Bokashi bran is packed full of the bokashi essential microbes (EM). These microbes are the magic behind bokashi composting. It is these microbes that work hard to ferment your food scraps in your bokashi kitchen composter. Therefore, it is critical that you add enough bokashi bran (and bokashi microbes) to ferment your food waste effectively. But how much bokashi bran is enough?
How much bokashi bran to add
The most important rule to remember when adding bokashi bran is that you can never add too much bokashi bran.
We recommend adding 1 or 2 heaping tablespoons of bokashi bran for every inch of food waste that you add to your kitchen composter.
Sprinkle the bran so that there is an even coverage across the surface of your food waste. You can mix the food waste and bran slightly to make sure the bokashi microbes are spread well through the food waste. This final step is not critical but can be beneficial to make sure the microbes get to work on all of your food waste as quickly as possible.
If you are adding a larger load of food scraps, make sure to layer 1 inch of food waste with 1 heaping tablespoon of bokashi bran, and repeat.
When to add more bokashi bran?
One or two heaping tablespoon of bokashi bran works great if you are adding fruit and vegetable peelings to your bokashi compost. However, if you are also adding items that are harder to compost then you will need to add more bran. These harder to compost items include meat, dairy, bones, cooked food and any food waste that has started to rot slightly and is showing signs of blue/green mold.
If you are adding any of these items we would suggest at least doubling the amount of bokashi bran. So, add 2 to 4 heaping tablespoons for every inch of food scraps which contain cooked food, meat, dairy and/or slightly rotting food waste.
Signs that you are not adding enough bran
Not adding enough bokashi bran to your food scraps is one of the most common reasons for a bokashi compost bin to fail.
If you experience any of the following then we recommend adding more bokashi bran:
- A foul, or putrid smell;
- Blue/green mold;
- Problems with pests after the fermented food waste has been added to your garden or compost pile; or
- Visible pieces of food waste (except bones and large pieces that you did not chop before adding to your bokashi bucket) in your soil more than 2-4 weeks after you’ve added your fermented food waste.
If, after increasing the amount of bran, you still experience any of the above then you might want to read this troubleshooting post to help your bokashi get back on track.