Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?

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Kristen

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Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« on: May 28, 2014, 22:53 »
Are there any pros and cons to making Comfrey Tea via "pressing" (put the leaves in a "pipe" shaped vessel with a lid that fits snuggly inside the "pipe" and a weight on the top, and drain off the concentrate at the bottom) or "steeping" (put the leaves, chopped if possible, into a vat of water and leave for several weeks).

Only difference I have read of is that the concentrate from "pressing" does not stink like "seeping" does.

Does one method gives results sooner than the other?

Produce more solution (once diluted)?

Anything else perhaps?

Thanks

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surbie100

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 23:05 »
The concentrate from the pipe doesn't smell at all and it also stores easily so it's available early in the year before the plant regrows.

But my small downpipe doesn't produce it very quickly or take much to fill. Cadalot's drainpipe version is a much better size and I now want to replace mine with something similar and use the smaller one for nettles.

I only have a half plot, with paths on 3 (usually downwind) sides and there are very few options for where I could site a steeping bucket that smells so very, very, very bad.

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Spr0ut

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 23:07 »
My findings for what they're worth:

I prefer to press new comfrey leaves for home use in my greenhouse for fruiting tomatoes and peppers, because the resulting liquor doesn't stink, so I and the neighbours are happy!

Steeping to make a tea - advantages are you get a tea a lot quicker than you do a liquor and as you say - you can use any part of the plant, older leaves, stems, flower heads etc where you couldn't effectively use these in pressing - too dry really. Use this offensive smelling but highly valuable tea on the allotment where smell is not such a concern.

One side note - I tried pressing stinging nettles to try to make a nettle concentrate, but it didn't work - the leaves and stems are just too tough to break down in this way. Nettles make a great high Nitrogen tea though for leafy growth.

Can we see Cadalot's Comfrey tube press please? I tried a downpipe of about four feet but it doesn't press well. Currently using one smaller bucket with drainage holes in, inside a larger bucket which catches the concentrate. A circular pressing plate on the comfrey leaves and a heavy concrete block on top.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 23:10 by Spr0ut »

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surbie100

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 23:29 »
Can we see Cadalot's Comfrey tube press please?

Your wish, my command...http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=100234.msg1241544#msg1241544 third photo from left.

Thanks for the tip about nettles, will stick to nettle tea in that case and keep the 4ft downpipe as a slow comfrey press still.

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Spr0ut

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 23:40 »
Thank you; much appreciated.

I am going to try moving my device into the garage at home as that is where I use the concentrated stuff - in the greenhouse. Screwed to the shed on the lotty there was too much rainwater getting into the solution, which wasn't my aim.

Easy enough to cut Comfrey leaves to take home.

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cadalot

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 06:41 »
Here is a link to the posting showing photographs and what I used to filter the lumps http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=100234.msg1219204#msg1219204

Posting above explains the photos and scroll down to the posting from where the link takes you and you will see the weight and cap

Make sure you cut up the comfrey as small as possible, I strip the leafs stack them and roll them then cut into and across and the stems get cut into 5-8mm lengths

Later in the year when a lot of the concentrate has been produced you can tip water in the top and collect strong tea in the bottom. I cleared the pipe out this year and put what came out on my runner bean beds, it did stink a little

In addition to the pipe I have tried cutting leafs and putting in a milk bottle for some quick tea, plus I now have a comfrey water butt with a hessian sack giant comfrey tea bag inside at the furthest point on the site away from the shed   
 
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 06:54 by cadalot »

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Spr0ut

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 09:49 »
thanks - I like the way you have a saucer on the top of the pipe to prevent rain getting in and the way you have the bottom capped and spouted into the collection bottle.  I had mine running into a funnel at the bottom but that was allowing rainwater to run down the outside and into the funnel and watering the concentrate down.

I'll make the necessary adjustments now I've seen the ultimate blueprint.

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Kristen

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 09:50 »
Thanks all, very helpful in deed.

"Comfrey Tea from hessian Comfrey Tea Bags" - I love it!!

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brokenglass

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 10:07 »
I steep the Comfrey, leaves stems flowers everything except the roots, in old Chicken Manure pails and use the lid to keep the smell in and more water/rain out.      The resulting brew does stink but I transfer it into old Beer Brewing containers with taps at the bottom which helps to keep the smell in until it is used anyway.   I use the brew on everything on the allotment.       Both methods do appear to produce a worthwhile feed so maybe it's just down to choice
Do you really need al that lettuce/

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Spr0ut

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 10:08 »
yes - I like the tea bag idea as well. It saves the watering can getting blocked up.

Can you read Comfrey tea leaves to tell the future?

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surbie100

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 13:09 »
Thanks all, very helpful in deed.

"Comfrey Tea from hessian Comfrey Tea Bags" - I love it!!

If you or any of the women in your life use these shower puffs, they are really handy as hessian bag alternatives. When they are past their best, unravel them out of the central cord loop and you have a very long teabag-style sock for stuffing with plant bits and dangling in the receptacle of your choice.  :)
wpid-14091327-soft-pink-bath-puff-or-sponge-isolated-on-white-background-with-copy-space-2.jpg

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Spr0ut

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 13:39 »
- didn't know they were tubes. Thanks for the hint; I'll keep mine by in future. (It's not just the girls who use these you know ;-))

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maxie

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 00:50 »
45 gallon drum filled with water,nettles,comfrey,docks,thistles  :lol: the lot goes in it stinks like hell but its dynamite tackle perks stuff up like nothing else.
Ive got a hose fitted to the bottom though so i dont have to dip out into it!

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Growster...

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 05:56 »
We steep both nettles and comfrey in one of those plastic crates, which you can get anywhere!

The only hazard is tipping the tea into another bath full of water, as it occasionally splashes up into your mouth, but hey - that's no problem is it..;0)

The gunk at the bottom either gets chucked onto the beans, or the compost heap to finish it all off.

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noshed

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Re: Comfrey Tea - "Press" or "Steep"?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 15:38 »
I have an old metal bin which a bloke at the back of my plot gave me. I stuff comfrey into an onion bag, then put a brick in. I dangle it into the bin full of water and then in a couple of weeks it is done. I dilute it and only water it around just before I'm leaving the plot for the day and definitely not just before I have my lunch.
Every now and then I empty the onion bag onto the compost heap and start again.
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.



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