EM and EM preparations

EM stock solution (Maple EM.1) is the dormant version of EM. It has a shelf life of twelve months. EM stock solution needs to be “extended” or “activated” prior to use.

Extension implies the following materials and steps: One liter of Maple EM.1 and 1 kg or 1 liter of organically grown jaggery (or of molasses) are to be mixed with 20 liters of water. The water has to be clean and free from chlorine. The container should be of food-grade plastic. (Glass or metal containers are not appropriate as the development of gas may cause the container to break or explode.). It should be clean, not contaminated with chemicals, and have an airtight lid. Between the mixed liquid and the lid only little air space should be left. As gas will develop during the fermentation, the lid will have to be opened once a day to release the pressure.

For the period of activation, in tropical regions such as Tamil Nadu, the container has to be placed in shade at ambient temperatures (20-40 degrees Celsius) without exposure to strong temperature fluctuations. Depending on actual ambient temperatures, extended EM (AEM) will be ready after five to seven days: AEM has a pleasant sweet-sour smell and a pH of about 3.5 (below 4).

Thus, from one liter of EM stock solution and one kg (or liter) of jaggery, you can produce 22 liters AEM ready for use. In hygiene, AEM is being used full strength or in dilution with water up to 1:100; in farming in dilutions ranging from 1:200 to 1:1,000; and in wastewater treatment diluted (with effluent or sewage) up to several thousand times. With 1 liter of Maple EM.1, 2,200 liters (if AEM is diluted 1:100) or 22,000 liters (if AEM is diluted 1:1,000) of solution can be produced, and even bigger volumes of effluents can be treated.

As the ideal microbial composition of AEM will deteriorate over time, it should be used within one month. Users are advised to prepare only so much of AEM as can be used within one month. EM stock solution should be extended only once. 

EM stock solution can also be extended with the help of rice water and sugar .

In kitchens and canteens where large amounts of rice are washed everyday, or in places where molasses and jaggery are not readily available, the water used for the washing of rice can be used for the activation of EM stock solution.

Collect the water of the first two or three washings of rice. Mix 3 volume parts of Maple EM.1 and 2 volume parts of sugar with 95 volume parts of the rice water.

Ratios:EM.1:sugar:rice wash water
3:2   :95

Store the mixture in an air-tight plastic container and deal with it in the same fashion as said for jaggery-based AEM.

Rice wash AEM is used in the same way as jaggery-based AEM. It has the advantage of being white in colour and hence is more readily accepted in the context of hygiene management.
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