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Compost temps higher than 160F

13 years ago

I've been learning to compost fish scrap together with suitable browns, and have got to the point where there is no noticable outgassing or undesirable odors. However, temps in a pile typically soar to more than 160F within a few days.

For instance I just made a pile with 300+ lbs of fish scrap and about 2 cubic yards of finely-chipped ramial chips. The 4'x4'x5' pile measured 171F abot 18' from the top three days after i set it up. I deliberately left it a bit on the dry side, and am pretty confident that chip size is large enough to allow aerobic decomposition.

Trouble is, I read that thermoplilic bacteria die off at 160F, so I'm wondering what's going on to maintain such a high temperature. Typically, 160+F temps will last for about a week before slowly tapering off.

Is this due to overenthusiastic thermophilic bacteria, or is ther eanother decomposition process that takes over at 160F?

Also, should I be concerned about all these wood chips catching on fire?

The link below is a thread with some details of my learning process.

Thanks in advance.

Here is a link that might be useful: composting fish scrap

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