A few weeks back a reader emailed us about composting coffee grinds. Since we work over a brewery, it’s pretty easy to throw our grinds into the giant compost dumpster filled with hops and barley. But what about at home – how does one setup composting for home brewing?
If you’re not interested in keeping a compost pile in your backyard or garden, some cities will provide compost bins. In San Francisco for example, you can set up your home recycling and compost service here: San Francisco recycling and composting.
If you do have the space to keep your compost, there’s a few more options…
Turning Coffee Into Instant Fertilizer:
Depending on what’s in your garden, coffee can make a great fertilizer almost right away. Coffee has good levels of nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium which is super food for plants. To make fertilizer, mix your old grounds with grass clippings, leaves, or straw. Coffee is fairly acidic so these extras will help neutralize the acidity a bit. Add lime and wood ash to add phosphorus and calcium. Make sure you don’t use this fertilizer on acid-sensitive plants as it will discolor their leaves or kill them. Some acid loving plants that coffee works great for:
Save it for later:
Coffee grinds are great to add to your preexisting compound pile or bin. When making compounds you want a balanced mix of greens (fresh stuff) and browns (dry stuff). Coffee technically counts as “green” matter so make sure you don’t add too much and offset the balance. Too much green and your compost will accumulate excess nitrogen, you want a 25:1 green to brown ratio. Examples of greens: grass, weeds, fruits and veggies, other food scraps. Some examples of browns: paper products, dry leaves, wood chips or sawdust, other twigs and branches.