Recipe 4 Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT)
10 gallon bucket
$8 fish tank heater (keeps water at or right around 70*)
5 gallons of water (not tap water) use rain or river, lake water
2 cups worm castings/compost mix
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
20 watt eco 1 air pump
BubbleMac air stone or any 2in x 2in air stone will do, but BubbleMac are the best.
I use a ten gallon bucket and fill that with 4 milk-jugs full of clean water. You really should not use chlorinated tap water. There are chlorines and chloramines in tap water that are almost impossible to remove without a reverse osmosis or carbon filter and even those have even been proven to hurt your water. If you have a lake or stream nearby then go fill up some 5 gallon water bottles and bring it home or go get a rain barrel and start collecting rainwater
Clean water and oxygen is the key to success with AACT.
Then take 1 more gallon of clean water in a separate bucket and add molasses and humus/compost/worm casting mix. Stir this vigorously.
Then add that gallon of water/soil mix to the 4 gallons of water in your 10 gallon bucket then add your airstone connected to your airpump and a fish tank heater.
Turn on your air pump and bubble for 24-36 hours. You can scoop some out and smell it around 24 hrs. If it still smells sweet like molasses (like it did when you started) you need to wait a few more hours. If it smells like earthy and/or like mushrooms, then its ready.
You may or may not see foaming and it is NOT an indicator of a healthy or unhealthy compost tea brew.
Once it stops smelling sweet you can mix with water and apply or apply as is. I like to mix mine at a rate of 1 gallon compost tea to 2 gallons water and water into the soil.
Make sure you're mixing with clean water. I really want to stress this because if you use chlorinated water you will kill all the microbes you just made in your aact.
Also, through long debate and discussion, we do not add kelp, humic acid, or any other inputs other than compost, worm castings, unsulphured molasses and maybe some pnsb before application but thats it. This is due to what you are trying to achieve with compost tea. AACT is designed to extract microbes from soil into water and then give them the habitat required for multiplication. This is where the magic happens, or when microbes multiply into other microbes to create a very microbially concentrated tea.
When you add kelp or fish or humic acid, the habitat required for multiplication declines and can hasten you end results.
BUT, do not think that I am saying kelp fish or humic acid are bad in any way, they just need their own tea, or nutrient solution of their own. ENJOY!!
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