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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:55 AM
Rick13's Avatar
Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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Location: Rockford, Illinois
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Looking to Setup Organic Tea Brewer & Organic Tea Sprayer, need help!!!

Hi Everyone,

I've done a few searches one Organic Tea Brewing & Organic Tea Spraying: and there's a ton of helpful information on Lawnsite.

GeoTea Brewer sounds like a great machine for the price and quantity you can produce (up to 250 gallons undiluted). Then you can mix with water for spraying at 3 to 1.

But I'm just starting to get this going in Rockford and a lot of people have no idea on organic tea brewing/spraying or organic compost spreading is, so I don't want to get stuck making such large quantities of organic tea and producing huge amounts of waste=losing money.

So should I go large for future growth or use KIS (Keep It Simple, Inc) and buy Microbulator 50 Gallon Brewer for around $600.00? I can still dilute it and get 200 gallons of organic compost tea for a sprayer...which would give me a good starting point.

So what Organic Brewer do you recommend?

Now the second part.... I want a Organic Tea Sprayer (and it can be trailer mounted) to have an aerator to keep the organic tea alive while I'm driving for best results in the customer's yard.

And I've read that Turbo Turf HS 300 gallon skid mounted sprayer is a great way to go. You can use it for hydro seeding or organic tea spraying by changing the hose sizes. The smaller size for longer runs to spray organic tea and the larger size to spray hydro seed.

Will the Turbo Turf hurt the organic tea? What psi do you recommend to spray at?

And do you think a riding spraying machine would work better in customer's yards? I could still have the sprayer and then a rider to spray the customer's yard also.

And if you think a rider could handle the material of organic tea, what company do you recommend?

So it's three questions:

Best Organic Tea Brewer?

Best Organic Tea Sprayer?

Can a Riding Spraying Machine handle Organic Tea's Material...without plugging and not filtering all the good stuff out with a strainer or mesh bag?


Just trying to get my ducks in a row for Spring 2013.

Thanks for any and all help!!!!

Rick

P.S. Peter Schmidt from Compostwerks.com was very helpful yesterday on the phone, he said I could always got to a garden or a local fair and set up a booth and give out free samples of organic compost tea. I should have My Information on a label, so customers could try the product in hopes they would see good results and want to buy more organic compost tea. Which is a great idea!
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2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2012, 02:15 PM
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Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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Sorry, I typed in wrong model for Turbo Turf sprayer....its a Turbo Turf EH 300 gallon skid type, 13 hp Honda with Electric Start, 3'"x3" pump, that can hydro seed 4000 sq ft.
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2013 Ford F450 Super Duty Truck
2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck
2012 ExMark 30" Riding Aerator
2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
2011 Echo Handheld (trimmers to power pruners)
2007 Big Tex 4ft metal high side 7' x 12' Trailer
2012 PJ 7' x 16' Dump Trailer
2014 Vintage 8.5' x 24' Enclosed Trailer
2012 Ecolawn Applicator model 200 Compost Spreader
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:21 PM
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Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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I talked to Growing Solutions Inc. today...and after hearing about their Compost Tea Brewer System 100...their setup sounds good too.

Michael Alms said that they would have a "Winter Discount" starting in December....so he said that he would let me know what my final costs would be.

There sales pitch was, you only need three things to brew a great compost tea. Well maybe four...

1. One of their machines... System 100 (is the one I'm interested in).
2. Good supply of organic compost to fill the four stainless steel compost baskets.
3. Growing Solution Inc. sells their own "Compost Tea Catalyst" that has all the ingredients to brew your tea. Based on how large of a brew you are making, will determine how much Compost Tea Catalyst you will need. So for a 100 gallons, it would be 30 oz. (1.875 pounds) of their Compost Tea Catalyst. 9 pounds cost $120.00 plus shipping.
4. Chlorine free water....after filling the compost tea brewer from my fire hydrant in front of the house.... Growing Solutions said it would take from 30 mins to an hour of running the pump to get rid of the chlorine. Then I could start brewing My Tea.

Clean up looks fair simple and fast. And replacement parts are fairly cheap $20 to $30 range....every few years. Replace Aeration Disks and Air Stones. Not a deal breaker there.

The cost is a little more up front ($4,500 before Winter Sale Price), easy to make compost teas, and very easy clean up....which would save a lot of time. Maybe in the long run, it would make up for the larger expense of the compost brewer???

Does any one know about this company or their compost tea brewers?

Thanks for any help!

Rick
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2013 Ford F450 Super Duty Truck
2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck
2012 ExMark 30" Riding Aerator
2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
2011 Echo Handheld (trimmers to power pruners)
2007 Big Tex 4ft metal high side 7' x 12' Trailer
2012 PJ 7' x 16' Dump Trailer
2014 Vintage 8.5' x 24' Enclosed Trailer
2012 Ecolawn Applicator model 200 Compost Spreader
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:34 AM
lawncuttinfoo lawncuttinfoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick13 View Post
4. Chlorine free water....after filling the compost tea brewer from my fire hydrant in front of the house.... Growing Solutions said it would take from 30 mins to an hour of running the pump to get rid of the chlorine. Then I could start brewing My Tea.

Rick
You need to check with your water municipality about what they use. Most do not use chlorine anymore but chloramine. The latter of which can not be out gassed.
I don't mean to knock a company but this is very basic tea info and if GS does not know this I would be suspicious.

NTM is it pointless to use a hydrant hookup for a 300 or even 500 gal sprayer. Simply use 2 or more spigots and you will be full in less than 20 min. It will take longer than that to d!(k around with the hydrant hoses, hookups, water meter, billing, etc, etc...

You also mentioned "expensive compost for high end customers" Do you realize how little compost you need for brewing? Compost should be about .5% of your brewing cost even if you are paying $5/lb (which is double what the best cost)
Cutting corners here is the equivalent of picking up pennies off the street, do the math it's not worth it by a long shot.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:49 AM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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These are very good points. Adding a small amount of humic acid (just enough to add a brown tinge to the water) before brewing will lock up both chlorine and chloramine.

Some composts are better than others for brewing. There is a learning curve when starting out, but it's only rocket science if you want it to be.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2012, 11:36 AM
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Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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Thanks lawncuttinfoo & phasthound!!!

I've got three spigots at my house....plus when I called the Water Co....they said that getting water cost more from the hydrant than at a house. So thanks for the savings!!!

I don't know what Rockford uses in their water lines, but will find out.

If it's chlorine and not chlorine....how much humic acid will I need for 50 gallons?

Will this show up in an oxygen meter? I know I want the level high, when brewing tea....right?

Any little tips will be greatly appreciated! Just starting out, and trying to learn as much as I can for people who've done compost tea brewing.

On getting expensive compost from Purple Cow Organics.....I would buy maybe a yard, and then I would have enough for the season. I do know it only uses a little bit of compost in the mix. I just thought the best would be better to start with. Right?
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2013 Ford F450 Super Duty Truck
2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck
2012 ExMark 30" Riding Aerator
2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
2011 Echo Handheld (trimmers to power pruners)
2007 Big Tex 4ft metal high side 7' x 12' Trailer
2012 PJ 7' x 16' Dump Trailer
2014 Vintage 8.5' x 24' Enclosed Trailer
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:28 PM
NattyLawn NattyLawn is offline
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I've never dealt with Growing Solutions personally, but I say hell no to their brewer price and the "catalyst". If you have good compost and know when the tea is where you want it be (more timing than anything), you don't need a "catalyst".

In your original post, you mentioned the Microbulator from KIS. KIS sells the unit, but the real person behind the Microbulator is Tim Wilson from www.microbeorganics.com. If this is something your serious about, buy a microscope, microbe ID DVD (I think it's included with a scope) and the Microbulator. Tim used to say the Micro. is ugly but cheap and efficient. If you want the most bang for your buck, then this is the way to go.

As far as sprayers go, it seems to depend on your budget. $2 grand for a 50 gallon setup seems steep. I would look into http://www.gregsonclark.com/products.html and possibly green pro solutions. Make sure you can spray at least 4 gallons per minute with any rig. I do like your hydro seeder option, but don't know much about it.

For the ride on application, this is somewhat a point of contention, as their is a SS220 unit that some people claim can spray tea. IMO, it doesn't put out enough volume. Look into Z-Spray. They do a lot of custom things on their ride ons and can put together a spray system that would do the job. I did talk to the makers of the T3000 as well. They claimed they had a 50 gallon tank that sat in the hopper as well as a boom and pump that could do the job.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:44 PM
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Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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Thanks NattyLawn for your input. I am hoping to talk to Tim Wilson in a day or two. I've found it interesting hear the different brewing setup and their theory's on why they've got the best machines.

You are right, Tim Wilson's Microbulator is the best bang for the buck! And he has tested results to back up his machine....which is a very big deal!

I'm hoping to have a skid sprayer with either a tow behind sprayer for back yards that I can pull it with a lawn tractor or if it was too over the top, a Z-Max sprayer would be great with the boom sprayer...my dream setup!!!

I just don't think 200 to 300 feet is enough hose for some of the yards around here, so that's why I need something mobile for the rear yards.

Then I can use the skid sprayer to agitate the tea and also fill the tow behind or rider.

It cost a little more this way, but then I can deal with almost any yard then.
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2013 Ford F450 Super Duty Truck
2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck
2012 ExMark 30" Riding Aerator
2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
2011 Echo Handheld (trimmers to power pruners)
2007 Big Tex 4ft metal high side 7' x 12' Trailer
2012 PJ 7' x 16' Dump Trailer
2014 Vintage 8.5' x 24' Enclosed Trailer
2012 Ecolawn Applicator model 200 Compost Spreader
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2012, 01:30 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Tim Wilson is the way to go. His brewer design is unique and cost effective.
His knowledge and support are a huge bonus for anyone beginning to brew AACT.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:42 PM
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Rick13 Rick13 is offline
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Sent Tim Wilson and email today for his thoughts on compost tea brewing. Should hear from him in a day or two.

Do you guys know anything about "Purple Cow Compost"? They are located in Middleton, Wisconsin. It's pricey but sounds like it might be a super compost for high end customers.

Has anyone used their products in the past?

What did you think of the results?

Customer happy?
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2013 Ford F450 Super Duty Truck
2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck
2012 ExMark 30" Riding Aerator
2011 John Deere Pro Gator 2020a
2011 Lawn Solution Dual Hyrdo Aerator 24"
2011 Echo Handheld (trimmers to power pruners)
2007 Big Tex 4ft metal high side 7' x 12' Trailer
2012 PJ 7' x 16' Dump Trailer
2014 Vintage 8.5' x 24' Enclosed Trailer
2012 Ecolawn Applicator model 200 Compost Spreader
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