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 Post subject: large volume tea making
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:26 pm 
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I am interested in info on making larger volumes of tea!!
Can you use the same quantities as 5 gal bucket method and brew longer as bacteria will just multiply?
I would like to use at least a 50 Gallon drum.
Anyone doing this now ?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:24 am 
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It seems simply a question of scale, multiplying the recipe from 5 gallons to 50. Are you using a pump to aerate the tea? Here is a good video about the process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0en00_CSM4

How long are you planning to keep it? I think that might be an important factor in the decision to make more. If you use it soon you'll probably get more bang than it if gets old or if it is stored in a way to kill the biological activity.

I've scaled down some of the recipes that I don't use often because things like old garlic pepper tea don't age gracefully and I don't like to have them in my fridge. :?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:43 pm 
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You'll need a larger air pump than for small aquariums. You should be able to find one at a fish supply place.

Malcolm Beck has four 10,000 gallon water/fish tanks in his greenhouse. To aerate those he has an electric motor connected with a belt to an old automotive air pump. It's just a matter of scaling up.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:27 pm 
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How long can you keep this compost tea? Is it good indefinitely, as long as it is aerated?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:09 am 
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Is it simply scale , as if you start with 1qt. of compost in 50 instead of 5 gallons as the video shows, you have introduced the bact. and fungal properties to it and they will multiply regardless of scale. Am i wrong on this assumption.
The only thing i have increased is the food source as in the case of molasses to the brew,,,, one half ounce per gallon of water.
24 hrs is all the time the Doctor calls for with the 5 gallons.Should I brew for 30 as bacteria will double every such amount of time (not sure)
Evan just starting with only 2 bacteria in amillion gallons of water will eventually reproduce to higher than we care to think.
As for the aeration,,,, i use a hose supplied from very large shop air compressor,,, No Stones attached. Just place in bottom of the drum and valve cracked open just enuf to supply air in nice proportionate amount.

I have also heard ppl that leave a small amount of brew in bottom of the tea maker and just adding water and food source to the mix....they never added fresh compost ... some would use the same tea bag for more than one brew !

I Plan on using the tea up right after the brewing process as anytime you stop aeration,,,your beneficials start to die , as well as when they run out of food source , in this case ,molasses.

From what i have read , if you make and dont use it right away, you have done nothing.

Thankyou for all you input in this matter


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:50 am 
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arlie I think you are correct on all counts.

You asked about leaving some behind to seed the microbes into the next batch. I would use fresh compost each time. What you are getting with the compost is a fresh supply of microbes. Some of those microbes cannot survive the water "torture." If you continue to use only the survivors from each batch, I'd be afraid of not having much of any benefit after a few cycles.

Something we never talk about is how, or why, to clean the equipment. The equipment should be cleaned after every batch. There is an unseemly dark side to compost tea. The bacterial always leave behind something called biofilm. This is the bacterial slime you feel on the equipment afterward. It is also the stuff that grows on your teeth where gum disease forms. It forms underneath the biofilm. Fortunately fresh biofilms are easily brushed away with a toothbrush or a bristle brush in your compost tea maker. I would supplement the cleaning brush with a 1/4 cup of OxyClean or the Walmart version called Sun Oxygen Cleaner. Those products generate hydrogen peroxide to sterilize the equipment.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:49 pm 
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I have heard ppl just say make sure you clean after each batch but not why,,, i experience alot of film mainly on the water line inside the drum and also any hoses involved in the aeration which are easily cleaned off between batches however i have not thought of any unseen film thru out the system like you say.
Thank ypu for your information !


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Biofilm--sounds like a horror film..Not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight, creepy :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Either that, or it is the Next Big Idea in addressing some current environmental problem. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:01 pm 
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I had not heard of biofilm until Dr Ingham mentioned it somewhere. I started looking into it and it can be a mess. The film protects anaerobic bacteria that live between the film and whatever the film is stuck to.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Thank you for posting the related articles. It gave me an idea on what really a Biofilm is. Thanks. :)

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