Compost Tea Recipe

There are many different ingredients one can add to a batch of compost tea. This is a very simple recipe that works well with few ingredients. Remember to use the finished tea within an hour after brewing is completed. Once the bacteria have consumed the molasses, they will be appreciate being moved into a new neighborhood.

4 gallons clean chlorine-free water
½ gallon hot water
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 liter/5 cups good compost

Put the hot water and the molasses into the bottom of a five gallon bucket
Dump in the four gallons of water
Put the compost into a nylon paint strainer bag fastened onto the top of the bucket, or into an onion bag, burlap rice bag, or some sort of tea bag. The paint stainer bag is slick because it is designed to fit on a 5 gallon bucket.
Pump air into the bottom of the bucket for 24 hours with a hydroponic or aquarium air pump
Try to keep the brewing tea from 70 F./21C. To 80 F./ 25C. If it is cooler—like at 60 F. it will take longer– about 48 hours to brew.

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6 Responses to Compost Tea Recipe

  1. Mark LaTorre, Clay, Alabama says:

    I thought that I would try compost tea applications on my three blackberry plants. Two of the plants 2 years old were planted in a 50/50 mix of Miracal Grow potting soil and existing clay soil of the backyard. The other plant 1 year old was planted in 70% existing clay soil, 10% cheap no name garden soil, 10% Mushroom compost & 10% Homemade dime sized Biochar. I used the compost tea on all the leaves bottom and top and a good soil soaking for all three plants.
    The differance in the ones without biochar and the one with is simply amazing. All the plants saw a noticable improvment within one day, but the one with the biochar has turned bluegreen. Guys…… I think that we need to do more testing on soils with biochar mixed with the extreem results of using compost tea. I did make this batch of tea from water I got from the small fish lake down the street, 4 cups of Black velvet mushroom compost, 4 cups of worm casting compost from Ace hardware, 4 cups of compost taken from the woods around the corner under where a large pine tree had rotted down. 2tbl.spoons unsulfered molasses, 2tbl.spoons Alaska emulsified fish & 2tbl.spoons of Organics Rx Kale 100 liquid fertilizer.I put the air bubbler ring I made from an old soaker hose and everything into a 5gal. paint strainer in a bucket at 75 degrees for 48 hours then applied. Guys……the differance is truly Amazing.
    Mark…

    • admin says:

      Good job Mark
      What is Biochar?
      Marc

      • Mark LaTorre, Clay, Alabama says:

        Biochar, well the best definition is burned wood matter 2″ and smaller that has been consumed long enough to vaporize all traces of organic matter with a limited amount of oxygen leaving only the carbon skeleton that can be easily crushed into powder between the fingers with heavy force. But, not long enough that the carbon is consumed and nothing but ash is left. This can be done by limiting the amount of fresh air allowed to enter the burning chamber used. Now don’t laff, I used a 6 gallon galvinized bucket with a cover lid that I got at walmart cut about 40 1/2″ holes in the bottom and 10 1-1/2″ holes 1 ” below the top edge of the bucket and installed a 6″ x 3′ flue pipe in the center of the lid for a good draw. I took a 1′ piece of angle iron and placed it under the edge of the bucket on one side so air can enter the bottom. I filled the bucket even with the top row of holes around the top of the bucket with 5″ long pieces of small scrap firewood 2″ and smaller dia. I then trickled a 1/4 cup of kerosine on the top pieces to get it started without the lid. Oh, make sure that the bucket is not directly on solid concrete if it is place a piece of metal between the bucket and concrete. If the concrete gets too hot it can explode scaring you to death. After it gets started install the lid wearing gloves. After 30-40 mins.you will notice that most of the flames have died down and only red coals remain looking through the holes around the top. You may also smell a gunpowder smell. Carefully remove the lid and poke with a stick or rod make sure only coals remain. If so then remove the small angle iron shutting off all air from the bottom. And seal off the top inside just below the row of holes with a round flat piece of metal. I use a piece of 16 ga. steel cut round with a small handle bolted to it. Once cooled with no air. Then charge the coal with compost tea or a good liquid fertilizer let it soak it up for a least an hour. Its ready, mix the coal at 15 percent of total volume of the soil in your planting hole.

        • admin says:

          Wow
          That sounds like alchemy, where the substance is burned and re-burned down to an essence. It also reminds me of a old technique used in Bordeaux, where the woody winter prunings from grape vines were burned and then put back into the vineyard soil. I would like to learn more about that, because I am writing a book about viticulture and vinification. It should be published later in 2014, and titled: “Creating World Class Red Wine”.
          I am interested in both modern and archaic techniques.
          Thanks
          Marc

  2. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering issues with your blog.
    It appears as if some of the written text in your posts are running off
    the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This could be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you

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