Sometimes, the supply of fresh foods for black soldier fly larvae may be as steady as we want. Maybe the food spoils before the BSFL have a chance to munch on them. A way to solve this is to make longer-lasting food that's odor-free & nutritional for the baby larvae. We'll have some fun checking out the fermenting method. Let's see.
Fermenting the foods
Fermenting the foods for the larvae extends the storage time for up to 6 months. This means we can store the foods for a long period of time without worrying about mold/houseflies or foul smell. Perhaps in a year, we only need to prepare the foods twice. When fermented, it will give off a slight acidic smell that's totally bearable & doesn't stink. This method is suitable for farms or some of you guys DIYers that live near residential areas.
The recipe we'll use today:
- 40 gram EM/ lactic acid bacteria /bread yeast
- 1 kg wheat bran/rice bran
- 80 kg spent yam/potato/soybean waste
- 200 gram sugar/molasses
- 40 liters of water
To ferment 80 kg food waste, we'll have the yeast/fermentor or EM. You can use pre-made packages or make your own. The little microbes that work best for this are Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Streptomyces, Saccharomyces. Basically, these are our little mighty warriors. Once they are released into the food waste, they'll do much of the heavy-lifting for us–chewing the food, breaking it down into smaller pieces & eliminating the smelly smell for us.
Wheat bran, rice bran or rice water really helps in activating these guys. Anything with a good amount of starch will do. The sugar or molasses will be the food for the microbes & helps keep the fermentation process going. If you can't find molasses around your area, sugar cane juice or other types of sugar is also fine.
In a 120-liter bucket, mix in these components. You can use a heavy-duty electric mixer to save time & effort. Once the mixing is done, place the bucket in a cool, shaded area with a lid on top. In the first week, remember to open the lid slightly to let off some CO2 gas, a by-product of this fermentation. Then, you can let it sit there & take out some food for the BSF larvae anytime you see fit.
Some people use the foods when it's about 10 days old. You can let it soak for longer. You may see some white film or fuzz at the top surface & this is completely normal. It won't harm the food source. In simple words, this is like pickles. When you like it, you can take it out for consumption. The foods won't spoil if kept in these conditions.
Have fun making your own BSF food
The benefit of making the fermented food for BSF larvae is the acidic environment it creates. This acidity makes it nearly impossible for other life forms to survive, except for the very hardy good microbes. The smell will be reduced.
Houseflies, the main cause of your loved ones saying 'Oh it stinks, get it out of the house please', won't be buzzing around anymore. Best of all, the foods will retain the nutritional value, can be kept for longer & will be easier to digest for the larvae.
Have fun exploring & share with us some tips you have. Enjoy! But one last note, don't turn them drunk by alcoholic fermentation. But it's your call after all.
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