Corn/ pellet mixture question

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ditchqueen

Member
Jan 3, 2015
8
nh
I have a Englander 10-CDV multi fuel stove. Usually I burn straight pellets on settings 2-3-1 . I have the heat at 3 and fan at 9.
Lately it's been extremely cold, so I have started burning a 10% corn 90% pellet mixture, but noticed the sides of my stove are really dirty, with a chunky kind of ash. My glass also has a thick coating of ash. Just for reference- every 3 days I shut off the stove and scrape and clean.
Is this normal from corn? Should I be changing the bottom 3 settings to account for the corn? Flame looks good- so I'm not sure if the chunky Ash on the sides are normal? I am burning feed corn ( not deer).
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
There are no "proper" settings for a pellet/corn mix, as your stove is an "either/or stove, one or the other.
Some stoves can burn a mixture.
 

Lordtimothy200

Burning Hunk
Dec 29, 2018
139
Nebraska
Do you have a picture? This is the interior of my stove with it burning corn for about a week to 10 days on uncleaned field corn. Stove is a St Croix Auburn. It has a lot more ash when I run it on low. She burns much better on setting 4 out of 5.

PXL_20220127_225934244.MP.jpg
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
Well, you will have to live with the ash/crap. Your stove has no "mix" settings. The control board programming can be changed to pellets or corn, there is no mix settings. You could try setting it to the corn settings, but I would bet it would go out, not getting enough pellets.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
198
Lancaster, PA
I've burned straight corn and corn pellet mix in my quad a few times. The stove will get dirty pretty quickly and you need to keep an eye on the burn pot at least once a day or clinkers and large ash cakes can form causing nuisance shutdowns.

If you're okay with more frequent cleaning of the stove and trying to squeeze a more btu out of your stove then go for it.
 
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ditchqueen

Member
Jan 3, 2015
8
nh
Well, you will have to live with the ash/crap. Your stove has no "mix" settings. The control board programming can be changed to pellets or corn, there is no mix settings. You could try setting it to the corn settings, but I would bet it would go out, not getting enough pellets.

ya, that's what I figured. Too bad about the mix. Thanks for your help though, appreciate it.
 
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ditchqueen

Member
Jan 3, 2015
8
nh
I've burned straight corn and corn pellet mix in my quad a few times. The stove will get dirty pretty quickly and you need to keep an eye on the burn pot at least once a day or clinkers and large ash cakes can form causing nuisance shutdowns.

If you're okay with more frequent cleaning of the stove and trying to squeeze a more btu out of your stove then go for it.
Thanks! I definitely have to clean it alot more and it you're right about the "caking".
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
198
Lancaster, PA
If you got a local hearth store or dealer nearby give them a call they may have higher quality pellets at fair prices. Better than the crap at the big box stores. I've since given up on whatever you can find at TSC, HD, Lowe's, etc
 

Lordtimothy200

Burning Hunk
Dec 29, 2018
139
Nebraska
If you want raw BTU's corn is the way to go. Ever so often I will run pellets in my stove and it feels anemic in the amount of heat it puts out.
Corn is best bought in bulk. Bagged corn is crazy expensive. Back in the day when we were starting our business and had no money, I took a Harbor Freight trailer and a couple of sheets of OSB and headed to the local Grain Elevator and had them drop 20 bushels at a time. Where there is a will, there is a way.
 

mtnbiker727

Feeling the Heat
Mar 11, 2019
252
PA
My stove manual says no more than 50/50 mixture. It gets super hot with just straight pellets, I can't imagine putting straight corn in it.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
198
Lancaster, PA
If you want raw BTU's corn is the way to go. Ever so often I will run pellets in my stove and it feels anemic in the amount of heat it puts out.
Corn is best bought in bulk. Bagged corn is crazy expensive. Back in the day when we were starting our business and had no money, I took a Harbor Freight trailer and a couple of sheets of OSB and headed to the local Grain Elevator and had them drop 20 bushels at a time. Where there is a will, there is a way.
If you're out in the corn belt (which you are) then it's easier to come by. Where I am nobody processes their own corn apparently, even though we grow a lot of it. I tried asking local farmers and they said it all gets processed out of state (!).

We do have 50lb bag of "deer corn" of decent quality (and is unflavoured) which can be picked up at walmart for about the same price as more expensive pellets. I bought two bags to try it out and it was interesting. However, once I finally found some quality softwoods they put out about the same amount of heat.

Burning corn is fun. I like that it's a renewable resource and can be cheap depending on where you live. The biggest disadvantages to me is how dirty it burns, at least in pellet stoves that can support using it (like the older non-AE Quads) I understand that USSC and true corn stoves have agitators to help reduce clinkers and ash cakes, you have to use the exhaust piping rated for corn, you need good storage to avoid bugs and spoilage, and if you want auto-ignite it requires a higher wattage ignitor.
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
If you're out in the corn belt (which you are) then it's easier to come by. Where I am nobody processes their own corn apparently, even though we grow a lot of it. I tried asking local farmers and they said it all gets processed out of state (!).

We do have 50lb bag of "deer corn" of decent quality (and is unflavoured) which can be picked up at walmart for about the same price as more expensive pellets. I bought two bags to try it out and it was interesting. However, once I finally found some quality softwoods they put out about the same amount of heat.

Burning corn is fun. I like that it's a renewable resource and can be cheap depending on where you live. The biggest disadvantages to me is how dirty it burns, at least in pellet stoves that can support using it (like the older non-AE Quads) I understand that USSC and true corn stoves have agitators to help reduce clinkers and ash cakes, you have to use the exhaust piping rated for corn, you need good storage to avoid bugs and spoilage, and if you want auto-ignite it requires a higher wattage ignitor.
Yep,you tested and found out that "corn burns hotter" is a misnomer. It burns at a different rate, which is why it is easy to destroy a pellet stove burning it. Heck, average corn has 7k-8k btu's per pound,and higher moisture than quality pellets, which have 8k-pushing 9k btus per pound. Corn is also very dirty, ash,buildup and klinkers. Which is why good corn stoves have mechanical cleaning systems, and use a much higher quality flue pipe, it will rot out regular pipe quite fast. But don't get me wrong, if it was available and cheap around here,i would have a corn stove. As I would have a coal stove.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
198
Lancaster, PA
Well, initially for me the pellets at the big box stores were that awful that burning corn actually put out more heat. I think this is what people are experiencing then assume corn is burn much hotter than pellets. A good quality pellet seems to burn about the same. With that said, I haven't personally taking a digital thermometer to verify as such.

I was originally going to keep a few bags on hand for really cold days, but when I finally found some good pellets at a reasonable price this became unnecessary and I finished off the two bags of corn just to get them out of the way.
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
I have burnt straight corn in my St Croix for about 12 yrs now. It is designed as a corn burner. It loves corn. I ran for the last 12 days with just dropping the clinker block every 1.5 days on the fly. I have not heard of another brand of stove out there that likes straight corn. My St Croix sucks at burning pellets. Most other stoves require a ton of work and cleaning to burn straight corn.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
198
Lancaster, PA
I've never used a straight corn burner. My Quad Santa Fe can burn straight corn just fine (the book even states that you can) but without an agitator or some mechanism to drop the clinkers while still burning it becomes necessary to clean it daily (sometimes twice).

Do you ever burn a mix? I remember some people on here were saying that burning some pellets mixed in somewhat helps reduce the clinkers and turns them into an ashcake that is easier to remove. I found this to be true when I was experimenting burning corn. Even a small amount, say like 25% was enough to significantly reduce the effort involved in cleaning clinkers out of the burn pot.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
I have burnt straight corn in my St Croix for about 12 yrs now. It is designed as a corn burner. It loves corn. I ran for the last 12 days with just dropping the clinker block every 1.5 days on the fly. I have not heard of another brand of stove out there that likes straight corn. My St Croix sucks at burning pellets. Most other stoves require a ton of work and cleaning to burn straight corn.
Bixby was probably the most known,still many running. And Amaizablaze has been around a long time. There are also som smaller corn stove makers out there, along with what look like china imports.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
Bixby was probably the most known,still many running. And Amaizablaze has been around a long time. There are also som smaller corn stove makers out there, along with what look like china imports.
I have not seen any of those around here. I remember Bixby. I just hear people saying they are cleaning the stove daily or twice a day. That is way to much work. I shut mine down every 2 weeks for a quick clean. It burns 24/7 if the weather is cold enough.
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
For a properly running Bixby, you clean the burn pot once a month.Ash pan holds 100-220 lbs ashes of unburned, after burning.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
For a properly running Bixby, you clean the burn pot once a month.Ash pan holds 100-220 lbs ashes of unburned, after burning.
wow thats impressive
 

mtnbiker727

Feeling the Heat
Mar 11, 2019
252
PA
For a properly running Bixby, you clean the burn pot once a month.Ash pan holds 100-220 lbs ashes of unburned, after burning.
Do they even grow corn in Montana?