How much bokashi bran?

Bokashi bran is packed full of the bokashi essential microbes (EM). These microbes are the magic behind bokashi composting. It’s necessary that you add enough bokashi bran to ferment your food scraps effectively. But how much bokashi bran is enough?

How much bokashi bran should you add?

Scrapping food waste into bokashi bucketOne of the easy things about bokashi composting is that you can never add too much bokashi bran. In fact, more is better.

As a minimum, we recommend adding 1 to 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 evenly through the food waste. This will make sure that the bokashi microbes get to work on all of your food scraps 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 to 2 heaping tablespoons of bokashi bran, and repeat. This will help to ensure even coverage of bran throughout the kitchen composter.

For those new to bokashi composting, we recommend being more generous when adding bokashi bran to the kitchen composter, at first. The extra bran won’t hurt a bit, and it will allow the beginner more flexibility in finding that sweet spot that works for bokashi composting within their kitchen.

Signs that you are not adding enough bran

If you haven’t added enough bran, you will find out pretty quickly.

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 in your soil more than 2-4 weeks after you’ve added your fermented food waste (except bones and large pieces that you did not chop before adding to your bokashi bucket).

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 composting get back on track.

Blog post originally written on Oct 5, 2016 and updated Nov 28, 2017

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