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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 11:18 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:12 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Kerrville, TX
First question: My compost pile is still pretty new, and I'm wondering about the bagged compost I bought. I got it at lowes - It's called 100% Organic compost "earth's best" or something like that. I'm using it as a base for my tea. I know that a composted manure would be better, but it's what I have brewing now. I have added to my 5 gallon bucket that is equipped with an air hose and pump: 2 ounces of liquid seaweed (Maestro brand), 1 ounce apple cider vinegar, 2 ounces molasses, a couple hands full of alfalfa, and an old nasty hairy tomatao that had been rotting in my fruit basket. It is foamy and yeasty, so I assume it's ok, but would it be much better with composted manure? The bagged stuff I bought was only $2.50, and will give me about 6 5-gallon brews worth.

My other question is about the water I'm using. We live in the country outside of Kerrville and we're on a well, and the water is totally untreated, unfiltered, unsoftened, etc. Do I need to do anything to this water to prep it for brewing?

Also, just a suggestion for you home-brewers: I bought a spigot to attach to the bottom of my 5-gallon bucket. I don't use a screen or anything, I just open the spigot when I need some tea. Small pieces come through, but the big pieces stay in. This way, I can keep the brewer on my porch out of the sun and not make a mess when trying to fill my watering can. If you need to filter for use in a fine mist sprayer, just wrap some panty hose around the spigot and let her rip. Bad choice of words, don't let the pantyhose rip, let the spigot rip! Anyway, when the bucket's empty, just take it to the compost pile and empty the spent tea ingredients. I also use a lid for my bucket and run the air hose through a hole I drilled. I had to drill another small hole to allow air to escape. This keeps my daughter and critters out of my brew - twice I found floating mice who must have been very curious!

Thanks so much for this great community! My garden and my flowers have NEVER looked so beautiful!


"Peace and quiet is there any,
We are the beautiful too many,
Here in the Going, going, gone" - Greg Brown

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 10:25 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
Posts: 964
Location: Odenville,Alabama
Sounds like you got a great setup going on there!

Homemade mature manure compost or vermicompost is definitely the best for tea brewing. However any form of compost will work fine. You can do like me and add more bacterial/fungal foods to your recipe in order to get more beneficial microbes in the mix, plus add more protein and carbohydrates to the tea at the same time.

I like adding corn meal, grain meal cattle/horse feeds, seaweed, rotten fish scraps, rotten fruit (not citrus), and lots of sugary stuff like molasses or corn syrup, etc., whenever I like to spice the tea up a lot for my purposes.

Any form of rain or faucet water from any rain barrel that is over 24-48 hours old is fine for all aerobic tea brewing. Some tea experts use a few tblsp of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of tea for extra, instant, oxidation powers too.

Acidic teas tend to be best for flowering, fruiting plants, and for making phosphorus more available to plant's roots and foliage. Apple cider vinegar in teas is good for this purpose.

Alkalinic teas tend to be best for leafy, high foliage plants. Natural ammonia products in teas are great for this purpose, if you like.

Aerated teas contain aerobic microbes, which tend to make teas go to a near neutral to 7.5 pH. Non-aerated teas tend to breed anaerobic microbes, which make teas go to a very low acidic pH.

The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton

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