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Do I really need to aerate my tea?
YES! Technically speaking, compost tea is called Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT). The air supply must be sufficient to keep the tea aerobic through the entire process. Otherwise, tea left to sit in water without oxygen will go stagnant and could populate anaerobic pathogens which could damage your plants.
Should I add ingredients in a specific order?
No, you don’t have to. However, it is helpful to add the compost in first to help prevent the finer grained ingredients (like kelp or humic acid) from falling through the bottom of the bag.
Do liquid ingredients need to be added to the tea bag?
No. Liquid ingredients can be poured directly into the water.
How far should the tea bag be submersed under the water?
The bag needs to be completely submersed, preferably half way down.
How important is it to dechlorinate your water?
It is very important!!! Chlorine is a disinfectant and kills microbial life.
What is the best way to dechlorinate my water?
There are quite a few methods of dechlorination. The most straightforward is to simply add water to your bucket and allow it to bubble for at least 2 hours but preferably 12-24 hours. This will evaporate off the chlorine as well as most of the chloramine. There are also carbon filters, reverse osmosis water systems and fairly inexpensive garden hose decholorinators which uses gold flakes to remove 85% of the chlorine immediately.
Can I use the same compost materials to make more than one batch of tea?
NO! Do not reuse materials in subsequent batches of tea. You will not acheive the same results and will most likely create a putrid”smelling tea with unhealthy microbes.
How important is it to keep track of water temperature?
It can be important if you are in more extreme environments and are brewing outside. Typically ambient room temperature between 50-80 degrees Faranheit will give you enough buffer to brew your tea for the right amount of time. If you are in a very cold environment then perhaps an aquarium heater could be used in the machine. If you are somewhere very warm then you could add some ice, or at the very minimum, make sure the tea is in the shade.
Do I need to clean the teabag after each use?
YES, see cleaning instructions
I made too much tea, can I store unused tea in refrigerator?
It is best to use compost tea within a few hours after the oxygen supply is turned off. You can try to store it in a refrigerator, but we don’t recommend it. Essentially the microbiology that was alive and thriving will begin to die off, and without oxygen or food, it will begin to turn anaerobic.
What can I do with unused tea?
Fertilize the earth! You can dump it onto a compost pile, grass, pretty much anywhere on the earth. The point though, is to try to make a batch the right size for one application. That’s where the Compost Tea Calculator can help you fine tune your projects.
What can I do with used material from tea bag?
Discard used materials into a compost pile or mix in unused garden soil.