Bryant RedHawk wrote:Question, did you make sure the feed pellets were organically grown or at least not sprayed with insecticide or herbicide?
I am looking forward to reading about your results.
stephen lowe wrote:Did you figure a total cost for the inputs? Sounds like it should make some high quality compost, it will be interesting to compare yield and cost to comparable bulk compost (although decent commercial compost is often hard to find)
Glen Kowalski wrote:A couple of yards of compost would be a steal Alas it will produce about 1.3 cubic yards or roughly 9.50 a cu/ft. However it should be very high quality in the end. I believe I can halve the amount of alfalfa pellets (the most expensive input) and make up the difference with free coffee grounds from Starbucks and a local gas station. Trying to work out a deal to buy all the spoiling bananas as well for cheap.
Glen Kowalski wrote:Sorry for the late reply and lack of updates been a hectic few days here.
The day after removing a 3rd of the compost from the first tumbler to the second the temps soured to 155 degrees for almost 24 hours. Then a weird combination of weather hit the area (panhandle of FL) and we had a 30 degree drop in temps to the mid 50s plus a so-called tropical system dump about 2 inches of rain over the course of 30 hours.
This combination caused the heat to drop to ~100 degree in the old tumbler though oddly the half-filled tumbler (made up of partially composted alfalfa pellets, lots of wood shavings and coffee grounds and now a bag of leaves) was actually warmer than the full pile.
After the weather settled back to normal both piles are cooking at about 120-140 depending on what part of the pile I probe.
As a side not-the horrible smell wasn't actually coming from the compost pile at all! The rain and my tendency to spray off the outside of the composter had caused the base to over-fill. What I was smelling thinking the pile had gone Anaerobic was actually leachate that was overflowing from the base and pooling under the tumbler!! After I removed the tumbler and poured out the leachate (onto some wood chips i want to break down) it hardly smells at all again.
To answer S Lowe-it looked like partially composted compost In the center of the pile it had turned brown and looked 'almost' like dirt. Didn't look anything like the pellets I had put in to be sure. On the edges of the pile you could see a pellet shape but tons of fungi is spreading through the edges of the pile down to about 4 inches. The piles won't be done as quickly as I had originally hoped but they should have a good balance of fungi and bacterium when they are finally done.
Glen Kowalski wrote:Sorry for the lack of updates work and life have been hectic. The new recipe was/is 40 lbs of alfalfa pellets 40 lbs of coffee grounds about 12 lbs of bananas and kitchen scraps and an equal amount by volume of pine wood shavings. The pile got hot in 2 days and stayed around 135-145 degrees for almost 3 weeks. It has since cooled and I haven't been able to get it to reheat yet.