Good, attainable Multi-Fuel/Corn Stove - high BTU?

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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
I was looking at the US Stove 6041 but everywhere I look they are unavailable.

Bixby is another brand that has popped up, as has Pinnacle but they only have 1 model that doesn't seem to impress me - nor their webpage.

I'm looking at getting a 2nd unit and am looking for as high of BTU in a Multi-Fuel stove as I can get - 50,000+ BTU would be good. I can find higher output pellet-only stoves, but not so much luck on corn/Multi-Fuel yet. Maybe I am not searching the right terms.

For reference, sq footage here is a bit under 3,000. Unless we have a central air system (ducted as is the furnace) I don't see how it is possible to "ideally heat" the place. However, if we have 2 stoves and place them in different parts with fans to direct heat that may achieve satisfactory results in a pinch - and that is what I'm after, not primary heat but back-up heat. To that point - I have several sources of more grain than I could ever use so that gives me more options than just "pellets" in a pinch. Though, it will take a stove capable of burning grain and other things.

Current stove is 35k BTU, pellet only. If I have pellets and can run both that would be "ideal" (not across the board, but in a pinch to make-do). Though, if I am out of pellets and can only source corn, for example, how far can I get on heating on the 1 stove? Therein lies the question on having a high BTU stove - more BTU's will keep up with the heating demand better than lower BTU's.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
Bixby has been long obsolete I believe...
 
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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Bixby has been long obsolete I believe...
You appear to be correct.

Other options?

I had a place mention that some Harmon "pellet" stoves can run a pellet/corn blend, but they aren't true "multi-fuel" stoves. And they are pretty expensive - P68 is close to $5k, for example.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
967
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
HARMAN stoves, yes some can but I don’t know of anyone that does
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Just for the heck of it I am using the dealer search on St Croix's website and going through them further and further out to see if anyone has any Eclipse stoves in. Interesting to note - one "dealer" I came to, from the company name listed on the St. Croix dealer look up page, was related to corn heat. When I called the guy that answered the phone said they stopped dealing with St Croix about 8 years ago. Apparently, from what he said, corn as a stove fuel used to be real common but has long since dwindled in use.

He did say that there are very few "multi-fuel" stoves and those that do claim to be are not set up from the get-go to do such, they usually require add-on kits.

So that deepens the mystery a bit on where to get multi-fuel stoves.

My whole thought is even if pellets are "the way to go" - they are a limitation. I have several friends that farm and in a pinch I'm sure I can drive somewhere and get so much corn or soybeans I wouldn't be able to use it all (not free, of course).
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,871
Salem NH
Most true multi-fuel stoves have a fuel stirrer in the burn pot and come setup that way.

Multi-Fuel Pellet stoves with pot stirrers:
Harman Model
PC45
Enviro Model
M55
Vistaflame
VF55
Regency Model
Hampton GC60
Pacific Energy Model
PS45
AES Magnum Model
Countryside
US Stove Model
6039 & 6041
England Stove Works Model
Englander 10-CPM

The motorized versa grate also works quite well.
Multi-Fuel Pellet stoves with versa grates:
St Croix Many Models
Greenfield
Lancaster
Afton Bay
Prescott
Hastings

If the stove does not have either agitator above they usually can only burn a mix of wood pellets and corn.

Also the only stoves that auto ignite corn must have a 500-600 watt igniter and usually an air pump too,

You must get Muti-Fuel pellet venting for fuels other than wood pellets.

Getting one of these used can save you a lot of money too!
 
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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
AES Magnum Model
Countryside
I found the Magnum Countryside 3500P model - looks a bit bigger and less ornate than the Countryside.

Oddly enough, I was looking through Craigslist to see what was around the area. I found a listing for a demo model of that along with a description saying they had new ones with full 5 year warranties also.

What thoughts do any of you have on the serviceability/parts acquisition ability of the Magnums?
Any thoughts on the electronic system longevity - control boards, motors, capacitors?
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
The guy I get my corn from has an Amaizablaze corn stove in his house and he burns the same corn I burn. I do disagree with Don on one point that is, you can run standard pellet venting with corn so long as you disassemble it every spring and wash it out to get rid of any nitric acid vapor that has condensed in the upper reaches of the venting that don't get hot enough to drive off the condensed nitric vapor. Mine comes totally apart every spring and get pressure washed out inside. Having said that I do have a couple sections due for replacement that are 20 years old. Other thing with corn is, you have to keep up on off season maintenance because just a tiny bit of nitric inside the stove will eat the hell out of it. End of season, I run straight pellets on max feed for a couple days (and sweat my buns off) but it gets rid of any corrosive acid and when it's done for the year, I spray the inside down with Stabil fogging oil, including the ashpan and taker the combustion blower out and clean and oil it as well.

I guess, push came to shove, I could sell you the 6039HF I just rebuilt. It's a true multifuel (corn or pellet or soybean or cherry pits) and any combination of them stove and it's rated for 50K BTU but you can manually adjust the algorithms to deliver even more if you wish. Go check out my thread on the rebuild, I just posted pictures of it finished, in my garage. Not adverse to selling it for the right price and I guarantee it will operate 100% correctly. They are hard to get.

You don't need a stirrer / agitator to run corn. You can use the pot as a clinker pot like Firepot Pete does. He don't use an agitator. I do but I always run a mix, he runs straight corn.
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
On venting I would suggest Duravent PelletVent Pro. It is multifuel and has a nice silicone oring sealing system that works well. I even saw a listing to be able to buy the replacement orings? It seals way better than the box store Duravent stuff with the rope seal. That stuff needs a ton of silicone to get it to seal.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I mix and match actually. The inside stuff (between the exhaust outlet and the cleanout Tee on the exterior of the house is pro with the O rings). All the exterior venting (in my case) is standard pellet venting because if it leaks outside (and far as I can tell, never has), I don't care. It's outside in the breeze anyway and standard venting is a lot cheaper and face the facts, I'm cheap.....:p Besides I liberally coat all my joints with never seize so I can get them apart to clean in the spring.

Probably should not admit this but, none of my exterior vent pipe sections are twist locked and never have been. I just coat them with never seize and stack them up not twist locked. I'll provide a picture later on. If you can see and leakage you have better eyes than I do.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
The unit I refurbished is slightly different from the one I have in the house in that the board has a later revision and the board has a dedicated 'Corn Only' setting that is user attainable by just pressing the HR level up and down buttons at the same time, whereas the one I have in the house, I have to manually adjust the algorithms to run corn. The refurbished one with the newer revision board is very convenient when switching from pellets to other bio mass fuels. Found that out by accident when running it in in the shop yesterday.

On HR 9 and RF9, on the refurb unit, I was getting close to 500 degrees outlet temp with checked with my IR thermometer. Runs real clean too with nothing coming out of the combustion fan outlet but heat (and corn smell of course). Took the shop from 55 to 75 in 30 minutes with the overhead door open enough to allow the exhaust to dump outside. Shop is 20 x 40 with minimal insulation and high ceilings.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,313
ohio
I mix and match actually. The inside stuff (between the exhaust outlet and the cleanout Tee on the exterior of the house is pro with the O rings). All the exterior venting (in my case) is standard pellet venting because if it leaks outside (and far as I can tell, never has), I don't care. It's outside in the breeze anyway and standard venting is a lot cheaper and face the facts, I'm cheap.....:p Besides I liberally coat all my joints with never seize so I can get them apart to clean in the spring.

Probably should not admit this but, none of my exterior vent pipe sections are twist locked and never have been. I just coat them with never seize and stack them up not twist locked. I'll provide a picture later on. If you can see and leakage you have better eyes than I do.
That is a good point. A guy could get new PV Pro for stove to outside the thimble then use even second hand Box store duravent outside. I see it for sale on marketplace ect pretty often.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I'm always leery of second hand venting for some reason. Must be the fact that I'm anally retentive to a point.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
967
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Whoever I’ve bought second hand, I’ve taken a good led flashlight with me and even sprayed the fly ash out just to check the stainless steel liner, also have checked the twist locks
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
A compromised firebox / heat exchanger don't really bother me as I'm an accomplished welder so a bad seam or a corroded spot is fixable but that always don't hold true with everyone.

One thing I will say and that is, it's pretty apparent to me that almost every used unit I look at has been neglected. Some worse that others. Some because the owners were ignorant and some just because the owner lost interest but all of them are neglected.

Been perusing Facebook Marketplace and CL and everyone on there are in various states of neglect. Intrestingly, the owners all want top buck too. I just made offers on 2 units and my offer wasn't the asking price either and of course, both are corn capable.

Something I don't believe in. Like when I trade in a piece of farm equipment (I'm right in the midst of trading my round bailer in for a new one. Before it goes to the dealer, I'll clean and service it and it will be 100% ready to run with n o issues but that is me and how I play. Whomever buys it can be assured it has no issues and will be field ready. I'm not one to 'pawn off' issues on another person. Probably why I always get top buck on a trade.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Always keep in mind that the lower the RM of the corn is, the hotter it burns and the more clinkers it makes. Right now, I'm using up some old 2 years old corn that was in Tyvec sealed bags and it tested at 8% on my Delmhorst moisture mete and it's burning extremely hot.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I'm sure I can drive somewhere and get so much corn or soybeans
Under no circumstance do you want to run soybeans. They will destroy any multifuel stove if used straight. They have to be mixed with either corn or corn-pellets and beans.

Soybeans are an oilseed and because they are, they combust extremely hot. So hot they will warp the heat exchanger and eventually destroy the appliance. Don't care what any multifuel builder says they don't work plus they are extremely dirty, moreso that corn, way more. Stick with CLEAN shelled corn. Corn out of the field will be dirty and will have earwings in it. It needs to be cleaned and magnetically screened for metal.

I suggest getting corn from a local co-op instead of from a farmer. While it's possible to run corn out of the field. one, you won't have a clue what the RM is and that is important. I can gauge it with my equipment but the equipment is expensive. Normally out of the field, field corn will come off around 15-19% and it needs to be below 15, ideally 10%. You'll only get that from a co-op or a farmer that dries it down.

Straight corn is a pisser. To run straight corn entails a special burn pot and special care, why I run a mix. Much easier and no special pot required.
 
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Lordtimothy200

Burning Hunk
Dec 29, 2018
139
Nebraska
If you trust the farmer you are buying from, it is worth it to get it straight from the field. Around here most do not harvest until it is close or below 15 percent. Bunch of cheap ass farmers around here that do not like to waste money on drying the corn. I have never bought field corn from farmers over 15 percent moisture, and if you sweet talk them they will give you what the local Coop is giving them for price. Otherwise it is another 30 cents a bushel.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
You must be inordinately lucky. Field corn (out of the field and into a gravity wagon is)...

1. Loaded with earwings
2. Most likely has trash in it, metal trash can and will tie up your auger
3. May be at 15% but most likely isn't, least not around here. Most farmers around here are tickled to get it off below 19.
Again, get it from your local co-op. It will be cleaned, magnetically screened and will be below 15% RM because you cannot tank field corn above 15, because it will mold in the grain tank.
 
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Lordtimothy200

Burning Hunk
Dec 29, 2018
139
Nebraska
You must have different conditions than we do here in Nebraska. Normally they dont' harvest the corn around my place till late Oct to early Nov. It is a pretty dry area, starting in June and ending in Sept, we are serenaded non stop by the sound of diesel engines running those Center Pivots.

Been doing it for going on 6 years now. I do have magnets set up in the feed tube to grab any metal chunks that come through. Only thing I have ever picked up is a couple of small screws. A little DE takes care of those nasty corn weevils in the corn I have left over after winter. Never had a problem with earwings. Corn does have a lot of chaff in it but that is taken care of when I move the corn around with my pneumatic conveying system.

In the end, you need to do your research and see what works best for your area.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Nebraska is dry. Last hunt I went on near Valentine, we hunted fields irrigated by pivots. Not too many around here.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Too wet. My onions sucked this year as did the yams and the cantaloupes too much rain. Taters did good and so did the sweet corn. Just dug about 300 pounds of taters and stripped enough cobs of Ambrosia SE to fill 30 zip lock bags with corn