood cheaper, but not enough for me to justify the convenience of paying $260 a ton of BioBlock.
  12. krtlet@sbcglobal.net

    krtlet@sbcglobal.net New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
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    1
    Loc:
    akron ohio
    I live in Akron ohio and use my woodburner occasionally. These bricks i purchase at bioblockfuel.com really work well. Unlike you woodsmen, i dont like all the mess that comes with burning REAL wood. Im in it for the heat and these things put it out. I would reccomend these to anyone. Go the site, they will ship out a block anywhere for 6 bucks.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I have found that the best high-compressed fuels are pretty good products. Yes, there's a learning curve and yes you need to treat the fuel with respect. But if one follows the instructions, I've found that they burn well and provided good, clean, long heat. I want to emphasis the clean part. In an urban environment, where neighbors are close and storage/yard space are small, they are a good solution. There was no smoke when I burned these products and the glass stayed very clean.

    Hardwood fuel around here costs $350-450 a cord and as always, may or may not be seasoned, cut to proper length, etc.. In that case, a quality compressed fuel is an attractive alternative.
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