How to Brew Anaerobic Teas
Welcome back! Today we’re leaving behind the vibrating air pumps and stashing away our air stones because this post will be all about how to steep microorganisms anaerobically!
Although aerobic teas produce a denser number of beneficial microbes than any other method of brewing teas, today we’ll be looking at alternatives to these Aerated Compost Teas—anaerobic ones.
Like any tea, you can smell the benefits from brewing microbiology for your medical marijuana garden. Benefits such as:
- preventing and treating diseases such as the dreaded POWDERY MILDEW, Fusarium, pythium, etc
- 100% natural
- 100% safe
- maintains plant health
- enhances flavors of fruits
- impossible to nute-burn
The quality of the compost helps determine the quality of the tea; the key lies in beginning with lots of diversity. Let’s take a look at some numbers to get an idea for a hearty tea’s potential.
- 75,000+ species of bacteria
- 15,000+ species of fungi
- 8,000 species of protozoa—flagellates, amoeba, ciliates
Beneficial microbes have been identified to support health in plants and are said to help produce richer flavors in fruits. The majority of microbes need oxygen to propagate though, hence why Aerated Compost Teas are able to foster the multiplication of more types of microbes with the constant influx of oxygen. Conversely, anaerobic teas only help the replication of certain, fewer types of beneficial microbes.
Microbes extracted under anaerobic conditions effectively decompose organic matter, providing readily available “plant-friendly” nutrients for your plants.
(Are you wondering what form of Nitrogen (NH4+ or NO3-) cannabis plants prefer? Check out my past Bounty Blog post, An Introduction to the Microbe Army.)
Be extremely cautious when brewing anaerobic teas, you can easily feed your plants a platter of toxins instead. Remember, you are brewing anaerobic microbes not anaerobic pathogens! It’s easy to brew the latter since the majority of anaerobic pathogens do not need aerobic conditions to multiply—in fact the less oxygen the better, most only breed in less than 3 ppm of dissolved oxygen. In order for ANY microbes to exponentially multiply the minimum dissolved oxygen content in the water has to be greater than 6 ppm (6 milligrams per liter).
So in other words, you’re going to need to add some oxygen to your anaerobic tea, wisely of course, but you will have to introduce the minimum amount oxygen into your brew for the microbes to successfully multiply.
If you’re brewing in the everyday 5 gal Home Depot bucket, chances are you’ll end up brewing anaerobic pathogens since the surface area of the bucket fails to provide sufficient air to the microbes at the very bottom of the bucket.
So how do you add just a little bit of oxygen?
There is no set protocol, but being considerate of the microorganisms and the fact that they need to be unperturbed to do their thing, I’d say commit to a gentle manual stir every so often.
I would recommend either frequent shorter stirs, hourly stirs lasting less than a minute, or more spaced intervals of 3-4 hours for a bit longer stirs, 1-2 minutes. Again, stirring should be gentle with minimum agitation as to not harm the microbes– many growers actually take this time to bond with their teas.
Let’s look at a few anaerobic teas!
Brewing Non-Aerated (Anerobic) Compost Tea
From personal experience this method of making anaerobic tea is synonymous with Home Depot’s 5 gal bucket and identical to brewing AACT except there are no bubbles. Here compost is added to water alongside food (carbohydrates/ sugars) for the microbes and occasionally stirred, as described early, and left to steep for 24-48 hours.
You can control whether you want a bacteria (veg teas) or more fungal (bloom teas) dominant tea based on ingredients:
-mixing the compost with proteins such as soybean, powdered malt, oatmeal, oat bran, or powdered baby oatmeal several days before brewing tea gives fungi a head start (good for Bloom teas) since bacteria multiply a lot faster than fungi take to grow– 3-4 tablespoons/cup of compost
-Fish emulsion, kelp, humic and fulvic acids, phosphate rock dusts, pulps of fruits, aloe extract and fish hydrolysate also encourage fungal growth
Plant Tea (fermented)
No compost needed here, just chop some plants (male cannabis plants for example if you are not a breeder) and soak in water. Usually 24-48 hours to allow proper fermentation to happen. This extracts any microorganisms living on the surface of the plant.
Place poop (bat guano for example) in permeable bag, 400 microns or bigger, and steep in water in a bucket or barrel for 24-48 hours.
Dominated by bacteria and ciliates, this tea will contain soluble nutrients readily available for uptake by your medical marijuana plant.
You can also use your Kashi run-off. This will consists primarily of soluble nutrients but very little microbes. Therefore, this runoff better serves as food substrate for the microbes in your soil. Need a reminder on Kashi composting? Check out my past Bounty Blog interview with a probiotic cannabis cultivator.
Yes, anaerobic teas are NOT as diverse as aerated ones, but the benefits remain the same: healthier, tastier girls ridden of diseases. Remember, when extracting beneficial microbes anaerobically be careful not to brew anaerobic pathogens instead. Incorporate a gentle manual stir to oxygenate your tea periodically. Thanks for reading and again hope this has helped! Now go out there and bond with a tea!