Making Bokashi Bran


Bokashi bran is an expensive regular purchase for Bokashi composters. Fortunately, it is easy to make your own at home with a few simple ingredients.

This is the quickest method to use, as it includes some already prepared EM1 solution. A later post will deal with brewing your own microbes at home.


All you need is –

  • a bucket to mix in
  • 2 kg of bran (wheat, barley or rice bran all work well).
  • 1/4 cup of EM1 solution
  • 3 cups of filtered or otherwise un-chlorinated water
  • 1 cup of Molasses
  • an airtight container to store the prepared bran in until it is ready.

 

Follow these step by step instructions –

 

Gather your ingredients and find a comfortable work space.

Ingredients for making Bokashi bran
Ingredients for making Bokashi bran

 

Put the bran in your bucket or mixing container and add 2 cups of filtered water.

 

Mix 2 cups of filtered water until the bran is evenly moist
Mix 2 cups of filtered water until the bran is evenly moist

 

Mix the water and bran thoroughly. It can be any type of bran. I use wheat bran because it is easy to get where I live. It is important to moisten the bran evenly and not leave any areas that are too dry or too wet. Having said that, the process is pretty forgiving.

 

Mix that so the bran is evenly moist, with as few lumps as possible.
Mix that so the bran is evenly moist, with as few lumps as possible.

 

Squeeze a handful of the moist bran. The idea is to have it moist enough to start to form a ball, but not moist enough for the ball to stay together.

 

Give it a squeeze. I
Give it a squeeze. It should be just able to hold together.

 

Add 1 cup of Molasses and mix as thoroughly as you did in the last stage with the water. The molasses provides food for the microbes in the next step.

 

Add 1 cup of Molasses.
Add 1 cup of Molasses

 

Add 1/4 cup of Microbe solution, or EM1 solution. This contains enough microbes to start eating the molasses and inoculate the mix.

 

Add 1/4 cup of Microbe solution or EM1 solution.
Add 1/4 cup of Microbe solution or EM1 solution.

 

Mix as thoroughly as possible to make sure that the microbes are fairly evenly distributed throughout the bran.

 

Mix the EM1 solution through the moist bran as thoroughly as possible.
Mix the EM1 solution through the moist bran as thoroughly as possible.

 

Move the finished bran mix to your airtight container. Press down on the mix.

Pressing the mix down ensures good contact of the microbes with their food source, as well as expelling air. Remember, Bokashi is an anaerobic process.

 

Put the inoculated bran into a container and press it down.
Put the inoculated bran into a container and press it down.

 

Finally –

Cover the container and place it somewhere not too hot and not too cold, away from direct light until it is ready.

 

When is it ready?

It will take about a week for the microbes to have bred up to enough of a level to make the bran effective in the composting process. In cold weather, allow them another week to get ready.

I use the white buckets that come from food shops, the ones that are used by bakers for frosting and such. These have a good seal and when the microbes are active and producing CO2,  the lids bulge a little.

This bulge tells me they are ready to go!

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