Lactobacillus Serum

This is the workhorse of the beneficial bacteria we’ll be discussing here. We use it for everything! Foul odors, clogged drains, cheaper pig/chicken/etc farming, aquaculture, the applications are amazingly diverse. Learn how to make and use this and you will have a powerful tool in your farming arsenal.


***For an illustrated example of this recipe, check out the farm log here. The flog has all kinds of good stuff, sign up to get the updates via email!***

How to Make:

  1. Get container, fill halfway with rice-wash. Rice wash is the water leftover when you rinse fresh rice. For example, go buy rice, whatever kind, bring it home, put it in a pot with warm water, swirl it a bit and then drain the [now milky colored] water. The water is now a rich source of carbohydrates. In this step, you can substitute rice with another carbohydrate source if you don’t have rice, as long as it is complex (don’t use simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey, syrup, molasses, etc). You can use wheat, barley, kinoa, other carbohydrates as the base to make your carbohydrate wash. This wash will attract microbes from the air, among them lacto bacilli.
  2. Cover loosely and let stand for a couple days to a week
    • When is it done? When you see a light film on top (molds) and it smells a little sour and forms 3 layers. This is indicating the rice wash is infected with various microbes. This happens more quickly in warm temperatures because microbes are more active. Thus it is all relative since we don’t do this in controlled laboratory conditions.
  3. The layers are distinct
    • Top layer: floating carbohydrates leftover from fermentation and possibly molds
    • Middle layer: Lactic Acid and other bacteria (cheese buffs will recognize this as a makeshift “rennet”). We will use this layer.
    • Bottom layer: Starch, byproduct of fermentation
  4. Extract the middle layer using a siphon. This layer contains the highest concentration of lactic acid bacteria and lowest concentration of the unneeded byproducts
  5. Get a new container, larger than the first. Take the extracted serum from the last step and mix it with 10 parts milk. By saturating with milk (lactose), we dissuade other microbes from proliferating, leaving L. bacilli. E.G. if you have 1cup of the serum, mix it with 10cups milk.
  6. TIP: The best milk to use in unpasteurized natural milk. However, any milk will do, even powdered milk. In our experience, the best is unpasteurized natural but just use what is available. We just want to saturate with lactose to promote L. bacilli bacteria.

  7. You want to keep this stage anaerobic as much as possible. You can use something like rice bran, barley bran, wheat bran, etc sprinkled on top of the milk. I use a sealed container with a one-way valve. Note: Beware of bubbling during this phase. It can lead to overflows if you filled to near the top. It can go through the one-way valves so keep an eye on it and don’t do this step around nice things.
  8. After about 1 week (temp dependent), you’ll see curds (made of carbohydrate, protein, and fat) on top of the milk. The water below will be yellow colored – this is whey, enriched with lactic acid bacteria from the fermentation of the milk.
  9. NOTE: Microbes like L. bacilli are more active in warmer temperatures. The curds you see are a byproduct of the fermentation process. Fermentation is generally associated with microbial processes under anaerobic(no oxygen) conditions. Now, L. bacilli is a facultative anaerobe, that is it can live and work with or without oxygen, but less competition in anaerobic conditions.

  10. The water below(whey+lacto) is the good stuff. You want to extract this. You can either skim the curds off the top, pour through a strainer, or whatever other methods to accomplish that
  11. NOTE: Remember the curds, or byproduct of milk fermentation by L. bacilli, are great food. They are full of beneficial microbes like L. bacilli. Feed the curds to the soil, compost pile, plants, animals, humans – whoever wants them! They are full of good nutrients/microbes. No waste in natural farming.

  12. To preserve at room temperature, add an equal part sugar/molasses to the serum. So, if you have 1L of serum, add 1kilo sugar or 1L molasses. Otherwise store in fridge to keep.

Example Recipe:

  • 1 L rice wash
  • add 10L Milk
  • After rice wash and milk remove curds – around 1L
  • Left with 10L pure LAB (lactic acid bacteria)
  • add 10kg sugar or 10L molasses
  • = 20 L stabilized lactic acid bacteria serum

What to Use it for and How
Before using, first mix 1:20 with water. 1 part serum to 20 parts water. Then follow instructions below:
Odor Reducer:
Add mixture to animal’s water at 2tbsp/L. You can mix it more or less, there are no rules here, just how we typically do it.

  • Apply to places where there is odor buildup. The harmless bacteria “eat” the odor causing germs and the smell is gone!
    • Indoors: reduces foul odors, including animals like cats, dogs, mice, other pets. Stinky shoes? Wet clothes from being outside? Gym clothes that haven’t made it to the wash yet? Smoker in the house? Kill these nasty smells!
    • Outside: use to control odor in pens – pigs, cows, chickens. In barns, around the yard, etc

Household use:

  • Clear clogged drains: dump mixture into drain to clear clogs. Exact amount depends on the clog, haha. A few tbsp to 1L works well. For semi-clogged drains (like kitchen sink draining progressively slower), use at night and allow at least the night for microbes to work.
  • Keep septic clear. Tired of having your septic system drained? Add lacto! Depending on size of your system, pour a few tbsp. to a few L into the toilet every few months.
  • Houseplants: Mix 2-3tbsp per 1L water and use that to water them.

Animal Bedding:
Mix 2tbsp to 1L water. Mix with animal bedding to reduce smell and increase longevity. In natural pig farming we use at least 1 yard deep of bedding so there is plenty of space for microbes to work. Bedding consists of organic substrate like rice hulls, wood chips, sawdust, wood shavings, shredded corn cob, any other high cellulose, high lignin material. Natural pig farming is a future topic on this site. Spray until bedding is slightly damp but not wet. How much you spray really depends on your climate. If you are in a very dry climate you can spray a little more and mix in evenly. Wetter (more humid) climates use a bit less. Mix into the bedding evenly where necessary (in many cases, like with pigs and chickens, they’ll mix it themselves). How much you use is all relative. These guidelines are for pigs and chickens. More extreme smells, just use more! Want to spray less often, use more! As we notice a smell we spray. Thus, as pigs grow bigger, make more poop, we spray more often! Dosage/frequency is relative and will depend on your situation.

Animals – Digestive/Growth Aid:
Mix 2tbsp to 1L water, then add that mixture to animal’s water at 2tbsp/L(so the animal’s water contains little less than a quarter tsp/L of lacto serum). But this is very flexible. The Lacto serum is not harmful, so its just about adding enough to be effective, without wasting it.

  • Improve digestive efficiency in humans and animals alike:
    • Improves how you feel after meals, particularly meals rich in meats. It’s awesome. After eating, mix 1-2tbsp lacto with a cup of water and drink that. Makes you feel so much better after! Lessens that afternoon lull, gives you more energy!
    • Aids digestion in animals. This is critical. You can raise animals on less food, and see the same and greater growth rates. Amazing results in pigs . The principal is that the microorganisms help digest the food coming in – better digestibility means better nutrient absorption. Save on feeds, better feed to growth conversion ratio!
    • TIP: If you really want to boost growth, mix 2tbsp to 1L water and soak the food in this solution for a few hours to a few days. Food is pre-digested when animals eat it, AWESOME!

    • Great results in livestock and poultry.

Plants – Growth Aid:
When added to water for plants, nutrient uptake efficiency is increased, which increases growth!

  • Improves growth of plants when applied as foliar spray and soil drench. Improves their efficiency in uptaking nutrients so naturally, growth is enhanced. With the use of these microorganisms, the nutrients you spray or drench to feed your plants become more bio-available and easily absorbable by the plants. Technically, you can say that plants do not use organic nutrients directly. Microorganisms convert organic nutrients to their inorganic constituents which the plants utilize. Utilizing microbes, you will notice better plant growth and health.

Disease Resistance:

  • This is a consequence of the increased efficiency of nutrients. More nutrients available at smaller metabolic cost.
  • Lacto suppresses harmful bacteria in food/water that animals consume, enhances their gut flora so that line of defense is working optimally, etc.

Aid Compost:

  • Mix 2tbsp/L and spray on compost pile to improve decomposition. This is a huge topic that will be expanded upon in another post.

Aid Organic Fertilizer:
Add 1-2tbsp per gallon water-nutrient solution. Lacto consumes organic nutrients making them bio-available to plant roots.

  • Plants don’t use organic fertilizer! Microbes break it down to inorganic constituents, and plants take those up. This product makes that process more efficient.

Aquaculture:
Lacto works in aquaculture just fine if you don’t have BIM available. Add lacto at roughly 1L per 700m3 of fish-containing water. Example: you have a pond that averages 20m wide by 30m long by 2m deep. So, 20 x 30 x 2 = 1200m3. In this case you would add roughly 1L of BIM or Lacto

  • Microbes digest fish wastes, cleaning up water and improving water quality.
  • Allows fish to grow larger due to digestive efficiency
  • Allows higher population of fish in the same amount of water! Literally, increases the carrying capacity of your body of water! This is awesome for aquaculture setups

  • Zach

    Can homemade lacto go bad? A friend told me it smelled like alcohol, so I don’t want to use it if it has indeed fermented into alcohol. It’s the base serum (leftover strained milk liquids + equal part molasses to feed the bacteria). I keep it stored with the cap loose in a warm, dark place.

    • Patrick

      The short answer is yes, it can go bad depending on how it’s made. Gil’s stuff doesnt go bad but I’ve made a batch or two where the smell kinda went off and I just tossed them. I think it’s differences in the processing/storing, I think I had stored it in too large a bottle (Gil’s are in 500ml glass bottles filled right to the top, I think too much air in the storage bottle makes it harder to preserve). It should smell kinda soury-vinegary like a fermented extract. It may have a tinge of alcohol smell to some people but not strong.

      Ideal storage conditions is refrigeration with cap tight, even when you’ve mixed with molasses to preserve it. Microbes are less active in the cold, especially L. bacillus that likes the heat. I use the fridge especially when I have a little spray bottle of diluted mix for smells/compost/cleaning/etc. Keep the diluted mix in fridge and it lasts several days, whereas outside just <24hrs..

      • Zach

        Ok, thanks for all the tips Patrick. I think mine still may be good, my friend said it smelled like alcohol, but I think it smells okay. Kinda sour, much like you describe it.

        I’ll move it to a container where I can fill it up without air space, as well as put it in the fridge.

        • Nick

          Thanks so much for this website and sharing all of this wonderful information! I have a quick question before I finish the final stage of making this serum. Everything went well just as you said but when I open the jar of curdled milk it smells like throw up. Should I start a new batch or continue to mix this with molasses? I let it ferment in the corner of the room where it received indirect sunlight , I did not see any instructions saying to leave it in the dark. Thanks for all you do!

          • Patrick

            Hi Nick, sorry for the late reply, busy days! It might smell like sour cheese or something, that is normal. I’d still mix 1:1 with molasses or sugar and that should help the smell a lot.

      • David Martin

        Hi Patrick,
        I have tried twice and did not know whether or not successful to get the right Lactobacillus serum, despite the fact I kept those containers near the refrigerator with constant heat and not under the direct sun light. In my first and second attemps, after 6 days the rice bran were having distinct two layers instead of three layers, i.e.: top layer – floating carbohydrates leftover from fermentation and molds, and the second layer is a whitish liquid with some sediment at the bottom. Then I extracted the second layer by syringe and put it into a new and bigger container, 10 parts of UHT milk (used in my first attemp) and powder milk (used in my second attemp) were added then. FYI, I could not get raw milk in my hometown so used the UHT and the powder milk instead. In both attemps, after 3 days a thick and smelly curd like layer emerged on the surface with milky color liquid at the bottom. Until day seven there wasn’t any distinct yellowish color liquid emerged in the middle so far, and the bottom layer milky color liquid remained the same. In my first attemp, the curd like layer, not in solid state, covering the surface with stinky smell, I just tossed them. In my second attemp, the curd like top layer was partially solid with bubbles and stinky smell, moreover there are some worm/larva like creatures crawling here and there, again I tossed them. What went wrong? Please advise. Thank you.

        • Patrick

          Hi David,

          That sounds ok actually, the ‘stinky curd’ should be semi-solid and smell a bit like sour milk or cheese. It shouldn’t smell super strongly, but should have that sour cheesy smell. The maggots you saw are fly larva that got access through the open top. You can put a fine mesh across the top if you want to stop those, but they shouldn’t be a problem – for most applications they will be no problem. If you’re planning to drink the lacto then maybe use the mesh. 🙂

          Cheers,
          Patrick

    • dexter tamayo

      using diluted lacto serum where it is diluted to 1:20 to water my plants, how many times will i use to spray the lacto in a week

      • Patrick

        Once per week is fine. You can spray every day if you want, doesn’t hurt. Also use as a soil drench when you apply fertilizer(particularly organic fertilizer).

        • dexter tamayo

          im on the final stage of making lactobacillus serum where 1 part of lactobacillus infection (strained rice wash )and 10 parts of milk are mixed, after a week of fermentation i notice that there are tiny white worms moving on top of it , i just want to ask if am i still on the right track or do i need to make a new one

  • Patrick,

    I was wondering if I used raw milk and let it set a room tempature until the whey seperated then add molasses would this make the same type serum ?

    Thank you,

    Memukan

    • Patrick

      Hi Memukan,

      I talked to Gil about this today. Basically you can try that if you want and see if it works, but it’s a departure from the natural method. The idea with the natural method is to use the rice wash to establish a good population of beneficial microbes. You take that population and inundate with lactose rich milk to facilitate domination of lactic acid bacteria in the environment of diverse beneficial microbes. Other beneficial microbes die, get eaten by lacto, or go into cyst form to await favorable conditions.

      Anyway try it without using rice wash and see how it goes. I think it might have a higher chance of turning out bad but might still be fine.

      Thanks for posting!
      Patrick

  • Thank you Patrick,

    I will just stick with what works for you, heck there is no need in reinventing the wheel.

    Memukan

  • Alvin

    Hi, I found this site so useful and it helped me a lot for me to prepare my future experiments. I heard about Gil in a YouTube video made by and an American that teaches how to obtain lactobacillus serum and it led me to this site.
    I’m a beginner in doing hydroponic and aeroponic system at home. One of the problems I encountered was the formation of mold on the stem and root part of my wheatgrass. Thought I found the problem was the density of wheatgrass was too high and the tray I use has only a few holes for water draining and ventilation, plus the temperature in manila is high. By the way, I didn’t expose the wheatgrass in sunlight so there’s no UV to kill the molds. Since I saw on this page that lacto suppresses harmful bacteria, I was wondering if lactobacillus serum can be used to kill mold that forms on plants ?

    • Patrick

      Yes! You may use lacto to suppress mold growth. Regularly spraying with a diluted lacto mix will keep a steady population of l bacillus on the roots which will protect them from mold.

      As far as treating roots already suffering from a mold problem, might not be as effective. You might try treating with a stronger lacto mix for a few feedings and see if it helps, it should help if not cure. The solution I would try first however is the ginger-garlic extract. That has great anti-fungal properties that should work wonders! I’d treat with ginger-garlic for a few weeks then switch to lacto to establish a protective population of those microbes. Experiment experiment experiment…

      Speaking of, what experiments are you planning? We’d love to hear about them, especially other readers I’m sure!

      Patrick

      • Alvin

        Thanks for answering my question Patrick. Before I know about lacto, I planned to introduce UV lamp in order to kill the microbes in the liquid fertilizers, but I’m just experimenting with it cause I don’t know whether the UV will also affect the nutrients or not. Now I know about lacto, I can compare between UV and lacto to see which one is better.
        I just started germinating some crown daisy, golden berry and green butter lettuce, waiting to be transplanted to my aeroponic system. I use a digital timer outlet to control a pressured pump to spray liquid fertilizers to the root with atomizer spray heads, I was wondering when I put the lacto into the liquid fertilizer, will the lacto withstand the pressure of the pump and the spraying of the atomizer spray heads ? Cause otherwise, I would have to use the dripping method instead.
        By the way, I just prepared some rice washes this morning, waiting for the hungry microbes 😀

        • Patrick

          That sounds great Alvin, I can’t wait to start experimenting with aeroponics using Gil’s recipes! That is an interesting question regarding lacto and “atomization”, ha. I think they will do fine but you’ll have to strain carefully when adding the lacto so you don’t get particulates that clog the sprayers. I know fungal hyphae don’t go through pumps successfully, they are very delicate, but I think you should get some bacteria that survive no problem.

  • oqi

    Hi Patrick

    What if we try to make specific plant microorganism, should we attract the microorganism from the plants suroundings using rice and than fermented or can we just ferment leaves and roots for example directly using lacto, which method will be more efficient.

    Regards, oqi

    • Gil

      i would normally use the rice (carbohydrate) to attract the specific plant microorganisms. after so doing, add sugar to proliferate the population. then as you may wish, do the fermentation and add on of lacto.

      • Oqi

        Thank you sir four your kind reply, admire your job on this microorganism stuff, all the best

      • Oqi

        Thank you for your kind reply sir, admire your job so much on this microorganism and natural farming, god speed and all the best

    • Patrick

      Hi Oqi thanks for the question. Looks like Gil got to it before I did. As he said the best way to collect plant-specific microbes is by following the BIM recipe, just for the plant you want microbes from. This will give you the highest population of those microbes. When we ferment leaves and roots we are more looking for the growth hormones and enzymes within the plant material we’re fermenting. That said, those leaves and roots have a biosphere that has organisms living within it. You will get some of those when you collect and ferment that material, just not as high a population. So I don’t know if it is as much about efficiency as what you want from the product. If you want the best plant-specific microbial inoculant you can get, use the BIM method of collection. Otherwise you’ll still get some using the normal fermentation method.

      • Oqi

        Thank you for the explanation patrick, keep up with new recipes please, eager to learn more

  • Big Ray

    Don’t mean to hijack your thread Patrick. But….

    I have been making my own kefir for over a year now. Kefir is made using only milk and kefir grains. Much like steps 6-9, fermenting kefir makes “whey”, curds and kefir. I drink the whey, the curds and the kefir. But, I always have extra whey. Like y’all, I use it on my soil, plants and compost pile. I give some occasionally to my neighbor’s cat and the other neighbor’s two dogs. They love the stuff!

    Kefir grains are getting easier to come by nowadays. Yahoo groups has a “kefir” group with members more than willing to share grains. These grains are not actual seeds or grains in the sense that we think of. The word “grains” is a corruption of a Turkish word that I can’t remember now.

    A very sceptical friend at LSU tested my kefir way back when I first got grains. The amount of beneficial bacteria in my kefir was astounding! The most abundant bacteria by far was lacto. I am diabetic and my health has benefited greatly since I started drinking this miracle elixir.

    With every batch of kefir (24 hours), the grains multiply! I would offer grains to y’all but, I have about 6 people already waiting for grains right now.

    I’m wondering if the kefir whey (lacto) is helping or hurting the mycorrhizae?

    • Patrick

      Ya I’d love to start playing with kefir! That’s up the same alley as all this stuff. I’ve looked into it before but never obtained grains. Will have to go on the to-do list once this site is going well.

      Hard to say if the lacto hurts or helps the mycorrhizae.. Mycorrhizae infect the roots for the exudates deposited there by plants. Lacto species generally feed on simple sugars rather than complex carbohydrates like starches, so they might not directly compete with mycorrhizae. Someone needs to do some experiments…

  • Jeff

    Dear Gil and Patrick: Thank you for sharing the things that you know with those of us who are learning. I suspect it is a million efforts such as you are putting out that will shift the balance in favor of all life or nature, which is my heartfelt desire.

    I have a question. I am really curious what it is about the sugar/molasses that preserves the serum, what is going on biologically to allow it to keep? Is it acting as a secondary non preferred food source instead of lactose, and just slows down the growth? It seems like if you added lactose it would cause a population explosion but this obviously is not happening with the sugar. Seems like I have read elsewhere on your site that the sugar energizes the bacteria. Then I thought that perhaps the sugar is just allowing the mixture to keep and that the lacto guys are just ganging out. Just wondering if you know what is going on or could point me in the right direction.

    • Patrick

      Hi Jeff great question and welcome to the site. Hope you stick around, we have a lot of content still to be published on here as well as the Flog starting in May.

      So, basically sugar acts as a preservative only when in high concentrations. When it is diluted enough, it’s a great carbohydrate food source for growing bacteria. When it is too concentrated, the osmotic pressure(pressure gradient based on amount of solutes in water) on the bacterial cells keep them from taking much in, thus they cannot significantly grow or divide. Hope this helps!

      • Jeff

        Thank you for this explanation, it is helping to fill in the puzzle in my mind of these unseen little creatures.

        One quick follow up question, does that mean that when it goes to the 20 to 1 ratio, it becomes volatile in the sense that it needs to be used quickly?

        I am amazed at all of this stuff because I sense that there are many more possibilities around the home, and for personal hygiene/health uses. I will check out what the Flog is.

        • Patrick

          After the second dilution, yes you should use it within a day or two. The first time you dilute it with 20 parts water, it’s still concentrated enough it will keep for ages, I will amend the recipe above to make that clearer. Yes, tons of uses! This article just touches on many of them.

          The Flog starts May 1st. For now it will follow the birth and growth of my balcony garden with weekly updates. I’ll be using Gil’s techniques along the way and should be a good demonstration of them (I hope, I’m kinda a tinkerer when it comes to the plants part of it). If you sign up for the newsletter you’ll get the weekly updates, should be fun! Later there will be updates from Gil, special info, all that good stuff. We’ve just started the site, long road ahead.

          • Jeff

            Concerning uses. I wonder about using it as a vegetable/fruit rinse. Thinking back on the cantaloupe problems from last year. Or spinach. Do we have any idea if lactic acid bacteria can help to reduce e. coli strains or out-compete or fill latch on points? I assume the acid level itself would be too low after dilution to do the job, but perhaps both LAB in the presence of acidity would do it?

            Also, what about a natural underarm deodorizer? Again, using the idea of out-competing. I begin to imagine a strong favoritism of beneficials covering most surfaces in our lives without the use of harmful sterilization methods such as soap, chlorine, etc.

          • Patrick

            I like your train of thought Jeff. Yep, it can and in fact is used for all those things. It fights pathogens, like E. coli, by competing for resources and living space normally occupied by them, that’s partly why it’s such a popular probiotic. It can be used as a deodorant but not sure best method of application. In Japan [some] people use LAB as laundry detergent. There are articles on all these I’m too tired to dig them up now but will look later this week if I have time. Super interesting, when you get into it, the applications for this stuff are endless. The recipe above just touches on them.

          • Josa

            Hi Patrick, I diluted my LAB 20:1 and have been using that in a further dilution to water my plants. My 20:1 dilution is in a gallon sized jar and has begun to look like it’s fermenting. It’s gotten bubbly on top. Has it gone bad? When it is 20:1 do I keep it in a closed container? That is how I stored it originally but when I noticed the smell getting vinegary I put a breathable material on top and loosely placed the jar cover over that. Is this what I should be doing? Can I still use this 20:1 dilution?

          • Patrick

            Hi Josa,

            Actually you want to keep that 20:1 dilution as anaerobic as possible. If it is fermenting and producing gas you will want an airlock, or crack the lid each day so it doesn’t explode. If it has started the fermentation process it will eventually run it’s course and not be as effective. To combat that, you can store it in the fridge. I usually mix the 1:20 dilution in a container I can expect to use within 1 month, that way I don’t run into that problem even if I leave it out of the fridge. Hope this helps and gives you some ideas.

            Cheers,
            Patrick

      • Jeff

        So, just wanted to report back that everything worked as stated in the above recipe. Have a nice batch of LAB in the fridge and some stabilized (w/molasses) in the garage. I’m using it outside on the plants, hoping for healthier more drought tolerance. Interesting observation, (perhaps): It seems that after the first dilution to 1:20, if it sits for about a week it will gradually become more acidic. As if it is undergoing a secondary fermentation from the molasses. (I know for a fact that something is happening because of pressure buildup within a plastic bottle)It seems to me that it takes on a vinegar quality. (acetic acid?) If this is so, it seems that it is not altogether a bad thing, at least for some applications, tho I bet LAB populations fall precipitously. Which brings me to one question. Why do you guys recommend arresting the fermentation process on other parts of the website when making various nutritional juices? Seems to me that the nutrients would be just as beneficial in the presence of vinegar as alcohol. And one more unrelated question, have you ever done work or experimented with making your own PNSB, or is there no real agricultural application? Again, thank you so much for your work, for your kind explanations to us laypeople!

        • Patrick

          Hi Jeff,

          Thanks for reporting back! That’s great you’ve got a batch finished – now to use it and report back again! heh..

          I’m not sure on this so I’ll have to double-check with Gil or get him on here, but I think we stop fermentation in the other recipes because we’re trying to get the alcohol-soluble compounds extracted from the source material. By inundating with alcohol, fermentation stops and there is more osmotic pressure to get the alcohol soluble compounds out of the source.

          Regarding your diluted serum, after you diluted the mixture did you put it in a bottle with a lot of extra air? I’ve found that can make it continue cooking more than when you fill the bottle right up to the top. Also, try storing it in the fridge after you dilute it. That will slow the activity right down. Anyway you can leave it out and it will reach equilibrium as it becomes more acidic.

          Thanks again for letting us know how it’s going,
          Patrick

          • Jeff

            Thanks for the feedback. I’ll be applying to the landscape regularly and we shall see what happens. Just feels good moving in the direction of natural processes with an organic approach. I also have 3 batches of FPE going to use as well.

      • hello patrick, i happen to add lots of molasses to my LAB, it’s three times the volume of lacto. you said that the osmotic pressure keeps the bacteria from dividing. i think that’s bad., so can i do something to make this thing work as it should be?

        • Patrick

          Hey Luvin,

          I would add water to even it out. The water will dilute it down to what it should be. Don’t add too much water though. And test afterwards – take some out and add to a little water and seal it up, wait to see it produces gas, has live culture present.

          Cheers,
          Patrick

  • Using LAB to ferment pig or chicken feed, what dilution with dechlorinated water do you suggest (ie 1:30 1:100 etc) based on your experiences. Obviously the totL quantity of water is dependent upon that amount necessary to achieve field capacity.

    What percent do you suggest adding the fermented feed (both as wet and dried) to the total feed amount.

    Thank you to you and Mr C. in advance.

    Best Wishes

    Bryan

    • Patrick

      Mr. Prokashi! Thanks for the question – love your site, I think you’ll like ours also. I talked to Gil about this yesterday, he recommends at least 2tbsp/L(8tbsp/gal). You can use this to ferment feeds overnight. You can mix with normal feed as long as the feed doesn’t contain antibiotics as those will kill the microbes. I’d mix 1:1 with normal feeds. This is all flexible though it’s just our recommendation. I have a friend who lives next door to a dairy farm so gets free milk from them. He feeds his pigs exclusively milk. Ferments it for 3 days before each feeding(rotates 3 buckets of feed). Contrary to what you would think with that diet, he’s never had a problem with diarrhea, his pigs are not obese, and in fact some 4-H gurus that visited his farm said they’re some of the best looking pigs they’ve seen.

      A note: You still dilute the pure serum 20 times with water (the step in bold at the top of the “what to use it for…” directions) before adding 2tbsp/L.

  • gil carandang

    pretty soon we will post our techniques in raising natural pigs – from housing design,feeds and ferments among others. for now enthusiasts you can ferment the feeds prior to feeding adding BIM and even bionutrients overnight. make sure your feeds do not have antibiotics!

    • Nerelyn Aurelio

      Hi mr.gil and mr.patrick i just want to ask for example i give 1kg of feeds that i made to may pigs how much water i will put and how much serum?
      Thanks

      • Patrick

        Hi Nerelyn,

        That’s a judgement call really. But for 1kg dry feeds you could add up to 0.5L water with 1tsp diluted lacto in it. You can play around with lots of different amounts though.

        Cheers,
        Patrick

  • Dear Mr C

    Can you add in – along with the pigs – some information about chickens. I understand that there is a lot in common between both. Maybe you can highlight some of the finer things (those usually make all of the difference most times) for chickens.

    Thank you and Patrick in advance!

    Best Wishes

    Bryan

  • I was starting some rice wash for the first time a forgot that the tap water is chlorinated.Will it be okay if I still use it?

    • Patrick

      I would watch it and see it separates into the 3 layers due to presence of bacteria. If not you might have to start fresh with non-chlorinated water. I think it should be fine though just might take an extra day or two for the bacteria to infect it.

  • MIkeS

    Gil and Patrick,
    Great site, love all the information! I have a question about starting the Lactobacillus Serum.
    We make rejuvelac from sprouted quinoa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rejuvelac) I was wondering if this would work in place of the rice wash in your recipe as it is something we have a little more experience in making. The technique is very similar, only rejuvelac uses sprouted grains instead of the wash.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mike,

      Great comment! It brings up something I learned from Gil. Focus on the principles at work, and then there are all kinds ways you can tweak these recipes.

      In the case of the rice wash, the idea is that the liquid is full of dissolved carbohydrates, that attract microbes from the air and environment. These multiply and fermentation occurs. Then you inundate with lactose (milk) to select for lactobacillus, which is present along with lots of other microbes.

      So with the rejuvelac, you cut the quinoa sprouts and soak them in water right? That would be your carbohydrate source. It attracts microbes and fermentation occurs. Then you’d use milk to select for lactobacillus. I think that would work great as a substitute for rice wash! I also saw on that page you sent, that rejuvelac is used as a digestive aid. That’s a good indication there are lacto bacteria present. As long as they are there, the milk will ensure they dominate and you end up with a nice lactobacillus serum.

  • Anita L. Molijon

    Hello Sir Gil how are you. I am your student when you were having Training in ATI_RTC X, Irasan, Zamboanga del Norte. I am very thankful you posted this important topic on Lactubacillus Serum. As trainer it would be of great help talking of Organic Agriculture which the Philippine Government promotes today.

  • Lean

    I doubted, but now i believe. =) Very effective in eliminating foul odors when used with dbs in pigpens and organic waste decomposes faster.

    • Patrick

      Haha! Great comment, that made me laugh. I was exactly like that initially – very skeptical. I’m glad you tried it out and were able to see it’s effectiveness. I’ve come to the point I use it around the house as an air freshener. Lacto is just amazing, it has so many uses and has never disappointed me.

      • Chelsa

        Hello, I love reading your information and learning more through the comments! Will you please explain how you use lacto in the house as an air freshener?

        • Patrick

          Oh yeah, I love that application. Just a normal spray bottle, I like to use a nice bottle that makes very fine mist – the finer the better. Then fill it with water/lacto mixture. The lacto is very dilute in this application 1-3tsp/gal. Then just mist everywhere in your house. Everywhere. Here in the tropics the house can get smelly fast, and that just does the trick.

  • scozans

    Hi Sir Patrick and Sir Gil,

    I just started to make the serum and now on the 3rd day of lacto+milk. I already noticed on the 2nd day that the curds are already separating from the yellowish liquid below. Does that mean i’m on the right track? I tend to open the container where the lacto+milk is fermenting twice a day to release the CO2 but this makes my mixture aerobic. Does the mixture strictly needs to be anaerobic? Will it deminish the effectiveness of the serum if i continuosly let O2 in before the fermentation is finished?

    Thanks a lot. Very very interesting site!

    • Patrick

      Hi Scozans,

      Don’t worry you can crack the lid to let the air out when it builds up. Best to have an airlock that lets air out but not in, but that’s ok. It will still work just fine. You are on the right track, you’ll be able to strain the curds off at the end and you’ll have your lactobacillus serum!

      Thanks for your interest in our site!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • scozans

        Thanks for the reply, Patrick.

        Because I thought the lacto+milk mixture must be anaerobic, I made another batch but this time I put them in a container with a check valve to let the CO2 out and no O2 in. I noticed on the 2nd day the curds and whey has already separated but unlike my first batch, this batch has the curds at the bottom and the yellowish liquid on top. Now I’m confused, when my set up is aerobic, the curds are on top and when I made it anaerobic the curds are at the bottom – which batch is good and correct? By the way, the second batch is on its 3rd day.

        By the way, I already extracted some serum from my first batch and used it to unclog out sink and viola it work immediately! I also used it on my dog cages for remove the odor and its very effective! My wife loved what I did! Hehehe!

        Thanks again.

        Kampay!
        scozans

        • Patrick

          Hi Scozans,

          That’s great to hear! Sounds like the first batch turned out fine. Yeah, it’s amazing how well it works for bad smells, just amazing. And how fast it works!

          Lactobacillus are facultative anaerobes. That means they don’t REQUIRE anaerobic conditions, it’s just that those conditions are best since they do very well whereas many other bacteria do not. A little oxygen won’t ruin a batch, just don’t go sticking a bubbler in there, hah.

          Hmm that’s odd the curds are on the bottom. The curds are made up of fats and proteins, they should float on top of the whey. Anyway don’t worry about it, just wait until it’s done fermenting and then strain out the liquid. You should still have a good quality lactobacillus serum. This recipe is pretty forgiving in my experience. If you spray and it doesn’t kill the smell, might want to make a new batch :).

  • karen

    Hi Patrick,

    how can we tell if the batch actually is LABS? the rice wash had very little separation and i failed to smell it and went ahead with the rest of the procedure.

    love!
    Karen

    • Patrick

      Hi Karen,

      It should taste sour – that’s the acidity that indicates the lactobacillus have been at work metabolizing the sugars and consequently lowering the pH. That’s fine if you didn’t test the rice wash – that is just there to introduce a rich population of microbes to the milk.

      Test the final product – dilute it according to the recipe, then spray it to kill bad smells fast. Use it to increase compost pile turnover. Take a tbsp/meal to help digestion, kill that afternoon lull we all get around 3-4pm. Ferment your animal feeds for a couple days before feeding the animals and watch them grow significantly faster. The uses for this are just awesome.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Ruth Elin Maramba

    Hi sir. 🙂
    Good Day! I will conduct a study on growth and yield of cucumber applied with lactobacillus-based probiotics as liquid fertilizer. Is it advisable to use this microbes on cucumber?? 🙂 Thanks sir!

    • Patrick

      Hi Ruth,

      I would be interested in seeing how it affects organic fertilizers. You could have one control (water only) trial, one organic fertilizer trial, and one organic fertilizer + lacto trial. I think you’d see good results from that experiment as long as you keep the dosages pretty light.

      This would work fine with cucumber plants, you could also try Sitao or Baguio beans. Am I correct in assuming you are in the Philippines? What kind of study is this? For school?

      I love experiments, it is so much fun being a scientist. Good luck with whatever you decide, and have fun!

      Patrick

      • Yes sir! This will be my thesis. Hope it will work well. Hehe. I’m just in a little doubt about my lactobacillus culture, how can i make sure if it is already fermented and ready to apply to the crop sir? Hope you response immediately sir. Thank you!

      • Yes sir! This will be my thesis. Hope it will work well. Hehe. I’m just in a little doubt sir about my lactobacillus culture, how can i make sure that it is already fermented and ready to apply to the crop? Hope you response immediately sir. Thank you! 🙂

        • Patrick

          You should see curds on top and a yellowish whey below. Other than that just wait the prescribed time and you should be good – if you leave it too long no problem.

  • Ben Rho

    Hi Patrick, this site is awesome! i will be starting an organic layer farm soon and i’m really worried about the odor and the flies. will this concoction work in controlling flies as well? also, would it be OK to use this together with cultivated indigenous micro organisms?

    Warm Regards from Mindanao,

    Ben

    • Patrick

      Hey Ben, hello from Manila! Have you heard of Gil Carandang before? He’s a pretty big name here in the Philippines. Join our mailing list and keep in touch! There will be updates on Gil’s workshops and products there. To answer your questions:

      Yes, lacto will work wonders on manure smell – eats it right up at the microbial level. Once the smell is gone the flies will no longer be an issue – the smell draws them. Spray the barnyard, pens, feeder, everything with the lacto solution. Reapply as necessary. You know you can also use it to treat the chicken feed – soak the feed in a lacto solution for 1-3 days before feeding to the birds – it is amazing for health and growth!

      We use lacto in the BIM solution, it’s fine to combine with indigenous microbes.

      Let me know if any questions, and let us know how it goes on the farm!
      Patrick

      • Ben Rho

        Hi Patrick! 🙂

        quick question, i added 10 parts milk last night to my fermented rice wash.. just now when i checked curds have already developed and below is a water like substance. does this mean that it is ready for harvest already or do i really need to wait for a week or so? how do we know if it is ready since in your instructions temperature plays a very important role in the process and it’s quite warm here these days 🙂

        Warm regards,

        Ben

        • Patrick

          I would still wait the week or so.. The curds will get thicker as more fat/protein separate out from the whey. It should reach stability when the curd raft on top is no longer getting thicker. Then it is ready. It’s kind of a judgement call when you think it’s done though. You’re right in a really warm climate it will be faster, but leaving it a little long is no problem, within reason. For example if you notice curds after 1-2 days, maybe harvest after 5 days just to be sure it’s run it’s course, but still a little faster than the 1 week you’d wait in a cooler climate.

          • Ben Rho

            Thanks Patrick! i’ll make a new batch.. i think mine went bad 🙁 it smelled foul. this time i’ll wait a bit longer. thanks 🙂

            Ben

          • Ben

            Hi Patrick.. just want to report back 🙂 my second batch was perfect! thanks so much! im on my 5th batch now! 🙂 thanks thanks! 🙂

          • Patrick

            That’s awesome Ben! Glad to hear it. Now you have lacto you can play around with all the ways to use it!

          • Ben

            Hi Patrick.. im just curious.. would it be possible for other good microbes like yeast and other good guys to be in the serum? or the milk dissuaded them from proliferating as well. thanks 🙂

            Ben

          • Patrick

            Hi Ben,

            Great question! Well the idea according to Gil is to use the rice wash to attract a wide range of beneficial microbes. Then you add the milk, and the abundance of lactose facilitates the dominance of lactobacillus spp. But, while they don’t multiply, the others will go dormant and persist in the serum. When conditions favor growth for them again (like when you dilute and apply to a compost pile), they will come out of dormancy.

            Cheers,
            Patrick

  • Joe

    Your recipe calls for letting the rice wash water sit for a week or so, then mixing it with 20 parts water. I however, had to leave on a trip and left my rice wash water sitting in a jar for the past 23 days. I’m wondering if I ruined it by letting it sit for too long? Or is it still good? Also, when I returned from my trip, I noticed the wash turned from milky white to a clear yellowish color. Is this what we’re trying to aim for? Thanks.

  • Joe

    Sorry, I meant mixing 1 part Lacto to 10 parts milk (was thinking about the mix ratio of grow fertilizer to water).

    • Patrick

      Hey Joe,

      I think your rice wash will be fine. The color sounds great there is nothing wrong with that. Is it separated into layers? You’ll want the yellowish fluid on the bottom or middle layer to add to the milk. Let me know how it goes..

      Patrick

  • Adam

    Hi I am experiencing some problems with getting my milk/rice wash to turn into lacto/whey. I wait until i have “activity” in my rice wash then combine milk and rice wash and leave in a warm dark cupboard (lid not on tight) and the last batch never progressed and the milk went off after 10 days. After 4 days i even added some of the lacto serum from a previous batch to help get it started and that didnt seem to help. The areas is not hot say 17-22C. My first two batches worked great, can you help as to what i may be doing wrong!?

    • Patrick

      Hey Adam,

      Tough one, hard to say without being there looking at it. Well the milk should go “off” in terms of curdling, but if you’ve made previous batches already then you know what I mean. I guess it could be not warm enough but I think 17-22 would be adequate. What does it look like exactly? It’s not forming curds on top and whey below? Also, completely anaerobic is best. You might try sprinkling oat bran or rice bran on top of the milk to keep it anaerobic.

      Patrick

      • Adam

        Thanks Patrick, I will try the oat bran. I guess it looks like a stuck fermentation (similar to when you make beer). It has lots of tiny bubbles on the surface and a slight off smell but the first two batches were all done and complete within 3-5 days (with same temp range). I have closed the lid on the container so hope that assists with the process. I am using store bought milk and can access large quantities of raw milk from a diary but didn’t want to go down that path UNTIL i have this issue sorted! My rice wash is kept in the same room but just on the bench with paper towel over the glass jar lid. The lacto is made in a 5Lt plastic container with sufficient head space. I also make my kefir in the same cupboard and that works fine! All a little perplexing after the first two batches went great guns! The only thing i can think of is that the rice wash hasn’t attracted sufficient lacto bacteria to get it started even though the rice wash had a film layer at the top? Can you restart the fermentation process (say like beer) by adding more yeast (aka lacto serum) from a previous batch? apologies for the beer analogy but that’s what it seems like to me? Regards
        Adam

        • Adam

          With regards to what it looks like….There has been no separation and the mixture is still all the same milky colour (apart from the bubbles on the surface. Regards
          Adam

          • Patrick

            Weird. There should be curds on top. Are you using skim milk??? Ha ha.. I would throw it and try again with different milk, sorry for the lame advice but I don’t know if saving it would work. Add some lacto and give it a day or two if you want to try, but anaerobic processes can be tricky and you can end up with bad microbes if you’re not careful.

            For the rice wash, did it form three layers and smell a little sour? If temperature permits, leave it outside when it’s fermenting.

            Well hope it gets back on track next time! There is no better source than raw milk whether cow goat sheep whatever. If you can use fresh dairy milk that’ll be best. Otherwise a nice fatty non-UHT store-bought milk should work fine.

  • Adam

    Hi Gil & Patrick,
    no luck with the last batch of lacto, I have put it down to insufficient microbes in my rice wash to start with. It’s winter hear so obviously not enough bacteria being active etc….or didn’t leave wash long enough to generate some lab. My question relates to this point. Can I inoculate the rice wash with some lab to help it kick off? I have some in a spray bottle that I use as a deodoriser?
    some anecdotal feedback, all our animals are on lacto and the results are amazing, it’s winter here, chickens are fat, full of feathers and looking very good, the dogs use to emit foul smells after eating canned dog food ( used if we ran out of there normal feed) but they too have put on weight and no back-end smells. we also have horses, the weanling foals are in excellent condition and the brood mares who are back in foal have never gone through a winter in such great condition. they all have energy to burn as well.
    I also have found a source of RAW milk so will now go into large scale production…hahaha, and now collecting buckets of fish guts to make my fish emulsion fertiliser.
    Thanks for the info and the great website.

    • Patrick

      Yeah, that sucks about the bad batch of lacto. Well hopefully it works out for you next time. I’ve used lacto to inoculate milk many times, but I’ve noticed there are usually less curds when you do this. I’m not sure why or if that means it isn’t as good a batch. Probably the best way is still the rice wash.

      That is great to hear about your animals! Lacto is great stuff I’m glad you’re seeing it’s effectiveness in action. Try fermenting the animal feed in a lacto wash for 1-3 days before feeding. You should see great results in terms of weight-gain-per-food-intake (food conversion rate).

  • John

    hi patrick ,i wanna make 1 L rice wash , how many pounds of rice should i use ?

    thank you

    • Patrick

      Hi John, good question. For just 1 L rice wash you shouldn’t need too much rice. More rice = more nutrients. It’s up to you how nutrient-dense you want your solution, it should attract microbes either way. I’d add a cup or two of rice to the bowl and add a little more than 1L water, the rice will start sucking it up pretty fast. Whisk it around to get some carbos in the water, then drain and you have your rice wash.

  • Karen

    Hi Patrick,

    the milk curds settled down instead of at the top. why do you think that is, and is this still ok?

    this didn’t happen when i used powdered milk in a previous batch whereas this time is used fresh milk. btw, our little west highland terrier loved the cheese!

    Karen

    • Patrick

      Hmm normally they rise to the top but that’s ok. As long as it separated into curds and whey you should be good. You kept it anaerobic during fermentation?

      Yeah the dogs should love the cheese, and it should be a great digestive aid! I would limit how much you give them though I think too much will cause diarrhea.

  • Drew

    Greetings, Pat!

    It’s been a while since I posted last. We’ve recently started raising chickens and I was wondering about fermenting their feed. How much LAB are we talking about using to ferment the feed? We don’t want to use enough to make the feed mush, right? We’re not actually soaking the feed, just spraying enough in and mixing to coat evenly? And is it wise to mix up large batches of inoculated feed, or only enough for a few days worth of feeding?

    And on a side note, I just wanted to testify as to the deodorizing power of LAB serum. I am building compost piles this year. About one every 7-10 days. Without going into a lot a detail, the vegetable/fruit materials that I use come in plastic garbage bags and invariably have lots of holes in them. During storage awaiting composting, sometimes things would begin to liquefy and leak out of the bag and soak into the carpet that covers the floor of the hot storage shed, making a BIG stink. One spray of LAB on the rug and in less than 24 yours (closer to 12 I’d say), there is no odor to speak of. None! It really works! We use it on the floor of the chicken coop (hay) as well. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful knowledge with the world.

    • Patrick

      Hey Drew, nice to hear from you again! I do still have your suggestions for the site in my back pocket. Progress on the site is kinda slow now that I have the weekly Flog to keep up, but I will be rolling out updates as I can.

      Regarding your questions, I haven’t personally done chicken feed fermenting, just the pig feed. With the pigs we would soak the food until it is pretty well re-hydrated. But that is for pigs, which will just gobble up whatever slop you put in their feeders. I imagine for chickens you wouldn’t use quite as much water, you wouldn’t make it mushy like you said. But you should still use enough to make it quite damp, so it doesn’t just dry out. There is no rule here, play around with it and see how it works for you. Also, remember this is with very diluted LAB. After the pure serum is diluted 20x with water, you add 1tbsp of that to a gallon of water and use that water to wet the feed. Of course you can use stronger mix but this dilution is enough to get the job done.

      You don’t want it sitting too long – I’d suggest 3 days as a general guideline (you can do more or less no problem though). For the pigs we use 3 barrels, and feed the third barrel each day, refill it and move it back to position 1. That way the pigs always eat 3-day fermented food. You can do the same thing with the chicken feed. Or if you don’t want to mess with that you can just use one ferment bucket and refill it every 3 days. Feed out of that each day and they will get progressively more fermented food.

      Pretty awesome deodorizing effect right? You should spray your compost piles with LAB too, you should see faster composting and less flies. Also, spraying the fruit in the bags wouldn’t hurt – if they’re sitting there a few days might as well get them started, haha. Anyway I know that’s more work for you, these are just suggestions if you have the time/inclination. Cheers and happy composting – let me know if any questions with the above.

  • Joseph

    Hi Patrick and Gil. First I’d like you to know that I’m extremely grateful for all the knowledge you’re sharing with us. My question is this: I am experimenting with an alternative LAB serum without rice wash. I have collected different weeds from my garden and fermented them, just as you would make Kimchi or sauerkraut,i.e. I put the weeds in a jar filled with brine, without exposing the weeds to the air in the jar. After 10 days, the fermentation had finished, since it tasted acidic. My question is: should I dilute it the same way the standard LAB serum is diluted? Do I need to add sugar to stabilize it? The reason that I chose this alternative version, is that fermenting vegetables is quite easy for me, while the rice wash method wasn’t succesful for some reason.

    Regards,
    Joseph

    • Patrick

      Hi Joseph,

      Welcome, thanks for joining the conversation, sign up for our mailing list too if you want. Good question here I’ll have to ask Gil about it. My main concern would be the amount of salt. Too much salt affects the osmotic balance of water in the soil and makes nutrients very hard for plant roots to take up. I haven’t practiced that style of fermentation so can’t comment on it too much. I’ll ask Gil about it though. For now I’d treat it the same way we do LAB and see how that works for you, I just don’t like the salinity factor.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Joseph

        Ok, Patrick, I will just do that. Concerning the salinity factor, I myself don’t think it should be a problem, since I start fermenting with 30 grams per liter. After adding milk and sugar, the ratio would be 1.5 gram per liter, so when you would actually spray it on your plants, the final ratio would be 1 mg/L, which should be safe, as far as I know. I also use Celtic seasalt, which is just evaporated seawater. Dr Maynard Murray did some groundbreaking work on the subject of growing crops with seaminerals, you might have heard of him. I agree with you though that you should be cautious with the sodium level of the soil.

        Joseph

        • Patrick

          Ahh so you’re just using the ferment liquid in place of the rice wash? Yes that should dilute out a lot, that should be fine. Sorry I think I misread your question a bit. I don’t see why your fermentation wash wouldn’t work in place of rice wash. I’ll have to look into dr murray, thanks for that. cheers!

  • Henry

    Patrick,

    I have been using a batch of LB mixed with molasses that I made in April of this year. I have 2 jars of the culture (without molasses)that have been in the refrigerator that were made at the same time.

    Having said that, and since I don’t have a microscope is there an easy testing method to see if the critters in the culture are still alive?

    Many thanks!

    • Patrick

      Hmmm tough one.. I got a microscope for this reason, but I’m pretty into this stuff needless to say. I’m sure there’s an easy way…but all I can think of now is adding some to sugar water in a sealed container and checking gas pressure the next day(or two). If there is gas buildup then your culture is still good to go – the microbes you introduced have started eating the sugar and produced gas as byproduct of metabolism.

  • Annie

    Hi Patrick, Bryan taught me how to do LAB and tne IMOs, its amazing what the soil in my garden like now. So beautifully loose and the plants are doing so well. I am into making all the recipes you have printed here and waiting impatiently for them to be ready for use. Thanks go to Gil, Bryan and you.

    • Patrick

      Wow, that’s great to hear! Thanks for the support and enthusiasm. Pretty cool right? I think so too. 🙂

  • Annie

    Patrick, I heard Gil in a seminar he conducted in Hawaii where he explained how to make the LAB. In his talk, he said when he makes the LAB, he adds equal parts molasses to the serum (whey). The he said in order to make it go further, he adds to that concoction 20 parts water. Does this still stand? Can I add 20 parts water after mixing the whey with molasses or is that step now defunct? My prepration will be ready on the 8th or 9th August, would appreciate a reply by then? Thanks patrick, am I rushing you?

    • Patrick

      Hi Annie, yep you still add 20 parts water, that is there in the recipe, at the start of the “how to use” section. You can still store it after adding 20 parts water. For me, I keep a bottle of the undiluted serum+sugar handy, then add 1.5 tbsp from that to a 500ml bottle, fill with water, and use that for day-to-day stuff – dilute further and use for digestion, odors, clogged drains, etc.

  • Annie

    That’s taking the dilution far, wonderful. I didn’t understand the dilution. No wonder some of my plants withered and died. I killed them by getting the dilution wrong. I put 1-20 and started spraying them and the soil. Thank you for all the instant help, you are a great help

  • John

    hi ,im in the 7 step , after 8 days ,temp 20 grades , the curds are there but the water under the curds ,is white , it is ok or i miss something ?
    greetings
    john

    • John

      i forgot to tell ,i use skim milk

      • Patrick

        Hi John,

        Skim milk is fine. Also the white color shouldn’t be a problem, you’re really looking for curds as the good indicator there is microbial activity. Strain it and try it!
        Patrick

        • Henry

          Patrick,

          Similar to John this time around the curd that surfaced was very very dense , and an inch thick, I mean you really had to see it. However there was a tinge of yellow in the serum that was a lot lighter than previous batches.

          The only difference is this time I used raw milk, which I will continue to do from now on. I don’t think the color is a big deal as you mentioned.

          • Patrick

            Yeah exactly Henry, you’ll see little variations like that depending on what ingredients you use. The raw milk will do that – the more fat and protein in the milk used, the thicker and denser the curds on top.

  • Kristen

    Hello- I am on the 7th day of the milk fermentation process and it smells horrible! At the time of creation I did not have detailed instructions, so used “serum” from rice water that did not have 3 layers in it AND I just covered the rice water/milk liquid with a cheesecloth. I have it in a cabinet and can smell it when I am in the same room! I keep thinking that it will go away, but not happening. Would either of these contribute to the odor? Should I start over? THANKS! Kristen

    • Patrick

      Hmm, it shouldn’t smell very much. Does it form curds? I would probably start over following the recipe just to be on the safe side, sorry 🙂

      • Kristen

        Thanks Patrick- I figured that would be the answer so am all set with some fresh raw milk. I still have the original mixture- it seems to smell more sour now as opposed to just plain bad! There are about 1″ of curds on top! Does that mean it has some potential? I am going to use it as a compost enhancer, so I guess it can’t hurt anything. Thanks for the reply!

        • Patrick

          oh yeah, that sounds pretty good now. It should be fine as compost activator..

  • Henry

    Greetings Patrick,

    I would like a little clarification if you please. In just about every use the mix is 2 TBSP. per liter. The question is this. As a water drench to plants in containers do you use 8 TBSP. per gallon or 1-2 TBSP. per gallon?

    Many thanks!

    • Patrick

      Hi Henry,

      As a soil drench I think 1-2tbsp/gal would be fine. It doesn’t need to be as concentrated for that application.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Annie

    Patrick, can I pick your mathematical brain please? I have very limited space in my apartment to store 20 bottles of LAB. I made the latest batch from fresh milk for friends and family. In its undiluted form, if I use 1T of pure LAB, how much water should I add in order to consume it? Thank you for not asking me to use my calculator.

    • Patrick

      Here’s what I do Annie, it’s easier to do it this way:

      I store 1 500ml bottle of pure serum out. I have a second 500ml bottle that’s empty. Fill that with water + 1.5tbsp of the pure serum, that’s your 1:20 dilution. Then keep that bottle in the fridge and use it (diluted properly) in all your daily applications. For instance, add 1-2tbsp to 1L water and use as odor killer.

      Hope that helps,
      Patrick

  • Ricky

    Hi,

    Would just like to ask about the “Aid Compost” as one of the many uses that you have mentioned, do you already have the detailed post about it. If yes, would you please share the link. I am planning to start composting at home, I believe that information will really help.

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    Ricky

    • Patrick

      Hi Ricky,

      Great! You’re interested in composting using it! That’s fun.. I just did that recently but it was a small batch of compost. The materials to be composted were very dry so I needed to add water until the compost was the right moisture content (around 65%). Rather than plain water I used water with lacto at a rate of 1-2tbsp/L. Actually for my compost I used water with homemade fish fertilizer, grow fertilizer and BIM mixed in. But for the purposes of this example let’s pretend it was lacto.

      But your compost might be a lot bigger pile. In that case you can dilute the lacto more (to make it go further), no problem. Or if the pile doesn’t need any water, just wait till it dries out a bit, then when it needs water+turning in, mix lacto with the water you’re using.

      In any case, when you start the pile you can mist it with a 1-2tbsp/L mix to introduce the microbes.

      You can join our mailing list and you’ll get the post on this through email when I come out with it.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Ricky

    Thanks Patrick, this is helpful. Yes, just joined.

    Would also like to ask -(sorry this may not be the right venue but I have tried to use your feedback form and for some reason it was not working) – if Herbana farm is selling the products from the Recipes that are listed in this site. I am specifically interested with BIM, and Neem extract, and also Bokashi which I plan to try also for anaerobic composting (not listed here but I saw the recipe from Gil’s Grow Your Own IMO pdf).

    Thanks again.

    Ricky

    • Patrick

      Yep, they are all for sale. I think the easiest way to get is the Salcedo market every Saturday in Salcedo Village..

  • Frédérique

    Hi I’ve tried the lactobacillus serum recipe.But I’m not sure if it is good or bad.When I went to collect the lacto-bacillus serum 1part serum/10 part milk after 10 days of it sitting on the top of my fridge there where little maggots stock in the curd and a few dead ones arround my container.Is this normal? or does it mean I have a bad batch?
    Thanks in advance for your reply and thanks for all the usefull informations on this web site.

    Fred

    • Patrick

      That’s ok. I would cover it next time so flies don’t get in and lay eggs, but having them in there is fine.

      • Frédérique

        Ok that’s what I thought actually but thanks for the quick answer.
        best regards
        Fred

      • i should ask the same question on maggots.. yeah i got the answer now. there must be no flies in your preparations so that no maggot larvae will be laid upon my milk-rice wash solution… thanks a lot, by the way i still pursued with the procedure disregarding those maggots and applied the LAB onto my rice field last cropping season (March harvest) and i reaped quite remarkable compared to previous croppings, though i only applied it once but also introduced ammonium and urea before the LAB. i plan to make more LAB for the next season.., maybe fish emulsion too and fruit extracts.

        • Patrick

          Hey Luvin,

          Yeah, no worries about the maggots, if you are just applying to crops it should be fine still. If you are drinking it, maybe keep them out just cause, haha.

          Yep, the LAB in combination with the nitrogen fertilizers, should be excellent!! Especially in rice crops that have low oxygen environments.

          Try the fish emulsion, that should be excellent also!

          Cheers,
          Patrick

  • Hi! I make my own yogurt and get whey as a byproduct. Can I use it as prescribed here or is it a lot different from the whey I would get if I follow your recipe to the letter?

    • Patrick

      You know I’m not sure Maita, I’m not sure how your whey is.. But I’d just follow the recipe here and see how it turns out! Should be interesting to compare them! Let us know what you find. Cheers!

      Patrick

  • Tristan

    Hello Gil and Patrick! your site is very informative! I have question regarding the formation of the curds. After 6 days after doing procedures 5-7, on 1 container, I saw a greenly and reddish color on top of the curd. And on the other container it is like a dried curd of top turning kinda yellowish red. Can I still use the liquid below the curd? I’m just wondering because when I first made my LABS, all the curds were white.
    Also, after mixing the pure lactic acid bacteria serum and molasses, is it natural to have a film (like molds) on top of it? I just observed that the one pour into an airtight container did not have these. But the other container (5 gallon with faucet) produced a film like molds.

    Thank you so much and more power!

    • Patrick

      Hmm, are they molds? Green and black molds are bad – toss if you see those.

      The dried top part of the curd is ok, it just dried out sounds like. How long have you left them out with curds formed? Maybe you need to drain them off faster.

      I wouldn’t store the lacto+molasses in a container with a lot of air space generally. After you mix with molasses, try to put in an airtight container without much room at the top for air.

      Hope this helps and thanks for joining up!
      Patrick

      • Tristan

        Nope its not green and black molds its like brown molds. maybe it forms when I pour it in a container with lots of air space.

        I left them out for about 6 days. Usually after 2 days curds are formed but I wait for at least 6 days as per instructions in the manual. Is it ok to harvest the liquid after 3-4 days after the curds were formed on the 2nd day? Also, the dried part of the curd is ok, but how about with the top part of the curd that has green and red color? Is it bad to harvest the liquid below?

        The first batch I made, when I pour it in an air tight container I left at least 50% air. I open it everyday to release the pressure it produced. If I fill the container with no much air in it, wouldn’t it explode?

        Thank you so much for answering my questions! =)

        • Patrick

          Hey Tristan,

          Yep it’s fine to harvest after 3-4 days if you feel it’s ready then. Hmm if there is obvious green mold on top, the powdery green mold, I’d toss it if you’re planning to drink it. If it’s for the garden or compost pile I wouldn’t worry as much. If the green is just discoloration I wouldn’t worry so much either. Anyway harvest quicker if you feel it’s ready that should help.

          Actually if you leave less airspace it shouldn’t build up as much pressure. Some law of physics I forget off the top of my head, but less space is better.

          Hope this helps. Sorry for the late reply just got back from vacation.

          Patrick

        • nik amin

          Hello Gil,Patrick and Tristan! your site is very informative! I have question regarding the formation of the curds. After 3 days after doing procedures 5-7, on 1 container, I saw a white and reddish color on top of the curd, Can I still use the liquid below the curd? why the change in color? I’m just wondering because when I first made my LABS, all the curds were white.

          And on the other container the curd is only beginning to harden after 7 days,the color is white though, what probably went wrong?

          Tristan tq for sharing

          Tq for your kind advice

          • Patrick

            The color change is ok, it just got some mold/bacterial growth on top. Watch for green or black mold, those are generally pathogenic and you need to discard if you see that. In this case you can still use the liquid below the curd no problem.

            Cheers,
            Patrick

  • Annie

    Patrick, I have an important question to ask. If you don’t know the answer, I would deeply appreciate asking Gil? How do you use the whey before you add the molasses? I know you add 1-1 then 1-20 then use 1 -2 or 3T to a L of water. How does Gil advice people who want to cut out the molasses and use the “whey”? I know he did say it was an expensive method and that it will last 6 months in the ‘fridge. Thank you. At the moment I drink 1 T in 8 ozs water. I would like to try it without the molasses.

    • Patrick

      If you don’t add molasses, like you said first make sure you store it in the fridge. Then, I’d just cut the dosage in half. So use 0.5T in 8oz water. You can use more or less there is no rule on this. Experiment and see what works for you. But for starters I’d do that, just cut your dose in half.

  • Mary

    Hi, I’m interested in Bokashi and searching through the Internet led me to you. Thank you very much for sharing. Your website is very informative and I think your recipe is the simplest that I found. I take composting seriously and I keep one in my tiny balcony. I plan to use the serum to help speed up my compost. I’m just wondering… Where can one buy molasses in the Philippines? Also, is this serum like homemade Yakult? (Does it taste the same?) I’m sorry if my questions sound silly, but your reply will be greatly appreciated. Maraming salamat po.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mary,

      That’s great to hear about your composting efforts even on your small balcony. You don’t have to use molasses, it is kinda hard to find here in the Phil’s except in bulk for farming. You can use brown sugar, like muscovado that is readily avail here.

      Yep, this serum is like Yakult but better! Higher diversity of beneficial microbes. Hahaha I’m sorry to say it tastes nothing like Yakult, the taste takes some getting used to. I love it but my wife hates the taste no matter how many times we take it.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Can you give me an idea of the ratio of curds to whey that I can expect after combining the initial rice wash culture with the 10 parts milk? I am about to mix the two components in a 4.5 liter/gallon demi john, and would like an idea of the size of container(s) that I will need when I mix the whey with molasses.
    Thanks
    Deano

    • Patrick

      Hi Deano,

      Sorry for the late reply I’ve been away.. The amount of curds really depends on the milk you use. Curds are protein and fat essentially and so the fattier the milk the thicker the curds. But in any case you should have more than half whey at least when finished.

      Thanks,
      Patrick

  • linda

    Hi,
    I just found this site & was wondering if you could help me. I recently learned how to make the LAB culture in same way as your recipe above & am wildly in love with it. Among many other things I have found it is excellent as a treatment for my hands which suffer problems caused by using detergents and I want my daughter to try it on her acne but unless I can get it to smell good she would never go near it (you described a ‘sour’ type smell above but mine smells more like cheese – I have pure serum in the fridge, no molasses or sugar in it). I just don’t know what I can put in it to make it smell good without risking killing it, for example herbs & essential oils are generally antimicrobial which would completely defeat the purpose. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks

    • Patrick

      Hi Linda,

      Great to hear you are enjoying the serum, that is awesome it works for your hands, what a great application.

      That is a great question about the smell..let me think.. You can dilute the pure serum a lot and the smell will be much more tolerable but also the effectiveness will probably decrease I guess. You could also apply to only the affected areas as a spot treatment and it wouldn’t be as bothersome.. Neither of these is a good solution though.

      You might try something acidic since it shouldn’t harm the acid tolerant lacto too badly… like lemonjuice? lemon juice is a known anti-bacterial because of the acidity but I don’t think that will affect lacto as much, might help the smell. Hard to say, everything smelly I can think of is anti-bacterial…Good luck, let me know if you find something!

  • Hermann

    It’s not entirely true that plans don’t utilize organic constituents as new research suggests.
    Plants can also digest larger molecules and even entire bacteria.
    This knowledge is absolutely groundbreaking. Read for yourself.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0011915

    • Patrick

      Hermann,

      That is one of the most interesting journals I’ve read! Wow! That is crazy! Specific, localized, cellular level interactions between plant roots and microbes in which the plants deliberately weaken the root wall to bring in microbes and subsequently digest them for Nitrogen. That is wild. You might see this regurgitated in the Flog one of these days, that is really cool stuff.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Patrick

  • Ben Cains

    Hey there

    Hypothetically if I was to drink the LAB what dilution would I use?

    I skimmed through the posts and didn’t see any info?

    Thanks for your time

    • Patrick

      So you have the serum+molasses right. Then you dilute that 1:20 with water and keep this in the fridge. I drink 1tbsp of that in a glass of water after each meal. Works like a charm.

  • alex

    I bought cheapest human probiotic capsules with lactobacillus(10 caps for 2.5$),
    tossed em in a bottle with 1 liter of milk and 2 tbsp of dextrose.
    I taped a baloon on the top of the bottle to keep the bottle closed airtight
    and to have room left for gasses that will be released,as the balloon will inflate.
    Hopefully,in 7-10 days,lactobacillus will multiply.
    I dont have experience with this method,so I am realy hoping on some comments or sugestions
    I am trying this because it’s 10 times cheaper for me,
    maple sirup and brown sugar are quite the expense when trying to conserve,and here on the other hand you buy capsuled colonies and just activate them with dextrose and multiply them in milk.
    And it’s stored easier and more convenient to use,you dont have to time making your serum weeks ahead,if you need it right now,you can simply make stronger concentration
    by puting more capsules in the water with dextrose and wait for a couple of
    hours(6-12hours?not sure on this one,but not too long I think) untill they activate and serum should be ready for use,and i would guess in a much higher concentration then the home-grown stuff.
    Once again,comments and sugestions are apreciated,since i just started
    testing this method.Use at your own risk ;p

    • alex

      I think this actualy worked and it took only 4 days.
      There is no milk,only a layer of thick curds floating on a yellow(ish) liquid.
      Bottle is warm and steamy from the inside so the soup feels like its preety active,
      baloon inflated only a little bit.
      I will strain this and use as instructed above(1:20),
      and use dextrose as food for leftover concentrate.
      Any comments on this method? I am not sure what I’ve grown here,only guessing that it should be LactoBacillus and hoping for the best.
      Peace.

    • alex

      edit on my first post,because its badly written:
      i opened one capsule of probiotic and poured content of it into 1L of milk,
      not the whole pack of 10 capsules.

      • Patrick

        Hey Alex,

        Great method! That is really interesting. Yeah, I don’t see why it wouldnt work. I’m not sure about the diversity as leaving ricewash out attracts a wide range of microbes, out of which you multiply the lactobacilli using milk. But in terms of a lacto serum, I think this is great! I’m not sure if adding more capsules would accelerate the process but that would be interesting to see.

        If you can find any sugar source for cheap where you are, I’d recommend using that to stabilize your serum once you’ve strained it out. Any glucose, fructose, dextrose, all the simple carbs would work.

        Sorry for the late reply I’m still catching up after being away. Nice work though, great method!

        Patrick

  • shawn

    been making lacto-serum for a month. noticed the last batch of 20 liters didn’t separate. curds/yogurt were mixed with the serum. It was very difficult but not impossible to separate the serum from the curds. used cheese cloth to squeeze the serum out…wow it took a long time to do this process. any ideas on how to get a better separation of curds and serum?

    thanks from brasil

    shawn

    • Patrick

      I think i answered this in email, things are a little disjointed since I got back but use the contact form if you’re still having these issues..

  • Hanson

    hello! thank you for posting this in your website. after the whole process, how can i preserve the lacto+molasses mixture? how long is the shelf life? avoid sunlight? air tight container?

    thank you 🙂

    • Patrick

      lacto+molasses you can leave out as long as it’s sealed without much airspace, it will keep that way for a good long time(years). Keep out of direct sunlight and in airtight container, yes. Once you open it and start using, it’s recommended to keep in fridge.

  • nik amin

    Dear Patrick and Gil,

    Great website.

    Can I mix Lacto plus with bloom fertiliser, grow fertiliser and BIM together? before or after dilution with water? what is the best ratio? what are the best plant and fruit to use?

    I want to use it for my paddy farm, kindly advice,keep up the great work, tqvm for helping me in particular and mother earth in general.

    • nik amin

      Dear Patrick and Gil,

      Great website.

      Can I mix Lacto plus with bloom fertiliser, grow fertiliser and BIM together? before or after dilution with water? what is the best ratio? what are the best plant and fruit to use?

      I want to use it for my paddy farm, kindly advice,keep up the great work, tqvm for helping me in particular and mother earth in general.

      • Patrick

        Hi Nik,

        You can mix any combination as long as overall dilution is about 1tbsp/gal. Mix them all into the water, not together before mixing with water. So for example in 5 gallons of water you would have 5tbsp of fertilizers – any combination like maybe 2tbsp bloom, 1tbsp grow, 1tbsp fish fert, 1tbsp lacto. BIM you only need a small amount since it is quite concentrated, but adding more is fine.

        Thanks,
        Patrick

  • rene

    Patrick & Gil, thank you very for having a very informative and helpful site. I want to ask a follow-up question on the fermenting of feeds. You mentioned, to be sure that the feeds has no antibiotics as it will kill the microbes. What about toxin binders and mold inhibitors normally used in feeds? Will these not kill the microbes? Thanks in advance and more power.

    • Patrick

      hmm I think those would be fine rene. If you are curious, take a sample of the feed, put it in a sealable jar with sugar, water and lacto. Seal the jar and let it sit overnight. Crack it the next day and see if you hear a hiss. If there is built up gas in there, then fermentation is going on. Give it a few days if you don’t hear a hiss right away. Anyway thats a super simple test to see if it is really fermenting.

      • rene

        Thnx and more power, Patrick. Will do it.

  • John

    Love all your info thank you.

    One question, can you mix your different items in the same water if the dilution is correct. So to my 5 gallons of water could I add the BIM, lacto, and fish Hydrolyze (or bloom/grow) to the same jug mix and water? Or do you suggest using them all separately?

    • Patrick

      Yep you can mix them all together no problem, I recommend it in fact. Just make sure your dilution is correct. I don’t usually mix more than 1tbsp/gal of any given nutrients. You could, just haven’t had the need.

  • Loving it

    Have you tried mixing the molasses in with the milk? I was thinking 1 part molasses for 10 parts milk. My thoughts were that it would be a boost to the bacteria, don’t know if it’s necessary with the lactose already present in the milk.

    • Patrick

      I wouldn’t try that as it promotes all kinds bacteria. By adding the milk(lactose source) you are giving the right bacteria(lactobacilli) the competitive advantage. If you add sugar you’re leveling out the playing field again which in this case we don’t want.

  • Lee

    Hi Patrick and Gil,

    I am interested in trying out the lactobacillus serum. Do I just retain the water left over from the rice wash or do I leave the rice in the water during the initial stage?

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,
    Lee

    • Patrick

      Hi Lee,

      Just use the water left over from the rice wash. You don’t need to leave the rice in the water.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • nik amin

    Hello Gil and Patrick! your site is very informative! I have question regarding the formation of the curds. After 3 days after doing procedures 5-7, on 1 container, I saw a white and reddish color on top of the curd, Can I still use the liquid below the curd? why the change in color? I’m just wondering because when I first made my LABS, all the curds were white.

    And on the other container the curd is only beginning to harden after 7 days,the color is white though, what probably went wrong?

    Tq for your kind advice

  • Rik

    Hello Patrick and Gil,

    Thanks to your site I have learned a lot, specially on lacto serum. Just want to ask if my serum is filled with good bacteria. I mixed raw fresh milk to my rice wash, and have thick curd but white silky molds grew on top of it. I have not smelled any foul nor vinegary odor on my batch. May I ask if it already accumulated enough lacto on it?

    Hope you could guide me through this.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Patrick

      Hi Rik,

      That’s great, white molds are no problem, that will happen sometimes. Just watch for green/yellow/black molds, those are more likely to be pathogenic. If you have thick curds then the solution below should be nicely concentrated lacto! Sounds like you did it right!

      Patrick

  • eulamae

    Hello Sir,
    Great Job! God bless you! oh sir can is it safe to use in human?
    Eula

    • Patrick

      Hi Eula,

      Thanks for the praise.. Yep, I take it every day, it is awesome for digestion and really helps prevent gastro-intestinal upsets (LBM, haha)..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Hi Patrick
    Great site.

    Can the 1:20 LAB be used in bokashi bin to replace bokashi bran ? I would like to just spray the 1:20 LAB on the food scrap to be “bokashi fermented”. Do you think this will work ? Tried very hard to get wheat bran (DIY bokashi mix) but can’t get any around my area in Malaysia.

    Thanks

    • Patrick

      Hi Elsie,

      Yeah really, it’s impossible to find here in the Philippines either I went through that also. Good timing joining the mailing list! I’m writing an article on Bokashi right now actually, it’ll go up in a few weeks.

      Basically you can turn anything into “bokashi bran” – it doesn’t even really have to be a high carbon source, just can’t be a simple carbohydrate source, it has to be something “substantial”. Bokashi bran is just to ensure the right microbes proliferate. Newspaper, sawdust, rice bran (our best equivalent to wheat bran here in asia) etc. I’m making ‘bokashi bran’ out of a mix of dog food, copra meal, coffee grounds and carbonized rice hull right now – it will serve as dog food, cockroach food, and ‘bokashi bran’ for the bokashi bin.

      You are on the right track with the 1:20 LAB. Use that with sugar to inoculate your “bran” – shredded papers, sawdust, rice bran, etc. Seal that up and let it ferment, let the microbes multiply. After a few weeks you have your bran! Use this in the bokashi bin – start the bin with a 2-4″ layer of it, make sure the food layers are no more than 1″ thick, compress everything to make it as airtight as possible – you know how it goes.

      You can just spray the food with the 1:20 LAB if you’re feeling lazy – that will work. Add a little sugar to the sprayer when you do – help the microbes proliferate. Having ‘bran’ just helps house the microbes and provide a ‘slow-release-LAB’ system you know…

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Thanks Patrick.

    So can I use coco peat to replace wheat bran? It is quite cheap. I can get it at less than USD 3 per big block.

    Intend to slowly “break loose” the block and work with a manageable amount. Then inoculate with the LAB 1:20 + molasses (do I need to further dilute the 1:20 ?). Ferment airtight for 14 days, then sun dry it etc etc.

    Will the coco peat work as a substitute for wheat bran ? If this works, I will be very excited.

    Just sprayed my plants and long standing compost with LAB 1:20 (further diluted 1 tbs to a litre). Should the compost be given heavier dosage, ie 2 tbs to a litre?

    Hope my plants and compost will thrive.

    Thanks for helping
    Elsie

  • Hi Patrick and Gil,

    Hope both of u r in good health.

    When is the best time to start using LAB for rearing pigs and chicken? At what ratio? How often should use?

    To very much, merry Xmas and happy new year

    • Patrick

      Hi Nik,

      I’ll have to talk with Gil about this, he’s not on here much so I doubt he’ll see this thread but anyway I’ll take a stab at it. It’s not harmful to use when they are young. When the pigs are weaned and starting solid food you can start fermenting it. Just ferment their food for 1-3 days as per that section of the instructions. For chickens, I’d wait until they are at least a week old before starting fermenting their food. Then the same with the pigs, just follow that section of the instructions. Hope this info helps. Sounds like you’re enjoying this stuff and making good use of it! That’s great!

      Patrick

  • Nik Amin

    Dear Patrick and Gil,

    Hope both of you are well and fine

    Can LAB be use as a simple and cheap way of doing a treatment for grease trap boxes and septic tanks?.

    Is it possible that the microorganisms in LAB are capable of accelerating the process of decomposition of grease and oils whereby it will effectively cleans the grease traps, the tubes and basins avoiding the periodical cleaning of the same?

    Tq for sharing your vast experience and knowledge

    • Patrick

      Hi Nik,

      Lacto works amazingly well in septic tanks. Dramatic effect on buildup of waste there. In grease traps I’m not as confident. It’s a different type of compound.. Try it and see! I think LAB would be effective, but not as much as it is for biological wastes. Try it in stronger concentration. Let us know how it goes!

      Patrick

      • Nik Amin

        Dear Patrick,

        That is awesome, I’m very hopeful readers and you can share how to use LAB so that it works amazingly well in septic tanks?

        Can you please describe what dramatic effect it has on the build up of waste.

        I’m testing LAB with food fats right now, after 3 days I can see the fats clearly compared to the one not mix with LAB, I cant tell whether LAB is eating the fats or rounding them up first before devouring them 🙂

        Tq P & G

        Happy New Year

        • Patrick

          Hey Nik sorry for the late reply it’s been a little crazy around here. That’s great you are testing out LAB on the fats! Let me know how it goes.. My thought was that it might be eating everything except the fat but let me know if it gets that too.

          For the septic, just add lacto to the tank like you did for the grease trap. The septic tank should be anaerobic so it’s the perfect environment for LAB. In terms of results, I think the biggest advantage is never having to clean the septic tank again! That’s how well LAB consume the waste. I know several cases of that, where people went from having to get the tank cleaned every 6 months, to never having to clean it. Depending on the size of the tank, just pore the LAB down the drain so it makes it into the tank – at home we just flush it down the toilet. Use more or less diluted LAB depending on your need. You can also mix some sugar into the solution before you flush it down, help the LAB population get started.

          Let us know how it goes!!
          Patrick

  • Hi Patrick
    Can I use coco peat to replace wheat bran? It is quite cheap. I can get it at less than USD 3 per big block.

    Intend to slowly “break loose” the block and work with a manageable amount. Then inoculate with the LAB 1:20 + molasses (do I need to further dilute the 1:20 ?). Ferment airtight for 14 days, then sun dry it etc etc.

    Will the coco peat work as a substitute for wheat bran ? If this works, I will be very excited.

    Looking forward to your reply, Thanks
    Elsie

    • Patrick

      Hey Elsie,

      Sorry for the late reply, yep coco peat will work fine! As long as it isn’t too salty still. Coco peat comes in many grades of salinity. I think they would all work actually but the saltier ones probably not as well. Anyway, yep inoculate with LAB and molasses, ferment for 14 days but don’t sun dry! You can dry outside just find a shady spot. Or just seal it up moist and store that way, thats fine especially if you’ll use it soon.

  • i love this site.. my question is can i use rice milk instead of cow’s milk or the powdered milk? since rice milk is cheaper and abundant here in the philippines. i plant rice, cacao, bananas, mangoes, and lots of herbs., i also have chickens and a female goat (haven’t got the chance to have a male goat yet). planning to raise pigs soon. i intend to use LAB in all my plant stuff. thanks and more power. God bless you..

    • Patrick

      Hey Luvin,

      You should use LAB for your animals too! ferment their feed before you give to them. Also for your compost piles, bad smells, spraying down the animal bedding, there are really a ton of uses for this for animals as well as plants.

      As far as your question goes, sorry I think you will have to use normal milk. The idea is that the lactose in milk ensures the LAB are the ones that thrive. I’m not sure rice milk has the lactose content that you need.

      • i have a little confusion with rice bran, is it the local “darak” we used as feeds to pigs? if so, can i use it as a replacement to wheat bran? thanks again..

        • Patrick

          Hi Luvin,

          Yes, the darak you use locally is rice bran, and it’s a perfect substitute for wheat bran. It’s great to use for making bokashi as well.

          Cheers,
          Patrick

          • thanks for the clarification.. i enjoyed farming and making fertilizers and composts, etc.. im also a public school teacher (high school) and i have a herbal garden in school. ill teach my students to make these fertilizers and apply these to our garden.. im so excited 🙂

  • Franck

    Dear Gil and Patrick,

    First thanks for your good work!

    I was wondering whether it’s a good idea or not to add a little bit of worm castings and/or forest soil harvested from the wild to the rice wash? Do worm castings and forest humus contain beneficial lactobacilli? I know that worm castings contain aerobic beneficial microorganisms but I’m not sure whether the beneficial facultative anaerobes potentially present in the worm casting can be or not propagated by this mean?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Patrick

      Hi Franck,

      There isn’t really a need for that step since we really want LAB and those are pretty ubiquitous without needing to add anything. Also, the abundance of microbes in those mediums means more competition with LAB and a higher chance of the serum going bad. But if you want to add just a little bit of those things, doesn’t hurt. The extra microbes should go dormant as LAB take over. Just don’t add to much of them.. Hope this helps..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • nosid naalra

    good day patrick

    may i know if bee honey is a good substitute for sugar/molasses.

    thanks

    • Patrick

      Yep that works ok. Not as good a sugar source because it doesn’t have as many vitamins/minerals, but it works as a sugar source.

  • nosid naalra

    Hi patrick.

    Thank you so much. I’ll try the bee honey.

    More power.

  • prachi

    Hi Patrick,

    Patrick I am from India and in India we make a “home made” milk based yogurt at home which is “Dahi”/ curd, and we churn it to get buttermilk or whey from it. It is a known fact in India that Dahi is a v rich source of lactobaccilus bacteria. we eat this curd / buttermilk almost once a day… and is considered v good for digestive health.
    the wa we make it, boil and bring back milk to lukewarm temp and introduce the dahi culture it sets in 6-8 hours.
    I am wondering can this be not used directly. In indian agriculture..there is also a mention of using buttermilk+ neem oil as pesticide esp for leaf curl. would you have any ideas on this??

    • Patrick

      Hi Prachi,

      Very interesting – that does sound like a good method to get LAB. I’m not familiar with it but I’ll have to read about it, sounds interesting.

      I think you could definitely use it in agriculture – to speed up compost, eliminate smells, aid digestion of animals, basically the same way we use lacto.

      I imagine the buttermilk+neem would be effective because of the better coating achieved using the buttermilk, but I haven’t tried something like this yet.

      I’ve read before though many places advising using milk as a mix for pesticides. Just straight up milk. I think buttermilk would be much better though – more fat for better coating.

      What is the dahi culture? I mean how is it made initially? Anyway time to do some reading. Thanks Prachi!

      Patrick

  • Gian

    Hi Patrick,

    I started to do my first LAB…rice wash is on my 5th day today and I notice white and green molds on top of the water. I read before that in fermentation green molds are bad bacteria. Could I still use the middle part? I intend to do the next step this Sunday since I have already ordered my raw cow’s milk.

    Thanks

    • Patrick

      Hi Gian,

      We really advise to avoid green, yellow, or black molds. Many of those species tend to be pathogenic whereas white are normally healthy. If you are using this for the garden, bokashi bin, sink drain, fine just use it carefully (wouldn’t use as foliar spray in case you inhale it). But I wouldn’t use it as a digestive aid (drink it yourself). Hope it works out for you in any case!

      Thanks,
      Patrick

      • Gian

        I guess I have to throw rice wash that accumulated different color mold aside from white. I use LAB for foliar spray in our orchard.

        Thanks Patrick

      • Gian

        Hi Patrick,

        I harvested already my LAB and kept it with molasses ratio. Did that last saturday, when I looked at it today…there are white spots on top…looks like molds

        • Patrick

          Hmm how much air is there in the vessel? Maybe too much air in there which allowed molds to grow. White molds are actually good, but they shouldn’t grow in there due to the anaerobic conditions, acidity and chemical byproducts of the LAB activities. In any case I would stick with the non-consumption applications for this batch.

          • Gian

            I placed it on a 6 liter capacity water plastic container; 3/4 full but have this contraptions thing hose that releases air inside a water glass. cap on. To prevent it from deforming the plastic container. Now, the white molds stopped but big bubbles are present

          • Patrick

            Haha wow it’s going crazy. That’s fine though, bubbles are ok – just watch for black/green/yellow molds. Sounds like you have a good anaerobic system so it should work out ok.

  • nosid naalra

    hi patrick!
    good day!

    I’m done with my first batch of LAB using rice wash, unpasturized fresh cows milk &
    molasses & all steps were followed until the last step (mixing 1 part concoction to 20 parts unchlorinated water). When I tasted, it did not taste soury at all, unlike the taste of LCTO PAFI that taste soury.(1st question) I wonder if my LAB is a good one, but I’ve already tested it. It works good in eliminating bad odors.(2nd question) Why is it that LACTO PAFI is soury. (3rd question) how make LAB using SOY BEANS.

    thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hi Nosid,

      1. Sour taste is due to acidity. Higher acidity means more sour taste. You get acidity by having those microbes that produce acid+alcohol as byproducts, or pure acid. You can also get higher acidity by leaving it to ferment longer. Normally you will get the right bacteria using this recipe, so you might try leaving it longer to ferment.

      2. As long as your LAB doesn’t smell foul. It might smell a little like wine, vinegar, sour, or little sweet.

      3. I’m not sure how to make LAB using soy beans. Lactobacillus bacteria dominate in this recipe because of the lactose in milk. I’m not sure a reliable way to get LAB without the lactose. I’ll look into it.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • nosid naalra

    good day patrick!

    is it right to use the whey from the 2nd fermentation (1 part rice wash whey + 10 parts milk) as replacement for the rice wash whey?

    i want to skip the 1st fermentation to make my 2nd batch LAB

    thanks

    • Patrick

      I think you can do that. I’ve done it before successfully. Probably get a lower percentage of other bacteria and more LAB this way. Try and let me know how it goes!

  • Dan

    Would you advise giving this to 1-5 year old children?

    • Patrick

      Hey Dan,

      Honestly, I can’t advise anyone drink anything without knowing their medical history and all that. I can say that I drink it no problem, and I know kids drink it no problem. I would follow the directions of other probiotic products like yakult, in that regard. Sorry this is a lame response but you know, safety first. Make sure the batch is good! should smell sour/vinegar/wine maybe a hint of cheese. I think it would be a great addition to a kid’s diet, help fight those bad microbes that come in via fingers, non-food like dirt, etc haha but that’s just me, I would introduce it slowly and go from there..

      Patrick

  • nosid naalra

    i’ll try skipping the 1st fermentation & try to ferment it longer. i’ll let you know later.

    thank you so much patrick.

  • jb

    Hi and thanks for the awesome site!

    My first batch I kept a t-shirt over the top instead of completely anaerobic. The milk seperated into levels and such, but the lacto did have a super strong cheesey/alcohol smell to it which was probably it going bad because it only lasted a couple months refrigerated before definitely being foul.

    My latest batch I used UHT long-life milk (cheap) and went outta the way to keep it covered and anaerobic. It didn’t seem to really seperate like before where the curds floated. it was more like all the liquid slowly turning to cheese. the resulting cheese also had pink spots and a small mould film in places on top – chucked it regretfully since id be drinking it. Was it the milk that caused bad seperating or maybe a rice wash that wasnt populated enough due to cold weather here?Thanks!

    • Patrick

      Actually your first batch sounds fine, it should smell a little like cheese/alcohol/vinegar/sour. If you think it’s going sour, add more molasses.

      Hmm good questions regarding the UHT milk. I kinda avoid that stuff since it’s so processed – the more natural the better in my view although theoretically it should work just fine. How long did you leave it to ferment? the mold infection means it didn’t ferment quite correctly in terms of organisms present and their products (lactic acid), so maybe it was the rice wash. maybe leave the rice wash under a lamp to keep it warm for a few days and try again..

  • Wanna be farmer

    I used organic pasteurized milk. The whole batch seemed to work but after a week it was all curds and no whey/LAB. What caused overproduction of curd? Homogenization? Contamination? Thanks for help if anyone has ran into this problem. I’m well versed in fermenting veggies but haven’t done dairy ferments much.

    • Patrick

      Wow, all curd, that’s wild. Not sure the issue, too much fat in your milk? try using cheese cloth to squeeze the LAB outta there. Anyone have suggestions?

      • just a guess… maybe all the liquids evaporated and only the curds are left. was the container left under the sun? the preparation should be placed in a cool shaded place.. i don’t know if this analysis is right, kindly correct me if im wrong..

  • prachi

    hey Patrick,

    Thank you for responding to me earlier. Dahi culture.. is a specific kind of culture which is introduced into milk; its a local knowledge this culture is v rich in lactobacillus….its v easily available in india.

    I always wanted to share a v interesting recipe …this is one of the v old age recipe in India actually from the old scriptures directly. I am brewing it..just started a batch. i used some which i bought from the market it helped my plants a lot so wanted to do a DIY. this one uses, curd as well as milk.

    Recipe- panchagavya:

    1. In Sanskrit, Panchagavya means the blend of five products obtained from cow. (All these five products are individually called ‘Gavya’ and collectively termed as ‘Panchagavya’) It contains ghee, milk, curd, cow dung and cow’s urine. Panchagavya had reverence in the scripts of Vedas (devine scripts of Indian wisdom) and Vrkshyurveda (Vrksha means plants and ayurveda means health system). The texts on Vrkshayurveda are systematizations of the practices the farmers followed at field level, placed in a theoretical framework and it defined certain plant growth stimulants; among them Panchagavya was an important one that enhanced the biological efficiency of crop plants and the quality of fruits and vegetables (Natarajan, 2002).

    For making approx. 20 litres of panchagavya you need the following:
    * Fresh cow dung – 5kg
    * Fresh cow’s urine – 3 litres
    * Cow’s milk – 2 litres
    * Cow’s curd – 2 litres
    * Cow’s ghee – 500 gms
    * Jaggery – 500 gms/ molasses
    * Water or sugarcane juice – 3 litres
    * Ripe banana fruit – 1 bunch (12 nos.)
    * Tender coconut water – 3 litres
    * toddy – 2 litres
    (If toddy is not available, you can ferment 3 litres of tender coconut water by keeping it in a pot for 1 week. That will become toddy. )

    Method of preparation:
    * Take 5 kgs of fresh cow dung and mix it thoroughly with 500 gms of cow’s ghee and keep it in a plastic drum or a mud pot. It should not be kept in a metal container because it will corrode and react with the metal. Keep the ghee and the cow dung mixture for 4 days, mixing it twice a day.
    * On the 5th day add cow’s urine, cow’s milk (cow’s milk can be boiled, cooled and then added) and cow’s curd, then jaggery with water or sugarcane juice and banana fruit (which has to be mashed and mixed thoroughly.) Then tender coconut water has to be added.
    * Wait for another 15 days, stirring twice daily. Stirring the contents for about 20 minutes each time facilitates aerobic microbial activity.
    * On the 19th day the panchagavya solution will be ready. This solution must be kept under a net, i.e. it must be covered with a muslin or fine cloth so that the common fly cannot sit on it and lay eggs. For use after 19th day, stir the mixture at least once a day to aerate it.

    Application
    200ml of this solution can be diluted with 10 litres of water with proper stirring for spraying on plants. For soil application, dilute 1000ml in 10litres of water.

    Periodicity of use
    Once in 15 days, it can be used for all crops. In winter crops, 1.5-2% usage is sufficient but for all other crops 3% should be used.

    pls google it..very eager to know your thoughts o this one!

    cheers!

    prachi

    • Patrick

      Wow, very interesting Prachi! That’s a cool recipe. I like it for the fact it utilizes farmyard inputs to create a really nice fertilizer. Looks like cow dung, urine, milk, curd for nitrogen – jaggery, sugarcane, toddy for nutrients and sugar – and bananas for potassium and more sugar – what a cool recipe! I can think of some interesting ways to tweak it, like adding a bubbler for more oxygen or in the other direction sealing it to keep it anaerobic (although that would be tough since it has the dung which is so biologically active, I’d think it could easily go bad)…

      I’ll have to google it and dig in a bit more, I like those old proven DIY recipes..

      We will have to open an area of the site for this and other recipes to be shared. I am working on this, so I’ll keep in mind your recipe when it opens.

      Thanks for sharing Prachi! That is awesome!

      Patrick

  • Tim

    Can I put horse manure and ferment it a bokashi system

    • Patrick

      Well, yes you can but you have to be careful with manure because it is very biologically active and not always (frequently not) the good bacteria. I would limit the amount of manure you include, use a lot of sugar and a healthy dose of lactobacillus. Maybe brew an activated lacto mixture for this application, to maximize the LAB population beforehand.

      • Tim

        Patrick,

        I was looking on the back of a box of Rid-S (septic tank helper stuff) and as far as I can tell, it is the same as Bokashi Bran. I was wondering if that could be used if someone just wanted to try Bokashi composting and wasn’t patient enough to make their own?

        Tim

  • Scott

    Hi Patrick,

    So it’s in the middle of winter here in the great PNW and I started my carbohydrate wash a week ago and smelled it for the first time today and was quite surprised. It smells of Phenol, which is new to me as I remember a more sour aroma in the past. I am wondering if being winter might have something to do with it. Either it’s in too cold an environment, or the winter spores in the air have less lacto in it. It probably averages anywhere from 50F to 60F in my house where it’s left to ferment.

    Any thoughts? Nice FLOG by the way!

    -Scott

    • Patrick

      Heeeyyy greetings to the GREAT PNW – man I miss that place.

      Good question…it’s kinda tough to make this stuff in winter back there in PNW.. I did before on a christmas trip home and it worked ok actually but I left the ferments by the fire where they were kept quite warm for at least part of the day. I’d recommend you keep the rice wash warm – put it near the heater, or use an aquarium heater to keep it warm. That should help.

      As far as using the rice wash you made… you can try using that with milk and see if it works. Keep the milk warm during fermentation if you can and see if that helps. Any other questions let me know.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • silcax

    hi sir.. tried culturing these.. but after adding milk to the middle layer and waiting couple of days , it develops white worms on it.. is it normal?what shoud be done to eliminate it?

  • Scott

    …got to thinking and since the rice wash may of went bad, why not just inoculate my milk with a Tbls or two of live culture yogurt that I have in my fridge? Don’t you think this would work fine? If not, why?

    Thanks,

    Scott

    • Patrick

      Hey Scott,

      We really just use the rice wash to get a wider variety of microbes. You can use the yogurt no problem and that should work, you’ll just get a little more variety through the rice technique.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • silcax

    hi sir.. tried culturing these.. but after adding milk to the middle layer and waiting couple of days , it develops white worms on it.. is it normal?what shoud be done to eliminate it?

    update

    i harvested it now , seems that worms are getting many as day passes by..im planning to
    just use this as sprayer and not use this orally. is that okay?talking about those white worms, does it have bad effects on the lacto bacillus already present on the solution? because its my first time making this i found that the odor has small touch of vinegar.you agree or im wrong with my assesment? thanks sir

    • Patrick

      Hey Silcax,

      that all sounds great. The vinegar type smell is perfectly normal and a sign of successful fermentation. The ‘worms’ are most likely fly larvae that got in there from flies laying eggs around it. No worries, they won’t spoil the solution. You can use it around the house and garden no problem, it should be great!

      If you don’t want the worms in it, next time cover very tightly with a very fine mesh screen. That will keep the flies out and you shouldn’t have larvae in there.

      • silcax

        tnx that was helpul

  • Tim

    sorry that was Rid-X

    • Patrick

      Hey Tim!

      Ha, I just posted an article on bokashi here actually. Well you can try it! try using it as bokashi bran and let me know how it goes. Although I think it’s more fun to make your own haha. 🙂

  • silcax

    can i still use my cultured lacto bacillus even there are white worms that suddenly sprouted of of nowhere/// .. i already harvested it but on standby and waiting for your advise..worms developed after adding milk to the 3 day old rice wash .thanks in advance

    • Patrick

      hmm sounds like you got some flies in there. The worms are fine, no worries. I don’t know if I would drink it myself but for sure its fine in all the other applications.

  • dexter tamayo

    im on the final stage of making lactobacillus serum where 1 part of lactobacillus infection (strained rice wash )and 10 parts of milk are mixed, after a week of fermentation i notice that there are tiny white worms moving on top of it , i just want to ask if am i still on the right track or do i need to make a new one

    • silcax

      same concern with yours..hope someone will answer.thanks

      • Patrick

        Hey guys,

        That is fine, tiny white molds are fine. I would caution you if you see any other colors, especially yellow, green or black. Also I would drain off the fluid now and store in a sealed container with sugar (the next step). Anyway keep the fermentation as anaerobic as possible that will help ensure a good population of white molds.

        sorry for the late reply hope you guys didn’t throw it out, it should be fine.

        Cheers,
        Patrick

        • Aldrin

          Hi Patrick Good day. Is it tiny white molds or tiny white worms (dexter tamayo and silcax they are asking.

          • Patrick

            Oh sorry about that, should be tiny white worms. The tiny white worms are fly larva (maggots). If you are using the lacto around the house/garden it should be fine. If you are planning to drink the lacto for digestion, you might consider making a new batch and covering with cheese cloth or something to keep the flies out. However the acidic lacto should be safe and pathogen free, fly maggots or no. 🙂

  • Aljaž

    Did you, Patrick or Gil, ever did this?
    I took pure LB serum, added equal part of molasses and 20 parts of water.
    This is now waiting on 90+ F degrees, sealed, to ferment until bubbling stops.
    Intention is to to culture and multiply LB as much possible.
    What do you think?

    • Patrick

      Oh yeah! I’ve done that a lot, actually I’m working on a “continuous brewing” method where you just keep adding sugarwater as you drain it off.

      We call that the “activated BIM” or “activated Lacto” recipe. It is an awesome way to mulitply the microbes before use, makes a powerful microbial inoculant when you’re done! Just make sure you dilute it appropriately so you don’t shock the system you’re applying it to.

  • shawn

    Hai patrick i ve made on third day i found my serum look clear white instead of light yellow as per info.ami in correct path?

    • Patrick

      Hi Shawn, that should be fine. Is there curd starting to collect at the top?

      • shawn

        Yes i already strain it at day 5 then mixed it up wit brown sugar.than do i need to wait another week for brown sugar and serum stabilised so dat i cn use it?

        • Patrick

          You don’t have to wait the week for it to stabilize, but it will stabilize over time, yes.

  • Gaston

    Hello Patrick and Gil

    Me again! Got another question (or two or three) I am afraid 🙂
    Bokashi buckets are doing well it seems and I got worm bin(s) going in my living room 🙂 as well as another bin with worm castings I harvested early ( still high in the peat I use for worm bedding). I inoculated the castings- peat with bokashi bran I purchased ( made with E-M 1 since I did not have serum or BIM and, well, it’s winter here). The hope is that by feeding sugar periodically as well as fish hydrolysate ( for fungal) I can use it as an inoculant for my potted plants in the spring.

    Thanks for your patience and I’ve written all of that for a reason soon to be revealed 🙂 See, I have started a batch of serum as the first one I did in December with chlorinated water in the wash did not work. This one looks great so far. I love looking around on the web and found something that interested me : I learned what you already knew, that this that is that there is many, many species of lactobacillus, divided in categories and I am assuming gil’s method attracts more than one kind. As I am sure you have figured out my upcoming questions by now let’s just get to the Point!!! They are all good for our purpose are they? I have read one of your post something to the effect the workhorse in E-M is Lacto so there is probably some of those in my serum right? Further and that’s the main question: I read they are everywhere, like in manures and bread even in some cases. Would it be worthwhile to get rice wash infected in many locations over time and MIX THEM as to have the most TYPES together as possible. Would that be beneficial to attempt or are there just a bunch of them in the air all around us, enough anyhow?? …
    Sorry for the length of the post 🙂 and once again thanks so very much to both of you for doing this. It’s so much fun and i’ve learned so much from the two of you so far.

    Gaston

    • Patrick

      Hey Gaston no trouble at all that’s why the site is up. Yep, lacto species are literally everywhere including the air, they are just ubiquitous in the environment. So to address your question, yes and yes. Yes, you can use the rice wash in one place and collect all the microbes you need to make a good lactobacillus serum. And also, yes I’m sure varying the locations of your wash and then mixing them together will result in a more diverse lacto culture. Especially natural environments, different natural habitats like we do to collect BIM microbes. Note here, you are collecting more than just lacto microbes from the air and environment, that’s why we use the wash instead of just inoculating with a lacto culture to start with. It’s just that by then inundating with milk (lactose source), you are ensuring the dominance of the lacto species. There are others in there, but they will be either destroyed by the lacto or will go dormant until environmental conditions permit them to be active again. While some lacto species aren’t really good for our purposes, adding the milk really gives the competitive advantage to the useful ones.

      EM-1 is an awesome inoculant and if you haven’t made BIM or lacto serum, it is a great option although a little pricey compared to the cost of the homemade extracts, hah. You saw correctly before, the real workhorse in the EM1 or BIM is the lacto bacteria – you can achieve the fermenting results you want using just the lacto serum no problem.

      Hope this helps. Keep on fermenting. 🙂

      Patrick

  • darryl

    i have a few questions…when letting the rice wash sit do i use a bottle with a one way valve?
    (i purchased a few for this purpose) becaused i keep seeing it said that that process is a fermentation process… or does the rice wash need to be exposed to air? so that the microbes can get in?
    also unpasturized milk is illegal in canada…odd i know but it is…the only thing i can find that seems close is a 1% mf pasturized “natural” milk by a company called nutrel, i have no idea what the natural means? but it cost alot more can i use pasturized milk as it will still have lactose in it? but they have cooked out microbes =(

    • Patrick

      Hi Darryl,

      Yep, leave the rice wash to sit out, it will get infected with microbes. Don’t cover it at this stage (it’s only for a short time, until it sours). Any lactose source is fine, so any milk will do actually. The more natural the better, but any of them will work. I just made a batch with super-treated UHT milk because it’s all I had access to at the time. No problem.

      • darryl

        wow, thank you patrick…im excited now that my milk is going to work =). ok so since you are awsome and super responsive(im loving this) im going to explain my set-up and hopefully you can explain if i am doing anything wrong and what tweeks to make to the set-up. so….i have to rice wash in a mason jar with a coffee filter placed over the jar before the ring. the ring is tightened down all the way because air can permeate the coffee filter. I then placed the disc of the mason jar lid loosely ontop. the whole deal is wrapped in a black towel for darkness, and placed ontop of a seedling heat-mat with thermostat set to 87 Fahrenheit
        should i be putting it in complete darkness? or does it need light? or does it not matter?
        should i leave out the coffee filter or the disc in the lid set-up? or change it some other way?
        its winter and minus 20 Celsius here in Canada so, im pretty sure i need to heat it my apartment is freezing…. What temperature would be ideal? ….sorry for all the questions im just a bit of a perfectionist…i literally bought all the stuff for just this…also 4x 1 gallon wine fermenting bottles with the water airlock rubber stopper lids =) for the final ferment and for making FPE and all the other goodies on your website =)

        • Patrick

          Hey Darryl,

          Ha, glad you are enjoying the site and our recipes! Ok to answer your questions:

          1. When I leave the rice wash out, I usually just cover it with a mesh screen that stops the bigger bugs. I like to give it as much chance to get infected with microbes as possible. You only leave it out a few days to sour anyway, so it’s not a problem to leave it pretty well exposed. The heat mat will be great for encouraging microbial growth, good move there. As far as darkness, I just say ‘no direct sunlight’ but besides that ok. So any shady place should be fine.

          2. Ideal temperature would be around body temp actually, around 37 degrees Celsius. Pretty far from minus 20, where are you, Calgary? Haha I guess a ton of cities there are around that temp. I miss Vancouver, I gradded from UBC so I spent some good years in that city before moving out to the Philippines. Anyway ideally pretty warm like I mentioned, but if your seed mat can only do 87 F then that should be fine also no worries. Anything above about 60 F will be very productive for microbial growth.

          Wow that is pretty neat you got all the good gear for our stuff! I don’t even have that good of gear, it’s hard to find that stuff here in the Philippines! You’re gonna love some of the material I have lined up – expanding on what’s there already. Ok I think that about covers it, any other questions let me know.

          Cheers,
          Patrick

          • darryl

            hey patrick, thank you so much brother that was perfect, you answered all my questions perfectly. I actually live in Oshawa, Ontario atm….i did live in calgary for awhile and airdrie just north of calgary and also Fort Mcmurray alberta just south of the yukon… i used to work in the oilsands…couoldnt take how evil it was up there…i never made it to vancouver i really wish i had but i was always to busy for road trips. thats interesting you’re from vancouver! were you born here? or in the phillippines? and if born here and moved there and dont mind me asking, what was your reason for moving there? i have always wanted to move to somewhere like that…my uncle lives in thailand its beautiful. as a matter of fact i was reading about the live in apprenticeship programs offered threw your guys farm and that looks like an awsome place to start.
            im definately excited for anything you add to this site…i have read the whole thing i think now…btw sorry for asking you about the uht milk before reading all the questions and answers…i could have found my answer if i had just done more work instead of making you do the extra work to explain it a 5th time =) my bad =)

          • Patrick

            Haha no worries, I really need to set up a FAQ since there are some questions that are pretty common. Can’t expect people to read through 200+ comments. Well the forum is for that, it’s coming soon.

            So I was actually born and raised in Oregon on a 40 acre hobby farm, that is the way to grow up man… Then went to uni at UBC, actually dated a girl from fort mcmurray for awhile there, I visited the city also – I know what you mean, lots of money and nothing to do is trouble. I actually came to the Phils to visit a friend who was working here….and never left! That was 6yrs ago now so I guess I’m settled in for a bit haha.

            Hey you should look into the apprenticeship program if you’re looking for an interesting experience. Actually the apprenticeship program is “closed” but replaced right now with the farmstay program. Limited formal classroom work but tons of experience on the farm (which I think makes more sense anyway). Lot’s of work with Gil and executing projects around his farm. It’s extremely cheap and your room and board is free, so it’s a neat cheap way to learn about natural farming – and execute!

  • Aljaž

    “We call that the “activated BIM” or “activated Lacto” recipe. It is an awesome way to mulitply the microbes before use, makes a powerful microbial inoculant when you’re done! Just make sure you dilute it appropriately so you don’t shock the system you’re applying it to.”
    Already asked in BIM recipe, here again… what would this appropriately dulition rates be?

  • Gaston

    Hello Patrick

    Got another question if you don’t mind. My lacto batch seems to have worked great. Only three days on a seed mat for warmth and when I checked the curd on top was like an inch thick or even more, the liquid was light yellow so i harvested. If you keep it longer does it get yellower, hence stronger? Also, I elected to keep it in the fridge rather than use sugar. When I use it should I still used it 20:1 Ga or more since there is no sugar?

    Thanks in advance.
    Gaston

    • Patrick

      Typically we mix 1:1 with sugar, so I would dilute it 1:40 with water when you use. But you can’t use too much, if it were me I’d probably stick with 1:20 anyway :)..

      • Gaston

        🙂 thanks Patrick!!!

  • Becky Keith

    Hey,
    I am just getting started creating an aquaponics system . I have read a bunch of you post and can’t wait to mix a batch. However my question is about another possible use for the lactobacillus. I was on another site regarding making yogurt from scratch without using a yogurt culture. Can this be added to raw whole milk to make a starter yogurt culture?

    • Patrick

      Not sure I follow your question, you mean use the yogurt instead of the rice wash? You can do that no problem. We use the rice wash so that we capture natural microbes from the area, and get a higher diversity not just laco spp. But you can use a bit of yogurt to get the fermentation started.

      • Becky Keith

        A young woman was asking how to make yogurt from scratch. All the recipes start with having to buy yogurt at the store for a starter to make yogurt. She said then what happens in a SHTF event when there are no more stores to buy yogurt. I know you are making lactobacillus for a different use. My question was can you use your mixture to start yogurt and cheese? As a starter? It seems like it would work to me. Wouldn’t it be the same as a yogurt starter?

        • Patrick

          Yep, for sure you can use lacto as a starter culture. It would work great! I think some types of cheese rely on specific lacto species so you’d want to use the proper starter for those, but in general lacto would be an excellent starter.

  • Adam

    Hi guys,

    I’m having problems with storing my Lacto/molasses solution. At room temp thye bottles swell up and pressure builds in the bottle. I haven’t had a bottle burst yet as i keep opening the cap to let out some of the pressure. Have i not added sufficient molasses to stabilize it? Should i add more molasses? Isn’t the molasses suppose to stabilize of neutralize (for lack of a better word) the Lacto? Have I added the Lacto to the molasses to early and it hasn’t finished separating the curds and whey?
    Any suggestions for a remedy would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers
    Adam

    • Patrick

      That’s ok, it is just stabilizing, the microbes are still working, until they reach an equilibrium. Just keep cracking it to release the CO2 buildup and it will slow down and stop eventually. Try to store it in a bottle with limited space at the top, you don’t want to store it half full in a bottle ideally.

  • darryl

    so i filled my bottles to the top with the milk and rice wash water and once it started to ferment it expanded (tons of bubbles inside get trapped in the thick curd/whey/milk water) when it expanded it went all the way threw my airlock lid and onto my carpet. i mean alot!!!! my carpet is being ripped up tomorrow….PATRICK plz add something to the begining explaining this fact so no one else ruins a grand worth of carpet trying to make this….that should be in the instructions

    • darryl

      kinda over reacted sorry for goin all capitals on ya hahaha =) anyhow not a grand to replace just 150 to be cleaned by a pro…plz do add that to the instructions tho i think it will help ppl cuz that sucked smelled really bad and i had to sleep on the couch after that one

      • Patrick

        Darryl – apologies dude that sucks! My bad, I will amend the recipe now. Ouch, the couch, just surprised there no curses in that first post.. 🙂

        • darryl

          all good brother…i definately wouldnt just start cursing at you cuz of that, that wouldnbt be very canadian of me haha =) anyhow my lacto serum is done only took 4 days on my heat mat at 35 C doesnt really look yellow tho… looks kinda how the rice wash water looked originally…excited to get started using it…i came up with a way to store the serum right to the top of the bottle even as it is being used from the bottle. just simply add small sterilized glass marbles into the bottle as it is used up to displace the lacto serum so it is always filled to the top =)

          • Patrick

            ha, that’s why we’re planning to settle in Canada – people are a little more relaxed…

            No worries about the color of the serum, it can be white instead of yellow, I think it depends on the milk you’re using. That is an awesome method of keeping the level in the jar up!! haha simple and effective, I love it.

          • Chelsa

            Thanks for that tidbit Darryl! The marbles is a brilliant idea. I’ve been wondering what I should do about the airspace that is created when I use the LB. I was thinking I’d have to constantly switch out the containers to smaller and smaller jars. Your idea is perfectly brilliant! You and Gaston ask all the questions I wonder about.

          • Patrick

            Ha, awesome. 🙂

  • Anne

    I have a poultry farm i would like to know if its okay for me to spray the lacto on the chicken manure to the reduce odor? If yes what is your recommended dilution? I already have the lacto with me im just not sure if its safe for me to spray it straight to the manure. Thank you very much!

    • Patrick

      Hi Anne,

      It is ideal for manure! And incredibly effective in reducing those types of odors (ammonia). Spray away. You can spray everywhere – on the manure, on the chickens, on yourself, anywhere.. doesn’t matter. These microbes are everywhere anyway, this is just a concentrated form. You can dilute 1tbsp/L. Then get progressively more dilute over time, down to 1tbsp/gal and less.

      You will be startled with how effective this treatment is. I can’t wait for you to try it. With things like pigs and pig pens, its miraculous. To not smell a piggery 10 ft away from you – that’s pretty cool.

      • Anne

        Thank you very much patrick!! Cant wait to try it tomorrow!

        • Anne

          Im sorry patrick. One last query. How long will the diluted form last? Thanks!

          • Patrick

            No worries Anne, the diluted form, I keep in the fridge and it keeps pretty well that way. But as you use a lot of it and more airspace exists in the container it gets less effective. I use it for anywhere from a couple weeks to a month or so. Kept in the fridge it’s pretty stable.

  • darryl

    is there a certain reason for mixing the serum 1 to 20 with water?…and then using 1-2 tablespoons per liter of that? could i just keep the serum as is and use 1/8 – 1/4 of a teaspoon of the pure stuff per liter? or is there a reason for the 1 to 20 mixture?

    • Gaston

      hahaha. great question I was wondering the same.

    • Patrick

      Well when you dilute the first time, with 20 parts water, you are kinda ‘activating’ the lacto. With more dilution they are liberated from the osmotic pressure of the sugar and can multiply once again, that’s how I was taught anyway. You don’t need to do this step, you can do it how you’re describing no problem. I think you will get more life from the bottle and more effect doing the dilutions though.

      Now, the second dilution, the last one, I don’t always follow. For example taking it internally – just just pour a little lacto in the glass and drink it. Mix it with half a glass of water for my wife, who is absolutely repulsed by the taste but loves shrimp bagoong, go figure :).

      • darryl

        makes sence…but what about the pure lacto serum kept in the fridge with no sugar added? cuz that how i did it. if you dilute 20 to 1 the serum from the fridge wouldnt have any sugars in the diluted solution for them to feed on and multiply. so should i be making the diluted mixture from the fridge serum and adding sugar to do it propperly and get the desired results? or should i just be making the sugar/lacto mixture because in the end that makes the best diluted mixture?

        • Patrick

          ahh, ya if you don’t add 1:1 sugar with the pure lacto, I’m not sure how much benefit you’ll get diluting it in the first 1:20 dilution. So you might as well use the pure lacto in that case just much lower application rates since you’re skipping the 1:20 dilution.

          I think the 1:1 with sugar and then 1:20 initial dilution is “best” but your method works fine. No rules here..

          • darryl

            patrick, your awesome, i really appreciate all your help…this site with you running it has been the best find ever. =) i am having so much fun with this..

          • Patrick

            No worries! I love this stuff I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and get other people having fun with it. Glad to see you sticking with it through thick and thin 😀

          • Gaston

            Yeah Darryl, I have been experimenting with it and do the 1:20 (100ml in a 2l empty plastic ctn), without sugar and keeping it in the fridge and then I use that to mix in a spray bottle but I use more, like four -six table spoons per per litre, still without the sugar and I am getting great results. It’s serious ‘smells be gone’, I have stuff composting aerobically in my garage that was a little ‘rich’ Pfffff smells, what smells? (using de-chlorinated water of course). Following your post I am thinking of benchmarking with adding a little sugar in the initial 1:20 dilution, leave it out of the fridge and see. I have a hunch I’d be able to stretch it longer since I would probably allow it to multiply on it’s own and hence use less but up where I live milk is cheaper than sugar so…. 🙂

            I second, it’s the best site ever and it’s so nice to be able to talk about the recipes 🙂

  • Derek

    My lab turned slightly pink, is this bad?

    • Patrick

      I’ve heard of that happening to people but it hasn’t happened to me personally so I have a hard time answering that. I would just use it around the house and garden but not take it internally. I think it’s fine but better to be safe in any case..

  • Sarah

    I’m curious if anyone has successfully eliminated black molds with this substance. Where I live, mildew and mold proliferate. They even grow in the trunk of my car due to a leak. I understand that odors are managed, but molds? I’d love to learn more. Thank you!

    • Patrick

      I have had success personally combating molds with this, and for cases where that did not work, I used the ginger-garlic extract. It is very effective on tough molds. Make a batch and try on your molds and see if you can combat them that way. I think in general this is better as a preventative measure, while for tough molds you would need something stronger and more anti-fungal, like the ginger-garlic extract.

  • Khaessha Arsenal

    Hello Mr. Gil Carandang, I and my research group mates are having a study on the efficiency of LAB as a degrading agent to solid wastes. And we used one of your articles on Korean Natural Farming as reference. We were just wondering if this LAB would be effective or if you have already tried it on Solid Waste.

    • Patrick

      I will pass this on to Gil. I can tell you though, it is very effective on solid wastes. This is the recipe to follow if you want to make lacto and test it for your study.

  • Becky Keith

    Thanks for all the great info. We had the bad luck to have a commercial chicken farm move in behind our property. If the wind is coming from that direction the smell is horrific. Whew I thought the paper mill the next town over was bad till this operation set up. I plan to go and have a chat with them and see if they know about this or would be willing to give it a try. Lol of course I plan to also use it on my pre-teen stinky boys to see if it helps. Their shoes and BO can rival the chicken farm some days.

    • Patrick

      Oh man, can you have them get in touch with me? I would love to convince them to implement lacto spraying on their farm.. it is incredibly effective in this capacity, you would not even notice the farm once they get going using the lacto. I would love to get a case study as well, your perspective and theirs together would make an excellent case study. I will give whatever support they need, and I promise you will all be happier for it, those smells can be terrible and lacto just destroys them – particularly manure/decay type smells like chicken/pig farms.

  • I make sourdough starter for making bread. If I add powdered milk to the bread dough with the starter, will the lacto develop and will the lacto digest the gluten in the bread? If so I suspect baking will kill the lacto. If they have already digested the gluten in the wheat, it shouldn’t matter. I appreciate your help.

    • Patrick

      Hi Rosalie,

      Good question, I’m not sure on this one… maybe one of our unconventional farmers can help out here? My guess is “no, it won’t work unfortunately” but I’m not sure.. Sorry I can’t help you more there..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Rosalie

        Patrick,
        I actually made sourdough rye bread using my home made starter to which I added 4 cups of milk powder (made about 25 loaves of bread) to see if the lacto would develop. Adding the milk powder and letting it ferment over night did produce a different result with obvious additional fermentation that I have not seen in previous batches of sourdough bread. Since Lacto is the digestive bacteria, it seems it should digest that gluten. The sourdough starter I had made was already fermented so it had some kind of bacteria existing before adding the milk powder. How can I know what kind of bacteria
        I have cultivated. My goal is to make wheat/rye bread that a gluten intolerant person can eat. People who are wheat intolerant can digest my current sourdough bread. How can I tell what kind of bacteria exists in my bread dough?

        • Patrick

          Hi Rosalie,

          If you are seeing fermentation in the presence of high quantities lactose, it should be lactic acid bacteria doing the fermenting, as opposed to yeast or other bacterias. As far as knowing for sure what species or even genus – you’d have to look at it under a microscope or send it to a lab I think. I would be more interested in testing your breads for gluten after trying the new recipe – see if the LAB consumed the gluten. Can you test that?

  • Rosalie

    I don’t know how to test for gluten in my bread. Do you? The only thing I know to do
    would to ask a person with gluten intolerance to try it. I know that sourdough bread is easier for people with problems to digest. That is without the added milk powder.
    If the gluten is predigested by lacto, that would be quite an innovation considering the number of people going gluten free. I have a small bakery with a small number of customers. If I could prove that the gluten has been digested, the financial reward would be pretty great. If I send you some of the bread, could you tell if the gluten is gone by looking at it under your microscope? Or how can I find out?

    • Patrick

      Hi Rosalie,

      I’m not sure how to test for gluten, I would look online and see if you can find a lab that will test that for you. It will cost a bit but I think you should find something.. Anyway try making it and see how that goes first. Then maybe ask someone who is intolerant if they’d be willing to be a guinea pig, haha. Then have it analyzed if all goes well, so you’re sure. Could be amazing if it works!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Nik Amin

    Hi Gil & Patrick,
    Hope U r in great health.
    I read Luvin post on using LAB to his rice field. The result was better than the last season.
    My question r
    1 . What is the ratio used?
    2. When do U spray and how many time?
    Tqvm, Ur website r so insightful and very helpful

    • hello nik amin,
      so glad you have read my post regarding the LAB on my rice field. I followed the 1:20 dilution and used 2tbsp of that to one liter of non-chlorinated water. I sprayed it before the flowering stage and since i made only a little amount of LAB, i was only able to spray once during the whole cropping stage. I believe applying it on a once-a-week basis would be best. I already have prepared another batch of LAB and Fish ferment to be used for the next cropping season comes june (planting season). i will add the FPE and the OHN to my preparations as soon as i got the materials ready. im looking forward to an increase on my crops next season. i will be posting it soon. harvest season will be by september. 🙂

    • Patrick

      Hi Nik,

      Hopefully Luvin can answer that. I can just say, use the application ratio we suggest. You can spray as often or little as you like. I would combine nutrients with the LAB, let it sit 1-2 days, and then use that. Use that technique whenever you normally apply nutrients.
      cheers – Patrick

  • Arvin M.

    Hi Patrick,

    First off I’d like to thank you and Gil for the amazing work that you guys do. Most of the gratitude is freely you share the experience and knowledge. Also for creating an environment where people can readily share their ideas.

    I’m just a hobbyist doing a little organic gardening at home and your site has proven to be a most essential companion.
    It’s like getting that chemistry set that I always wanted as a child!

    This time I’d like to share a small twist I made with your Lacto Serum recipe.
    I’ve been fermenting milk using the standard rice wash and milk recipe, but had very little luck in getting curds that are solid
    enough to strain cleanly. What happens is I end up mixing the concoction up, and using the whole thing as the final serum. I think it has something to do the with milk since I’ve only been able to get UHT processed ones in the groceries.

    Anyway, I’ve also been reading up on the different strains of lactobacilli and decided to experiment on one strain that’s cheap and readily available (available in most 7-11 stores here in Manila).

    Here’s what i did: (lactobacillus casei serum)

    1) bought 2 liters of cheap UHT full cream milk, bought 3 Yakult bottles (@10 pesos per bottle).
    2) put 1 liter of milk in a sauce pan and brought it to a boil (once bubbles formed I quickly took it off the stove).
    3) added the remaining 1 liter of milk.
    4) poured it into pitcher and let it cool down to a temp a little warmer than body temp (40 deg celsius guesstimate)
    5) poured 2 small bottles of Yakult into the milk (i drank the third bottle because it’s my favorite)
    6) put on the pitcher cover and covered it with a black t-shirt. set it on top of my closet.

    I did everything last night, and now (in a little less than 24 hours) i’ve got what i assume to be very good curd and whey separation:

    https://scontent-b-lax.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/1620386_10152116459306319_4217804375296503580_n.jpg

    Although, I really hope it’s the lactobacillus casei (Shirota strain!) multiplying and not just wishful thinking.

    Thanks for reading. More power to you! (I never really understood what that phrase means. Would be nice if you get super mutant powers every time someone said that to you)

    -Arvin

    • Patrick

      Great post Arvin, thanks for sharing! With picture and everything, nice!

      Thanks for contributing your recipe, I’m sure others will find it interesting!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • yash

        hey i added sporlac capsule in it to improve bacterial counts is it fine?

        • Patrick

          Hey Yash, that shouldn’t be a problem, they are related species so they should play nice.. 🙂

    • norm : ))~

      alvin…
      your wrote
      >I think it has something to do the with milk since I’ve only been able to get UHT processed ones in the groceries.

      we get a good curd using Nestle BEAR BRAND powdered milk mixed as directed on the package.

      good luck…
      norm : ))~

      • Patrick

        Hey norm thanks for the info! So I guess it’s just the amount of fat in the milk, regardless of whether it is liquid, powdered, or what!

        Thanks for sharing your experience, thats awesome!

        Patrick

  • Anne

    Hi patrick!

    I just wanted to make sure if i was doing the right thing. I have my pure lacto mixed it with same amount of molasses. I just store it in a 4gallon plastic container. And when i need to use it i just do the 1:20 dilution. Am i doing the right thing or would you rather recommend that the lacto be refrigerated? Thanks again!!

    • Patrick

      You can leave it out since it is half sugar. But when using, you dilute it TWICE… so dilute it 1:20.. And then dilute THAT solution when applying, normally 1-2 tbsp/gal depending on application. The 1:20 should be stored in fridge for longer term.

  • Lichen

    Molasses has fiber added!
    Gil or Patrick,
    Beautiful write up and pictures, thanks! I bought a 50-pound bag of animal feed molasses, mixed it into my beautiful whey 1:1. It came out gooey and grainy. Oops, I read the fine print — the molasses bag has a second ingredient of 15% plant fiber! I hate to waste the whey and the bag of molasses. I thought of two possibilities: 1) Store the batch in refrigerator as is. Do the first 1:20 dilution, and attempt to strain out the plant fiber from this first thinner dilution. 2) Add some milk to the main batch, leave it at room temperature, and see if the wee lacto beasties will eat the grain fiber.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated, and thanks for all you do.

    • Lichen

      OK, I went on with the first 1:20 dilution. It is quite liquid & I think I can strain out the grain fiber.

      • Patrick

        Ya that should work.. sorry for the late reply, busy days here in Manila..

    • Patrick

      Hey Lichen,

      The first 2 options would work fine.. The microbes will likely have a hard time digesting the fiber, but they would soften it up quite a bit, for quicker degradation in the soil.

      The fiber isn’t a problem though, I wouldn’t worry about it. If you’re drinking, it’s good fiber for your diet. If for plants, good nutrients for them. Haha, win-win. You would just want to strain in final application, if said application is through irrigation lines or something where the fiber could clog lines..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • jenedin

    patrick,

    good day! my question is not related to gardening but i hope u can help me. u have mentioned above that the lactic acid formed in the rice wash can be substituted as rennet in making cheese, can this also be use in making yogurt? hope to hear from you soon.

    • Patrick

      Hi Jenedin,

      Sorry this is kinda outside my expertise..You can try it, it should work since LAB are the active microbes in yoghurt.. But you’ll have to try and see. Good luck! Let us know how it goes..
      Patrick

    • Annie

      the curds can be eaten like you would cottage cheese or riccotta cheese, just add salt to the curds AFTER you have drained the whey. But dont eat too much as once as it will make you run, pardon the pun, to the toilet.

      • Patrick

        Haha thanks Annie! Great feedback! yep, all animals love the curds too, but like you said don’t feed them too much or you’ll have a mess! 🙂

  • silcax

    which is more effective in odor control. this or the BIM?

    • Patrick

      Lacto is a more pure solution to odor control. Either one works fine since lacto is in BIM anyway, but the lacto is the one really responsible for killing the odors, so you can just use that no prob.

  • Monique

    Hi!
    I love your website and all that you are doing to spread information to educate about natural farming. I used raw milk for my lacto and it seems to have separated into a top and bottom curd with the yellow lacto serum in between. This is my first time making it so is it ready or am I jumping the gun and should wait until all that is below the top curd is yellowish clear looking? I harvested about 2 oz of the yellow liquid and stabilized it with molasses this morning because I really wanted to spray down the bedding in the chicken coop to get a start on fermenting their manure.
    Also, I wanted to add that since the weather here has been a bit on the chilly side, I wrapped the jar of lacto ferment with a short (3ft long) strand of christmas lights to bring the temp up a few degrees and I think it has helped the process a long quite a bit.

    Another question; Do you know if using Diatomaceous Earth is conducive to BIM or harmful. I accidentally killed a batch of black soldier fly larvae by allowing them too close to my chick manure (from when they were still brooding indoors and were on sand that I had mixed with DE because I needed something to dry the bedding out while keeping odors down since I still didn’t have any lacto to use). I know that DE is not harmful to beneficial gut flora when ingested internally, so I’d assume it’s fine with the BIM but harmful to larger, micro eating life forms (larvae, worms, etc). The reason I ask is because I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of using DE with my chickens.
    Thanks for any insight!
    Monique

    • Patrick

      Hey Monique,

      Glad you are enjoying the site and our recipes!

      If it has separated into curds and whey, it should be ready, go ahead and drain it. No problem that some are on top and some on bottom.

      Good question about DE and BIM. My feeling is that it might harm some but leave others alone. I don’t think it will just “kill everything” and I think you’ll be fine using them together, but you can likely expect a little less diversity of microbes. Not sure though, just play with it and see.

      Let us know how the lacto and chicken coop smell goes! It should help immensely! And get a nice head start on the compost process!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • hello again Patrick,
    i just want to have your opinion on using Lacto whey (the one without the molasses yet)on making herbal and organic soaps. I’ve read along this thread here that lacto can tolerate acidic environment. but what about an alkaline environment brought by the process of soapmaking using sodium hydroxide to saponify oils in soaps? i am very interested in adding lacto whey to my soaps (or maybe the 1:1 lacto-molasses serum) since i believe it can aid in exfoliating dry dead skin cells and promotes lightening of skin tones, as many Asians desired that in their soaps. I hope you could help me with this, and if i may, send you samples of my soap using lacto on it. thank you very much 🙂

    • Patrick

      Hey Luvin,

      That’s a good question. I can’t say exactly which strains of lacto will be in your lacto serum, but unfortunately most lacto strains do not tolerate alkaline environments well. Sorry, I doubt it will work well as an additive to your soaps. That said, you can try using it, and sending me the soap you make! 🙂

      But I don’t want to mislead you, it’s unlikely any lacto will survive once you add the soda.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • thank you for that info, i really appreciate it. i think i should get more research on using lacto on soaps. i didn’t use any thermometer in measuring how hot the process made, but it is hot enough to burn someone’s skin. anyway, i did used the lacto whey in one of my yogurt soaps and placed it in the fridge to cool.. i should send you samples of it but don’t know where your address is, so i can send it via one of the local couriers. much as i’m so passionate in farming, so is into soap making 🙂

        • Patrick

          Haha thats awesome luvin!! Yeah please send me some soap i’d love it! I’ll email you my address. 🙂

  • … and oh, another issue.. will heat created during the gel-stage of the saponification process kills the lacto? or should i don’t gel it up and place my soap in the fridge? thanks again..

    • Patrick

      lacto are pretty tolerant of heat, they will do fine up to around body temperature and higher. How hot does it get?

  • Nebula

    Ok,on one site me find very simple recipe for lacto.And it is to put one table spoon of rie or other kind of flour in one litre of water and to leave it anaerobic to fermentate for couple days till it is milky white and little sour.Is it simular with your recipe?Like end product?Me made this acording to your recipe,but waiting for proces to finish so me can taste it.Thanks!!!

    • Patrick

      Yeah that’s similar. The difference is, when you add that sour rice wash to milk, you get a TON more lacto bacteria in final culture.

  • Yash

    Hey, it is so useful thanks for sharing this
    I was wondering can i use it to clear surface of ponds for aquaculture?
    If yes then can u suggest me carrier material as i was thinking to make tablet of this serum
    And another thing is can i use it to treat poultry waste as it smells too bad

    • Patrick

      Absolutely Yash, it is awesome for those applications. We are coming out with a clay ball recipe for longer slower release of lacto for aquaculture. For now just use the liquid form for ponds – spray your lacto mixture around your pond and it will clean up the sludge and slime typical of unused ponds.

      It is incredible at reducing animal feces odors – try it on the chicken manure you will see.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • yash

        well then i am waiting for clay ball recipe 🙂

  • Mike

    Hi, I just made a batch of lacto and I have about a gallon of the concentrated serum. I mixed 2 gallons of diluted serum using 1 cup of concentrate to 1 gallon of water. I want to use this on some dog urine odor I have in basement concrete floor. Do I need to dilute further of should I use the 1:20 ratio in a pump sprayer? Any other advice would be appreciated. Should I wet the concrete first or just spray on dry concrete? My thoughts are the bacteria will die off as soon as the liquid dries.

    • Patrick

      I think you can still dilute it further, your floor might smell like lacto at that rate(i’d dilute again 1:20). The lacto will die off or become dormant when the concrete dries, but not before controlling the smell. You can wet the floor first will probably work better.

  • Kalpana

    Hi Patrick
    As per your recipe i made the the lacto and it has taken only 10 hrs to to form curds. The temp here in India is around 30 ish. So do i keep it for 7 days and then extract the serum or do i extract it right away?
    Thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hi Kalpana,

      I would still give it a few days so that you make sure you have good populations of bacteria built up. After a few days you can harvest it, you don’t have to wait the full 7 days.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • John

    Hi Patrick

    Thanks for your posting. Highly informative.
    One quick question.
    Is LAB edible for human? If it is for human consumption, how do you use it?

    John

    • Patrick

      Hi John,

      Yep you can drink it no problem. Just dilute it properly. And make sure you have made a good batch! No mold or other contaminants.

      Review the part of the recipe with usage instructions and you’ll see where it says for use as a digestive aid.

      Thanks for reading,
      Patrick

      • Yash

        Hey patrick, for human wont it be good if we directly innoculate yakult in milk ?
        What you say?

        • Patrick

          Hi Yash, yes you can do that also, that will work just fine, in that way you can make yakult go much farther haha..

  • John

    And what is the caution I have to have in mind?

    • Patrick

      Just make sure you have a good batch (no mold), and dilute according to the recipe. Should be good! I drink every day..

  • Can this be used in Aquaponic Systems to promote both plant and fish growth.

    • Patrick

      Hi Stephen,

      Yep, this is used in aquaculture to reduce disease, promote growth, and generally keep fish healthy even in crowded conditions. The lacto bacteria consume the fish wastes which otherwise build up in the water. Also, as they consume the fish wastes they are turning them into bio-available forms for immediate uptake by your plants.

      Do you have an aquaponics system? Can you use and let us know how it goes? That would be awesome!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Ben

        Just wondering how much per litre, or per 1000L, you would use this for in Aquaponics? And what strength of the serum. Very interested in using this for fish emulsion, aquaponics and composting help!

        • Patrick

          Hey Ben,

          You could use 1L of the serum per 1000 of aquarium and that should be plenty. Those are excellent applications for lacto, I hope you use it for all of them! I would use the previous diluted lactose for the aquaponics application. So take pure serum and dilute 1:20 with water then use 1L:1000L in your aquaculture. You could mix stronger but just work up from there to start with. Apply every month or so..

          • Ben

            Thanks for the quick response!

            Sounds good! Tilapia is a major pest in my area, so looking to put a dent in the local population. Does it matter using freshwater fish? I’ll be using the entire body, blended up into a fine paste with a commercial blender. Is it ok to use brown rice as the starter?

            I run a cafe in a small country town, so have also discovered this is good for breaking down septic tank, which is tops. Will give it a crack in the grease trap too, as well as a deodoriser for my 30 capacity chook pen. Thanks for the good info!

            P.S. Doing anything special for International Naked Gardening Day ahaha

  • Ricky Ednalino

    Hi Patrick,

    I would like to know about putting up piggery (100-200 heads) with no smell. I’m OFW and planning to stay in Philippines for good but i want to put-up a business first before really stay for good. As you know, we need to have stable financial status much more from OFW who use to have monthly salary. I have 4,000 sq.m. agricultural land but along the main road, so I’m worried with the smell if i put up piggery. When i start searching in internet, i ended up here in your website. I hope you can help me soon since I’m ready to start to build my pig pen.

    • Patrick

      Hi Ricky,

      If you send a request through the contact form, I’ll hook you up with Gil and hopefully he can sort you out. We also have an article on natural piggery coming out later.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Dakota

    How does this compare to EM? Is it similar enough that I can stop using EM? Or are the two “serums” different enough to just use as compliments to one another?

    • Patrick

      Lacto is not as diverse as EM, but it is the main working component in EM inoculant. If you want to make the EM equivalent, you should make the BIM recipe, that’s a great microbial inoculant, much like EM.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Phil Lozano

    Wow, this is a great website, I learned a lot right now.
    My query is the mother that appears when you make vinegar, is it the same lacto that I can use to make the serum with? I make fruit vinegars as a hobby.
    Thank you in advance and keep up the great work.

    • Patrick

      Hey Phil thanks for reading! It’s not the same as the lacto, but you should be able to use it anyway as starter, instead of rice wash…that should work ok but try and see..

  • levy lim

    Hello Patrick,
    my fermented rice wash and skim milk after 7 days did not form a lot of curds. i can still see the liquids under it but i saw like bubbly at the top.Is this right? it looks like not enough curds to me at the top unlike yours. pls tell me if im doing this right. The ratio is 1liter of rice wash to 10 liters of skim milk. My milk ratio is 1kilo skim to 10liters of water. Please help. Thanks bunches!

    • Patrick

      That’s ok that’s because you used skim milk. the less fat in the milk, the less curds formed. You should be fine. Sorry for the late reply I hope it worked out for you.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Kalpana

    HI, Patrick,
    I made the serum and applied them to my newly pruned container plants. Within a few days there were numerous shoots popping all over the place. Its as if the plant was on steroids. Not complaining though. Seriously, this is too good. I’ve made some bloom fertiliser also and am waiting to apply this as well. When do I do this anyway?As soon as the buds start appearing or before that?Clueless here. Thanks a lot for your time and patience.

    • Henry

      Kalpana,

      Don’t mean to hijack or undercut Patrick, but it would be wise to check out Cal-Phos in the recipe section. In so far as the bloom I begin applying as soon as I see any signs of bud development. Again I’m speaking for myself and not for Patrick. The Cal-Phos recipe just prior to bud development works wonders for me!

      • Patrick

        Thanks for the input Henry!

  • Monique Powell

    Help!
    I think my rice wash is growing molds or something rather than lacto. It never smells sour. After adding the milk it curdles but the liquid
    never turned yellowish clear. Then after adding molasses to stabilize and leaving it to sit a couple months, it has separated into a thick sediment on the bottom and a thin layer of scum on top. Should I be okay spraying it on chicken bedding? I’m staying a new batch today… we’ll see if round three grows more lacto than the rest. I can’t figure out why this isn’t as simple as I know it should be. I was thinking of adding some whey this time but don’t knew which stage to add it. Thanks!

    • Patrick

      Hi Monique,

      Sorry for the late reply, I hope it worked out for you. I’d still try using the lacto you made, it should control the chicken coop odors well. If it doesn’t control the odor, it might not have worked. I hope batch 3 works out for you! Keep the temps above 20 C if you can, ideally around 35 C but over 20 is fine.

  • Dan

    Hi,

    We have a turtle tank that becomes stinking very quickly, would adding Lactobacillus Serum to the tank help as it would in a fish pond? What impacts will it have on the turtles? I’m making this for gardening, but if it will help reduce the odors from the turtle tank…bonus!!

    thanks
    Dan

    • Patrick

      Hey Dan,

      I’d mist the tank with a dilute lacto solution a few times a week to start with and see how that goes. It should be excellent in controlling the smell! and no harm to the turtles, just dilute it according to the instructions for smell control.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Phil

    Awesome read thank you for the information. I currently fodder feed my chickens, rabbits and ducks. I am curious, would there be any benefit to adding fodder to my hydroponic system? Would it assist in the prevention of the formation of molds and starch build up? or would it just cause the grain to ferment?

    • Patrick

      Hi Phil, you can add lacto to your hydro system and it should help control mold growth. Adding the fodder, not sure.. i’d do something like bokashi the fodder and then add some of the leachate (strained) to the hydro setup, that should work well.

      • Phil

        I totally didn’t proofread my post… I meant adding lacto to my hydroponic system that I grow fodder for my animals Thank you for the reply.

  • Terry

    Hi I have my batch of BIM bubbling away in the oven and was wondering what the phone should be when the bubbling stops? Thanks

    • Terry

      Sorry thought I was on the brim site lol.

      • Terry

        Spell corrrect sorry

      • Patrick

        Oh, for lacto, many of the main species we want like the temp around 35 C so I’d go for that..

    • Patrick

      Hi Terry, not sure, I think the oven will make it too hot… Also looks like spellcheck got the best of you again..

  • Annie

    Hi Patrick, I could not do any gardening for some months on doctor’s orders. I put my LAB innoculated with molasses into the fridge now already a few months. Is the microorganisma still alive, do you think? I made a lot and would really be sad if I have to throw the lot away. Please can you reply asap as I am going to resume gardening, doctor approves or not.

    • Patrick

      Hi Annie,

      Yep, the microbes should be fine. YOu can always test by adding a little bit to some water in a sealed jug and see if air builds up after a day or two.

      Sorry for the late reply Annie! I’ve been swamped these days..

      Patrick

  • Richard

    Hi Patrick, oooOOOooo this stuff is great. I’ve just gotten to your website this season and it has assisted a GREAT deal in enhancing my growing in 5 gallon buckets on my almost flat shop roof up here in Vermont . Ive made numerous batches of lacto B and put all my kitchen waste in there . i’ve made Calphos , bloom fertilizer, grow fertilizer , ginger/garlic – and used them all as foliar sprays.i also comPLETELY destroyed some seedlings with too much EM1- WHOA- stunted them so bad they could not recover unless i yanked them up ,washed ALL the soil off their roots and replanted them in less overpowered soil – that’s powerful stuff !…but my bucket veggies are SO much happier than last year or the year before – my 2 years of previous container growing experience.
    i also used worm castings, wood ash , biochar charged in bokashi juice and …pee- hey ? why not ? it all seems to be working quite well.
    i’ve just harvested my first few brassicas – a cauliflower and a broccoli. Their root balls are MUCH larger than last year, the flowers are WONDERFUL and there are WORMS in the soil in the buckets ! I suppose from a few worms and worm eggs that were in the wormcastings i put in the initial soil mix.Now I’m adding some bokashied veggies to the soil in the harvested bucket , putting on a loose lid to control additional rain moisture and turning each bucket into a short term wormfarm ! They’re going nuts in there !i leave the covered buckets out all winter so sadly the worms will die but the process will have increased the soil nutrient for next year, perhaps to a significant degree… ? this makes me think: maybe i could plant a cover crop in some of the harvested buckets – like winter rye , let it get maybe 8 inches high and then slam a lid on it for the winter- wadaya think ?maybe the short term worm farm thing is the better idea. i am having so much fun employing your recipes ,and getting like 7 foot tall tomato plants with 30 fruits on them , out of a bucket …..better than I’ve ever done before .
    i’m really intrigued by charging the charcoal ( out of my wood furnace last winter ) with bokashi veggies from your EM1 recipe . I’ve got about 8 five gallon buckets of bokashi juice full of charging biochar , all ready for reconditioning next spring’s soil. …….i’ve been gardening for 30 years and now i’m having a better time than ever employing your recipes in container soil. And up on my shop roof there are NO …woodchucks , racoons , rabbits, TICKS ! , Japanese beetles ( yet_),slugs… but i do have one curious chipmunk who digs occasional exploratory holes in various places, doing no harm at all- welcome, mizz Chipmunk.
    i also used an endo fungi rub on the rootballs of all the veggies i planted , but since endo doesn’t work on brassicas i have yet to see any evidence of it’s working.
    Isn’t it a crying shame that Monsanto understands so little of effective agriculture that it chooses to try to end run a few billion years history of developing symbiosis between the soils of Earth and the plants that have so efficiently learned how to grow here in it,…. they apparently know ……nothing …….about the kingdom of molds and fungi….. but enough of that …. it is a situation that the powers that be will take in hand and … solve.
    … Best wishes I really LOVE your website.

    • Patrick

      Hey Richard,

      What a wonderful message, I really appreciate the feedback, mostly it’s just fun to read about all the stuff you’re doing and how much your plants are loving it. 7 foot tall tomato plants, awesome!

      Your plant for re-invigorating your soil is awesome – the worms in combo with bokashi will really enrich it for next year – I mean really supercharge it – if the bokashi is table scraps then that will be really rich stuff. You can also do the cover crop option – I found when I did cover crops on my planters, after cutting and turning them in the planters really came alive with life, which is an awesome sign of soil fertility. So maybe try a bit of both and see how they each work out – it’s just awesome playing around with all these techniques, I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Sandy

    Hello,
    Would you clarify the “siphon” method of extracting the 2nd layer? I have a jar of the rice wash and it has separated into 3 layers as described. Should I use something like a Turkey baster and extract the 2nd layer?

    Thank you.

    • Patrick

      Hey Sandy,

      A turkey baster would work excellently! I use a tube and siphon it off like you would gasoline out of a car – make sure the container you’re siphoning into is lower than the rice wash container. But a turkey baster should work great!

      Sorry for the late reply!
      Patrick

      • Sandy

        thanks Patrick. I appreciate your feedback and can’t wait to try this on my fall/winter garden seedlings.

  • jeff

    can i use curdled milk for the milk mixing part? or should u use fresh

    • Patrick

      I think you can use curdled milk no problem. Although ideally it would be fresh, so you have more ‘action potential’ so to speak – more nutrients to be consumed.

  • jeff

    Example Recipe:

    1 L rice wash
    10L Milk
    10kg sugar
    After rice wash and milk remove curds – around 1L
    = 20 L lactic acid bacteria serum

    the 10 kg sugar part…is this right…cause right before you say this it says 1kg sugar per 1L. not 10 per 1. please let me know, because i am on this step!

    • Patrick

      Hey Jeff sorry for the late reply! I’m swamped these days.

      It’s 1:1 of sugar to pure LAB. The difference in those two was the amount of pure LAB. in the recipe I was using 1L as an example, but in the example formula in the end, was using 10L as the example amount. Sorry about that. Just add equal amount of sugar to how much LAB you made. That will stabilize it.

      Sorry for the late reply hope this is still helpful though.

      Thanks,
      Patrick

  • jeff

    thanks! you guys have some great stuff

  • terry

    Hi Patrick
    Just wanted to let you know I’m not actually using an oven,its really more of an incubator I
    rigged up for temp control. And I did finally fix the spell check. What would be the proper ph for finished LB and BIM thanks Terry

    • terry

      Also what is the optimal brewing temp?

      • Patrick

        Hi Terry,

        Ok that sounds ok. Optimal brewing temp varies by serum – for lacto it is around 35-40. For BIM I would say a bit cooler, like 30. The higher temps really favor the lacto species while 30 is more of a temp for general microbial growth. pH of finished solutions will be acidic, like pH 3-4 or so. More acidic is ok, less acidic is a bad sign.

        Cheers,
        Patrick

  • Emerlie

    hello patrick..im very interested with lactobacilli..and this info from your site taught me a lot..I had an experiment on lactobacilli mixed with coconut juice to leesen chicken manure foul odor, i let the chicken drunk the coco lacto juice as i call it :-)..do you think there will be bad effect on the lactobaciili? how will i store it?

    • Patrick

      Hey Emerlie,

      Good questions, coconut juice supposedly has anti-microbial properties so maybe that will kill the lacto. But I’ve been able to ferment coconut products just fine so I guess maybe the lacto spp aren’t affected. I’d store it just like normal lacto – 1:1 with sugar, or if no sugar or diluted, then in the fridge.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • yash

    hey patrick,
    i would appreciate if you can replay my email.

    • Patrick

      Hi Yash, I will but it involves more than just an answer so I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m still getting the supplies to send you.

      Thanks
      Patrick

  • Emerlie

    hello Patrick Thank you so much for the reply and info. I guess i will just skip the mixing of fresh coconut juice as it might kill the lactobacilli, do you think brown sugar will be ok?if so, what ratio and proportions will i use?
    thank you again

    • Patrick

      Brown sugar is excellent to use, you mix it 1:1 with your serum, where 1 KG is equivalent to 1 L. So if 1 L serum then add 1 KG brown sugar to stabilize it.

  • Emerlie

    follow up question..may i know if will be a able to collect lacto from fermented coconut juice?

    • Patrick

      I’m not sure actually, I’m not sure which bacteria will be there in fermented coco juice. I think you could get bacilli bacteria, but maybe not LAB.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • patrick

    Hey Patrick just wanted say thank you love the web site. Great info made my first batch of serum lacto back in may plants thrived.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Patrick! Try the calphos right when your plants are about to bud or have just started entering budding phase, you should have great results! Keep on reading.. 🙂

  • Aharon

    Just wondering what ur experience was in using 1. Off milk for the serum, and 2. Use goat milk (off or not) for the serum. In my area the only cows milk is heavily commercial, with associated things. Maybe that doesn’t matter to lactose populations ?

  • Jacob

    Is this just plain white sugar or brown sugar?

  • Hi Patrick,

    what happens to rice wash after 15 days? Is it still ok to harvest the middle part?

    • Patrick

      Hi John,

      That should be fine, especially if the temps aren’t too high where you are.. If it has a sour smell and the layers are distinct you should be ok..

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Alice

    Can overuse of EM cause more harm than good? I have been using EM for a year now with great results in both gatden and livestock. But I got concerned when I read this: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread992559/pg1. Would like to know your thoughts regarding this. Mahalo!

    • Patrick

      I can’t say I agree with much in that article..You know what, if you are getting great results then stick with what you’re doing, and don’t worry about scare articles like that. It’s amazing, he’s tying super broad global trends like antibacterial resistant bacterias, to EM-1 which is this super niche technique practiced by a handful of farmers worldwide – and provides ZERO scientific evidence. He makes up 3 random cases of people getting sick in the states, then blames them on EM1. He also somehow blames H1N1 on EM-1. It’s a sad smear campaign. Besides the thousands of experiences shared on this site, all the old natural farmers I’ve talked to have never had a problem, and I’ve never had a problem in my years working with this stuff.. there are a lot of holes in his arguments and no studies to back them up. Now all that said this is not stuff to be taken lightly and you can get into trouble if you don’t do it right and give it the respect it deserves. Particularly when dealing with manure and meat wastes, just use common sense and sanitary practices and you’ll be fine.

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Greg

    Patrick, I am amazed.

    I have a garden bed that no matter what plants I grow, they grow poorly. I have been “treating” the soil for over 12 months and not had much success.

    I have added rock dust, compost, fed soil with fish, seaweed, blood & bone and molasses and hardly any improvement in plant vigour occurred.

    Two days ago drenched the soil with LAB and a mixture of fermented alfalfa sprouts and papaya. I have been tying to get BIM happening and I have not been to successful with starting a culture.

    When I looked at my plants yesterday morning I was absolutely amazed. The plant leaves had turned a lovely green, turgid and looked as if they where radiating with life. This is the first time I have used biological inoculants in my soil.

    The funny thing was I was not going to continue make my own inoculants as I read an article that stated something like this , “..if you incorporate organics into your soil, i.e. compost, rock dust, worm poo, etc. the soil will balance itself out and the soil biology will naturally flourish…”

    While there is an element of truth in this statement it was obviously not the case for my garden bed.

    I am going to apply LAB and my fermented mixture to my vege patch today and really looking forward to see what the result is going to be.

    Cheers,
    Greg

    • Patrick

      Hey Greg,

      What an awesome experience!! That is really neat to hear, I love stories like this, of which we get quite a few actually. Yep, sounds like your soil needed a microbial kick in the pants. Your inoculant would have really helped break down the things you had added previously. The papaya extract contains papain which is an enzyme that also works wonders to break down organic material. Keep adding those when you apply compost and you’ll continue to see good results. Have fun, sounds like quite an adventure.

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Jean-Jean

    Hi. After reading for hours about dozens of recipes and dozens of versions of the same recipes, I’m a bit confused and my brain doesn’t want to help me anymore.

    I made 2 batches of perfect serum (well I mean it went just as you describe): one is mixed with the equal amount of sugar/mollasses and the other one is kept natural and stored in the fridge. All is ok until now, I guess…

    My concern is about the diluted part (I’ll use it for plants).

    A – Should I do the 1:20 mix with water and then use it like that on foliar spray or to water the soil ?
    B – Or should I add 1 or 2 tbs of the 1:20 mix to 1L of water and then feed the plants ?

    I’m sure the answer is in these pages but…

    Thx again for this great site.

    • Patrick

      Hey Jean-jean,

      Sorry for the late response! Your option B is correct – you dilute it once again when you apply to the plants.

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Bill B.

    Hello,

    Wonder if anyone has turned the ‘Lacto’
    Into a powder as in a
    Yogurt Starter powder.

    Thanks, Bill B.

  • Dustin

    Do you think I could make the lacto serum using milk kefir grains? If milk kefir is left to ferment it will also separate into curds and whey. I was thinking I could use that whey to the serum.

    • Patrick

      Do it! I mean try it! And then let us know how it goes! Kefir has a whole wide range of microbes, but should have some amount of lacto I’m sure. One it ferments and separates into curds and whey, you should still have a decent LAB culture. Make sure to let us know how it goes, you can post on the forum about it and include pictures so everyone can see.

      Thanks,
      Patrick

  • Eve

    Hello, I wrote asking about my rice-wash about a week ago,(4th Nov 2014) as I want to spray it down with kelp as a base before I build up the garden bed. I was already late putting in the beds when I found out about the power of microbes when you lay down this kind of base, but no answer? I guess you just get too many questions!
    My question, (was,) is, my rice wash never separated into 3 areas. I got a brownish soft crust on top and the rest was all the same.
    So, as I hadn’t heard from you, I started again, this time with a larger amount of ricewash, BUT, so far it looks just the same, in fact after one week, it hasn’t even got the crust!!
    PLEASE, I hope you can tell me what’s going on here???
    Thank you, eve

    • Patrick

      Hi Eve sorry about that, spending extra time with family the last two weeks as my father was over visiting.

      No worries about your rice wash, that’s just a guideline. If you have left it out for a week it should be infected with microbes. The brown top is a good sign of microbes infecting it, but your current batch should be fine too. Just extract some of the water from that and use it with milk to make your lactobacillus culture. I would encourage you to make BIM as well and use that to introduce microbes to your beds. Also, make sure you use good organic compost, and make compost tea if you can as well.

      Ok hope this helps Eve.

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Eve

    I’m new here and have previously sent you a message; I’m now waiting for the reply,
    Thank you,
    Eve

  • Eve

    Thanks Patrick, very grateful.
    You have a WONDERFUL website, thanks for the ideas and Info.
    What is BIM?
    Will I find it mentioned in one of the webpages?
    Thanks again,
    Eve

  • James

    Hi Patrick, I have my rice wash and 10 parts milk in a big glass bottle with a one way valve that’s been sitting for a week now, however it is not yellow like I have seen in pictures, it maybe has a slight yellow colour but not much. What does this mean ? If anything ? Will it still go more yellow ? :). Thanks man 🙂

  • Nerelyn Aurelio

    Please can someone answer may question?

  • Hi patrick..we made a LABS… It was perfect we get 3 1/2 of serum ..but the last half of it sems like there is a bet color white or curds Even we strain it..may question is? Is it ok to use it to ferment the feeds of pigs even there is a slight white color on it?

    Thank you!!!

    • Patrick

      Hey Nerelyn,

      No problem, you can use it for them no worries – a bit of color is fine.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Thanks! But we day the feed fermentation for pigs…we fermented for only one day and the result is the pigs don’t want to eat ot coz its too sour.. 1kls of organic feeds:1L of water with 2tbsp of serum… We made a new feed formulation…
    Rice bran D1-100kls
    Cracked corn-50kls
    Cracked rice-5kls
    Azolla powder-2kls
    Dried ipil ipil leaves-3kls
    Limestone o apog-2kls
    Fishmeal-5kls
    Salt-3kls
    Cassava roots powder-5kls
    Coconut oil-1L
    Soya oil-1L
    Copra meal-5kls
    Charcoal-5kls

    Is the formulation right…do you have any suggestions?

  • Bruno

    Hey gil love your recipes thanks a lot for putting it out here free for us to find, I think you should add the SST SEED SPROUT TEA, it’s rich in enzymes, also you should post one with aloe vera and coconut water (rich with cytokinins) Also I have a question about the lacto I made a release valve with straws and a cup of water so no oxygen get’s in but the pressure escapes, I mixed milk with rice wash yesterday and today the curd is already on top and under it is slightly yellowed, it hasn’t even been 2 days, should I leave for a week, my room temperature varies but isn’t cold and can get warm sometimes, thanks again for everything!

  • flictee

    Good day Patrick and Gil,

    First of all, thank you for sharing all these information for free and GOD bless you both. 🙂

    I have a land(less than a hectare) planted with cacao trees that didn’t flourish because I didn’t give that much attention to farming before. Some trees grew up ok, some became sickly, and others died.

    Now that I’m serious about farming, I decided to go full organic. After doing some research, I opted to use Rabbit poop as my organic fertilizer. I’ve read good things about it but it does take a while to break down in the soil.

    I thought this was enough though until I found your website. Now it gave me new ideas on how I can really enrich my land with organic goodness. 🙂

    Here are my questions:

    A.) If I add a tbsp of BIM in a 1 gal open container and just leave it in a shaded area, how long will the BIM’s effectiveness be until the solution just becomes plain water? Does it last longer compared to a tbsp of 1:20 LAB solution in the same condition?

    B.) Can I soak the grass that I feed to my rabbits with LAB or BIM the same way you soak the feeds? If yes, should I soak it in an enclosed container or in an open one?

    I’ll skip mixing it with their bottle drinker because it might build up too much pressure.

    C.) The grow recipe calls for growing tips that has green leaves, but the growing tips of a cacao tree start with red leaves and turns green as they grow. Can I still add the tips in my grow fertilizer fermentation?

    D.) I’ll be using squash, banana, and papaya in my bloom fertilizer. Can I add raw cocoa beans in the mix?

    E.) I’ll be combining LAB/BIM/GROW/BLOOM/FISH FERT/CALPHOS in a single sollution and apply them as soil drench in a weekly basis. Is this alright as long as I follow the recommended dilutions? Like 3.75ml BIM, 15ml LAB, and 15ml GROW to 3L water.

    I want to do this weekly so I can also moisten the soil and accelerate the break down process of the rabbit poop.

    F.) If my understanding is correct, you can’t mix recipes like GGE, NE, and Immunoboost that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to other recipes like the LAB, BIM, GROW, etc.. right? If so, does applying GGE, NE, and Immunoboost as a foliar spray and the other recipes as a soil drench work?

    G.)Lastly, can I apply these recipes to plants of all ages, or should I cut the dilutions depending on the age of the plant?

    I know you’re a busy person but I would really be grateful if you could give me your expert opinion.

    Thanks

    • Farmsky

      Hey Flictee,

      In regards to your question about soaking the grass for the rabbits:

      I’ve looked into this sort of thing a bit because both have rabbits which are fed a natural diet and I’ve also been doing natural farming-style preparations a lot recently and using them in my field and with the poultry, so questions like this naturally arose.

      Based on what I now know I wouldn’t really recommend to do this for a few reasons. First, rabbits (unlike for example, pigs and chickens) naturally eat only fresh leaves, because a rabbit already has their own built-in fermentation system in their guts and particularly the cecum, which in a healthy rabbit is already populated with exactly the right kinds of beneficial microbes for that specific job. So it may be both unnecessary, but also unhealthy since it isn’t what they are evolved to eat and also because of potential contamination with undesireable strains that may or may not be present in your particular prep (fungi, bacteria that cause bloating or scours, etc). Lastly, they probably just wouldn’t find it very palatable anyway…

      All the best!

  • Does my UV insect killer light destroy the nearby stored lactobacillus serum? Thanks.

  • KONSTANTINOS MOUTAFIS

    the GREEK YOGURT
    When added to the cream
    MILK created
    LARGE AMOUNTS

    Lactobacillus

  • Hai! Can I mix EM1, compost teh and fish emulsion fetilizer and spary on my plants. Are they working whitout harms. Thanks

  • Does anyone of you, who is living in the Philippines, know where I could buy a good air pump for aerated fertilizer tea making. I am not referring to those low volume aquarium pumps. I have searched the net and did not find any supplier so far.

    • Patrick

      Hi Hans,

      I found an awesome one in Home Depot in fort bonifacio taguig. Hailea I think is the brand and it’s 60L/min I believe which is plenty. You should find similar in Wilcon and other Home Depot’s around..

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. I will try Home Depot and Wilcon here in San Fernando Pampanga; otherwise I will ask one of my Manila friend to buy it in Fort Bonifacio Taguig.

  • Hi Patrick
    This is for all those who are interested in “small scale” hot composting
    I use an ‘easy to read” meat thermometer (available at SM Department Store) and place its cylindrical scale into a slightly bigger plastic Vitamin container with the top cut off and an exact size hole drilled in the bottom for the 6” pin. This sits inside a common cylindrical plastic cup with a 1/2” to 1” hole at the base, which protects the actual thermometer. The cup is placed into a neatly formed cavity in the compost before pushing thermometer down. The smaller container makes it simple to lift out the thermometer, if cleaning may be necessary.
    P.S. I use a 3 tier raised homemade wooden bin with wire and plastic mesh at the bottom and the lid about 3’ x 3’ x 2’6”, which gives good aeration.

  • Farmsky

    I’ve made this a few times, basically following the standard recipe, more or less. More than once now, I have noticed that after a serum or dilute concoction (it happened with both independently, in separate batches), sits for a while in the fridge (maybe a few weeks?) it gradually develops small amounts of blue/gray mold and takes on a strong odor of blue cheese.

    I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere about lacto preparations. Though it seems natural enough given the milk-based source of the ferment. Have you experienced this? How might it affect the applications? (I want to continue to use the lacto in foliar sprays, in preparing poultry feed, as well as other random uses I’ve read about here and elsewhere).

    Thanks for any feedback on this!

  • joshua stevens

    Hello Patrick, i have made lots of labs but only once with skim milk. The serum from the skim milk was very different. It was thick and syrupy like. It smelled very nice like all other labs ive made. It also develops a very thick solid pellicle when left out.. wondering if you had any insight or experience like this.. thank you in advance…

Leave a Reply to Ruth Elin Maramba Cancel reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>