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Wanting to make an extract with a vortex brewer  RSS feed

 
Posts: 140
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama)
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I am wanting to make my first "real" batch of compost tea but would like to make it more of an extract.  So I used the mix ratios intended for a 55 gallon barrel in my ~24 gallon vortex brewer.  I have an aquarium heater to keep the water at 68F.
Here is what I mixed together.
vermicompost - 19 Cups
unsulphured pure black strap molasses - 4 cups US
fish hydrolysate - 4 ounces
kelp meal - 2+ cups
soft rock phosphate (mostly powdered) -  4 ounces

This has been brewing for over 24 hours and am thinking that since Dissolved oxygen is not a concern I can run this for a week.   I have read a suggestion to put in a handful of composted wood chips to increase the fungal count. 

I do not have a microscope yet.  On my list of must haves.

My question.  Does this make sense?  Any recommendations?  Should I add molasses in a couple of days?

Thanks 
 
pollinator
Posts: 356
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9, 60" rain/yr,
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dog duck hugelkultur
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I've heard many warnings about going beyond 72hrs without reupping your sugars and nutrients. I have gone up to a week myself, and don't think it helped despite vigorous aeration with a vortex brewer. Maybe it wasn't enough or I did something wrong, but I never had any problems with results from 24-72hr brews. I also think if you just get ducks (I like muscovies) and either refresh and/or aerate their pool/pond, that is the best tea I've used for nitrogen tolerant plants. I feed them veggies and fruit from the trees above them and a compost pickup from a natural grocery, and they carry many items into their pond to soak, especially dried or shriveled fruits, which I speculate provides great sugars.
 
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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When you brew for more than 72 hours you are into nutrient deprivation and your hard earned microorganisms are now dying off.
If you want to brew longer (no real point to this but if you do) then you need to provide more food at the 60 hour mark, timing is everything for keeping the organisms reproducing.

What will happen when you extend the brew time is that the balance of organisms will start to shift towards the predators which means they will begin eating more of the bacteria and fungi, which are the building blocks of soil health.
The real reason for the 72 hour max brew time is that this is the tipping point at exactly 72 hours you will have the maximums of all the different organisms which is why we brew this stuff in the first place.

Redhawk
 
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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With a vortex brewer and a stronger pump I would look for the electricity consumption. If there's no advantage why whould you sepnd more?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Don't forget that you can go too powerful. I brew with a simple aquarium pump, large air stone and heat bent PVC pipe (1" ID), works great for my needs and doesn't beat things up or to death.

It costs me less than 1 dollar over a three day period. 
 
Dennis Bangham
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Thanks for the advice.  This afternoon was the 72 hour point in the brew.  The tea looked a nice brown color with a little of foam on top.  I put it all on my fruits. 
I found one of my Asian Pears already starting to leaf out.  I have not even thought of prunning yet since I was taught that pruning late helps delay budding.  Oh well.
 
Ben Zumeta
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You can prune all the way into flower to select for the best placed and most vigorous flowering stems. The flowering branches you take off will make your house smell and look great (if briefly as they are delicate).
 
Dennis Bangham
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Yeah, that Asian Pear always blooms early and is sometimes fully leafed out when the last hard chill hits.  It seems to take it well but it has never produced fruit in 6 years.  I am hoping that I can do some magic with the guidance of Redhawk and the others on this site.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Dennis,
Is that Asian pear just six years old?  if so it will probably start fruiting in year seven or eight. Almost all fruit trees will not start producing until around 7 years of age, so if your tree is only six it hasn't matured enough to set fruit yet.
Also when you get a frost after blooming, fruit trees tend to drop fruit just as when there is too large a fruit set the trees will drop fruit, leaving only the quantity they can hold until fully ripe.

Redhawk
 
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