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How to Brew Compost Tea
Using High Quality Organic Compost

Step 3
Only Use High Quality ‘Traceable’ Compost

When learning how to brew compost tea, we recommend following our Three Step Compost Tea Brewing Process. Following these steps becomes even more important if you’re not planning to use microscopy to analyze your teas before applying them.

Attention: If you’re completely new to brewing compost tea, please visit our Making Compost Tea page before you go any further. It explains the basics of how to brew compost tea. Once you’re comfortable with the topic, come back and review this page. If you have any questions about how to brew compost tea, please contact us.

Step 1

Make sure you buy a compost tea brewer that has been scientifically-proven to work. The analysis of the compost tea produced from your machine must prove to you that it’s going to brew you an amazing compost tea.

Step 2

Ensure you’re using only the highest quality microbe foods and compost tea ingredients. Again, you want to make sure these foods have been proven to generate the results you’re looking for in your compost tea.

Step 3

We hesitate to call this the most important step, but this is essentially what it ALL comes down too. And that is your…


After all, how could you be learning how to brew compost tea without the “compost”?

What is High Quality Compost?

On our buy compost page, we define high quality compost as having the following characteristics:

  • The original ingredients are known, acceptable, and traceable

  • The compost has completely cured

  • The ingredients reached optimal temperatures during the composting cycle – this destroys most pathogens and weed seeds

  • The compost pile never went anaerobic

Now before you panic and wonder where you’re going to find such a high quality product, please know that we’ve done most of the leg work for you. If you choose to go this route, we have listed three VERY high quality composts below. If you prefer to try and find a more local supply, than please use the criteria above to assess your supplier’s offerings. If you’re still stumped, use our compost supplier database to locate a quality source of compost near you.

NOTE: If you’re just learning how to brew compost tea, please do yourself (and your soil) a big favor and purchase one of the composts below. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, you’ll reduce your frustrations, and you’ll be so encouraged by the results that you’ll want to experiment further (heck maybe you’ll even start analyzing your teas with a microscope).

Fungal Compost – Certified Organic

fungal compost

Brewing compost tea with a high fungal count is one of the most challenging aspects of making compost tea. However, the research is continuing to show us that having a healthy population of fungi in your soil is absolutely critical to growing nutrient-dense, disease-free plants. Click here to view a summary of recent research published in 2011 out of Ohio State University.

So what’s the solution?

You must learn how to brew compost tea with a compost that already has a high fungal biomass within it. If you don’t start with a compost that is highly-dominated by fungi, your final tea will be low in beneficial fungi…it’s that easy.

Keep It Simple (KIS) is one of the only companies in North America that produces a certified-organic compost that has extremely high levels of beneficial fungi (click here to view their lab results).

By using this fungal compost you’ll finally be able to make a diverse, bacterial/fungal balanced tea with high nutrient cycling. This is a lot more challenging than it sounds; however, if you follow Steps 1-3 above, you’ll be amazed at the results.

KIS composts are made using a proprietary process from woody materials without the use of animal wastes, manures, or kitchen waste products.

Our store is currently closed for internal upgrades. In the meantime, please visit our supplier directly – KIS Organics

Alaska Humus

Alaska humus

As the name reads, this compost originated in Alaska. It is very high in organic matter, and loaded with beneficial microbes. Click here for the most recent lab analysis of this compost.

There is something inherently special about this compost due to it’s very long maturation period. It can be used as a soil amendment directly in your garden, added to potting mixes, or blended with the fungal compost above to produce a more balanced compost tea recipe.

Please note that KIS adds various microbe foods to every compost order to activate the biology in the compost so it is ready to be used upon arrival.

All KIS composts ship in environmentally-friendly bags which are then placed into breathable boxes. This is important because it allows the compost to stay as oxygenated as possible during shipment.

As an example of just how active the microbes are in these composts, we’ll share a story about our first compost order from KIS. At the time, we were just learning how to brew compost tea, and we ordered a little more compost than we could use. Needless to say, we left some of the compost in the burlap sac that it came in. A month or so later, when we went to pick up the bag, the bottom was completely digested. The microbes were so ravenous they had literally eaten their way through the bag. “Now that’s one heck of a high quality compost!”

Our store is currently closed for internal upgrades. In the meantime, please visit our supplier directly – KIS Organics

Premium Vermi-Compost

Our Premium Vermi-Compost (i.e. worm castings or worm poop) are a great source of bacteria for all brewers, but they’re especially helpful to those of you who are just starting to figure out how to make compost tea. Vermi-compost does contain some fungi, but it’s overall biomass usually favors bacteria.

Unlike the two types of compost above, worm castings are not “composted” in the typical sense of the word. Instead, as worms consume the bacteria and other microorganisms in their surrounding environment, they excrete a very nutrient-, and bacteria-rich poop. This poop can then be used to brew amazing compost tea, amend your garden soil, and can also be added to potted plants (indoors and out). Vermi-compost is an all around well balanced fertilizer with many uses.

Our store is currently closed for internal upgrades. In the meantime, please visit our supplier directly – KIS Organics