6 Steps to Light The Perfect Fire using Birch
There's one key thing that you need to remember when you learn how to light a fire using birch. Wet birch is the enemy! Today you're going to learn how to light the perfect fire with kiln dried logs in a wood stove.
1. Open the Vents
Okay, firstly you need to open the vents so that the air oxygen can come in, it's going to burn in the fire, and then it's going to go out which leads you to your damper. And the damper needs to be going straight up and down to let the smoke out.
So like we said before, wet wood is the enemy. Use kiln dried logs that will have a moisture content lower than 18%. If you're scavenging in the woods, try find dry twigs or small stick bits that are going to snap. Twigs are great kindling if dry, and they'll make a noise when it snaps, that that way you know it's dry. Unfortunately, it will need 12 months to dry if you're in the UK.
2. Build up your fire starters
Now, grab some of that beautiful silver birchbark (or white birch), which is nature's best firestarter. No need for tinder, dryer lint or fire lightning here! Then take a few pieces of our kiln dried kindling.
The goal here is start small and grow big. Open up your Wood burning stove, take your great fire starter birch bark and kindling and set it right in the middle of your wood stove, building it up high and stacking it upwards so the flames will climb up the wood.
3. Light the fire
It will be so dry that it will spark immediately and light so go ahead and set fire to the kindling.
Now that your birch is burning, it's going to catch on to the bark, and then it's going to catch on to the kindling.
Keep feeding the fire little bits of everything little bits of kindling, birch and cardboard straight from our logs in cardboard boxes.
As it gets a little bit bigger, just add a little bit more.
The key is keeping it small. A lot of people will take a big piece of wood from the birch tree and throw it in there and light it with a lighter and expect it to light. It ain't gonna work unless you do it in steps and stages.
Now if you're having trouble finding the sticks and bark, there's another way you can do it and that is order online through our log shop. Remember, if you're finding firewood outside it's likely going to need at least 12 months to season and dry out. If the wood is cold, that means that there's a little bit of moisture in it and if there's a little bit of moisture in it, the bigger it is it won't burn.
4. Add your kiln dried logs
Okay, so now that your fire has got going , start to add a couple of your smaller logs. Lay them on there nice and gingerly, don't just throw them on because you can collapse your fire.
Put them on the fire so there's still air that can get in, because if you don't have air you don't have fire. The whole idea here is to build a nice bed of coals our of your wood. Once we have that bed of coals it doesn't matter what we put in there -with the exception of anything that's not wood. It will burn.
Now you'll see the fire starting to die down a little bit. Just wait a second. If you have any mess that's come so far, give it a little clean up as all of these bits of residue is going to burn just perfectly.
If you don't do it right the first time we're just gonna have to start back in the beginning there's no skipping steps.
Add a larger piece of firewood and give it time.
5. Close the vents
Now you start listening to your fire. You can hear it roaring a little bit you can hear it say it's got plenty of air coming in. Now is the time to close the vents a little to slow the burning down.
Now it's just trying to pull it right from a smaller spot. What that's going to do is it's going to concentrate the air a little bit and send it more as like a jet towards it. So you want to leave the vent open slightly just for a little bit until you see this really catch -it's not instantaneous. It takes a minute. Leave the fire to do its thing for a hot minute and then after that is when you start adding incrementally bigger pieces.
6. Keep adding logs as you like
The whole idea of making a successful fire is to build your coals and let the coals do their thing, burning and sizzling so that every time you put a piece of wood on there, they set the dry wood on fire. It's the same process if your burning in an open fire, campfire or using a fire pit.
It's just the process that keeps going and going and if you have the coals in there making a nice hot bed, you can have a fire going for months! Every time you put another piece of wood on it's going to create new coals. The old coals will turn to ash and fall down to the ash tray.
It sometimes takes about 25 minutes to 30 minutes for your coal bed to form and it to take on its own role. Once it's done you'll be enjoying a nice hot fire all day long!