PDA

View Full Version : simple compost tea brewer


phasthound
08-30-2008, 06:32 PM
Get yourself a cone bottom poly tank on a stand, a regenerative blower, a mesh bag, valve and hose. Hook up the blower hose & valve to the bottom opening of tank, hang bag with compost, add food, brew, test, repeat until you have the microbes you want.

It's about proper oxygenation, good compost, right mix of foods and time.

Note: the photos are not to scale. :)

treegal1
08-30-2008, 07:20 PM
good idea barry, if the power goes dead the regen gets a tea bath??? diffuser?? why the bag?? a bucket to load the tank??

I mean really if it was that simple they guys like wallz would not be spending there time on here pumping me for info, nice cone, whats the moving load in the stand or is that a stationary tank??? we have seen a little metal stand like that eat a hole in cone tank, thats why we use a molded one piece tank that has the stand as an integral part of the tank. most of the brewers on the market are just plain junk, tims is a great idea, the big gaudy gray plastic ones work good to, for 6K$. and bills favorite with the stainless and a hole in a IBC are good ones also, but long and short there is some slack brewers out there.

treegal1
08-30-2008, 07:23 PM
also that re gen would not make the pressure to move air up in 48 inches of water, good try......

treegal1
08-30-2008, 07:27 PM
bio diesel ware house and Canada blowers, lets see second row on the right side of a search????

treegal1
08-30-2008, 07:29 PM
also a 90 deg F adding food is not that great an idea at the start. IMO.

phasthound
08-30-2008, 07:45 PM
That's what they were showing off at the tea seminar. Very simple design put together by Matt Slaughter of Soil Foodweb Lab in Corvallis, manufactured & sold by his other company Earthfort. http://www.earthfort.com/store/

Elaine stated that this was the only manufacturer that consistently tests with the lab (go figure) and consistently has good results. Other manufacturers either don't test or haven't done so for years.

Just passing info on, not endorsing anything.

Stationary stand, I prefer basket instead of bag, the 1/3 HP blower had the water rolling quite nicely. Power outages are rare in my neck of the woods. They sell a molded tank, too.

I just picked up a used second brewer for next to nothing, similar tank & stand but with an aquarium pump & diffuser tube installed in the side. You can bet I'll be modifying it.

phasthound
08-30-2008, 07:47 PM
bio diesel ware house and Canada blowers, lets see second row on the right side of a search????

Those were photos Google for examples only.

NattyLawn
08-30-2008, 07:48 PM
If you're in the market for a great, simple compost tea brewer, check out the Microbulator 50 at www.microbeorganics.com. I'm very impressed with the results thus far.

Treegal already mentioned it, but the blower below the tea = bad news. If there's a power outage the pump will be damaged. Also, after brewing with and without an extractor bag, you get much more diversity without the bag. We use KIS tea kits, and the only downside is the wood chunks and pine cones that are great for fungal counts, but not good for the main tube that circulates the tea.

NattyLawn
08-30-2008, 07:52 PM
That's what they were showing off at the tea seminar. Very simple design put together by Matt Slaughter of Soil Foodweb Lab in Corvallis, manufactured & sold by his other company Earthfort. http://www.earthfort.com/store/

Elaine stated that this was the only manufacturer that consistently tests with the lab (go figure) and consistently has good results. Other manufacturers either don't test or haven't done so for years.

Just passing info on, not endorsing anything.


This might be a little tongue in cheek, but isn't it a little odd that the companies that get the most consistent testing get the most plugs? From what I've learned from Tim and from what Tree has said, this design is weak.

phasthound
08-30-2008, 07:53 PM
also a 90 deg F adding food is not that great an idea at the start. IMO.

Absolutly correct!

The amount of food varies with temp.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
08-30-2008, 08:22 PM
maybe barry was just trying to stir interest in newbie lurkers and i think he posted those pic's cause they where only one available?, we all know" and bar" there's more too it then that. the bag he mentions is impotent if your brewer doesn't circulate or agatate post from the bottom or if your post is at all heavy in anyway since it will settle with out stirring it every so often.

tree, you make a great point about brewer mobility, temp and food, learn that one the hard way with my limited air.

thank god since the last time i posted my whining rant about not making organic's my main approach for my biz cause of lack of interest from customers that things have changed a little for the better for me, ive been landing new customers weekly and has made all the difference in the world to me and my bottom line, allowing me to keep doing what i really what to do. with that being said i going to upgrade my brewer soon to a larger tank and air system, im using tim w design right now and it works fantastic, can't say enough, only limitation to it is in high temps"i need more air" but all i have to do is reduce food stock and brews DO levels are staying in range, also at no fault to his design i have to use a bag or make a extract first and settle out sediment and add to brew for free suspension brewing because of settlement issues with my post.

good brewing is part art part science, nothing simple about it!

holy grail of brewer design, great circulation and DO levels plus easy cleaning!

treegal1
08-30-2008, 08:25 PM
This might be a little tongue in cheek, but isn't it a little odd that the companies that get the most consistent testing get the most plugs? From what I've learned from Tim and from what Tree has said, this design is weak.wow holly snot goblins, for 2900, just spend the extra 100$ and come down here and I will make you one as u watch, let you run it once and see it under a scope, I will even take you fishing, spend another 100$ and we can do a 200 gallon brewer.

treegal1
08-30-2008, 08:36 PM
yeah that dirt simple 300 gallon brewer, how do you clean it?? with that 24inch brush???? upen top for me thanks, just cut the tank you say, what happens to the structure of the poly tank???? WE WILL STICK TO THE FORMULA, ALSO FYI the tanks we use are not poly tanks at all. maybe some poly in them but not a lot.

phasthound
08-30-2008, 08:54 PM
You guys are as tough a crowd as the chemheads. :)

treegal1
08-30-2008, 09:22 PM
its the reality that we are left with, when i started off in this path, I was new and fresh and bright as a penny, after getting the hit where it hurts a few times my guard is up as much as possible.


when I was young I when to a good freinds Bar Mitzvah. his grand father called him out to the dance floor in front of every one, and had him stand on a chair. he says," david I want to teach you the last thing you will need to know as a man", at just that moment he kicked the chair and david hit the floor real hard, he then says " dont ever trust any one!!!!!".

I just found out about 5 minutes ago that some pos stole my excavator.............. and crashed the truck it was on. a total loss.....................

DeepGreenLawn
08-30-2008, 10:19 PM
that is messed up! both of the stories...

I hate it for you... did they get the guy at least?

treegal1
08-30-2008, 11:00 PM
well..... he got him self sort of in the accident, this is one f'ed up day so far. I dont even have the words....

DeepGreenLawn
08-30-2008, 11:02 PM
eh... what can you do? Go to bed, wake up in the morning and not only a new day but a new week...

treegal1
08-30-2008, 11:34 PM
I am going tosit here a while and drink. maybe try and forget what i seen

ICT Bill
08-31-2008, 09:37 AM
Hey Barry, nice simple design, it looks like it would fairly inexpensive as well, very similar to the first one I made, now I just do this

Did they have a simple design for an extractor there too?

treegal1
08-31-2008, 10:55 AM
Bill, at 20 $ per acre with your stuff, that would have meant that I would have to have spent 90.000.00 $ in product, now lets add the time it takes to brew my tea, lets see 150 days @ 300 a day, thats 45K$ so still a bargan!!!to watch tea brew????

as a trasnition product sure, its a great thing, but a brewer is going to have more uses, nettle tea, alf. tea, hot pepper tea, maybe some manure tea? just add the uv light and cook the bad guys out???

Tim Wilson
08-31-2008, 10:58 AM
There must be a diffuser and an air line entering the mesh bag. No? One could avoid the backflow to the pump by placing it at water height or using a check valve but check valves reduce CFM.

With a cone tank, circulation with an air lift and no extractor mesh is the way to go. People are testing. Just not with Elaine? Why pay someone to look at 2 to 4 day old tea that has been in the mail exposed to who knows what temperatures, if you have a microscope yourself?

Deeproots: We've gotta overcome this thing preventing you from brewing using free suspension. How do you remove the CT from the barrel when you are finished brewing? If you use a pump did you try the mesh bag around the submersible pump?

treegal1
08-31-2008, 11:04 AM
oh and the extractor. we like to call it the solids separator, most of these guys are waffling over to brew or not to brew, and how to get out of the barrel or bucket. an extractor is a long leap for most of them.


I will paint a picture for them, its a square wire basket with 400 micron slits between the wire, it spins and water from inside and out side at high pressure and low volume sprays the herd from there homes on planet compost. after that its on to a tank and out to the fields, as most are dormant already, you can remove the water from the extract and have a biology soup that will ship real well and store ok for a while. *** this is an incomplete story so dont get to excited***

treegal1
08-31-2008, 11:07 AM
There must be a diffuser and an air line entering the mesh bag. No? One could avoid the backflow to the pump by placing it at water height or using a check valve but check valves reduce CFM.

With a cone tank, circulation with an air lift and no extractor mesh is the way to go. People are testing. Just not with Elaine? Why pay someone to look at 2 to 4 day old tea that has been in the mail exposed to who knows what temperatures, if you have a microscope yourself?

Deeproots: We've gotta overcome this thing preventing you from brewing using free suspension. How do you remove the CT from the barrel when you are finished brewing? If you use a pump did you try the mesh bag around the submersible pump?
thanks Tim, also we use a loop that just goes to the top of the tank and back down to the blower, all sweep bends and no back flow.

treegal1
08-31-2008, 11:10 AM
one more thing I would like to say about the no bag way, whats the point to the bag? the larger bits??? so how about a small screen??? say 50 mesh or a window screen?? maybe take the compost and casts and remove the larger parts??? pre dissolve them with some water and filter out the big chunks first???

phasthound
08-31-2008, 11:25 AM
There must be a diffuser and an air line entering the mesh bag. No? One could avoid the backflow to the pump by placing it at water height or using a check valve but check valves reduce CFM.

With a cone tank, circulation with an air lift and no extractor mesh is the way to go. People are testing. Just not with Elaine? Why pay someone to look at 2 to 4 day old tea that has been in the mail exposed to who knows what temperatures, if you have a microscope yourself?

Deeproots: We've gotta overcome this thing preventing you from brewing using free suspension. How do you remove the CT from the barrel when you are finished brewing? If you use a pump did you try the mesh bag around the submersible pump?

Tim, I was hoping you would bring up these valid points. :)
I've had the same thoughts & was waiting for someone else to bring them up. Simple solutions for some of the design drawbacks.

I can't fault Elaine for plugging her labs. I plug the products I sell. Both she & I believe in what we're doing.
Keep in mind that she also spends a lot of time teaching people how to use scopes so they can test for themselves.

I also agree with her that brewer manufacturers should have independent lab results available for buyers.

And everyone, please remember I am not plugging this design or manufacturer, nor am I dissing any other designs or manufacturers. I am merely bringing the subject up for discussion. Yes, this is my typical legal disclaimer. :)

growingdeeprootsorganicly
08-31-2008, 12:12 PM
Deeproots: We've gotta overcome this thing preventing you from brewing using free suspension. How do you remove the CT from the barrel when you are finished brewing? If you use a pump did you try the mesh bag around the submersible pump?


tim, my worm cast is the problem, remember my clogging issue's a while back? in front of the small diffuser

also i notice when i don't extract first and just dump and run that i get Major sediment problems in the bottom of the barrel in free suspension reducing my fungal counts?, the post doesn't get good agitation if i am in a hurry and dump and run,

if i actually take the time to extract/settle out the large/heavy fines first and add that to free suspension i get great tea with better fungal counts
but doing that adds more time and cleaning. price to pay right?

i find though using the bag with my post from the start that im getting just as good counts compared to extracting then adding toa freesuspension brew? so it's all a matter of what i feel like doing or not doing at the time of brewing, using the bag from the start just makes it a little more easier on me as far as reducing the steps and cleaning needed to brew.

i use a sub pump to transfer tea, works GREAT, little impact on microbes
like i said the problem is my worm post, the other THINGS i use don't give me problems like that in free suspension,

next project is make own peat based worm poo!

tim does your worm post stay easily suspended in brew? do you have to stir at all from the bottom? or do you maybe in a bucket dissolve your worm poo then add?

Tim Wilson
08-31-2008, 01:21 PM
the post doesn't get good agitation if i am in a hurry and dump and run,


What does 'post' mean?

tim does your worm post stay easily suspended in brew? do you have to stir at all from the bottom? or do you maybe in a bucket dissolve your worm poo then add?

I assume from this, that post means vermicompost. I get very little sediment on the bottom and fungal strands throughout. When using the bag, I've noticed that sometimes fungal strands gather to the bottom. What causes this is not clear. Prior to pumping out a 3 second stir solves this.

I use only feed stock with my worms; horse/cow poo, peat, wood, cardboard, wheat, bran, alfalfa, kitchen scraps. Nothing comes out heavy and I just dump it in the water just like in the video and it disperses. I've also used straight worm castings from African night crawlers and it mostly dissolves.

As far as I know compost or vermicompost should be light and easily suspend in water which is moving or in the case of castings almost dissolve. Anybody??

A more expensive model would include an additional return pipe which goes right to the bottom. This would continuously sweep the bottom. This could be accomplished with either an extra or larger pump but would add at least $120 to the price. I have a design partially sketched for a 275 gallon tote which incorporates this concept. When you build your larger brewer, yank my chain and I'll give you a hand.

DeepGreenLawn
08-31-2008, 03:20 PM
post = compost

growingdeeprootsorganicly
08-31-2008, 04:19 PM
TIM,

lazy me can't add three more letters to a word, sorry..... yes post=compost

i have a regular COMpost pile going now, clean grass,leaves,shredded wood of all types,forest litter and soil,little of this little of that, watering with left over CT,.....hopefully it will be done soon and ill have another lighter source for brewing, i really need to start my worm bin soon, matter a fact i'll try to get it together this week? i'll do it using small totes bins to start,

thanks for all your past and your offer for future help with my tea brewing!!!!!
tim, just know that your help has been very appreciated,
and i hope to return the favors some HOW? some day
thank you

Tim Wilson
08-31-2008, 05:39 PM
i hope to return the favors some HOW? some day

One day, maybe myself or my family will call on you for a favor; <GRIN>

Prolawnservice
09-01-2008, 01:07 AM
There must be a diffuser and an air line entering the mesh bag. No? One could avoid the backflow to the pump by placing it at water height or using a check valve but check valves reduce CFM.

With a cone tank, circulation with an air lift and no extractor mesh is the way to go. People are testing. Just not with Elaine?

No diffuser and no air line in the mesh bag just a wide open 2" hose from the blower to the bottom of the cone. I talked to Matt, a lot about the brewer, the pump is protected with an inline check valve, he prefers the mesh bag for assorted sizes of particles/materials, and to keep the compost from splatting against the top and making a mess(more to clean). The design is dirt simple, and he'll tell you exactly how to build it(he's not much of a sales man, and would rather teach you how to build something than sell you something, but its there if you just want to buy it), he has the record for most fungal brew tested, and I saw what came out of this brewer under the scope, it was very good. The only critique I picked up on from Dr. I, was that it may work even better with several size bubbles at once than just the giant churning stream of large ones.

I can't fault Elaine for plugging her labs. I plug the products I sell. Both she & I believe in what we're doing.
Keep in mind that she also spends a lot of time teaching people how to use scopes so they can test for themselves.

Dr. I does not own the labs any more, she just takes care of quality control. So she doesn't directly profit from people testing, she just wants people to know what they are doing and to do things correctly, thus encouraging the testing.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-01-2008, 01:07 PM
pro,

i know you weren't there for the whole brew cycle but did anyone ask or say what was the type of compost, food stock recipe and average low and high and final DO levels of finished tea from that brewer? the tea you viewed, how many hr's was that at?

seems like it would work better with diffusers? no, and air to the bag? for better agitation? what ever works though!

treegal1
09-01-2008, 01:09 PM
we have try-ed an compost bag air diffuser today, I will say how it goes later

DUSTYCEDAR
09-03-2008, 10:19 AM
My Bins Nothing Fancy

treegal1
09-03-2008, 10:42 AM
looks a little over fed???? wheres the casts???

DUSTYCEDAR
09-03-2008, 10:45 AM
i had just flipped that bin and reset
its an old pic ill get new pics for ya

tadhussey
09-04-2008, 03:54 PM
FYI,

Earthfort used to carry out brewers, but I think they were able to make more profit by dropping us and adding their own line. We've done tens of thousands of dollars in testing with them over the years, so it's not always about how much lab testing you do...

~Tad

Prolawnservice
09-04-2008, 10:01 PM
Tad,

Matt and Elaine both spoke highly of you and your 5 gallon brewer. They were both concerned about testing for your larger brewers. The way Matt put it was, that he liked selling your brewers, but he was the middle man. He built a good, simple, easy to clean, brewer with testing to back it up(although it's his lab that has done the testing, as Tim brought up earlier) that works and he can make more money on, what would you do?

tadhussey
09-05-2008, 04:15 PM
You know, I haven't seen any numbers to support their new brewer and last I checked they don't have a 5 gal. one anyway. I've emailed him twice now and have yet to get a response back. It would be nice to see some independent testing on their products, as it does seem to be a conflict of interest. As a commercial compost tea manufacturer, what incentive do I have to do testing with a company that is producing and touting their own product?

As for concern with testing on our larger brewers, I have heard this before from Elaine and have sent her lab tests from both our company and others who have our brewers who did independent testing. The tests were all above or within range on all counts and were up to date. Testing was done using different recipes and I sent her 4-5 different lab results. I don't know what more I can do to show that we've done our research. We aren't currently testing with them for a variety of reasons, mostly because we've got the process down and I can confirm good teas with my microscope in house.

I appreciate all that Matt and Elaine do, and the kind words in regards to our company. I just wish there was a better standard to evaluate brewers and tea in general. I think it would only help the industry in gaining credibility.

~Tad

tadhussey
09-05-2008, 04:16 PM
This is what really pisses me off!

http://www.asapsupplier.com/product_info.php/products_id/232

DeepGreenLawn
09-05-2008, 04:23 PM
wow... thats a lot of money for a 5 gal bucket, a peice of hose and a pump!

tadhussey
09-05-2008, 04:38 PM
It's an almost identical copy of our brewer, even though we have a patent on the design....so frustrating!

ICT Bill
09-05-2008, 05:54 PM
DGL, yeah but its in Australian dollars so its only $0.29 US

Tad, There are some very misleading statements on that site, the one that stands out is Elaine Ingham Approved or Soil food web approved, SFI and Elaine do not approve anything except their testing data.

We tried to use that statement and passed it by them first and they said absolutely not!! We do not approve anything, you can say "soil food web tested" but that is about it.

phasthound
09-05-2008, 06:35 PM
DGL, yeah but its in Australian dollars so its only $0.29 US

Tad, There are some very misleading statements on that site, the one that stands out is Elaine Ingham Approved or Soil food web approved, SFI and Elaine do not approve anything except their testing data.

We tried to use that statement and passed it by them first and they said absolutely not!! We do not approve anything, you can say "soil food web tested" but that is about it.

It does blow my mind how many companies insinuate that claim. But then again, she does single out some companies as umm, better.

tadhussey
09-08-2008, 03:07 AM
Some companies do get preferential treatment, but I'm more upset that they copied our patented design and even make the 12 hour claim based on what we tested. It just frustrates me is all...I'm done ranting...

~Tad

ICT Bill
09-08-2008, 09:53 AM
Patent stealing is a full time job for some
With the ease of the interenet you can peruse patents like mad and get great detail, afterall that is what you do in a patent is spell out the entire invention
We prefer "trade secret"

Tad, now you can call yours "the original" or "often copied but never as good"