Corn Stoves

VertDitch

New Member
Jan 30, 2019
1
Northeast, NE
I have been researching getting a corn stove to help heat the brick ranch home (~1,500 square feet) I purchased a couple years ago. I have easy access to plenty of corn with our neighbor farming about 1,300 acres of corn and beans.

I have researched the prior information on this site which has taught me a lot. I am posting this because most of the information appears to be somewhat dated. From my research it appears that corn stoves took a tough hit when corn prices went thru the roof some years ago as many of the models talked about and recommended appear to no longer be available.

I have an existing fireplace (needs some work, damper broke on one side) that could possibly be used to vent the stove if this is a possibility. I have toyed with the idea of getting one of the stoves that are used like a furnace (Illinois Corn Stoves) and put in the basement hooked into the existing duct work and then fix the existing fireplace or improve with insert or wood stove as another heating option when wanted or needed (loss of electricity). The reviews for the corn stoves are all over the place, from high praise to absolute nightmares which only confuses matters even more. My one hesitation on this furnace route, having no experience or knowing anyone with experience on these corn burners, is dropping 3 to 4 thousand on something that I am unsure will be a worthy investment and that I will likely get killed on financially if I decide to sell it.

I have seen reviews for Golden Grain, Country Flame, Amaizablaze, Sedore, St. Croix, American Energy Systems, Fahrenheit Technologies and Bixby. I know some of these are no longer manufactured, like the Bixby and some of the websites are so outdated I am unsure if they are still made. I can't locate any local dealers where I live in northeast NE for any easy one on one assistance.

What are some brands that you folks know are still being made and have stood the test of time?

Can it be vented out an existing chimney? Is this an ideal way to vent this type stove?

Thanks!
Greg
 

bob bare

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
2,957
park county montana
There are corn burners here,they will make recommendations.There used to be a very good website "I Burn Corn" that went away,had a ton of info,a shame nobody ever copied and saved all the info from there.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,625
Downeast Maine
I looked into the Sedore, but it's just too big for our house and expensive. Seems like a good biomass stove. I've seen a few threads on this forum of happy owners. I don't think it can work with ducting and is more like a freestanding wood stove that can burn anything.
 

jzm2cc

Feeling the Heat
Sep 25, 2014
492
Northern Michigan
St Croix Auburn is a great corn stove, plus it burns pellets, cherry pits, etc. It has a large cabinet so it's easy to reach components, holds 80 plus pounds of corn, can run off a thermostat, easy to clean, but it doesn't light on it's own. I use a Mapp gas torch to light mine, takes all of 30 seconds.
 
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kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,211
Iowa
Lots of pellet stoves will burn corn, but don't ignite corn. I have a Santa Fe by Quadrafire I use upstairs. I burn a mix in it, so it will ignite as it runs off a thermostat and turns on and off like a furnace. They make inserts for fireplaces in lots of brands of stoves. I have an AE downstairs that will ignite corn and does an auto-clean of the pot. It is more computerized and the parts are expensive. Do more research and check what you have locally. Having a good reputable dealer, that is there after the sale is very important, no matter the brand of stove. Good luck in your search. kap
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
9
Nebraska
jzm2cc pretty much summed up what I was going to say. St Croix Auburn stove has been a perfect stove for our family. Light it up in Oct and it pretty much runs 24 hours a day till March. On a average year we will go through about 200 bushels of corn. We live just South of you near the Kansas border in Nebraska.

My setup just has it vented straight out the front of the house. 3' of pipe, I should give it some draft so if the power goes out, it won't fill the house with smoke. So far in the 4 years I have had the stove, never had a issue with electricity going off during the winter. If it does, I picked up a cheap generator to run the stove.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,003
southwestern Minn
I have been researching getting a corn stove to help heat the brick ranch home (~1,500 square feet) I purchased a couple years ago. I have easy access to plenty of corn with our neighbor farming about 1,300 acres of corn and beans.

I have researched the prior information on this site which has taught me a lot. I am posting this because most of the information appears to be somewhat dated. From my research it appears that corn stoves took a tough hit when corn prices went thru the roof some years ago as many of the models talked about and recommended appear to no longer be available.

I have an existing fireplace (needs some work, damper broke on one side) that could possibly be used to vent the stove if this is a possibility. I have toyed with the idea of getting one of the stoves that are used like a furnace (Illinois Corn Stoves) and put in the basement hooked into the existing duct work and then fix the existing fireplace or improve with insert or wood stove as another heating option when wanted or needed (loss of electricity). The reviews for the corn stoves are all over the place, from high praise to absolute nightmares which only confuses matters even more. My one hesitation on this furnace route, having no experience or knowing anyone with experience on these corn burners, is dropping 3 to 4 thousand on something that I am unsure will be a worthy investment and that I will likely get killed on financially if I decide to sell it.

I have seen reviews for Golden Grain, Country Flame, Amaizablaze, Sedore, St. Croix, American Energy Systems, Fahrenheit Technologies and Bixby. I know some of these are no longer manufactured, like the Bixby and some of the websites are so outdated I am unsure if they are still made. I can't locate any local dealers where I live in northeast NE for any easy one on one assistance.

What are some brands that you folks know are still being made and have stood the test of time?

Can it be vented out an existing chimney? Is this an ideal way to vent this type stove?

Thanks!
Greg
You can't beat a St Croix Auburn as far as efficiency They have to be started using pellets but that is easy then you have to drop the clinker out of the pot which isn't hard. But its big advantage is its efficiency. It is designed to capture more of the heat put of the exhaust then many other stoves. They are very reasonable in price also. The St Croix is best cleaned by using a leaf blower sucking out the soot through the exh pipe. So connecting it to a regular chimney isn't the best idea. I have a Bixby going into a clay lined brick stove and that works good. I also have a Bixby going into a 36 inch pipe out the wall with a 90 degree elbow so strong winds cant push smoke into the house.
Make sure you get a multifuel stove which will burn corn. Some pellet stoves will burn a blend but they aren't designed for corn. I think the St Croix is built in Nebraska so there should be dealers in your state.
Truth be known most corn pellet stove owners do their own cleaning and repair. as you are reading this you can see other people will have the stove you are looking at and will help you get yours going.
Generally the furnace type use to much fuel. Truthfully you could buy a lp stove cheaper and have less problems so if you don't have time to be cleaning the stove I would go with lp and forget about burning corn. 12-14 years ago you could buy corn for 1.25 a bushel and fuel oil was 4.00 a gallon. You could pay for a good stove in one year. Now its a lot different and the pay back is longer.
 
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drizler

Minister of Fire
Nov 20, 2005
998
Chazy, NY 12921
I have a Countryside and burned corn until they drove it sky high with ethanol. I never could see a bit of difference between corn and pellets when it comes to warmth, nada. Now I’m talking corn by the pickup load straight off the farm. Corn does light harder and can be a little harder to keep going.
The big thing you will find is the corrosion corn causes near the vent. It tosses a lot of nasty fallout that sticks like gangbusters and is very corrosive. It will stain permanently vinyl and corrode aluminum facia, THESE THINGS I PROMISE YOU
Now if you vent through the roof I never noticed any damage or discoloration of dark shingles. That’s why I yanked my direct vent on year 2 and went up through the roof. Shingles are unaffected but I would think hard if I had a steel roof especially a colored one.
You can use galvanized flue but it better have a stainless liner. I’d also be aware of what’s right nearby on the prevailing downwind side within 15-20’. It’s also a good idea for longevity sake to pull and clean annually the whole flue. Leave it too long and nothing is ever going to come apart. Also be careful where you dump the ash, it kills the grass.
Klinker or grinder type stove? Just be aware that grinder auger makes as much noise as the rest of the stove ( on top of that noise).
Hauling your own: Get it by the bag bagged fine. Haul your own cheaper more painful. You can easily line your tuck bed with blue tarp. MAKE SURE to run it up over the back of tailgate so it covers the big crack along the bottom of the gate. A ton fits nicely in an 8’ box. I used to fill up from the grain bin just like the semi trucks. Park under the chute preferably on a windy day. Blows much of the powder away and there’s a LOT of powder. Nobody makes any attempt to clean it anymore. I cleaned mine after with a snow shovel pouring it down 2 2x4s with a 2’ wide piece of 1/8” hardware cloth stapled loosely to it so it formed a shallow trough . The thing just had a cross piece at each end, That cleans it really well and it ends up in a pile at the end of the trough. Shovel it in barrels buckets whatever to store.
If you re getting it off a farmer have him be sure to turn up the blower so there is less dusty debris to deal with. that will save lots of dirty work.
Anything else I can help with let me know. These days I’m back on oil/ electric . Pellets too high and the corn is in my gas tank ..


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Watcher1

Member
Sep 11, 2014
150
Ironton WI
You can't beat a St Croix Auburn as far as efficiency They have to be started using pellets but that is easy then you have to drop the clinker out of the pot which isn't hard. But its big advantage is its efficiency. It is designed to capture more of the heat put of the exhaust then many other stoves. They are very reasonable in price also. The St Croix is best cleaned by using a leaf blower sucking out the soot through the exh pipe. So connecting it to a regular chimney isn't the best idea. I have a Bixby going into a clay lined brick stove and that works good. I also have a Bixby going into a 36 inch pipe out the wall with a 90 degree elbow so strong winds cant push smoke into the house.
Make sure you get a multifuel stove which will burn corn. Some pellet stoves will burn a blend but they aren't designed for corn. I think the St Croix is built in Nebraska so there should be dealers in your state.
Truth be known most corn pellet stove owners do their own cleaning and repair. as you are reading this you can see other people will have the stove you are looking at and will help you get yours going.
Generally the furnace type use to much fuel. Truthfully you could buy a lp stove cheaper and have less problems so if you don't have time to be cleaning the stove I would go with lp and forget about burning corn. 12-14 years ago you could buy corn for 1.25 a bushel and fuel oil was 4.00 a gallon. You could pay for a good stove in one year. Now its a lot different and the pay back is longer.
Rona you never said anything about the pc45. And on that note my magnum 3500 that has been very good decided to give me all kinds of issues during this real cold spell. That being said I have the PC45 that I bought this spring all cleaned up and ready to install but not happing till we get a warm up here/ unless this 3500 keeps going LOL. I just am concerned with having to start to learn a new unit right now.
 

Watcher1

Member
Sep 11, 2014
150
Ironton WI
I have been researching getting a corn stove to help heat the brick ranch home (~1,500 square feet) I purchased a couple years ago. I have easy access to plenty of corn with our neighbor farming about 1,300 acres of corn and beans.

I have researched the prior information on this site which has taught me a lot. I am posting this because most of the information appears to be somewhat dated. From my research it appears that corn stoves took a tough hit when corn prices went thru the roof some years ago as many of the models talked about and recommended appear to no longer be available.

I have an existing fireplace (needs some work, damper broke on one side) that could possibly be used to vent the stove if this is a possibility. I have toyed with the idea of getting one of the stoves that are used like a furnace (Illinois Corn Stoves) and put in the basement hooked into the existing duct work and then fix the existing fireplace or improve with insert or wood stove as another heating option when wanted or needed (loss of electricity). The reviews for the corn stoves are all over the place, from high praise to absolute nightmares which only confuses matters even more. My one hesitation on this furnace route, having no experience or knowing anyone with experience on these corn burners, is dropping 3 to 4 thousand on something that I am unsure will be a worthy investment and that I will likely get killed on financially if I decide to sell it.

I have seen reviews for Golden Grain, Country Flame, Amaizablaze, Sedore, St. Croix, American Energy Systems, Fahrenheit Technologies and Bixby. I know some of these are no longer manufactured, like the Bixby and some of the websites are so outdated I am unsure if they are still made. I can't locate any local dealers where I live in northeast NE for any easy one on one assistance.

What are some brands that you folks know are still being made and have stood the test of time?

Can it be vented out an existing chimney? Is this an ideal way to vent this type stove?

Thanks!
Greg
To VertDitch: if you burn corn all you really need to do is to remember to burn like a few bags of pellets thru it in the spring to clean out the corn stuff, then just clean up real good.
 
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FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
638
Titletown U.S.A
Nobody makes any attempt to clean it anymore.
My farmer's corn is extremely clean. His customers pay premium for it and he delivers on semi's around the mid-west.

Using a corn-vac system I get about one five gallon bucket of fines and redwings from each ton of corn. The first year I tried burning corn I bought it bagged from the co-op, I got that much from each bag after sifting it.

Going to go and get my third ton of the season tomorrow morning, trying to beat the weather again, this past week really put a dent in my supply. With the pellet shortage and prices I'm sure glad I can burn corn, $110-$120 per ton the last few years and I know I get a lot more than a ton on the truck.
 

Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
9
Nebraska
I have it easy. Parked a old grain wagon near the house and the farmer pulls his grain wagon up and dumps 200 bushels in. It does cost about 20 cents more than the going cash price at the local elevator, but it is so worth it not having to mess with moving the grain wagon. Think I paid $3.50 a bushel this winter. Last winter it was $3 a bushel.

Before you decide on corn, make sure you have easy access to it and a good way of moving to the stove.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,003
southwestern Minn
Rona you never said anything about the pc45. And on that note my magnum 3500 that has been very good decided to give me all kinds of issues during this real cold spell. That being said I have the PC45 that I bought this spring all cleaned up and ready to install but not happing till we get a warm up here/ unless this 3500 keeps going LOL. I just am concerned with having to start to learn a new unit right now.
I liked the PC45 have had three of them still use one. the bad points for me was it doesn't like 15% corn has to be 13 or less and farmers only dry to 15% moisture. You can overcome that by blending pellets . That agitator it has is a wear item and if you are burning hot they wear out fast. Also the slag from the corn builds up on that agitator and you have to break it off or do what I did and swap them out every two day and put the dirty one in a container with water so it can be cleaned up. Later I learned if you add some pellets to the mix this wont happen.
I liked the 45 for different reasons. it is a 45,000 btu stove and by adding a pellet kit to it and burn pellets you can get 50,000 btu out of it. If you burn high quality pellets you can burn a ton before emptying the ash bucket.
My dislikes is it wastes heat by blowing it out the exh compared to a Bixby and a St Croix. I have tested all three stoves running side by side in my shop and all three had same exh height out the back . and the 45 always melted the snow before the other two.
It has a lot of good points but one of the main points for buying a stove was to save money and blowing the heat outside isn't saving money compared to the other two brands.
if you open the pellet section on Heath.net you should find a article labeled what the Harman manual doesn't tell you. then make sure you clean out that box in the back. It has a wing nut holding the cover on it. It will get full of fines and a lot of people don't know about it. I have a Harman 45 and a Bixby in my shop and have them both running on thermostats. The Harman can either shut off or run at a idle or pilot light mode whichever you want versus the Bixby or St Croix Auburn will drop to a idle mode when the heat level is reached. I like the ability of the Harman to shut off and on by itself and haven't seen any problems with igniters wearing out.
Most stoves have their good and bad points and depending on your desires you usually get what you paid for. I have talked about four brands of corn stoves St Croix, Harman, Bixby, and the Quad AE. The St Croix is the sleeper of the bunch as it is manually lit and when the pot is full you pull a couple rods to dump the pot. It is the cheapest to purchase and squeezes the most heat out of the fuel then any of the others. I could have bought a new Auburn for 1800.00 Going up the ladder we see the Harman at 2500.00 and the Bixby at 4,000. The Quadra Fire AE was close to 3000.00
All these stoves have a couple of things in common they all will require cleaning and at some point things wear out and need to be repaired. I encourage people to read the manual, get a dealers manual and do your own maintenance. It is easy and you will save a lot of money.
 
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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
2,233
Lorraine NY