Bokashi, Bran and Buckets: Finishing the Project

At this point our bokashi should be ready to dry, if you have not already done that. Remember the bokashi bran should should have a sweet fermented smell, like beer, yeast etc. If you have any blue / red mold on top, it is an indication that some air got in, during the fermenting process. Al Pasternak suggests that the blue/red/ mold can be scooped off and put into your regular compost pile. The remaining bran can be spread out on a tarp to air dry.
Olivia found that her bran was clumped together – she found it helpful to use a garden rake to break up the clumps. Where we are, because the air is fairly dry, the bran should dry fairly quickly although you may need to stir it around a few times to ensure even drying. Once it is dry you can store it in plastic Ziploc bags or other containers.

Please share with us how you bran is doing: Did you run into any problems? If yes, how did you overcome them? Where did you dry your bran? How long did it take? How are you storing your bran?

If you are doing a two bucket system (a bucket with holes nested inside an intact bucket)? How did you make the holes? How many and what size? If you have started using your buckets and bokashi bran, what effects are you noticing? IE is there a lot of bokashi tea? (BTW Bokashi tea when diluted makes a great fertilizer, it is also good for septics, and to refresh your pumbling drains).

  • Leslie: I think I will dry my Bokashi bran on Saturday if the weather cooperates and their is no wind. It does smell like sweet fermentation. I did have to scoop an awful lot of blue mold off the top and I think I lost a lot of the white stuff in the process. Anyway, my white does not go down to the bottom but I am just going to mix it up with the the good stuff anyway. Will let you know when I try it. Do we have to keep the bucket in the house during the summer?
  • Leslie, good question. I think it would be fine outside unless it is in an area where the temperature is going to exceed 115 F (someone please convert to celsius for me). Remember this is the temperature that will kill off the beneficial microorganisms in the bokashi.

    If anyone is storing their bokashi buckets outside in the summer can you please check its temperature occassionally and report back on how it is doing? Just so we can get an idea of the range of storage possibilities.

  • Liz says 115 F is about 43 C, so it should be okay outside in the summer. But I have remembered another potential limitation – the buckets we are using are made of a #2 plastic. #2 plastics are not UV stable. It means after too much sunshine the plastic becomes brittle and can shatter / break / crack – I have personally seen this happen with my own buckets I left out. It would take a season or so for it to happen, but it does. So maybe if you are putting buckets outside, putting them in a shaded location would be a good idea.
  • Susan: My bokashi is full of blue mold so I will probably throw it away unless someone says no. In retrospect I think it was probably ready to dry just about a week after we made it as the top was covered in those white fibrous threads and it smelt nice. The room it was in was quite warm so I think it matured quickly. However, I left it for another couple of weeks by which time blue and red molds had started to form throughout. When I finally got around to drying it , it smelled really awful and was full of blue mold. It is dry now but probably not good for anything. I could just spread it on an unused area of vegetable garden of course and dig it in.
  • Bev: Hello everyone, my bokashi turned out great I had the white fuzzy stuff on some of it and only had one blue spot about the size of a loonie so just removed it and threw it in the composter. I left spread out to dry over night and then put back into plastic container and I am just going to start using now so will let you know how it goes. It had a really nice fermented smell when I dried it. The container I had it in I just kept pushing the lid down every 3 or 4 days and if there was any air in then it just came out; maybe that is why it turned out so well.
  • Deanna(2): I made 2-10kg batches, one for myself and one for my Mom. I had 1 batch turn out perfectly and one batch had the blue- grey mold on top and it was slimy in one area with red mold. The first batch was in a larger container and I mixed it out at Bev’s. that was the batch that has the mould in it which was almost 1.5 – 2 inch thick. The second batch only had the blue grey mould in one spot on the edge I tossed aprox a quarter to half a cup. No white stuff nothing anywhere else. It looked like the day we made it. I had a smaller container for this one and took it home, after struggling to stir it up. I and dumped into a larger container at home and mixed it well then put it into the smaller container and packed it down. I had 2 inches of air space in the container and I think it had dried some as it wasn’t as wet as the other batch. This never went mouldy at all no white fuzz but it did smell sour like it had fermented. I have dried this batch and it wasn’t clumped together like the mouldy batch. Both batches were left in our upstairs at room temp . I just dried the 1 batch last weekend and I still have the mouldy batch to dry. It has been far to windy or wet to dry anything here. My mom and I have started using the first batch and yes your compost does not smell like it used to. Can’t wait to start on the second bucket of compost. Patiently waiting to dry my second batch..