Compost Starter (Drunken)

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micvog
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Location: Boise, ID
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Compost Starter (Drunken)

Post by micvog » May 7th, 2020, 8:52 am

My wife and I are looking to start composting. We are starting with a GeoBin and were intending to use the "Drunken Compost Starter" recipe found around the internet (can of beer, can of soda, and 8oz of ammonia). Unfortunately we can't find ammonia given the current circumstances.

As I understand it, the ingredients of beer, soda, and ammonia are supposed to supply microbes, sugar, and nitrogen respectively. Can I just use some synthetic nitrogen I have left over from last year? Right now our compost pile consists of grass clippings and cardboard.

bpgreen
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Location: Utah (Wasatch Front)
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Re: Compost Starter (Drunken)

Post by bpgreen » May 8th, 2020, 12:31 am

With only a few exceptions, commercial beer doesn't have any live yeast in it. And yeast aren't really going to be very helpful in the composting process. The soda only supplies sugar. There's nitrogen in the grass clippings already.

The microbes that will turn your grass clippings and cardboard into compost are everywhere.

The drunken compost starter is just a gimmick and is completely unnecessary.

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micvog
Posts: 205
Joined: May 7th, 2013, 6:05 pm
Location: Boise, ID
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Lawn Size: 3000-5000
Level: Experienced

Re: Compost Starter (Drunken)

Post by micvog » May 8th, 2020, 10:33 am

Thanks bpgreen!

Currently snowing with an expected low tonight of 26. Guess I am just waiting on the weather at this point.

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andy10917
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Re: Compost Starter (Drunken)

Post by andy10917 » May 8th, 2020, 11:05 am

Hey, Micvogog - do you have a woods near you? As a starter, I find that a gallon or so of leaf mould is a good innoculant for starting a compost pile. Don't just grab leaves from the top of an area, grab leaf mould from a bit lower and especially if you find white stringy stuff at the layer. This innoculates the compost bin with beneficial fungi as well as bacteria - and that's important.

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