Spent Grains make compost pile stink - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
stevea1210
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Mar 2008
Lancaster, PA
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So I'm trying to be all green and what not, putting my spent grains into my compost bin. The problem is that for a few days after putting the spent grains in, it smells like Jeffrey Dahmers kitchen.

We actually thought the first time that something died behind the shed. It took a couple brews to piece it together.

So far, my solution has been to ignore the situation, as 5 days later, the smell is gone. That worked well until today. My next door neighbor, whom I get along with great, complained about it.

So what do you guys and gals do to mitigate the stink. Should I let the grains cool down first....maybe mix in more cardboard. I don't know.

I'm not an extremely experienced composter, but I have read that if it is stinking, you are doing it wrong. This is the only ingredient in our compost that causes a stink. All help is appreciated.


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Old 09-29-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
northernlad
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The smell comes from the anaerobic breakdown. Turn it every day to increase oxygen.



 
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
Whut
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Or make dog cookies for mans best friend out of them.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:30 PM   #4
whoneedsabeer
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Dec 2009
Wilmington, DE
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+1 Aerobic bacteria don't smell badly when doing their thing, it's usually the anaerobic.

If you stir it more often to increase o2, you'll give the aerobic bacteria a leg up on the anaerobic cutting down on the smell. A good active compost pile smells "earthy".

Also, you could have a stalled compost pile, or one just not active to handle the large amount of grain you're putting in. Check it in the early morning, give it a good stir with a shovel, and if you see steam or it feels warm to your hand, then you've got a good active compost going. If not, then add a shovel full of dirt, and begin to stir it every 3-5 days, more in the beginning to kick off the microbes you'll want doing the work.

Another good sign of active compost, would be a white/gray mold looking thing growing on the top of the compost before you stir it. It's not actually mold, it's one of those beneficial bacteria, and just what they look like when doing their thing.

Good luck!

 
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:37 PM   #5
BigEd
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You're not adding enough complimentary ingredients and you're not mixing the pile well enough.

 
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:22 PM   #6
bigliver
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Jun 2010
Canada
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Sure does smell like poo doesn't it? I usually dig a hole in the corner on my yard and bury it. I let that sit for 9 months to a year and then move it to the compost. Works great. No stinkies.

 
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:53 PM   #7
Heckle
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May 2009
Hartford, Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whutever View Post
Or make dog cookies for mans best friend out of them.
+1 on the dog cookies! If you don't have one, make some and give them away.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:53 AM   #8
jordanpace
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Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heckle View Post
+1 on the dog cookies! If you don't have one, make some and give them away.
for mans best friend

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:05 AM   #9
HotbreakHotel
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Nov 2007
Grand Rapids, MI
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You can put it on a garden and rake it to a couple inches thick, then it doesn't stink.

My compost pile really stinks too if I put spent grain on it.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:12 AM   #10
fineexampl
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May 2009
Edison, NJ
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Make arrangements with a local chicken owner and donate?

I've had the pleasure of smelling decomposing grains. Once behind River Horse Brewing here in NJ and once in my kitchen when i forgot the garbage after 48hrs. It smells ALOT like a dead rat behind a furnace for a week.

I vote bury that $hhht.


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