What Is A Compost Tea Brewer? And Why Should You Use One?

Compost-Tea-BrewerWhilst it’s certainly not the type of tea you’d want to drink, compost tea is a highly nutritious fertiliser for organic farming and is completely non-toxic. The ‘tea’ is brewed using compost and organic waste products (old hay, animal dung etc) in a large fermentation tank, creating a liquid brimming with microorganisms and compounds known as humates. Humates are recognisable as the dark semi-soluble particles that remain when organic material has decayed into its final form. 

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Why Are Humates Useful?

Humates are concentrated nutrients that contain important enzymes to help plants get the most out of their soil. The reason that plants thrive in compost is due to the high humate volume, but high-grade compost is often prohibitively expensive. By separating the humates from compost into a liquid, poor soils can be given a quick-fix nutrient boost to help plants grow. 

Does Compost Tea Have Any Additional Purposes?

Compost tea has traditionally been used as a weak but fast-acting fertiliser by home gardeners. However, that is not its only purpose. Compost tea is filled with microorganisms that may help agricultural food plants fight root diseases and fungal infections, increasing yields without needing to use chemical pesticides. 

Although this was once considered a gardener’s myth, there is a growing database of academic research supporting the claim. Equally supported by scientific studies are claims that compost tea improves soil structure on farms, aiding both aeration and water retention. When compost tea is used for its microbial properties rather than solely as a fertiliser, a few litres can supply a single acre, making it highly cost-effective. 

How Can I Make Compost Tea?

There is more to the art of compost tea than simply soaking compost in water. The most beneficial liquids require intensive aeration, and tea makers often add materials such as seaweed or powdered rock to encourage the right microbial growth. As many supporters of compost tea argue that the real value is in the microorganisms, contemporary brewing often focuses upon stimulating organic growth in a controlled, multi-stage fermentation process over 12-36 months.    

What Should I Look For In A Compost Tea Brewing Tank?

Using a heavy-duty compost tea brewer tank is a highly efficient way of creating a non-toxic feed in just a few days, increasing in potency the longer you leave it. For the fastest and most cost-effective solution, look for a system that speeds up the process with a catalyst, and which has excellent aeration and mixing capabilities. 

The more vigorous the aeration, the greater the nutritional value. To enable the required mixing speeds, the tank should be made from thick, moulded Polyethylene (PE) with both rust-proofing and UV stabilisation. Choosing PE is particularly important, as tanks need to be kept free from unwanted contaminants such as bacteria that may harm plants.

What Next?

At Enduramaxx, we have seen the crop and cost benefits of compost tea and offer a range of solutions to suit a variety of applications. For more information, please get in touch with one of our fluid management specialists.        

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