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Using a candy thermometer for compost?

FireFire LondonPosts: 5,041
Hi all, as anyone ever tried using a candy or meat thermometer to test compost bin heat? I would imagine they do much the same as compost thermometers. My bins are not big. I was thinking of putting my candy probe in a sealable plastic bag and leaving it in the bin for an hour or so and checking heat levels. Yes I could buy a proper compost probe, but I only want to use it once or twice to get a sense of where my bins are at.

Thanks
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Posts

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,510
    Hello. I would have thought a thermometer is a thermometer and will give you the instant readings you need. I don't think you would need to put in bag or leave for any length of time ๐Ÿ˜Š 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,041
    Candy therms take a while, even in hot soup. But yes, maybe an hour is overkill. The therm I have is hollow, so bits of things would get stuck up it if I put it in the bin naked (as it were). Not that it would hurt anyone, but mushroom flecked fudge might not go down too well with the family. On the other hand, maybe I could start a whole new paleo trend. :)
  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,510
    ๐Ÿ˜‚ firefly I did think about the stuck on bits after I posted ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Im sure the fudge would be lovely, just supply tooth picks with it ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,041
    :D
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,177
    Stick a fork in it. Leave for an hour. Pull it out. If it is hot it is cooking well.  If you pull a fork full of stuff out, it should be steaming. If it is hot but dry and gone white, it is too dry so give it some water.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 1,814
    The old way is to use a stick. Just put a stick in leave it in. When you want to check just pull out stick & feel how warm it is (or not). 
    AB Still learning

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,041
    Ah, I only have little bins. It cannot get hot as is - the volume just isn't big enough (much less than a meter square). I have looked in to getting a Hotbin but it seems to be a normal bin with polystyrene cladding is all and doesn't stay warm in the winter. So I am making myself jackets for my small bins. Wanting to know if they will work, and being of a scientific bent, I want to measure the difference of insulated bins. My aim is to create all the compost I need for and from my small garden (re permaculture) without having to hoik in material from outside. Now that all my soil is pretty well conditioned (over the last five years) it should be possible to make what I need from here on out.  Mostly.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,041
    I have bought a digital max/min thermometer with built in built in hygrometer ( a tenner off Ebay) and it has a probe on a wire. So I can test the temp in the inside of my bins. I have also had a load of old wool fleece donated, so I am going to make  thick jackets for my bins and see if it changes the inner temps over the summer.  Is it wrong to be terribly excited?
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  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,331
    Fire said:
    Hi all, as anyone ever tried using a candy or meat thermometer to test compost bin heat? I would imagine they do much the same as compost thermometers. My bins are not big. I was thinking of putting my candy probe in a sealable plastic bag and leaving it in the bin for an hour or so and checking heat levels. Yes I could buy a proper compost probe, but I only want to use it once or twice to get a sense of where my bins are at.

    Thanks
    Yes I was using my jam thermometer to measure the temperature of my compost bin last year.about 76C
    I have also used a small stainless steel ladle to get out the silt in the soak away in the garden last year. It worked well a whole bucket full and it is no longer puddled. I did give it a very good wash. It still works for the sauce.  ;)



    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

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