Tea time!!

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Go-Green Lawn Care, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Go-Green Lawn Care

    Go-Green Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I'm brewing up some tea and I had a few questions. With the temps being in the mid 90's is it better to brew indoors or just shorten the brewing time? Also when do you normally put in your aditives (aka. fish emulsion, alfalfa, molasses, etc)? While the compost is still in the water or after you remove it and just the tea is aerating? What about used coffee grounds...in or out? Thanks.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    I do not know your knowledge level with this so here goes

    Stick to things that are completely composted at this point

    Food like fish and molasses is one of those things that do not work like , if a little is good then a lot is better, small amounts is what you need. The batch will go anaerobic with too much food. some do not use foods at all

    The batch will change with time as bacteria build and then protozoa start to build, the fungi will start after 24 or so hours, the trick is to understand your application, what are you trying to accomplish and then pull the plug on the batch when it gets there

    some folks brew for 24 hours because they want it bacterial, some brew for 2 or 3 days because they want the higher succession predators, protozoa and such

    Good luck, my first batch I wiped out almost all of my hostas and set the garden back a month, too much food I grew out the bad guys

    Don't worry about the temps, the 90's will just make things grow out faster. You will need more O2 though as water cannot hold as much 02 at that temp
  3. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Hmmmm....no offense, but based on your questions, I'd hold off a bit before brewing and applying the tea. Let's start with some basic questions:

    1. What size and design of brewer are you using?

    2. What are your inputs and in what amounts?

    3. What is your water source?

    4. What do you plan on applying the tea to?

    Send me a PM and I'll give you my phone number and talk you through it if you want, or just respond on here and I'll do my best to help out if I can!

  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    with out DO2 meter good luck, you are going to have air issues at that temp. I would also steer away from fish emulsion and stay with fish oil!

    have fun.
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    "hey dude watch this" and " bro hold my beer" come to mind......
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Tad where in the H*LL have you been, we've missed you

    Great season I hope, keep on keep'n on, as a friend of used to say
  7. Go-Green Lawn Care

    Go-Green Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    None taken, I've obviously never made compost tea before. I've watched a few seminars by Bruce Deuley, and read through pages and pages of websites and forums. All of the things I mentioned adding to the tea were mentioned on a COMPOST TEA FAQ post on another site. What's wrong with adding alfalfa, and molasses to the tea?

    1. I have a brand new 30 gallon drum. I'm going to start with about 10 gallons of water.

    2. Not sure what you mean by inputs, but I'm starting with two 5 gallon paint strainer bags containing chicken manure compost - all I could get my hands on :( , a couple alfalfa pellets in each strainer bag, and a tbs of molasses in the water.

    I have two 20-60 gallon aquarium pumps connected to four 6" air stones in the bottom of the drum and two more 2" stones in each strainer bag to help aerate the compost.

    3. I have a shallow well.

    4. Grass and plants
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

  9. Go-Green Lawn Care

    Go-Green Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I'll move the drum inside my garage which is heated and cooled. Stays around 80 midday. lows 70's at night.
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    do you know what the gpm/cfm is on the little air pumps??

    that compost is pure poison that's not a good thing, if you get a whiff or even a hint of poop smell or any thing that smells bitter, DUMP IT IN THE TOILET, you could potentially make germ warfare with that brew

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