How To Sprout - Step By Step Guide

Roz

Regular Member
Recently I’ve been asked by two members how to sprout… the basics. So here is a step by step, image heavy thread for those of us new to sprouting.

Sprouted grains, seeds and legumes are a powerhouse of nutrients. Fed whilst still growing, there is no loss of precious vitamins, minerals and all important enzymes.

Choose a big jar (depending on how much you intend to sprout). Wide and fat is better than tall and thin as more air can circulate inside. I'm going to use the jar on the left. The one on the right is a standard sized jar and would be ok if you were going to sprout very small quantities:



The open end of the jar needs to be covered by mesh or netting to stop the seeds falling through when draining. Gauze from a chemist/pharmacy works well:



For demonstration purposes I’m using 2 level tablespoons of sprouting mix (see further down for content):



Soak overnight or around 8 hours in plenty of clean water:



Next morning/8 hours later tightly secure the mesh/gauze around the open end of the jar with an elastic band...



Throw out the soaking water and rinse the contents thoroughly by filling with fresh water and draining again. Do this a few times:





Leave the jar on its side so that air can circulate:



Morning and evening rinse and drain again a few times, and leave the jar on its side:



And watch them grow:



They are ready to eat when the tails are approx. 0.5 to 1 cm long:



Include them in your birds’ fresh bowls:



Alternatively special sprouting jars are available to purchase. Biosnacky does one like this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Germinator...09904110&sr=8-3&keywords=biosnacky+germinator

Or tiers:



I use the tier method because I sprout a lot of different things at the same time – some in small sieves. If you use the tiers then each layer will need proper rinsing with clean water in a sieve twice a day. Letting the water trickle through from the top tier to the bottom is asking for trouble re bacteria. I like the tiers as I don’t have room on the kitchen counter for hundreds of jars. I have a system going so that as some are soaking, others are growing and yet others are being eaten:




What to Sprout?

Choose organic if possible (pesticides are not good for our parrots) or at least the freshest supply from a store with a fast turnover. Those I cannot source from a good health shop or supermarket I will order online.

Listed below are some common grains, legumes and seeds that are easy to sprout. Legumes contain the amino acids that grains lack and vice versa so include 50% of each in your sprouting mix and then add seeds.

GRAINS:

Wheat, Spelt, Kamut, Rye, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Wholegrain Brown Rice,
Popping Corn

LEGUMES:

Mung, Lentils - Green, French, Puy (not split red), Snow Peas, Aduki Beans,
Chickpeas (Garbanzos)

SEEDS:
Sunflower seeds, Safflower, Brown Sesame, Fenugreek, Radish, Broccoli, Red Clover,
Pumpkin/Pepita (doesn’t usually sprout so soak only), Hemp (doesn’t usually sprout so soak only)


All the above in black text can be sprouted together as they take roughly the same time.

Popping Corn takes much longer to first soak (24 hours) and then sprout, so I sprout it on its own. They also need warmth - they sprout much better in summer.
I sprout Chickpeas on their own as depending on the batch, some don’t sprout and they are easy to pick out and throw away. Chickpeas are another popular sprout with parrots.
Many sunflowers from the health shop are now heat treated to make them crunchy and taste nice. Sadly this will have killed them and they won’t sprout. If you find proper raw sunflowers, they take only a day and a half or so to sprout.
Pumpkin/pepita and hemp only need soaking so I soak them separately from the rest.

Be careful of
Alfalfa – the unsprouted seeds contain the toxin canavanin.
Don’t sprout
large beans such as Anasazi, Black, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto and Soy as these can cause toxicity and are hard to digest.
Don’t sprout Amaranth – the unsprouted seeds have caused liver damage in chickens.
Don’t sprout split legumes such as split peas or split lentils. They won’t sprout and will turn to slush.
Don’t sprout pearl and pot barley - they won’t sprout. Barley grains have to have their jackets on.

Clockwise from left: Alfalfa (green), Green Lentils, Chickpeas, Wheat, Kamut, Aduki, Mung, Sunflower:



A spoonful of corn sprouts:



Sprouting sunflower seed is a good way to introduce parrots to sprouts. I always sprinkle some sprouted sunflower on top of the other sprouts. When I added safflower and hemp to my sprouting mix I quickly got 100% parrot interest!



If you are new to sprouting try starting with a mixture of 25% Mung Beans, 25% Wheat, 25% Lentils (green or puy) and 25% Sunflower seeds. Mix them together in a storage container and keep in a cool cupboard.

I have never had a problem in 20+ years of sprouting with mould, etc. even in very high summer temperatures of 32C/90F. If something goes off then it’s usually the fault of the batch of seed/legume.

Happy sprouting! :)
 

Nigalius

Madras
Regular Member
I dont need to do those kind of quantities with just 2 Sennies but that is such an imformative thread. I do have my own way of sprouting and will type it in tomorrow and hopefully someone can tell me if or why its not such a good way. But time for another hour of zzzzzz's now.
 
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plumsmum

Regular Member
@Roz thank you, this must have taken some precious time to put together with some brilliant pics too. I am an ambassador for sprouting but unfortunately my sprouting results have been mixed. Invigorated anew I am off to order fresh supplies, thanks again :)
 
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Wakizashi21

Regular Member
Love this thread!! Might try to do more of it now...i think sunflower would get them all excited!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Roz

Regular Member
Thanks very much for the lovely feedback, everyone. Oooooh I think sunflower would certainly get them all excited, Wakizashi! :biggrin: Looking forward to seeing your way of sprouting Nigel! :thumbsup: Glad to have enthused you to try again, TomsMum and plumsmum!
 

Nigalius

Madras
Regular Member
My way might not be technically the correct way and the excellent post that @Roz has put up looks much better than my method but I dont need huge quantities for 2 Sennies.

I put a small amount of sprouting seeds in a 1 pint tumber and stand that tumbler in the sink under the tap, Then I let the water just run into the glass for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. I have to be very very careful at the speed the water goes in as if it is too fast the seeds will come to the top and escape over the top but start it off extremely slow and build it up until its just fast enough to agitate the seeds without losing any over the top.

After 20 or 30 minutes they can be left for half a day or whatever on a shelf and go through that rinse process again and keep on doing it until they start to sprout then as Roz says when they have sprouted about 1cm yum yum, they are ready for the birds. But at all times, these things must have plenty of rinsing.

This method is fine for small amounts but not much good if you have a huge flock.

I would like to know though if there is any reason why I should not do it like this?
 

Roz

Regular Member
That's a very interesting method, @Nigalius ... so you are kind of soaking and rinsing throughout the sprouting process, rather than soaking at the beginning only. If it works keep going as you are, Nigel Master Inventor of a new sprouting process! :D
 

Nigalius

Madras
Regular Member
I am glad that you think that is interesting @Roz , but it is only suitable for small amounts. The main thing is the speed that you let the water into the jar from the tap. Too fast and it comes flying over the top and down the plug hole but a couple of attempts and you soon get it right. How long to sprouts last in the fridge? I also guess they can not be frozen?

PS-: I suppose you could fit some kind of gauze cover over the top if your water pressure varies by much or what might be mixing the sprouts perfectly one minute could mean they all escape if the pressure builds.
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
@Nigalius Sprouts last approx five days in the fridge, remembering to rinse before serving. I have heard of people freezing sprouts but hope @Roz will clarify this point?

@Roz Do you never need to use GSE or ACV to rinse your sprouts? Using the sniff test, if they smell a little 'odd' what do you do? Rinse or bin?
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
ha ha so many different ways.

Quoting Leslie Moran from her book: The Complete Guide To Successful Sprouting For Parrots. - She says not to use plastic bags to store in the fridge as sprouts are alive and need to breathe. They need adequate air circulation and to remain fresh need to still be rinsed, if they become water logged they can become mushy. Basically she moves her 30/40 degree angle jars to the fridge by propping each jar in a plastic container, continuing the rinse and drain practises.
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
It is whatever works for you really, you are aware and wouldnt use anything that was 'iffy' would you LOL :)

One problem with Leslie's method is the need for a humungous fridge :)
 

Roz

Regular Member
@Nigalius You could definitely try doing your method with some gauze over the top and see if it still works... at least you'd keep all your sprouts, although it sounds like you've got it down to a fine art now. :thumbsup: I dunno how long you can keep sprouts in the fridge... I guess it depends if they still have a supply of air and are growing very slowly. If they are bagged they won't last as long. I have heard it said often to keep away from sprouts you can buy from the supermarket as there is a lot of bacteria in them that could be dangerous for our birds.

@plumsmum No I have never used GSE or ACV. There has been talk in the past about some brands of GSE not being pure and therefore not good for our birds. I know the one Leslie Moran uses is pure and safe (I used to consult with her regularly on Ollie and Kobe - she does a huge amount of research on things). My main mix of sprouts always smells ok. It's the chickpeas that can be a bit iffy sometimes which is why I sprout them separately. One year was an awful harvest - I tried so many brands but they all stank and over half didn't sprout. Chickpeas smell a little yukky anyway - I just rinse them a lot. Then when I'm sorting them, I throw away any that feel slightly slimy to the touch and of course any that haven't sprouted or have holes or bad patches on them etc. Just changed brands again and have some amazing ones... they practically all sprout - no slimy ones. I persevere with the chickpeas because both Kobe and Ollie love them. Now Chico is is beginning to eat them too. Bobbie prefers the sunflowers, hemp, pumpkin.... for now! :biggrin:

Ha yes, @TomsMum - I need two fridges - it's crammed full of birdie fruit and veggies. The freezer section is filled with safflower seed, millet spray, palm nuts, willow perches, etc. :pancarta:
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Thank you @Roz :worship2:, my first batch of brilliant sweet smelling sprouts, just as you specified, no problems and no need for GSE, couldn't be better. . TBH I could just sit and munch away on them :) Just off to set some more soaking :aaaaa:
 
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