Berlin wrote:That's not that bad at all as far as volatiles go. There's nothing "starving for oxygen" there, what you have is a cool fuel bed and firebox temps lower than the ignition temp of the smoke. Have you been banking the fire and raking the coals front to back or back to front before reloading? When I ran my hand-fired, I set the secondary air and forget it, I don't adjust it during the fuel's burn.
Yep, been meticulous at doing all of the above to a good hot fire.
With a full load of fresh fuel, If I let nature take it's course and don't open the secondary wide and open the door a crack the volatiles initially ignite but as the new coal warms up and releases its gasses they form a thick white cloud in the firebox and any fire is extinguished, until the gas warms up enough to reach ignition temp, usually with a big puff out the door. In the meantime there is a plume of white vapor filling the neighborhood from the chimney.
As you could see in the video, with the secondary wide open and the door open an inch. Simply closing the door is enough to kill the fire dead, open the door and the coals banked at the back reignites, I assume, as soon as the fresh air rushes in.
I find that if I add half a shovel of fuel at a time to a hot banked fire the volatiles light off right away, stay lit and roar away like a blow torch for at least 15 minutes. I wait until they burn off before adding more. It just takes a lot longer to fill it this way. Maybe this stuff is closer to sub-bituminous than it is bituminous.
Here are pics of the coal: