Liberty Bricks in No. VA

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Update:

Been burning them all week. These things are the non-cat answer to set it and forget it once you learn to load them tight and right. Half a load in the 30-NC burns low and slow forever. No off to the moon and then back down drama.

Checked the liner yesterday and all of my sins learning to burn them left zip in the pipe.
 
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Village Idiot

Burning Hunk
Sep 10, 2011
182
No. Va.
Update:

Been burning them all week. These things are the non-cat answer to set it and forget it once you learn to load them tight and right. Half a load in the 30-NC burns low and slow forever. No off to the moon and then back down drama.
I totally agree. These bricks make heating with wood easy.

The thing I appreciate the most is the extended burn times. Before the bricks, I would get about 8 good hours of heat and another hour of coals before a reload. Now, I get 11+ hours of heat with an hour of coals. And that is with replacing part of a normal load of splits with 20 bricks. I finally get to truly sleep-in on weekends in the winter.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,085
Salisbury, MD
Wanted to update this thread, I burned about 2 tons of those bricks last winter, they burned great. I put them in with my usual gum/maple wood mix and it helped to extend my usual burn times by at least an hour if not more, the cat really ate up the smoke from those things so I could run at a lower air setting for longer.

I still have another 2 tons for this season!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,090
South Puget Sound, WA
I tested solid compressed fuels several years back and really liked them. It's possible to get into an overfire by not following directions or overloading on them. But if you respect the mfg. instructions and the btu content per brick or log you can get very satisfying results. ECO and BioBricks are also good ones. Just stay away from the loosely compressed logs and bricks. They burn up quickly and create a lot of ash.
 

spirilis

Minister of Fire
Sep 8, 2009
936
Frederick, MD
I tested solid compressed fuels several years back and really liked them. It's possible to get into an overfire by not following directions or overloading on them. But if you respect the mfg. instructions and the btu content per brick or log you can get very satisfying results. ECO and BioBricks are also good ones. Just stay away from the loosely compressed logs and bricks. They burn up quickly and create a lot of ash.
Definitely. This year I have my first load of oak (~1/2 cord drying 2yr in the sun) ... one split read 25% and another 27% although I've yet to test more than 2 so far. Still a little nervous about that, but, I still have over a ton of liberty bricks so I'm sure I'll be fine.
 

Village Idiot

Burning Hunk
Sep 10, 2011
182
No. Va.
I have plenty of wood this year, but I am going to get a couple of tons for the season in a few weeks. They really enhanced my overnight burns. Enough that my wife even agrees that they are good to have. And she is super frugal.
 

redyute

Feeling the Heat
Dec 4, 2015
355
southern maryland
I have plenty of wood this year, but I am going to get a couple of tons for the season in a few weeks. They really enhanced my overnight burns. Enough that my wife even agrees that they are good to have. And she is super frugal.
let me know when you are going hopefully my buddy's dually will be up and running, cause I cant imagine putting a ton of bricks in the bed of my Dakota lol
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,090
South Puget Sound, WA
Definitely. This year I have my first load of oak (~1/2 cord drying 2yr in the sun) ... one split read 25% and another 27% although I've yet to test more than 2 so far. Still a little nervous about that, but, I still have over a ton of liberty bricks so I'm sure I'll be fine.
The directions on their website are pictorial and a bit vague. They seem to show starting with 6 bricks and then adding 2 more in an open teepee fashion. This is quite different from the BioBrick instructions where they create a mass of bricks with no air gaps. That was quite effective at achieving an extended, steady burn in my testing. This winter I will look around and see if something in brick form is available locally. I also want to retest the Northern Idaho Energy Logs (NIELs) in the T6 this winter.
 

Village Idiot

Burning Hunk
Sep 10, 2011
182
No. Va.
The directions on their website are pictorial and a bit vague. They seem to show starting with 6 bricks and then adding 2 more in an open teepee fashion. This is quite different from the BioBrick instructions where they create a mass of bricks with no air gaps. That was quite effective at achieving an extended, steady burn in my testing. This winter I will look around and see if something in brick form is available locally. I also want to retest the Northern Idaho Energy Logs (NIELs) in the T6 this winter.
I would take any manufacturer's instructions as a nice starting point and then develop a method that works for your setup. Ultimately I settled on loading them in a tight layer of 18 bricks on the bottom (don't even take the plastic off with helps keep them together) and filling the remains space with splits. I get around 12 +/- hours of burn time.
 

spirilis

Minister of Fire
Sep 8, 2009
936
Frederick, MD
The directions on their website are pictorial and a bit vague. They seem to show starting with 6 bricks and then adding 2 more in an open teepee fashion. This is quite different from the BioBrick instructions where they create a mass of bricks with no air gaps. That was quite effective at achieving an extended, steady burn in my testing. This winter I will look around and see if something in brick form is available locally. I also want to retest the Northern Idaho Energy Logs (NIELs) in the T6 this winter.
Fwiw the few times I burned (almost) purely Liberty Bricks in the madison last year, my typical method was to create 3 parallel front-to-back stacks of ~6 bricks, add thin kindling between the stacks, add kindling on top across them, 1/4 supercedar on top w/ newspaper and ignite... the kindling did a good job lighting the kindling between the stacks and the epic inferno began.

Those firebox loads would get dangerous if you loaded them too high near the baffle (e.g. 8 bricks per stack instead of 6). Since the bricks expand when burning, you'd have an unending overburn as the bricks expand upwards, making the secondary burn tubes' air supply act more like primary air for the sawdust burning up top. Vermiculite baffle glowing red at spots near the burn tubes, etc.

So yeah, with non-catalytic clean burn stoves, the biggest concern with loading is that you not go too high with 'em...
 

Village Idiot

Burning Hunk
Sep 10, 2011
182
No. Va.
let me know when you are going hopefully my buddy's dually will be up and running, cause I cant imagine putting a ton of bricks in the bed of my Dakota lol
I have this Friday off, so I scheduled a pickup at 10 that morning. The wife will be out of town so I look forward to her face when she returns to see two tons of bricks stacked in the garage. It will be like a kid on Christmas morning. (NOT!) Oh well, she should know better than to leave me unsupervised.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,261
07462
VI - you going to get old man Bart a load to? heard he made a coffee table and tv stand out of them
 

Village Idiot

Burning Hunk
Sep 10, 2011
182
No. Va.
Sadly not this time. They worked so well, I am bringing both tons home. The plan is to store any that I don't use under the basement stairs for the next season. If I had a big trailer, I would consider hauling as many pallets as I could up to my area for others. The truck is capable, but no trailer.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
682
Texas
I don't know if this information will help anyone, but since it's a thread for folks in Northern Virginia, I thought I'd point out that Woodstoves Unlimited in Culpeper is a distributor for Liberty Bricks. There's a markup, of course, to $225 a ton, but they also sell them by the package ($3.99) in case anyone just wanted to test this particular brand. I've never been to that store but called them yesterday to find out their pricing so thought I'd share.
 

redyute

Feeling the Heat
Dec 4, 2015
355
southern maryland
Think I'm ready now lol Man the Dakota took a full ton like a champ lol, hour and a half drive home.

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redyute

Feeling the Heat
Dec 4, 2015
355
southern maryland
Been burning the tractor supply fuel bricks and the are good, but today after holding a liberty brick in my hand fresh from the press man this thing is well compressed and comes out the press warm. The tractor supply bricks break fairly easily taking them out the packaging, dude at liberty brick had me try breaking one of their bricks, slammed it pretty good on the concrete but couldn't do no damage except for a few chips. Curious to see how the burn time compares
 

redyute

Feeling the Heat
Dec 4, 2015
355
southern maryland
So yall might find it surprising that I say this but I think I get longer well I know I get a better burn time with the crumbly tractor supply brick than liberty bricks. I decided to use up the rest of the tractor supply bricks I had so I threw a 3 pack in the stove wrapper and all at 4:00 pm and had glowing bricks at 4:30 am the following morning when I got up for work. I can barely get 6 maybe 7 hours off of a 10 pack liberty bricks, which is surprising cause they are so much denser than the tractor supply ones
 

nola mike

Minister of Fire
Sep 13, 2010
837
Richmond/Montross, Virginia
Interesting. Just did the math on this, and the liberty bricks are just about identical in cost/BTU to NG at the moment (maybe worse, since my stove is less efficient than my boiler). Boo.