Recommendations for Brewing Compost Tea:
~ Use a 400 micron compost tea brewing bag to contain the bulk of the compost. 400 Micron mesh will keep your brewer and your teas a bit cleaner than just throwing compost into a bucket. More importantly our 400 micron compost tea brewing bags will allow the full diversity of biology to pass from the compost into your compost tea.
~ To prevent foaming, add ¼ - ½ tsp. of organic sunflower/ vegetable/ or neem oil per 5-gallons of water. (2 - 3 drops per gallon of water)
~ Dilute soluble ingredients first: Kelp, liquid fish and/ or humic acid should be diluted in the water first. This will help to neutralize any acidic conditions from preservatives in soluble substances.
~ Diversity of compost is the key to compost tea: We highly recommend using a variety of composts for brewing compost tea. Especially homemade or locally sourced composts, produced from a variety of organic materials. Small amounts of exceptional native soil / humus can be added to your home brewed compost teas. This will provide potential indigenous soil microbes.
~ Compost should smell sweet, earthy, or like mushrooms. If it smells bad, it is bad! Do not use bad compost for making compost tea.
~ We recommend avoiding molasses or sugars in compost tea. Bacteria are easy to culture in compost tea and are present in most compost, especially worm castings. Some plants do benefit from a more bacteria dominated soil environment such as plants in the Brassica or cole family. If using molasses or simple sugars we recommend adding it near the end of the brewing cycle. Use 1 tsp of molasses per gallon of compost tea or 1 tbsp of molasses per 5-gallons of compost tea.
~ Keep compost tea under active aeration until you are ready to apply and serve fresh!
* = optional ingredients
Compost Extract Recipes: Stir or aerate for 1 to 5 min
Compost Tea Recipes: Aerate for 12 - 36 hrs
Fungal Dominated Compost Tea Recipe: Aerate for 12 - 36 hrs
Compost treatment for brewing fungal compost tea: Fungi take more time to culture in compost tea. You can enhance the fungal biomass in your compost teas with this compost treatment.
- Place 2 – 4 cups of compost in a plastic container (for best results gather from different sources)
- Apply ¼ cup of organic oat or soy flour or finely ground oatmeal across the compost and turn-under
- Mix the liquid / soluble ingredients recommended in the compost tea recipe with ¼ cup of water
- Apply the mixture evenly to the surface of the compost
- Cover with a loose fitting lid or moist cardboard and store in a cool dark place for 3 – 7 days
Pre-activation times can vary based upon the presence of active fungi, dormant spores, moisture and temperature. Under the right conditions you should see a white fuzz of the fungi begin to cover the surface of the compost within 3 – 7 days. This is an indicator of active fungi and will tell you that your compost is now ready for brewing into a fungal dominated compost tea.