Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: January 18, 2021
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Compost tea is a liquid made to assist your garden and help vegetables, flowers and other flora flourish. In this article, we’re exploring the best compost tea brewer options.
If you’re in a hurry, you can check out our best option, the Compost Tea Brewer Kit. This is a full kit and compost tea system with everything you need to get started. As well as including a vessel to keep your compost tea and all the pipes needed to connect everything together, it also includes activators and all that you could possibly need to get started. This is great whether you are an experienced compost tea maker or you are trying it out for the first time. An aerator keeps the oxygen levels high, too. This is one of the top features we’ve looked at when exploring the other reviews of seven compost tea machines below.
Features we’ve looked into include the capacity, so how much of the tea can be made within, as well as the coverage area this provides for your yard. The size of the brewer is also a consideration as it needs somewhere to sit within your yard! The best compost tea brewers aren’t always huge and bulky. Other added extras have been considered in our reviews, too, such as whether the brewer has an aerator included to keep oxygen levels high, and whether compost starters and other products you can add to activate and encourage the compost have been included in the package. So, let’s get to more detailed information, which you’ll find in our product reviews and buying guide.
"This model is incredibly hard-wearing as it is made entirely from stainless steel which can prevent the buildup of non-beneficial organisms, and it should take about 15 minutes in total to get a sterile clean."
"This model comes with Fine Bubble Diffusion technology which secures the best aeration and high quality industrial materials the model is made of prevent unhelpful bacteria or harmful organics from entering."
More features: Commercial Grade Air Pump – 714 GPH 20watts, TeaLAB Brew Bag, BubbleSnake Aerator, Bucket, Air Pump, all hoses and fittings, LifeCube Compost, FishBall Activators, Soil Life Mircobial Inoculant, and a Chlorine Test Kit
This tea kit has been named as the best compost tea brewer on our list as it comes with everything you need and has been built with biological needs in mind. The bubbles provided by the aerator are designed to keep dissolved oxygen levels at a high state, needed for the best compost tea.
The kit is pretty simple to use and though it may not look as fancy as some of the others, it comes with everything you would need to get started including the bucket itself, a pump and aerator, and all the connections you need. There’s even a microbial inoculant and a test kit to help you see the makeup of the compost tea and things like chlorine levels within.
The brand is very proud of their customer service, this is a relatively small business and they are currently still at the stage where you can always speak to someone if you ring them! TeaLAB’s staff are helpful, but the setup is simple enough so you probably won’t need any help with this.
The coverage area is ¼ of an acre, fine for most yards but not huge areas. It’s designed for home use.
What we liked:
Easy to set up and start using even if you’ve never done it before
Helpful support staff
Comes with activators, inoculant and even a tester for the chlorine levels
What could be better:
Smaller coverage area is only really suitable for home use
This is a noisy brewer, the pump sometimes can get annoying in its volume
The Volcano 30 Gallon Compost Tea Brewer is a hefty piece of kit, and while it is quite bulky and can take up a fair amount of space, it can cover a respectable space of 1.5 acres. As you will guess from the name, the brewer can hold up to 30 gallons of the tea. It comes with a 110 LPM air pump that is designed to be ultra-quiet, especially considering the actual size of the brewer.
In spite of the big size, it’s made to be convenient. Everything connects together with simple cam locks that can be taken apart in a few minutes. When you need to clean, the whole process just takes a few minutes.
The air pump is designed to oxygenate the water so that the compost is better for the plants and organics it is used on.
This has a whirlpool style design and even has a cone shape at the bottom of the tank to provide a simple way to pour the tea. This compost or “earth tea brewer” has all the instructions for use on the side, which is a handy addition that means anyone can use it in no time at all.
It comes with a brew bag and an insect frass to help when it comes to the brewing and provide the best quality possible for your eventual compost tea.
It’s not the cheapest of the best compost tea brewer options, but it is one of the better, especially for covering over an acre.
The Progress Earth Organics Vortex Brewer 85 Gallon is not for home use! Unless your garden is absolutely massive, of course. The design is very inventive, but first and foremost it is designed to be the commercial compost tea brewer for nurseries, farms or other commercial uses where compost tea might be useful.
It can cover over 4 acres from one brew, which is very sizeable. Also, it can brew 24 hours a day with no need for a water pump.
The unit works via air coming in and causing a vortex. The water generates a current due to the way it moves and this aerates the water so there is no need for loud water pumping to get it ready for use.
It arrives plumbed and ready to go and also has microbe food and activators to help the brewing.
Everything used to make the product is commercial food grade quality. This means you can use it in whichever way you see fit. The description even says you can use it for reactivating drinking water if you wish.
Though this is big and bulky, and could be overkill for small gardens, it is a high quality large-capacity brewer.
We’ve named the Nature’s Solution Compost Tea Brewer and Extractor the best compost tea maker with a 20 gallon capacity. This equates to about 1 acre of coverage area per brew. This is more than enough for most people who are growing things on a modest scale.
We could just have easily named this the “sturdiest” compost tea brewer. It’s incredibly hard-wearing as it is made entirely from stainless steel and definitely built to last. This does lead to a fairly high cost, but that’s to be expected from such a sturdy design. Steel is not just good for the design because it is hard-wearing, it can prevent the buildup of non-beneficial organisms, these can grow in plastic containers and cause the compost tea to be a lot lower in quality, or even harmful.
The sturdiness doesn’t make it impossible to move, however. I love that this comes with wheels, and this means you can easily move the compost tea brewer around as needed.
The motor and air hose come with this product, and the whole system is well designed when it comes to cleaning. It should take about 15 minutes in total to get a sterile clean. The steel brewer decants from underneath, and you can simply put a five gallon container under the dispenser.
What we liked:
High quality stainless steel
Wheels included to make this easier to move around
If you’re looking for a very lightweight option for your home then the Dirt Simple 5-gallon Compost Tea Brewer could be a perfect solution. It’s very affordable, especially when compared to some of the other best compost tea brewers on this list.
The weight of this compost tea system is just 10 lbs, which is virtually nothing compared to many of the other options. It makes it easily portable and means you can store it just about anywhere outside. A shed is perfect, or your garage is fine too.
As you would expect for this price it is made out of plastic, and not the best components, but it all functions very well, and you don’t have to worry about the quality of the pump itself too much, it is rated for 24 hour use, and comes with a one year warranty so you can claim if any issues arise.
The brewing is easy, and so is the cleanup! It takes very little time to get the compost tea brewer clean and ready to start another batch. There’s also a replacement kit that can be bought for fresh tubing and brewing if needed.
As a home option, the Dirt Simple brewer has a lot to like. If you are new to brewing this can be a starting point for you.
What we liked:
Lightweight. Easy to store and move around
Easy to clean
Replacement kit can be bought including brewing bag
The Growing Solutions GSIS10 Compost Tea System is another that has a relatively small capacity and weight. It’s not as huge as some of the other options but still covers a respectable ½ acre. We’ve named them the best for aeration, and they absolutely justify this title! The system used for getting oxygen back into the soil is extremely innovative and has made the brand well-known in the world of compost tea. Bubble fine technology is the name of it, and it allows more, smaller bubbles to enter the tea and disperse oxygen more freely.
This product is made out of the best quality components, so it is suitable for use in your yard and you can rest assured that you aren’t risking issues around unhelpful bacteria or harmful organics entering due to the poor materials or construction. The Compost Tea System 10 is built to last, and you should get many years out of your brewing system.
Cleaning is very simple and it comes apart to let you rinse and clean the brewer perfectly.
The price is a bit higher than some of the other 10 gallon compost tea makers but this isn’t the end of the world and the high quality industrial materials justify the price. There are no catalysts included to start the compost and brewing so these need to be bought separately.
What we liked:
Patented system for the best aeration possible
Easy to clean
What could be better:
A constant humming sound during use which can get annoying
If you wanted a high-capacity compost tea brewer, you’re not going to find anything better than this. At 60-gallons, it will give you a vast amount of tea that will allow your plants to thrive over an incredible coverage area of 30 acres.
Of course, that high capacity is pointless if it doesn’t have a high enough build quality, but that’s another area that we were very impressed with. It works perfectly every time, and you’ll be using this for many years to come.
The obvious downside to a unit this large is that it’s quite a lot more expensive than some other options. With the amount of liquid you get, we think it’s worth it. The composter is also bulky, and not everyone is going to have space for it. These are obvious downsides due to the size but are worth noting.
The pumps are very powerful and work perfectly every time. With all of these features, you’d expect the tea brewer to be difficult to maintain, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maintenance is very simple, which includes it being very easy to clean, and you’ll enjoy using it over and over again.
What we liked:
Easy to clean
What could be better:
Things to Consider
Buying a compost brewer is not something you’re likely to do every day! This means it is important to read a proper buying guide so that you fully understand compost tea brewers and what they do. This product has been on the market for a while, but has undoubtedly grown in popularity in recent years as people start to understand their benefits.
What are compost tea brewers for?
So, what is the difference between a simple compost bin or a compost tumbler and a compost tea brewer? A lot of people are pretty confused about what compost tea brewers are for, and what they actually do. What are compost tea brewers for and what are the benefits? Compost tea is effectively a water that has been combined with compost and brewed up (hence the tea comparison).
The water is so full of nutrients due to the fact that it has been combined with compost and all of the minerals and nutrition within, and this is designed to enter the roots after watering and then provide all sorts of plants, vegetables and other crops with all they need to grow bigger, healthier and with a bigger yield. If you’re trying to grow your own fruits and vegetables, it’s a no-brainer.
The compost tea is designed to fill the plants with beneficial microbes and this stops pathogens or other harmful microbes like fungus getting to the plant. The better quality of soil and water provides an easier way for plants to absorb and this means the plants can cope with a lot more in terms of conditions, and end up a lot healthier.
The healthy balance that is then made has even been shown to help with fighting off pests and producing hormones that help the flowers and plants to grow! Other benefits include suppressing and killing off disease and also replacing toxins that can be harmful to humans. This is particularly helpful if whatever you are growing is designed to be ingested. For instance, if you’re using your compost tea to help grow bigger crops of fruit and vegetables.
Compost tea brewers have commercial uses, of course. Anyone growing organic products is likely to use some form of compost brewer to improve the quality of their final product. It can even help you to make more profit if you are selling your products. You can get bigger yields and therefore more money as a result. It’s also better for the environment than a lot of the other products that claim to be able to help with growth. No need for chemical solutions or GM to try and get a bigger and healthier plant. You can rest assured that compost is all that has been used on your plants.
Some of this sounds too good to be true! It’s amazing how much impact the compost tea brewers can actually have, and you don’t have to be a farm growing loads of organic products in order to use one. Instead, many of the best compost tea brewer systems have been designed with home use in mind. If you have a vegetable patch or just want to make your plants and flowers grow more healthily, this can be the solution.
How to pick the best compost tea brewer?
So, how do you know which is the best compost tea brewer for you? We’ve reviewed the features below, and the things you should look out for when you are choosing your compost tea brewer. There are certain things that make a good tea brewer, and once you’ve understood what the compost tea brewers do, you should try to work out which products are best for your own needs.
The features we’ve mentioned below are the main criteria we’ve used to make our compost tea brewer reviews. Though some might be more important to you than others, it’s important that you understand all of these features and functions to make the right decision for your own needs.
This is a pretty self-explanatory feature. The capacity of the compost tea brewer is how much of the final solution of “brewed” compost tea will be available, and how much water it can hold. This varies greatly from small models such those with five gallon capacity (best for home use) way up to units with 80-110 gallons, such as seen with the Synergy Cyclone 60 Gallon Compost Tea Brewer. These are designed to be commercially used compost tea brewers.
If you need a huge capacity then it could be a case of “the more, the better” but it is more a case of what you need. You might be looking for a small capacity if you are looking to just improve the quality of your garden.
The biggest systems out there are likely to be overkill if you are a casual gardener. Our highest rated product, the Compost Tea Brewer Kit has a five gallon capacity.
You might think that the coverage area and the capacity are pretty much the same thing. This isn’t true. Though a bigger capacity in the compost tea brewer means that it provides more of the actual product, it doesn’t always correlate 100% with the coverage. Carrying on the tea analogy, imagine the strength of tea. A stronger compost tea will go further. Different brands also recommend different coverage areas from their brewers.
Remember that coverage area doesn’t mean how big the actual brewer is, instead, it means how far one lot of the product it creates will go.
How long does the compost take to brew into a compost tea? The brew time is not always specified, and a lot of people use the tea brewer to keep a constant supply, so it may not always matter. However, if you plan to use all of the tea in one go and then need to reuse it the next day, you need to make sure the brew time will allow you to do this.
How big and bulky are you happy for the product to be? They’re not all small and compact, and even once you get over the 10 gallon mark they can be expensive models. Plus, when you then add to that the fact that you will then be adding water, you can end up with an extremely hefty piece of kit.
In an industrial setting, you might need something bigger and the extra weight could just be something you need to put up with!
The size is another thing that can vary hugely when you buy a compost tea brewer. Obviously, this is linked to the capacity. If you want something that contains a lot of the compost tea, then you’re going to have to put up with the extra size.
You can add some nutrients and microbes that can help to kickstart the compost tea. Think of it like adding flavorings to the tea you would drink. These can accelerate the effectiveness of the compost and how quickly the tea turn into a helpful collection of nutrients.
How much are you looking to spend? Some of the products on this list can cost many thousands of dollars. If you are just looking for some healthier plants in the summertime, then you don’t need to spend all of this. A commercial compost tea brewer could cost thousands, and this is likely to cover much larger areas. Some products can cover over 4 acres of land, which is a huge amount of coverage. You can use these in settings where your growing is your livelihood, such as farms or other industries where organic growth and crops are needed.
How to brew compost tea and how to use it? (equipment, ingredients, water quality, temperature)
Brewing compost tea should involve adding your starters and your compost to the compost tea brewer. You can match up the pH value of your water and reduce or increase this with vinegar in order to make sure it is suitable for the soil in the area.
Then you can add tap water. Make sure that you run the water for a while to get rid of a chlorine smell, you may even want to get rid of the chlorine by filtering it out. Add a ‘tea pack’ or starter that will help to kick the brewing into gear.
You should then be ready to pump the air in. The way this works depends on the model of tea brewer you have opted for. Turn the pump on and let it do its business! A vortex model will not require the pump to be on as it works a different way.
After around 20 hours your compost tea should definitely be ready, but again, this depends on the model. Some will be faster and some may need up to 24 hours. It should give off quite a strong smell that is usually quite pleasant (depending what compost you have used).
After brewing, leave the pump off for a while before using so debris settles and isn’t getting in the way when you go to pour. You can then use this by diluting the brew with some more water. Around 1/10th of the mixture should be the compost brew. Again, refer to your manufacturer recommendations for this, and to know a specific figure they suggest.
Apply to your plants however you normally would! You can use a watering can in order to get the water to the roots and create an even spread. You can also use a spray bottle, getting this mixture on the leaves also helps them to flourish.
They’re usually incredibly simple to use. Measurements do not always have to be perfectly exact. The process is much like making a cup of tea for you to drink, just add the ingredients and let it brew. The pump to provide oxygen and encourage the brewing just needs to be left on and the tea brewer should do the rest of the work.
Yes, there’s no restriction to when in the year you use the compost. As long as you don’t leave the compost tea sitting for too long after it has been brewed then there should be no issue due to the season. In the summer, composts can start to smell, but if you use the brew quickly this should be fine.
There is no yes or no answer to this question. Worm composters are definitely more upkeep, and while the benefits of the worm castings are undoubted, tea brewers might be preferable. If you are looking to improve the quality of your crops then the truth is that either will be a suitable option. Both offer something slightly different as the worm castings are different from the microbes in the compost tea, but they both have their positives and negatives.
The well-made Compost Tea Brewer Kit has made it to the top of our list with a rating of 9.9/10. As well as being reliable and compact, it has the added bonus of including everything you need to get started including activators. We’ve rated it 9.9/10. It’s great for use on a small piece of land.
The Volcano 30 Gallon Compost Tea Brewer is next on our list of best compost tea brewer options with a rating of 9.7. We love how sturdy the steel frame is, and the quietness of the pump is definitely the best thing about this excellent brewer. Leave it to brew without the annoying noise.
The Progress Earth Organics Vortex Brewer earns a rating of 9.5/10. It has a huge capacity of 85 gallons and can be used in big commercial operations. The vortex movement also means that it can brew 24 hours a day.