New Compost Tea Brewer

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Stankie, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. #1 Stankie, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
    Here is my newly built AACT brewer.

    My old set-up was an X shaped PVC diffuser in a 5 gallon bucket. I was fairly happy with this design, but imagined there were some 'dead zones' along the bottom of the bucket where the bottom met the side. My redesign is based on intelligent theory, instead of any actual microscope analysis.

    LD once dropped the idea of cone bottom tanks being used as a way to nearly eliminate dead zones. I experienced a little problem last summer with my vegetable/flower gardens and foliar spraying with my AACT. I think I introduced a little bit of 'nasties', particular to my tomatoes, peonies, peppers, and squash. I think most of that had to do with poor quality compost. But it still got the idea of cone bottoms churning in my mind again.

    This is the air pump I have. 70L per minute.

    This is the tank I recently purchased.

    These are the companies I used. I am not endorsing them, but I usually seek out the fairest price from reputable companies. Here is a stock image of the 5 gallon vessel. I kind of wish I would have gotten the 10 gallon now, but maybe in the future. My 5 gallon vessel is QUALITY built! Heavy, thick plastic. The lid is vented. My gallon marks aren't painted bold/black though, no biggie.


    Here is a pic of my new set-up. I built a little table out of some scrap 2x4's and 3/4" plywood. Just cut a square hole out of the middle of the plywood and the vessel sits perfect! I was going to put a ball valve shut-off under the vessel to keep the tea in the vessel without the air running. The valves required a lot of force to change the valve adjustment, so I decided to skip it. I built a 'snorkel' to keep the water out of the pump in case of anything happening. All fittings are not glued.


    I bought a threaded PVC reducer bushing that attaches to the female threads in the bottom of the tank. I then attached a MPT/slip 3/4" fitting and the air system is 3/4" PVC up to my air tube. I might need a little teflon tape to completely seal the threads on the bushing. These were loosely hand tightened and were dripping ever so slightly during my 'test run'.


    Here is looking down inside the vessel. The bottom is 4"x4". The angle of the side slope to the flat bottom is fairly open, to help eliminate dead zones. The air outlet is a 3/4" straight-pipe opening. No water backs into the air tube. I have been trying to think of a way to put a diffuser on here, but don't really even know if I need one.


    Here is the lid. This pump really gets the tea churning! It is definitely Actively Aerated. The lid comes in handy to keep the tea inside the brewer. It also makes it much quieter! One thing I didn't know until I received the vessel, was that the lid is vented. The round thing in the middle is a vent from the inside. The shaft up to the vent has 'baffles' to further prevent liquid from escaping. Some water still managed after about 20 minutes of testing. I was running 4 gallons of water for the test.


    Here is a pic of the bubbling test water in action. I'm actually hoping there's not too much agitation, but I've heard thats nearly impossible. The way it is setup now produces a nice column of air that really cycles the liquid. This really gets the water churning, breaks the water's surface tension, and produces a lot of movement of the suspended particles. I don't use a tea bag.


    $65 for pump, drove to store

    $55 for tank, with s/h

    Plus say $10 for PVC pipe, fittings, and tubing ~ $130 for an AACT brewer I am willing to bet would blow the socks off most any commercially available 5 gallon models. I'd love to get a look at my teas now under a microscope!!

    You could make a fairly respectable brewer for about half as much as I spent. But I feel this is a superior design and brewing AACTs is a hobby of sorts to me. In addition to my medical cannabis garden, I extensively use AACTs during the spring, summer, and fall in my yard, gardens, and on my trees. To me, making the investment made sense.
  2. Stankie,

    Big time props on your brewer dude! Love the cone tank and the added benefits it provides. Next big purchase is gonna have to be a microscope!

    Take care.

  3. Thanks Chunk! I just figured out my tax refund, so don't tempt me!!! :devious:

    Although, I would definitely love to add a good scope to my garage lab....I have a few more pressing needs that require monies at this time (Damn real life) ;)
  4. Stankie,
    Nice job with the brewer! Conical is the way to go. I think a vortex conical would be the bom.
    [ame=]YouTube - Vortex Compost Tea Brewer 350 gallon[/ame]

    Again, props on the nice job.
  5. Thanks Mizza! I still may try an air-lift design in the future. I watched some more of those videos. I've never seen those before. Looks like he has a good design.

    My water is many times more active than the water in those videos though. I'll take a vid this weekend. I might even build an air lift set-up to see how that works.
  6. Stankie, 15,000 reps for an excellent job man! You should be proud man! That's first class.

    Just one Q... how loud is the pump?
  7. Thanks Possuum!!

    This is the same pump I had been complaining about being too loud! Actually with the lid on the vessel, it is surprisingly quiet. Not sure it the lid muffles the sound of the piston escaping through the end of the tube. Or if it is restricting air flow through the vent, thus causing the pump to be quieter. I'm planning on taking some video to show the sound/motion and messing around with it some more, probably tomorrow.
  8. Real nice work Stank, might have to do some copying round here
  9. Very nice. I have been composting for years now and have been thinking about making the tea here lately. Do you dilute it or just pour it straight when it is done brewing? Props on the brewer.

  10. Thanks GG. That's why I posted my design :)

    I might add a ball valve type shut off to the air tube tonight. Hoping to get a video up tonight also.

    Thanks earlycyler! Depends on what I am going to do with the tea. For a foliar, yes I dilute. For a root soak, I usually just use it full strength.

    I must admit, I am kind of shy about foliar now. I pretty much devastated my squash plants last summer by spraying them with a tea made from poor quality compost. I have made my own thermophillic compost as well as started a worm bin to solve the compost quality issues (hopefully).
  11. Thanks. Yeah when I just used basic compost I didn't see near the results I have with the way I do it know. I built a bed that allows me to regulate the temps. During the winter I let it compost at a high temp and during the summer I drop the temps and add worms back in. So it is kinda a half and half type thing.
  12. Bumpin' Ya Stankie!

    The more I thought about this today it's just deserving of another bump up the thread stack. You did a helluva nice job man. I can see that setup in my crib. With a 32dB pump I'd be happier 12 mofo's all put together :D
  13. Pretty Dam slick ! :wave:
  14. Ya know Stank, you are Dope man.

    Outstanding job.

    I'm way loving the tank.
  15. I like that! I use a 100 gallon rated fish tank air-pump with airstone
    I should look into making one of those on my own so I can get my DIY on!

  16. Looks killer Stankie. Good job.
  17. Wow.....I just used the like button for the first time on Stankie's thread........couldn't have gone to a more deserving guy, that's for sure. Again, great job Stankie!

  18. Sounds like a nice setup earlycyler! That to me would sound like very nice and well finished compost that plants should love! This is my first try at composting, but it looks pretty good.

    Thanks again Possuum38North!! I think you would be mighty pleased with that rig :smoking:

    Thanks Russy!!

    Thanks Your Grandfathe!!

    Thanks TexRx!

    Thanks V.W.!!

    Thanks again chunkdaddyo!! I'm still got my like button v card :p
  19. Here is my new and probably final design for the outlet. I decided to get a ball valve and am so glad I did. Makes getting the tea out a lot easier. Only things I may still do is to cement all the fittings and get a longer/braided air tube. I figure it is a straight shot and I can get a dedicated bottle brush to clean out the air inlet pipe if need be. The slip fittings above the valve leak very slightly when the air isn't blowing (couple of drops over an hour).


    Still have only tested with water, but I pretty much plug in my pump and then open the valve as quick as I can. Much more than 3.5 gallons and the liquid will come out the lid vent. I'm uploading a video to demonstrate the agitation.

  20. Here is the vid. I placed in about 8 or 9 random PVC fittings to better show the agitation. Keep in mind I am standing right next to the pump, but it is a loud biatch. It gets a bit quieter with the lid on, believe it or not.

    [ame=]YouTube - AACT Test[/ame]

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