Corn stove and clinker problems

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rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Is it possible to determine MC by the weight? Also, if corn is brought in from outside where it was at or below freezing it's going to have condensation form, any ill effects?
My Harman dealer told me not to try to burn corn that came from outside in my Harman. He said the best way was to have a pail inside ahead of time so the corn would warm up. I doubt condensation would have any effect .
 

johninwi

Burning Hunk
Aug 22, 2014
239
madison wisconsin
In fall i had built a basement hopper and partially filled it, have burned thru most of it and was wondering if adding another 30+ bushel to the hopper would be an issue,
And in typing this i realize the closed hopper and the quantity may be important variables.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
In fall i had built a basement hopper and partially filled it, have burned thru most of it and was wondering if adding another 30+ bushel to the hopper would be an issue,
And in typing this i realize the closed hopper and the quantity may be important variables.
I know there is a way of weighing a given amount of corn putting it in the micro wave for a certain time and reweighing it to determine moisture content but I don't know the details. Much easier to use my moisture tester of take a sample to elevator.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Most bulk bins that dry-store corn are bottom up drying, expecially the largest bulk bins from Brock and GSI, one reason I like old crop corn from the bulk bin at the co-op. It will be below 15%RM in almost every instance. I've tanked old crop in the 10 range before.

Corn is sold for feed at the benchmark 15%RM and test weight is measured at 15% thats how it's done, so if your test weight is say 50 (pounds per bushel at 15RM) it's on the low side, You really want corn in the 53-55 range or higher, though getting corn over 55 is rare.

Ag-Tronics makes a fairly inexpensive moisture testure thats readily available (digital readout) at TSC and most farm stores or online, Delmhorst makes a very accurate one but it's expensive and it's a multi-use unit, I have 2, one in a case on the shelf and one usually in a tractor.

You can also determine approxmate RM (if the corn is suitable for burning but not the actual moisture content) using the PLIERS METHOD.....

The pliers method is simply taking one kernal in a pair of ordinary pliers and crushing it and observing how the kernal reacts to pressure.

If the kernal mushes as it's crushed by the jaws, chances are the RM is too high to combust readily and has too high a moisture content.

However, if the kernal fractures and crumbles as it's crushed by the plier jaws, it's within the -15% acceptable RM range.

It's not an accurate method, but certainly cheaper thana grain tester and most everyone has a pair of pliers in the drawer or toolbox.

Maybe someday this forum will acknowledge that corn burners are a viable segment here and initiate a a forum for corn with an information base, but for now, just just catalog the data......
My Harman dealer told me not to try to burn corn that came from outside in my Harman. He said the best way was to have a pail inside ahead of time so the corn would warm up. I doubt condensation would have any effect .
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Additionally, I pull my corn from the tank which is in front of the big barn, Jut drop the loader under the spout and pull the shutter up and fill the bucket. From there it goes to my deck with rubbamaid plastic garbage cans, I dump in a bucket of corn and abucket of pellets and mix, repeat until full, repeat 4 times.

It comes from the rubbamaids on the deck into a 5 gallon pail, right into the stove, no warming, nothing, and gets roasted, no cleaning either, I get my corn cleaned for feed. thats it.

I've never owned a corn cleaner and don't plan on buying one. Far as I'm concerned, totally useless. Never sifted or cleaned pellets either. Far as I'm concerned, another totally useless waste of time. I have better things to do, like sleeping.:)
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Most bulk bins that dry-store corn are bottom up drying, expecially the largest bulk bins from Brock and GSI, one reason I like old crop corn from the bulk bin at the co-op. It will be below 15%RM in almost every instance. I've tanked old crop in the 10 range before.

Corn is sold for feed at the benchmark 15%RM and test weight is measured at 15% thats how it's done, so if your test weight is say 50 (pounds per bushel at 15RM) it's on the low side, You really want corn in the 53-55 range or higher, though getting corn over 55 is rare.

Ag-Tronics makes a fairly inexpensive moisture testure thats readily available (digital readout) at TSC and most farm stores or online, Delmhorst makes a very accurate one but it's expensive and it's a multi-use unit, I have 2, one in a case on the shelf and one usually in a tractor.

You can also determine approxmate RM (if the corn is suitable for burning but not the actual moisture content) using the PLIERS METHOD.....

The pliers method is simply taking one kernal in a pair of ordinary pliers and crushing it and observing how the kernal reacts to pressure.

If the kernal mushes as it's crushed by the jaws, chances are the RM is too high to combust readily and has too high a moisture content.

However, if the kernal fractures and crumbles as it's crushed by the plier jaws, it's within the -15% acceptable RM range.

It's not an accurate method, but certainly cheaper thana grain tester and most everyone has a pair of pliers in the drawer or toolbox.

Maybe someday this forum will acknowledge that corn burners are a viable segment here and initiate a a forum for corn with an information base, but for now, just just catalog the data......
Different areas use different methods of drying corn. Drying from bottom up has pretty much disappeared except for the air dry systems that don't use heat. All the grain elevators and most larger farmers use a separate continuous flow dryer whereby you drop the wet corn on top and it continuously flows down until it gets to the bottom where it is augured into a leg that drops it into a large bin or silo where it is cooled down to 15.5%. This is the way it is done in Minn and most of the corn belt. The older method of bin drying is very expensive compared to continuous flow designed dryers. One thing that has changed corn production is how the seed corn companies have bred the corn to dry more in the field so it is common to start harvest at 20% moisture and end up bringing in 15% right from the field in a normal season. The most perfect corn in my experience is to bring your wagon right into the field and have the combine operator drop it into your wagon. Way better quality as very little handling is done so you see hardly and cracked kernel's. The drier the corn the more cracked corn you will have as it is brittle.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,318
West central Mn
Very brittle when dry. I can often use my finger nail to crack the corn I dried down to under 10%. Year before last farmers were being docked as the corn was coming out of the field at 10% Had to really sift out the fines as the Bixby will blow out fines and make a mess or leave it in the hopper because the stove uses a feed wheel. Plus side the pheasants and horse had good food.
 
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rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Yeah the fines can cause a problem with the wheel. I usually let the fuel in the hopper get down and swirl or mix up the fines with the corn and sometimes that delays things but the book says clean the hopper as needed. I had one fellow from Kansas call me one night and he was having trouble not getting a good flame. He had it turned up all the way but a anemic flame. He had his Bixby for 3 years and never had trouble so never removed the wheel. Sure was happy when he did.
 

Arti

Feeling the Heat
Feb 14, 2014
386
South West Wisconsin
I buy year old corn from local farms. One farmer we deal with has exceptionally clean corn and very fair to deal with. I don't know the moisture content because my tester only goes down to 10% the meter would move off the peg a little bit so guessing 9 to 10% moisture this year. I have a small fan that blows the chaff out when we move the corn mainly because we don't want it in the house.
I mix a bit of pellets and a handful or oyster shells in the corn it seems to make the clinker a bit easier to deal with.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Different areas use different methods of drying corn. Drying from bottom up has pretty much disappeared except for the air dry systems that don't use heat. All the grain elevators and most larger farmers use a separate continuous flow dryer whereby you drop the wet corn on top and it continuously flows down until it gets to the bottom where it is augured into a leg that drops it into a large bin or silo where it is cooled down to 15.5%. This is the way it is done in Minn and most of the corn belt. The older method of bin drying is very expensive compared to continuous flow designed dryers. One thing that has changed corn production is how the seed corn companies have bred the corn to dry more in the field so it is common to start harvest at 20% moisture and end up bringing in 15% right from the field in a normal season. The most perfect corn in my experience is to bring your wagon right into the field and have the combine operator drop it into your wagon. Way better quality as very little handling is done so you see hardly and cracked kernel's. The drier the corn the more cracked corn you will have as it is brittle.

Around here, only the biggest ops use continuous flow, everyone else is bottom up, including our co-op that stores in precast concrete bins. Conversely, thios wasn't a normal season, at least here with corn coming off well over 20. We had a couple tank fires with ops sitting on wet corn playing the waiting game...and loosing of course. Spontaneous combustion over 15 is always an issue, over 20 is as sure as the dawm.

Thie is more of a produce growing region that corn. Here, it's 'maters and melons on black loam.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Around here, only the biggest ops use continuous flow, everyone else is bottom up, including our co-op that stores in precast concrete bins. Conversely, thios wasn't a normal season, at least here with corn coming off well over 20. We had a couple tank fires with ops sitting on wet corn playing the waiting game...and loosing of course. Spontaneous combustion over 15 is always an issue, over 20 is as sure as the dawm.

Thie is more of a produce growing region that corn. Here, it's 'maters and melons on black loam.
Around here, only the biggest ops use continuous flow, everyone else is bottom up, including our co-op that stores in precast concrete bins. Conversely, thios wasn't a normal season, at least here with corn coming off well over 20. We had a couple tank fires with ops sitting on wet corn playing the waiting game...and loosing of course. Spontaneous combustion over 15 is always an issue, over 20 is as sure as the dawm.

Thie is more of a produce growing region that corn. Here, it's 'maters and melons on black loam.

My experience with bottom up bin drying is that when you force heat in from the bottom the moisture in the corn at the botton of the bin has to migrate up through the corn above it and out the top of the bin. This creates a moisture wall that has to be pushed to the top. That moisture wall gets harder to push as it is gaining moisture as it rises through the corn. This is why the corn on the bottom of the bin is over dried. In order to overcome that problem companies produced a device that had augers that would bring up dry corn to the top and the wetter corn would drop down to be dried. It also provided airways so the moisture had a place to rise to evaporate outside the bin. When this moisture hit the metal roof it would condense and follow the roof line toward the edges of the roof where it fell off.
In many cases we put 21% corn in bins and simply run the fans which push air from the bottom through the corn to the top and out the vents on the bin roof. When winters low temps hit we freeze the corn by running the fans then shut everything off until spring when we start the fans and thaw out the corn and finish drying down to 15 1/2 moisture. If you monitor these bins and use the fans as needed you can keep corn for over three years or longer but you have to pay attention to the bins crawling in the top and checking for hot spots or crusting once a month or you will have problems. We are corn /beans mainly but some alfalfa for a large dairy nearby and a little wheat is raised. Once in a while sunflowers is raised but mainly corn and beans. We have two large ethanol plants nearby that use a lot of the corn but some goes on unit trains to the west coast for export.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Thats why I always get old crop corn from my co-op. It's bottom up dried. Far as e-plants go, I'm 4 miles from one and every farmer contracted to specific variety e-corn is loosing their shirt.

I don't want to go into e-corn on this forum. Actually, I don't care about it except to say that my next tractors will most likely come from farmers that are over extended.
 

harttj

Member
Dec 16, 2008
153
Ohio
Maybe someday this forum will acknowledge that corn burners are a viable segment here and initiate a a forum for corn with an information base, but for now, just just catalog the data......

Corn burners had a forum for awhile and I believe you were a member also for awhile. Lots of good data gone. $7 corn killed the appliances. My boiler literature doesn't even mention corn anymore.

We will have to see if corn stays below $4 and oil doesn't stay low. Propain locally hasn't dropped. Still over $2 when I called a month ago.

If pellet prices stay as high as they are the pellet appliances will go the way the corn appliances did. I don't want to think about burning pellets at $279.

Tim
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Corn burners had a forum for awhile and I believe you were a member also for awhile. Lots of good data gone. $7 corn killed the appliances. My boiler literature doesn't even mention corn anymore.

We will have to see if corn stays below $4 and oil doesn't stay low. Propain locally hasn't dropped. Still over $2 when I called a month ago.

If pellet prices stay as high as they are the pellet appliances will go the way the corn appliances did. I don't want to think about burning pellets at $279.

Tim

I was (for a long time). So were a number of other posters on here right now. IBC is gone far as I can ascertain. Oil is a bubble that will burst and pellets will increase. I can do -4 corn real easily anytime, -3.5 is even better. I was burning corn before 90% of people on here even knew what a corn stove/multifuel stove was.

I'm glad I don't live in the NE where corn is a rare commodity. It's not here.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Corn burners had a forum for awhile and I believe you were a member also for awhile. Lots of good data gone. $7 corn killed the appliances. My boiler literature doesn't even mention corn anymore.

We will have to see if corn stays below $4 and oil doesn't stay low. Propain locally hasn't dropped. Still over $2 when I called a month ago.

If pellet prices stay as high as they are the pellet appliances will go the way the corn appliances did. I don't want to think about burning pellets at $279.

Tim
7.00 corn killed a lot of things plus raised land taxes, machinery prices, fertilizer prices, herbicide prices. But it did have some short term benefits such as paying down debt load. I seen a lot of new farm shops put up that were better equipped then many dealer shops. The downside was some of these people never did repair work but was simply keeping up with the Joneses.
The volatile grain markets plus the wild petroleum prices both did in a lot of the stove companies. If you look back to 2004 and go from then to now you will see several feast to famine situations. Dirt cheap corn encouraged corn stoves and dealers were making a profit then there was a shortage of stoves which drove up demand with people calling dealers from all over to find a stove. Those dealers noted that call and added it to their orders resulting in doubling their orders to the factory, The factory doubled production then gas went down corn went up and the bottom dropped out of the stove market. Some stove companies sold direct to customers on E-bay while other shipped their surplus over seas rather then drop the price to the US customers. Companies that sold direct to people on E-bay screwed over the local dealers who quit selling that brand. Couldn't blame then either. But didn't care for the idea of a company selling their surplus stoves overseas at a huge loss rather then give the US customer the break.
Anybody else notice prices on anything dropping because of lower fuel prices? I haven't either but remember when prices were being raised blaming high fuel prices.
At this point I don't see many people making money on 4.00 corn unless they are getting 200 bpa. The input costs have to drop before that happens.
Look at cost of pellets most of the raw material is waste products how do they command 5 or even 6.00 a bag at some locations?
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
One issue I see being played out around here is farmers, instead of investing the profits from 7 buck corn, invested in new equipment and payment books. The input costs aren't dropping, especially for N. and seed. Farners with the 'latest and greatest' are going to be in for a rude awakening, the payment books don't drop with the corn price....

Secondly, with the roll in of Tier 4 final emissions mandates, farmers are very wary of tractors (or any mechanized equipment with a blue fuel cap and very well should be. If a piece of equipment goes down in the field, gone are the days of 'fixing' it with a wrench and hammer. It has to be hooked into a computer to just diagnose the issue. Probably why JD and all the other manufacturers are predicting at least a 25% downturn in equipment sales. Equipment prices are stupid in my view. I bought a new NH round bailer last fall (computerized in as much as manually controlled machines are antiques). 25 grand for a bailer that I paid 12 grand for, 10 years ago and 12 grand was a bit much, but I can't build one so it is, what it is.

I considered a new Tier 4 tractor for about a minute but I know what the Tier 4 mandates have done to on road engines and the issues involved. For a Cummins ISXC engine, just cleaning the urea injection unit costs over$1000.00 and cannot be done in the field. In the futiure, you'll see a marked movement away from conventional diesel fueled engines and gaining popularity toward NG engines because a 4 stroke 'diesel' running on NG eliminates 95% of the mandates emissions hardware, problem is, the infrastructure has to catch up th real world application and all the 'hoopla' that mauufacturers are spewing about Tier 4 engines being more fuel efficient, is just that, phooey. Tier 4 engines are less efficient and more (much more) complex, plus the engine life is much less. due to increased heat. You cannot get an extended warranty on a Tier 4 engine, manufacturers know they won't last.

So, while 3-4 buck corn is good for corn burners, it's bad for farmers....and especially bad for e-corn growers, but thats another subject entirely.

Far as pellet prices, it's a typical business model, that is, sell for what the market will bear. Typical consumer pricing is usually a couple hundred percent over cost to produce and that applies to everything, not just pellets. Pellet manufacture is very mechanical and fuel costly even though the 'raw materials' are basically worthless. Using my 'couple hundred percent' yardstick, pellet manufacturing cost is most likely around 50 cents a bag, factoring in everything except transportation. Everything else is profit and always remember that everytime a bag changes hands, the price of admission increases, everyone has to have a slice of the pie, whereas corn only changes hands one, maybe 2 times and corn isn't a manufactured product, it's grown. Sure, dryer gas costs and transportation costs are factored in, but Istill prefer corn over wood fibers but not everyone can roast corn.

When I bought this stove, my prime directive was purchasing a stove that was a flexible fuel unit so I could burn a number of fuels, depending on price and availability, something that I'm comfortable I did. Why lock yourself into a single fuel unit, variety is what makes a biofuel stove a good investment...

I believe you'll see a resurgence in corn burning, so long as the fuel stays at a reasonable price and watching the market like I do, I'd say thats a safe bet.

Obviously, corn isn't readily available in the north east, but, corn can be packaged just like wood pellets, palletized and sold. Some enterprising individual or company will capitalize on that (for areas that corn availability is poor), I'm confident of that as well. Might just be me........

If pellets increase in price, it will raise the break point of field corn as well. At present, IMO, corn below $4.00/bu/52% or better TW is very competitive with pro9cessed wood pellets, anywhere.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
One issue I see being played out around here is farmers, instead of investing the profits from 7 buck corn, invested in new equipment and payment books. The input costs aren't dropping, especially for N. and seed. Farners with the 'latest and greatest' are going to be in for a rude awakening, the payment books don't drop with the corn price....

Secondly, with the roll in of Tier 4 final emissions mandates, farmers are very wary of tractors (or any mechanized equipment with a blue fuel cap and very well should be. If a piece of equipment goes down in the field, gone are the days of 'fixing' it with a wrench and hammer. It has to be hooked into a computer to just diagnose the issue. Probably why JD and all the other manufacturers are predicting at least a 25% downturn in equipment sales. Equipment prices are stupid in my view. I bought a new NH round bailer last fall (computerized in as much as manually controlled machines are antiques). 25 grand for a bailer that I paid 12 grand for, 10 years ago and 12 grand was a bit much, but I can't build one so it is, what it is.

I considered a new Tier 4 tractor for about a minute but I know what the Tier 4 mandates have done to on road engines and the issues involved. For a Cummins ISXC engine, just cleaning the urea injection unit costs over$1000.00 and cannot be done in the field. In the futiure, you'll see a marked movement away from conventional diesel fueled engines and gaining popularity toward NG engines because a 4 stroke 'diesel' running on NG eliminates 95% of the mandates emissions hardware, problem is, the infrastructure has to catch up th real world application and all the 'hoopla' that mauufacturers are spewing about Tier 4 engines being more fuel efficient, is just that, phooey. Tier 4 engines are less efficient and more (much more) complex, plus the engine life is much less. due to increased heat. You cannot get an extended warranty on a Tier 4 engine, manufacturers know they won't last.

So, while 3-4 buck corn is good for corn burners, it's bad for farmers....and especially bad for e-corn growers, but thats another subject entirely.

Far as pellet prices, it's a typical business model, that is, sell for what the market will bear. Typical consumer pricing is usually a couple hundred percent over cost to produce and that applies to everything, not just pellets. Pellet manufacture is very mechanical and fuel costly even though the 'raw materials' are basically worthless. Using my 'couple hundred percent' yardstick, pellet manufacturing cost is most likely around 50 cents a bag, factoring in everything except transportation. Everything else is profit and always remember that everytime a bag changes hands, the price of admission increases, everyone has to have a slice of the pie, whereas corn only changes hands one, maybe 2 times and corn isn't a manufactured product, it's grown. Sure, dryer gas costs and transportation costs are factored in, but Istill prefer corn over wood fibers but not everyone can roast corn.

When I bought this stove, my prime directive was purchasing a stove that was a flexible fuel unit so I could burn a number of fuels, depending on price and availability, something that I'm comfortable I did. Why lock yourself into a single fuel unit, variety is what makes a biofuel stove a good investment...

I believe you'll see a resurgence in corn burning, so long as the fuel stays at a reasonable price and watching the market like I do, I'd say thats a safe bet.

Obviously, corn isn't readily available in the north east, but, corn can be packaged just like wood pellets, palletized and sold. Some enterprising individual or company will capitalize on that (for areas that corn availability is poor), I'm confident of that as well. Might just be me........

If pellets increase in price, it will raise the break point of field corn as well. At present, IMO, corn below $4.00/bu/52% or better TW is very competitive with pro9cessed wood pellets, anywhere.
What would be the point of pelletizing corn? it would increase the price and in my opinion lower the quality. Using a five gallon pail weigh a pail of pellets then weigh a pail of shelled corn. You will see the shelled corn is heavier as it can fill voids that pellets can't. This will increase the cost of shipping.
I really can't see the price of pellets influencing the price of corn either unless you have a dealer who has a captive customer base and is taking advantage of people by pricing his corn himself. Corn is raised in Maine and I believe in New York also but not in large volumes as they use it for feed.
There was a individual close to Minneapolis and St Paul who delivered bulk corn and also sold a mix of corn and pellets but he may have quit when corn went up in price. He used to be pretty steady in I Burn Corn also.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,318
West central Mn
Ron, I believe he said palletized, not pelletized:)
The individual than blended pellets and corn is advertising on CL
Delaware had corn with the highest bushels per acre this year. Around 300
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I did.....:)

Corn could be sold in female friendly 40 pound bags, just like pellets are, on (pallets), shrink wrapped for your convenience. All it takes is a bagging line.... and much less equipment (capital outlay) than a pelletizer. Even stores like Farm and Fleet and TSC could get on the bandwagon, eliminate the middleman and sell bagged -15 field corn for burning. Lots if possibilities abound.

Transportation is based on hundredweight, not on displacement for the most part, unless it's bulky and then it's a truckload no matter what the weight is.

Corn and pellets can influence each other price wise as we saw in past years with corn going up, outta sight and corn stove manufacturers dropping like flies while pellets remained a viable source price wise, but they have been climbing slowly. With the advent of the market correction on field corn, it will make corn an attractive fuel and will, most likely impact pellet prices (downward hopefully) as corn displaces straight pellets in multifuel stoves. Actually, all stoves can burn a mix. Some more than others.

However, we know that burning corn requires a different approach than pellets and in some cases, different equipment and different board programming.

It's been my experience that mixing various ratio's of medium to high test weight corn with even substandard pellets, yeilds a good to excellent heat output whereas burining substandard pellets dosen't.
 

ryanissamson

New Member
Dec 19, 2014
12
Indianapolis
Well, this thread has gotten way off topic, but I have enjoyed catching up and reading the info.

Unfortunately, my clinker problem seems to be fighting back. Where at first the hanger in the burn box was working like a charm, now when the clinker forms, I can't even pull the hanger out because the clinker is stuck to the box with a vengeance. Get this, when the fire inevitably goes out, the cooled clinker sticks to the burn and hardens so much that I have to use a hammer and chisel to get it out. A month ago, the clinker would come out with a few hits intact. Now I'm smashing it to pieces and it's as hard as concrete. Some thoughts I have:

  • I've been sticking to a 12 hour schedule of cleaning the clinker out, I may check on it a bit sooner, maybe around 8-10 hours.
  • I'm storing the corn outside in tightly closed 55 gallon drums. It's in the single digits here, maybe it's getting moisture.
  • I'm not cleaning the corn before using it. I'm sort of getting frustrated with the upkeep, but maybe I need to be cleaning the corn before I use it.
I can't think of anything else. I'm going to try to bring a bucket of corn in the house to always have ready to get warm and maybe somewhat more dry.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Well, this thread has gotten way off topic, but I have enjoyed catching up and reading the info.

Unfortunately, my clinker problem seems to be fighting back. Where at first the hanger in the burn box was working like a charm, now when the clinker forms, I can't even pull the hanger out because the clinker is stuck to the box with a vengeance. Get this, when the fire inevitably goes out, the cooled clinker sticks to the burn and hardens so much that I have to use a hammer and chisel to get it out. A month ago, the clinker would come out with a few hits intact. Now I'm smashing it to pieces and it's as hard as concrete. Some thoughts I have:

  • I've been sticking to a 12 hour schedule of cleaning the clinker out, I may check on it a bit sooner, maybe around 8-10 hours.
  • I'm storing the corn outside in tightly closed 55 gallon drums. It's in the single digits here, maybe it's getting moisture.
  • I'm not cleaning the corn before using it. I'm sort of getting frustrated with the upkeep, but maybe I need to be cleaning the corn before I use it.
I can't think of anything else. I'm going to try to bring a bucket of corn in the house to always have ready to get warm and maybe somewhat more dry.

Have you thought of burning a mix? When burning corn and the temp gets cold the clinker will get harder. The hard clinker can cause a jam when the auto dump works. One recommendation was to bump up the feed rate. This did work but adding some pellets was easier with other benefits.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,318
West central Mn
Could try and rub in some graphite powder on the burn pot and shake some in for good measure. Available at most farm stores and implement dealers.
 

harttj

Member
Dec 16, 2008
153
Ohio
From the old IBC forum I remember some users of clinker pots had 2 pots and would swap them out. Then soak the removed pot in water to dissolve.

I have a stirrer so don't have first hand knowledge.

Tim
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
What I do is run 2 pots and pull the asgitator if, I run straight corm, which, I'm not and haven't been. I've been running a 50-50 mix of Sommerset Hardwood pellets and 14% RM old crop field corn cleaned and screened for animal feed from the co-op and delivered to one of my grain tanks.

Moisture should not be an issue right now, I bet the ambent outdoor humidity is less than 10%, probably closer to 5% right now, with the cold weather. It's desert dry outside this time of year.

If I do run 2 pots, I run a clinker hanger, pull one pot, drop in the other, dump off the burning top layer and drop the pulled pot complete in a bucket of water and let it sit a couple hours and the clinker, clinker hanger and crud fall right out. No issue.

Go to a 50-50 mix and your clnkers will soften up appreciably. Been running my agitator as well though it's perfectly fine to pull the agitator, I've just left mine in this year, too lazy to pull it I guess.

We all know that don't work for a Harman or a Bixby. Neither have a trough type pot.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,033
southwestern Minn
Do you have any pics or details of the dryer? Corn is 1/2 the price of pellets here, but I can't find any lower than 15% moisture, and it's tough to get going sometimes, and doesn't always store perfectly. I'd love to burn some 11% corn, but i'd have to dry it myself.
Get yourself a metal screened secretary waste can. I got one a couple from Walmart and they hold a couple gallons each. Set them on a chair or something to catch the hot air from the convection fan. You should get 11% in 12 hours or less. You get the added benefit of adding that 4% of moisture to your dry house air. lol Never noticed a difference but it had to go somewhere.
 
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