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Best Pellet(brands) Mix?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by movemaine, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    In looking to maximize dollars to btu's, I'm considering mixing high end & low end pellet brands.

    Potentials:

    High Ends:
    La Crete's
    Oakies
    (other suggestions?)

    Low Ends:
    Green Supreme's
    Pres-To's
    MWP's
    NorthEast's



    What combo would you suggest?

    Or do you have another suggestion?

    Or is there a good middle ground - such as a Crabbe or Geneva (by middle ground I'm thinking of btu's and price)

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  2. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Why not just burn MWP's straight up? Harman's are designed to burn lower quality pellets, so I don't bother or need to buy any of the high $ pellets.
  3. jdege

    jdege Member

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    I have the same insert and get all the heat I need right now out of Green Supremes and have Vermonts in the waiting for the colder weather.
  4. rmcgr8one

    rmcgr8one New Member

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    I am the same way as jdege. Burning the cheap stuff for now and vermonts are just sitting there collecting dust right now. In the mean time I have tried maine choice (suck), GS, and infernos (not to bad).
  5. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    I don't want to burn MWP straight up, as I think burning crappy pellets all the time increases maintenance, burns out parts quicker, and creates a lot more build-up in the exhaust. Yes, I have a Harman, but I still want a decent burn and I want the heat (I'm heating my whole house).

    So, I'm looking for the most btu for the buck.

    Suggestions?
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Go Presto Logs and never look back. Made by Lignetic and can be had for cheap. Been my sleeper pellet for 3 yrs (actually 2 years/3rd season). I bought 5 ton 3 seasons ago and still have almost 3 ton of them. If its not Super cold, then the Somersets and Presto's stay on the shelf. :)

    Otherwise I burn anything else. My furnace doesn't much care what's thrown in it......!!!
  7. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    I saw Pres-To's yesterday for the first time - at K-mart of all places.

    I hadn't heard of them before (except for the actual logs). I didn't buy any at the time, but I'll swing back by and try them out.

    On a side note, I wish pellet bag design followed other consumables (wine, chips, etc.) where you can tell the quality of the item by the bag itself.
  8. bugize

    bugize Member

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    I have used a few different ones, I like the northeast (ashland) really well for start to finish,the mwp softs are also good, dont need high end
  9. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

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    Cubex/Northern and Sprece Pointe on the high end. I'm not in to burning the cheaper stuff either. The low end pellets like trebio, Geneva, MWP blend, Corinth. They turn the inside of the stove a funny yellowish orange color and very high in ash. I haunt tried the 100% soft of the trebios yet though. Heard they were ok.
  10. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    What K-Mart and how much $?
  11. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Have you tried the MWP? I assume you are talking about the blend being in the low end category because the softies are considered super premium and have had real good reviews. I get a real good burn with MWP blend. I clean my stove weekly anyway so the increased ash accumulation (if there is any) isn't a big deal. I clean my venting every 30-40 bags or so just because it is easy and takes only a couple minutes. Maybe it is more difficult with your setup though. What do you mean when you say that you will burn out parts quicker with the low end pellets? I am pretty sure I know what you mean but I don't think I agree.
    If you did the math out for the most btus for the buck you would be surprised that you are getting a better value with the low end pellets
    See Sandpipe's post (#11) in this thread for a good explanation.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/shoulder-pellets-yea-or-nay.69943/
    Therfore, I will save a few hundred dollars every year or get an extra ton (cough...oink...cough) and stay with MWP for the forseeable future.

    Edit: Oh, and I like that I can support two Maine companies MWP and SIB.
    bugize likes this.
  12. UMainah

    UMainah Member

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    The Bangor Kmart is pricey at $5.29 per bag. I'm not sure if their per ton price is cheaper though.
  13. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting numbers, but I'd find them more relevant if time was an included factor.

    For example (using your brands), let's say a ton of MWP lasts me x days, but a ton of Cubex lasts me x + y days - then that's a factor in price/btu as well, due to having to run more of the cheaper brand to maintain temp. So over the course of a heating season, you would consume more pellets.

    Using this guide:

    I live in zone 5
    Home square footage= 2000 square feet (just for simplicityl)
    Now it is time to do a little math.
    2000 square feet
    X 55 Btu’ s per square foot
    110,000 Btus (actual Btu’s needed)

    [​IMG]

    Heating Square Footage Range by Climate Zone

    Red ZONE 1 30 - 35 Btu's per square foot
    Orange ZONE 2 35 - 40 Btu's per square foot
    Yellow ZONE 3 40 - 45 Btu's per square foot
    Green ZONE 4 45 - 50 Btu's per square foot
    Blue ZONE 5 50 – 55btu's per square foot



    So, the amount of pellets to achieve that btu level is:

    MWP - 13.33 lbs
    Cubex - 12.22 lbs

    So, if you burn 1 ton of Cubex, you are going to burn 1.1 tons of MWP.

    So 1 ton of Cubex is $295 and the price of 1.1 ton of MWP's is $246.40.


    Sounds pretty good, right?
    But let's take it a step further.


    In one year, I burn about 4.5 tons of pellets.

    Using that figure, and assuming I burn high end pellets for the full season, I would spend $1,327.50 on pellets for the year.

    If I burnt MWP's, I would be burning almost 5 tons of pellets (4.95 tons) and that would run me $1108.80 for the year.

    A grand savings of $218.70.


    That being said, I usually burn 3 or so tons of high end and another ton of middle of the road. So my cost difference is probably half that.

    Now, factor in the increased cleanings (due to the likelihood of a cheaper pellets having more ash) and the increased wear & tear on your stove by burning 10% more pellets and I think that difference of is made up in time & maintenance.
    Hoot23, jjs777_fzr and briansol like this.
  14. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    The highlighted area is a little off. 1.1 ton at $246.40 works out to be $224/ton. Therefore 4.95tons*$224=$1108.80. End savings would then be $218.70. Almost enough for an extra ton at the $224/ton price.:)
    This year, I paid $215/ton for MWP including delivery. Therefore, if I burned 4.5 tons of Cubex @295/ton (which wouldn't include delivery for me) I would pay $1327.50 as you said above. If I burned the equivalent BTUs in MWP I would pay $1064.25 ($215*4.95). Savings of $263.25. Enough for an extra 1.22 tons of MWP.

    Many on here are paying $197/ton for MWP. And even some are paying $177/ton. They are saving $451.35 ($295*4.5tons - $177*4.95tons). Enough for 2.55 extra tons of MWP at their price!==c Maybe 2 tons if you factor in transportation because the $177/ton price doesn't include delivery.
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  15. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    You're right . I didn't need to use the 1.1 calculation for the MWP price.

    I'll update my post.

    And the $224 price is the price here in Maine from Sibs in Jay, Maine with free delivery.
  16. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Yea I thought you were getting the $224 from SIB. The savings really add up if you can get the MWP for $177! Also if the Cubex BTU/# is inflated as questioned in other posts and should be adjusted.
  17. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    what no one seems to be thinking about is, with the cheaper pellet there is more variation in batches and one bad batch throws all your time, effort and calculations out the window.
    buy the good stuff and eliminate all the possibilitys
  18. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    Very true, I personally don't burn Cubex anymore. I did my first year, and think that numbers are indeed inflated.

    However, I have been burning Okies (plats & black hills) & LaCrete's, and their numbers are around the 9000 mark.
  19. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    Good catch. Another factor that you can't really express in the numbers but is undoubtedly there.
  20. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    So which brands have little to no batch variance?
  21. sandpipe

    sandpipe Member

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    There is cheap stuff that is very good and cheap stuff that is crap.

    Interesting, the most recent ton of MWP I picked up at my local TSC seems to have much less ash than the first ton I picked up a few months ago. I think there have been situations where more expensive pellets have had consistency problems too though.
  22. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I'll give Turmans a nod for least variance.
  23. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    I knew that was going to be a response. That's why i asked the question. However, I don't know of any around me.
  24. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Yup
  25. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    I feel that LaCrete's have been pretty consistent, but that's only a 2 year comparison.

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