good coal, better coal

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good coal, better coal

PostBy: stokersmoker On: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:32 am

I went to Outside Matters in Honesdale for some more starting gel and took note of their coal prices. Bagged Blaschak coal seemed to be the most expensive. When I asked the lady why that coal is more expensive than the "standard", she said it is scientifically proven to provide more heat. Is this true? Logically, I'm thinking that anthracite is anthracite. Doesnt all anthracite spend the same length of time in the ground and made from the same prehistoric peat, and therefore give off the same amount of heat/ash, etc.? I dont buy any coal there at all, Im getting it way cheaper elsewhere. But is Blaschak coal really worth the price? If so, in what way(s)?
stokersmoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:22 am

I'm gonna say that no, all Anthracite is not the same. There are "newer" types of Anthracite which are found in the Rocky Mountains (Crow's Nest) in Canada that are called Tertiary or Cretaceous age. (From the Anthracite Wiki)

I honestly don't know what makes each variant of Anthracite different from the next. Maybe some are closer to being Bit and others closer to graphite? I guess it depends on how long it's been in the ground and how far into the vein it is mined? I'd wager coal found at the end of the vein (bottom) might be closer to Graphite and the coal found at the top closer to Bit in composition? Again, I'm not sure. Someone with a lot more experience should be able to answer your question better than I can. I'm just taking a guess here.

I do know that Anthracite has a lower calorific count than say Bit coal but it has less impurities that are found in Bit.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:35 am

Even coal from the same vein can have different burning characteristics. So, yes there certainly is differences in coal. But even with that said it sounds like this place is trying to pull a fast one on you. The only way you can be sure it's better is by trying out the cheap stuff first, then trying a few bags of Blaschak for comparison. That's the only true way to weed out the B.S..

I will say this: I used to burn Kimmel's - it's what I started out burning, so I had nothing to compare it to. When my supplier went way up on his prices, I went to another place, which happened to carry Blaschak for $25/ton less. I was amazed at the lack of ash & longer burn times from the Blaschak. Ashpan had at least 66% less ash every time -- and this is in 24 hours, not 12! That's just my experience - YMMV. But comparing the 2 coals was like night & day. I immediately went from 12 hour max burn times to 24 hour + burn times at the same air settings. I'll never go back!

After burning some Bit that forum member DungeonMaster gave me, I realized that the smell from the bit was awfully similar to the smell I got with the Kimmel's. It also used to smoke a little before it lit off. That right there tells me the Kimmel's was some poor quality stuff ..... at least the batches I got were. Burned it for 3 seasons.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:45 am

It is like sayin' all steak is the same...
They are all beef but some cuts are better than others...
Even then the cook can screw up a good cut of beef...
Different veins of coal have different properties...
Red ash vs. white ash, ash %, volatiles, processing and a host of other things that make one coal more desirable than another...
Blaschak coal is pretty consistent and is a good baseline coal...
Right now UAE Harmony coal is the preferred coal for quite a few members...
Last year Superior Coal was the one to have...
Depends what vein/veins of coal the breaker/company is pulling their coal out of...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: stokersmoker On: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:54 am

Well, after trying to get some coal out of Agel's (stocking up for winter) and failing to do so (funny how when coal prices are the cheapest, there's no one around to load ya), I started looking into other options. I pick up my own coal and shovel it into the window myself. Work has me very busy, and I don't have a lot of time to do this, but I'm also far to stubborn to pay for delivery. :lol: I need someone to work around my schedule, not the other way around, as the case seems in most coal yards this time of year. So I found Chervy coal in Hanover Twp. Nice old man on the phone saying his coal is superior to the rest and :blah:
Anyway, his BSing did the trick, cause I took the 40 minute ride down there to pick up 1200lbs. :funny: And you know what, I can see a definite difference just by looking at it. His coal glistens in the sun. Sounds funny, but it's shiney. Agel's is more dull looking. I saw the shinyness of it from all the way down the street. I also noticed it was more dusty and during shipment back to my house, there was a lot more dust or settled coal at the bottom of the bed of the truck. In my head, in an indirect way, that means it would burn better. Although it's July and I cant really test some out right now, I am kind of excited now for this winter. So maybe his BSing had some truth to it?? So the question is this: are my assumptions correct? What are the qualities you look for to identify good coal?
stokersmoker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:01 am

It is easy to see the sizing consistency and check for foreign material by eye, but if you want to know how well it burns....you need to burn it and see. Blaschak blends coal from different sources, and takes pride in offering a consistent product. It might not be the best available, but you know what you're getting when you buy from them.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: stingray On: Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:34 pm

FYI,
I've been burning Chervy nut coal for the past 2 years with no problems, low ash and high btu's. I can go 24 hours or more on some of the warm days in late winter and still have it fire up when it comes to raking like the middle of winter. As a matter of fact, I'm ordering 6 ton from him this week. You made a good choice on a supplier, you won't be dissapointed.
stingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 F.P. insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Jeddo Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric ( never use it )

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:05 am

I have 2 local coal suppliers in my area and both are Reading brand athracite. Now I'm not gonna beat around the bush, this is my first upcoming winter with coal. Any insight of quality with this brand would be nice.
anthony7812
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Nut/Anthracite

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:44 am

anthony7812 wrote:I have 2 local coal suppliers in my area and both are Reading brand athracite. Now I'm not gonna beat around the bush, this is my first upcoming winter with coal. Any insight of quality with this brand would be nice.


It seems like folks either swear by it, or swear at it. I have burned about 5 tons of Reading rice in the last 6 months, and it has burned excellent.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:50 am

anthony7812 wrote:I have 2 local coal suppliers in my area and both are Reading brand athracite. Now I'm not gonna beat around the bush, this is my first upcoming winter with coal. Any insight of quality with this brand would be nice.


I don't like Reading coal at all but I'm using nut or pea it in a hand stove. That may make a difference. My first year I brought Reading because that's what the dealer had. I still have 5 bags of the coal after 5 years because I'm trying to work it in with the Blaschk coal I use now. I'd drive further to get Blaschk. The Reading is hard to use because it's has to be burned hotter and that means it burns faster. I feel I have to watch it more. My thought would be not to commit yourself to a whole lot of the Reading until you see how it's going to burn for you - get just get a few bags. If you have the availability try a couple of bags of different brands and see which one burns best for you before you commit to a huge bulk buy. Good Luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: wlape3 On: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:48 am

I've burned both Reading and Blaschak pea coal in a hand fed stove. The reading burned ok but the Blaschak burned better with less clinkers and less foreign material. It was well worth the extra 10-15 bucks a ton I was paying for it at the time. Their bulk coal is very good.

Blaschack bagged rice coal is a different story altogether. Unless they get rid of those plastic bags I'll never buy is again.
wlape3
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: 140 auger, forced hot air

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: stingray On: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:53 pm

Here are some pics of my delivery. -Nice looking stuff; isn't it?
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stingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 F.P. insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Jeddo Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric ( never use it )

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:36 pm

All set for 3 years - just got my 14 pallet delivery today. 16.8 tons, 880 bags. :shock: My back already hurts & I haven't moved a single bag. :lol:
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SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:47 pm

SMITTY wrote:All set for 3 years - just got my 14 pallet delivery today. 16.8 tons, 880 bags. :shock: My back already hurts & I haven't moved a single bag. :lol:


Maybe there is truth to the rumors of exceptionally high demand of bagged coal. :gee:

Congrats on taking control of your heating costs for...about 3 years?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: good coal, better coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:49 pm

Yeah should last 3 seasons even if they're as bad as this last one. If the next few winters end up warmer, I might even get another season out of this delivery. That would be nice. :D
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Visit Lehigh Anthracite