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Making charcoal

posted 24 Apr 2016, 05:26 by D Graves
And heating hot water for plucking poultry And later cooking 'throw-away' parts for the pigs And getting rid of excess wood. This is multifunction in Permaculture!

The burning vessel is an old hot water cylinder with the top cut off, outer metal cover taken off, insulation removed, cover replaced, and new non-flammable insulation inserted. Some old iron sheeting is used to seal the bottom. Sealing the top is a good - I will do that before next time. The 'pot' is the hot water container from an old commercial dish washer (nice and thick):


The cylinder was filled with wood and the fire lit from the top. It burns down with very little smoke. Once I can safely put the pot on, I do. When the fire is established, it heats the water quickly. More wood is added, but not too fast otherwise it smokes. I found the insulation helps reduce the amount of smoke compared to a 44 gallon metal drum that I used in the past:

I keep adding wood to build up the the char underneath. Once we have heated all the water we need, I cooked the heads, feet, and wings for the pigs dinner later. I should have waited for the gutting to be done, to cook that as well, but forgot. As soon as cooking is done, pour in lots of water, being careful of the steam produced. I used about 40l and then tipped it over and added another 10l or so:

The result was about 50l of char that will be used to make biochar by adding compost tea extract, EM, or worm juice. This will soon go into the greenhouse right next door with compost as we prepare it for Winter use.
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