How to Make Your Own Probiotic - Lactobacillus Serum

Probiotics are beneficial organisms like bacteria and yeast that are believed to improve health when consumed. In case you don’t know, both plant and animals need these beneficial microbes to stay healthy. In fact, without the teeming good bacteria in the intestine of man and animals, digestion will not occur. The digestive system of man contains about 500 different types of bacteria. Apart from the benefits to plant and animals, you can also use this probiotics to reduce foul odor in animal houses, homes etc. it can also help to free clogged drains. The good bacteria in probiotics eat up bad bacteria that cause smell and diseases. Personally, I have not tried making probiotics so I have to give credit to who credit it due. I got these ideas from Patrick Gentry of TheUnconvensionalFarmer.com and I intend to try it out one day.

Steps to Follow

1. Make a Carbohydrate Wash: You can make a carbohydrate wash using sources of complex carbohydrates like rice, wheat, barley, kinoa etc. Mark the words “complex carbohydrate”. Don’t use simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey, syrup, molasses, etc. To make the wash, rinse rice/wheat/barley/kinoa etc in warm water, the water left after rinsing is the carbohydrate wash. This wash will attract microbes from the air, among them lacto bacilli.

2. Allow the Microbes to Grow & Multiply: Cover the carbohydrate wash loosely and let it stand for a couple of days to a week. The actual number of days depends on temperature. Microbes grow faster in warmer temperature, therefore the warmer the temperature the lesser the number of days you’ll have to wait. It is done when you see a light film on top (molds) and it smells a little sour. It will also separate into 3 layers as follows:

i. Top layer: Consists of mainly carbohydrates leftover from fermentation and possibly molds

ii. Middle layer: This is the layer we use. It consists of lactic acid and other bacteria

iii. Bottom layer: Contains starch – byproduct of fermentation

At this stage enough microbes have establish themselves in the wash. Extract the middle layer using a siphon.

3. Adding Milk & Fermenting: Now you’ve extracted the middle layer (lacto serum), put it in a new container larger than the first and add 10 parts milk to it (e.g. if you have 1 cup of serum, add 10 cups of milk to it). The milk, which contains a lot of lactose, will prevent other microbes from multiplying, leaving only Lactobacillus to multiply.

The best milk to use in unpasteurized natural milk. But you can still use any other milk, including powdered milk.

At this stage, we want to exclude as much air as possible (anaerobic) as this will favor the growth and multiplication of Lactobacillus but prevent the other microbes from thriving. You can accomplish this by sprinkling something like rice bran, wheat bran, barley bran etc on top of the solution. Better still you can use a sealed container with a one-way valve.

Note: If flies have access to this mixture, it will eventually stink and contains maggots. So cover the container with a fine screen.

During fermentation there will be a lot of bubbling and this can lead to overflows if you don’t use a large enough container. To prevent this, the top level of the liquid should not be close to the top of the container.

After about 1 week (this depends on temperature), you’ll see curds (consist of carbohydrate, protein, and fat) on top of the milk. The yellow water below is whey and this is what we want. It is rich in lactic acid bacteria from the milk fermentation. Extract the whey by skimming out the curds or by pouring through a strainer. The curds can be eaten, given to animals, plants, added compost pile or soil etc.

Preservation

To preserve the whey at room temperature, add an equal part of sugar or molasses to it. For example, if you have 1L of serum, add 1kilo sugar or 1L molasses, otherwise store in a fridge.

Sample Recipe

1. 1 L rice wash

2. add 10L Milk

3. After fermentation, remove curds – around 1L. We’re left with 10L pure LAB (lactic acid bacteria)

4. add 10kg sugar or 10L molasses and this gives us 20L of stabilized lactic acid bacteria serum

How to Use

Before using, mix 1 part lacto serum with 20 part water. Then follow the instruction below:

To Reduce Odor: To reduce odor from animal pen, add 2tbsp of the lacto serum per liter of water and spray on the beddings. The good bacteria will eat up the odor-causing bacteria and stop the smell. Spray until the bedding is slightly damp but not wet. The amount to spray depends on your climate, animal density (which determines amount of droppings) etc. Use more in dry climates and less in humid climates. The stronger the smell the more you use. Repeat spray when you notice smell building up.

For Houseplants: Mix 2-3tbsp per 1L water and use that to water them.

As Animals Digestion and Growth Stimulant: Mix 2tbsp lacto serum to 1L water, then add that mixture to animal’s water at 2tbsp/L (the animal’s water contains little less than a quarter tsp/L of the lacto serum). This amount can be effective, but more won’t hurt and may be wasteful. This will improve digestion in animals and improve growth as a result.

Another recipe says to boost growth, mix 2tbsp to 1L water and soak the food in this solution for a few hours to a few days. This pre-digest the food for the animals.

Stimulating Plant Growth: When added to water for plants, it improves nutrient uptake efficiency and this lead to increase growth rate. The microbes in it help to convert soil nutrient to a form suitable for plants to absorb.

For Compost: Mix 2tbsp/L and spray on compost pile to improve decomposition.

For Organic Fertilizers: Add 1-2tbsp per gallon water-nutrient solution. Lacto converts organic nutrients to inorganic form. Plants absorb nutrients in their inorganic form and not in their organic state.

In Aquaculture: Add lacto serum at roughly 1L per 700m3 pond water. For example, if you have a pond that averages 10m wide, 30m long and 2m deep, the volume is 10 x 30 x 2 = 600m3. In this case you’ll add 600/700 = 0.86L of Lacto to the pond water. Notice that we’re talking about the volume of water in the pond, not the entire pond volume.

Lacto bacteria will clean up the water by digesting fish and feed wastes. It will also improve digestion in fish and improve growth.

When I finally try this out, I’ll be writing about my experience in this blog, so watch out.

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