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Envi-Blocks instead of BioBricks

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Cath, Dec 23, 2007.

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  1. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    MA
    Burning configurations i use:

    **** Average burn ****
    Stove pipe damper - Open full
    Stove top damper - Closed
    Stove Primary Air - Closed 100%
    Wood Supply - Pallet wood coals with 3 envi blocks stacked on top
    Stove pipe temp: 400F
    Stove top temp: 350-400F
    Burn time: 6-8 hours

    **** Its cold out burn ****
    Stove pipe damper - Open full
    Stove top damper - Closed
    Stove Primary Air - Closed 80%
    Wood Supply - Pallet wood/envi block coals with 4 envi blocks stacked on top
    Stove pipe temp: 500F
    Stove top temp: 400-425F
    Burn time: 6-8 hours

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  2. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
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    1,244
    Loc:
    Connecticut

    Thank you Chaynes68.
  3. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Below are the official BioBricks instructions for packing the stove. There are two different methods so you'll want to check to see which applies to your stove.

    http://www.biopellet.net/instructions.html

    The stacking method for the Envi-Blocks should be similar but modification will probably be necessary to make sure you don't have too much fuel in the fire box, especially if you have a smaller stove.

    One important point, while you can build your coal bed from regular cord wood, you shouldn't add the Bricks/Blocks to a cord wood fire. Especially if you have a catalytic stove.

    First you would be defeating one of the advantages of the uniform Bricks/Blocks, which seems to limit the air flow and create a slow sustained burn. That's why you pack them against each other. Second, all that air flow makes it burn too hot and you risk overfiring the stove. We did this with our catalytic stove and turned the opening near the catalytic converter (I forget what it's called) a magnificent but alarming shade of red.

    ~Cath
  4. cogger

    cogger Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    193
    That is why this year I pre ordered 4 tons and made sure I had them this season. I understand eveyones skeptisism and try before you buy. But when I discovered I liked them my local dealer was out the year before last.
  5. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,244
    Loc:
    Connecticut


    Thank you Cath. It seems like a great alternative to wood. I know people where skeptical at first about pellets. Now there the norm.


    I'm going to grab some.

    John
  6. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    MA
    FWIW...while burning biobricks I was very carefull about stacking to limit airflow etc but they still burned very hot. What I observed is that as they burn the "gaps" between bricks open up allowing more airflow thru the stack which makes them burn hotter I suppose (NS orientation in my stove).

    IMO (disclaimer i'm a newbie) the envi blocks don't burn anything like biobricks even though they are constructed from the same base material. Because they are larger I think they burn very similar to cordwood (mine is mostly green so take this with a grain of salt). The worst experience I have had with them was one day I had 3 of them burning and left the primary air about 50% open. After about 2 hours the blocks looked like a glowing red sponges and the stove top temps were 600 degrees and stove pipe temps were 800. I closed down the primary air and temps dropped back to a very normal range in short order. I would not consider those temps anything close to a runaway stove....just a little on the hot side for me and my tiny cabin. I treat envi blocks just like cordwood and have had no real issues to date.

    OBSERVATION: Envi blocks DO expand quite a bit! my stoves top damper is held down by gravity to some degree. I can totally see an envi block expanding enough to open the top damper if packed in there. Not sure what would happen if wedged into the front glass or ceramic reburner etc. I make it a point to leave at least an inch between my stack and the top of the stove.

  7. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,244
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    [quote author="chaynes68" date="1200101020"]FWIW...while burning biobricks I was very carefull about stacking to limit airflow etc but they still burned very hot. What I observed is that as they burn the "gaps" between bricks open up allowing more airflow thru the stack which makes them burn hotter I suppose (NS orientation in my stove).

    IMO (disclaimer i'm a newbie) the envi blocks don't burn anything like biobricks even though they are constructed from the same base material. Because they are larger I think they burn very similar to cordwood (mine is mostly green so take this with a grain of salt). The worst experience I have had with them was one day I had 3 of them burning and left the primary air about 50% open. After about 2 hours the blocks looked like a glowing red sponges and the stove top temps were 600 degrees and stove pipe temps were 800. I closed down the primary air and temps dropped back to a very normal range in short order. I would not consider those temps anything close to a runaway stove....just a little on the hot side for me and my tiny cabin. I treat envi blocks just like cordwood and have had no real issues to date.

    OBSERVATION: Envi blocks DO expand quite a bit! my stoves top damper is held down by gravity to some degree. I can totally see an envi block expanding enough to open the top damper if packed in there. Not sure what would happen if wedged into the front glass or ceramic reburner etc. I make it a point to leave at least an inch between my stack and the top of the stove.

    [Great review!!!
  8. doglady

    doglady Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Central MA
    I am using Hearthwise logs. They are phenomenal-last up to 12 hours. I put a couple in at 10 PM and at 8 AM they are still going so all I have to do is thrown a few more on. They are more expensive than the Envi blocks. My sister is using those. The Hearthwise are heavier and I think last longer. I paid $1092 plus delivery for 2.5 pallets (920 logs). It seemed like a lot but when I factored in that I do not have to stack wood and then clean up in the spring and that I am not wasting at least 1/2 cord of wood that is too large and I can't use it because no matter that they say they will cut to size, they always throw some long ones in. I'm still burning wood leftover from last year and next year will have to buy more Hearthwise logs so it may not be affordable because I go through at least 5 cords of wood every year. Also, another really good thing is that my back isn't killing me!

    website is:
    http://www.hearthwise.com
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