Compost tea offers benefits of compost in a more manageable package, according to the Rodale Institute. Farmers have soaked bags of compost in water for centuries to fertilize their crops. Today, home gardeners can refine this passive method by actively aerating a solution of compost and water using a homemade tea brewer. The resulting tea can strengthen plants as the tea's beneficial organisms crowd out pathogens in the soil and produce antibodies and enzymes that minimize disease organisms, according to the Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory at the University of Connecticut.
Cut aquarium tubing into three pieces at least 12 inches long. Attach the pieces to the gang valve.
Place the gang valve on the side of the bucket. Double-check that the hoses reach the bottom of the bucket.
Cover the bottom of the bucket with the finished compost. Double-check that the ends of the hoses are covered.
Fill the bucket with water up to within six inches of the top. Use water that has been allowed to sit for 24 hours to allow its chlorine to evaporate.
Turn on the aquarium pump and let the mixture brew for two to three days. Stir the brew occasionally.
Strain the solution into the second bucket or a sprayer canister through cheesecloth. Place the compost solids back in the compost pile or in the garden.
Apply the compost tea to plants immediately, either on plant foliage or the soil itself. Beneficial microbes begin to die shortly after the air source is removed, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.