For our recipe, you will need:
Two 5 Gallon Buckets
1 Fish tank Pump
Plastic Tubing (to connect pump to airstone, size will vary depending on pump)
*Optional: fish tank thermometer
Step 1: Dechlorinate Your Tap Water
Fill a five gallon bucket with at least three gallons of water. Place the water outside in a sunny area for several hours. This will allow the chlorine and any chemicals in the water to break down. Chlorine will kill your beneficial organisms. If you're using water that has already been dechlorinated, you may skip this step.
Step 2: Attach Aerator to the Pump
Attach your pump to your air stone with the plastic tubing. Make sure the tubing is long enough to allow the stone to sit in the bottom of the tank. Your pump can sit outside of the bucket on the ground.
It's important to keep your tea moving as it brews, so it doesn't become anaerobic and stinky.
Step 3: Add the Compost
Fill your cheese cloth with several large scoops of compost. We recommend filling at least four inches of the bucket. You may fill it up to halfway, if desired. Tie the compost in the cheesecloth, forming a makeshift "teabag" of compost.
It is very important you're not putting raw or fermenting materials in the tea, this could contaminate the tea with pathogens that can hurt your plants. The compost must be completely matured and smell pleasant and earthy.
You can now fill up the remained of your bucket with the dechlorinated water and turn on the pump.
Step 4: Add Unsulphured Molasses
Add roughly 1/2 cup of molasses for every three gallons of water and mix it in so it is spread evenly throughout the tea. Don't worry, adding more won't hurt. Feel free to adjust your recipe as needed.
This step is optional, but highly recommended. Molasses is a food source for your microorganisms and allows them to multiply. More beneficial microbes is a good thing, we want this. Check to make sure the molasses says "unsulphured" on the bottle. Sulphur is an anti-microbial agent. Don't kill your little microbe buddies!
Step 5: Brew
Brew your tea for at least 36 hours. Two to three days should be plenty of time, any longer than that and you start to lose nutrients. Monitor it for temperature and and stir it occasionally. Optimal temperature is between 68F and 72F. If it any point smells sour or rotten, throw it out and start a new batch.
When done steeping, remove the cheesecloth "tea bag" and strain if desired.
Your tea is ready to use!