pjeter schornstein

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since Jul 28, 2017
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Recent posts by pjeter schornstein

Hey all!

I'd like to build a coil heat exchanger for a tub that would work on wood. All of the designs I see online are open from the sides and not isolated and I wonder won't it be better to insulate it from the sides?
I thought also to make the dimensions for hight over width because it looks to me that it would be more efficient because heat goes up. Last thought is that I' thinking of making it from corrugated stainless steel for more surface area. What do you think?
3 months ago
Hey Dillon, thanks for your replay!
Yes, it's best to do some on the ground research. I just came back from 5 month in India where I volunteered in a few farms since I thought I might move there but I realized it's not really for me.
I'm trying to save some money atm to do this trips and perhaps do some long term volunteer in some communities and farms there.
I thought best to ask here before  I go on WWOOF or Workaway as most of my better experiences where finding and approaching farms directly ..

So basicity I was fishing with this massage for some information to have some concrete starting points for planning a few trips. Especially for Greece because looking at the map Greece looks like thousand of islands and I'm not sure where to start. Portugal looks pretty large too.
1 year ago
Hey all!

I would love to hear some experiences from people here and maybe some recommendations if you got. regarding this topics:
I am looking to find some land to be self sufficient. I've been spending most of my time in the last years studying and practicing Permaculture, Aquaponics, advanced Mycology, Alcohol producing and distillation worm farming, biogas ,stoves and building methods and basicity everything I thought could help me and I would enjoy doing and I can practice beforehand (due to my nature every subject I find become a rabbit hole and I just get sucked in it but I like it like that :) I've been also doing some farm volunteering to get the feel of it. Mostly in Israel and India.
I come from Israel and live in Germany currently. I am trying to find a place to make this dream happen. I thought about India before but decided it's not for me. Israel is almost impossible to have a homestead due to regulations which is unfortunate because altho the difficulties I feel most at home there...

I am currently thinking about Portugal and Greece. Looks like Portugal could be easier to find and buy land, easier regulations and comfortable climate (I like it hot but would be happy for the extra rain), easier language. On the other hand I do not have a special interest in Portugal..
Greece on the other hand is a Mediterranean country, similar to Israel in climate and food but from what I hear the language is extremely difficult and I do not know about regulations. I cannot find much off grid communities there or expats experience there.
I would like this year to do some volunteer jobs in farms around Portugal and Greece to get the feel of the place but would be happy to hear some recommendations/ experiences/ thoughts about these options- especially if you have some specific farms/ communities in mind.
second thing is that I am not sure how to go about it. I would be doing it alone and Im a bit nervous about moving to a new country on my own and start such a project. It took me quite a while to get oriented here in Germany.. Would it be better to find an off grid community to join to even temporary? or to relay on a place like Portugal which I might have some similar minded neighbors
well, it's not exactly a question but I would love to hear some thoughts.
1 year ago
I'll try that but for now I'm still in a city apartment trying to learn some skills for my next steps
Thought for now I see if I can mix it with biochar I make and add it to a sealed bucket try to anaerobically compost scraps from the kitchen. also would try using it on urine 1:10 see how it goes.

Problem is it doesn't show bubbles on the airlock (also last time) might be because I made such a tiny batch in a bucket that the air doesn't need to escape. It does have a few bubbles on the top when I open it...
2 years ago
Thanks again for all the info!

I would like to use the EM for plants soil but I also want to use it for terra preta sanitation and composting as well as for house cleaning and mybe for skin care since I read that it can be good.
I suppose it's the same EM?
How long do you usually let it ferment before use?
2 years ago
Hey Redhawk, thanks for the quick reply.

Yes I did dissolve it first. I have used rice water as my inoculate. I've also added a bit of sea salt. Most recipes I have seen call for lower then 4 PH
Are you sure lower then 5.5 should work as well?
2 years ago
Hey all!

I've been trying to make some EM several times now and it doesn't seems to be working for me.
I made the LAB and it looks fine (separated curds and whey) although I tested the PH and it shows 5.5 and I think it spouse to be around 4
The main problem is that I try to mix the whey with brown sugar and water and the PH is rather high(6.1). The last time I've made it the PH dropped to 5.1 or so but not lower.
This time it might work- I used unchlorinated water and used an air lock. I'll be able to tell in a few weeks or so but I'm not sure it will..
Any advise?

2 years ago
Hey Matt, yea that's what I meant and 15% sounds like much. From what I understand a lot if not most instruments are using DC input anyway and are using a convertor.. is that not correct ?
Thanks Galen, in which sense is it cheeper and simpler?
2 years ago
Hey all!

I am trying to educate myself about electricity and solar in particular since I am aiming at installing my own off grid solar system eventualy.
I have read in a few places about the ineffectiveness of inverting DC into AC and since it would be completely off grid I am thinking about using my power as DC.

Is that possible? How would that work? How would I know which machines need to be converted and do I need to convert the Volt as well?
If anybody here doe it this way I would love to get some details about it.
2 years ago
Hey all!

I am interested on building a composting urine diversion toilet on a farm. I went through a lot of reading and am still somewhat confused. To begin with I need to choose between aerobic and anaerobic toilet. I am doing it all DIY so I would like to find a good process that would ultimately yield the best soil/fertilizer for the farm soil.

I was leaning at the beginning on the clivus minimus design as it looks efficient and without too much handling it.
A member of this forum Chad Sentman got me interested about the terra preta concept and through that to the anaerobic toilets concept (I use my kitchen scraps for biogas so I am familiar with anaerobic digester)
But it left me pretty confused as to how the method go, it looks like a complex process and I would like to perhaps be helped to implement it more easily, to find a compromise between the methods or to settle on one so I'm gonna shoot up some questions hoping this community could provide me with some guidance

To begin with, he pointed out that the Clivus design actually actually just dehydrate the compost and I am not sure if it's true, I do know that it bare resemblance to a solar dehydrator or am I mistaken? Wterra preta/ clivus minimus
ould adding of biochar to the compost help in preserving the escape of nutrients ?( I have a woodgas stove that I cook on)

As for the terra preta, how do I inoculate with the lactofermenting bacteria, could one produce the inuculum diy? what kind of amount is needed and is it worth it?

I came across designs of anaerobic composting toilet that do not use the lactofermenting bacteria, instead the wast material is stored in a air tight container (some said with open bottom with brown leafs and soil) to a period of12-18 month. would this be a more accessible way to compost? (same question about adding biochar)

Thank you
2 years ago