In mid Nov I had a new insulated stainless chimney liner with cap installed, and am still getting used to the new setup. Last night was very cold (-8) when I woke to restart the stove. The stove was still at 250 degrees, nice bed of coals. I usually let the wood burn for 20 to 30 mins and then close the bypass and see if the cat lights (stove is a wood stock Fireview). I was just about getting ready to close the bypass, stove had reached almost 300 when I saw a 1 inch piece of something float by the window...some sort of black ash. I looked out and there was more of it laying in the snow outside. I went out to see what was happening and there was just white smoke coming from the chimney (normal looking). I Saw a few pieces of this ash laying on the snow on the roof, and like I said more in the driveway and front lawn. I tried to pick one up but when you touch it ...it disintegrates. This stuff floated like a feather, was flat black, maybe an inch and smaller in size. What do you think it was? I waved for my wife to turn on the bypass and the white smoke went away to almost nothing. I've never had a cap before...could this be ash that built up on the cap and then blew off when I started the stove this am...maybe came off due to the extreme cold temps and hot fire being started? My wood is dry (below 20% on the meter)...I feel confident that this wasn't a chimney fire as there was no rumbling sound...and clean smoke coming out. Everything was ordinary except for that ash. I did start with maple and a few birch pieces with the bark on, and have been burning a lot of birch lately. Burch bark burns well but does give off that heavy black smoke that could have coated the chimney cap? I'm also concerned that my draft s too strong now with this liner and may install a damper on the pipe. So what does everything think? Normal? I dont recall ever seeing this sort of thing before I got the liner and cap installed, and my flu has always stayed very clean.