Thursday, February 25, 2010

compost tea recipe


This recipes will brew a 50 gallon batch of compost tea. After being brewed, the resulting tea should be diluted either 3:1 for weak tea or 2:1 for strong tea. Remember to use non-chlorinated water for the dilution.

Of course you can reduce this recipe proportionally if you want to brew smaller batches. While brewing compost tea is nothing new, Brad Hinckley helped with the timing and suggested the addition of Humic Acid.


Compost Tea

Equipment:

50 gallon drum
Aquarium Air Pump and Air Stone
Mesh Bag

Ingredients:

50 gallons of non-chlorinated water
12 oz compost
4 oz. corn gluten or corn starch
8 oz molasses
1 oz. humic acid


Method:

1. Position container where it will receive NO direct sunlight and fill it with non-chlorinated water


2. Add all ingredients directly into the water except the compost.
3. Fill the mesh bag (old pantyhose?) with compost to keep it contained.
4. Position air stone from air pump below the submerged mesh bag of compost and turn it on.
5. Let the compost tea brew for 16 hours. Microorganism growth is now at its peak.
6. Distribute all the tea within 6 hours. Remember to dilute.

Note: the tea should smell sweet after 16 hours. If it smells bad something went wrong. Discard and try again.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Humic acid and amozite??? All very well for you to say! I would like to know what these items are when they are at home and where I could find them.

Chris Seeking Fertilizer said...

Hello there. I'm not sure how easy it is to get those materials. How about putting organic material and brewing the tea? Would the concept work? For example, use stuff like dog manure, banana peels and chicken bones.

nulinegvgv said...

First you need to compost those organic items and then use the compost to brew compost tea. The azomite, humic acid and sea kelp can be purchased over the Internet. And notice the recipe calls for very little of those ingredients for a 50 gallon batch.

None of those three ingredients is crucial. But the compost is the basis for the brew. The corn gluten and molasses feed the microorganisms. The water and air are also essential.

nulinegvgv said...

Also I've added links to the ingredients so people can find them.

Chris said...

Hi! Thanks for the additional info. I've been thinking about doing something like that. Odd little question or thought though. I can't imagine how that concoction would smell sweet if it's compost based.

nulinegvgv said...

Good compost- well aerated compost- shouldn't small bad. It should smell like earth. Good compost tea will smell sweet like a clean running stream.

Chris and his Garden said...

Hi there. On a slightly different tangent, I've been reading a lot about mulching too. I've read that it's good in keeping the soil healthy. If you put mulching and composting head to head, which is more beneficial to the overall garden?

nulinegvgv said...

It's not an either or. Both are useful to me.

Chris and his Garden said...

Really? I was thinking it might be overdoing if I did both. Well thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

VERY BEST recipe AND descriptions AND links.The most clever part is the feeding and oxygenating the slurry/ tea...so that you end up with robust populations of aerobic 'microbes' instead of the 'stinky' anaerobic ones...which get oxidated... well, most of them anyway..brilliant!!!

Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I think that I am going to make a this compost tea just to see how it tastes and it is great opportunity to make something different.

Rufus said...

I'm not exactly an expert, but in my experience having the right compost dynamics which should roughly be 60% part decomposed leaves and 40% grass cuttings and food waste. This will not only help speed up the composting process but should also create less of a smell. Turning the pile occassionally and keeping it aerated will also help. I'm a bit of a wild surfer and came across a composters guide that was quite useful. You can also source stockists of composters on the same site too. So I thought I would share this. I'm not sure on the compost tea just yet though!

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TheGardeningEnthusiast said...

Great recipe.

If you use a 5 gallon bucket though and do not have a big drum like this calls for then you could easily

do something like this:

Get a gallon paint straining bag(don't use pantyhose it will retain a lot of fungi which are bigger than bacteria and you need both).
fill it half way with a mix like I use (1/3 varmi-compost, 1/3 manure/humus compost & 1/3 cotton burr compost) then suspend this in the 5 gallon bucket filled with non-chlorinated water(I use the water from my fish tank or a pond)

I then add 1oz unsulfered molasses,
I oz of liquid kelp, and 1 oz of fish emulsion.

Drop to medium size air stone in the bottom of the bucket for aeration.

I also rigged an evaporative cooler pump to stir the water violently with the port aimed right in front of the suspended bag to break up the compost continuously during the brewing process

Put this in your favorite sprayer and try to spray between 2 and 6 am where the plants will be taking up the most nutrients.


I brew mine for 24 hours and get great results this way

Also it is advantageous, to do this right after it rains or after you have watered(if you use city water make sure you water at least 24 hours before you apply the compost tea so the chlorines have time to dissipate for best results apply weekly. If you can water without using city water then you can do monthly or by-weekly sprayings of this and get excellent results.)

Allen Smith said...

Humic acid and amozite??? All very well for you to say! I would like to know what these items are when they are at home and where I could find them.
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Chris said...

Thanks for the recipe! I'll be using it to brew a batch!

Compost tea has been a project on my list of to-do's for some time....

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