Bokashi composting without using the bran!

I feel composting should be a part of your life. I want to compost comfortably without worrying or having a burden in your everyday schedule. It’s so easy to give up or feel disappointed when there is a problem or things go wrong with your composting activity.

If you live in a small flat like I do, making and storing Bokashi bran may be bulky. So I have been experimenting using activated effective microorganism (EM-A) solution for Bokashi composting instead of using the bran. Now I have some results so here is my post about Bokashi composting without using the bran!

I contacted Robert from EM sustainable living and he told me that using EMA solution for Bokashi composting is definitely possible but it’s just going to be a little bit wet. Well, that’s fine by me as I find Bokashi tea extremely beneficial!

Reasons why many recommends using Bokashi bran when you start doing Bokashi composting:

We generally use Bokashi bran because bran is a source of carbon and easy to inoculate the EM. In Japan we use rice husks instead. I tried to inoculate the EM using coffee ground but it was a bit too wet and the whole mixture started to sizzle (probably EM really liked it and it was bursting out of my container and got very messy – I still used the mixture and it was fine but simply wasn’t practical).

Using Bokashi bran also absorbs some moisture. You don’t want Bokashi compost to be too wet as this will risk draining down the EM.

How you can Bokashi compost without using the Bokashi bran:


Making an EMA (taken from EM Sustainable Living):

To make 1L of EMA – Use plastic bottles:

50ml EM

50ml Molasses

Make up to 1L of water (900ml)

Then leave it in dark cool place for 1 week

So for me, I made 500ml of the EMA (25ml EM, 25ml Molasses made up to 500ml water). For the water, I used boiled and cooled water so as to remove chlorine and kill germs as much as possible (although boiling does not get rid of chloramine). Because molasses are really gooey, I usually mix the molasses with 900ml of boiled water then cool it. This makes mixing later much easier.

How to use EMA for Bokashi composting:

Dilute EMA with water (1:20) and this solution can be used for spraying onto for Bokashi composting instead of sprinkling bran.

So for example I used 1 tbsp (15ml) to make up to 300ml water (again I used boiled and cooled water) in the spray bottle.

Like I would do for the bran, I sprayed the base of the bucket. Then added food. I sprayed the EMA liberally (but not soaking wet – if too we I read that it can increase odour). Initially I was a little worried whether it would work or not, but it was completely fine (the last image of the semi-fermented food smelled exactly like how it would smell when I used the bran)! I ended up having lots more Bokashi tea, but that was not a problem.

Making your own EMA and using it as a replacement of Bokashi bran is:

  • Compact
  • Economical
  • You get extra Bokashi tea

So if you feel you are not sure about Bokashi composting because of the burden of using the Bokashi bran, try EMA as a replacement of bokashi bran before you stop it. Slowly you will find a good equilibrium to fit the composting activity into your daily lifestyle! 😉