Here are some frequently, and not so frequently, asked questions, organized by product category.
What is the recipe for making Activated EM-1® and where are the instructions for making it?
Click here to see to the recipe and instruction about Activated EM-1®.
Why would I activate EM-1®?
Activating EM-1® yields 22 times more product from the original concentrate that is purchased.
How do I activate EM-1®?
Click here to see how to activate EM-1®.
Can I use a sugar other than molasses?
Yes, but other sugars tend to not work as well. This is due to quality of sugars. Molasses is the sugar of choice because it has lots of minerals and is probably the least costly of sugars. Some sugars are corn-based. The corn-based sugars do ferment, however, they spoil quickly. Honey can have wild yeasts that affect fermentation by preventing pH drop or quick spoilage and off-smells.
How do I know if my Activated EM-1® has gone bad?
Does it smell bad, like a strong sulfur smell, or vomit? Sulfur is a sign the phototrophic bacteria are dying off. This product can be applied to a septic system or a compost pile, but is not optimal. The vomit smell is caused by a contaminant bacteria known as pediococcus, but does not mean the product is bad, just that it cannot be used for odor control. "Musty" is another description we have heard. This means the product is getting old or there was a lack of fermentation if it is not that old. The product is either dying off or no good.
A good activation should have various phenol smells. Phenols are alcohols. They burn the nose when a big sniff is taken upon opening the bottles.
The color should get lighter and reddish during the fermentation. White flakes and bubbles are yeast growth. A thin layer of yeast (white stuff), about 1-2 mm is good. If the layer is thick, there is too much air in the activation and the product will likely spoil.
Can I go through the activation process again, starting with Activated EM-1®?
NO. You cannot activate Activated EM-1® and consider this the same product. There balance of the microbes in the culture can change dramatically thereby producing unpredictable results. Always start with the original EM-1® when activating.
What can I do with Bokashi?
Bokashi can be thought of as a dry version of EM-1®. Although it has fewer microbes per ml, it does contain billions of microbes that can be used for a variety of applications. Here are a few of the most common uses: Recycling food waste, amending the soil, cleaning waterways and ponds, soaking up spills, using in place of kitty litter, using in place of fertilizers.
How do I make my own Bokashi?
Here is a recipe: Bokashi.
My Bokashi isn't fermenting. Do you have any suggestions?
EM Bokashi works best at warmer temperatures. Try increasing the temperature where it is stored. Has it been at least one week in a closed container?
Do I have to use rice bran and Super Cera powder to make Bokashi?
No, wheat bran is commonly used, and the Super Cera Powder is just to help condition the soil. Rice bran has more vitamins and may be a better choice as a soil amendment. You can use any dried plant material to make Bokashi such as leaves, hay, sawdust, rice hulls, etc.
How long will a two-pound package of Bokashi last me?
One pound should be enough for one of the buckets we supply (about 5 gallons of food waste).
How long will the organisms in the Bokashi stay alive?
Depending on conditions, anywhere from one to five years. That makes an average of about three years. It is important that it does not get wet and is kept in a closed container.
What do I do with the juice that drains into the bottom of the Bokashi Bucket Fermenter?
Drain every day, dilute at one teaspoon per gallon of water and feed plants. If you have too much to use, pour down the drain or into a compost pile.
Why does the juice in the bottom of the bucket smell? Has it gone bad?
The juice does have a pretty strong odor. If it smells rotten, it has gone bad. It tends to go bad in a matter of days, which is why you should drain the bucket at least every two days.
Will Bokashi get rid of pesticides and chemicals in some mulch that I want to compost or in some things that I have put in my Bokashi Bucket?
Yes. The microbes in Bokashi are known to break down petroleum-based products. Almost all pesticides are petroleum-based.
I live in a cold climate and the soil freezes over in winter. What can I do with the fermented Bokashi in winter?
Pre-dig a hole and/or keep a compost pile going and add it to the compost pile during the winter.
I will be away for a couple weeks and will not be able to drain the juice out of the bottom of the bucket. Is there a way I can keep my buckets going while I'm gone?
Yes, start a new bucket before you leave. Take out the strainer in the bottom and add in about 2 inches of shredded newspaper (not the colored ink parts, black and white only). Add about 1/4 cup Bokashi and fill as normal. The paper in the bottom will soak up the liquid while you are gone.
What exactly is EM®?
EM-1 Microbial Inoculant an live microbial inoculant containing 1,000,000 CFU/cc of Lactobacillus casei. The beneficial bacteria in EM-1® Microbial Inoculant is completely safe for healthy adult animals and humans when used as directed and is not genetically modified. Also it is on the FDA GRAS list.
EM-1 Waste Treamtent and EM-1 Septic Treatment are a fermented blend of beneficial bacteria and yeast (not the kind that causes yeast infections, which is called Candida albicans), namely Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeast, and Photosynthetic/Phototrophic Bacteria. The organisms in EM-1® are completely safe for healthy adult animals and humans and is not genetically modified. All but one of the microbes in EM-1® are on the FDA GRAS list.
What can you do with EM-1®?
EM-1 Microbial Inoculant is useful as a soil builder and increases nutrient availability to plants. EM-1® Waste Treamtent and EM-1 Septic Treatment reduces odors and digests grease. It accelerates the break down of composting materials, and promotes water clarity in ponds.
Is EM-1® a fertilizer?
EM-1® is not a fertilizer. It does not contain a significant amount of any plant nutrients. EM-1® does help increase the efficiency of plant nutrient absorption and fertilizer availability to plants. Combined with applications of organic matter, a reduction in fertilizer/nutrient requirements is often a result of using EM-1®.
Is EM-1® safe to use on organic farms?
EM-1® is OMRI Listed, meaning the product is allowed for certified organic production under the USDA National Organic Program. EM-1® is listed without restrictions which means that it can be used all the way up to harvest and even in washing of fruits and vegetables.
Can I use EM-1® to get rid of smells?
Yes! Any surface that can be cleaned with water can be sprayed or soaked with EM-1® (1:10 dilution, 1 oz/gal for light colored fabrics). May take more than one application - may take a few weeks for total removal. Bokashi can be added to litter boxes or cages to control odors as well.
How much EM-1® should I use for gardening?
For consumers: 1 ounce of EM-1® per gallon of fresh water.
For Agriculture: 40 gallons per acre in the soil (easiest through an irrigation system) on an annual basis and 1/2-3 gallons per acre as part of a foliar program on a weekly basis.
Do I have to activate EM-1® to use it?
No, it is ready to use right out of the bottle. The activation process gives you 22 times more EM-1® than you started with, so it makes it cost less per ounce.
I got my EM-1® shipment and the bottle is swollen!
This is a result of some extra gas building up in the bottle and is perfectly normal. After all, the product is alive. The bacteria are thriving! We advise you to open the bottle slowly and let the gas blow off slowly, much like one would do with a shaken soda bottle.
How does Pro EM-1® compare with other probiotics on the market? Why is it better?
Pro EM-1® contains a very broad spectrum of microbes. They are all live microbes, which makes them more viable to support a healthy digestive system. It also contains a variety of enzymes, antioxidants (vitamins and trace minerals) and other micronutrients.
Most probiotics on the market are either freeze dried or single-genus probiotics. Freeze drying causes cellular damage, resulting in lower performance. Lack of species diversity also results in lower performance. Most liquid probiotics are unstable at room temperature because of the way they are cultured.
Pro EM-1® is stable at temperatures from 38ºF to 140ºF. It is not made with freeze dried microbes. It contains all naturally-occurring microbes and their metabolites and microbes from multiple genus and types.
How many bacteria are in it?
The guarantee is a minimum of one million colony forming units per mililiter (cfu/ml). They include the following species:
What else is in Pro EM-1®?
Purified water, Certified Organic Molasses, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Certified Organic Honey and all of the natural by-products of fermentation (vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, etc).
Should I refrigerate Pro EM-1®?
Pro EM-1® does not need to be refrigerated. However, if you prefer, you may refrigerate it.
I do not eat sugars. I am on a low glycemic diet. Can I still take Pro EM-1®?
Pro EM-1® is made with molasses and honey, however, both are digested during the fermentation process. By the time it is ready to sell, there is no sugar left in the product. It will not affect blood sugar negatively.
How much Pro EM-1® should I take?
If just beginning, take one teaspoon per day and build up to the recommended daily dose of 1 tablespoon per day.
Is Pro EM-1® that same as EM-1®?
No, it contains different species of microbes and is manufactured in a different manner than EM-1® specifically for human consumption.
Can I activate Pro EM-1®?
No. It is not the same as EM-1®.
Will this help me if I have a yeast infection? (Candida albicans)
Yes, Pro EM-1® is able to control Candida (the yeast that causes yeast infections). You will want to start your daily amount at 1-3 teaspoons per day and increase to 4-6 ounces per day until all symptoms disappear. Increase as your tolerance builds. Drink a little throughout the day. It should take one to two weeks to get rid of it, depending on how bad/chronic the infection is.
Does Pro EM-1® contain any GMO ingredients?
No. The microbes are not genetically manipulated in any way. All the other ingredients are either non-gmo or certified organic. The entire fermentation process is a natural process and everything produced by the microbes during fermentation is left in the finished product.
How do I use Dr. Don's® toothpowder?
Sprinkle it on top of regular toothpaste or simply wet the toothbrush and sprinkle it on your tongue.
Does the toothpowder contain wheat flour?
No, none of our products contain wheat, soy, dairy, or peanuts.
How long will my Dr. Don's® mouthwash stay good?
6-9 months unopened. Use within 30 days after opening.
How does Dr. Don's help my teeth & gums?
Dr. Don's prevents food from adhering to your teeth, helps deep clean & polish, and creates a slightly alkaline environment which discourages tooth decay.
How much water will the 35mm ceramic pipes treat?
One piece will remove all the chlorine in 55 gallons of water in 30 minutes.
How exactly do the EM® Ceramics work?
The ceramics drop the molecule cluster size, making water more easily absorbed. EM® Ceramics also remove some dissolved solids in the water through a process known as adsorption. That means it attracts the particles like a magnet.
EM® Ceramics can also remove impurities from cooking oil to make it last longer, and absorb humidity and odors.
How long will my ceramics last?
N-type pipe ceramics are soft and will last about 6 months. In EcoPure Ceramics edition it recommends burying them in soil after use. The other ceramics products should last indefinitely.
Which EM-1® product you recommend for cleaning the ceramics?
All EM-1® products for Waste Treatment, Microbial Inoculant, or Septic Treatment, will do the job. This means you can use any one of them to clean/recharge the ceramics.