But what if plain old lacto spray isn’t enough? What if you want to make a super digestive aid? What if you don’t have enough lacto and need to make some more? Today’s article covers this topic with a very simple How To on propogating your lacto culture.
The actual microbe propagation is only half the story. As lacto bacteria consume sugars, they convert them to organic acids and other compounds. These compounds are anti-fungal and anti-non-lacto-microbial in general; it’s the lacto species way of ensuring their dominance. Which is fine with us, since we like those compounds and usually need them to control some bad bacteria or mold.
If you have a 500ml (half quart) bottle filled with the diluted lacto culture, and you want to turn it into a 4 L (1 gallon) bottle of the same concentration of lacto microbes, how do you do it? You need the microbes to multiply. Doing this you can grow insane numbers of lacto in your culture, it’s awesome.
You can easily multiply your lacto microbes, make a stronger culture or larger quantity culture, by adding a bit of the simple food source and keeping the system anaerobic. The simple food source is sugar: white sugar, brown sugar, molasses (the best), maple syrup, jaggery, honey(not ideal), or one of the other varieties of this simple carbohydrate source.
The recipe for doing this varies and is not set in stone so don’t worry about it too much. I usually just add a bit of lacto and a bit of sugar to a jug of water, and seal it up. But if you really want something to follow, here is a simple recipe:
PER 500ml (half quart) OF WATER:
– 4 tbsp sugar source (molasses is best)
– 2 tbsp diluted lacto (“diluted” means the lacto you get after you mix 1:20 with water)
Mix all in sealed jug and leave in shady place, ideally at least 21 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit), warmer the better though. Leave for a few days or until you feel pressure buildup or see consistent bubbling in airlock.
Note this is just an example of how to do it. You can vary the amount of ingredients depending on need. For example you can increase the sugar and temperature, and get much higher microbe populations and their byproducts that way, up to a point; if you add too much sugar, it will stop microbial growth.
Note on this technique: you are multiplying certain species in your lacto culture. Remember when you started with the original lacto serum recipe, you captured wild microbes in your rice wash – a wide variety of microbes. Some went dormant due to lacto taking over when you added the milk. The populations of those dormant ones will continue to get diluted as you dilute the original culture. The lacto species, which love anaerobic, sugar-rich conditions, will thrive and multiply.
So what would you use this technique for? Well you can brew an insanely strong lacto culture this way, it’s just awesome. You can literally feel the pressure buildup if you’re doing it in a sealed bottle, or see the bubbling start going crazy in an airlock. It’s awesome – you know that culture is full of microbes and healthy disease-fighting compounds. So now what to use the extra strong culture for…
You can apply this super strength culture where you think you might need extra strength lacto to overcome the odds. Anywhere where a significant number of the wrong microbes have taken over. Like a compost pile that has gone anaerobic and smells really foul. You know its just full of bad microbes and you need to conquer them. Or maybe worm bin leachate that has sat and now stinks. Or bokashi leachate with the same problem. Bokashi leachate should smell nice and earthy, or a bit sweet-n-sour, or a bit vinegary, but not putrid. In all these examples, the thing you’re treating is really rich in microbes already, and you need to try and fix them. You can also use this super strength lacto with other recipes, like the fish fertilizer recipe, to jump start it a bit. You are just starting the recipe with higher numbers of lacto, so it should get going faster. You might also use this with organic fertilizer, to help pre-digest it before applying to plants. Say you are foliar feeding your roses a 10-10-10 organic fertilizer each evening. Well in this case you would add your fertilizer to the tanks 12-36hrs early. You would also add some super lacto culture. The lacto gets to work on the fertilizer in the sealed tank before you apply it. You can use less fertilizer this way, for the same effect.
Also, it’s just cool to see the microbes multiply.
Read again next week where I apply this technique to a batch of bokashi leachate that hasn’t been kept anaerobic, and now smells absolutely horrible! Will it work on the microbe-rich leachate? Find out next week!