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Pellets are small organic matter made from substances such as co-products, industrial waste, food waste, energy crops, and lumber. They are recognized everywhere because of their benefits to humanity such as making fuel for combustion purposes, bedding for animals, etc. The size of a pellet is usually within the range of 6mm in diameter and 25mm in length.
Pellets are usually produced on a large scale using industrial pellet mills. But for small-scale production especially for homemade use, it can be produced at home with the aid of a meat grinder.
Yes, you can use meat grinders to make pellets. Grinders are machines used for crushing food such as coffee or meat into small pieces or powder. Of course, there are different types of grinders, but funny enough any type (Manual or electric with the right blades) you have will serve in the production of Pellets on a small scale.
If your intention is to mass-produce, then I recommend that you get a pelletizing machine. Getting a pellet machine is a huge investment so I advise that you do proper research before purchasing. Still don’t know which one to go with? Here’s one (INTBUYING Farm Animal Pellet Mill Machine Chicken Duck Feed Pellet Mill Machine 220V 2MM) a friend of mine who’s in the business for 5years recommends that you might want to take a look.
Now that you know what’s up, kindly sit tight as I take you through a journey of how to make your pellets using a meat grinder from the comfort of your home.
First things first, if you don’t have a meat grinder at home, go get one quickly after reading this article. I recommend this LEM Meat Grinder from Amazon. This is an electric meat grinder or you can get a manual grinder such as this stainless steel heavy-duty grinder, it comes highly recommended.
How To Make Homemade Pellets With Meat Grinder?
Making pellets is not a very hard process, this makes it possible to be made at home. Here are just a few tips for making pellets with a grinder
Step 1: Collect The Raw Materials And Sundry
Collect the raw material and crush it into particles of small size with the help of a hammer crusher. You can also buy crushed raw material from the market to skip the process of using a hammer crusher. Dry your raw material if wet by placing it under the sunlight for at least 24 hours.
This step is needful and it’s required to reduce the moisture content from the raw materials. If this step is skipped, the quality of pellets will be affected.
Step 2: Crush The Dried Materials
Next, you put your crushed and dried raw material in your meat grinder. Find a way to apply pressure to your crushed samples. A note of caution will suffice here, always know that heat will be produced due to the friction caused by the pressure applied by the raw material causing it to compress and come out of the trough.
Step 3: Crush Pellets With A Knife
Here, compressed pellets will be cut with the help of a knife or cutter into small-sized pellets. Also know that because you are using a meat grinder and not a pellet making machine, the compressed sample coming out needs to be rolled into shape with the aid of your hand to achieve the size and shape of pellets you want.
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The grinder avails you the opportunity to have the size you want unlike the pellet making machine where the size can be set from the machine. I don’t know about you but I like doing things, not the conventional way but the way I envision it in my head and how I would like it to be.
That, my friend, is what I call thinking out of the box and being innovative. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll stumble upon a knowledge that you’d come from all the way from wheresoever you are to look it. Follow me and think out of the box if you don’t mind. Now we are ready to move to the next stage.
Step 4: Cool The Pellets
The pellets coming out of the grinder will have a high temperature. Spread them in a large area to reduce the temperature (that is let it cool down).
And if you have a cooler, you can also use it to cool down hot pellets. Once they cool down or the temperature has reduced, store them in plastic or paper bags for future use. Isn’t it exciting to do it yourself? Surely it is something of joy especially when you do it with friends or family.
Try it and thank me later. You will enjoy making your own pellets with a grinder as long as you own one.
How Is Pelleted Feed Made?
The process of making pelleted feed is no different from the process explained above. All you need is to follow the steps described above. Nevertheless, let’s take it to step by step again. Let’s use chicken feed as a case study.
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Before you ever think of making feeds for animals you ought to do research to determine what you’ll need as raw materials and in what quantity you will need for each mix. There are different mix ratios for different ages of animals.
You’ve got to get it right or you might malnourish the animals. Let me help you here. When you make feeds for chicks, the proteinous content of the feed must be higher than when you make feeds for matured birds. For matured birds, the carbohydrate content ought to be higher than the protein content. This you need to do or achieve by consulting a professional in chicken feeds production.
The next thing to do is get your raw materials after your research. For chicken feed, get the protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and preventive drugs needed to compile the feed. Grind it to the necessary sizes.
Know that the size for chicks will be smoother than that of the matured birds. If you miss this you have altered the birds feeding rate and in some cases will lead to deaths because some will not feed. Get everything ready by grinding what needs to be grinder with your grinder.
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Making The Pellets
Next, add a small quantity of water and pour it into your grinder, then compress it with the aid of your grinder, and like we said earlier roll to the desired shape. You ought to be careful when adding water or you might end up making it watery which is not ideal.
Allow the pellets to cool. Let it dry very well. Spreading it under the sun will suffice and it is less budget intensive. After it becomes dry, get a sack and store it for use.
Which Is Better Hardwood Pellets Or Softwood Pellets?
There is a popular saying that all things have advantages and disadvantages. Well, I don’t know if I completely believe this but I sure know it’s dependent on your individual perspective.
Whether hardwood pellets are better than softwood pellets is dependent on several factors. Although these depend on the individual involved in most cases, I will mention some factors that can affect your decisión.
Type Of Stove
Most stoves are designed to burn hardwood than softwood. Nevertheless, it still depends which burns better on your own stove. The type of pellets that burns to your satisfaction in your stove will always be a deciding factor in this regard.
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How It Is Made
How wood pellets are made and the kind of equipment used will tell you which is better for you. The making process determines how wood pellets either hardwood or softwood will burn.
Higher Heat Output And Lower Ash
Surely, softwood pellets produce higher heat output with lower ash which makes it cleaner to use. Nevertheless, it is still based on individual preferences. Some might appreciate lower heat output to higher heat output.
This goes to shows us that the idea of which is better is solely personal based. Therefore, choose what best suits your taste.
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Can I Convert My Wood Stove To Burn Pellets?
Yes, and no. No, because a wood stove is basically designed to burn woods such as seasoned or kiln logs. Its walls are designed to handle the heat that logs or kindle woods can produce. Using pellets in a wood stove can destroy the stove.
Why is this so, especially when you consider the fact that pellets are wood? Yes, it is Wood, but compressed wood that burns at a higher temperature than logs. Pellets are designed to burn in a pellet stove and not in a wood stove.
Also, it is not advisable because once logs are fed into a wood stove and lit, the doors are closed and the vents facilitate the air that comes into the stove. If you use pellets as fuel, you’ll need to keep the door open so you can be feeding the stove with pellets.
This is because if you don’t and you stock the stove with pellets and lit the stove, you had better go and get a new wood stove constructed, and that’s if your house does not get burnt down.
However, technology such as using a pellet basket can aid in the possibility of using pellets in a wood stove without destroying the stove. That is why I earlier said Yes. For safety sake, don’t use pellets in a wood stove but use only for pellets stove.
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Can I Burn Pellets In A Fire Pit?
Certainly Yes! Pellets are compressed wood and so can be used for foreign pits. Only ensure to have a good regulation on the heat produced. Try this fire pit. It is beautiful to have an outdoor fire pit.
How Do You Burn Pellets In A Fire Pit?
Burning pellets in a fire pit is not difficult, just technical. When pellets are used in a fire pit, the fire logs burn completely, leaving little ash and no coals to pose any fire hazards.
They cool very quickly and you can then shake the remaining ash from the logs and use them again or stack them for storage. The following are some tips to be considered;
Tips For Burning Pellets In A Fire Pit
- Separate your fire logs by pulling each log out. Take the stands and set them aside
- Fill the fire logs with wood pellets. Some wood pellets which can be considered insignificant as small “crumbs” may fall through the openings in the wires.
- Pick the spot for your campfire and clear the area of any combustible substance that may catch fire (you must know that it is a good idea to select a flat surface of sand or stone).
- Set the fire logs on the stands that are a part of your repose fire log items, in a way or sequence that will allow for airflow around the logs.
- Use a fire starter or twisted clump of old papers placed under the logs to start the fire. Light when ready (a fireplace lighter is recommended to keep you at safe distance from an open flame).
- Allow the fire to come alive – it will light the pellets in the logs and they will begin to burn.
- Use a piece of stick to move the logs if necessary. You can burn just one or two at a time, adding the reserved log when the fire burns down. The stick can be used to remove a burned log from the fire, setting it aside to cool, refilling it again, and adding it back onto the fire to prolong the burning time.
- Allow the fire to burn down naturally and for the fire logs to cool.
Traditional pit fires produce large coals that can take quite a while to cool down, even up to 24 hours. Ensure to keep in touch with the law of “no burn” periods. Also, ensure children and pets are kept at a safe distance from the fire pits and make sure there is always a fire extinguisher close by just in case there is a fire outbreak from the pit. The extinguisher will come in handy at such times.
How Do I Preserve My Wood Pellets?
Wood pellets are highly compressed wood. And because they are wood and would be used as fuel, it is highly advisable to keep them at a safe distance from any moisture whatsoever. Keep wood pellets very dry as moisture will make them swell and burn inefficiently or not at all.
Can You Use Meat Grinder To Make Pellets – Final Words
Knowing how to make your pellets will go a long way in saving you the stress of making fire especially during camping. Kindly drop your comments and suggestions in the comment section let’s enlighten ourselves more. Cheers!!