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First try at bone char

 
pollinator
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Actually, a mixed batch. I've never made bone char, so I had no idea how long it would take in comparison to wood charcoal. I had enough bones to fill my retort about a third of the way and filled it the rest with wood. I thought bone would take longer. Not sure why. To my surprise, it turned out to be excellent. The entire mixed bone/wood batch was perfect, with that musical sound you get when the planets align and it turns out exactly right. It was very exciting for my first batch.



20210123_102420.jpg
Bones
Bones
20210123_104543.jpg
Wood scraps
Wood scraps
20210123_105740.jpg
Starting the burn
Starting the burn
20210124_101605.jpg
Finished chsrcoal
Finished chsrcoal
20210124_101610.jpg
Charred bone
Charred bone
20210124_101626.jpg
Easily broken by hand
Easily broken by hand
 
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Nice! I've been contemplating calcium issues in my garden.

These appear to be of bovine origin, yes? Was this green bone or previously roasted?
 
Trace Oswald
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Green cow bone. Minimally processed by my dogs 🙂 and then into the retort.
 
Trace Oswald
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Forgot to add, in the fourth picture, that white stuff is snow not ash.  After the burn completed, I let everything sit overnight to be sure everything is cold.  That night it snowed, so there was snow in the barrel around the retort.  I pulled the retort out to drop the charcoal, and that's why you see snow around the charcoal.
 
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Nice work, Trace.

From what I've read, pure bone biochar is ineffective.  I don't remember exactly where I saw the research, but they said that a little bit of bone char mixed in with plant material might be better than say, just wood only.  They recommended a small percentage, though.  I only have chicken bones from when we eat chicken.  I save the bones and throw them into  the mix.  I make sure they completely dry out in the garage, so varmints aren't attracted to it.   It's only about 2% or so.  When I read about buying bone meal, it seemed weird to throw it away and then buy it, so I'm glad to have a way to use it.

JOhn S
PDX OR
 
Trace Oswald
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John Suavecito wrote:Nice work, Trace.

From what I've read, pure bone biochar is ineffective.  I don't remember exactly where I saw the research, but they said that a little bit of bone char mixed in with plant material might be better than say, just wood only.  They recommended a small percentage, though.  I only have chicken bones from when we eat chicken.  I save the bones and throw them into  the mix.  I make sure they completely dry out in the garage, so varmints aren't attracted to it.   It's only about 2% or so.  When I read about buying bone meal, it seemed weird to throw it away and then buy it, so I'm glad to have a way to use it.

JOhn S
PDX OR



Hey John. That could very well be true. I did it more as an experiment to see how well it would char than anything else. Based on what you read, it may be better that I just throw a handful of bone into the retort each time so there is far more wood in comparison.
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