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Old 01-13-2008, 09:52 AM
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Default Fungal or bacterially dominant compost tea

I see the need to have two types of tea going, one that is more bacterially dominant for vegetative phase, and one that is more fungally dominant for the flowering phase. This won't be easy, as bacteria will attempt to take over any brew, but I think I will try. This thread is here to welcome peeps to test along with me if they like, and for the compilation of relevant info.

NUTRIENTS IMPORTANT KEY TO MAKING BACTERIAL OR FUNGAL DOMINATED TEA

Excerpt from posts from Elaine Ingham, dates unknown:
Nutrients that we add to the compost tea brews should be differentiated from the source material [compost, the source of the micro-organisms], because these nutrients are not necessary except to alter the bacterial versus fungal dominance of the tea, and to add nutrients the plant needs.


REMINDER: Always read the label on ingredients. Elaine Ingham suggests to avoid all preservatives when selecting tea ingredients. What do preservatives do? They kill bacteria and fungi.

Currently Most Favored Ingredients to Promote Particular Organisms

SIMPLE sugars feed bacteria (see details on sugar below bacteria need little encouragement)

Complex sugars feed both bacteria and fungi (see more details on sugars below)

Kelp provides micronutrients for your plants, and the microorganisms, and it is a SURFACE (also called substrate) for the fungi to grow on.

Fish emulsion feeds mostly bacteria

Fish hydrolysate has the fish oil in it as well as the simpler proteins, and so feeds FUNGI more than bacteria

Hay is often a source of protozoa (organic, unsprayed hay), as worm compost is frequently. You can pour the hay water on separately from the tea, or use the worm compost in making tea.

Humic acids are the most selective just for fungi. It is important to learn more about them, because I gather there are differences among humic acid products that can affect your results. I have sent out requests for more info from some list members, and if I get replies, Ill add the info here. See what has been gathered to date, included below.


A LIST OF HUMAN FOODS THAT CONTAIN LARGE AMOUNTS OF SUGAR
Barley malt or malted barley
Beet sugar
Black strap molasses
Brown rice sugar
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Cane syrup
Cane syrup solids
Cane juice
Caramel
Caramel coloring
Confectioners' sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Crystalline fructose
Date sugar
Dextrin (a soluble carb from starch, used as an adhesive)
Dextrose (form of glucose)
Disaccharide
Fructose (Commonly found in fruits and honey-the sweetest of the simple sugars.)
Fructo-oligosaccharides
Fruit juice concentrate (Contains more sugar than fruit juice.)
Galactose (A white, crystalline, simple sugar derived from milk sugar)
Glucose (Found in fruit and animal tissue.)
Glycerin
Granulated sugar
Hexitol
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose (Sugar derived from milk.)
Levulose
Malt
Maltodextrin
Maltose (A white, crystalline, water-soluble sugar, made from starch.)
Maple sugar
Maple syrup
Microcrystalline cellulose
Molasses
Natural sweeteners
Polydextrose
Powdered sugar
Raisin juice
Raisin syrup
Raw sugar
Rice syrup
Simple syrup
Sorghum
Sucanat (the freshly extracted sugar cane juice is evaporated with only water removed.)
Sucrose (White table sugar; 50% glucose and 50% fructose.)
Sugar cane syrup
Syrup
Table sugar
Turbinado sugar
Unrefined sugar
White sugar

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS

The information below delves into more detail on various possible ingredients and as much as we could begin to gather about their properties.
SUGAR VS MOLASSES
QUESTION: In adding sugars to a brewing solution, will any sugar work (pure white cane sugar)? Could one use honey?
In my experience, white sugar tends to get you more of the not-so-great bacterial species than say molasses, or honey. You need a diversity of food resources, and white sugar basically is just about pure sucrose. Not feeding a wide range of bacteria there. (Elaine Ingham)
Date: Mon Feb 3, 2003 9:48 am
MALT VS MOLASSES
Food sources vary in their ability to grow fungi.
The list below shows sugars, from lowest to highest ability to grow fungi, and points out they are less helpful than e.g. soy sauce. If you compare
white sugar (a simple sugar) to
brown sugar to
unsulfured molasses to
malt to
soy sauce.
As far as sugars go, Elaine reported in this post that the least helpful sugar in growing fungi is white sugar (NOT helpful), and the most helpful SUGAR is reported to be malt, but none are as effective as, say, soy sauce. [NOTE: This is for comparative purposes dont read it as saying that you must run out and get soy sauce for your tea.]
Why? The key is structural complexity of the sugars and proteins in these materials. [NOTE: Remember that fungi are better at breaking down complex sugars than bacteria.]
Molasses has some fungal foods, but malt has more fungal food, but less fungal food than soy sauce.
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2008, 06:22 PM
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Default Fungally dominant compost tips

Plants differ in their soil preferences. Some need a bacterial-dominated soil, others want a fungal-dominated soil, and still others like a soil that's somewhere in between. A plant that prefers a fungal-dominated soil will benefit from a fungal-dominated tea, which you'd brew using a more fungal-dominated organic compost.

To make an organic compost with more fungi, mix in larger amounts of cardboard, paper, sawdust, wood shavings and heavy stalk plant material as you prepare the compost. For bacterial dominance, use food waste, green plant waste and livestock manure. (Most worm composts are highly bacterially-dominated because they are fed food scraps.) Whatever compost you use, be sure it is finished, well-stabilized compost, and that it's fairly fresh.

You'll brew using only dechlorinated water, so remember to leave the water out.

Brewing nutrients also influence the finished tea. To encourage the development of fungi in the tea, mix two parts humic acids, two parts yucca, saponin or aloe vera and one part fish hydrolyzate or other proteins into the water. For bacterial dominance, you'll feed one liquid ounce black strap molasses per gallon of tea and and an equal amount of cold-water kelp. For the molasses, you can also substitute brown sugar, honey or maple syrup if you like.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:51 PM
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Default 'nother find

This looks pretty good, but I would prolly go for malt or soy instead of molasses in the fungal tea. I wouldn't add the yucca till after brewing also:

Compost Tea Brew Recipes


In essence, compost tea is not a fertilizer though there are nutrients available in a finished brew. Tea contains beneficial organisms needed to revitalize soil and reestablish a microcosm of bacterial and fungal groups. These groups make available nutrients needed by plants to maintain healthy growth and suppress disease. You may choose to customize your tea to be more bacterial or fungal-based, or have both microbial populations well represented in your finished tea. Using a well-balanced combination allows you to adopt a plant care regimen of enhancing plant growth and, at the same time, suppressing disease pathogens.

The recipes given are for 5 gallon brews.

Bacterial Tea

1 cups compost
cup kelp meal
2 oz. blackstrap molasses
2 oz. fruit juice (apple)
cup chopped feed hay
1 oz. fish emulsion

Fungal Tea

1 cups fungal compost
2 oz. liquid humates
2 oz. blackstrap molasses
1 oz. yucca extracts
2 oz. fish hydrolysates
cup kelp meal
cup chopped feed hay

Bacterial/Fungal Tea

cup compost
cup fungal compost
cup kelp meal
2 oz. liquid humates
2 oz. blackstrap molasses
2 oz. fish hydrolysates
cup greensand
cup chopped feed hay

There are numerous recipes for tea you can custom blend one for specific or general needs. It is recommended to have a sample of your recipe analyzed and alter it accordingly. It is best to add all liquids to the water and combine dry ingredients in the filter bag. This will limit the need for any straining.

A "liquid nutrient solution" (marketed by the Soil Soup Co.) is available as a substitute for the molasses. Fish hydrolyzates or fish oils feed fungal groups, where as fish emulsions feed primarily bacterial groups. Chopped hay provides a food source for protozoa and certain plant extracts (yucca, comfrey and nettle) are also needed for fungal teas. When using plant extracts do not use any with a preservative (i.e. alcohol), as it will kill any beneficial organisms present in the tea.

If you decide to use compost tea in your garden and landscape, it is recommended that you not use commercial fertilizers for plant performance.

"Mycorrhizal Tea" is obtained by adding mycorrhizal fungi spores to the working brew. The spores will germinate within a few hours after being introduced into the tea solution.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:44 PM
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Default lignosulfates

Next we need to provide the organisms in our compost sampling with a source of carbon so that they can grow well. There is some variation here, such as what organisms use what sugar sources. As a rule, bacteria can usually grow faster than fungi in a broth that they like. However, fungi have the advantage of being able to metabolize carbon sources that most bacteria cannot, such as lignin and cellulose. That difference allows us some control here regarding the end result of our tea. Theoretically, in order to have a tea that is richer in fungi than in bacteria, the sugar source should be nearly all lignin or cellulose (there will still be bacteria, as the fungi release by-products that bacteria can live on).
Conversely, if we use dextrose as a sugar source, bacteria will proliferate, and the tea will have much more bacteria than fungi (there will still be fungi, since fungi can metabolize dextrose as well). If you are wondering why this is important, fungal teas are more helpful in fighting fungal pathogens, such as leaf blight. Also, the soil biota play an important role in succession, so treatment of the soil may help in restoration efforts. To give an idea of what this means, conifer-forest soil usually has more fungi than bacteria, due to the high amounts of lignin available and a lower soil pH. Grassy meadows usually have a much higher level of bacteria than fungi: because of the lack of wood sources, the bacteria out compete the fungi. For production and garden soil, the ideal is equal amounts of bacteria and fungi. This may seem simple, but in reality, the bacteria tend to dominate.
Once the tea is applied, nature will determine which plants will make it and which will die. Cost is another issue, depending on the amount of tea being made. Since sugar will ultimately constitute 20% of your mixture, choosing your source wisely can save much money. Molasses is a cheap sugar source, and it goes into solution well. Raw cane sugar can be used too, as can nearly any sugar source. Lignin and cellulose can be a little more difficult to find, but they are out there. The sugar source should be added to the water of the tea and allowed to dissolve before brewing starts.
One very important point to make here is that human pathogens can grow in a nonselective carbon source. Though not likely, it is a possibility and should be avoided. One way to avoid this is to use carbon sources that are complex sugars, which, unlike sucrose, require special enzymes to metabolize. Such a carbon source helps to select for soil biota. A simple rule is to look at what the microbes would be eating anyway. In the case of compost teas, plants are the common denominator. Vegetable and other plant extracts contain many compounds that are ideal carbon sources. Since very little research has been done on this, the sky is the limit for combinations and discovery.
Soil organisms also need a source of nitrogen in order to be able to make proteins and carry out basic life processes. Meat sources of protein are not going to work here, so don't even think about it. In general, meat has no place in the composting process, because it can potentially harbor some nasty little things that are pathogenic to humans. Yeast extract is a very good source of nitrogen, as it is just dried (lyophilized) yeast that has been ground up into a powder. It also contains other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial. Nonfat dried milk is another good source of proteins but it may take some extra processing, which may increase brewing time. Of course, flour, rice meal, wheat, etc. have protein in them, so there is a lot of room for experimentation in this area. A good amount for tea is to use 10% of your nitrogen source, although I would use about half that if using dried milk. In my opinion, the nitrogen should be from a non-animal source (yeast extract, rice flour, etc.), since it will be used on plants and should be processed as little as possible (for example, bleached flour is not recommended). Another exciting factor to consider is that many of the grains also contain complex carbohydrates, which means that you can be adding carbon and nitrogen in one fell swoop.

Quote:
However, fungi have the advantage of being able to metabolize carbon sources that most bacteria cannot, such as lignin and cellulose.
This line jumps out at me. Lignins are found in 'woody' trees, so I'm thinking a small amount of topsoil in the fungal brew would be beneficial.
Actually, I have always added MJ stems to my teas, for their high P and silicate content, and I would imagine they are high in lignins and cellulose also. Lignosulfates act as a chelating agent too, and I hear they can be sourced pre-extracted for agricultural use. I would imagine this would be stellar in a brew. Lignosulfates have a wide variety of uses from cement to surfacent, but if anyone finds an agricultural source for lignosulfates, please post it up.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:11 AM
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Nice EM. I have to spread rep before giving it to you again. I don't know if I would use honey in your bacterial brew...it's antibacterial. You can put honey on scrapes and wounds to keep them bacteria free. Heres a link-Honey.

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Old 01-15-2008, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BBP View Post
I don't know if I would use honey in your bacterial brew...it's antibacterial. You can put honey on scrapes and wounds to keep them bacteria free.
Quote:
conventional method of burn treatment (silver sulfadiazine) with topical applications of honey
Had a hot radiator on my race car go off in my face back in '86 and that is what they had me use..... great stuff the both of them IMHO..... no scars at ALL cept small patch on arm from a graft....

Hey E-man, look forward to any input on the honey bro...Thx

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Old 02-03-2008, 08:07 AM
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Nice EM. I have to spread rep before giving it to you again. I don't know if I would use honey in your bacterial brew...it's antibacterial. You can put honey on scrapes and wounds to keep them bacteria free. Heres a link-Honey.
Thanks, and good point...

I would have to agree that honey is not the best carbon source. I have read it is also a mild fungicide. It also attracts moisture and I hear it is a descent rooting agent (organic) for cloning. I wouldn't say it is bad for soil, especially for those using 'super' innoulates like Biozome and Subculture, etc. Super exotic microlife types can break down nearly anything, even synthetics as I understand it.

At any rate, it is fairly easy to test. Add a teaspoon to a well brewed (foaming) tea, and gauge the reaction, I test many materials in this way.

You could also start a culture...with wet coffee grounds or similar. Add a bit of honey to wet used grounds and let sit for a week or 2, should be fairly obvious how 'toxic' it really is to our beasties.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:53 PM
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well I heard that honey is bacteria-cidal of some kind but fungal friendly<that is why they use honey for sprouting pcube spores. and the friendliness issue is why they do not use molassas or maple syrup for pcubes (sulfer i think). The most favored substrate in pcube cultivation is grains. but some varieties, including the most potent known (azurences), will/do grow on wood. Also, as you know, some mushies grow only on certain kinds of wood, like the amanita. to grow on wood they say you should leach it first. boiling helps.

so maybe zeroing in on which kind of fungi u want to grow is one way of thinking at it. and then we might zero in on other factors if we knew which kind we are growing.

The main thing in pcube culture may be the temperature and moisture level. their optimal range is very narrow but we have all seen how a fungal growth springs out of nowhere when his time is right. Also I have heard that certain bacteria grow only at certain temperatures. like the thermophilic dudes/primary compost pile inhabitant works best at 120 to 170 F i believe. the mesophilic (sp? sorry) is the primary 'forest' soil dude and (also) a cheese maker but he is next down on the temp scale, like 150 down to the 90's or so?

I have seen very little of the text on petri dishes but what i have seen makes it clear that someone probably knows what we want to know as far as culturing requirements go. those guys have got their numbers dialed in. they not only have done serious tests on what sugar sources are best but also how much sugar is best. like the differences between using 3% or 5% solutions<that precise. the difference between 3 and five increased growth by 1/3 or so in the thing i read. alkaloid production was affected to these degrees at this small level of sugar change too i think.

another primary factor in cultivation is pH. now u are way more knowledgable about pH than i Eman but i have read that it is one of the five ways to control/kill growths in the lab (light level, temp, food, water, pH i think). so i guess these could be a controlling factors in ur bucket as well. maybe we want it dark for fungi?

that substrate issue. i wonder if maybe you would want a slurpee or semi-solid bucket to propagate a mycorrhizal mass. like i see in my failed wine bucket that the top is colonized well but the liquid is free from it. not only would extra solidity favor a mycorrhizal mass but it probably would retard bacteria spread considerably.

As far as finding a source of lignosulfate, it may be that it depends on which kind u want, like calcium lignosulfate, magnesium lignosulfate or u got something called lignosulfonate acids..idk about these things but it looks to be a non-conductive binder? what are we trying to do? retard water flow?

and scuse me fer ignance but why is fungal things better in flower and the bacteria for vegging?

If the lig product is an acid, you could extract it? or do something, like we get molassas just from boiling and skimming right? and we get 100% P guano from exposure and age. heat converts sugar to carbs. freezing and then thaw can release carbon to the atmosphere. in my old garden book it says the P and K are most easily extracted from rotted manure in teas (verse fresh).

i did not see any ag products with it so far. i do not know if they measure for it regularly even so do we actually know if there is none there? but and here is a page with ag products that have lig chems of other sorts:
http://
sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xsql/duke/listchempl2.xsql?chem=L

h aha. i do like the word lignosulfate. lignan makes me think primarily of wood. and then the sulfur is what i am wondering if my lava rocks are made of (fearing they are made of? idk yet). and that is what i primarily grow in>wood/plant products, lava and clay. perhaps i should send u a bag of rocks.

Quote:
Add a bit of honey to wet used grounds and let sit for a week or 2, should be fairly obvious how 'toxic' it really is to our beasties.
all that ever grows on my grinds is a blue mold. is the honey supposed to stop that or increase it? and is that mold bad?

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Old 04-24-2008, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cakes View Post
well I heard that honey is bacteria-cidal of some kind but fungal friendly<that is why they use honey for sprouting pcube spores. and the friendliness issue is why they do not use molassas or maple syrup for pcubes (sulfer i think). The most favored substrate in pcube cultivation is grains. but some varieties, including the most potent known (azurences), will/do grow on wood. Also, as you know, some mushies grow only on certain kinds of wood, like the amanita. to grow on wood they say you should leach it first. boiling helps.

so maybe zeroing in on which kind of fungi u want to grow is one way of thinking at it. and then we might zero in on other factors if we knew which kind we are growing.

The main thing in pcube culture may be the temperature and moisture level. their optimal range is very narrow but we have all seen how a fungal growth springs out of nowhere when his time is right. Also I have heard that certain bacteria grow only at certain temperatures. like the thermophilic dudes/primary compost pile inhabitant works best at 120 to 170 F i believe. the mesophilic (sp? sorry) is the primary 'forest' soil dude and (also) a cheese maker but he is next down on the temp scale, like 150 down to the 90's or so?

I have seen very little of the text on petri dishes but what i have seen makes it clear that someone probably knows what we want to know as far as culturing requirements go. those guys have got their numbers dialed in. they not only have done serious tests on what sugar sources are best but also how much sugar is best. like the differences between using 3% or 5% solutions<that precise. the difference between 3 and five increased growth by 1/3 or so in the thing i read. alkaloid production was affected to these degrees at this small level of sugar change too i think.

another primary factor in cultivation is pH. now u are way more knowledgable about pH than i Eman but i have read that it is one of the five ways to control/kill growths in the lab (light level, temp, food, water, pH i think). so i guess these could be a controlling factors in ur bucket as well. maybe we want it dark for fungi?

that substrate issue. i wonder if maybe you would want a slurpee or semi-solid bucket to propagate a mycorrhizal mass. like i see in my failed wine bucket that the top is colonized well but the liquid is free from it. not only would extra solidity favor a mycorrhizal mass but it probably would retard bacteria spread considerably.

As far as finding a source of lignosulfate, it may be that it depends on which kind u want, like calcium lignosulfate, magnesium lignosulfate or u got something called lignosulfonate acids..idk about these things but it looks to be a non-conductive binder? what are we trying to do? retard water flow?

and scuse me fer ignance but why is fungal things better in flower and the bacteria for vegging?

If the lig product is an acid, you could extract it? or do something, like we get molassas just from boiling and skimming right? and we get 100% P guano from exposure and age. heat converts sugar to carbs. freezing and then thaw can release carbon to the atmosphere. in my old garden book it says the P and K are most easily extracted from rotted manure in teas (verse fresh).

i did not see any ag products with it so far. i do not know if they measure for it regularly even so do we actually know if there is none there? but and here is a page with ag products that have lig chems of other sorts:
http://
sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xsql/duke/listchempl2.xsql?chem=L

h aha. i do like the word lignosulfate. lignan makes me think primarily of wood. and then the sulfur is what i am wondering if my lava rocks are made of (fearing they are made of? idk yet). and that is what i primarily grow in>wood/plant products, lava and clay. perhaps i should send u a bag of rocks.

all that ever grows on my grinds is a blue mold. is the honey supposed to stop that or increase it? and is that mold bad?
Fungi prefer a higher ph, bacteria like it lower. I forget exactly why we want bacteria levels higher in veg, but it is prolly because they process N better I believe? They are prolly more protective of young plants too. I do recall the special things fungi can do with P, which is why we would prefer to boost them in flower. Bacteria will overpower fungi, unless we can provide optimal conditions for the fungi, so I try.

As far as lignosulfates, you are right, they are wood. If I understand correctly, they would be the prime carbon source for fungi (fungally dominant tea), as most bacteria can't use it.

As far as coffee, REv and I have had such excellent success since adding it, I can only hypothesize that it brings it's own special microlife to the mix, and yes I often get it nice and moldy first.
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Originally Posted by Elephunt man View Post
As far as coffee, REv and I have had such excellent success since adding it, I can only hypothesize that it brings it's own special microlife to the mix, and yes I often get it nice and moldy first.

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