Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is compost tea?

daylilyCompost tea is an aerobic water solution that has extracted the microbe population from compost along with the nutrients. In simple terms, it is a concentrated liquid created by a process to increase the numbers of beneficial organisms as an organic approach to plant/soil care.

Why use compost tea?

Compost tea has many benefits. It will make our environment healthier and safer and will put the microbe biology back onto the plants and soil. It recreates the natural environment that plants have evolved through millions of years to be healthy.

How long does it take to make compost tea in the Keep It Simple® 5-gallon brewer?

It takes 12 hours at 55°-80° or longer if the temperatures are colder. The warmer the temperature (not to exceed 95 degrees), the faster the brew (with a minimum of 12 hours).

How long does it take to make compost tea in the Keep It Simple® 5, 28, 55, & 100, 500, and 1000-gallon brewers?

It takes 24 hours at 55°-80° degrees or longer if the temperatures are colder in the larger brewers, 12-hours (or more) in the 5-gallon brewer.mimosaWhen do I apply compost tea?

The tea must be used within 4 hours after you have turned the motor off and it has finished brewing to achieve maximum benefit. The best time to apply in the day is early morning or early evening. Hot day time temperatures are not as effective and will reduce the good biology.

How often should I apply my compost tea?

For foliar disease prevention, you can spray the plants just before you would usually have the onset of disease occurring. Then you would spray every 10 days to 2 weeks for about a month. You should monitor what you are seeing on your plants to determine if further spray is needed. For soil application we recommend two times a year spring and fall. For promoting growth, you could spray once a month during the growing season. Frequency and scheduling of applications will vary depending on individual environmental conditions. You cannot over-apply compost tea.

How can I get more food brewing kits and how long will they keep?

You may order more kits from the person or nursery you purchased your brewer from or directly from us. The food brewing kits will keep for a year as long as they have been stored properly.

How can I get more food brewing kits and how long will they keep?

You may order more kits from the person or nursery you purchased your brewer from or directly from us. The food brewing kits will keep for a year as long as they have been stored properly.

How do I apply the compost tea to my plants and soil?

You can use a sprinkler can for applying to the soil or a backpack sprayer or a sprayer that has a nozzle that will not clog to do a foliar spray (see below). The backpack sprayers have a different type of nozzle that will not clog when applying compost tea. 

Can I spray compost tea through a hose canister sprayer?

Generally, no. If you have untreated water then you can. If there is chlorine in the water that will kill all the microbes.

What happens if the tea isn't used within 4 hours?

The population of microbes decreases as the tea goes anaerobic and it becomes less effective.

What happens if the brewing process is interrupted?

It really depends on how long the process has been interrupted. Generally, you would just start the process again.

What happens if temperatures are too cold?

The air temperature determines the water temperature because the air is moving through the pump into the water. If the temperatures are too cold (below 70 degrees), it will take longer for the microbes to produce and you will need to run your brewer for a minimum of 3 hours longer. 

What time of year is best to use the compost tea?

During the growing season or anytime when night time temperatures are above 40 degrees.

How long do the microbes live after I apply them?

If the living conditions are right, the microbes will continue to live and reproduce.

Can I apply too much tea and do damage to my soil or plants?

No.

Can it hurt my pets?

No.

I have ordered your fungal compost in bulk and don't know how to store it properly. How should I store the compost?
Click here to read our bulk compost care instructions.

Will the compost tea get rid of diseases on my plants?
Click here to read on how compost tea suppresses disease.

What happens if I put the teabag in and forgot to put the food in?

Then you need to add it and start your brewing process again.

Does it make a difference of what kind of water I use? (tap, bottled, pond, etc.)

Yes, it needs to be water that doesn't have chemicals in it. If you are using treated water, you need to follow the instructions and run the brewer for 20 minutes before adding the compost and food. This will degas (remove the chlorine from) the water.

How do I take care of my machine?

Remove the coil from the bottom of the bucket and pull out the rubber stopper prior to turning the air pump off. This keeps the tea out of the pipes, so biofilm does not buildup. With biofilm buildup, the next time a brew is made, it would contaminate the integrity of the tea. Hose off the coil and plastic pipes or put them in the dishwasher. Pour the tea into a backpack sprayer or sprinkler can for application. Rinse the inside of the bucket and the lid. Let dry.

Can I use my own compost?

Yes, you can use your own compost, but because we haven't test the quality of your compost, we don't know the biology that you have. The machines replicate only the biology they start with which can be beneficial or not. We recommend having your compost tested before you use it in the KIS brewer. Click here to read more on why testing is so important.

What do I do with all of the items contained in the bag for the food (for 5-gallon brewer)?

The compost is in the mesh bag, while the other ingredients are in plastic bags. Drop the mesh bag in the water after dechlorination. Then open the plastic bag and pour contents into the water solution.

  ifk meshbag

I have purchased bulk compost and a mesh bag from you. How do I brew my tea?

Are your foods and compost organic?

Yes, they have been tested (see our lab results) and are completely natural. No human or animal wastes are used in the compost. Our compost is 1/2 vermicompost (worm poop) and 1/2 thermal heated garden wastes.