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 Post subject: Aerated Tea Question
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:21 pm 
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For about 6 months now I have been making my own aerated teas.

I have tweaked it to in a 5 gallon bucket I throw in a shovel full of compost, 1/4 cup alfalfa meal, 1/8 cup liquid mollases, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It seems to work great everything looks better after I spray it.

One odd thing. I don't think it is a bad think just want an opinion.

Everytime, within 24 hours, I have the preferred yeasty smell and a huge foam head. I use it most of the time between 20 and 36 hours after I started brewing. Most things say to let it brew for 3 days or so. I let it go for 3.5 days once and it lost the foamy head and the smell. I'm assuming that means it was going anaerobic. Yes/No??

Couple questions.
1) Is it good that it forms so fast?

2) If I added less alfalfa and mollasses would this slow it down and would that be any detrement/benefit?

Again I'm not concerned. I start brewing one evening now and use it the next and it works great I was just wondering why it seems to "form" so fast.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:53 pm 
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You don't mention where you live (a pet peeve of mine) so I'm going to assume you live in Texas - home of the Dirt Doctor.

Adding molasses to a tea in this heat is too much viagra for the microbes. The heat alone is enough. So you've discovered a way out and are going with the foam indicating the end of productive brewing rather than letting it go for a certain time period as most of the recommendations read.

Once the tea gets above 80 degrees F, you do not need any stimulation to grow microbes. If the temp is below 75 degrees you can add about 1/4 ounce of molasses per gallon of water. If the temp is below 65 degrees, you can add 1/2 ounce per gallon of water. If the temp is below 50 degrees, forget about brewing tea - the microbes are dormant.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 1:40 pm 
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Dave is right. I've noticed foaming differences on my aerated teas based on longevity of my brewing, the time of day, weather, and humidity. It's basically all the mixture of various species of aerobic bacteria and fungi growing in the tea at that time.

If it continues to smell yeasty, pleasant, sweet, or like wine, you are still ok in that maximum aerobic tea zone, as Dr. Elaine Ingham suggests in her books and on her websites.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:22 pm 
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So is this post recommending that once the tea starts to foam aggressively it is complete?

I ask because the foam in my bucket reached the top of my bucket and spilled out onto my garage floor, and I'm not sure why my tea is foaming up so much.

Does it need more oxygen, less molasses, or what?

What makes all this foam, please explain?

Thanks all!


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:34 pm 
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I just learned the other day from another organic site and friend, that the foam on top of aerobic tea brews is the result of the production of glycerin in the tea via aerobic microbes from the compost. Whether or not you have foam or not, is not a good enough indicator alone to whether your aerobic tea is a good aerobic bacterial/fungal biostimulant or not:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/loa ... 10791.html

Some folks slow down the foam (or glycerin) production by using a few drops of canola oil or citrus oil in their water in the tea brew. I personally have never seen that much foam on any of my brews.

Hope this helps.
Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:47 pm 
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I freakin out, everytime I turn around there is another stipulation. I just finished reading that an amendment of molasses at temps above 80F is a big no-no, it can turn a tea anaerobic. Well I dumped about 2oz a gallon of liq. molasses cause I thought I was feeding the microbes.

So just to clear the air, if a tea is still smelling sweet and happy it is all good, no anaerobic mess?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:59 pm 
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Don't freak out, my friend! Remember good aerobic tea brewing as well as good composting is a journey not a destination! There is no such thing as the "perfect tea" or the "perfect compost pile". All forms of composting and tea brewing is both a science and an art. But most of all, it's suppose to be fun, creative, and entertaining not difficult and frustration.

The goal of all composting and aerobic tea brewing is to produce enough food for all your soil microbes and earthworms to eat and poop out good available soluble nutrients for your plants. Yes, aerobic teas just like compost should have that pleasant, yeasty smell from actinomycetes.

However, no matter how it looks or smell, (and if you dilute it real good), and if you've done your job as a sustainable gardener by using good common sense year round composting, mulching, green manuring, companion planting, etc., whatever shape your tea is in, will not really matter that much. (Using any biostimulant tea as a soil drench is always safer on plants than using it as a foliar spray or drench, for controversial style tea brews.)

It's just like gourmet cooking: You get better at it the more you do it, and you develop your own personal style and technique as you go further in the future doing it.

Keep in mind that no liquid natural biostimulant or tea brew, is a replacement for regular soil building methods like composting and mulching. Aerobic tea brews are designed to complement not replace good ole compost.

The healthy strong colonies of aerobic microbes in your rich organic soil should be able to survive, overcome, neutralize, buffer, and balance any mild pathogenic or anaerobic microbes in any biostimulant tea brew anyway.

There is an unlimited number collections of microbes and microbial species, and varieties of microbes around us at all times, in our gardens, and even at different climates, weather conditions, and temperature changes. So there is no way to always guarantee the same exact coloring or smell of tea on every batch.

The best we can do as amateur organic tea brewers is supply a good sample of available microbes, humus, and nutrients to our soils and plants at different times of the year, and then sit back wait, and let nature take over, and do it's thing to improve our soils and heal and strengthen our plants.

Hope this helps.
Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 6:37 pm 
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Thanks Captain for your post. It is very informative. You are correct, there is no perfect compost or compost tea. Each of us does our compost and compost tea different. I say that what ever works best for you is what you should use. Compost is the best fertilizer and only fertilizer that is truely slow release. The only time my tea foams is when I aereate it.
Keep up the great posts. we all learn from you and your experiences.

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