A practical guide to make Effective Microorganisms

Hi there!

Today I’ll write about making your own culture of EM (Effective Microorganism). We’ve wrote about EM in two previous articles:

In this guide I’ll elaborate the method a bit more, and show you a few photos.

In this moment I’m making EM cause I need them for two reasons:

  1. I need to clean the pipes of the kitchen sink in my house. Recently, the water start flowing down more slowly and I believe there is an accumulation of organic matter in the pipes.
  2. I’m experimenting with a small-size, balcony-type, earth-worm-powered compost, and I want to boost it regularly with EM like you would do on Bokashy Compost.

I’ll write down the instructions as well as my personal considerations and photos around the whole method here below:

  1. Take a handful of rice, let’s say 80-100 grams and put it in a container. Of course, you should use ecologic, integral and unprocessed rice for this purpose.

2. Warm up around a liter (1L) of water. You can make it reach about 100 degrees Celsius, so the chlorine in it evaporate. You should use natural spring water if you have access to it. Let it cool down to about 20C, then add it to the rice.

3. Gently clean the rice for about two minutes. You would do the same to wash the rice in order to cook it. This time, your goal is to take out all the starch contained in it. As you’ll see, the water will turn cloudy, white or grey-ish color

4. Now filter the water from the rice. You need the cloudy water, rich in starch. Keep the rice and cook yourself a risotto with mushrooms :). Put the cloudy water in a container, close it with a cotton fabric so insects and dirt can’t enter, and leave it somewhere at about 20C for 3 to 6 days.

5. Millions of bacteria will colonize the starch-rich water, and you’ll see, there will be sediments (hard deposits on the bottom of the container), floating layer on top and of course lot of water in the middle. The only thing you need is the water: you can filter it after you took out the top layer with a spoon or just use a syringe to suck it up.

6. You will need 1/10 of the “cloudy” water per part of milk. It means you’ll use 10cl for every 1Liter of milk – better organic. The milk will reproduce – or better select – the Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB). Cover the container loosely, and keep it into a warm (20C), shady place for about 10 days.

2 batch of EM of about 2 Liters of milk each

7. After a while, your EM batch is ready. You will see that the jars have now three layers:

1) on top, a thin layer.
2) in the middle, a yellowish liquid (that’s the EM culture!).
3) on the bottom, the ” cheese” layer.

Just filter the whole thing with a plastic thin filter. The upper part and the cheesy part will stay on the filter. The rest, is pure EM culture !.

You can throw away, or give to chickens or dogs, the cheese part – they will love it 🙂

The rest, you will put in a jar, or glass bottle. Keep it in the fridge (for one year, it will conserve finely). You can use a small amount at any time to clean the pipes. You can also use it as an ecological cleaner for surfaces.

You can dilute as well 1/10 into water, to water your pots or in the garden: it will enrich the soil.

You can add as well 1/2 of molasses or cane sugar to improve the conservation: in this form, you can dilute up to 1/1000 in water for watering big amount of soil in your garden. I’m sure you’ll find more info on the web about more uses for this amazing EM culture you made !

Stay ROT, see you soon 🙂

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