DIY Bokashi Bran & Compost Accelerator

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DIY Bokashi bran is an easy but fun science experiment. Bokashi bran is used as a compost accelerator or in a Bokashi composting system. It is essentially a collection of microbes that efficiently and quickly decompose organic material. When you purchase the product directly it will run you around 15 dollars per kilogram. However, you can easily make 20 kg of Bokashi bran for less than 20 dollars.

If you are new to this blog my name is Ashley and I am a soil scientist. I am located in a Canadian Zone 3 and a USDA Zone 4. I write articles, make YouTube videos, Instagram & Facebook posts all designed for Canadians and Cold Climate gardeners using science-based methods. If you are looking for anything specific be sure to let me know in the comments down below.

DIY Bokashi Bran: What you will need:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups of distilled water, rainwater, snow water or fish tank water
  • 40 Oz of milk
  • 4 Mason jars
  • 12 cups of distilled water, rainwater, snow water or fish tank water
  • hi-pro feeds cob rolled molasses or HG rolled oats with molasses – The let here is the molasses addition.

If you want to just simply grab a finished bokashi product you can grab that here:

Week One Of DIY Boakshi Bran:

You will want to add 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water. The goal is to get murky water that has removed a lot of the starch from the rice. You can let the rice sit in the water for 30 mins, stirring every once in a while. Once the 30 mins are up you can pour just the liquid into a mason jar and discard the rice (or use it for cooking).

Distilled Vs. Tap Water

There is a train of thought that tap water can harm the microbes in the mixture and therefore only distilled water. There is some evidence to suggest that this is the care so it may be something to consider. I often like to use fish tank water because it contains nutrient cycling bacteria and is free from harmful chemicals. Rice soaked in fish tank water is of course not safe for human consumption but my dogs don’t seem to mind the added additions.

Place cheesecloth over the opening of the mason jar and place the jar in a dark cool area for one week. 

Week Two & Three:

This next step involves taking 4 ounces of the rice wash liquid and placing it in a new mason jar. You will then want to add 10 parts milk (40 ounces)  to the mixture. This may need to be spread across two mason jars. This can sit with a regular mason jar lid (hand tight) for two weeks in a cool, dark area. It’s important that the mixture is allowed to gas off, meaning the top should be very lightly secured.

Tip For Fermenting

The use of mason jar fermentation lids will help limit the mess while allowing for the perfect fermentation. DIY bokashi bran making can get messy and this is an effective way to prevent this. I use the silicone ones because they are simple and easy to clean. You can grab some here.

The mixture will begin to separate into a curdled white mixture and yellow liquid below. Allow this process to take place and do not shake or re-mix the product.

Week Four & Five:

You will want to place 10 kgs of your feed choice into a large Rubbermaid bin. Again you want to make sure you grab the feed bag with molasses mixed into the feed. If you grabbed a feed without molasses mixed in you will want to add a tablespoon per 2.5 kgs of feed. Mix the none curdled mixture with the 12 cups of water in a separate bowl. 

Waste Reducing Options

If you are worried about storing animal feed or simply want to use waste products from home try using shredded cardboard or paper. This can be inoculated and treated identically to the animal feed.

Once mixed add the water mixture to the feed and mix everything together. The goal is to coat all parts of the feed in the bin with the water mixture. Next, you will pour the feed mixture into a garbage bag and allow it to ferment for two weeks. Make sure the garbage bag is fully sealed against any air penetration. 

Week Six:

Spread the feed out of a piece of tarp or cardboard and allow it to dry out over a few days. The products should smell almost pickled in nature. Once this has dried out you can store it inside a Rubbermaid or bag that is convenient. This product is now ready to be used in a compost or Bokashi bucket to help decompose your organic materials.

Keep in mind this microbial active product can be used in nearly any composting scenario as an accelerator. By using animal feeds you can achieve the same results as the store-bought products for less cost. Let us know in the comments below if you make your own compost accelerator and what steps you like to use.

DIY Bokashi Bran & Compost Accelerator
DIY Bokashi Bran & Compost Accelerator

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