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First Corn Burn-Harman P61A

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by richg, Jan 22, 2006.

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  1. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Interesting experience. Picked up four bags of corn yesterday, 5.00 per 50 lb bags. They will sell it unbagged at $140.00 per ton.

    The hopper (with extension) was about 1/3 full, and I dumped a full bag of corn bag in. Dumped a bag of pellets on top and went to bed. In the morning, the burn pot was pushing out burned corn cinders, and the stove was cranking out heat. I could not see any pellets feeding into the firepot at that time, only straight corn. Later on there were pellets and corn feeding in, but the stove seemed just as happy.

    Has me thinking. Pellets are way more expensive this year, and will probably be so next year as well. A 50/50 mix might save some dough. Corn is messy to handle, as there were pieces of cobb, dust etc, but nothing a good screening system couldn't handle.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Wow what are you paying for pellets that makes 5.00 per bag on corn a good deal?
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Shane,

    Here in Northern NJ, i picked up seven tons for $215.00 per ton over the summer. Can't tell you what they are going for now, as there are none.
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Well I guess if there are none then 5.00 per bag for corn might sound more appealing. What is your other source of heat? Have you compared cost to make sure you're still saving?
  5. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    remember, pellets 40 lb bags. Corn 50 lb bags. Pound for pound equivalent price 40lb corn $4.00 50lb corn $5.00.

    I just got off the phone with Penwell Mills in Northern NJ. $200 per ton for bagged corn. He burns it himself, in his own corn stove.

    Joshua
  6. FireJumper

    FireJumper New Member

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    Make sure your igniter stays clean. Harman may not cover it under warranty if they find out your burning corn in it. The unit was not tested to burn corn so the igniter is in jeopordy of going out prematurely.
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I don't think a pound for pound comparison is in order since corn averages 7000BTU/lb at 11%MC (which is the low end of the average) and pellets average out to be around 8300BTU/LB

    40Lbs.x8300= 332000 btu's per bag
    50Lbs.x7000= 350000 btu's per bag

    Almost a push.
  8. ernie

    ernie Member

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    We can get corn for 2.00 per bushel here in the midwest. I think corn weighs 53 lb per bushel?
    ernie
  9. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Mix the corn and pellets together. They will burn better. Lots of folks go 30 - 50 % with no issues. Check out iburncorn.com forum for the best in corn burning experimentation and advice. You are paying too much for that bulk corn period. Shop around the big farms and you will find it for around $100 anyplace, a lot less if you are in the midwest. To clean the corn all you really need is a sheet of hardware cloth, steel 1/4" mesh stapled with electricians staples to a 2 by 4 or 2 by 6 frame set at an angle. Snow shovel it on the top end and its clean when it slides down the bottom where you shovel it in a container. Short rubbermaid totes are the best as you can easily reach to bottom and they aren't high enough to bulge out the sides. You don't have to keep it particularly dry either, just a tarp over it is enough. As for mice they prefer wood pellets anyways.
    Two things to remember that cost you money:
    1 SWEEP THE DRIVEWAY OR GARAGE FLOOR WELL FIRST
    2 SWEEP THE PICKUP BED WELL AND COVER WITH A TARP BEFORE THE CORN GOES IN.

    The nails that jamb your auger and chunks of wood, shale ect will come from YOU and YOUR GEAR not the feed lot and jamming an auger with a nail is a major PITA as is a stone. Now how do I become such an authority on that one can only guess right? The tarp will keep the corn from leaking out through the corners and sides of the tailgate as you drive home. Keep it high enough so it hangs over the back if you can so it doesn't get buried when they start filling. Toss the junk fines ect in the yard for the garden critters, they will love you for it. # 2 dent corn should weigh roughly 56 lbs a bushel. The better you screen the corn the better it will burn. You will find that most of your ash is from the dust and bees wings not the corn itself which burns very clean.
    Stay away from stove places and feed stores like Agway ect. they are high. Instead go to the farmers or feed lots. And yes you can fill your pickup from the big high chute they fill the semi's from. The feed lot may not think so but it works great and helps clean it some, especially if its windy out. You don't want the dust anyways. Those feed lots tend to prefer you either make an appointment or come late in the day as not to conflict with their bigger customers and their tractor trailers.
  10. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Driz,

    Thanks for your post. Some interesting points. I'm in northwest NJ, and the choice of feed mills is a bit limited. Kind of funny, one poster went to the same place I did, Penwell Mills. This winter is proving to be quite merciful in terms of temperature, as my pellet usage is the lowest it's ever been. The five gazillion dollars I spent on new windows, siding, insulation and weatherproofing might have something to do with that as well. My plan is to make serious use of corn for the rest of this season, as I still have 4.5 tons of pellets in the basement and want to try and conserve them for next year.

    On a side note, makes me wonder if there will be a flood of pellet stoves on the market at the end of this heating season from people who bought their stoves post-Katrina, couldn't get pellets, and want to recoup their investment. People didn't look before they lept, in that a huge petroleum price spike affects pellet prices as well due to transportation cost. High transportation cost, huge imbalance of demand vs supply, and pellets turned out to be more expensive this year than oil or gas heat, at least here in NJ. There are no pellets to be had anywhere except for $600.00 per ton on Ebay. Corn, here I come!
  11. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I think it will leval back out. IMO (and I tell this to my customers purchasing pellet stoves too) wood heat is the only heat source that will truely make you independent.
  12. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    I agree, in that wood is often free for the asking, or at least you can buy land and grow trees. Problem here in Northern NJ is simply that land is far more expensive than firewood. near me, 9 acres is going for 500k. Uncleared, flag lot, and still half a million. Now free firewood good!, but when a lot of people switch to wood heat, isn't free firewood going to be a lot more scarce?
  13. roac

    roac New Member

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    Joshua,

    You would think so but wood = work. Bottom line is people don't want to work that hard. Free firewood? No such thing. With all the time gathering/splitting/cutting it is far from free but if you enjoy the work it becomes fun. Most people just want heat...
  14. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    [Joshua,

    You would think so but wood = work. Bottom line is people don't want to work that hard. Free firewood? No such thing. With all the time gathering/splitting/cutting it is far from free but if you enjoy the work it becomes fun. Most people just want heat...[/quote]

    We've many customers who enjoy the picking up, loading, unloading, stacking, and carrying inside of their firewood. They find it therapeutic, actually....good for them! Sweat equity! BUT, dont you feel that they are actually the minority, possibly an EXTREME minority? It seems that in these days and times of overworked husbands/wives/significant others, the majority of the folks just dont want to cut and stack....nor do they have time to. Doesnt our society seem to be becoming a hands-off society? In the Northeast, try to find someone here to hang a door for you, or put on a new roof. Its difficult...and the ones who do actually do the work are so busy, they are booked for months/years. People as a rule dont want to work hard. I think alot of the old-tyme thinkers reside in places like this....the folks who actually do enjoy the work....but I submit, you wood folks are an extreme minority.
  15. roac

    roac New Member

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    Definitely! Maybe what 3 in 100. Most people won't take the time. I think if they actually experienced the "flame" either through wood or pellets they would be hooked on it. Oh well their loss.
  16. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yep, nothing like working all day in the cold, coming back to a nice hot fire!
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