The Fresh Loaf

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Are my Wheat Berries Sprouted or DROWNED??

tessa's picture

Are my Wheat Berries Sprouted or DROWNED??

I have a bread baking blog where I posted some information about sprouting wheat berries at home, then dehyrdating them and grinding them to bake bread.  I posted a topic called WHY SPROUTED WHEAT?

Someone posted a comment to my topic saying that there was a good chance that my berries where in fact DROWNED and not sprouted!  Here is an excerpt from that posted comment:  "...and of utmost importance, they conduct the falling number test to determine that the grain has been sprouted and not drown...all steps that cannot be done in a home operation. Based on convention wisdom about how to sprout grains, most of the grain is being drown and not sprouted"

I conducted a test to see how many of my sprouts had actually sprouted and to see if any of the berries did not sprout, indicating that they are drowned I suppose.  I could only find a few berries that may not have sprouted after 24 hours of sprouting following a 10 hour soak.  Here is the photo of the sprouts:

I plan on waiting another 24 hours to see if the berries that are questionable did develop a full blown sprout.

Can anyone provide me with some more information on this topic?   

Yerffej's picture

People have been sprouting grains at home with great success much longer than your comment maker has been alive. 

Your sprouted grains look perfect to me,


tessa's picture

Thank you Jeff for the reply.. That is what I thought.  I appreciate the feedback. 


Ryeblossom's picture

From the little experience I have and from what I read about sprouting, I can tell you it can be done safely at home, surely with wheat berries. Make sure the berries are not moldy, get them from a good source, make sure to sprout in a clean environment and clean utensils, and you should be fine. 

It's not so good to put them in the refrigerator, unless you intend on using them within 2-3 days, as mold like the refrigerator better than the freezer...

It's said the sprout is ready when it's the length of the seed/berry/legume, but I like it a bit longer.

Here's a good link: 

tessa's picture

In this photo I am just sprouting the grains to see how many where able to grow into plants.  When I sprout for bread flour I just sprout for about 10 hours until just a tiny bud appears on the grains.   Then I dehyrdate them and store them in a bag in the fridg.

I have concerns about storing the dehyrdating grains the freezer though, I used to store them in the freezer in a ziplock bag.  When I pulled the bag out of the freezer condensation instantly formed on and inside the bag.  I was concerned that this condensation would form ice crystals on each grains and the inside of the bag upon returning the bag to the freezer. 

So I switched to the refridgerator for my dehydrated sprouts.  ??

flourgirl51's picture

Your grains are sprouted. Your sprout tails could be even shorte and still be considered sprouted.

tessa's picture

When I sprout to make sprouted bread flour I only sprout them until I can just barely see the sprout.  It takes on average 10 hours.  Then I dehydrate them. 

I sprouted these longer in the photo so I could tell if they were "drowned" and not sprouting.  The commenter on my blog told me that the little sprout I was seeing on the grains I am sprouting for dehyrdating was actually the endosperm bulging out and not a sprout.  Obviously he was wrong.

Thanks for the reply.

jannrn's picture

I LOVE the idea of sprouting your own grains and dehydrating them, then grinding them into flour. Is there a good sourse to find out just how to go about all this?? Is there a certain length the sprouts should be?? Is it hard to do this and how do you dehydrate them?? WHAT A GREAT RESULT!! Seems to me that your "commenter" has proven, as we say in the south, "Opinions are like behinds....ours are the only ones we are entitled to and they all stink." It would appear that you have proven your commenter very wrong!!

inlovewbread's picture

Hi Tessa,

I just wanted to let you know that you've inspired me to start this sprouting thing! I actually have my hard red and hard white wheat berries sprouted as we speak and tomorrow I will be dehydrating them.

Thanks for the write up you did (from the link you provided above). I found a lot of really helpful information there regarding this topic. 

I can't wait to try the Reinhart's sprouted wheat bread! 

Thanks again- results to follow....

tessa's picture

Good luck with the endeavor - please post your results at some point and send me a note!  It feels good to inspire!  Also, I think that sprouted flours are goings to be coming on stronger and stronger as people realize how nutritionally beneficial it is to go the extra mile! 

With the cost of sprouted flour WAY out of our budget I am happy to devote the effort and time to producting such a nutrious food!   Besides, I have a motto these days about processing my own food from raw ingedients, I call it

NO BAR CODES!  :) best regards! 


flourgirl51's picture

I just sent you a message regarding this.

Caltrain's picture

Am I the only one curious as to why essential eating, whose registrant is located near Scranton, PA, is about an hour drive away from columbiacountybread, also in PA? I mean, that's gotta be in the same farmer's market circuit, right?

Is there some kind of cut-throat sprouted flour industry there or something?

@tessa: Sorry for the threadjack, but it looks like this thread is starting to take a life of its own. If it helps, I think your sprouts looks great. :P

hanseata's picture

The idea that you drown your wheat or other whole grain berries when you dare to try to do it at home, instead of buying a ready made product, sounds like a clever sales pitch too me. I baked Sprouted Spelt Bread (Peter Reinhart's WGB recipe for Sprouted Wheat Bread) and, also, Schwarzbrot with sprouted rye instead of just soaked berries (due to very warm temperatures).

Those berries had definitely sprouted, showing nice little tails (in case of the rye even longer sprouts) -  and the breads tasted great!

Sprouted Spelt Bread


davenash's picture

my wheat won't sprout no idea why? the link that discussed this topic here isn't working.