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Can I use bokashi liquid to create a new tribe of friendly bacteria?  RSS feed

 
Peta Schroder
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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I was wondering if I had a big tub of bran with a sealed lid and poured in all my excess bokashi liquid and stirred it in, I could reuse the bran to add to my bokashi bucket rather than buying more commercial bokashi bran. Eventually I'd need to buy more bran to ensure I had the right microorganisms, but it might be cost effective in the short term?

I bokashi meat, garlic, chilli and citrus scraps currently. Anything too tough and/or unpalatable for worms.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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Thanks for posting this question because I learned something new. I had to google bokashi just to find out what it is. Now that I see that it is a composting process, I understand your question. I obviously don't have any experience with bokashi, but I do know a thing or two about composting and microbiology. Seems to me that your idea has merit. I guess if you had extra bran available, why not use it and avoid having to buy the special innoculated bran for your bokashi. You just innoculate the bran you have and use it instead. I see that molasses is also a common additive in these systems, too. This bokashi must be a strong composting system to be able to compost meat. And having the liquid available for compost tea is nice too. Hmmm, I might want to set up one of these here too. How long does it take to complete one cycle and produce a batch of tea? As for me, I would only be interested if I did not have to repeatedly buy the bran or any other ingredient. Could you not recycle some of the finished product each batch to avoid that?
 
Peta Schroder
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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Well that's what I was wondering too, I've never done it. It might be that the strain of bacteria becomes changed over time though and you don't want that; it has to be a friendly anaerobic bacteria to work.

It takes only a few days to start getting a liquid tea and it produces a lot of the stuff. Far too much for diluting and hand watering plants so I don't know what to do with it. I must admit I've used it a few times not very diluted and it didn't kill anything. I put it on cid-loving berries just in case.

One time I put some in a tank of water I was using as a gravity feed for some ollas, as an experiment, and that was disastrous. A bloom of mould formed across the top of the water tank and it STUNK and eventually the olla filled with gunk and stopped working.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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Well at least you're learning a lot about microbiology! I make a lot of aerobic compost tea. Whatever the source of the tea, it is going to be a highly concentrated stew of microbes such that it MUST be diluted (with unchlorinated water) and used immediately. As soon as the conditions that created the "super-saturated" tea are discontinued, it begins to die off. I put 5 gallons of concentrated tea in a 30 gallon trash can and fill it with water. Then I use a watering can to foliar feed. As long as it is diluted, you can't overfeed compost tea. Not possible. We could make a thousand gallons a week and our 13,000 square foot food forest would just be begging for more. Once the diluted tea is poured into the garden, the microbes in the tea now have a new source of organic matter to decompose, and they compete with all the microbes already in the soil. War ensues, as well as symbiotic cooperation, and the end result is that nutrients are released that are in a readily available state for the plants.

Anybody else out there do any bokashi composting?
 
Scott Olsen
Posts: 3
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I have been doing bokashi for three years recycling several tons of food waste per week. I am currently experimenting with using the bokashi tea to create bokashi bran or to use directly to start a new fermentation cycle.
If you are going to innoculate bran with the tea, my sense is that you should dilute the tea first to dilute the fermentation inhibitors (alcohols, etc). I have tried diluting the tea, adding molasses, allowing 2-3 days for microbes to grow population on samll amount of added molasses, and then innoculating bran. Then let the bran ferment 1-2 weeks and then use. My plan is not to dry it because I use so much of it that I do not need the shelf life that drying provides.
I have not tried using the tea directly on food waste, but my sense is that in large quantities like I am doing the food waste itself provides sufficient dilution. In small household quantities of food waste I would use just a small amount of full strength tea, or go through the dilution process described above as for bran. I am not a microbiolgist, but I know some.
 
Peta Schroder
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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Thanks to both, that's very interesting.

I used to bokashi everything (no worm farm) and I was a raw food vegan so I had heaps of wet things like banana peels etc. I was filling a bin up every week, hence having Sooooooo much tea. These days I eat a more balanced diet and my bokashi bin is much smaller so it's not such a problem, plus not too much tea coming out of a T-bone.

I like to have a self-sustaining process though, so I definitely intend to try using the juice directly and/or inoculating some bran next time. I only just set up the bin after my bran being in storage a year so I might be benefitted by waiting until I buy fresh commercial bran.
 
Peta Schroder
Posts: 62
Location: Australia
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Actually, I got into kefir making about a year after putting my bokashi bucket into storage, and I learned about how bacteria will colonize whenever there are sugars present so that is key. Now I understand why it's important to add the molasses. I have a bunch of airlocks from my kefir experimentation days so I might try brewing some bokashi liquid and molasses under air lock for a couple of days and see what I get.
 
Hanley Kale-Grinder
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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The people who sell em claim that you risk not having the correct microbes. This could cause the fermentation process to fail and turn rancid. Only one way to find out though.

Also, it is much more cost efficient to buy EM-1 and make your own bokashi. From 1 quart of EM-1 you could make 126 gallons of liquid to soak bran (or saw dust or newspaper etc.). I'm guessing that one gallon can saturate 5 gallons of bran...which mean from $25 of EM-1 you could make about 600 gallons of bokashi.
 
Ray South
Posts: 64
Location: Northern Tablelands, NSW, Australia
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Here's some stuff on making your won EM: http://newspaperbokashi.wordpress.com/
 
Eduard Kotlyar
Posts: 15
Location: NYC
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How about using bokashi it self as a starter for your new basket? Anybody tried that?
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 61
Location: Maple City Michigan
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Ray South wrote:Here's some stuff on making your won EM: http://newspaperbokashi.wordpress.com/
I just read the entire page and I see that "most" of the alternate methods describe turning the mixture regularly. This would be making an aerobic growth of bacteria. Bokashi is specifically an-aerobic. Keep in mind that anytime you are "experimenting" with bacterial cultures you have a possibility of creating deadly bacteria. (like botulism). Search this forum for Bokashi and do some reading. there is a lot to know. I made my own bran from EM1 and I have a years worth of it for just a few dollars. Easy to do and I'm not taking chances with a less than exact mix of bacteria's. I personally would rather be safe than sorry. I read that you can dump the Bokashi liquid down your drains and it will act as a drain cleaner. I do that in winter 'cause I can't use it outside.
 
Eduard Kotlyar
Posts: 15
Location: NYC
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kirk dillon wrote:
Ray South wrote:Here's some stuff on making your won EM: http://newspaperbokashi.wordpress.com/
I just read the entire page and I see that "most" of the alternate methods describe turning the mixture regularly. This would be making an aerobic growth of bacteria. Bokashi is specifically an-aerobic. Keep in mind that anytime you are "experimenting" with bacterial cultures you have a possibility of creating deadly bacteria. (like botulism).


While I'm not an expert on Bokashi. But will do it sporadically.
I make my own starter ( not bran but use other types of media ).
And yes I made my own EM with exact method described and it was just as good as a sold one.
From my own experience I do not recommend turning/mixing bokashi... It disturbs bacterial grows.

My next experiment will be using a bokashi it self as a starter for next batch. I just don't see why not? Its full of beneficial bacteria!! exactly what I need.
 
Juan Sebastian Estrada
Posts: 94
Location: Medellin, Colombia
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I want to start bokashi but the full process of inoculating bran and letting it pre-ferment seems too long and too many steps because in case something goes wrong I have to wait almost another month to create a good starter-bran and let it dry. Isn't it possible to grow the EM in liquid form (whey+water+molasses) then spray it on top of the scraps and un-inoculated bran each time I put new scraps into the bucket?
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 61
Location: Maple City Michigan
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The purpose of the bran is, A;to multiply the number of bacteria (Em1 plus molasses and water added to bran over time creates billions more of the bacteria)
and B; to allow a way to dry out the bacteria and substrate so that you can use it over a long period of time. (unlike the liquid, the bran can last for a year or 2)
You are not "pre-fermenting" the bokashi, you're making more of it by giving the bacteria a place and conditions to grow on the bran.
Hope that helps
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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Juan, You can get started by using a purchased bag of bokashi bran, while you are using up the purchased you can tinker with making your own supply on the side. It was a fun process, I remember writing a thread while I was making mine with all the steps I took.
 
Victoria Gardner
Posts: 4
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So does anyone here have their own home brewed Bokashi bran? Can you pass it forward to other garners wanting to try making Bokashi bran? Kind of like sharing a kombucha scooby or Kiefer grains? Not sure if it's common enough to share or easy enough to home brew buti think I'd like to try it someday...
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
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http://www.permies.com/t/38156/composting/loaded-bin-bokashi#310232

here is the thread on how I made mine. Buckets of scraps breaking down nicely with minimal smell. Sometimes my bucket itself gets stinky though, food scraps cling to the edges and sometimes don't get inoculated. Not a problem, just dump it out, wash out with vinegar and good to go for a long time.
 
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