Is it just me?
I`ve been using yellow HEET in a "cat can" stove for about two years worth of weekend tours now, so I`m pretty familiar with it (at least with how it usually acts in my own stove). Normally, I get a mostly blue flame that burns clean and doesn`t leave any visible residue on my pot or in the stove.
A few days ago, I ran out of fuel mid tour and bought a new bottle from a hardware store that I passed by. The bottle looked just the same as always, but the first burn was really ugly- mostly orange flame with hardly any blue, and it left my pot covered in soot and gummy blobs in the bottom of my stove . It did seeem to get my water more or less the same temp as I expected with my measured dose of fuel, but... yuck! I didn`t want to spread that sooty mess over all my other gear! My first thought was that I must have inadvertantly dropped something into the stove before lighting it, so I scrubbed all the soot and stove gunk away and packed it up until next burn. Next time, I happened to notice that the fuel had a strong yellow tint (still smelled the same), not clear. I double checked the bottle looking for "New And Improved" or something, but found no evidence of that. I lit it again in my newly cleaned stove and got the same dirty flame and the same sooty pot and goopy stove. Well, okay- I just left it dirty and wrapped everything up in a plastic bag after use for the remainder of that trip.
When I got home, I dug around and found an old bottle with a little bit left in it. Comparing the two bottles side by side, the only difference I can see is in the date code. Looks like two different printers, so they might have come from different plants, but that`s about it. The partial bottle has been open for several months, maybe even a year. Just to see if I was nuts, I measured out a shot (clear, as always), lit the stove, and boiled a cup of water. Clean and no problems. Tried it with the weirdo bottle and the nasty yellow colored stuff sooted and gunked again. Has anybody else experienced a bad bottle of yellow (the bottle, not the liquid) HEET? Maybe it comes from different bottling plants with slightly different product? Could it be that the bottle I bought just sat for a REALLY long time in that store? I`ve bought it from little gas stations before, where I expect the product turn over was very slow, and never got anything different from any other time.