1 month in burning corn lessons learned

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
Thanks to reading past posts I learned a fair amount before I started burning.
1. Burn clean corn, buy a screen use a shop vac to remove dust, run the corn thru the screen 3 times.
2. Keep the stove clean, the efficiency drops if you do not clean off the heat exchanger.
3. If you think you may need to empty the pan soon do it before you go to bed.
4. Did I mention that weekly clean out is important?
 

drizler

Minister of Fire
Nov 20, 2005
1,003
Chazy, NY 12921
I burned it for about 4 years until the ethanol gas business drove it sky high. Here’s a few must dos.
Farm corn even from a local elevator: It’s full of fines. Get rid of all you can. I made a screen 2x4 mesh with 1/8” grid fence wire. Lean it down the tailgate and shovel it to trickledown and collect at the bottom. You get rid of most of those nasty dusty fines.
Which where your exhaust debris is blowing. it is corrosive to nearby aluminum eave trough facia and siding. It stains white plastic Siding as well . Watch out for that.
If you go get dome at an elevator put a blue tarp down in the bed. ESPECIALLY make sure to have it extend up the tailgate. That way you wont lose 200 lbs out the bottom of the tailgate driving home. Go on a WINDY DAY. Yes windy. All that dust blowing away while it’s falling 15’ from the chute you don’t want anyway and there’s a lot of it. Watch out for where that fallout goes........... Yea you better clean your vent annually as it corrosive as hell. Use some never seize paste on the twist connections or they may fuse together.
Stove cleaning in off season. Do a good job .......corrosion.
Clinker vs grinder= clinker is far cleaner ..... if you can live with digging them out Ect.
If you start seeing a shadowy coloration on your ceiling in areas check your stove door gasket seal and clean it. It builds up slowly so at first you think you’re imagining it.
Just a couple things some folks may not have seen elsewhere ........happy burning
 

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
Thank you for the tips. I buy corn in 100 pound bags, easier to unload and store. I do use a screen I have a shop vac hooked up to the hopper so I don't even have dust when I dump it in the storage bins in the house.
 

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
So got the electric bill for the first month the stove has been on. I used to heat with wood and have electric back up. Last October heating with wood and supplemental electric heat my bill was $180, this October the electric heat set on 60 never came on the bill was $50. I love my corn stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kappel15

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,008
southwestern Minn
that's always good to hear. I been burning corn for 12 years except for one year when corn got to be 4.00 a bushel. during that time I started with a Harman PC45, then switched to a Quadrafire AE, Then bought a Bixby 115. I also played with a St Croix Auburn so picked up some things that are useful that I thought I'd pass along.
For best results I would suggest burning a mixture as you will get the advantages of both corn and pellets.
The best corn you will get is right off the farmers combine if it is 15% moisture or less. If you buy it at your elevator there will be more damaged corn fines etc more dust and debri plus sometimes corn that is to wet is blended with corn that is to dry. Corn that has been through the system of drying has been dropped into the pit at the elevator, gathered up by the leg and dropped down into a bin then it is run up a auger or another leg into a dryer then through the drier into another bin where it is cooled. After that it maybe augered out into your wagon. Each time it is moved more damage occurs.
There is little tricks with corn you should be aware of. Don't try to keep left over corn over summer. You might get weevils in it and your better half won't like them flying around in your home. Much easier just to sell the left over corn then to try to explain those white flying insects. If you have a 6 1/2 hp shop vac you can use it to transfer corn and clean it at the same time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ssyko and kappel15

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
This year is so wet in minnesota that corn out of the field is not a good idea. I buy corn 1000 pounds at a time so I will be able to make sure I do not have left overs. I also store the corn in the house in plastic totes with lids on.

I have thought of adding pellets to the corn but instructions on the stove say corn only, plus burning straight corn has worked well not sure what advantage adding more expensive pellets would offer me.
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
21
Nebraska
I am such a huge fan of burning corn. The folks who farm the land near me just run their combine up and dumps in 200 bushels and we are good to go for the winter. Best way to move corn for a corn stove (if you are moving a large amount) is with a 4" PVC pipe and a leaf blower. Very little damage and has the added effect of cleaning the corn.
 

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
I learned another lesson, the feed mill wanted me to try a bag of air dried corn from this year, it does not burn well. I tried to mix it in with the good corn. Hard to believe that the corn is not mixed enough the fan kicks out on temperature slowly burns then pick back up. Has happened twice. Next batch of corn none of that mixed in.
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
21
Nebraska
It would be of interest how much moisture is in the corn. I have a 25 bushel bin on the side of the house that feeds the stove. The winter project is going to try and see if there is anyway to air dry the corn in that bin. Once I finish getting it set up I plan on doing a post on the results- that is still a few weeks away though. Also on the list is to figure out an easy way to check moisture level.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
645
ohio
Thanks to reading past posts I learned a fair amount before I started burning.
1. Burn clean corn, buy a screen use a shop vac to remove dust, run the corn thru the screen 3 times.
2. Keep the stove clean, the efficiency drops if you do not clean off the heat exchanger.
3. If you think you may need to empty the pan soon do it before you go to bed.
4. Did I mention that weekly clean out is important?
What kind of stove are you burning? I have been burning straight corn for 10 years now. I had a little corn in the wagon all summer left over. It burnt fine.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,008
southwestern Minn
It would be of interest how much moisture is in the corn. I have a 25 bushel bin on the side of the house that feeds the stove. The winter project is going to try and see if there is anyway to air dry the corn in that bin. Once I finish getting it set up I plan on doing a post on the results- that is still a few weeks away though. Also on the list is to figure out an easy way to check moisture level.
The first year I burned corn in a Harman PC45 I learned it liked 13% corn period. Any wetter I would be in trouble. As I farm my dryers are set to dry down to 15.5% moisture. So I tried blending it with pellets still didn't work right. so I ended up going to WalMart and buying a couple of those secretary waste baskets that are made with round screen sides . They hold 2 1/2 gallons of corn. I set them on a metal chair in front of the stove over night and by morning I had 11% corn. Life was good! But my stirrer or agitator built up with corn waste and had to be replaced or swapped out every couple days. I had two stirrers and when they got built up I swapped them and put the dirty one on a pail of water where the junk softened up and fell off. Later I discovered adding a small amount of pellets would prevent the build up so that was what I did. . Try 80% corn 20% pellets and you might be surprised how good it works.
 

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
I run the corn thru a 2 stage screen with a shop vac port in the side to get the dust. I run each 5 gallon bucket of corn thru the screen 3 times. When I dump the corn into the indoor storage bin I do not get dust. I am planning to run the stove out of corn in the morning so I can inspect the auger when I do my weekly clean out. Thank you for the tip on pellets, the stove manual says corn only though.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,008
southwestern Minn
I run the corn thru a 2 stage screen with a shop vac port in the side to get the dust. I run each 5 gallon bucket of corn thru the screen 3 times. When I dump the corn into the indoor storage bin I do not get dust. I am planning to run the stove out of corn in the morning so I can inspect the auger when I do my weekly clean out. Thank you for the tip on pellets, the stove manual says corn only though.
Seems you are paying 5.00 a bushel. What kind of stove do you have? Sounds like you are happy with your stove and it is working well. Thats the main thing.
 

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
Amaizanlaze 4100 and at $5 a bushel I am still money ahead from when I burned wood with electric supplemental heat. I still have the electric supplemental heat but it has not come on since I started burning corn, the house is at a constant 72 degrees and the humidifier can actually keep up. I just try to keep the stove as clean as possible.

The Amaizablaze is a very simple stove, no circuit boards. Sure I do not have as much modulation as some fancy stove but it works well for me.
 
Last edited:

woodnomore

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
22
Central MN
Glad I emptied the bin and vacuumed it out, no build up on the auger or passage but there were the pink fines that come off the kernel, must loosen up when the corn warms up in the bin. I will probably empty the bin once a month for a good cleaning. Preventative maintenance is way cheaper than an emergency repair.
 

FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
657
Titletown U.S.A
It would be of interest how much moisture is in the corn. I have a 25 bushel bin on the side of the house that feeds the stove. The winter project is going to try and see if there is anyway to air dry the corn in that bin. Once I finish getting it set up I plan on doing a post on the results- that is still a few weeks away though. Also on the list is to figure out an easy way to check moisture level.
The old rule of thumb is to take a few kernels, one at a time, put them in a pair of pliers and give it a squeeze. If it crumbles it's dry enough, if it squishes it has to much moisture.

You don't need to by any expensive pliers LOL, any that you already have will do!