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Bokashi troubleshooting


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So you've got your bokashi bins all set up and running, but things don't seem quite right. Lets see if we can help.


If you're getting problems with fruit flies in the container, add more bokashi bran to make the food waste more acidic so the fruit flies can't live in it. If you have a garden compost bin, you could put all fruit and vegetable peelings straight into that instead of in the bokashi bucket.

If there is white mould on the food, this is not a problem and shows the contents are fermenting properly.

A strong rancid or rotten smell, or the presence of maggots or black or blue-green mould means that the fermenting process has failed. There will be some quite UNfriendly bacteria in there, so you need to get rid of it and start again. You can dig a deep hole in the garden, add some bokashi bran, tip the contents of the bucket in, sprinkle a couple of handfuls of bran over the top, then bury the lot and leave it to sort itself out. Or empty the bucket into a plastic bag and put it in the dustbin. Don't be discouraged - this doesn't happen often, and will probably be due to one or more of the following:

  • Not enough bokashi bran mix was used - be generous - you can't use too much - or it wasn't mixed through enough.

  • There were lots of large pieces of food in there - half inch to one inch pieces are ideal. Larger pieces and thick peels take longer to ferment. Cut smaller next time or ferment for longer.

  • The waste wasn't pressed down enough so there was too much air mixed in with the food scraps in the bin.

  • The container lid wasn't kept tightly closed - this is vital for the fermentation to work. Don't peek to see if it's working!

  • The EM juice was not drained off enough so the mix was too wet - check the tap's not blocked.

  • The inner drainage tray wasn't properly in place.

  • The container was too hot or too cold - it needs a warm place out of direct sun. Just like us, those microbes like a nice comfortable room temperature.

If something is digging up your buried bokashi you may need to bury it a bit deeper - at least 6 inches - or cover the area with a plank or wire netting. Bokashi pre-compost is acidic and doesn't taste good to rodents or foxes so they generally stop digging once they have tasted it. If they are more persistent try fermenting for an extra week to ensure complete fermentation.

Problems with the tap. If the tap is leaking try removing and refitting it - sometimes the washers get displaced if the tap is over tightened. If the washers have deformed replace them. A handy fix is a bit of PTFE tape on the thread - wind on clockwise so the nut doesn't scrunch it up. If the tap has stopped turning try home brewing suppliers on Amazon or ebay for a replacement. Some manufacturers will replace the tap for free.

4 comentarios


turningtogreen
turningtogreen
04 jun 2019

Glad we could be of help. Do keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

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afabraham57
03 jun 2019

Thank you very much. The compression is good - really firm. And I'm pretty sure I have been adding enough bran, but having read the instruction booklet that came with the item,, it really makes it sound as if the fluid should appear during the filling process, quite regularly. Nice to know I'm doing things the right way. I can't check for fluid production, because the reservoir is integral to the bucket... I might contact the manufacturer and suggest they include a clear panel to be able to check! Many thanks for your response. It's a very informative site, and I have, on the strength of your recommendations, purchased oat bran and EM1 liquid, to create my own bokashi bran.…

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turningtogreen
turningtogreen
03 jun 2019

Hi afabraham57. Don’t worry. The amount of fluid produced depends on what you put into the bin, and there‘s often very little or none at all until the fermentation stage. Just keep following the instructions and it should be fine 😀

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afabraham57
02 jun 2019

I purchased 2 Bokashi bins (made by Hozelock) and the necessary bran. One bin is almost full, and I have been using the bran as instructed in the accompanying booklet, but it's been 3 weeks and there isn't a single drop of fluid coming out at all. Should I stir the mix and add more bran?


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