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pellet/corn mix in a Harman pellet stove.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by thaydencvc, Dec 29, 2005.

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  1. thaydencvc

    thaydencvc New Member

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    Due to the increasing costs of pellets and lack of availability, I was looking to use a pellet/corn mix in my Harman. I do see some references to a corn/pellet mix on Harman's website but they do not state what ratio. Most other stove manufacturers are saying a max of 2 parts corn to one part pellet. Is anyone with a Harman currently using a corn/pellet mix? If so, how is it working for you?

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  2. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    A local dealer told me that a 50/50 mix was OK as long as it was dry corn. He said if it was too wet the corn would pop and put out the fire. Haven't tried it yet, bu tthe bottom feed design of Harman stoves is well-suited for high ash fuels such as corn.
  3. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Burn corn is animal feed corn. Pop corn is another strain of corn entirely. Corn will burn up to about 20% moisture, but badly. Under 15% it burns a heck of a lot better. He probably meant it would just not burn and smother the fire. Otherwise, you would have a 75 lb auger fed, corn popping machine, and that is a frightening amount of popcorn. Anyone ever see that movie where the orbiting laser takes out a house with a huge jiffy pop thing?

    That's the image coming to mind.

    Joshua
  4. Hokerer

    Hokerer Member

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    "Weird Science", I believe
  5. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    You can probably make it up to and perhaps beyond 50%. Look in the "I Burn Corn" forum for more specifics. Just mix it some before putting it in the hopper and see how it goes. Make sure you start it on pure pellets just like I do my multifuel. http://iburncorn.com/forum/ A bit of experimenting and you will be in business. Corn is safer than pellets as it just won't burn without the air blast. Also to see if its dry enough you should be able to smash a kernal with a hammer and it will fragment rather than a moist squash. You will do better in your application with clean corn bagged for that purpose. Its too pricy though at $180 / ton at least around here. Cow corn from the elevator is dry enough. Just pour it across a box with a bottom of 1/4" hardware screen ( true Value). and most of the fine auger jamming stuff will fall out. Feed that to the outdoor critters all winter. I pay $125 / ton in Northen NY which is about 1/4 too much. If you live anywhere in the midwest its really cheap.
  6. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Wait a minute. 180/ton for corn is too much? How much are pellets?

    I have found a supplier for corn for 200/ton, bagged, and thought I was doing ok. It's cheaper in bulk, of course.

    Joshua
  7. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Joshua,

    NJ is always more expensive that where it is made. In NY I can get it much cheaper, let alone in the mid west.

    Carpniels
  8. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Ok, thanks. Yeah, no big corn production areas around here, the land is too expensive. Most of the family farms are long gone. Annoying.
  9. caryski

    caryski New Member

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    in wisconsin i payed 100.00 for 2 1/2 tons around 5000lbs. i pull up to the farms fill tube that they use to fill the semi trucks an he fill my truck an trailer over flowing ,was a mess but very cheap
  10. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    Harman discourages pellet/corn mixtures in their auto-ignite stoves.

    Fact: All pellet stoves will burn some mixture of corn & pellets.

    Fact: Harman pellet stoves burn 50/50 blends as well, if not better, than any other pellet stove.

    Fact: The downside is the same as all pellet stoves burning corn: more ash, more burn pot gook which means more cleaning chores.

    The possibility exists that the igniter fins will accumulate gook as well, leading to slow starts or smoky starts and possible early igniter failure. The cure is to periodically drop the igniter down out of the burn pot & clean the fins with a toothbrush. How likely that a customer will do that is probably nil. This is also the reason HSC discourages burn corn on auto-ignite pellet stoves.

    This also does not address the biggest drawback of corn & cereal grains as fuel: they are food sources for mice and other vermin.

    When someone is considering buying a corn stove, I usually ask the lady of the house, "Do you like mice?" Haven't found one yet that likes them.

    SM
  11. FireJumper

    FireJumper New Member

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    Harman will also frown on this if the dealer tries to warranty a igniter when there was corn burned through the unit. They know this is the reason for early failure of this part. Their igniters are pretty tough but can not withstand the goop that corn produces.
  12. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    No, Stovemanken, don't like mice. But had horses for many years, kept corn and other grains, including molasses coated and corn oil coated feeds (Yum yums for mice), and never had a problem. Just have to know how to store. Same as for coal, wood, pellets, etc. Have to know how to store.

    Corn can be bought bagged, in which case, the bags should not be allowed to get wet, and should be stored off the ground, prefereably in plastic tubs, or in a tin lined bin. Alternatively, galvanized garbage cans work fine. Keep it dry, keep it contained, mice aren't a problem. Start spilling, let it get wet, don't keep clean, you'll have problems.

    Coal and wood have problems too. Wood is messy, has to be kept dry as well, termites, etc. Coal is dirty, dust problems, but you can let it get wet. Pick your "renewable" poison.
  13. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    Also please see what I just wrote about corrosion in venting under a new heading on this subject. This adds another variable to "picking your renewable poison"

    SMK
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