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This Years Pellets Seem Different Than Last Years?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MarkF48, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. MarkF48

    MarkF48 Burning Hunk

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    I had 2 tons of Geneva pellets last year that burned well, didn't create much in the way of clinkers, and the glass on the stove stayed relatively clean longer. This years batch of the same brand the pellets appear to have a more brownish pellet color versus last years light tan and are producing more clinkers and the glass soots up in just a short time compared to last year.
    Wondering if anyone else notices a variance of quality in their pellets from year to year.

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  2. thedude110

    thedude110 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm no expert, but I think most of the well informed people on this board suggest that there can be quality shifts year to year, even batch to to batch. The most consistent pellets have a very consistent "fiber" supply, but recently there was a thread calling even Okanagan to task for quality control.

    Pretty soon we're going to be talking about vintages -- the '09 Okies were great, but the '12 Okies? Bad year for the grapes ...
    IHATEPROPANE likes this.
  3. outdoorsgriz

    outdoorsgriz Member

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    Mine stay the same year after year. However, we get our source of raw material in without bark, rocks, dirt and it's always kiln dried. Never a clinker....:)
  4. iron stove

    iron stove Minister of Fire

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    And you probably pay 200 a ton too...........
  5. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    Haven't burnt any Geneva pellets lately, but I found the same thing with MWP harwood version. Two years ago I wasn't to happy with them this year they seem to be burning much better. Nothing has changed on my end so I suspect either MWP tinkered with the "receipe", source material or both. Whatever they are a better pellet!
    heat seeker likes this.
  6. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    +1
  7. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    When MWP first started up they made garbage to the point they couldn't give it away. They slowly gotten better over the years to where they are now making a decent pellet. I'm happy burning them all year long.
  8. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Burned ProPellet for the last five years and it seems this years batch is outstanding. I have tried a couple other brands but why switch when you have the best? Demand 100% indoor storage.

    Eric
  9. nksdad2007

    nksdad2007 Member

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    I was just noticing the other day that my stove seems to get dirty quicker this year than he past few. Been burning the Maine's Choice for the past three years.
  10. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    There are lots of things that become variable with pellets. Fiber is probably the thing that changes the most, Or effects the quality the most. Even the moisture content has an effect on the end result. Making pellets sounds easy, But its really is an art(and hard too!). I would love to hear some of the stories and process adventures they go through just so we can have our little bags of heat!

    ProPellets are decent, But IMHO not the best out there! I'll put Turmans up to them any day(hotter and cleaner). What other brands have you tried?
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Year to year. Fiber quality can change.

    Some of the best plants are the ones that are a subsidiary of another Company (flooring is a good one :).

    Companies like Somersets, Turman, and I will give Pro Pellets some props. They all are VERY consistent.
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Another thing I must explain is many hardwood pellets are generally a mix(blend) of different hardwood species. They except the wood from different sources and blend them together to make the batch for the run. If there is more of this(say oak) than that(say maple) this time and more of that than this next time you get a variance(hope you followed that). Same goes for softwood which is a mix of SPF. A pellet made with mostly spruce will be a bit different than a pellet made of mostly pine. Blend pellets(hard-soft mix) could also have variance like this as well

    Not many brands use a single species to make pellets. Turman's and Somersets are flooring companies that use 100% oak to mill flooring. The dust and chips left over go into our pellets. There are a few softwoods that are a single species(Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir). And mills that produce pellets from there own mills can control the mix/batch a bit better than the mills that except fiber from the open market. Mills that control their fiber in house generally have the most consistent pellets going.

    Log to chip pellets are something new in the past few seasons. Fiber shortages and low construction trades have reduce the available fiber. So some mills added whole logs to their process. Logs must be debarked, Chipped and hammer milled down to workable fiber sizes to mill our pellets. Not getting all the bark off will hurt these. Geneva and Maine Choice are log to chip pellets.

    Heck even the soil that a tree grows in can effect the fiber it produces. Minerals it collects during growth is one factor.

    I have only touched the surface, I wish one of the pellet pro's could drop in and add some things. Its almost like secrets they fear to share. A lot I had to grasp on my own. Sure hope I got most of it right! ;em
    jrsdws likes this.
  13. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    MWP has a picture tour on their website that's pretty interesting. I'd post the link if I wasn't so technilogically challenged.

    I'd say you have it down pretty good. I agree it would be nice to hear from one of the plants to explain it in greater detail.
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I have seen it, Very interesting and I like what ScotL has done. Seems like a nice chap too! Like to meet him someday! ;)

    http://www.mainewoodspelletco.com/tour.html
  15. bugize

    bugize Member

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    I picked up 15 bags of these in Oct. to hold me over until i got my delivery of MWP softies....glad i only got 15 bags.
    I found them to be dirty...alot of ash....and got charged a bit more than MWP blend
  16. md2002

    md2002 Member

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    +1
  17. ScotL

    ScotL Feeling the Heat

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    I give tours quite often and anyone is welcome to stop by for a tour in person. Just call ahead so you can be sure to come by while we're running rather than a day when we're doing cleaning and maintenance.
    schoondog, UMainah and jtakeman like this.
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    That sounds awesome! I am sure many will be calling you and taking you up on the offer! I'll be calling you around vacation time(mid August). ;)
  19. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I will not get into other brands of pellets but as a wholesaler and retail point of view, the less issues the better so I will stick with ProPellets.

    Eric
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Hey, I had to ask! Next time DexterDay heads your way, I'll have him bring ya some goodies! ::-)
  21. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    He is authorized to use the Preferred Customer Parking since he was packing a six pack of Great Lakes last time he was here.

    Eric
  22. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Dont put me in the middle!!!. I also bought 5-10 bags of Pro Pellets then too ;)

    I dont get out there much, but enjoy it when I do :)
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Not trying to put ya in the middle, Its just to far for this fella to travel! I remember you stoped in to see him, and If you do another trip sometime. We'll just have you bring him some Sets! Spoil him a lil! ;)
    DexterDay likes this.
  24. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I could make that happen. I have been thinking about a Hormone P-43.

    May have to talk business. :)
  25. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I get some cash to ya somehow for the refreshments(as Eric calles em). Just don't call me any names while you chatting! ==c

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