- 1Choose a small bean or seed. Nearly any type of bean can be sprouted, but small beans are generally the healthiest choice. Many large bean varieties are more likely to develop mold upon sitting in moist conditions for prolonged periods of time.
- Mung beans are the most commonly used bean for sprouting.
- Adzuki beans, lentils, alfalfa seeds, fenugreek seeds, and cabbage seeds are also fairly small and easy to work with.
- 2Start with dried beans. Fresh beans go bad too quickly to use. Dried beans work best when growing bean sprouts, but you should use recently dried beans for the best results. Beans that have been dried or purchased within the past year have the most sprouting potential.
- 3Make sure that the beans or seeds you choose are certified as pathogen-free. Pathogens are harmful microorganisms that can cause disease. Certified beans, or beans that you have harvested and dried yourself, are the safest to use.
Method 2 of 3: Sprouting in a Jar
- 1Clean a glass jar. You can find a sprouting jar with a mesh lid at most garden supply centers, or you can use any standard glass jar. Wash it thoroughly with hot water and soap.
- 2Wash your beans. Place them in a colander and run cold water over them.
- 3Fill one-fifth of the jar with beans. It is best to use a small amount, since a larger number of beans may make it easier for mold or other types of bacteria and fungi to grow.
- 4Pour room temperature water over the beans. Fill the jar to the top and cap it with a mesh lid.
- 5Alternatively, place a muslin or cotton cloth over the jar's top. Secure it in place with an elastic band. Cloth blocks out most of the air flow but permits just enough to prevent mold. Do not use a solid metal cap.
- 6Set the jar out on the counter, out of direct sunlight. Allow the beans to soak 8 to 10 hours.
- 7Drain off the water through the mesh lid or cloth. Open the container, pour cool to lukewarm water over the beans, and swish them around. Reseal the container and drain off the water again.
- 8Place the covered jar in a warm location out of direct sunlight. A dark cupboard works best. Rinse and drain the beans with water twice a day. Rinsing the beans keeps them clean and moist.
- 9Monitor sprout growth over the following few days. Growth usually starts within two to three days, and sprouts are usually ready to harvest after four or five days.
- 10Remove the sprouts once they reach between one and three inches in length. Rinse, drain, and spread the sprouts out on a clean paper towel for eight hours, or until excess water evaporates.
Method 3 of 3: Sprouting Under Pressure
- 1Rinse a half cup of beans under cold water. Rinsing the beans removes most of the dirt and bacteria stuck to the outer surface of the beans, preventing it from contaminating the water you will end up soaking the beans it.
- 2Place the beans in a small container and pour cool water over them. Allow the beans to soak for an hour at minimum, or overnight at maximum.
- 3Drain the beans and rinse with cool water. Rinsing the beans once more removes additional dirt and bacteria.
- 4Place a clean handkerchief or paper towel over a flat bottom strainer. Use a handkerchief with a wide weave, like a light cotton handkerchief. Pour the beans into the colander, on top of the handkerchief.
- 5Place another clean handkerchief or paper towel over the beans to cover them. Use a light cotton handkerchief or one made of a similarly light, breathable material.
- 6Shower the beans, still covered, with cool water. Allow the water to drain out.
- 7Sit the strainer with the beans inside a small bucket. The bucket should be about twice the size of the strainer, but does not need to be much larger.
- 8Place a three to five pound bag of small stones on top of the beans. Decorative glass stones work well, but any type will do as long as the bag presses down on top of the beans with a sufficient amount of force.
- 9Place the bucket in a dark corner or cupboard. You must keep the beans in the dark. Otherwise, they may start to green and turn bitter.
- 10Change the handkerchiefs approximately every 3 hours, waiting no longer than 12 hours in between changings. You must also rinse the beans and allow them to drain each time you change the handkerchiefs. This process keeps them clean and moist.
- 11Remove the sprouts when they are between one and three inches long. This should only take a few days, at most. Rinse the sprouts and set them out on a clean surface to dry for eight hours.Ad