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Drunken composting method  RSS feed

 
Todd Parr
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Would like to hear from anyone that tried it, and what the results were.  Thanks.

drunken composting method
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I would take into consideration the items they are saying to use as "catalyst", which is what they are promoting.

Beer = yeast

Cola = acid and sugars

Ammonia = nitrogen

This statement "Supercharge your compost pile's bacteria with a "Drunken Composting " mixture using beer, cola, & ammonia in a 20 gallon hose end sprayer! It turns grass clippings & leaves into useable garden soil in 10-14 days." makes me laugh.
The reason it makes me laugh is that this has been done for at least the last 70 years and the naming is a hype type feature to get peoples attention and probably will end up with someone trying to pass it off as a new idea for money.

Will it work? yes it does and as I mentioned it has for many years. Is it Hype? yes this is what I would consider hype.

Let me break this down a bit. First, they say to mix the items and apply with a sprayer. Note they do mention using a compost container, ever hear of a compost tumbler? or commercially available bin? same thing.
                                            Second,  The materials they talk about are the same ones everyone uses, nothing special or magical about that.
                                            third, you really want to waste beer to make compost? 
                                            fourth, adding acid from cola is not something I want in my compost, I can always add some vinegar to a heap should I feel it needs some acid.
                                            fifth, Ammonia? Just pee on your heap, done deal. Using chemical ammonia can work but why buy some to use for this?

The actual method they are touting is called "HOT COMPOSTING", when done in an enclosed container it breaks down everything except wood in 14 to 18 days.

Redhawk
                                       
 
Burra Maluca
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My husband and I do something similar.

He drinks the beer.  I drink the cola.  The pee goes on the compost and supplies the ammonia as a freebie.

Here's the video in case anyone doesn't want to click the link.

 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

The actual method they are touting is called "HOT COMPOSTING", when done in an enclosed container it breaks down everything except wood in 14 to 18 day.  Redhawk


Redhawk, I fully agree with everything you said.  My question about this particular method is because it doesn't use any kind of container at all, and appears to turn grass clippings and brown matter into useful compost in 10-14 days with one turning.  I currently compost exactly as you describe of course.  I pile in the greens and browns and pee on the pile.  I turn mine weekly, because that is all the time and effort I am willing to allot for it.  I have never had finished compost in anything less than months though, certainly never anywhere near 2 weeks.  I have a pile cooking currently that has been going for months that isn't near done yet and from the looks of it, won't be for another couple months at least.  That is with the correct moisture, ratios, and it heats up very well between turnings.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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The only way I can get finished compost in 14 days is by using my homemade drum and giving it one turn per day.

Most of my compost comes from heaps that are just piled up in layers and I only turn one when I want to make some additions to that heap.
My usual finish times are around 30 to 60 days and those are from heaps with lots of grass clippings in them.

Fresh grass clippings will heat up enough to spontaneously combust if you don't add lots of browns to them.

It is possible that what they are doing is simply nitrogen composting, which doesn't really do you a lot of good as compost as well as throwing a lot of carbon into the air.
Give the method described a trial and let me know how it smells, looks and feels. You know good compost so your senses will tell the greater story.

Redhawk
 
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