Non-Aerated Castings Tea – Update

It is technically “Day 11” of my non-aerated castings tea experiment (didn’t blog about it until a week ago), so I figured it might be a good time to do some initial smell checks. In my first post (on “Day 4”) I reported that the color of the two treatments was already quite different – well that difference has become much more obvious by this point.

The syrup-ammended teas look almost milky, while the non-admended teas look pretty much exactly the same as at the start of the experiment (with a little bit of material settled down in the bottom).

I will admit, I was pretty apprehensive about the smell test. Even sniffing near the bags I could pick up a foul odor close to the amended tea treatment.

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

Being a procrastinator at heart I decided to start with the non-amended teas. lol

Non-Amended (No Syrup) Tea
Bag #1 – no obvious smell, other than perhaps slight hint of something herbal.
Bag #2 – pretty much identical to bag #1
Bag #3 – slightly gamey waft as I first opened it, and then a similar smell to the other ones (interesting sidenote – this bag seemed to have more liquid in it than the other two)

OK, on to the amended treatment bags…

Lifting them up I could see lots of stuff floating around in them and even more stink started wafting up (than when I simply leaned over and smelled them in the holding bin).

Opening them up…

Amended (Maple Syrup) Tea
Bag #1 – certainly not the worst smell I have ever encountered – but very foul in comparison to the non-amended.
Bag #2 – similar to bag #1
Bag #3 – opened for the sake of giving it the same oxygen exposure but didn’t bother smelling.

Clearly – and perhaps not-too-surprisingly – this shows that a basic liquid extract from good quality castings (even at a high 1:4 castings:water ratio) CAN sit without oxygen and still not stink, while one amended with a simple sugar source CANNOT.

Now I need to test these teas for plant-growth promotion. I will likely let them sit for another week or two while I plan things out. Will perform another smell test just to see if anything has changed.

Stay tuned!

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    • Leona
    • March 30, 2018

    Thanks for doing that test so we don’t have to find out whether it smells or not for ourselves….That being said I dumped some leftover beer into my vermicomposting tea that has a pond fountain running in it ..have you used beer before in the “tea” and if so what was the result? thanks Leona

    • Beth
    • April 7, 2018

    I am a new worm owner, but not new at composting. I live in northern Canada so worms outside are not an option!! That isn’t really what I want to share. Before I had worms (and I still have it) is an inside Composter! It is about the size of a bread maker(which the bread maker is a useless appliance!! But that is another story! Lol). This inside Composter is great for preparation (grinding into small manageable pieces) for my buddies/worms. Having a garden I use this Composter for food that worms don’t favor(this I will spread on the garden!)so I am separating my compost!! But I have added cardboard & paper that I won’t burn/send to land fill.? Which does have to be moist in the Composter to mulch. This works for me?

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