Vinmaker wrote:What is "medium" nut? Out here in MA we have a choice of sizes but not type of nut.
Vin, the dealers I've worked with in Central PA usually sell two grades of anthracite...red-ash (medium) and white-ash (hard). As the names indicate, medium coal when burned leaves a darker gray or reddish ash, while the harder white-ash leaves more whitish ash.
I believe the medium coal is mostly mined in the southwest portions of the coal region, while the harder coal comes from the more north and eastern region.
Medium nut can burn better in situations like mine--hand fired stove, no forced draft, and a chimney with less draft than most. Medium coal ignites at a lower temperature and requires less draft to burn. I get medium nut because the larger nut size allows more draft through the fire.
I was also told by a dealer who handles Blaschak coal from Mahanoy City that many of their customers who have stoves like mine prefer the Blaschak coal because, while it is hard or white-ash coal, its ignition temp and burning characteristics are better suited for these stoves than Reading anthracite. I have no way of knowing (other than the experts on this board
) if that's true or not, but that's the dealer's observation based on other customers.