The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “save money”

Earthen/Cob Floor

“Natural building expert Michael G. Smith from the Emerald Earth Institute shows us the first layer of an earthen floor (clay soil, sand, chopped straw and road base, or crushed rock): just one layer of the 3 layers they eventually use. He also shows us a finished floor that has been treated with 4 to 6 coats of linseed oil and is water resistant and completely mop friendly.”

It was nice to see a natural, durable floor that didn’t come from a factory.

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Lorena Stove Info

Here is some information about the Lorena woodburning stove design.

Pros: It uses very little firewood and burns very efficiently and when the exhaust pipes are clean with little smoke near the person cooking.

Cons: Can be difficult to start a fire in these stoves as the stove’s opening is small. If you blow into the stove a wave of heat can come back at you and burn your face. Apparently it also takes more work to construct than the simple rocket stove, as well.

Here is the Lorena stove being lit:

I’m conflicted about this design because of this — it seems materials matter.

Manual Clothes Washing Solution

Here jepster in Colorado uses a Rapid Laundry Washer (a kind of plunger style laundry agitator) and a commercial salad spinner to wash his laundry and then hangs it out to dry.

Here is a closer look at the salad spinner he uses:

Here we learn how to make a camp-style bucket washer (which uses a plunger to wash). I’ve noticed on other videos that you can also make holes in the plunger to allow for more water flow and agitation:

LDSprepper shows us a different style of agitator, used with galvanized tubs.

Cinder Block Rocket Stove

Quick and easy construction by hightechredneck

Making A Natural Yeast Culture For Bread

Here Miho in Japan explains to thedailyenglishshow how she makes a natural yeast starter using fruit.

They experiment with three fruit based starters Miho prepares for from raisins, pommelo and grapes. The first stage of the process is fermenting the fruit in water until it is fizzy.

Then you strain out the fruit, put the strained liquid back in jars and mix flour into it. The ferment liquid-flour mixture should start to rise. It’s this yeasty dough that you use in your bread making.

The raisins won out in terms of producing a viable bread starter.

Make Malt Sugar/Syrup

The most common grain to malt (which just means that the grain is sprouted, so that the sprouting process converts the grain’s starch into a sugar) is barley – but other grains like corn, wheat, etc. can also be malted.

The sprouted (malted) grain is then mixed with hot water in a container so that its sugars can leach into the water. The malt sugar water or wort can then be used to make beer or cooked down to a syrup for use as a sweetener.

The sprouting process is pretty straightforward and easy.

Here’s dmeckle showing you his method:

Here’s a step-by-step that includes the wort stage.

I don’t brew beer, but I do use barley malt syrup as a sweetener. As I’m already comfortable with sprouting, this should be an easy and cheaper way for our household to have the syrup.

How to Make Vinegar

This following video was obviously a school project — but the two students do a really good job of showing how to make vinegar and giving the science behind it.

Musings on “the mother” and vinegar/fruit flies from goatkisses:

Erica shows us how she makes her own fruit vinegar. She usually makes it in the fall when it is apple and pear season. Erica uses the cores and bruised parts of the fruit to make the vinegar.

Here are a couple videos on making apple cider vinegar (the thick, brown kind). She talks about some issues you might encounter making vinegar with pasteurized apple cider. She gets pretty excited about vinegar.:

Siphoning and filtering a big batch of apple vinegar (made with apple peels):

Cooking with the Sun on the Navajo Reservation in Utah

This was a really interesting entry. Here several Navajo students from Paul McCarl’s class at the Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, Utah present their solar cooker projects.

Especially interesting is a Fresnel lens cooker the students built in order to be able to fry the popular Southwest fry bread.

As one of the student notes, you don’t see too many solar cookers that will fry.

The students introduce themselves in Navajo and then go on and explain their projects.

How to Make A 16-Brick Rocket Stove

Here, “Dr. Larry Winiarski makes a clean burning rocket stove using 16 adobe bricks at the Rotary International-sponsored Integrated Cooking Workshop in Tlautla, Mexico.”

Important points: The advantages of this kind of stove – rocket stoves are easy to construct, burn wood extremely efficiently, so a little wood goes a long way, generate very little smoke, and burn hot.

The stove he demonstrates is made with unfired adobe brick that was made with plant material (straw) as a binder. This makes for light but very well insulating bricks.

solarwindmama who posted this video to YouTube says that she made a similar stove with fired red brick from Home Depot and it worked but that she thinks that the heat would have been more concentrated with unfired adobe brick.

Point 2: Rocket stoves have to be used outside or carefully and properly vented, otherwise you risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Power of Compost – The Jean Pain Story

This mini documentary is a bit rough because it’s old and grainy and in German (narration) and French with English subtitles, but it is worth watching because of the amazing energy innovation it shows.

“Jean Pain – A French innovator who developed a compost based bio energy system that produced 100% of his energy needs. He heated water to 60 degrees celsius at a rate of 4 litres a minute which he used for washing and heating. He also distilled enough methane to run an electricity generator, cooking elements, and power his truck. This method of creating usable energy from composting materials has come to be known as Jean Pain Composting, or the Jean Pain Method.”

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