Why the Heine pot?

Discuss commercially made camp kitchen items.
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JollyRogers
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:55 am

Why the Heine pot?

Post by JollyRogers » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:21 pm

I have been lurking on this site and a few others, as well as YouTube to get ideas for a good light cook set. For years I have known about alcohol stoves but never really gave them any thought.
I live in Iowa and the winters are long and boring so I figured making a cook kit would be a good use of my time.

Lots of people seem to use the 24oz Heineken pot, and initially it looked like a really good idea. But after a couple of months of testing with several different stoves, gallons of fuel used in burn tests and just typical abuse that my hiking/camping gear goes through, I have to say that in the end I am less than satisfied. It seems much more fad over function to me. I'm not saying it doesn't have uses but I think there are much better options out there. I'll list my findings first and then maybe you guys can see where I'm coming from or at least tell me if I have missed something.

Pros:
- Extremely light - Undeniably the biggest asset of the Heine pot. I have yet to see anything lighter.
- Easily modified. As this forum shows, there are tons of things you can do to customize your Heine pot. But then again, they require modification just to be used.
- Readily available. You can find these anywhere that has a decent liquor department.
- Inexpensive... initially. After modifications the time and money necessary just doesn't seem worth the end product. But still not nearly as expensive as the average titanium cook pot.
- Cools quickly, good when the pot is empty. Bad when the pot is full.

Cons:
- Fragile. While not as fragile as a normal beer can, it is still very fragile. I had one that flexed several times when packing and eventually it cracked and started leaking. It is easily dented, which leads to deformed lips, loss of structural integrity, etc. Most pots can just use a pot grabber, but doing this with a Heine pot will tear it up.
- It doesn't heat water any faster/better than any other piece of equipment I have tested. In most cases it actually takes longer to boil water. I have tried tin cups, aluminum cook pots, soup cans and stainless pots, they all have boiled water faster than the Heine pot in side-by-side burn tests.
- Difficult to clean (Assuming you use it for anything but water). The pot is too narrow to get into without cutting it down or carrying a bottle/jar brush, (which kind of defeats the purpose of the light weight pot). And because of the thin/light nature of the build I end up slicing the sides of my hand on the lip when trying to clean stuff out of the bottom of the pot.
- No good way to hold it. You need to wrap it in something to use it when hot. Other pots have sturdy lips you can get a hold of or have handles. You can use gloves, I guess, but you better make sure they don't melt.
- Difficult to find good stoves to efficiently heat the pot. Generally speaking the base is problematic.
- Size. Realistically, you use it to boil 1 or 2 cups of water. Sure, you could squeeze 3 cups in there but no one ever does. Generally speaking when I camp, I am with someone. Typically, only 1 of us brings a stove. So for 2 people the Heineken pot is pretty small when you consider you need to make your meal, hot drinks and possibly have some warm water left for clean-up. A larger pot that retains more heat is ideal for multiple people. Heck, even when it's just me, I may want a couple of cups of tea, some cup o' soup and a dinner. It would be nice to have some left over to put in a water bottle to warm my sleeping bag or to take hot/wets on the trail without having to boil water twice.

I am much more of a function over fashion type of guy. I want 1 stove and 1 pot that will work for whatever kind of food I'm packing. Ideally, everything must have multiple uses, or be completely essential if it only has a single purpose.
The Heineken pot just seems more like a day tripper when going for an afternoon hike kind of pot. Which, in that case, you don't actually even need to boil water because you can probably carry all you need for the day. So if you want to carry a little fuel to heat water for the day it seems ideal. But it really doesn't even make a decent mug/eating pot and you pretty much need to clean it in the dishwasher or risk losing a finger.

So I ask you, the Poo-bah's of cook sets, is it the cool-factor? Is it the weight? Is it the cost? Is it just what was lying around? Or am I just missing something?

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zelph
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by zelph » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:49 pm

So I ask you, the Poo-bah's of cook sets, is it the cool-factor? Is it the weight? Is it the cost? Is it just what was lying around? Or am I just missing something?
I think it's the cool factor. HOI (hog on ice) over at Whiteblaze.net was the first to introduce it to the backpacking world. From there all the big names picked up on it and the fad started to spread. There was one guy that started wrapping it with heavy fiberglass wick(he did a video and showed himself licking the fiberglass prickles off with his tongue :roll: I think his name is tiny ) So the whole thing snowballed into what it is today.

I agree with everything you said in your post. My testing has shown the pot to take longer to achieve a boil.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

sudden
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by sudden » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:18 pm

From a guy who doesn't have many metal working tools (yet), I think it appeals to the diy-er in all of us. No special tools required; can be re-made again and again with nearly limitless supply; doubles as a storage container.

It's a nice starter project for anyone wanting to dabble in making their own gear. That's also the attraction (I think) with some of the alcohol stoves. Some smart people out there figured out hole placement, diameter etc but almost anyone can build a basic one, tinker with it, and maybe even improve it.

Now that you have the limitations of the heine pot figured out, you might be the one who takes it to the next level :)
"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."

JollyRogers
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by JollyRogers » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:54 pm

sudden wrote:From a guy who doesn't have many metal working tools (yet), I think it appeals to the diy-er in all of us. No special tools required; can be re-made again and again with nearly limitless supply; doubles as a storage container.

It's a nice starter project for anyone wanting to dabble in making their own gear. That's also the attraction (I think) with some of the alcohol stoves. Some smart people out there figured out hole placement, diameter etc but almost anyone can build a basic one, tinker with it, and maybe even improve it.

Now that you have the limitations of the heine pot figured out, you might be the one who takes it to the next level :)
Funny you should mention that. I started trying to put together a cook set based around the Heine pot. But the more I tested it the more I realized I was working backwards. I started thinking that a good cook set should be designed from the outside inward. Most people usually start with the inside and work out. (Usually starting with the stove.) And you can do that, but then everything has to work with your stove from the get go. The more sites I went to and the more YouTube videos I watched, the more I learned you can tailor build a stove to your cook set much easier than the other way around.

So I started with this: Image

and after a lot of testing I ended up with a pretty familiar cook set: Image

There are a lot of minor tweaks to most of the typical items and I also added few new items. The main thing is how they all work together. I did a lot of food testing with this set as well. I think you will be surprised to hear that this is designed for baking muffins and mini loafs. And while it uses a lot of fuel, it does work quite well. The fact that this stove will burn for 25 minutes on a single fill-up is pretty nice.

I am only starting to work on my primer and windscreen. Not sure if I am going to prime with a wick system or a primer pan. The stove was originally designed to be modified similar to Zelph's new Venom stoves with the center spire for priming. That may be an add-on later. Right now I am trying to design the windscreen so that it can double as a wood burner while still fitting in or around the stainless pot when stowed. This would allow this cook set to be very versatile. The only times you would need to burn fuel is when you want to heat/boil water quickly or if you wanted to have a controlled burn for baking.

The stove is a pretty standard double-wall pressurized stove design. The differences are in the details. Such as 17 burner holes, threaded center spire designed for upgrades/modifications. It also holds just over 3 oz of fuel and is slightly smaller than a 2" tall Bud Light stove that only holds 2.5 oz. Custom bottle purchased in bulk specifically for this design. Same goes for the stainless pot.
The 4 cup plastic container is part of the cooking system and not just a cup for storage. It is designed to work with the stainless pot.

The orange silicone lid on the pot works in a number of ways. you an poach eggs with it while boiling water, you can create an air-tight seal in any of the pots, but yet it is pliable enough that it will vent pressure. You can also use it as a pot gripper and a baking cup.

So while this is my first endeavor, it is designed to be built upon to make a complete cook set as opposed to several individual components that kind of work together. As you can see I did include a Heine pot as well. It works with this set as well, although it is about the least used item in the set. This is my "Jack of all trades" cook set. It isn't great at anything, but it is at least good at everything that I have a use for. The trade-off... a little weight. Everything in the picture (including the fire-starter) is 17.4 oz before fuel. The fuel bottles will carry 5 oz of fuel each, 9even though they are sold as 4 oz bottles). Fuel is 17 grams/oz x 10 oz = 170 grams. Total weight with fuel is just under 24oz.

I am planning on wrapping the stainless pot with kevlar to see if that allows me to grip it when hot, (I'm waiting for the high temp silicone to set on a pot as we speak). Hopefully when it is all said and done, the cook set, windscreen/wood burner and primer included will be 2lbs or less. I know that extra pound will make the "gram weenies" cringe, but I think it is worth the weight. Personally, I will probably drop the Heine pot as I always carry ate least a camp cup or canteen cup with me.

Sorry for the novel. Just trying to get up to pace with you guys. If you have any questions let me know. I do have some video of some of my trials I could load to YouTube, but I haven't got many with the finished product yet.

Here is a picture of everything in the above picture when packed:
Image

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zelph
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by zelph » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:12 pm

the more I learned you can tailor build a stove to your cook set much easier than the other way around.
I agree, that is so true.

As you go along your likes and needs may change. I have found the aluminum bottles make great pots. The "Snapple" energy drink bottle holds 2 cups of water and can be modified to have a tea kettle whistle put on top of it just as an added feature. Cut the top off and use a stove like the Cobalt Soloist and it fits inside the pot. A 6" tall EZ-Fold windscreen fits inside with a 4 ounce fuel bottle.

Where did you get the slab of Norwegian Moonstone? That caught my eye first off when I saw the photo :lol:
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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Ridgerunner
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by Ridgerunner » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:15 pm

A lot of hikers use the Heine pot for boiling water for freezerbag cooking . I see you have found Skidsters kitchen kits which works remarkably well for protecting the pot. Just like "HYOH" we like the MYOG just as much. Everyone has their own favorite stoves, cookware, and gear and if they are happy with it, that is all that matters. We can't all afford top of the line gear and some of the DIY ideas you find here and elsewhere on the web go a long way to make for an enjoyable experience in the field. 8-)
"Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".....Thomas Edison

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realityguy
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by realityguy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:39 pm

I think the only advantage of the heinie pot is you get to drink the heinie...or that's at least the reason they give the wife..."But Honey,I need to make a new cookpot!" :lol:
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

sudden
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by sudden » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:15 pm

Image

I've been using this to boil my water. Found one really cheap.

You might be able to spot weld a couple loops onto your pot (like the one on the side of the coffee pot). I use the loops on the side and top to lift and pour it. They are both too hot to touch after sitting in a wood fire but I just carve up a stick to hook on each loop of metal and all is well. You could make a similar handle out of aluminum channel instead of.

The downside to my coffee pot is the same as the heinie, not good for eating out of or cleaning.
"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."

JollyRogers
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:55 am

Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by JollyRogers » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:07 pm

zelph wrote:Where did you get the slab of Norwegian Moonstone? That caught my eye first off when I saw the photo :lol:
Once upon a time I used to do construction and a lot of plumbing. This was a chunk of counter top remnant that I have used as my soldering/fireproof workbench for years.

I almost fell prey to the Heine pot. I will say that I was really impressed with your Ring of Fire stove. But the reason I didn't go that route is because I would have been pretty much stuck with the Heine pot.

Thanks for the warm welcome from everyone. This is a great site with tons of great information.

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zelph
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Re: Why the Heine pot?

Post by zelph » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:09 am

The Ring Of Fire is my wife's favorite stove. We use it when tent camping. 1st thing in the morning while still in the tent, I put in once ounce for fuel and most of it get absorbed so all is well if tipped over.(never happened) I have the heiny pot filled the night before, place it in the stove and let it do it's thing. It has got to be the most stable set-up ever ;) The Ring of Fire is always kept in the trunk of our car for emergency use also. That stove goes against everyones belief that flames should not go up the side of the pot. All the flames of the stove touch the side of the pot, none under it. The boil times are right in line with most stove set-ups. Lots going for it. No separate pot support needed and will burn rubbing alcohol cleanly. You can make a ring of fire stove for any size pot. I made one to fit a medium size can of soup. Just open a can of soup and place in the stove. Makes for a good hobo stove. :D

I did some rock cutting and polishing for a space in time and the Norge. Moonstone was a favorite of mine to work with.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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