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Big box store Pellet comparing! List and mini review!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jtakeman, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

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    139
    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    Jay cool cabin, you were right about the marth pellets. They are kind of sleepers! with my stove on the same setting I got 330°F out of them .that"s 80°F hotter than the lumberjacks, but still not as hot as the uncle Jed's witch hit 350°F ..I'll try to send you a couple bags! I ordered 2 tons of Jed's for next week.. I will donate the pellets if some other guy's out there will help with shipping..I'll will get back to you on this when they come in...~ happy holidays

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Wow 350ºF out of the Uncle Jeds. I know kroozer speaks highly of them. I would love to add them to my list. I appreciate the offer to send them. That would be awesome. I can kick in some for the shipping if you need me to. I really want to see them in action!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family too!
    jay
  3. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

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    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    Yes a whopping 350° on the door of my stove,I know the temp of the door is much hotter than the air coming out of the stove,I found it much easier to keep the thermometer in the same place with it on the door..It may be after Christmas when I get a chance to send out those pellets..how should I discreetly get your address..
    ~Troy
  4. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't really matter where you measure the temps. As long as you measure in the same place every time. I prefer the convection air. But do what works best for you. Temperature is something you can't see and is very hard to judge by feel. I have a few friends that thought there pellets were hotter than a brand I like. Even though they felt there's was hotter. When I brought my meter over and measure there temps. They were surprised at what was actual and not what they felt with the back of there hand. You can see the volume of ash. You pretty much can judge whats good or bad. But with temps there is only one way to really be sure and thats measuring it. Sounds like you are doing just fine with it and have used it to judge whats best for your stove.

    I will PM you my addy. Again Much appreciated.
    jay
  5. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    funny, at my HD most don't know about the pellets, however I know one guy who burns them as he gets all the burst bags before anyone else can, the other surprise was the grandmother type at the return desk knew all about pellets as she burns them, if they don't burn them they don't know the difference, to them it is just like fertilizer, peat moss or anything else that comes in a bag.
  6. Drakemalbion

    Drakemalbion New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    Hi,
    Some of the suppliers around here are carring a new brand from a mill here in MA thats called O'Malley's. Its a hardwood pellet mostly oakwood with 8,300 BTU's and .5 % ash. Anyone know anything?
  7. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Jay, any takes on New Engalnd Wood Pellets?

    I've been burning them for a month and finding quite a bit of ash remaining, tried the Ligs this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised.
  8. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    jtakeman, you need to save all those different bags, maybe nail them to a garage wall, someday they may be collectors items, kind of like the old enamel gas station or cola signs!
  9. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Northwestern CT.
    Next test should have NEWP's involved. That is if you all want me to continue with my next test "My Ultimate pellet search" or "The Best of the Pellet House Brands"?

    My list has started to grow. and I have gathered a few brands to get started. Just not sure if you are all on board. I will hit the pellet house's and get started ASAP.

    I have a few bags of Uncle Jeds promised me. Hope the member comes thru. Another member has offered to send Uncle Jeds Fir(Bear Mountain) pellets too. I am dying to try them and compare them to the west coast brands.

    Updates to 1st and 2nd post.
    Eco Flames weighed and added to list Green Teams are complete ash also weighed and added to list.

    Somersets are in. Temp is 251ºF.

    jay

    Attached Files:

  10. Wood Nugget

    Wood Nugget Member

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    So. ME
    Of course we want you to continue. Different pellets burn differently in different stoves, and you are helping many people make decisions on which pellets to try or not to try in their stove. If I saw a brand in a store I was unfamiliar with, I wouldn't purchase it without first checking it against your results. You are doing many people a great service, and we appreciate it. Thanks.
  11. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    South of the beloved Patriots
    I concur.... I've got a pallet-ish of NEWP's if you can't get 'em
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    My testing is complete. Somersets are done and I will weight them tomorrow. I will try to merge bag photo with the ash samples in each post. This way they will stay with the thread. Otherwise if I ever delete them from photobucket. The pictures will be gone. I will also try to put the photo's with the Excel file. Or a maybe PDF.

    Check attachment for ash volume.

    Happy Holidays Everyone.

    Attached Files:

  13. pamela010257

    pamela010257 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
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    Loc:
    Maryland
    Thank you for doing all of this work.
    It really is very interesting and helpful.
  14. Doocrew

    Doocrew Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
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    314
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Nice job Jay. If you ever venture up to NH I will buy you a steak and a beer.
  15. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Wall paper in the living room is OUT, Wife wouldn't go for it. I would like to treat them like trophies. My son and I have a HO scale train room, I think some will go on the far wall.

    I don't think I have ever burned so many different brands in one season. Still want to burn some more. But I will chill until after xmas. But I will be pellet hunting for the next comparison.

    jay
  16. Gumby1

    Gumby1 Member

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    Loc:
    Western Ma.
    Hey Jay. That offer is still open on the ProPellets that I spoke to you about.
  17. Benski

    Benski Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Montreal, QC.
    I agree, but to be entirely correct, if we use convection air temperature, we should also record temperature at which that convection air entered the stove. Of course, if your are using a thermostat, it should pretty much always be the same. The work done by the combustion actually provides convection air with a delta T°. This delta T° is what should remain constant if we have the same stove, same settings, same pellets.

    It may not be the case for me IF we have a very cold <-25°C stetch of weather as I recently saw last week. In such case, my stove will work at max output while still seeing the ambiant air temperature fall a few degrees. And I'm not saying my stove doesn't provide enough heat, it's just that I have absolitely no insulation in the basement. That is scheduled for next summer...

    Bye
  18. Benski

    Benski Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Montreal, QC.
    Jay,

    As I mentionned earlier on, I'm jumping in as a testing crew member! Holidays just started 5 minutes ago!

    I just finished cleaning the stove and started with LG's.

    2 bags (2X40 lbs) per run. Stove is set at No. 4 level and Premium Pellet. Stove also allowed to idle at Low setting if thermostat feels it's getting too warm.

    Results as of 17 jan 2010

    I screened the ash with a 3/16in mesh to get rid of unburnt pellets. This is why LG's now show 12on of ash instead of the 15on I had previously recorded.

    1. LG 12on ash level in jar 431°F convection air temp

    2. Comfort 22-24on ash w/ clinkers 441°F
    3. Valfei Ambiance 10 on 431°F
    4. Cubex 16-18on 497°F Noticeably very hot!
    5. Corn not yet measured, but large!!! 350°F Ran stove in Regular Pellet mode to get it to work w/ corn with comb. air trim to max.
    6. Maine Wood 18 on 356°F Not good at all. Ash being ok, but heat output was terrible. It felt good to come back to "normal" with LG's!
    7. Switchgrass 100% in January

    Note on temperature readings: The figure I am reporting is a 3-point average taken with a IR Thermometer shooting on the deflector plate right at the heat tubes exit, above main door of the stove. I take a point on the left, one in the middle and a third on the right hand side. The middle point is always hotter by about 30°F.

    Anyone knowing about other brands available in QC or ON is welcome to give me suggestion. It seems rather myterious that I can't find any of Energex products anywhere while they are located just about 2 hrs from where I am??? I have yet to stop by a Home Depot sometime...

    Bye,

    Attached Files:

  19. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

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    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    Jay, I guess I missed most of your thread about the cabin you built. What was that for? Are you testing pellets in the fireplace?? . I pick up my Uncle Jed's today..I'll get back to you after the holidays..take care..and happy Holiday's
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    My son had a school project. I can try the pellets in the fireplace but if we keep it I think we will make a pellet stove or insert. After all the fireplaces is heat mostly goes up the vent.

    Take care and have a safe holiday season.
    jay
  21. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Ben, My basement is insulated and the temps stay beween 64ºF and 74ºF. Most of the temps were taken in the 70ºF range or within 1ºF at most.

    Can't wait to see some of your results. The LG's were a good pellet for me But I haven't burned them in a few years. Hard to get unless you get form woodpellets.com lately.

    Keep use posted.
    jay
  22. joefraser

    joefraser New Member

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    Loc:
    Somersworth,NH
    Jay,
    If you come across the Spruce Points I'd love to see how they compare to the Okanagans and Barefoot. I think they'd be close based on when I burned a few bags a while back. Would like to see what the numbers say.

    Thanks for all your work on this project!
  23. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

    Joined:
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    139
    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    Jay, I found some interesting facts about the pellets I'm burning.The lumberjack pellets weigh 5.12 pounds per gallon,The Marth pellets weigh 6.03 pounds per gallon. that seems like a lot of weight difference in only one gallon.I wonder if weight has anything to do with heat? both pellets are very dry I don't think ,moisture is an issue.If it was you would think the heaver ones would burn cooler.Just the opposite is true, the Marth pellets burn much hotter, 80° hotter at 3/4 heat level on my stove. Anyway my wife thinks I'm nuts weighing pellets in the kitchen on a food scale. All in good fun! Have You ever heard of Indeck pellets ? Another Wisconsin company.They just signed a deal with Menards to sell there pellets. now I heard from our pellet supplier up here that 40 pounds of there pellets would not fit in the Menards bag??? So they had to add something to the pellets to make them heavier so 40 pounds would fit in the bags?? So what do you think they are adding?? H2O???.....~ Happy Holiday's ~Troy

    Attached Files:

  24. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Thats a good question, But I really don't know the answer. I just hope it wasn't bark. Water would add weight and so would making the pellet denser. More wood fiber compressed into the same space weights more. I think thats what you are seeing between the lumberjack and the Marth pellets. A little more density within the pellet or the species of wood fiber weights a little more. Nice way to compare and an interesting find!

    jay
  25. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Lakes Region, NH
    Hey Jay

    Great job on the testing !!!!!

    Been away from the forum for the last week and a half, so was not able to keep up with the posts. I see that the Greene Teams had good results with a little over 7 oz ash. I would say that is the only comment I would have with them. If I am away for more than 24hrs with my girlfriend and the kids, I come home to alot of ash buldup in the pot. Pretty much from flame edge to the edge of the pot. Large volume and on the black side, but fluffy too. The only thing that I can see it hindering is the air wash and allowing the flame to be more forward than upward. No biggie though, they give good heat with a very high, strong flame. Damn, I can barely open the door and clear the ash without burning my hand if it has been firing high for a while. Not enough to break down and get a glove just yet though. :cheese:

    I see that the Okies have half the ash as the Green Teams, so I am anxious to see the difference I get when I switch over.

    Thanks for this great information, I know it took alot of work.

    Geno

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