Starting an "L Brand”® Fire
"L Brand”® needs more air than coal. An electric blower with a rheostat (a light dimmer) is preferred over a hand-crank blower or bellows. You can use a lower power or hand-crank blower; however you will not reach full heat potential. Remember: the more air, the hotter the fire.
As a general rule, just use more of what you typically use to start a coal fire. It takes more heat to start "L Brand”® since it lacks volatiles that ignite at low temperatures.
Managing an “L Brand”® Fire
Since "L Brand”® burns cleanly, there is only minor fire management to do. Most importantly, you must supply air continuously to keep it going. The amount of air controls the intensity of the "L Brand”® fire. The more air, the hotter the fire will be.
You will need to rake more "L Brand”® into the fire as it is depleted. Do NOT add fresh “L Brand” ® directly on top of a hot fire! Although “L Brand”® may feel dry to the touch, it contains some moisture that will popcorn when added directly to a hot fire. “L Brand”® fire is so hot that it does not give the inherent moisture time to evaporate, so it turns to steam and pops. Popcorning can be minimized or even eliminated by heating “L Brand”® at the edge of the fire before adding.
If you do forge welding, a clinker may form composed of excess welding flux, ash and scale from the metal. Dig it out with your poker.
Since “L Brand”® fire burns hotter than a coal fire, you will need to watch your work closely to avoid burning. Experience will be your guide.
Banking an "L Brand”® Fire
Since "L Brand”® has no volatiles, the fire will begin to bank when the air is turned off. To keep the fire going, try placing a piece of wood in the center of the fire and leave the ash dump / gate open. This can give you an additional 25 – 30 minutes.
Extinguishing an "L Brand”® Fire
Turn off the air and pull the fire apart. If you have a flat surface around your firepot, spread the fire out to let it extinguish. You can also scoop out the fire with a shovel and dump it into a metal container.
Do NOT use water! This could cause an explosion.
The firepot will be at a much higher temperature than one used in a coal fire. Do NOT use water to cool the firepot since it may crack due to the drastic temperature change.