Pellet fuels (or pellets) are biofuels made from compressed organic matter or biomass. Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel and are generally made from compacted sawdust and small shavings. Finding fuel pellets in the UK isn’t difficult, however, finding HARDWOOD fuel pellets in the UK is not impossible but difficult and quite expensive.
Now, you can grow mushrooms on softwoods such as pine, but it is less common due to pines anti-fungal properties and harder-to-break-down structure, this ends up usually as a poorer yield when compared with HWFP and usually requires more thought put into the supplementation.
Having searched for a long time, the only and cheapest I’ve found are from Amazon and costs around £35.00. At around £2 a kilo, this isn’t bad but as soon as you start scaling the cost, your margins drop considerably. This is probably because most of hardwoods and wood in general is imported into the UK rather than grown domestically and hardwood that is imported into the UK makes more money as furniture and structures than it does as fuel, since softwoods are perfectly adept for this need (this is not fact but my own guess work
In the hunt for a hardwood alternative I came across briquets. These are, essentially, hardwood fuel pellets scaled up 300 times. They come in logs about the size of your average fireplace log and are made of compressed sawdust and shavings that have been shaped into discs and forced together to form a log.
At first glance and feel, the hardwood log is dense, shiny and robust. You can hit it with a hammer or an axe and you’ll chip pieces off before it separates into its component pieces.
After you’ve dunked the whole log into a bucket you’ll see it start to bow and break into smaller bits.
Once It’s bowed it will separate into its component disc pieces.
Once its in these component discs you’ll probably find that the centre of the discs are still dry, at this point spraying your required amount of water onto them and leaving them to soak it up in the mixing tub for a few minutes, they’ll start falling apart with some agitation from your hands.
It will take more time than HWFP but at an absolute fraction of the cost, depending on the quantity you buy the price can go as low as £0.30 per kilo.
There are other methods of obtaining hardwood sawdust, you can just go and ask a local mill, check gumtree and eBay or just contact a carpenter but if you’re like me and prefer to do things from the comfort of your keyboard, £0.30 is a small price to pay for that.
If you want to test them for yourself before you buy a whole bunch, I’d recommend these guys on eBay. They’re the best price given that it is an almost 30kg box that is shipped to your door for under £25. Once you’ve wetted and supplemented them you can give these bad-boys a spin.
If you’re interested in buying any gear mentioned in this blog you can checkout my shop (coming soon) or you can use the links above which are eBay and Amazon affiliate links which help support the blog! If you click those links, whatever you buy within 24 hours, I will get a small % fee for referring you to Amazon and eBay, it costs you nothing and benefits me greatly! Thanks for reading!