Compost Extractors

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by UKblue, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. UKblue

    UKblue LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 17

    Is there a list of extractors in the industry? Have any of you made your own extractors?
     
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    there is not a list that i know of

    to what scale are you trying to extract, will you need thousands of gallons in a day (ag) or hundreds (landscaping). I extract very simply in my back yard with a five gallon bucket, add compost and vermi to water and stir for a couple of days. no air no food, it works for me
     
  3. UKblue

    UKblue LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 17

    I would want to extract a couple hundred in a day. What extractors are out there? Is the only difference between extracted compost and compost tea the presence of food? If I took a AACT tea brewer, put in compost, but did not put in any food, would that be the same thing as an extracted compost tea?

    Thanks, Bill.
     
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Off the top of my head, there are only a few that I know of:
    Winslow T-2
    Hronek extractor
    Erath Earth

    There are also some available from Australia and NZ. All of the one's mentioned above are pretty expensive.

    Tim Wilson mentioned you can use his brewer to make an extract. You may want to contact him or check out his website: microbeorganics.com

    Brewing AACT and LCE are similar, but the main differences are no food is added, and the method of getting the microbes off of the compost. AACT is a more gentle process while the LCE process is more "violent", typically using a higher water pressure to extract. In AACT you're also supplying food, where in LCE you're not, so you won't have the same microbial diversity you would in tea. Also, just using an AACT would result in much lower microbe counts.
     
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    I have seen the Hronek extractor in action, it uses an auger to bring the compost up to high pressure jets that basically blast the microbes off of the compost substrate, the extract is screened as it falls into a holding tank. The compost extract has a shelf life of 2 to 3 weeks depending on how hot it is

    some of the folks that use this one can make 1000 gallons in a couple of hours but it is typically used in ag, I think it runs 15 grand
     
  6. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    You could make LCE with my brewer but it would be a real pain in the butt because you'd have to fill and empty the bag about 3 to 4 times per 50 gallons. If you ran each bag 30 minutes that means 2 hours per 50 gallons. Pretty slow.

    I see where Matt is coming from saying there would be higher microbial numbers in LCE but they would be mostly dormant.
     
  7. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Tim,

    The last line of my post should have read " Also, just using an AACT brewer for LCE would result in much lower microbe counts."

    It looks like the edit did not go through.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    I don't see why this would necessarily lead to different levels of diversity, but rather different population densities.
     
  9. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    AACT brewing uses fine bubbles or an airlift to gently strip the microbes off of the compost. Food is also added to the tea. The microbes then multiply as they feed and then are fed upon by other microbes. The brew will go through nutrient cycling and you usually don't see protozoa until a little later in the brew (36-48 hours).

    LCE, as I mentioned, uses higher water pressure (and more compost) to strip the microbes off the compost. You're then storing that liquid with no food, so there's no nutrient cycling taking place here. You're taking the fungi and bacteria and adding food before it goes into the soil, but you're hoping nutrient cycling takes place in the soil.

    So in theory, you're not getting the protozoa in LCE that you would in AACT. Tim, help me out on any mistakes made above.
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    If your source of microbes is the compost, then you won't get higher diversity, but rather different population densities. The microbes, or potential for them, is still there regardless of them being multiplied or not.
     

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