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  • thermometers

    Good morning everyone. As a new Hotbin composter I have to say how pleased I am with the system. One thing I would say to the Hotbin team is that I think it is perhaps wrong to sell the cheap composter ie without the internal thermometer. The thermometer in the lid does not follow the internal temp of the compost very well, and I ended up buying the internal thermometer separately. Not sure that you even need a thermometer in the lid.
    Also I wonder if other members have had trouble producing too wet compost - I am surprised how much shredded paper is needed to get the compost to the correct water content. I made some very wet stuff early on which I had to dig out the bottom of the composter, but worked perfectly well used as mulch. The original posts stated that the composter could eat weeds, which is true, but again I had too much earth on the roots, which I think put an impermeable layer in the compost. Once I had mixed it up with better material on top of the pile however I was soon up to a good temperature. there I have probably made all the mistakes it is possible to make!!

  • #2
    I agree with you re the lid thermo being an unreliable way of measuring the compost temp.
    I think using the HotBin system is a steep learning curve; I have had mine for 18 months now, and I would say that it took a while to get the balance of green/ brown waste to the right ratio


    • #3
      I do wonder if a lot of the people worrying that they can't get their Hotbin up to temperature are actually worrying about the temperature indicated by the thermometer in the lid, when really they should only be concerned about the temperature of the waste inside the bin. My bin is currently about half full and running at about 55C, but the lid thermometer says only 30C. You need to largely ignore the lid thermometer.


      • #4
        I agree about making the compost too wet - this happened to me at first - I also didn't appreciate how much shredded paper and cardboard I needed. Now that I've got that better, I'm making super compost and the temperature is better too.


        • #5
          Yes, this is really important to control temperature when you make compost
          On this forum I have found a lot of useful information so I don't even need a consultant for this now!. I can make compost pit by myself


          • #6
            The process does seem “wetter” than normal composting, and that is without adding any liquids to the normal wooden bin. Obviously in a traditional bin, water can evaporate and drain through the base. The warm wet air when you open a Hotbin lid shows water is circulating around the bin and less escapes. Hot Aerobic respiration also makes water. So as well as adding Carbon you need dry “browns” to soak up some of that water.


            • #7
              I'm new to the Hotbin. But so far I have found the lid thermometer very useful.

              It does show a much lower temperature than the inside but it does show the trend. So, if I go out now and see the lid temperature is 30 I might look inside and find the compost is at 40. You might think the lid thermometer is no good. But when I check the next day I find the lid says 35. I can then just imagine that the temperature difference is the same so can estimate the interior should be about 45. I then look inside to check and find the interior is actually 44. I don't really need to open the lid and cool the heap down every time, just do a verification every few days or after a top-up.

              So far I find the temperature difference always falls in the range 5-10 degrees. I think it will be greater when the bin is less full.