The side door wasn't open long, just did that to get the new bricks burning quickly... I was watching it the whole time Haha it's a bit excessively hot, I will say. I am going to try using 5-6 bricks in a teepee and see if that gets up to operating temp... it should heat up slower & cool off sooner than 12 of them. I guess my measure of success is whether the thermostat still reads >72F when I wake up at 6:30AM. Last I checked it was still at 82, and it's 4AM... lol (so using 12 of them at 6:50PM still throws soft heat at 4AM the next morning, also good to know) Fair enough regarding the firebrick, sounds like I should forget about that. As for the smoke pipe, I can't really take it off without moving the whole stove (working on a setup where I can lay some wood in front of the hearth so I can put a floor jack underneath and lift it/move it around, that'll help me out) as the stovepipe has a pipe damper in it, and the handle bumps against the thimble when I try to push the stovepipe back (it's a short stovepipe, horizontal going directly into the thimble) Also a good call on the stack temp & closing the baffle... I'm curious though, wouldn't that snuff out any flames coming off the fuel mass? The manual mentions how horizontal burn mode works, and how during horizontal mode it just takes the combustible gases from the bottom of the mass and passes them under the baffle on the right side, but I'd think that would be asking for creosote. The woodbrickfuel might burn cleanly when it's up to temp and has enough oxygen, but it still outgasses (and fast, as it's ~6-9% moisture content according to the mfr of the bricks) so I'd think it's still liable to generate creosote if you don't give the flames a chance to form... Dunno, all this could be moot when I go clean the chimney. Either way, I'm almost guaranteed to have another fire in the beast tonight, so I'll try some of these tips :D Thanks!