The ammo seems to be much more reliable than the 22s I have. I have only had one misfire since 2003. The misfire I assumed was from me leaving it in my pocket and my wife washed it. I am still using ammo from 2004 because I bought a case of ammo back then. Its so accurate I don't need to shoot much. Pigeons don't get away and sometimes it takes 2 with one shot. They got to be real close to each other though.
I prefer the 17 HMR for our farm. It is strong enough to take a varmint at 100 yards. It is accurate enough to take a sparrow at 100 yards. It is cheap to use. I can get ammo at most stores including my local grocery store. The bullet is designed to disintegrate when it hits something. It is only a 17 gr bullet "copper, plastic and lead", so if shot in the air it is not dangerous when returning to earth at terminal velocity. The tiny amount of lead is less pollution compared to a 22 or shotgun.
This is funny this came up today. I usually compost all our waist except I put the feathers on the area we want to grow the sweet corn next year. The neighborhood dogs take lucky rabbits feet home and I start getting calls. I had just texted the township before reading this so I am kind of already in a mood. I texted them " Please remind the neighborhood that we are butchering turkeys this Saturday. They will need to call the township, epa, and fda on me after trespassing onto my property. They wont tell me who keeps calling on me. I told them the next time to tell the caller I will file a harassment suit on them if they don't leave me alone. I have been called on for years. The epa and fda are nice people to work with and I have no problems or violations.
Some good news on the corn that got blown down. I am glad we use our own line of corn, because it is resilient. The stocks that got blew over bent back up and still produced corn. I have many 10” ears that are almost on the ground. We learned that the rows north to south are much better than east to west. We won the county fair for tallest corn and biggest ear again. It quit raining a month ago and the corn is almost dry enough to pick. The peppers were extremely good this year. My son has sold around 5 bushels. The green beans are still going strong and making him money every week too.
I put rhubarb at the end of a raspberry plot and they keep coming up through the rhubarb. They act like a weed around our rhubarb choking it out. I have found only shade gets rid of raspberries at our farm.
So I watered a friends garden why he was on vacation and he wanted to pay me. I didn’t want paid and ended up with a gift card to go to the outback steak house. 9 months later my wife and I get a free date night and head out. My wife was looking over the menu and said she was going to order chicken. I said absolutely not, we have 20 chickens in the freezer and we are at a steak house! She replied she likes our grass feed steaks much better and we have a freezer full of them too. A wow moment when we realized we eat better from our farm than the best commercial steak house society can provide. The beer was good (local brewery) , the steak was ok, and the vegetables were all crispy and tasted the same. I guess if we want to go on a diet we will go there again.
To me it doesn’t matter if I believe one side or the other. If I want the next generation to have a better ecology, I need to change what I am doing. I need to do better.
I fully understand the side of engineers be dismissed though. These equations are easily solved with the typical 1 or 2 variables. Last winter a design was brought to me and I ran the calculations on it. It was over 300,000 psi stress. The best material I could find would yield at 130,000 psi stress. The owner said build it anyway. Well on Saturday night around 8 I get a call asking why did it break? It was a stressful situation to be in! I am glad that money doesn’t change physics.
There are so many variables with the global temperature calculations it’s just like permaculture. It is not solvable by 1 person or 1 calculation. From my studies there is no way to put real numbers on it. They are the best that science can do at this moment. That doesn’t mean it is true or false. I can observe vast changes in my personal ecology though. From permies I can use the input from so many people around the globe with totally different values and goals that it gives me a much better picture.
I used to ask questions like this. 1CH4 becomes 1CO2 and 2H2O. If it take 100 years to absorb the CO2 into the ecology, how long does it take to absorb the H2O? Being a ENTP I am always ready for a good discussion. I enjoy discussing the frequencies and how they react of different materials in the air. This just goes above most people’s heads and then they get really mad, so I accomplished nothing.
I want to accomplish the most I can, so I practice not asking them type of questions anymore. After reading thousands of permie’s responses it has helped me a better positive communicator. This, I am grateful for!
Here in Ohio I have had 11-1/2 inches of rain in 3-1/2 weeks. We had a strait line wind the other night that did this corn damage. My trees are not quite tall enough to slow the wind down yet. I've been raising this line of corn for 13 years. I think I may need to pick my seed from shorter stocks with more air roots with this kind of weather. Its a good thing we harvest by hand. I can't imagine what it would look like if I could have planted in April like we used to when I was a kid. This was planted the last week of May in the mud. We are getting asked by a few new market customers for more peppers and tomatoes because, their plants wilted from drowning. Tough year here for sure.
Hi, I will be in Wyoming in a couple of weeks for a 2 week vacation. I love Wyoming and vacation there whenever I can. Where do you find sainfoin seed? Is it common at the feed mills? I think it would be a great addition to our green chop here in Ohio.
Hi hunter. I raise duckweed in kiddy pools that were get given to us. I keep 2 minnows in each pool for mosquito control. If it is in full sun all day it will get to hot here, so I put them in partial shade. I dry the duckweed on a black tv dish that was given to us. It smells like alfalfa meal when dried. I use the dried duckweed to eliminate molds in prepped feeds in the summer. I store it in coffee cans. When I have extra we feed it straight to the chickens wet.
Here is my proof of concept. As you can see it is extremely complex! It works good to tests load little engines too. I still want to build one that is centripetal pump and heater at the same time. It would be handy for heating our green house.
I like your idea. I bought an old mixer for a dollar one day. It is extremely heavy duty and is serviceable. I have been using an old junk ac motor to run it, but I just was given a 1/2 hp 12v dc motor to convert it to dc. We use it to mix feed. Its much easier than mixing in buckets. I have been pondering hooking it to a pedal bike so it doesn't need electric at all.
I think Travis is absolutely right. My wife and I have always wanted to be out of debt. We worked 2 or 3 jobs each. When we had a child we went to 1 job each. In the mean time the slow growth of the farm started to pick up some bills. I am 44 and have been out of debt for 2 years now. I still work full time as a mechanical and a hydraulic engineer. My wife is a school teacher and loves teaching. Her schedule works great for the farm. I work because I have a skill set that I feel extremely blessed to have. Few have been chosen to get the kind of education I got from where I come from.
That being said, there are a few thing that let me be both an engineer and farmer. First I gave up watching TV 20 some years ago. We have one, but I cant still enough to watch it. The farm has to many things do. Second we always drive used cars till they won’t move anymore. Being in my profession the other engineers have a tendency to make fun of my rust buckets, but my payment at $0. My insurance per year is less than one days tax for working. It costs me $13.41 in fuel to drive back and forth to work for 1 week with the new diesel tax here. They often joke when I get fuel that my vehicle has tripled in value. I can’t imagine working 2 years to pay for the one’s they drive.
Without the debt It’s pretty simple for me to do the things I need to do every day. I don’t have to go to work, I want to. The complicated stuff comes when I need to slow down and observe the farm to make things more sustainable. It’s just too easy to use unsustainable energy.
I built a unit out of an aluminum disc and some hard drive magnets. If you spin aluminum past a magnetic field it creates eddy currents that if held together get hot quick. They will try to push the magnet from the aluminum. I had a 3/4 horse maytag engine ruining it about 900 rpm. I put a fan to blow the heat around off of the shaft the aluminum disc was on. It works. I suppose you could put it in a container and heat a liquid and pump it at the same time too.
Travis, I use PSI x gallons per minute divided by 1714 gives you hydraulic hp. Hp times 42.41 gives you BTU per minute. So 1 gpm at 1000 psi is equal to 24.74 btu per minute. If you times that times 60 it gives you BTU per hour.
I love corn, and have grown corn in small plots from the time I was little. I would get a few seeds and propagate it in a few years weeding out the genes I don’t like. Some plots I started with were only about 10 seeds in a 2ft x 2ft plot. Corn is a C4 plant that loves heat and light. We typically plant 6 types of corn for different purposes. We always rotate our small plots and leave the fescue to grow something else next year. After 4 or 5 years of rotation we plant a green chop in the plots to feed chickens and cows for 2 years, then it goes back to corn, sorghum, wheat and edible beans. This picture is my son planting our yellow dent corn in a 40 X 60 plot last night. We have 9 of these size plots, and 5, 10 x 10 plots. If we get to much cross pollination and want pure lines we just pick our seed from the center of the plot. The 3 sisters works great if I use a fish such as a bluegill in the middle of the mound. I usually only do this in small scale in the 10 x 10s because of labor.
I was brought up a totally spoiled child. I have had a garden for as long as I can remember. I was born in Dayton and dad and mom had rented a little house with a back yard that was converted to a garden. Planting, weeding and picking, is just a normal part of life for me. We didn’t have money, but we had a bunch of food. We would raise about a quarter acre of strawberries to pay for new shoes and clothes for school. I remember going to kindergarten and being made fun of because, my clothes were not up to the modern standard. I couldn’t understand why they got free lunches, and I had to pack my lunch. If they only knew how hard we worked to have britches and food, they may have been a little nicer. Its ok though, it all made me who I am today. A few years later we got to build a cabin on our own land. We got to have a huge garden. Dad gave me my own area to grow and raise whatever I wanted. By the time I was in junior high I was making compost tea so I didn’t have to buy fertilizer. I grew half of my own feed for my rabbits and all of the feed for my chickens. I could afford feed because, a bunch of people in the area wanted rabbit meat. At the age of 10 I had a nice little camper, a fire pit, animals and my own garden. I only went in the house to get cleaned up and eat because, I can’t cook to save me. After the chores were done I would experiment my day away. The only thing that would make me cry is when mom made me go to school.
I was making compost tea and rocket stoves to melt glass back when I was young. Many years later after watching a Geoff Lawton video with a friend I looked up permaculture. I found out that most of my favorite topics where well organized in a format that makes sense. I had never wrote in a blog before, but this sight is so darn interesting. Its so nice to be welcomed from my first post on.
It is also nice to be a bit geeky and not get made fun of. I was cutting up some fusion reactor radiation collectors that died from the ash bore and used them to run the rocket to dry out the house last night.
I made a cheap heater out of lantern. The tubing is 3” aluminum duct work. It gets to about 120 deg. Max. I stole my wife’s scrubber pad from the sink and put it at the end to keep it from pulling to fast of a draft. The rain cap is steel and I had to buy it. The little fan is a 5volt that I got for free at a trade show. It works good down to about 20 deg here.
Hi Sam. I plant both Virginia gold and Kentucky burly when they are about a foot high here in Ohio. They will not grow much till the soil is 65 deg. The leaf size is highly dependent on the type of tobacco. The Virginia has about 18” long leaves and the Kentucky have about 12”. They also each have there own when ripe look. Virginia starts to turn yellow and Kentucky tips start to brown. If you want more leaves you can cut the buds off. We save our seed so I leave them on. The neighbors don’t know what it is, because mine are loaded with flowers. The bees love them. The Virginia smells really good when curing and is sticky. They pic is Kentucky about 6ft tall last fall.
We raise dexters for beef and usually only have 3-4 at a time. One acre is not enough for us and I think even if we had them on 5 acres they would destroy it from walking on it. We have really good soil with an acre pasture broke up into 3 lots. We planted rye, clover, dandelions and plantains. We also have our own hay field and sorghum silage for winter storage. We rotate them from plot to plot about once a week depending on weather from May until October. We only leave them on it during the day, and wait 2 days after a rain. While in the corral area they have all the hay they can eat. We get them to come in with a little bit of grain. We green chop with an old mower on rainy days so during the growing season they always have some fresh greens. We have found that timing is important for the pasture. Not letting them pound it down while raining increases the pasture yield for us. Sometimes we have to buy a little hay, but last year was a bad year for good quality hay and we had 26 round bails given to us. The dexters seem to pick through it and are growing fine.
Hi Dany. There is a good read on this topic under "Chicken fodder/forage success stories?". As for the amount of feed I have found all breads are different. We have 9 breads and notice some eat more silage and some like more grain.
Thank you. We do grow lots of stuff and share with the local wildlife. I am to cheap to buy feed for them so we grow it. I plant a 20 x 30 garden full of sunflowers, sorghum, amaranth, rape and popcorn. All these are seeds saved from our farm. We have a big brush pile that the locals throw their tree limbs into and this makes good cover for the birds and rabbits. We also leave rows of sorghum up all winter from our production fields for the birds. This gives them shelter, feed, and is a snow trap for water. When I am out at other properties I try to pick out seeds of different types of flowers and grasses and plant them along the creek with all of our berries. My neighbors sometimes complain about my creek. They have actually mowed it off with a cycle bar while I was at work 7 years ago. I put an end to that. The milkweed and nettles are finally back. About 5 years ago I notice the humming birds stopped coming to my wife’s hummingbird feeder in the summer. They all stay along the creek because there are flowers all summer long. It is nice to get buzzed by them while taking our evening walks.
Off topic here, I noticed the darn rabbits always eat my young oak trees off clear to the ground. This is ok, because after doing that for 2 years the little oak trees shoot up on the third year way above a rabbits reach. It is almost like the oaks need to be ate off to make them strong enough to grow up. I have 8” diameter oaks now that this happened to 14 years ago. We are trying to work with all the animals to improve our ecology, rabbit poo is good too.
We leave our pea fences up all winter and move them in early spring. We let the pea plants on them and the birds poop all over them. We use 3 ft tall stakes for end markers and the birds love to perch on them too. We have robins, sparrows, finches, red wings and swallows. My wife gets a kick out of mowing our paths with a flock of swallows following her. The red wings love the raspberry patches. They perch and nest around them. We leave a bit of cover on the fields and when the black birds come and rest they coat the ground.
I was involved with the cub scouts for a few years and it amazed me how much I needed to help teach common things. My brother in law and I cut a bunch of wood up to make bird houses one night with the cub scouts ages 7. We showed them a finished one and had them start building. Most of the dads stayed to help their boys. My son was done in about 10 minutes and started helping others. I watched as a few dads tried to teach their sons how to use a hammer that they had never used before. Only 2 were good at it. My son would hit the nail about 3 times and it was in. I never knew how blessed I was or my son was to have had these skills. We don’t even think about picking up a hammer and using it. So I set out to teach the dads and the sons. Over the next year I rotated nights where we would learn why and the next week run power tools . I showed them the difference in leverage using all the hammer handle verses half way down. We drilled holes in wood and put screws in wood. We used shovels to dig holes to show how easy it can be done if used correctly. I had dads dragging their kids to cub scouts so they could learn together.
I did a gun teaching where we compared a 12 gauge shot gun to and HMR 17. We put 2 gallons of water in milk jugs 30 yard away. I had the kids guess witch one would do the most damage. They all voted for the 12 gauge. It was a good lesson on how such a little bullet could do so much damage. It sunk in when they tried to find the pieces of jug left from the 17. Little boys tend to think bigger is better. This really helped on the range with respect of firearms no matter how little.
Now that my son is 14 I’ve been teaching him how to use a chain saw. Unlike the days gone by when you grabbed a 4 horse saw that kicks and screams, the new battery technology is awesome. He uses a 18v ryobi that we charge with a 12v charger. So now we can saw with the power of the sun. We use canola oil in it for bar lube. It has a 10” bar and stops when you let off the trigger. Its not the most powerful saw, but he cuts quite a bit of wood with it.
Here is a picture in the shed of the amaranth. We hang in in bundles upside down for drying. It is a deep purple when growing. I wish I had pictures of it growing. I did see Lowes has it in little seed packs. I have some extra seed if we can find a way to get it to you. The picture shows the biggest one is about 2ft long.
I enjoy teaching my son how to use tools, even big ones. We would be under a tractor and he would lean back on me like a lazy boy recliner, ask a few questions then bam he was asleep. Apparently helping dad out is soothing. Quite a few people asked me how I can stand the constant "hey dad" coming from him. I love being a dad and teaching him all the aspects of farming better than organic. He is involved in every aspect of our farm. I think reading is one of the most important tools. He was reading the back of a ketchup bottle at the age of 4 and refused to eat it because it had high fructose corn syrup in it. He said I'm not putting that in my body. Being raised with knowing what is in your food makes a big difference. He has been driving tractors since he was 2. We built a little tractor from a maytag washing machine engine and he would put around on. He helped me from the beginning to the end. As a dad I'm not the best baby sitter, so the occasional grease eating " looks like chocolate" or MM's found under the rabbit pen did make it to his mouth as a toddler, but I caught him at it. The neighbors called on me because he was to young to do such things. As you will notice I live in Ohio out in the country, but people drive by and constantly try to make me do things their way. At the age of 10 he could drive the big tractor! Here is a picture of him at the age of 10.
The picture is of sorghum silage we make in buckets. We sometime use an old hand chopper and sometimes use the gas chipper and pack it in buckets. I had got some seed a couple years ago for the amaranth from a flower grower on the east coast. It gets real big heads. Ill try to get a picture and post it.
We cannot let our chickens roam because of all the neighborhoods dogs run wild. So we gave them a nice pen that they can run around in comfortably.
We grow a small patch of sorghum for seed and turned the rest into silage. Sorghum seed has an estrogen in it and we use it to boast their production in December and January if we are short eggs. Just a handful will double our egg count in 2 days. If they eat to many sorghum seeds the yolks will get pale.
We also feed alfalfa that we grow in ¼ acre fields and is hand stored in feed sacks. If alfalfa is handled by hand it keeps its leaves much better. We have won the county fair alfalfa contest for a few years. This will make orange yolks.
We have an old line of yellow dent corn that is yellow to red in color. The chickens will produce deep orange yolks from it.
We raise giant amaranth for the seed heads and they eat the leaves too.
We let the sunflowers self-seed and get about 100 heads every year to feed.
We raise squash and gourds for the market and what we don’t use we feed. We also raise cabbage and broccoli that we feed all of the scraps. Our extra cabbage we store upside down covered in leaves.
We raise about a 1/10 acer of spelt or oats. We make the stooks and the top sheave tends to sprout here in Ohio humidity. We pile the top sheaves next to the chicken pen and feed a couple a day usually in July. The chickens will clean it all up and leave the rest for beading.
We have 2 small plots that we grow green chop for them. It is planted with dandelions, alfalfa, perennial rye, plantains, red clover and white clover. We use a small push lawn mower we got in scrap. It has a perfect little handle on the bags to carry it to the chickens or cows.
We raise duckweed in kiddy pools that were get given to us. We keep 2 minnows in each pool for mosquito control. We dry the duckweed on a black tv dish that was given to us. We use the dried duckweed to eliminate molds in prepped feeds in the summer. When we have extra we feed it straight to them wet.
We have found diversity is they best thing to keep them happy and producing good tasty eggs. We get about 2 doz. eggs per day from 50 chickens on a yearly average. Our customers rave about them and our neighbors can't get rid of theirs. We had a wealthy couple come to a friends house here in Ohio and they had our eggs for breakfast. When they went home to New Mexico they had some of our eggs next day aired to them. Now I don't think that it is necessarily a good thing on thinking how much energy was spent on shipping, but it does say something about quality. Quality food has become a rare commodity.
We run all 12v too and the 12v panels are getting expensive compared to the 24v ones. We run 2000w solar and 800w wind. We stay with 12v for safety around the farm. I have converted a bunch of things on the farm to 12v. Even if the mppt works there is always loses. I fully agree with your numbers. I think 4 amps is closer to reality considering 36 v 1.5 amp is the same watts as 12v 4.5 amps.
Make your own rocket motors. 40 percent icing, 60 percent salt peter and pour in molds. If you want to make it go faster add 1 percent sulfur, but be carful it will burn really fast. Works good for removing stumps.
Hi Bob. Pulse width modulation is used for current controlling. I use it to control hydraulic valves with magnetic coils. It is dynamic, because it is pulsing and this keeps a valve dithering to reduce hysteresis. The longer you leave the pulse on the more amperage for a given load and voltage. Almost all modern controllers for mobile equipment that I use are pwm. I do not know if these mppt controllers you speak of can doing that. It is easily done with modern electronics and it would control amperage. A good meter will have a hz setting so you can see if it is pulsing.
Hi Mart. I am definitely interested in the graphene and am in the prosses of trying to make it at home. For now I use a mass to offset heating up to quickly. My first couple I let the smoke out. We also use the supper caps to store and buffer. Have any of you played with a joule thief circuit to jump voltage? I have been stealing the parts out of blown florescent curly type bulbs. They work, some better than others. I use them to jump the voltage from a tec from 1V to 2v, then I can charge batteries or caps with them.
We do a bunch of fixing and experimenting. The farm chores take longer. We just boiled down our first crop of maple syrup. The trees haven't run in 4 days, but the day before that they gave up 25 gallons of sap. My son gets made fun of for being out in late January setting up all his infrastructure for sugaring. His cousins just can't understand why someone would want do be out side in the nasty weather when he could be playing video games or watching tv like them. I remind him that they don't run their own business yet and he does. I think he is doing really good for a 14 year old. We will be planting his tomatoes and peppers in the sun room next week. Actually the only time we slow down is in august. Here is a picture of last weekends first half pint of maple syrup and his farmers market from last year. We work all year to produce the best products we can for his stand.
We heat with wood too. I can turn up the amount of oil sprayed from my commercial brand saw. Like Jim, we typically use name brand oil because the oil is the cheapest part. I can easily use a half gallon of oil on a Saturday. I will use vegetable oil when working around water and swamps, because I dislike seeing rainbows in the water. Now in my opinion the weekend style saw that will only run for 25 hours till it's burnt up is a different story. It doesn't mater what oil you use, because the bar will last longer than the engine. For instance a new box store saw will only last me at most a month before I twist the crank off or the engine bore wears out. My oldest commercial saw I retired last year was born in 1981, and wore out 3 bars using name brand oil most of the time. The best advice to keeping a saw in the best shape that I have, is keeping a good sharp chain.
I never thought of feeding the sunflower stocks. I bet the cows would eat them. We shock the corn while still green and feed that till December then start into the silage. We probably put up 20 bushel of corn on the cob for making chicken feed. Our old line of corn is dark yellow to red. Makes the chickens lay orange yolks. We only run 5 cows max. We have Dexters, 2 cows 1 bull and for the moment 1 steer. We feed out on average 1 a year. We have a sunflower that pop up all over the fields here. They grow good with the sorghum or corn. I leave them grow and feed to the chickens and make a small amount of oil from them. I keep squeezing every type of seed we grow and have not found a decent quantity of oil yet. We built a outdoor wood burner that rockets for about an hour and heats up a huge mass that we pump hot water into the house for heating. I am always torn between using the corn cobs to heat with or use them for compost filler.
Here is how we make the silage. Sometimes we use the hand crank chopper and sometimes we use the motor powered depending on time. We use buckets and pack it like you would making sauerkraut. We add a cup of water and a little bit of yeast from last years batch that started from Champaign yeast.
I have been playing with biofuels for some time and here are a few tricks that I have found useful. We use a push lawn more with a bag for green chop for our chickens and cows. I get these mowers in scrap all of the time and usually I have them running in a few minutes. Push lawn mowers are known to pollute to the max. They burn up to a pint of oil and hour. I have come up with a couple solutions. We use vegetable oil for oil and ethanol for fuel. I drill the jets out until it runs well and go .001 more. When using drill bits to make the jets bigger I use a finger drill so the hole doesn’t get side pressure and get to big. I have found that the mower never even gets warm running it for ten minutes at a time. Heat is the biggest problem for air cooled engines. Ethanol pulls the heat out during phase change from liquid to gas. The oil stays clean because the ethanol burns so clean. On cold day sometimes I have to prime with just a couple drips of gasoline. I was told ethanol would eat the aluminum and rubber parts, but if you keep the fuel dry I have had no problems for the last 14 years.
Our next step is figuring out how to get the government to let us make fuel grade ethanol without so much hassle. We currently make ethanol from small batches of sorghum silage we make for the animals. Feed and fuel from one bucket is a wonderful thing for our small farm. The people over at the OARDC and the sustainable energy network think it’s awesome, but the feds think I’ll drink too much. I didn’t know it was illegal to make ethanol until I was at the makers fair and somebody warned me “OARDC”. So I googled it and found I am not allowed to make a bunch of things I can buy at the supermarket. It appears that the cost of getting a license may be much more than buying gasoline the rest of my life. So right now I feed my ethanol to the cows with the silage and buy ethanol from a local supplier.
With veggie oil, or any type of biofuel I always use two fuel caps. One that the vent is glued shut and one that is not. This will keep the air out during storage so the fuel doesn’t pick up water. The water with alcohol make acid and will corrode because of the different types of metal in carbs. The biooils will turn to a thick snotty jelly that will plug the filter.
We use vegetable oil in our chain saw for chain lube. It makes a big difference when cutting around water.
I made a mini hay baler using a ford power steering pump to run the ram. We use vegetable oil for the hydraulics.
We have a little tractor that I put a 3.8 hp diesel engine on that we use for planting and pulling things. I get a kick out of smelling veggie oil when running it. We also added a 10si one wire alternator to the front of it so we can pull up and charge batteries with veggie oil.
My work car is an old tdi, and we only run converted biodiesel in it because of the risk of gelling. I use baby food jars half full with each batch and set them out by the garage. This gives me a gauge to know if it’s to cold to run it. If it gets thick I run normal diesel fuel.
Be carful buying lye, if you buy to much the DEA will be at your farm one hour after you purchased it.