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Disposal of spent grain by composting

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Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Pikey » Wed May 03, 2017 5:39 pm

On another thread "Redistilling Scotch"

http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=9412&p=132064&hilit=cardboard+lactic#p132064

zedzedtop wrote:HBS by here doesn't bat an eye if you walk away with a few hundred lbs. of pale malt. They'd probably know what you're doing if you bought four sacks of peated though!

...............

If you have a yard, try putting the spent grain on a good pile o' straw and cover it up with more straw. Shredded paper and cardboard works too. The lactic acid bacteria and worms will turn it into humus faster than you can imagine. There will me no bad smells if you use enough roughage. You'll be improving your land as well.


Now I had an awful job trying to dispose of some Sour mash "leavins" a few years ago, so this caught my eye - I do have a modest garden (yard) and I run a woodburner in the winter, so I was wondering whether anyone has tried ZZT's suggestion - and particularly whether sawdust can be substituted for or mixed with the straw / cardboard ?
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby punkin » Wed May 03, 2017 5:44 pm

I use the spent grin from beer in my garden. You can use some in compost but it is much better spread through than dumped in the pile as it tends to go hard and moldy in the middle and as it sours it stinks for a few days.
The best way i have found to use it is to spread it in a thin layer while hot on an idle bed, leave for a couple days to dry and dig or rake it in.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby okie » Thu May 04, 2017 9:12 am

I have a garden spot on my back yard and I put my spent grain in it. I had it piled there and mixed it in but it takes several seasons to totally mix well. Even the birds wouldn't eat it. I have a bird bath and feeder near it. I now just add it to the trash toter.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Kareltje » Thu May 04, 2017 5:07 pm

One of the points in making good compost is to mix all the ingredients well. When I made heaps I spreaded all the input over a plot of about 1 m wide and as long as seemed reasonable. Input being debris from kitchens, weed from the garden, mowed grass from the lawn, coffee from the percolator, and all other clean organic stuff. Also animal parts or leftovers.
I made layers of about 20 cm high, then covered these with earth and started a new layer. When I reached about 1 m height I covered the heap with straw, hay or dry leaves and earth.
After a while I moved the heap to the next bed, taking it down vertically and spreading it out horizontally, thus getting a thorough mixing. I covered the heap again with earth. And this procedure could be repeated after a while.
After about a year the whole stinking mess of the beginning had transformed in a good smelling, brown compost, suitable for use in the garden. Large and hard parts (bones, wood) were transported to the next new heap.

I had a supply of 2 or 3 households, so I could make nice heaps. Most people have to scale down, but the principles stay the same. Mix thoroughly, let it ferment to high temperature, keep it aerated.
A useful addition in artificial surroundings might be to add a starter. Like a piece of active compost.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Pikey » Fri May 05, 2017 1:05 pm

Thanks all,

As a keen "gardener" in a different incarnation, I remember Percy Thrower instructing about compost (Which now seems to be a "lost art" as far as the "new books" and websites are concerned ) :-

I'm pretty sure it went - Minimum size 6 ft x 6 ft, sides as open as possible to let air in. 8" layers of green stuff (after wilting) dress with starter for nitrogen (compost uses a lot of nitrogen) - ammonium (nitrate I think ?) another 8", dress with slaked lime, to rise ph then keep repeating layers. Spray with water to keep moist and cover with old carpets or the like to keep heat in (Kareltje's "soil or straw"). This worked in a few months and for me, produced lovely compost for potting and seeds.

This seems to have a lot in common with Kareltje's method :)

I have heard of the Green then brown principle, which I think zedzedtop was referring to (with the spent corn as "Green") and the paper / cardboard as "brown".

I have hundreds and hundreds of litres of sawdust which is almost impossible to dispose of and wondered whether I could adopt this principle to dispose of two "problem" materials in a productive manner, incorporating grass clippings (also a pita to dispose of) and any other green waste I have to hand.

Coincidentally I saw "Life below zero" a couple of nights ago and "Andy Bassich" was doing a compost of tractor buckets of sawdust and green waste which he said would be complete by "next year" and showed some of "last year's stuff" which looked great. My thinking was "If it'll do that in Alaska, then it should be ok here !"

Urine is actually used as a nitrogen source starter for compost making and I'm thinking that a combination of these methods may solve a number of issues.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Kareltje » Fri May 05, 2017 3:28 pm

Sounds like a sound procedure.
Urine is a very valuable ingredient for nitrogen and phosphor. (And much safer than ammoniumnitrate!)
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby punkin » Fri May 05, 2017 4:09 pm

Sawdust as an ingredient is a lot like spent grain in that it compacts and clumps and becomes very hard to break up and spread once damp (grass clippings are the same).

It is also nearly all carbon with little nutrient value to add to the compost but a good bulk. Having grain and sawdust waste to get rid of would require lots of high nitrogen sources like lucerne hay or green waste and a lot of loose stuff like straw or leaves.

Maybe a tumbler system would work better.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Pikey » Fri May 05, 2017 6:18 pm

Kareltje wrote:Sounds like a sound procedure.
Urine is a very valuable ingredient for nitrogen and phosphor. (And much safer than ammoniumnitrate!)


Yes - Ammonium nitrate doesn't seem to be very "PC" these days does it ? - I used to have a hundredweight sack of it just inside my shed door ! :roflmao:

Just a tiny sprinkle of it around your cabbages and greens - made them "super-greens" :D
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Pikey » Fri May 05, 2017 6:38 pm

punkin wrote:Sawdust as an ingredient is a lot like spent grain in that it compacts and clumps and becomes very hard to break up and spread once damp (grass clippings are the same).

It is also nearly all carbon with little nutrient value to add to the compost but a good bulk. Having grain and sawdust waste to get rid of would require lots of high nitrogen sources like lucerne hay or green waste and a lot of loose stuff like straw or leaves.

Maybe a tumbler system would work better.


I may be able to get one of those "big bales" of straw - disposal of them seems to be a bit of an issue for some farmers too. Perhaps put through a garden shredder ?

I hear all you're saying here - MAybe I need to do a "Pilot" - on the daughter's allotment ! There's space there. (But her soil is so good, it really doesn't need "compost").
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby The Baker » Fri May 05, 2017 8:21 pm

Kareltje wrote:Sounds like a sound procedure.
Urine is a very valuable ingredient for nitrogen and phosphor. (And much safer than ammoniumnitrate!)


I was an apprentice to a bakery in a little town.
Next door (before my time) there was a Chinese shop which sold vegetables.
The Chinaman (is it politically correct to call him that? Anyway I don't give a ...whatever) used to grow vegetables in the big back yard. And he hung a (4 imperial gallon) kerosene tin on our side of the fence for the bakers to piss in. It is said he grew great vegies.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Kareltje » Sat May 06, 2017 6:31 pm

It is said to me that in former days the Chinese farmers had toilets alongside the streets inviting passengers to pee and shit. To get fertiliser for there soils.
Now that it is mentioned I remember there is a certain optimum C/N-ratio for soils, compost and humus.
So on the one hand it is useful to add straw to animal excrements and on the other hand is is useful to piss on sawdust.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby dad300 » Tue May 09, 2017 9:15 pm

Getting rid of spent grain can be challenging.

You can't dump it hot as compost or fertilizer. You also have to ph neutralize it if you put it out heavy and wet.

I have just started a new plan. I have cows to feed in the winter. I have spent grain from distilling. Finding a way to preserve the grain into winter (without molding) is the issue. Add to that conventional hay equipment for the cows could cost $10,000-$30,000usd.

I found a video of a small pellet making machine. The kind you would make feed pellets with. Supposed to handle 600 lbs an hour. Then I saw a guy making chicken feed from grass clippings from his yard. He had to add water to the grass to get the mix right for the machine. The machine also gets hot enough to pasteurize the pellets and dry them.

I'm stacking grass (mowing field into a yard vacuum) and drying it as if for hay. I intend to add WET grain to the dry clippings and bagging the pellets as cow feed pellets. Labor is something I hope to get a grandson trained up for.

A 30 bushel yard vac was $1,000, electric powered pellet machine $1,500 and the grandson will cost me a few dollars an hour. 50lb bag of cow feed sells for $5-7usd. should be able to average 10-12 bags an hour.

If there is extra, I can sell it. If I have a lot of extra I can use it as fertilizer and dump it back on the fields.

Pellet machine.jpg
Pellet machine.jpg (8.46 KiB) Viewed 192 times


Already stacking grass and pellet machine is ordered.

As with most things, there ain't nothing new. Found a video from 1950's called Grass is Gold. Farmall was selling equipment that did the same thing. Bush hog followed by a blower that sent hay to a wagon rather than bailing it.

A lot of other countries use human waste as fertilizer. In the Middle East they have signs warning that the parks and road sides are fertilized with sewage.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Tue May 09, 2017 9:53 pm

dad300 wrote:Labor is something I hope to get a grandson trained up for.


Grandsons make great motors. I had a wonderful grandson-powered Corona mill. Up until he grew up and got smart.
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Squint » Wed May 10, 2017 10:55 am

Pikey
Anyway you can mix the spent grain and your sawdust together, then compact that mix into a Briquette and then use as fuel on your wood burner ?
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Re: Disposal of spent grain by composting

Postby Pikey » Wed May 10, 2017 3:29 pm

Hi Squint,

I looked at sawdust "briquette makers" - but you need a huge pressure to liquify the stuff and make it stick together.

However, the gunky spent grain / flakes / cornmeal ? might just have enough "sticky" to bind it - Worth thinking about mate !

There wouldn't be a lot of starch left which is what makes flour paste sticky - but the short answer is "I don't know" :?

:8) idea though ! Thanks very much :beer:

I'll give it some thought.

Anybody got any ideas how this might be done ?
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