im kind of a little compost hobbyist with the horses, I've got a huge 4 foot long thermometer i use to track the piles and turns. I know less about compost than I do about chickens though, so, you can take that for what it's worth. ;-) We basically try and turn it until you turn it and it DOESNT get above 100 degree inside the pile after 2-3 days. If it does, we wait a month and turn it again. Those first few turns the pile is up to 160+ degrees after a day. I think it will just have to be a big trial and error thing over time then. I may have to pull out a lot at a time if its getting too moist, or add more compost from an earlier pile, or different organic materials if I am not getting any breakdown. I used a home-test strip kit once to test the final product, and it said it was aged great, but this year I am toying with sending it off for a full analysis, just for fun.