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Okanagan Black Hills?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mepellet, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone heard much about these? Apparently they are a new blend from Okanagan. Didn't they only have they just called Okanagan's before? Now a dealer in my area has Okanagan Platinum & Okanagan Black Hills. The dealer's website claims that the Platinum ($305/ton) are rated at 8412 BTU/lb and the Black Hills ($285/ton) are rated at 8676 BTU/lb.

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  2. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yeppers.....beetle-kill product.......limited amounts....from Mr. Warm......
  3. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    What dealer are you referring to?
  4. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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  5. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    That's what I was wondering. If it was a typo maybe?
  6. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    A place near me has both.
    okanagan-8800-.37---300 a ton
    Black hills-8700-.40---285 a ton
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Yep, Mr. Warm sent me a sample of the preliminary batch from the mill to get my 2 cents on. They are Ponderosa pine pellets from the beetle kill. Initially they were pretty good, But heat wasn't outstanding. Pellet texture was kind of rough and not very dense. They made some changes at the mill to livin up both the heat and get a smoother end pellet. Also upped the density from what he passed on. I have not tried the latest stuff(But I will!). Lab testing results look very good. Ponderosa pine has more BTU's than SPF from what I'm told. So the BTU of the Black Hills should rival the Okies.

    I think he's filling a niche. New England consumes a fair amount of pellets during the season. Okies are a bit expensive to send in by rail. Not to mention the Euro sales boom sucking up more and more Okies each year. So the price of Okies might have surpassed what some of the NE burners will spend? This option still sends a quality pellet to NE at a slightly better price. Similiar to the Platinum Fires that they started marketing last season. But The Black Hills should be even closer to the quality of the Okies.

    I'll hopefully be heading to the bagging plant for a look see and pickup some more samples of the Black Hills. Might get some of the Douglas fir if they have some in house. I have also been asked to re visit the Vermont's vs. Okies. A head to head rematch! Since Vermont has a new die that is supposed to raise their quality levels. Mr.Warm has promised a sample of the Okies to put them head to head with the Vermont's. Still waiting on whether or not I'll get a sample from Vermont's for the rematch!

    Stay tuned, I'll post something when I can(Okies vs Vermonts vs Black Hills?). To dang warm to burn something now and the fish are bitting to dang good now to take a time out! :p
    Melissa220 and smoke show like this.
  8. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    I wish you could include MWP Softwoods in that test ;)
  9. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I just happen to have 2 bags that geek snagged for me. I'll add them to the mix! ;)
    sinnian likes this.
  10. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    Black Hills here in 2 weeks I'm told. $290 a ton, dealer said they were in the 9k btu output. Has anyone run these or is this something real new that I'm going to be a frickin guinea pig for.
  11. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I have burned them. They are close to Okies, But not as hot or clean either. The lab testing number is at zero moisture. It was lower at actual moister content(8600?) Its a bit inflated IMHO. No way to get a few bags from them to try first?
  12. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    No they don't have any they say 2 weeks.
  13. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    I saw a sample of the black hills today...this I will put in the black hills thread. I'm not impressed. LOTS of little dark flecks in the pellets I mean LOTS. I always understood this to be bark from not cleaning the trees properly...or filler. I always understood this was bad. Maybe someone can edumacate me

    Says 9052 btu test on the bags.

    Cut n pasted from another thread..wanted to keep this with black hills. Not much info abt these online.
  14. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    I am currently burning test bag number 3 of the Black Hills Heat. First impressions....Hot, cleaner glass, average ash . There are alot of black flecks in each pellet....not sure what this means. I would rate them up there with some of the better softies I have burned. Each bag has had almost zero fines or dust. IMG_4259 (Custom).JPG
  15. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    Thanks man! After a long, hot summer it's time to get my pellet groove going again:) Okie Black Hills are the first new testers of the year. So far, so good.
    jtakeman and oldmountvernon like this.
  16. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    My sample bag says 9055. But the key is DRY. Dry is moisture free. Actual is 8691 at 3.51% moisture. Ash content 0.40%

    The darkness I see is on the outside of the pellet(skin). The dark spots could be caused from the mill process. The fiber in the sample is much darker than the SPF pellets. Ponderosa pine is a darker wood species. To me the dark spots are only on the outside of the pellet and not through out the pellet. If it was bark, They would not be average ash as Branson4720 is seeing.

    IMHO on them(yes I burned a sample of them!) Was they are hot, Not quite as clean as a SPF pellet. But dang near as hot. I like the smell of Ponderosa better than SPF. They are a USA pellet made in Colorado. They are not BC pellet made in Canada, There will be some variance! Try before you buy!
    Branson4720 likes this.
  17. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    The Ponderosa Pine does smell great! The ash level is very comparable to other top shelf softies.....I don't see how there could be a high bark content in these pellets.
  18. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    Interesting you say the flecks aren't inside the pellet. I didn't break one to look they were in a bag just reporting what I saw is all.
  19. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    The coloration of these pellets is very different from other softwood fuel I have burned. The black flecks seem to be mainly on the outside surface, although there is some inside each pellet too. They are similar to the Platinum Fires I burned last season. Both Beetle killed product. Maybe the black flecks are chunks of beetle!;lol IMG_4272 (Custom).JPG IMG_4268 (Custom).JPG
  20. iron stove

    iron stove Minister of Fire

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    Hmm, I burned 2 tons of Rocky Mountain pellets a few years back, and IIRC they were a tad darker, but I thought had blueish green flecks from the beetles. I think there's pictures in a post burried somewhere on here.
  21. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Is there that many beetles in the wood? I though it was only a few to kill the tree?

    I have to ask if these are log to chip pellets like Vermonts or are they making lumber first. Then using the chips and dust to make the pellets! I am assuming logs to chips, But I am not really totally sure! ;em Only thing I know for sure is the pellets are made in CO. and shipped in bulk for bagging at upton.
  22. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    colorado? Thought it was in the dakotas?
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Your right Salty. They are from the Dakota's. I think it was Platinum Fires that were from CO. My bad!
  24. iron stove

    iron stove Minister of Fire

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    They lay eggs under the bark, and then the larve kill the tree. Can be several thousand in a tree. They leave the tree once they grow up, and tree dies in 1-3 years. So nat many actually beetles in the tree, just remnants.
  25. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    Well I paid for a ton today. Said a few weeks so I expect them in January or February :)

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