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My pellet brands this year

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by crausch, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Mark: So there is someone else that burned the Statesman besides me. I hear that they will no longer be available. It sounds like your having similar burn experiences as I did. Let us know what you think after burning the Appling County pellets?

    BTW...did you get those from the Hardwood flooring place off RailRoad Ave.? Thats where I bought my statesman and ACP pellets.

    MACMAN (if your out there): My local ACE hardware advertised that the had pellets available. The last time I was there months ago they had Lignetics, but only by the ton. I stopped in this morning to see if they had Lignetics again and if I couold buy a few bags. I was disapointed when I got there because all they had were the Appling County Pellets...Yuck! Needless to say, I left pelletless. I'll find the Lignetics locally eventually.

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  2. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Codebum,

    I did in fact get the Appling County Pellets at the flooring place in Westminster. I think they have like 30 tons left but they are selling them for 6.54 a bag, which is way too much for a previously unknown hardwood, pine blend. After burning them for a night I have to admit that they do burn fine. To my surprise, I heard no auger noise at all. I can't stand the smell though! They smell like particle board which always upsets my sinuses. Just pouring them into the hopper makes the whole living room smell.

    Some people, including me have sensitivities to pine, and the compounds used to form particle board. I don't think the ACP has any VOCs like particle board but they sure smell like they do! Must be the pine that is offensive to the nose.

    I was told that Southern States in Hampstead has a whole warehouse full of Statesmen. I personally don't like the Statesman because of the cleaning issues and the auger noise. If I was out, I would burn them though.

    I plan on getting more lignetics when I can.

    Home depot in Westminster sometimes carries a pure pine pellet called freedom fuels. They want way too much for them though. I have no experience with these and would burn them only if I was desperate.

    I have enough to last me the winter.

    As a side note, I read once on the internet that we ship 800,000 tons of pellets over sea a year to Europe(who has been burning pellets a lot longer than the US). Maybe that is part of the reason we are in such a shortage. Maybe if more pellets stay at home it would help.

    Summary:

    ACP burns fine but smells. I believe they burn better than statesman brand.
  3. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    I had bought some of the Freedom Fuel pellets from HD just to try them. They were not too bad. They were very small though. Small in diameter and and length. My stove seems to do better with 100% hardwood and medium length pellets.

    I don't know what ACP puts in their pellets but I thought the smell was overwhelming. Must be that batch that Westminster has becuase some other folks on the forum that burned them, did not notice any bad odor.

    I forget what I paid for the Freedom fuel from HD. I only bought 6 bags. I was glad I only bought 4 bags of the ACP.
  4. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    You know, the more I burn the ACP pellets the more I like them. They do stink bad when you're not burning them but they burn trouble free and warm.

    The ash is very light and fluffy and the flame seems to burn fairly efficiently even when the front of the burn pot is loaded with ashes. They may produce more ash but I don't notice as like you Codebum, I have a Harman with a large ash pan.

    With my favorite Pellets the Lignetics, I have to stir the hopper occasionally to make sure the hopper doesn't get clogged around the inlet to the auger. With the ACP, they stink so bad, I never open the hopper unless I am refilling.

    If they come down in price significantly I might buy some more.

    Mark
  5. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Thats really good that they are working out for you. The burn of the ACP was probably not bad. If I remember they did put out good heat. Just too much ash for me compared to my Turman which hardly produce any ash.

    I guess I would have to say pellets are like wine (except for pellets don't age well)...a really good wine does not have to be one that is expensive, but just one that YOU like. With pellets stoves, each persons stove and settings are like out taste buds, everyone is a little different, each stove burns pellets a little different. So, like wine you just have to find the pellets that YOU are happy with.
    :cheese:
  6. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    I emailed Hamer Pellet Fuel Co last year to see where I could buy and they said Southern States was re branded Hamer Pellets. I was also told that the Hardwood Heat from Tractor Supply was also re branded Hamer fuel by the sales person at TSC.
  7. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    That's good to know. Thanks for the info.
  8. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Yes the person at the Southern States did call them Hamer, Southern States, Statesmen. Still for some reason, they didn't burn as good as the Hamers I had with a lot more Auger noise.

    It might have been the handling of the bags as the pallet was outside and had obviously been picked through. I did get 5 bags from a new pallet that was sitting outside though.

    They smell a little different as they burn than the regular Hamers. If I was a pellet manufacturer, I would probably use the worst of the batch in an off brand bag and use the best of the batch in my Brand.

    Perhaps the Statesmen brand is the lowest quality Hamer makes, while the Hamer Hot ones are the cream of the crop.

    Otherwise, why would someone re-badge there product unless, A it had a bad reputation(which I don't think Hamer's have)
    or B. they have some sawdust that is not "premium" so to speak, or the process for those are cheaper.

    I know that a lot of brands in electronics, etc. Re-badge their products and sell them under a different brand but they are often cheaper in price and build and features.

    As far as the APPLING COUNTY PELLETS (ACP), they still burn very well, with more light fluffy ash, and more black soot than any other brand.

    I wonder if the black soot I see is in fact creosote? I still think they are ok as long as the black soot isn't building up in the vent pipe.

    P.S. HD just got in some Stove Chow brand, that I have read is rebadged Energex(which is another entirely pine, soft wood pellet)
  9. ORiley

    ORiley New Member

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    Dejnos - just finished my first ton. A softwood "Premium" pellet, they went OK. Heavy fines and dark fly ash. Experienced two log jams with long pellets and had three bags of oatmeal.
    Lignetics - picked up two bags (for giggles). Burned very hot, little to no fines, uniform length. Would burn more if they weren't $5+ per bag!
    Rocky Mountain - A softwood "Super Premium" pellet, I'm midway through a 10 bag trial. Fewer fines than Dejnos, less fly ash and lighter in color (the glass doesn't dirty as fast). SO far so good...
    Uncle Jed's Cold Remedy - 10 bags in waiting. Supposed to be a very hot hardwood. We'll soon see....
  10. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    ORiley,

    At 5 dollars a bag I would pick up quite a few at that price. We are paying 6.0 a bag on average in Maryland, and some are even trying to charge more.

    For everyone else,

    I Just picked up 5 bags of "Stove Chow" brand. I should start burning them in a day or two. I will let everyone know what I find out.
  11. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    I paid 6.29 a bag for Hamers on Friday.....Tried the Stove Chow.....Left my stove brick and glass black......The Hamers cleaned that right up.....
  12. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Mark:
    Let us know your thoughts on those. I'm going to run down this coming weekend to pick some up if they still have them. The last time I was in they had the Freedom Fuel. The HD up here in Hanover has not had any pellets all season. The Westminster HD is only 20+ minutes away.
  13. ORiley

    ORiley New Member

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    The Lignetics were being sold at the local Farm & Barn store with a 5 bag limit, LOL. I s'pose that's not a bad price if you're buying retail but at $5+ a bag it's cheaper to run the LP unit.

    I may be getting preferential treatment from my stove dealer; pellets at the "pre-buy" price.
  14. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    About a month ago I went in the Southern States store in Westminster, MD and they wanted $8/bag for their pellets. I drove basically one street over and got them from a Hardwood Flooring place for $5/bag.
  15. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Raven20,

    Yeah that is about what I am used to seeing, thanks for the confirmation.

    I will let everyone know if the Stove Chow brand turns my stove black as well. I think they probably will as they are "100% White Wood" (pine, I guess) I think the pine in the ACP is probably what contributes to the slightly higher amount of black soot I see while burning the ACP brand so I bet it will be worse for the Stove Chow. We'll see. I will give everyone the details.

    Oriley, at that price a bag that isn't bad compared to what we see. I know of no place around here where we can buy them by the ton and get close to 5 per bag this time of year.

    All,
    I would rather not burn pine, but I see a future where pine pellets are the norm and quality hard wood pellets are hard to come by as hardwood product production is slowing down.

    A few factors to consider:

    The trend for the last five or so years has been that quality furniture is increasingly hard to come by. Most stuff I see today is either "quality real wood"(pine) or engineered wood with a wood vener. I have been told that it is getting nearly impossible to buy hardwood if you want to build furniture yourself.

    Also factor in that fewer people are probably putting in hard wood floors, and that definitely less houses are being built as a result of the economy. I am even starting to see Bambo wood flooring becoming popular.

    All in all, less hardwood sawdust. Pine for now is fairly plentiful and cheap and I expect to see a lot more of it. I think the profit margin for pine pellets is probably higher than hardwood pellets as they are definitely the premium but still places like Lowes, and Home Depot are now charging the same prices for pine pellets as has been seen just a year ago with quality hardwood pellets.

    Factor in the pellet shortages and that people are getting disparate to get pellets of any kind and would use almost anything to heat their homes.

    This year, fuel costs went down for the first time in a long time briefly, but I expect them to definitely go back up in the near future.

    I am trying to stay ahead of the curve and try the pine pellets now so that when hardwood pellets becomes almost impossible to get in the future, I know which brands of softwood pellet burn well.

    You can be I will snatch up Lignetics when I see them though!
  16. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Mark:
    A couple weeks ago I bought "Freedom Fuel" pellets from HD down there. The are 100% pure pine. They are small overall and fill the auger up more then some others. I would burn them again. Since they were so small, you either need to adjust the air on some stove when burning these, on on a Harman, you would probably need to cut the max feed of the auger back some. I had no problems with black sooting.
  17. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    thanks for the info. Your the third person I have read that used them. So far, two people said they were good and Advance man said he used the other two bags he had for kitty litter. I read the later as he didn't like them.

    I always run my stove in Room Temp mode. Do you still think I would need to cut the feed rate down? Do you run your stove in manual mode?
  18. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    I have tried both, but for my situation I run in Room temp mode. The reason I say to cut the feed back is given the small size of the freedom fuel, your auger will feed more than with other pellets even when left on the same feed rate. The extra fuel could cause the black that some see as the burn becomes a little richer with more pellets. For those that have air adjustments, they could increase the air to the fuel ratio to equal out the efficiency of the burn. They certainly were not the best that I have burned, they were different (small size) but I thought they burned ok, and I did not have the quantity of ash that I saw from the ACP pellets.

    I am starting to run low on my pellet supply, so when I go to HD if they have "Stove Chow" I'll try them. If they Freedom Fuel, I'll probably get some more of those.
  19. ORiley

    ORiley New Member

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    The only curve I try and stay ahead of is the price curve. My stove isn't heating living space so I pretty much keep it running cuz it's 'spiffy-neat-o' to watch burn and my truck likes a warm shop (50 on a thermostat). If LP goes through the roof (again) you can bet I'll replace the (house) LP insert with a pellet burner but for now, I'm happy being a "pellet miser". :bug:

    P.S. - I was wrong when I said Uncle Jed's was a hardwood. It's a softwood.
  20. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Yeah, I have another form of heat in my house. I have one of those wonderful "heat" pumps that runs constantly and keeps the house at a balmy 67 degrees!

    I have hated it since we moved in and considered Natural Gas(800.00 just to get it run to the house) and LP(800.0 just get the tanks and run the lines)

    the cost of the LP gas alone in this area was outrages when I called, and that isn't considering install price. For the cost, I would just as soon run Natural gas which is usually as cheap as pellets with less daily maintenance.

    Dealing with BGE though was a pain in the arse. You would think they would be more help in me adding more of thier product and a greater dependence on them to my home but nope.

    If this post seems pointless, it is because I want one more of those neat little green square thingies, and am trying to get the magic number so I can graduate from Fire Starter! Just a little humor. ....but seriously, I want one.
  21. doghouse

    doghouse Member

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    Up here in northern Maine, many of us Northeast Pellets. They come from a mill in Ashland, Maine. Softwood pellets, anywhere from $265 to 300 a ton. Slightly above average grade of pellets. They burn, what more can I say.
  22. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    Mark, I think you get your 2nd little square greenie after 25 post.....I have 4 and only been on here about a month.....(bored at work)...
  23. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Hehe, Thanks.

    An update on the Stove Chow brand:

    I started mixing them in with the ACP last night and filled the Hopper this am with about half them and half leftover ACP, and Stove Chow mixed. So far, they burn great!

    They burn very clean with light fluffy ash, little to no black soot, and seem to burn as long as any pellet I have used.

    There are are almost no fines per bag, and the pellets are large, well formed and more uniform in length. They are a weird kind of greenish brown color and kind of shiny.

    Tonight I will wait as long as I can for the hopper to run out and then refill with them and keep you guys posted. So far, I like them but they are mixed with the ACP Brand.

    Mark :)
  24. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    Update on Stove Chow brand:

    I am very pleased with this pellet. In fact, I would campare Stove Chow to any hard wood pellet I have used favorably. They have moved into my number two spot for my pellet preference.

    They burn very clean. Where as the ACP flame was tinged orange heavily, the flame from the Stove Chow is whiter and is comparable to Lignetics.

    There is no black soot covering the stove. The glass stays as clean as lignetics.

    They seem to burn at a comparable rate as Lignetics also. Last night it got down to 17 and when I woke up, I had only burned a quarter hopper, which again is comparable to hard wood.

    Based on my findings so far, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a pallet of these at comparable prices to hardwood.

    I am very pleased to have found a quality softwood pellet, that I can compare to hardwood.

    There is no nasty smell as with ACP brand either.

    Summary:

    Stove Chow is an excellent pellet based on my experience. I am on my third bag. I can't speak about consistency as I only bought 5 bags, but they are all the same.
  25. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    I called the HD in Hanover, PA today. They said they had got pellets in. They said they had Eureka pellets. I did a quick search on the forum and the reviews don't look the best for Eurika pellets. So, I only picked up 3 bags to try then myself. When I got back from picking them up, I tried to get more information on them on their website. I can't even find a website for them. Next I am on the Westminster, MD, HD to get Stove Chow.
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