Actually a minimum compost pile would be 3x3x3, but you would also need a place to turn it so another 3x3x3. One pile at a time is slow and not much compost 3 piles are better but you would need a 3.5x 10.5 space to do it. One pile for building, next pile cooking, third pile finishing. My yard is 15-30 ft deep from the house to the perimeter. Too close to keep vermin outside.
The differences in compost tea. Aerated compost tea is faster than non-aerated tea. If you let the water stand 4 days before you make the tea, most of the chlorine will volatize off. If you aerate it, it can be ready in as little as 72 hours. Non aerated teas take 4-5 days. But it is better if it is stirred every day.
There is conflicting information on non aerated tea, some articles say that it contains anaerobic pathogens and can be harmfull, however there are not many scientific studies to come to any conclusion. It is generally accepted that AACT is the preferred method.
There are a few things you have to know in making compost tea
1. The source of the compost matters. You want a hot composted compost that gets to at least 131 degrees to kill off the worst of the disease causing pathogens. If your compost isn't good and contains mostly good organisms it doesn't matter if the tea is aerated or non aerated, disease causing pathogens may be different but can live in either aerobic or anaerobic conditions.
2 . The purpose of growing the tea is not to make 'fertilizer' but to grow the organisms to feed the soil and they will in turn make more of the available nutrients available to the plants. Note: for the organisms to survive and thrive in the soil, the soil must contain enough organic matter (carbon) and nitrogen (usually from fertilizers, manure, animal and plant by products) to sustain their population and still have enough left over to sustain the plants. This is one reason why I do not plant directly in compost alone, it does not contain enough nutrients for both the organisms and the plant by itself. Unfinished compost will compete with the plants for nutrition and if it is not hot composted, may still contain pathogens.
3. If you make aerated compost tea, there is a clock on it. You have to prep it and if you go more than 3 days, you have to add more blackstrap molasses or the organisms will starve from lack of a food source and start to die.
4. Aeration selects for anaerobic bacteria, but there are aerobic pathogens like xanthomonas that would love those conditions.
Once aeration stops, you need to strain and distribute the compost tea within 4 hours. Since you have selected for aerobic bacteria, they don't live very long in an anaerobic environment
5. The advantage of non-aerated tea over aerated tea. In the garden there is no active aeration, organisms grown in non aerated tea live longer. Although there have not been many studies. I hypothesize that the organisms are more like the brine shrimp I used to grow for my aquarium. They are being cultivated to feed the soil organisms already in residence and not to augment their numbers. If you ever did a lab experiment and cultured soil, you would find many different colonies of bacteria on a plate depending on the media, but the colonies of different species compete with and eat each other and some of them actually create lethal zones around them to keep other bacteria and fungi away. It is how antibiotics like streptoymycin was discovered. Pennicilin was discovered in bread mold. Bacteria usually eat yeasts, when bacteria are killed the yeasts population soars and causes problems. Billions of organisms live in and on the human body. The host (us) normally are not bothered by them unless our immune system fails or we get sick.
6. Your making compost tea in a water environment so you would be selecting for bacteria and fungi that survive in that kind of environment. Then you are going to put them on a plant in the air and on the soil, which are again different environments, not all of the microbes will be adaptable.
The University https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/facts ... sttea.html
We actually did an experiment for the master gardener class on aerated vs non aerated tea. Lettuce seedlings were grown in pots all using the same media. Peat/lite with osmocote slow release fertilizer. On one group AACT was used on the second group non aerated tea was used. Unfortunately since this was a class experiment not a scientific one, there was not a control goup (so the study design was a bit flawed). A few of the lettuce plants died from unkown causes but of the ones that survived, the ones grown with non-aerated tea were larger. (Again not scientific, it was based on observation not actual weights).
It would be a good experiment to try to do a better study. Have a control group. This study was done in pots using basically a sterile potting mix and fertilizer. Not many organisms to start with in a pot, Just what it gained from the air, and water. The pots were on a bench so no contact with the ground, but at least the mix was made at the same time so the media was the same for all the plants. Since osmocote was used, for fertilizer, most of the growth of the lettuce could have been the result of the fertilizer and not of the compost tea.
It would be good to try the experiment on a larger scale in a homogenous field. Using the same crop and variety. Intial soil test for NPK and soil microbes
Have three groups n=30 in each group. One group would be the control, the second would be aerated tea (dosage and intervals would need to be determined) and the third would be non aerated tea.
Tissue and soil analysis should follow for weight, test plants for pathogens (safe to eat), soil microbes, NPK (looking for changes in the soil. Some of the changes will be inevitable since the crop will use up some of the nutrients and it will be different for different crops and under different environmental conditions.