food waste

Bokashi troubleshooting

So you’ve got your bokashi bins all set up and running, but things don’t seem quite right. Lets see if we can help.

  • If you are getting problems with fruit flies in the container, add more bokashi bran to make the food waste more acidic so the fruit flies can’t live in it. If you have a garden compost bin, put all fruit and vegetable peelings straight into that instead of in the bokashi bucket.
  • If there is white mould on the food, this is not a problem and shows the contents are fermenting properly.
  • A strong rancid or rotten smell, or the presence of maggots or black or blue-green fungi means that the fermenting process has failed. There will be some quite UNfriendly bacteria in there, so you need to get rid of it and start again. You can dig a hole in the garden, add some bokashi bran, tip the contents of the bucket in, sprinkle a couple of handfuls of bran over the top, then bury the lot and leave it to sort itself out. Or empty the bucket into a plastic bag and put it in the dustbin. Don’t be discouraged – this doesn’t happen often, and will probably be due to one or more of the following:

Not enough bokashi bran mix was used – be generous – you can’t use too much;

The container lid wasn’t kept tightly closed – this is vital for the fermentation to work. Don’t peek to see if it’s working!

The EM juice was not drained off enough so the mix was too wet;

The inner drainage tray wasn’t properly in place;

The container was too hot or too cold – it needs a warm place out of direct sun.

See also:  Bokashi composting

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