One of THE two most critical aspects of sprouting!
Given proper moisture a seed will germinate.
Rinsing is the process by which we add moisture to our sprouts. Draining is the process by which we regulate the amount of moisture our sprouts have available - until their next Rinse.
We grew sprouts professionally from 1993 - 2003 (over 200 tons), so we formed some definite opinions on what works and what works best. Please excuse our dogma, what follows is what WE know works best. We grow our sprouts (and did even when we were professionals) by hand - rinsing and draining over a sink, just like you. You can of course modify anything and everything we say to suit yourself.
The Sproutpeople's Principals of Rinsing:*
Use cool water (60-70°).
Use a lot of water.
Use high water pressure whenever possible.
Rinse 2-3 times daily.
By using high pressure water (turning your faucet to high) you "clean" your sprouts, infuse them with oxygen (oxygenate) and keep them loose - which helps a lot when it comes to Draining.
Though sprouts will grow with little water - as long as the humidity is right, it is our long held opinion that they won't grow as well, store as well or taste as good. Even further - though we have no scientific evidence, we think the heavy watering/oxygenating makes healthier sprouts. We see sprouting as micro-gardening. A garden loves nothing more then a nice thorough rain on a perfect Summer day - plants seem to grow before your eyes. With Sprouts, a thorough rinse along with desired humidity and 70° temperature is a perfect Summer day, so let it rain!
Don't forget the other most vital element of sprouting: Draining
Don't water to the point of drowning however. If your seeds/plants are sitting in a muddy swamp they will suffer too. Common sense will guide you =:-}
Your plants will require more and more water as they grow bigger - they are after all, mostly water - so water them whenever they need it - every day or 2 at first and at least every day during their last few days of growth.
Water from the sides if possible to avoid hurting the tender plants - remember - you are watering the medium not the plants during the last several days.
The Basics of Sprouting:
- Seed Storage: Keeping your dormant seeds happy.
- Soaking: Turning a dormant seed into a nutritional powerhouse.
- Rinsing: Water is the key ingredient in sprouts. Use it liberally.
- Draining: It is essential that sprouts be drained thoroughly after rinsing. Sitting in a puddle is the most common cause of crop failure.
- Air Circulation: If your sprouts can’t breathe while growing - they can die. Don’t put them in a closed cabinet.
- Greening: Photosynthesis is cool, and so is Chlorophyll, but not all sprouts are into it, nor is it necessary. Sprouts of all colors are packed with flavor and nutrition!
- Cleanliness: Your seed should be clean and your sprouting device should be sterile. Wash your sprouter well between crops with dilute bleach (1 Tbs. of bleach per pint of water is plenty).
- Storage: Properly stored, fresh sprouts will keep for up to 6 weeks in your refrigerator but fresher is better. Never refrigerate wet sprouts.
- Eat More Sprouts! Grow More Often!
* The instructions given for the seed you are sprouting and for the sprouting device you are using will specify any variations necessary.