Corn burner questions

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Yes, kinda, they had a tendency to blow the fire up augers and into hoppers.

I thought so. I seem to remember from my IBC days (20+ years ago) a couple discussions about that happening. Probably more prevalent with pellets than corn because corn takes a lot more heat to combust than pellets do.

If I remember back, I had that issue with my first pellet appliance, an Englander. Up the feed auger, bridged the auger and into the top feed auger and into the hopper. Only one time and it was a stinky mess too. Glad I was home and caught it or it would have burned the house down.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
I have noticed that when I burn the corn all the way down to empty the bin for cleaning that there is some smoke that will come in the bin, very little but it is possible.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
I will also say with the stove on auto if the burn pan is over filled so air does not flow the auger feed will stop. The blue jays like the slightly toasted corn when you wake up cold and clean the stove.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I have noticed that when I burn the corn all the way down to empty the bin for cleaning that there is some smoke that will come in the bin, very little but it is possible.
Because it's positive draft. That is why stoves today are negative draft for the most part. You are getting burn back. Make doubly sure the hopper lid is tightly closed and locked at all times. When the hopper is almost empty (or empty), the positive draft is forcing the combustion air (and burning corn embers) back up the auger into the corn bin.

With a negative draft appliance, the draft fan PULLS the combustion air through the burn pot, through the HX and out the exhaust venting.

Positive draft is the opposite. The combustion air fan is pressurizing the burn pot and combustion area and pushing the combustion gases and heat through the HX and out the venting.

When the fuel hopper is almost empty or empty, the combustion gases are entering the hopper.

Why they don't recommend burning wood pellets, not that it cannot combust them because it can. What the issue is, wood pellets ignite much easier than shelled corn, so the chances of burn back are greatly increase and why...

I said mix pellets with your corn to alleviate your clinkers. Pellets act like oyster shell and cut down on clinker formation. Of course the appliance manufacturer wants to mitigate burn back as much as possible so cautions against burning pellets. However, so long as the pellet to corn ratio is 3-1, the issue of burn back isn't much more than if straight corn is burned.

My 2 cents after doing this stuff (solid fuel heat) for over 20 years now. This ain't my first rodeo by a long shot.....
 

FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
684
Titletown U.S.A
woodnomore If you are wondering about using a clinker fork here are pics of how I make mine. It is a lot easier to pull the fork with clinker on it than pulling the whole pot out. Some use welding gloves but I just use a pair of long nosed pliers, pull the clinker fork up and out into the ash bucket. Replace it with another fork. After the clinker in the ash bucket cools you just knock the clinker off and you have that one to use next time.
I pull mine everyday, depending on how hard I'm running the stove I could go two days. I use 3/16" x 4' piano wire from the hardware store. I tried using stainless steel and it burned up as fast as the cheap wire. I get about two weeks from a pair of forks depending on how hard I'm running the stove.
The first pic is the clinker pot I made on the left with a fork in it and the OEM pot on the right. The forks are made to fit the clinker pot.
 

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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
woodnomore If you are wondering about using a clinker fork here are pics of how I make mine. It is a lot easier to pull the fork with clinker on it than pulling the whole pot out. Some use welding gloves but I just use a pair of long nosed pliers, pull the clinker fork up and out into the ash bucket. Replace it with another fork. After the clinker in the ash bucket cools you just knock the clinker off and you have that one to use next time.
I pull mine everyday, depending on how hard I'm running the stove I could go two days. I use 3/16" x 4' piano wire from the hardware store. I tried using stainless steel and it burned up as fast as the cheap wire. I get about two weeks from a pair of forks depending on how hard I'm running the stove.
The first pic is the clinker pot I made on the left with a fork in it and the OEM pot on the right. The forks are made to fit the clinker pot.
Nice pots Pete..lol I still haven't found out in the shop what you need, but I will. Between the 2 of us, we have about 40 years playing with solid fuel appliances....

If I'm not mistaken the Amaizing Blaze firepot is much different in shape from what we have. If I remember correctly it's flat and triangular in shape. Been a long time sine I've seen one.

This year is shaping up to be a minimal tonnage year for me. Maybe 3 tons max. 2 corn, 1 pellets.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
Well it is coming up on February probably will not change my approach at this point. I will say that my stove while bought never used is years old but I like the simplicity of it no circuit boards etc not a lot of components to fail. It runs 24 7 in the old farm house and keeps the temperature constant. One of the best investments I have made in the house.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
My only comment is keep the hopper lid tightly closed because it's a positive draft unit and because it is, burn back is always a present issue.
 
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woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
So I was at menards this morning picking up a plastic barrel that holds about 250 pounds of corn. The house sitter will appreciate the extra corn in the house. I walked by a pallet of pellets and figured what the heck give it a whirl. I did take a small handful of pellets and put it in the stove. Holy crap the flame. I did mix it 3 to one and mixed it well, waiting for the corn in the bin to burn down. I am guessing I will be turning the feed rate way down.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Have the corn just about all out of the bin going to add the 3-1 mix. Will stay up and monitor the stove no matter how many beers it takes.:)
The pellets really mitigate clinker formation that you get on straight corn. It works well for me. You will still get some clinkering but not nearly as bad as with straight corn.

I think the biggest issue for me is mixing it. I use 4 plastic garbage cans with lids on a pallet and mix the mix in the barn, a 5 gallon bucket of pellets and 3 buckets of corn and stir with a broom stick. 4 plastic garbage cans full last me about a month but my burner is supplemental heat only. Propane is so cheap, it's not really economical to just run the stove straight so I have them run together. Took a bit to get the t'stats coordinated but I have that issue taken care of now. The stove runs continuous on medium and the furnace is set at 70 so it comes on about every hour for 10 minutes.

My corn is pre cleaned so no nothing but corn kernels. I get load out of the grain tank next to the barn and mix it up in the barn and take the 4 cans on the pallet and set it on the deck with one of the loaders with pallet forks.

Take it in the house in a 5 gallon pail and dump it on the hopper 2 times a day usually.

Kind of a PITA but as the winter progresses, it gets more routine.
 
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woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
I took a 2-1/2 pound coffee can to do the 3-1 mix small batch as a test. 100% corn stove for heating the house, my goal is to keep the electric back up heat off. I spend over $200 a month on corn 2.7777 pounds per hour, still save over $200 per month on the electric bill vs when I burned wood as the primary hear source. Cheaper and cleaner and easier, cleaning corn is easier that lugging wood. The direct feed of fuel without opening the stove is an added bonus.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
You have to be a Mike Bloomberg to afford resistance heating. it's super expensive here at least. I know we looked at a couple all electric homes and I said no way. Don't like it anyway, it don't 'feel' warm.

Just keep that fuel hopper lid tightly latched and the perimeter seal around the lid in good shape because that is like I said, a positive pressure draft system so any leakage around the fuel hopper lid will invite burn back into the hopper. When the perimeter seal gets worn, you can buy replacements at Lowes or Home Despot.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
So I burned a hopper full of 3-1 mix. Started with a clean basket and lit it up. Did not really see an advantage to mixing still had to clean the basket every 24 hours, still ran the feed rate the same heat difference was not noticeable.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I never said there was a 'gain' in anything and with mine, there isn't any gain either. With my appliance, adding the pellets to the corn mitigates the hard clinker issue to almost nothing which is something I prefer as I don't have to remove the clinkers nearly as often and being basically a lazy person, fine with me and worth the cost ($218.00) for a pallet of pellets, which last me an entire year of heating.

Nothing more to be gained as corn yields much more thermal units per pound than pellets do.

All about the clinker issue, nothing more. and I never said there was..............
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
I never said there was a 'gain' in anything and with mine, there isn't any gain either. With my appliance, adding the pellets to the corn mitigates the hard clinker issue to almost nothing which is something I prefer as I don't have to remove the clinkers nearly as often and being basically a lazy person, fine with me and worth the cost ($218.00) for a pallet of pellets, which last me an entire year of heating.

Nothing more to be gained as corn yields much more thermal units per pound than pellets do.

All about the clinker issue, nothing more. and I never said there was..............
I never said anything about your input, it was never about you I was reporting what I found when I mixed pellets with corn.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I never said anything about your input, it was never about you I was reporting what I found when I mixed pellets with corn.
So tell us then, why did you do it in the first place? Inquiring minds want to know....:p

IOW, if I never brought it up, you wouldn't have any idea about mixing pellets with corn. I wasn't born last night nor was I hatched from an egg shell either....

I haven't an issue with mixing them but don't act demeaning toward me about your motive. Makes you look like a troll.

Don't care if you mix in bird droppings. I do what I do to effectuate what I need from my unit. Your mileage and results will most likely be different.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
So tell us then, why did you do it in the first place? Inquiring minds want to know....:p

IOW, if I never brought it up, you wouldn't have any idea about mixing pellets with corn. I wasn't born last night nor was I hatched from an egg shell either....

I haven't an issue with mixing them but don't act demeaning toward me about your motive. Makes you look like a troll.

Don't care if you mix in bird droppings. I do what I do to effectuate what I need from my unit. Your mileage and results will most likely be different.
I think you are taking it far too personally, and you are not the only person online or in person that I have had a conversation about mixing corn with pellets. I simply stated my thoughts after trying the experiment.
 

FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
684
Titletown U.S.A
Lol yeah i got a few. Ok prbably enough to build a couple more englanders, 1 Breckwell. 2 quads and now saving parts for enviro’s already have 3 boards. My wife says i have a problem :eek:
LOL, you should start building CBG's (cigar box guitars) and see how much stuff you collect. Your wife will be happy you went back to pellet stoves!
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
39
Nebraska
Friend of mine has the same stove as I do, so between us we have a extra for everything. Which is pretty much 4 items, exhaust blower, room blower, Auger motor and a control board. They are simple machines.
 
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