Bokashi bran is made from EM-1, molasses, water and an organic carrier, that has a high carbon content. The manufacturing process takes several weeks to complete and infuses the material with EM turning it into bokashi bran.
The infused material is normally a seed based organic material that is rich in carbon but any source of natural organic material that can be finely ground can be used. We know of one company who makes a commercial bokashi bran from organically certified sawdust.
The standard dilution rate to make EM bokashi bran is one part EM-1, one part molasses, to 100 parts of water 1:1:100. Using this dilution rate will guarantee a good quality bokashi bran.
20kgs of Dry Material (Wheat Bran for example)
4 litres of water of water
40ml of EM-1 (NOT EMA)
40ml of Molasses
Suitable mixing container Suitable airtight storage container for the mixed bokashi bran
Pour the molasses into the water and stir thoroughly. If necessary, dissolve the molasses first with a small quantity of warm water.
Add the EM-1 into the water and mix well.
Place the majority of the bran into a suitable sized container and using a measure gradually pour the liquid over the bran. Make sure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and no dry spots are left. Once the wheat bran mixture reaches a 30 percent- 40 percent solution content level, stop adding the liquid. The general way of determining this level is to take a handful of the mixture and squeeze it into a ball. No liquid should be able to drip through your fingers. When you open your hand, the bokashi bran ball should keep its shape but crumble slowly to the touch. If excess water drips through your fingers too much liquid has been added. To correct this, simply add the remaining bran and mix thoroughly to achieve the required moisture level.
Fill the container with the wet bokashi bran and compress the mixture as you do. The aim is to exclude as much air as possible out of the storage container. Excluding the air from the storage container assists the EM in converting the mixture into bokashi bran. When you are satisfied that the container is full seal it and place the container in a warm place to ferment. In the United Kingdom, the bokashi bran needs to ferment for at least three weeks in the summer and up to about six weeks in autumn and winter. The bokashi bran may be fermented for more than this. Remember, in order for the EM to work effectively the containers need to be kept in a dry reasonably warm location (above 6°C)
NOTE: The simplest form of storage container to use is double or triple bagged black bin bags, but keep away from sharp objects as air MUST be excluded from the process.
After the appropriate time has passed check the bokashi bran. It should have a pleasant aroma, similar to that of apple cider. Occasionally, a white growth will appear on the surface of the bokashi bran, this is normal and indicates that a good fermentation has taken place. Discard the bokashi bran if there is a foul smell or there is a black or green mould present. This failure usually only happens when the container was not properly sealed or the moisture content of the mix was higher than 40 percent.
In the UK drying of the bokashi bran is a problem. It is best to spread it out onto a tarpaulin and allow it to dry in the sun. Better still if the area is covered. Drying time will obviously vary according to the weather and it will be almost impossible to dry the bokashi bran in the winter using natural methods.
Once dried, store the bokashi bran in plastic or paper bags or any other suitable airtight container. In the UK the bokashi bran can be stored for up to two years.