I have forgotten to drain the tea, what should I do?

Bokashi CommunityCategory: bokashi composting questionsI have forgotten to drain the tea, what should I do?
Kate Long asked 7 years ago

I didn’t realize I needed to drain the tea so frequently in the stage when I was collecting food scraps. Is this a problem? What can I do?

8 Answers
Nicki Casley Staff answered 7 years ago

We recommend draining your tea every couple of days but it won’t be a big problem if you miss a day or two. There are two main reasons to drain the tea regularly is:

  1. If you leave the tea too long, the reservoir at the bottom of the bucket may fill up and the contents of your bokashi composter will become too wet. This may cause the bokashi bucket to fail. You will know if this has happened by smelling your bucket. If it doesn’t smell putrid then you should be OK.
  2. The bokashi tea can go off if its left in the bokashi bucket for too long. If you leave the tea for more than 2 or 3 days you may notice that it starts to develop a rotting odor.

We hope that helps. Feel free to call or ask further questions here if you have them.

Nicki Casley Staff replied 4 years ago

Hi Annie. Interesting to hear this. Personally, I forget to drain the tea from time to time and, sometimes it is fine but other times the tea develops a rotting smell. This is likely due to the contents of your bokashi bucket and the time of year (ambient temperature). It sounds like not draining the tea works perfectly for you and your bokashi composter. However, we recommend that people new to bokashi composting drain their tea regularly to avoid the risk of failed bins and foul odors.
Happy composting 🙂

Annie replied 4 years ago

I never empty the liquid and I have been running 3 five gallon buckets in rotation for 5 years, draining the bokashi liquid is a myth.

Nicki Casley Staff answered 4 years ago

he amount of bokashi tea will vary depending on the contents of your bin. Fruit and vegetable peelings (with lots of liquid in them) will produce more bokashi tea than drier materials. Not getting tea, does not mean that your bokashi bucket has failed.
A couple of things to try:
1. Has the bin failed? Check to see if there is any blue/green mold and/or if the contents of the bin are smelling rotten (rather than the sweet pickle-like odor of bokashi pre-compost). If either of these are happening then your bokashi bucket has failed. Try adding a couple of generous handfuls of bokashi bran or discard the contents of the bin and start again.
2. Have the holes got clogged up? Maybe the holes in the drain plate are blocked and the tea cannot drain through to the reservoir. Tilt your bin from side to side. Do you hear any liquid slopping about? If so, its likely that the holes are blocked up. Try pressing the top of the food waste hard with the masher to squeeze the liquid out of the bottom.

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