7 Best Compost Tea Brewers (Reviews & Guide 2019)

One of the very simple secrets to giving your garden a boost is to brew and spread compost tea.

This easy-to-make natural fertilizer is packed full of beneficial nutrients that will help your garden thrive. If you want to brew your own, here are our picks for best compost tea brewer.

Top Pick
  • Includes everything you need – quickly start brewing high-quality compost tea
  • Large bubbles – ensures your tea receives the maximum aeration
  • Durable bag – so tough you can even use it to scrub the bucket after brewing
  • Built to last – you can expect to use this system for a long time to come
  • Chlorine test kit included – check your water is not chlorinated before brewing


Buyer’s Guide

If you are interested in brewing compost tea, you may have a few questions about this powerful garden juice. For example, what is it? Why is it useful? Why bother making it? And how do you make it?

Let’s have a quick look at some of these questions before talking about how to choose the best compost tea brewer for you.

What is Compost Tea and why is it Useful?

Without going too deep into the science, compost tea is a powerful potion that contains the same living microorganisms that should be found in healthy soil.

By spreading compost tea on your garden, you are providing a potent hit of beneficial microorganism that healthy soil requires and that will allow your plants, flowers and lawn to thrive.

Using compost tea has all the same well-documented benefits of spreading regular solid compost on your garden – but in liquid form, it can be made to go much further. As a foliar spray, it also has protective properties that will help keep leaves safe from most pests.

How to Make Compost Tea?

Unfortunately, making compost tea is not quite as simple as making a cup of regular tea to drink. You can’t simply put a few shovels of compost into a large makeshift “teabag” and leave it to brew for a few days – there’s more to it than this.

There are many types of microorganisms. Some are highly beneficial to your garden, but others can be harmful. The beneficial ones require oxygenated water to survive and thrive, so to grow them in compost tea, you need to make sure the water is fully aerated during brewing.

It is possible to rig a DIY brewer using pumps and air stones from an aquarium in a bucket. This will ensure the water has plenty of dissolved oxygen in it for the microorganisms to breath.

You also need to use the right compost. The best compost for making tea for general use is rich in bacteria and low in fungi. To encourage this, you should favor green waste over brown waste in your pile.

An easier way to brew compost tea at home is to invest in a commercial brewer. Now let’s have a look at what you should look at if you are considering buying one.

How to Choose a Compost Tea Brewer?

If you think you want to give compost tea brewing a try, there are a few things you will need to consider that will help you choose the right brewer for you. Here are the main points you should think about.

1. Volume and capacity

Possibly the most basic and important consideration is quite simply how big a brewer you need and how much compost tea you hope to make.

At the bottom end of the scale, brewers start at around three gallons. If you only have a small garden or otherwise don’t need to brew large volumes of compost tea, this will probably be sufficient. Five-gallon brewers also exist and would be suitable if you need just a bit more.

Brewers that make batches of under three gallons of tea are not particularly useful since the yield is too low compared to the amount of work you need to put in to achieve it.

For those with larger gardens, brewers of the same type exist in larger versions of up to around 15 gallons, and these are worth considering if you know you will need larger volumes of tea.

Beyond this, you start to move into the realms of commercial-grade brewers that can produce between 30 and 1000 gallons per cycle. These are far too large for most home gardeners and should only be considered for commercial operations.

Bear in mind that compost tea is usually diluted with water, so for example, 5 gallons of pure tea will give you up to 25 gallons to spread on your garden. This means even relatively small volumes will go a long way.

2. Pump

The pump is an important part of the setup. DIY kits are usually made with aquarium pumps, and many commercial kits also use the same type of pump.

Make sure the pump is reliable and is powerful enough to produce enough bubbles to oxygenate the tea properly.


3. Air stones

The traditional way to aerate water is using air stones, again borrowed from aquariums. You need to look at the quality of the air stones included as well as how many there are. Three air stones will aerate the water better than two.

Also, make sure the air stones are not prone to becoming blocked and clogging up.

Some kits and brewers now include different methods of aerating the water, including perforated hoses or special meshes. These can work better than systems running with traditional air stones.

The traditional way to aerate water is using air stones, again borrowed from aquariums. You need to look at the quality of the air stones included as well as how many there are. Three air stones will aerate the water better than two.

Also, make sure the air stones are not prone to becoming blocked and clogging up.

Some kits and brewers now include different methods of aerating the water, including perforated hoses or special meshes. These can work better than systems running with traditional air stones.

4. Compost tea brew bag

You should look at the brew bag the brewer comes with. How big is it? Is it tough and durable? Is there a bag included, or will you need to buy one separately?

These are all questions you should consider when deciding which brewer is the right one for you.


5. Spigot

Not necessarily the most important consideration, but you should take note of whether the brewer has a spigot attached.

Models with a spigot allow you to pour off tea more conveniently as you need it and reduce the likelihood of making a mess or spilling any.

6. What else is included?

Take note also of whatever else is included with the brewer. We’ve already mentioned that some brewers don’t necessarily come with a bag. Others might include the compost itself – using suitable compost for brewing is as important as any other consideration.

Some kits also include handy extras like chlorine testing kits, etc. While these may not be essential, they can be very useful to have, and they may help you decide which brewer to opt for.


The Best Compost Tea Brewer On The Market 2019

1. Compost Tea Brewer Kit: 5 Gallon (Our Top Recommended)

If you don’t want the hassle of building your own DIY brewer from scratch and you want something that will be able to produce the high-quality and nutritious compost tea that you need for your garden, a full kit like this TeaLAB product could be ideal.

It comes with absolutely everything you need to start brewing your compost tea at home, including the brew bag, a special BubbleSnake aerator, the bucket, the air pump and all hoses and fittings.

It also includes two LifeCube tea cubes – so to begin with, you don’t even need to provide your own compost. Each cube brews a five-gallon batch of tea, which you then dilute with water to give you 20-25 gallons of fertilizer.

One of the best features of this kit is the powerful commercial-grade air pump with the BubbleSnake aerator.

These combine to create extra-large bubbles, ensuring your tea contains the maximum amount of dissolved oxygen. This allows all those beneficial microorganisms to thrive, supercharging your tea.

Another plus is the extra-durable brew bag. It is so tough that the manufacturer claims you can use it to scrub the bucket clean after each brew; in any case, it is certainly made to endure many brewing cycles.

Another useful addition is the chlorine tester that is included with the kit. Chlorine is added to the mains water supply to kill bacteria and make it suitable for human consumption. However, it also kills the microorganisms you want in your compost tea.

By bubbling the water for 10-20 minutes, you can remove the chlorine from the water before you begin brewing. The chlorine testing kit allows you to check if the water is ready.

The main problem with this kit is that it doesn’t come with instructions – although apparently the company are working on producing something to fill this gap. Also, it’s a little on the noisy side, so maybe not ideal if you want something very quiet.

Overall, this is the ideal option for someone who wants everything all in one kit. It is extremely simple to use, and as long as you have access to a water supply, you can use this kit to start brewing your own nutritious compost tea at once. A highly recommended brewer.

Pros

  • Includes everything you need – quickly start brewing high-quality compost tea
  • Large bubbles – ensures your tea receives the maximum aeration
  • Durable bag – so tough you can even use it to scrub the bucket after brewing
  • Built to last – you can expect to use this system for a long time to come
  • Chlorine test kit included – check your water is not chlorinated before brewing

Cons

  • A little noisy – not ideal if you value silent operation
  • No instructions – although the company are set to include instructions in the future

2. Compost Tea Brewer: 15 Gallon

If you have a larger garden or you are a particularly active gardener who requires larger volumes of compost tea, a five-gallon brewing system might not quite cut it. In that case, you might be more interested in this larger 15-gallon version from the same company.

Like the smaller version, it comes with absolutely everything you need to get started – with the only exception of the water itself. It even includes two LifeCube compost tea brew starters.

Each cube is enough for one 15-gallon brewing cycle. This can then be diluted with water to create a large quantity of powerful and nutritious fertilizer for your garden. Once you have used the two cubes, you can either buy more or use your own compost for the next batch.

It also includes the BubbleSnake aerator as well as a strong air pump. They work together to produce an increased volume of bubbles, ensuring your compost tea absorbs the maximum amount of dissolved oxygen.

This is essential if you want all the beneficial microorganisms in your tea to thrive, providing the maximum benefit to your garden. Setups with inferior aeration systems result in tea that contains less dissolved oxygen and so fewer microorganisms, resulting in a less potent brew.

This kit is designed to be exceptionally easy to set up and start using. It is also built to last and is very easy to keep clean and in good working order.

Even the 400-micron mesh brewing bag is made of tough, resistant material that will withstand a great many brew cycles without you needing to replace it.

One thing we really appreciate – and something this kit has in common with the smaller version – is the inclusion of the chlorine test kit. This is something that is not included with many of this brew kit’s competitors but is a highly useful piece of kit.

The key to brewing great compost tea for your garden is creating the ideal conditions for the beneficial microorganisms to thrive. Water filled with chlorine will not allow them to do so, and the inclusion of this tester kit allows you to check the water before you start brewing.

There’s little to not like about this product. As with the previous model, it lacks an instruction book and is a little noisy. It is also quite big, so only suitable for people who need to make larger quantities of “tea”.

Overall, this is a recommended product and would be a good pick for anyone who likes the sound of the smaller version but who needs slightly more capacity.

Pros

  • Large size – 15 gallons ideal for very active gardeners or those with larger gardens
  • Includes everything you need – start producing compost tea right away
  • Easy to use – very simple operation allows you to brew with no fuss
  • High-quality pump and aeration system – fills your tea with dissolved oxygen
  • Easy to clean and maintain – keep it in perfect working order with minimal effort

Cons

  • Lacks instruction book – although one is apparently forthcoming
  • Fairly loud – not perfect if you need something that runs more quietly

3. Flo-N-Gro Compost Tea Brewing System

This compost tea brewing system from Flo-n-Grow is another all-in-one kit with everything you need to start brewing included in the box. It is designed to brew three gallons of compost tea each time and also comes with two compost brew kits for your first two cycles.

The kit consists of an attractive blue three-gallon bucket, an Eco 185 submersible pump, all the necessary hoses, a fountain and two high-quality air stones for advanced aeration.

The blue brew bucket is certified BPA-free – it is made of polypropylene plastic and is fully recyclable.

There is also a very handy and practical drip-free dispensing spigot to make pouring out doses of compost tea easy and mess-free.

One of the highlights is the fountain. It is designed to keep the foam contained, ensuring the resulting tea is fully aerated and that the product remains agitated.

The two air stones included are also very effective at aerating the water and maximizing the amount of dissolved oxygen it holds. The pump is adjustable, which allows you to control the flow of bubbles out of the two air stones.

This is a compact tea-brewing kit that is extremely easy to use. Once out of the box, it’s simple and intuitive to put together and the instructions are clear, meaning you can quickly start brewing your first batch of tea with no fuss.

If there is one thing this product is lacking, it’s a brewing bag. Once you’ve used up the first two tea brew kits, if you want to start brewing from your own compost from your pile at home, you’ll need to buy a brewing bag separately – although this is not such a big deal.

This is also a product that should last for some time. As with any product of this kind, it is essential to keep it clean – you should wash the parts thoroughly after each brewing cycle.

However, if you do, this kit should be able to give you many batches of tea before you need to replace it.

On the downside, the bucket itself is a little flimsy – it isn’t designed to be moved when full. Also, although the pump is good quality, the rest of the kit is very basic. Some people might decide they can make something similar themselves without needing to buy a kit.

Overall, another great option for someone who wants to make compost tea with a minimum of fuss. This is ideal for someone who only needs to brew small batches of tea each time, and if this sounds like you, you would do well to check it out.

Pros

  • Easy to use – you can start brewing effortlessly as soon as it arrives
  • Drip-free dispensing tap – makes draining off the compost tea even easier
  • High-quality aerator and fountain – ensures your tea is well oxygenated
  • Includes two tea brewing starter kits – no need for your own compost to start
  • Includes everything you need – start brewing as soon as you open the box

Cons

  • Bucket a little flimsy – not designed to be moved once filled
  • Very basic system – some people might be capable of making one themselves

4. Dirt Simple 5-Gallon Compost Tea Brewer

The five-gallon Dirt Simple compost tea brewer is made by Green Pro Solutions, a company better known for its larger brewers that range in size from 10 gallons to 1000 gallons.

With this model, the company has put all its compost tea-brewing knowhow into a smaller package aimed at the home gardener and casual enthusiast.

Everything to start brewing is included in the kit. There is a sturdy five-gallon bucket with lid, a stainless-steel frame and all the necessary tubing with quick connects for ease of assembly.

One of the best parts of the kit is the pump itself. It is a high-quality piece of kit capable of pumping out plenty of bubbles for highly efficient aeration, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

The pump is even designed for constant use, so you could potentially leave it on all day, every day the whole year round without it ever breaking down.

Like the larger compost tea brewers in this company’s range, this brewer is built from heavy-duty materials and is designed to last a long time.

As with other comparable products, the lifespan of this brewer will depend on how well you clean and maintain it. However, it is designed to make maintenance as effortless as possible, which makes it easier for you to keep it in good working order for longer.

Not all compost tea is equal, and not all brewers can produce the most powerful and potent tea. The compost tea brewers from this company are known for making a high quality of compost tea that will be extremely beneficial to your garden.

There’s little to dislike about this brewer. One of the only problems is that it doesn’t come with any starter kits – although they are easy to buy, or you can make your own. Also, the five-gallon size might be too small for large-scale users – although it will be perfect for casual home use.

This would be another good option for anyone looking for a brewer to make compost tea on a scale for personal use at home in an average-sized garden. If you want a reliable and well-constructed brewing system, this kit could be another perfect solution.

Pros

  • High-quality components – a reliable kit that is built to last
  • Powerful aeration – designed to ensure maximum aeration of the tea
  • Simple maintenance – easy to look after to ensure it keeps performing perfectly
  • Makes high-quality tea – can produce a rich and nutritious fertilizer for your garden
  • Pump rated for constant use – can be left on 24/7 all year round if necessary

Cons

  • Doesn’t include starter pack – you need to mix or buy your own
  • Too small if you need large quantities – although ideal for regular gardening use

5. BluSoak Bubbler Compost Tea Kit

This is another option for anyone looking for a simple but reliable compost tea kit that will save them the trouble of making their own DIY version. It comes complete with all the hardware you need to get started – you just need to add the compost and the water.

The first point to note about this brewer is the bucket. It is a high-quality and rugged piece of equipment that is built to last. It is made of extra-strong high-density polyethylene and has received FDA accreditation. This is a bucket that should serve you for years to come.

The next aspect of this system that is worthy of note is the BluSoak tubing system. With many other brewers that rely on traditional air stones adapted from aquariums, it is easy for them to become blocked.

Blocked or broken air stones are one of the main reasons for poor-quality compost tea, but with this model that shouldn’t happen. That’s because the BluSoak incorporates a tubing system with thousands of holes to deliver the air.

Since the air is coming from these holes in the tube, there is no chance of a blockage. This means there are far more bubbles being delivered than when using a regular air stone, increasing the aeration and resulting in a higher proportion of dissolved oxygen in the water.

This, in turn, encourages the growth of more beneficial microorganisms and gives you more potent and powerful compost tea as a result.

Furthermore, it is designed to be as simple as possible. With more advanced systems, sometimes things can become more complicated than they need to be. This increases the chance of something going wrong and of you ending up with inferior compost tea.

This unit, on the other hand, sticks to the basics. It uses a tried and tested method for producing high-quality compost tea, making it very difficult to go wrong. Compost tea made with this kit is sure to be highly beneficial to your garden.

This kit suffers from exactly the same problems as the previous one, namely that it doesn’t include a starter pack and that five gallons might be too small for larger scale use – although these won’t necessarily be big issues for everyone.

If you’re the kind of person who likes simple, reliable gear that works well with no fuss, this could be worth checking out.

Pros

  • High-quality bucket – made of strong high-density polyethylene and FDA-approved
  • BluSoak tubing system – thousands of holes mean it doesn’t become clogged
  • Pump and tubing included – everything required to be ready to start brewing
  • Uncomplicated, rugged design – built to do a simple job well
  • Minimal maintenance – easy to keep in optimum condition

Cons

  • No starter pack included – need to buy your own or make it
  • 5-gallon size not ideal for large-scale use – although fine for casual home users

6. Growing Solutions GSIS10 Compost Tea System Plant Nutrient

This is a top-end compost tea brewer for someone who wants a superior product capable of brewing superior quality compost tea.

Far more care has gone into designing this brewer then into the average brewer on the market. While most brewers are essentially kits that function in the same way as a DIY brewer, this one is a far more hi-tech version.

A large number of tiny bubbles are created by the Fine Bubble Diffusion discs, which are engineered with 4,000 1mm perforations, each with a one-way air valve. This has two beneficial effects.

First, the uniform tiny bubbles ensure the maximum amount of dissolved oxygen is absorbed by the mix due to the highly efficient transfer.

Second, it also ensures that the tea is aerated evenly, allowing microorganisms to thrive anywhere in the mix. This eliminates the need to stir the tea manually, meaning you can just start the brew cycle and leave it until it is finished.

The custom-engineered basket tray is also designed to hold the compost right above the bubbles, ensuring the maximum amount of air reaches the compost, for the best results.

Once finished, there is a convenient spigot for pouring off the compost tea as required. Once the tea has all been used up, the whole unit is extremely easy to clean.

Another notable advantage this unit has over other brewers is the brew time. While most regular compost tea brewers require at least three days to complete the process, this one can provide you with a rich fertilizer for your garden in only 24 hours.

This unit is much more expensive than other brewers of comparable volumes, but in terms of ease of use, superior design quality, features and performance – including the powerful compost tea it produces – it is way ahead of the competition.

The main negative here is that it is an extremely expensive product – although if you can afford it, it is an exceptional brewer. Also, it doesn’t include a tea starter kit. These are easy to find and buy separately, but at this price point, it would be nice if one was included.

If you are looking for a compost tea brewer and you are keen to invest in the best equipment available, this exceptional unit would be the obvious choice. The only disadvantage is that the price tag might put it out of the reach of many casual garden enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Fine Bubble Diffusion dynamic aeration process – increases dissolved oxygen
  • Reliable, high-end brewer – capable of brewing superior compost tea
  • Industrial-grade components – built for performance and built to last
  • High-quality spigot – makes pouring effortless and mess-free
  • Easy to clean – designed to require only minimal levels of maintenance

Cons

  • Expensive product – although extremely high quality
  • Doesn’t include tea mix – although these are easy to buy

7. Cyclone 30 Gallon Compost Tea Brewer

For anyone who needs compost tea for a large-scale operation – possibly for an extremely large garden but more likely for commercial purposes – the models aimed at the average home gardener might not offer the output capacities required.

In that case, you may need to start looking at semi-industrial- or industrial-scale compost tea brewers, and this 30-gallon model is at the lower end of that scale.

The difference between this and more regular options is not merely the scale, it is also in the quality of the components and the design.

The whirlpool design is perfect for blending the nutrients inside, allowing you to mix up commercial-grade compost tea – as long as the compost you use is of the right type and standard.

It also incorporates a very powerful pump that is capable of fully oxygenating the water in a very short time and then maintaining the levels of oxygenation throughout the whole cycle.

This creates the ideal conditions for the beneficial microorganisms to thrive and so ensures a high quality of powerful fertilizing compost tea comes out at the end.

It is also designed to be easy to care for. The whole thing can be disassembled for cleaning in a matter of minutes. Once stripped down, it can be fully cleaned and ready to go in only five minutes more.

Reassembly is equally simple, meaning the whole cleaning process can be performed in only around 15 minutes.

The brew bag it comes with is made of tough and durable 400-micron nylon. It also comes with a 10lb tea starter kit.

The main issue here is this brewer’s size – while not a problem in itself, this unit is far larger than most home users will ever need. Also, it is much more complicated than the basic kits that are available – this is designed for people who need industrial quantities of compost tea.

This is not the right option for a keen amateur. The capacity is far too large, and it is far too expensive for the casual gardener. However, if you are looking for something that can produce large quantities of high-quality compost tea, this could be an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Industrial-scale compost tea brewer – for those who require large volumes of tea
  • Industrial-grade quality and components – built for the most intensive use
  • Extremely easy maintenance – simple to disassemble and clean
  • Whirlpool design – excellent for aeration and nutrient blending
  • Powerful pump for aeration – maintains oxygen levels in water for whole cycle

Cons

  • Excessively large for most home users – most people won’t need anything this big
  • Complicated system – much more complicated than many simple tea kits

A Magical Elixir For Your Garden

If you haven’t tried using compost tea before, you will be surprised by the results. You will see a reduction in foliar diseases, an increase in growth and a general improvement in the health of your garden. If this sounds too good to be true, why not give it a go?

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