How to Brew Compost Tea,
Step by Step

Want to know how to brew compost tea? You've come to the right place!

Why do we brew compost tea? We want to grow nutritious vegetables and fruit that are loaded with necessary trace minerals.

First, gather your equipment

Second, Gather the Ingredients

1. The water

how to brew compost tea, compost tea bubbler

When learning how to brew compost tea, you must start with the right water. If you are using city water, you need to get rid of the chlorine in the water before beginning, as chlorine will kill beneficial microbes in your tea.

Fortunately, chlorine is a gas, and will wick off if you just let the water sit open to the air for 24 hours.

The other option is to run your bubbler for an hour before adding anything to the water.

how to make compost tea

2. The compost

Whichever compost tea recipe you choose, you will need between 1/2 to 1 gallon of compost for 4 gallons of water.

When you make yourself a cup of tea, you can either use a tea bag, or put the tea leaves directly into the water. The same is true with compost tea.

3. The tea bag

how to brew compost tea, compost teabag
  • Put the compost in a “tea bag” 
    You may place your compost ingredients into a bag and suspend it in the bucket.

    To make your tea bag, you may use a gunny sack, a grapefruit bag, or one side of a pair of panty hose. When using panty hose, you can cut the top and bottom from a 2 liter plastic bottle, and use it as a funnel.

    Whichever “tea bag” you use, put the compost in the bag, then tie off the top of the bag.

    For another option of how to brew compost tea,

  • Try putting the compost directly into the water 
    If you choose to do this, take your fingers and break up any clumps in the compost.

    Stir your compost into the water, then
    stir it twice a day.

    When your tea is finished, you will need to use a sieve to keep the particles from clogging your sprayer.

how to brew compost tea, molasses compost tea

4. A food source for the microbes

Next, add a tablespoon of unsulfured molasses per gallon of tea.

The molasses are a food for bacteria, and will speed up the microbial activity.

Third, Establish the Right Conditions

1. The right temperature

how to brew compost tea, compost tea thermometer

To make compost tea, you want to provide the microbes in the tea with a friendly environment.

If the temperature of the water is below 65 degrees F., they are too cold, and won’t feel like eating. If the temperature is above 75 degrees, they get too hot.

Your job is to make them happy, by providing a temperature in the high 60’s to the low 70’s. I bought this small aquarium thermometer with hanger at Walmart for $1.63.

To get the temperature right, in the summer time I just put your tea under the back porch, out of the sun. In the summer it is in the 80's during the day and 60's at night, so the water temperature stays perfect.

I check the temperature from time to time just to make sure it is ok.

2. Brew the right length of time

how to brew compost tea, compost tea head, compost tea foam, compost tea froth

Although the bacteria in your tea may be ready in 24 hours, other beneficial microorganisms are not. I recommend that you brew your tea for 3 days.

Actually, as long as you provide food and water, you can brew your tea for much longer periods. But three days is generally about perfect.

By day two you should see a "head" of froth, formed by the bacterial activity in the tea.

Picture Info.

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3. Storing compost tea

When you finish brewing compost tea, it is teeming with microbial life. To take full advantage of this, use your tea within 2 hours.

If for some reason you can’t, add in more molasses and turn the bubbler back on. Without food and oxygen, the beneficial microbes will go dormant or die.


Thank you for reading this article on how to brew compost tea. Please click here for information on applying compost tea. 

For the best compost tea, be sure and add in a teaspoon per gallon of concentrated sea minerals.

A great alternative to compost tea is a good soil conditioner.

  1. It contains a wonderful variety of microbes.
  2. It helps to flocculate the soil. Aerobic bacteria in the soil need good airflow down into the soil to survive and thrive.
  3. It helps to highly structure the soil, meaning good drought tolerance.
  4. It signals the plant to sequester huge amounts of carbon through the roots, building greater organic matter in the soil.

Before you leave my site, why not check out my home page, Healthy Vegetable Gardening. Happy gardening!

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Compost Tea Pages

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Brewing compost tea


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