Modular Hydroponics - Sprouter Modification

This is a modification, very minor, which accommodates growing bean sprouts rather than actual plants.

I have kept the sprouter separate from the reservoir containing nutrient ONLY because I am unsure of the ramifications of eating sprouts grown in nutrient rather than straight water. I am also unsure if there would be any health concerns over using the same water for 3 to 4 days. I did it and the sprouts came out looking, smelling and tasting fine. I know, however, that is plenty of time for harmful bacteria to grow, so if anyone has experience in this area, comments for myself and anyone who might build this would be greatly appreciated. I know that I can add chlorine, but would be interested in any other methods for controlling bacteria/toxins during the growing or washing processes.

Conveniently, many wide mouth plastic containers fit inside a 2L bottle. I chose peanut butter jars for this over a yogurt container, as in Toilet Tank Bean Sprouter, because the water enters the system from the bottom instead of the top. The yogurt container would work, but the 2L bottle would have to be trimmed to the correct height.

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Step 1: What You Need

1 ea 2L pop bottle
1 ea plastic jar that fits inside a 2L bottle - peanut butter jar in this case
1 ea drill
1 ea 1/64 inch bit
1 ea 1/8 inch bit
1 ea utility knife (to cut 2L bottle)
1 ea Modular, Windowsill, Air Powered, Hydroponics Herb Garden/Experimenter

Step 2: Sprouting Chamber

1. Cut bottom off 2L bottle. Invert and screw into place in the Modular, Windowsill, Air Powered, Hydroponics Herb Garden/Experimenter.

2. Drill 1/64 inch holes in the bottom and up the sides of the peanut butter jar. Pattern is a matter of choice as long as the water can fill and drain the jar completely.

3. Drill a 1/8 inch hole in the lid to allow the air to vent during the fill and drain processes.

4. Put drilled peanut butter jar, or equivalent, into the inverted 2L bottle.

Step 3: Operation

1. Fill Sprout chamber with the desired amount of beans/seeds and close lid.

2. Place into inverted 2L bottle.

3. Fill reservoir with fresh water.

4. Fill and Drain at least twice a day. Mine is set to fill for two minutes, six times a day as it shares a timer/pump with another unit.

5. Allow to run for 3 to 4 days. Remove sprouts, wash/rinse, eat as desired. I would recommend cooking them to be safe. If run constantly, change water often to avoid toxicity.

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    9 Discussions

     You can use a weak nutrient solution to grow those, but before eating them, you should soak them in clean (preferably Distilled) water for 24 hours. The distilled water will "Leech" out the extra salts and you should be fine!

    2 replies

     Or, using the drain & fill method, as you are, on the last day before the "Harvest" change to clean water during the drain & Fill.  You wouldn't need to soak them as I stated above.

    Thanks.  Good to know as gardening season is approaching.  I can re-use the relatively fresh nutrient solution in other hydroponic systems, or potted plants.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    For disinfecting, you could use a solution of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), check around the internets for concentration rates. It is perfectly safe to use and is great for the system. The breakdown products are water and oxygen. Any oxygen that isn't consumed by oxidizing (i.e. killing) the bacteria/mold/fungus dissolves into the nutrient solution therefore increasing your DO (dissolved oxygen) content. H2O2 is also harmless to plants at the proper concentration, so your sprouts won't suffer.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    This makes me wonder if my special sprout container fits into a 2 L bottle. The instructions for sprouting which come from the website I get my seeds at say that draining well is the most helpful step to sprouts. And they go on about bumping the container around to get excess water out. At first glance this design goes against that advice. But it's oblivious it does work for the seed you're using. I love your designs and maybe if I were giving this a try (like I think I am) I'd want to improvise some sort of air circulation through the system between soaks. Or something to vibrate the bottles? Oh, the ideas!

    1 reply
    wiley coyotecynvision

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I like your suggestions and will try to implement them. Thanks. Since I designed some of what you desire out of the system, here's some ideas. Eliminate the bubbler so the air will route through the sprouter. It will shake it up very well if the air actually went through rather than around. Open the top up more for air circulation. Drainage should be excellent if there are sufficient holes in proper places. Both aeration and drainage would benefit from a more mesh like sprouter chamber. Oh yes ......... the ideas.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    Great instructable Wiley ! I was looking for an "easy way" to sprout, as I keep forgetting to wash & drain,and here it is. Simple and effective, all made with recycled elements.

    1 reply