HOWTO make GBR (germinated or sprouted brown rice)

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Thanks everyone for making this a popular instructable! This is a perfectly fine way to make good brown rice, but I should mention that I now use the method detailed here: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.jp/2009/04/new-way-to-soak-brown-rice.html You can use the tools listed in this instructable with the new method, or you can use a warming box or room temperature if it's over 27C where you live.

It's been a few years since I've posted it, so by way of an update I'll answer a couple questions here. 1. The purpose of the hot plate is to keep the rice at a temperature at which it will sprout. If it's warm out, you don't need the hot plate. Recently I built a warming box powered by a simple light bulb attached to a temperature sensor; I put the pot of rice in there and it works great. Easier but a bit more expensive than the hot plate. 2. You can also sprout rice as you would alfalfa sprouts--soak, and then rinse and turn the jar upside down over a strainer. Personally, I find it easier to sprout when the rice is in water. 3. Green tea works to reduce the presence of bad bacteria that cause spoiling. Recently, though, I have had more luck using whey or other fermenter starters. Anyone experimented with this?

This tutorial will describe how to make germinated brown rice (GBR). Why do you want to do this? Because it's healthier and better tasting (I think) than the regular version! I'll discuss some of the health benefits and ways of making it.

Sprouted brown rice can also be called sprouted brown rice, GABA brown rice (for the amino acid GABA that is created during the sprouting), or hatsuga genmai in Japanese.

On page one is a short history and some health benefits. Skip to page two to get straight to the how-to.


Here are two very simple methods you can use.

1) Buy a Germination Pad: A "Germination Pad" is like a hot pad used for sore muscles, but with lower temperatures designed to get seeds in trays (or sprouts) to germinate. They are cheap and useful for sprouting or growing plant starts and microgreens. If you are into GBR, then you are probably interested in sprouting and should own one anyway. You can even buy a thermostat that attaches if you want the ability to program the EXACT temperature such as 85F if that's what you want. I bought these online at a popular online retailer/bookstore that we all know about.

2) Ambient Heat: Another simple method would be to turn up the thermostat you already have- the one in your house, above 27C/80.6F in that room for one day to get it to germinate, maybe even giving it a good burst of 90F to get things going - OR you could try a small space heater nearby to ensure this minimum temperature.

3) I use a Zojirushi Rice Cooker with GABA functionality to cook GBR. The GABA Brown setting uses a long soak and a long, lower temperature cook cycle (to avoid destroying the GABA and nutrients that might be denatured by higher heat)

This GABA feature is cool and we love it. However I know that the default setting of 2 hours soaking in warm water is LAME. That won't allow anywhere near full germination. To get anywhere near useful germination levels, combine the GABA setting with the TIMER function to extend the soak/germination time. You need to experiment with the TIMER function if you are serious about making GBR.

What I do personally is wash the brown rice very well, IMPORTANT: give it a flash soak in mild vinegar water to kill yeast and bacteria, then rinse very well again- **ideally with cooled boiled water so it is sterile (this will improve your results alot if you are worried about avoiding that "cheesy" smell). Now you are starting off very "clean".

Select "GABAbrown" and set the TIMER function to 13 hours or more. You may sneak in another rinse or two during this waiting period, if you can avoid disrupting the timer/GABA settings. My model (Zojirushi NP-HBC-10) lets me get away with this meddling.

*Using the TIMER function works because the Zojirushi's computer chip "knows" how long you've been soaking your rice and it recalculates cooking time and temperature based on this timer delay, so you still end up with perfectly-cooked rice every time, with little chance of getting sick. If you try soaking rice outside in a bowl and then introducing it into a programmable rice cooker, the cooker will assume you are starting with hard fresh rice, and likely overcook it into mush.

That is the upside. The downside is that you might not be able to soak/germinate as long as you want, and you can't do rinses after a certain point once the timer hours run out and it starts the 3-hour slow cook.

"Blood-Brain Barrier" defeatism:

I know that lots of people say that GABA doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and because of this it isn't useful to germinate rice. To this, I simply suggest that these people may be committing "The Luddic Fallacy" or assuming that "that which has not yet been proven must be false", though it could be totally valid.

It is possible that giving the body plenty of GABA in food and the bloodstream:

A) might give the body everything it needs to make plenty of its own GABA , leading to higher serum and brain GABA levels than the body would produce under different circumstances. Or having plenty of those raw materials in circulation could free up demands elsewhere in the body, allowing it to make more neurotransmitters. We just don't know.

B) that there could be other beneficial components to germinated rice such as vitamins, enzymes, aminos, and other compounds, etc that make sprouting or germinating rice useful. (this is likely true)

C) There could be undiscovered receptors throughout the body that interact with GABA in the bloodstream or gut- we are constantly finding out new things about the human body, immune system, neurology, and the brain. We recently discovered that there are olfactory (smell) receptors all over the skin- very few and widely placed, but they are there... sandalwood incense and aromatherapy, anyone? Some people might have lauded aromatherapy in the past. Keep an open mind and if people want to eat common, whole, natural foods, it's usually not a bad thing. Almost all grains, seeds, nuts, and beans are better for you when sprouted or germinated, as long as the right methods are used.

Personally I'd rather germinate and HOPE to recieve health benefits.

bluescrubby (author)  シュッツェマ8 months ago
Lots of great information in here, thanks for posting!

Thanks. I could be really, really geeky and post more about microbiology and biochemistry of it all. But the main points are there. You need clean rice and water, clean procedures and handling, a precise temperature, and the longest time you can germinate without it starting to ferment (rot). Just like with gardening or sprouting microgreens, everything needs to be done scientifically using best practices, almost like a science experiment. This is what gets you the best results.

I am interested in making GABA Red (Bhutan rice) and GABA Black (Chinese Black Rice)... these can also be done. But don't mess it up- these rices are expensive! I think the slower and longer cooking methods makes these rices less hard ("al dente") and more perfect, especially with red rice.

Put the geek stuff in a separate linked offsite article, because sometimes exact info is necessary but not everyone wants or needs it.

Thanks. By the way, I have never used green tea. I might try it soon because I find that interesting. But right now I'm preparing to make carrot cake, green tea brownies, paella, Aomori Black Garlic and other treats inside my rice old cooker, using parchment paper and some grapeseed oil (which handles high temperatures and long cooking very well compared to other oils).

rosewater6 years ago
I've used a rice cooker on it's warm, as opposed to " cook" setting. I didn't use a thermometer so I can't vouch for if it was actually below the recommended temperatures for raw diets. You mention that the temperature should be between 86-104 F but most raw books say that the living enzymes that are beneficial to our health are destroyed when they are above our bodies temperature, 98.6 F
bluescrubby (author)  rosewater6 years ago
Perhaps I miscalculated or got some bum information from the internets... At any rate, you're right--I think just over 70 degrees F should be sufficient for sprouting. However, many sources seem to say that up to 100 degrees or more is perfect for germination. My experience is that as long as you keep the water fresh, rice has a tendency to germinate in a wide range of temperatures. The warm setting on a rice cooker, though, is intended to keep food hot enough to prevent contamination, so I suspect it would be too warm for germinating rice. Did you succeed?

I read somewhere that the warm setting on a rice cooker is about 122F which indeed might be too hot for germination or sprouting. Some rice cookers have "Extended Keep Warm" feature which might be a slightly lower temperature.

There are these sprouting cups called "Sproutamo" which are amazing and foolproof for sprouting seeds, beans, anything really. I have four of them and rotate crops constantly so I always have germinated beans ready to cook, sprouts for salad, and spicy sprouts for pita sandwiches. I'm sure you can germinate brown rice in the cups, but then if you put it in a rice cooker it will "assume" that you are giving it hard rice, and you'll get mush. My rice cooker has a "hard" rice setting which might not overcook this sprouted rice... but I haven't tried it. That would be totally ideal because with this Sproutamo thing I've never gotten rot or mold since it has some sort of design to lift out heat generated by germination by convection, somehow keeping the seeds aerated/oxygenated without drying. It's very clever. This means that you could germinate brown rice for a very long time, until they are almost plants. I have turned mung beans into hundreds of little green and purple plant seedlings and never got nasty smells since I rinsed them in a glass pyrex pan and let them sit in sunlight while immersed in water for a while (turns the colors rich and bright, enhancing phytonutrients). I will try this technique on Brown Rice! One could always use a very lightly oiled nonstick pot to cook the GBR to perfection, the old-fashioned way, and then get the ultimate GABA rice!

bluescrubby (author)  シュッツェマ8 months ago

Yes, the regular warm setting is far too warm. In C, I germinate my rice at 27-28, and the rice warmer will keep it at 55 or above. For boiling it, though, if you just use less water than you'd use for white rice you'll be fine. If it's mushy, just decrease the amount next time until you find the right amount.

I have been able to use my rice cookers warm setting to keep the water close to 100 degrees by putting three potholders in the bottom and wrapping a double layer of paper towels around the bowl. This lifts the bowl up and creates less contact with the heat while the paper towels insulate the sides from the metal of the rice cooker and decrease the heat transfer as well. This is my first batch of rice so I haven't seen any results yet.
I don't know, I had to start over because I forgot to change the water. I've gotta start over. Considering that heat destroys nutrition, and the higher the heat the more carcinogenic food becomes*, and that we all want to be as healthy as possible, I wonder if I could find the lowest possible sprouting temperature for rice. It'd be a good question to ask on the raw forums.
As someone in the medical industry I can say that it's not as bad as it's made out to be. 'Carcinogen' is a term that's been massively abused by people who don't necessarily know what they're talking about (I'm not suggesting this is you!). It comes down to molecular chemistry, and while increasing the energy in a chemical system can increase the rate of change/reactions between in the molecules, this doesn't make them inherently carcinogenic. Also, not all beneficial molecules in food are destroyed by heating, some may have their numbers reduced (key word), but certainly not all molecules, and certainly not completely removed, and elemental nutrients (ions like Ca2+ for example) are definitely not affected.
The Zorirushi, says on their site that there baba model heats the rice for 2 hours, at 104 f, before going into the cook cycle..... Has anyone here tried to pressure cook the rice after it has sprouted?
Sprouting before cooking would be healthier than just cooking it, yes. I'm not sure about any difference steps in the actual preparation method though.

I'm sprouting the rice just at outdoor temp of about 86 c in distelated water with green tea leaving it 30 hours, then clean it dry it in the sun for one day and drop it in my rice cooker. taste great but wonder if this is the most healthiest way to eat it ? anybody knows?

bluescrubby (author)  Renethelegend1 year ago

I would change the water at 18 hours and then rinse well at 30 hours. I freeze mine--why do you dry yours? I wonder if the sun exposure could reduce any nutrients.

Ye probably rising once will keep it from almost fermenting, maybe better.I put it outside in the sun to absorb chorofiel (no idear how to write that) but perhaps the sun exposure or freeze kills the sprouts and make it less healthy that way? freeze to store it longer?

riendear7 years ago
What about using a heating pad and some towels for insulation?
wescc riendear1 year ago
your a towel
Do you rinse the rice before boiling, to rid it of the smellies?
bluescrubby (author)  spark master1 year ago
Absolutely. Rinse when necessary along the way, then rinse 2-3 times before draining and boiling.
cjolley2 years ago
Actually, I think I got it to work by just turning the hot plate on full power for ~30s a few times a day.

I find that, when cooking the rice, it smells like stinky cheese -- sort of like parmesan, but stronger. The taste is fine, but the smell gets to be a little much after a while. Is this normal, or should I be more careful about changing the water next time?
bluescrubby (author)  cjolley2 years ago
I know exactly what you're talking about. Check this article for great information on what to do with the water while soaking.

And then give it a very thorough rinse before adding your final water for boiling. If you rinse it in a bowl of water, there shouldn't be any more cloudiness coming off the rice before you boil it. I just use running water from my faucet though.
cjolley2 years ago
Hi... I'm trying to set this up using this hot plate (http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B0013B8G5G/) and the ライトコントローラ you mentioned. The problem that I've run into us that the hot plate is rated for 700W and the dimmer switch can only handle up to 200W, so when I plugged it in (turned to max) it lasted for about a second before the fuse in the dimmer switch blew. I replaced the fuse with a rolled-up piece of aluminum foil just to make sure the rest of it still works, but that's not really a viable long-term solution for something I'll be leaving unattended for long periods of time. I think the 200W limit should be OK as long as I always leave it near the low end of the dimmer range.

So now I'll get to my question... where can one buy a 200W fuse in Japan?
bluescrubby (author)  cjolley2 years ago
Hmm. The low end of the dimmer range should be fine. You can probably find a fuse at any home center in the electronics aisle. I recall getting one for a circuit tester a while back.
superanth3 years ago
Once you've germinated the rice, what's the best method of storage? I've bought dried GABA rice in stores, so I'm guessing drying it works?
bluescrubby (author)  superanth3 years ago
I always freeze mine. In the fridge it will continue to grow and go bad. Drying seems like more trouble than it's worth. Let us know if you try it!
83drummer3 years ago
It can also be sprouted using body heat in cold climates. For instance you could keep in in ziploc bags in a bra or in a pocket within in layered clothing.

(I'm developing a modern nomadic lifestyle that is independent of society).
xinia6 years ago
Well... I don't know why complicate something that can be sooo simple. Here's an easier way to sprout brown rice and it works!!

No need to waste energy keeping the concoction warm for 3 days.


If you cant get to the site here's the method:

1. Rinse 1 1/2 cups (or more if desired) brown rice several times until the water is clear.

2. Place the rice in a bowl and cover well with filtered water.

3. Let stand 12 hours or overnight.

4. Pour rice into a strainer and rinse well.

5. Set the strainer over a bowl to drain out of direct sunlight. Cover with a clean dishtowel.

6. Every 12 hours, rinse the rice well.

7. After 24 to 48 hours, small sprouts will appear. Use or refrigerate the rice until ready to use.

8. Cook as you would cook unsprouted brown rice, using slightly less water (for the 1 1/2 cups of rice in this recipe, use 2 cups water). The cooking time will also be shorter.

bluescrubby (author)  xinia6 years ago
True, but brown rice will only germinate in an ambient temperature of 70 degrees or more. If it's cooler than that, a modified hot plate is the cheapest way to provide localized, low-level heat!
You don't need ambient temperature of 70 degrees for rice to sprout. I live near the coast in Northern California, where it's generally pretty cool (50s to 60s most days, down to 40s at night -- even in summer!). I soak the rice in warm water for a day, then drain and cover, rinsing at least twice a day, and it sprouts just fine after 2-3 days. I no longer eat brown rice myself, so I'm sprouting what we have left for our chickens.
bobk_nyc xinia6 years ago
anyome do this in a pressure cooker. and have a time guess to start at?
raw lady3 years ago
I am going to try sprouting rice with my Excalibur dehydrator. Take a few trays out and place shallow pan on try. Can use the rest of the dehydrator for whatever. Has anyone tried this method?
bluescrubby (author)  raw lady3 years ago
Interesting. I think a dehydrator would not be a good environment for making sprouts, but it'll depend on how you do it--let us know how it goes!
lilyrose4 years ago
My husband bought a small crockpot with simple "high" & "low" settings, added a dimmer switch, and bought a nifty remote-reading digital thermometer (which was probably unnecessary but nice for me;-) Hadn't found this site before trying it, but he's gotten the temp to hold steady at 99-100 degrees F and soaked a cup of short-grain brown rice for 20 hours so far. I think a see a little germ opacity at one end of the grains but they're still starchy; just read that we were supposed to rinse every 4-6 hours, so this first batch may just be for experimenting, not for eating! I hope this will work with the short-grain stuff; I really like it best.

traductor34 years ago
I go along with Xinia. The method with the rheostated hotplate or dutch oven is overly complicated. Her method, and mine, will work nicely in warmer climates (such as Tucson). After thoroughly rinsing the rice, as she says, I soaked the grains in a screw-top jar with the lid loosely in place for approximately 12 hours. (I confess that I was flying blind because I had never sprouted rice previously. I had only sprouted wheat and several varieties of beans. My main interest is to produce salad sprouts, so I wonder if the final product will be soft enough for this purpose.) Anyway, I poured the grains into a large strainer--rinsing them carefully once more and piggy-backing them onto another strainer holding black beans that had been soaking concurrently. Then I placed both strainers into a black plastic polyethylene bag and left them over night in a warmish spot in my kitchen. Toward noon of the following day I noted that the beans had begun to sprout and that there were fine protrusions at one end of some of the grains. (Periodic rinsing is necessary of course.) They are now out in our Tucson spring sunlight, hopefully to finish the job. My only caveat: the tutorial says they'll be soft enough to eat raw, but the jury is still out on that one.
bluescrubby (author)  traductor34 years ago
Traductor3, you answer your own question. If you live in a warm climate, good for you. If not, use a hot plate.
Bluescrubby, you are correct. I thought I'd reinforce xinia's helpful comments for us warm climate denizens. Of course in summer many northern climes generate sufficient heat for several hours each day. (I grew up in N.Y. and we had long, sweltering summers.) But since you are the expert, can you tell me if my rice grains will soften up, and after how long? They have been germinating, in and out of the house, for over 20 hours; but the barely, though visibly, sprouted seeds are still quite crunchy. Also, will the sprouts get long and matted like my hard winter wheatberries do? Thanks.
bluescrubby (author)  traductor34 years ago
I usually soaked for 12 hours, then germinated for 2-3 days. You should be able to see them sprout after 1-2 days. Good luck!
Joyful Song4 years ago
Brown rice is an acid forming food. Does the germination change it to an alkaline forming food?
Rogues5 years ago
Are there any links to prove that GBR is more nutritious? I know that more GABA is produced but I really don't see the point when ingested GABA doesn't even cross the blood-brain barrier.
geetus5 years ago
I followed the above suggestion of getting an aquarium heater.  But, I avoided the styrofoamcontainer-float-another-vessel-in-warm-water approach and stuck it straight in the bowl with water and rice, covered it -- easy.
hishealer5 years ago
Not only rice, but wheat was once sprouted before being ground.  I know I was taught to soak beans before cooking.  The sprouting starts chemical reactions and makes a lot more nutrition available for our body.  That's why bean sprouts and such are so healthy.
Brownrice6 years ago
Sorry I just lost my comment. Hope this is a continuation. The pressure cooker weight stops dancing 15 minutes 4/5 flame 50 minute flame off. Best, LN
You can't germinate (sprout) brown rice in a pressure cooker as it gets too hot (above 104 degrees) and will kill the seed. A pressure cooker works by boiling water under pressure and with that can cook at a temperature way above 212 degrees, the boiling point of water --it cooks at around 250 degrees --that's why it is used to cook food fast. You can obviously "cook" brown rice in a pressure cooker --but it will cook it, (killing the embryo) but not germinate it...
inxanadu17 years ago
I've sprouted my first batch of gaba rice. Today is day three. I recently bought a yogurt maker with a one quart container, which I decided would be perfect. I also used green tea for the soaking. Since it does not have a foul odor after three days, I think I'm going to use the soaking water for cooking the rice. I'll let you know how it goes. Maria
I am doing it now, and at 100 degrees I dumpped the tea, rinsed and added new tea,don't see anything yet.
tattooyu6 years ago
I like riendear's idea of a heating pad. I was thinking the same thing.
yeah i cooked it & it made the whole house smell like stinky stinky cheese. So I just chucked in the compost...trying again.
what i did was: I put the rinsed & picked over rice in a glass casserole dish & put that in a gas oven with just the pilot light on. I did that on Monday at 10:30 am. I rinsed it a couple of times & put it back in the oven. It is now Wednesday at 5 pm. I didn't really see any sprout action. (I used organic short grain brown rice.) It is kind of stinky....but not horrible. I am going to give it a shot & cook it.
nobody8 years ago
I have a hard time believing that GABA has that many health benefits.
bluescrubby (author)  nobody8 years ago
You have a link? Some research? Personal experience?
I believe the onus is on the claimant. Regardless, I say eat it because you enjoy it, it's better for you than a snickers bar. The simplest way to keep it warm would be to place it on top of your refrigerator. Since it's sprouted could you also dry it, roast it and make beer?
bluescrubby (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
In this case, TUA, I think no. If I say, "I doubt that genmai is better for you than a snickers bar," is it now your responsibility to go prove to me conclusively that it really is? No--it's my problem if I keep eating snickers three times a day. Besides, if you look at nobody's profile, he's done not much more than nitpick at a bunch of people's posts without adding anything of value. At any rate, the whole point is that it's better for you than other kinds of rice so eat it if you want! :o ;) As to your last question... that is indeed a good one. I'm sure if it made better brew than barley and malts someone would have figured that out by now, but it's worth a try to see what happens!
Bluescrubby, rice is a major component in many of the world's more popular light lagers. It's actually a cheap and easy solution for mega-brewers. Rice can make a nice beer, but only when the grain is respected for its own characteristics and not just a quick and cheap solution.
Yeah, but celiacs(gluten-sensitive people) are trying all kinds of strange things nowadays and I love this idea. I always (rather stupidly) wondered where rice malt syrup came from. I wonder if you could get a nice bouquet with jasmine tea?
Rice malt is deficient in free amino nitrogen and therefore not very nutritious for yeast. Using it as less than 50% of the grain bill would solve some of this problem, but would likely yield a very dry beer. Let me know your results if you try it..........unless I get to it first, in which case I'll post.
Just Google it! She is right! This time and era that we live in is so bogged down the government that most children today think that food comes out of a box rather than the ground. Humans are the only animals on the planet that cool their food( think about it, what other animal cooks it's food?). We are also the only species that are plagued by obesity, high blood pressure and numerous diseases. Their are no wild animals that are obese! The only fat animals are domestic cats and dogs because humans feed them shitty cooked and processed food(regular pet food.) We have been trained by society to ask what kind of research is behind this great phenomenon when sprouting of grains. This is nothing new, in fact this practice is so ancient that in our life time most people are unaware that eating sprouted grains without cooking them once used to be the norm. This was also a time that humans were also free of modern diseases like Cancer and Obesity!!!!! I understand that I sound crazy but look it up-I'm right on the money If you feel fatigued, are overweight, have chronic pain or depressed you should seriously consider sprouting your grains because it will greatly improve your life. From one Friedly Human to another--May We a All Be Happy and Well!!!!!
ellenwheelz6 years ago
An aquarium heater can work. The one that looks like a glass test tube. I used one to produce yogurt. It can be mounted on the side of a container full of water, and the fermenting container floated or submerged in this. I used a cheap styrofoam cooler, first. It got a bit complicated. Then I found an old Igloo cooler that worked. The heat from the heater slightly deformed the plastic where it was mounted, but no harm done. I found the heater at a thrift store, but a lot of people who've had fish tanks have them around the house. If the heater does not produce enough heat, the knob on top can be simply removed and replaced at a different position to enable the thermostat to go a bit higher. This is a very energy efficient method, as the cooler keeps the heat in. I would suggest using a gallon jar with a lid for the fermenting chamber. It will float if not too full, so the lid could be cracked for air if needed. Once you get the heater to produce the temp you want, It's easy to get consistent results any time. The reason the styro cooler got complicated was, if I recall correctly, that the heater was too hot to mount directly on it. I solved that problem by putting the heater in a gallon jug full of water. I cut out a hole in the lid of the cooler, and the jug stuck through it. you could use this method with or without water around it, I guess. But it pretty much had to be in the bathtub because I didn't trust the styro cooler not to leak. And I felt I was getting better temp control floating it in water. Eventually I bought a yogurt maker. And promptly lost interest in yogurt. Ah, evolution!
ellenwheelz6 years ago
A heat source I have used with good results, to make yogurt a while back, is an aquarium heater hung over the side of an igloo cooler (or an inexpensive styrofoam cooler box). The box had to be full of water, to cover the heater, and the yogurt was in a second jar, immersed like a double boiler. The heater is capable of infinite adjustment, and it maintains the temp very well at little cost. There may be simpler arrangements, but if you are a former fish owner, you may have one of these around.
Brownrice6 years ago
Seems my last comment was totally lost. As a reply to the commentator Brown Rice, I also ferment my rice. I have been failing drown your Rice in green tea method. So I am going back to the sprouting in a sieve getting the rice more contact with the air. I still think the dimmer control of the heat is a good idea. so I am going to put hot water in the bottom of the pot and put the sieve in the same pot. My object is to keep the air moist and warm. As for cooking in the pressure cooker, in the inner pot, I use just enough water to cover the rice. Otherwise as all other conditions are the same.
fpfighter6 years ago
I found the perfect appliance to keep the water temp at around 102-104 (lid off) to be my oil filled radiator set on LOW with the thermostat all the way up. It's currently winter so I do not know if this will work (or if I even want to have a heater going) during the summer.
voide6 years ago
ive heard that only certain brands or varieties of brown rice will work. I did try short grain brown rice, i forget from which vendor, and did not notice any sprouts after 3 days. I tried again with wild brown rice from ludenburg, and it did sprout, but i dont really like wild rice. Anyone know a good, cheap, available brand of brown rice (short grain if possible - i like to make sushi with it)? Thanks
ggladish voide6 years ago
voide, I don't know if this will help you since I buy long grain brown but check out Honeyville Grain at http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/longgrainbrownrice50lb.aspx. I buy 50#s for $62.00 and shipping is only $4.99. I don't know how well it germinates as I only found bluescrubby's posting 12/13/08 and I'm still gathering equipment. Good Luck.
yeshecho6 years ago
Cooking the rice: I use an expensive induction element zojirushi rice cooker. But it makes great cooked rice from germinated brown rice or any rice. I do not believe I could get the same excellent quality finished rice with a pan and a lid. The other cool thing is that after I germinate the rice I put it in the cooker (which is too cold to germinate it further, my house is at 60F ) and set the timer so that the rice is cooked and ready for me when I walk in the door at night. Makes the whole process so much simpler. I realize everyone cannot afford this but in the end I think I save money because I know there is food at home so I do not eat out as often. It’s less expensive that a computer or TV. The zojirushi cooker actually has a germination setting (GABA setting) but it only warms the rice for a few hours before cooking, really too short to do much germination but it works in a pinch. Eating it cooked rather than raw: I have tried raw food diets and IMHO (please don’t flame me over my opinion) I believe that in the end they are not workable for many, including myself. Yes cooking breaks down some of the proteins and enzymes however it makes some nutrients more bio-available. Additionally to actually be able to digest soaked rice I have read that it must be soaked for many days. It scares me to think of the level of bacterial content after that time. Even after 24 hours it starts getting a little iffy and I have more than one pot of rice make me ever so slightly queasy ( I have an extremely weak stomach). But in the end I feel so much better from the germinated rice, I think it is OK. The studies that were done with the brown rice use cooked brown rice.
Brownrice6 years ago
I've been doing a routine where I ferment my brown rice in a pot that restaurants normally use to keep race warm. I decided to try to ferment this rice. I cook it with a pressure cooker, and because it's soaked so long it gets really mushy. I'm thinking I'm overcooking it. I'm wondering how to Cook it with a pressure cooker. I'm going to try the new green tea method. So far my rice has been very unappetizing. Overly fermented I'd say. But it's great for the bowel movements. certainly it digest very well.
bluescrubby (author)  Brownrice6 years ago
I don't really understand how you ferment your rice or what the end product is, but please be aware that sprouting and the green tea method are ways to take RAW rice, make it grow a little into a plant, and then consume it. If you cook it in a pressure cooker you will kill it and it cannot grow.
yeshecho6 years ago
After reading about the enhanced cognitive effects the anti-stroke and anti-Alzheimer's effects of germinated brown rice (GBR), its clear that eating GBR everyday will have significant anti-aging effects.




First I obtained a heating element from local thrift store. Both an electric frying pan and a fondu pot gave nice temperature readings after adjusting their thermostats to around 101 +- 2 deg F. I did spend some time using an accurate thermometer to find where to set the thermostat (that came with each pot). I decided on the fondu pot for aesthetic reasons.

I filled the fondue pot with water and put a rubber pot holder in the bottom of the pot. I then put a 4 cup glass measuring cup into the water filled fondu pot creating a double boiler (the glass cup does rest on the rubber pot holder at the bottom of the pot). I prefer to germinate the rice in the glass measuring cup as the fondue pot is aluminum. Filling the fondue pot with water acts as a buffer so that the rice inside the glass measuring cup (inside the water filled fondu pot) never gets too hot or too cold (around 101 deg F). The rice loves to be coddled this way and germinates like crazy. You will see tiny tiny whiteish sprouts at the end of your grains in 24 hours or less. I soaked the rice in strong green tea, rinsing every 12 hours. After this then cook the rice.

Green tea seems to be an essential part of this process. I did not get stinky water. One day when a short cut was taken and I used really weak green tea, the rice became so stinky I was afraid to eat it because of bacterial over growth. Not getting this problem when soaking with strongly steeped green tea.

I notice enhanced mental clarity and significantly less fatigue at the end of the day (but I did also go off of all gluten grains). I will be doing this for the rest of my life. It is an inexpensive way to feel fantastic.
bluescrubby (author)  yeshecho6 years ago
Awesome!! Thanks for your great comments, information and detail! :)
Fondu pot and electric skillet turn themselves off and on according to their internal temperature sensor. The pots are off, way more often than on. The pots are on less than 5% of the time. So this maybe be a good solution to concerns about energy usuage. I believe temperature is really important all the literature indicated a temp above 95 F with 104 F being optimal. My guess is that above 104 F is too high. Yogurt makers I thought were at 105-110 deg F maybe too high for rice sporuting?
spike3166 years ago
Would a vacuum insulated thermos work for this? Or would the lack of oxygen prevent the rice from germinating?
bluescrubby (author)  spike3166 years ago
Well the rice germinates under water, so direct contact with oxygen is not a problem. Give it a try, and post your results!
I couldn't find a thermos so I'm trying it in a clay pot in the oven instead. I preheated the oven to 100 degrees F and am going to check the temp periodically. Hopefully it'll be able to stay warm enough when I go to sleep! D: I will post my results!
When using the green tea method, is it still necessary to rinse the rice before eating or will we just be washing away all the GABA? I am intending on eating the GABA rice raw, how long is it desirable to soak the rice for best taste, nutrition, and GABA content? BTW, thanks for this great instructable!!!
bluescrubby (author)  healthyhappyhippy6 years ago
I guess it depends on the taste of the rice. If you're fine with the taste you can eat is as-is, but small variations in temperature and time can alter the final product, so you'll have to judge it case by case. As for your second question, I've already addressed that to the best of my knowledge in the instructable. Without expensive machines and a cool white lab smock I couldn't make any further guesses.
medeaortica7 years ago
...I've been always interested in sprouts and healthy living styles such as vegan and macrobiotic kitchen and typing "how to make GABA" on google I've found your very clear and useful Instructable... but ... and now I raise my question: (stating that I am sure this is good for the body) don't you think that having an hot pan switched on for at least 16 hours is a terrible waste of electrical energy? does anyone know a better way, in the sense of "more environmentally friendly", to make the rice sprout? :))) thank you again for your instructions
bluescrubby (author)  medeaortica7 years ago
Medeaortica, I'm not sure how unfriendly it is. With the dimmer switch controlling the electricity into the plate so it gets just enough to maintain the temperature, it's probably not all that much juice being consumed. I also wrap a towel around the pot for insulation. When it's not so cold out it's possible to sprout brown rice just like any other sprout--in a jar upside-down. I believe a previous poster said the temperature should be above 70 degrees F.
Bluescrubby, I'm afraid the dimmer switch itself wastes the remainder of the electricity used. If you have an electrically powered-temperature controlled heating device, it uses all the power listed on the power supply, no matter the power applied to your target. So, in this case, your 500 Watt hotplate uses all 500 Watts, all the time (or whatever the power load of your hot plate happens to be...) -K
Do you ever heard of a vacuum pot? It is the same principle of a thermo water bottle. Chinese store sells them, depends on the brand, $60-$200 each. It is like a slow cooker, but with the vacuum seal insulation of the pot, it can keep food cooking for hours after initial boiling. So I guess if you use it and warm it up at the desire temp, it can stay hot/warm for about over night, my guess about 6-8 hours. So it is quiet GREEN.
mjarthur6 years ago
in the USA, is normal brown rice something that can be germinated or do i need a special type of rice?
marki_marku7 years ago
in the old days during the war (WWII) when energy was at a premium and people's stastes was for slow cooked food they used to heat up their stew in a pot and then when it was hot place that pot into a hay box. Thea was a wooden box filled with bags of hay. It wasn't too big and used Zero energy to allow foods to cook for a long time. I have used something similar to make yoghurt.
stina7 years ago
What about my food dehydrator?
ldybgd7 years ago
a yogurt maker will keep your temps at just around 100F, which sounds like its about perfect for this. I'll give it a try.
Hi Idybgd, Please read my 12/15 post. How did your rice turn out in the yogurt maker. Did it actually sprout?
inxanadu17 years ago
After soaking my brown rice in green tea in my yogurt maker for three full days, I don't really see any sprouts at the end of the kernels. I'm going to cook it anyway, but does anyone know whether I have created any gaba?
tidk7 years ago
I tried the green tea method with a heated blanket around a crockpot insert and lid. I boiled three tea bags for a long time, then let them steep until the water came around 100 degrees, added the rice and let sit for 12 hours , wow, the smell, ick.
I think the water still needs to be changed. Maybe I should have rinsed the rice first....
patron547 years ago
I have a Panasonic 10 cup electronic rice cooker and with the lid up and set on "keep warm", I seem to be getting 103ºF as measured by a digital probe (not touching the pot). In this setting, the digital timer counts away the hours and I believe it beeps at 12h. With the lid down, I stopped after it climbed over 112ºF.
Ka-Paul7 years ago
I've found that the keep warm setting on most rice cookers (the ones that look like this) tends to keep the water at about 40 degrees Celsius. I shall experiment more with this rice making.
vanuibui7 years ago
Is GBR the same as Haiga rice? If not, do you know which one is more nutritious?
arize8 years ago
Hi. how soon does the sprouting rice need to be cooked? do you know how to store it once it's begun sprouting to keep it usable for a while? seems like since it takes so long to prepare, it would be nice to be able to prepare it in batches to use over time. I sometimes eat rice every day. it would be nice to sprout a weeks worth at a time. thank you for your post!
bluescrubby (author)  arize8 years ago
Hi Arize, Sprouted rice must be frozen if you don't eat it right away. It will go bad very quickly if left out or even refrigerated. By the way, in the spring and summer I make sprouted rice just like any other sprouts--soak for 12 hours, leave out covered and moist for a few days, rinsing every 4-6 hours.
Thanks for posting an interesting take on sprouting. I have done some other types of sprouting, and will give this one a go some time. To the question of temperature - seeds need certain temperatures to germinate, the range and degree varies with species, and is climate related. Some seeds will only germinate at high temperatures, as the plant normally grows in warm climates. Other seeds may need cold temperatures (lettuce germinates best if you put the seed in the fridge). My guess is, that rice will only grow in fairly warm climates, even if it is just the growing season which has to be warm, and of course with water, hence we don't see paddy fields in Canada or Europe. And then there is the time factor, the germination period can varie a great deal, from a few hours for many common sprouting seeds, to 18 months for some trees.Fire and digestive systems are needed by yet other seeds. The soaking in standing water will speed up the sprouting of hard, dry seeds, especially large ones like beans. The seed needs to fully absorb water before the germination can start. If the seed is just rinsed, it will need many waterings before it absorbs all the water it needs before it can start to sprout.
bluescrubby (author)  judyofthewoods8 years ago
Judy, great information. Thanks a lot!!
cyenobite8 years ago
Interesting instructable - thanks for posting. I have two questions... 1) that seems a pretty wide range of time for soaking (4hrs - 16+) is there something that happens visually to the rice so you can tell when it's "done"? Or is it simply, the longer the better? 2) Regarding the addition of the green tea... So, you boil a strong "cup" of tea then just use the liquid to soak the rice - or can you simply add the tea leaves to the soaking rice? Thanks again, I'm a little scared of the bacteria comments, but I might try this.
bluescrubby (author)  cyenobite8 years ago
Hi Cyenobite. :) After about four hours the grains are somewhat translucent. What happens between then and 16 hours is that the bud grows a bit. I've seen pictures on the internet of actual sprouts coming out of the rice, but I haven't gotten that result yet and don't know how long that took or under what conditions. A bigger sprout doesn't necessarily mean a higher GABA or vitamin content. I hope some scientists start analyzing this stuff and give us some information!
rocketship8 years ago
The pilot light in gas ovens works well for yogurt and bread...it would probably work pretty well for this. I'm going to have to give this a try!
bluescrubby (author)  rocketship8 years ago
Definitely let us know how it works! :)
5Volt8 years ago
Most sat and cable boxes are warm also when off. Water temperature could be adjusted elevating the pan. Better food at no extra price. I have to try this. Need to find brown rice and green tea. Molto interessante. Grazie. 5Volt
bluescrubby (author)  5Volt8 years ago
Give us a report on how it works! :)
marcelb8 years ago
I think you could get food poisoning the rice. Cooked rice, left out of the fridge for more than 4 hours can give you Food Poisoning dudes!! Be careful.
bluescrubby (author)  marcelb8 years ago
Well, what most people do is boil the rice to cook it after germinating it, so that would eliminate the threat of food poisoning. As it's germinating, as long as you change your liquid often enough (ie: before it spoils) you should be fine.
sherab8 years ago
Wonder if the "Keep Warm" setting on my crock pot would work?
bluescrubby (author)  sherab8 years ago
The crockpot setting is likely too high--it needs to be high enough to prevent bacterial growth to keep food safe, but that would kill germinating rice.
ewilhelm8 years ago
Tim went through a faze where he was using bean sprouts in everything, including some chocolate chip cookies. Perhaps I can convince him to share.
jeffreyf8 years ago
Interesting.... I'll have to try this sometime.
westfw8 years ago
Why does it need to be kept so warm? I've been able to germinate birdfood (to make bird greens) and dried beans (wonder how they do for GABA?) at room temperature with no problem, for instance.
robgonzo westfw8 years ago
I was wondering about dried beans too. I know my mom always used to soak them overnight before cooking. I wonder if that started the germination process? I would think that the warmth would just speed up the germination process. Plants like heat.
bluescrubby (author)  westfw8 years ago
I'm not sure--this is just what the japanese sites I've seen say. I'll try soaking a bit in room temperature water and see what happens. Keep in mind that room temperature in the winter in Japan gets down to freezing! Maybe that's why they recommend heating it.
trebuchet038 years ago
Wow cool, I didn't know this could be done :)