We don't like "no-rinse" multi tiered sprouters like the Bio-Set and Biosta.
We offer Bio-Set because enough of our customers have requested this type of Sprouting Device.
Please read about it before ordering it. Too many folks end up
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The best loved European tray sprouter, Bio-Set is supposed to do some of the work of sprouting for you - by helping with the rinsing and draining. It has 3 growing trays.
Bio-Set isn't a real tray sprouter, like its very close relation Biosta* it is a siphon sprouter which works on the principle of retained high humidity. We are big on Rinsing, Draining and air-circulation, so we are generally at odds with this concept.
According to the manufacturer's directions: Water enters the Bio-Set by filling the top tray - the reservoir tray as we call it. The water then siphons down to the lower trays - one by one - through the siphon holes and ends up in the drip tray at the bottom of the stack. The concept is this: Water is retained in the grooves on the bottom of each growing tray, creating humidity, theoretically conducive to sprouting.
The Bio-Set is 8 1/4" tall, 6" diameter, including three 1 1/2" tall, clear growing trays, a white drip tray and the top reservoir tray - where you add water - also white. The bottom of each tray is full of grooves. Water remains in those grooves and because of the sealed nature of the device, creates the high humidity desired. In theory your seeds will germinate in this very humid space, the problem is that when your seeds are small (alfalfa, broccoli, clover, etc.), they sit in-between the grooves and therefore in water.
Though we are generally opposed to this concept - it can work, for big seeds quite well and for little seeds, if you are either lucky, less demanding, or like most of our customers who like this sprouting method - willing to Rinse and Drain each tray manually 2-3 times daily like our favorite European tray sprouter Bio-Salad or our favorite tray sprouter of them all - SproutMaster.
Each tray will grow approximately 6-8 ounces of Alfalfa/Clover type sprouts or 12-16 ounces of Bean or Grain sprouts.
Per Tray : 1.5 Cups
Eat More Sprouts + Grow More Often!
These seeds are the Best match for Bio-Set:
Beans - All (see Mung Note below)
Mung Beans - We suggest that you stay with small and sweet Mungs when using Bio-Set.
Grains - All
Nuts and Seeds - Almonds, Pumpkins, Peanuts, Sunflower, etc.
Leafy Sprouts: Alfalfa/Clover and Mixes - If you really want to grow these little seeds you should consider Rinsing and Draining the tray manually as you would with Bio-Salad or SproutMaster. If you want to grow vertical Leafy sprouts use SproutMaster.
Brassicas - Broccoli, Radish, Mustard, Cabbage, etc.
If you really want to grow these little seeds you should consider Rinsing and Draining the tray manually as you would with Bio-Salad or SproutMaster. Remember: Keep them from forming a mass.
Alliums - Garlic, Leek and Onion
These really will do better if you do your Rinsing and Draining manually. Alliums that sit in water produce an amazingly strong smell which virtually no human being likes in their house!
Grass and Greens - Because the Bio-Set holds moisture well it makes it possible to grow grass and greens without soil. Doing so always requires extra attention but as long as you keep the seeds moist all through growing, it can be done. WE ARE NOT suggesting this as a good way to grow these crops but we are saying that it is possible. Experiment Freely! The major problem is that the roots will grow around the siphon plug - in a big way. Be sure to find the white siphon plug before discarding the root mass - you need it for Bio-Set to work!
Do Not even bother trying Sunflower Greens - they taste horrible (or bland, depending on your taste buds) without soil (our opinion).
Pre-Sprouting is best with big seeds that won't fall between the tray's grooves.
Specific Sprouting Instructions are found on
the page devoted to the Seed or Mix you are interested in.
Below are Bio-Set specifics.
Not all seeds require this step. See the seed information page to see if you need to do this for the seed you are sprouting.
Bio-Set can't do this. Prep in something else.
You can Soak in the drip tray/base if you wish.
According to the manufacturer: Fill the top tray (the reservoir tray) with water. After the water has collected in the bottom (drip) tray - discard it (or water plants or make soup - it is full of vitamins and such). Always use cool (60 - 70°) water (unless instructed otherwise by your seed supplier).
If you want to have greater success: Rinse each tray by hand by holding it under your faucet or sprayer. Fill the tray with water and allow it to Drain out the siphon hole. Tip the tray (while keeping your other hand over the sprouts - so they don't fall out) to help.
If you do the Rinse through the top, trickle down thing, you will end up with quite a bit of water remaining in each of the growing trays (That's the way this device was designed. If you are going with the manufacturer's version of sprouting you don't do anything beyond emptying the drip tray.). That water retention is a common concept in stacking European sprouters and is also the worst thing about them. It is never (I suppose I shouldn't say never) a good idea for seeds/sprouts to sit in water! We suggest instead: When you are done Rinsing you need to get as much of the water out of the trays as possible. Tip it until no more water comes out.
When you are growing big seeds it is easy enough to get most of the water out, but when they are small seeds, there will always be some water left, so tip more than you think is necessary. It can't hurt unless you are trying to grow vertical Leafy sprouts. If that is what you are doing,- good luck!
Sprouting and Greening
Stack your trays - if stacking - after they have been well Drained. Do be aware that air-circulation is reduced in Bio-Set - so Rinse more often or separate your trays if your sprouts ask you too. You'll have to separate the trays if the sprouts grow taller than the trays anyway - which is about the time that reduced air-circulation becomes a serious issue. Don't feel confused - just pay attention to your sprouts! Grow with the flow =;-}
If you are growing sprouts with leaves, uncover trays and locate them where they can get some more light (according to the directions on that seed's information page). Since you are dealing with trays you can get away with more light than when using totally enclosed sprouters. You can even use direct sunlight, but do pay attention as the sun hastens drying and heats up the sprouts, so you might have to rinse more often with cool water to compensate. Experiment and see. You'll do fine with minimal light too so don't feel like you have to push it.
It is virtually impossible to grow vertical Leafy sprouts in Bio-Set. We suggest that you don't even try, you'll have more luck with jumbled sprouts. Assuming you are following our tweaked instructions this is what you need to add to the seed information page: Rinse each tray by hand by holding it under your faucet or sprayer. Fill the tray with water and allow it to Drain out the siphon hole. Tip the tray (while keeping your other hand over the sprouts - so they don't fall out) to help.
Greening is done according to the directions on the seed information page.
Maximum dry seed = 4 teaspoons per tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the bean you are growing. You may also follow our Bio-Set specific tips if you like.
If you are going for small sweet Mungs you need only follow the directions on the Mung Bean information page. If you are going for big and thick the only advice we will offer here is to use the maximum amount of seed - that is the only real chance you have unless you want to add some weight to the Mung growing tray as specified on the Mung instruction page.
Maximum dry seed =
These are the worst seeds to grow in a Bio-Set if you follow the manufacturer's instructions. You have been warned!
If you insist on following their instructions, please add this: Break Up/Loosen the mass at every Rinse, beginning around day 3 - or whenever they bunch together, and there after at every Rinse. Just separate them with your fingers.
Broccoli, Radish, Cabbage, Mustard, etc. need to move while sprouting or they will form a root mass (beginning around day 3) which is at least unpleasant and often lessens the sprouts' quality. Solution: Break Up/Loosen the mass. Use high water pressure (difficult considering Bio-Set's drainage configuration) or your fingers at every Rinse to keep the sprouts loose. If they mass together despite your efforts (which is not uncommon - especially if you are growing the maximum amount of sprouts Bio-Set can grow), transfer the sprouts to a big bowl or pot type container. Fill the container with cool water (you can also use high pressure water to fill the container if you want to get a head start on loosening) and reach in with your hands (as long as they are clean, hands are always the best choice) or a fork or the like and gently separate the sprouts. Go ahead and skim any hulls that are floating on top and then transfer your Brassica sprouts back to Bio-Set. You don't have to, but we Rinse again once they are back in their tray. Keep breaking up the mass at every rinse after that as well.
If you just won't believe that Brassicas can't grow vertically, go ahead and try it - there is no better way to learn and learning is a good thing (as long as you don't hurt anyone!). You should try it with Radish if you must, as it will be the least bad of the Brassicas (it can even produce an edible crop of micro-greens if you get lucky). Just follow the manufacturer's instructions and be sure to uncover and separate the tray from the stack as the crop grows big (once the Greens grow over the top of the tray, the roots have pretty much closed the siphon hole - which means water won't drain - so tip to pour the water out after Rinsing.). Also - your white siphon cap will be swallowed by the roots. Extract it gently after harvest - you NEED it!
I bet you've never seen blue roots before.....
Maximum dry seed = 1.5 Tablespoons per tray.
Garlic, Leek and Onion. Remember - these all take up to 2 weeks to finish sprouting and they stink to high heaven if left sitting in water - so keep Rinsing or at least Draining manually - at least 2 times a day.
As with other big seeds, the big grains will work - even with the manufacturer's instructions. Draining manually never hurts, but these will work in any case as they are too big to fit between the grooves on the bottom of the trays. Follow the seed information page instructions for the grain you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 1 cup per tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the nut or seed you are growing.
Because the Bio-Set holds moisture well it makes it possible to grow grass and greens without soil. Doing so always requires extra attention but as long as you keep the seeds moist all through growing, it can be done. WE ARE NOT suggesting this as a good way to grow these crops but we are saying that it is possible. Experiment Freely! The major problem is that the roots will grow around the siphon plug - in a big way. Be sure to find the white siphon plug before discarding the root mass - you need it for Bio-Set to work!
Based on our experience - you will do best with Grass.
Bio-Set is a good enough Pre-Sprouter for big seeds!
Pre-Sprouting only unless you want to try the blue-rooted Radish experiment. I'm sorry - I'm so negative about Bio-Set! The Radish will actually grow quite well. The problem is that novice sprouters will encounter so many problems with this device that many will give up sprouting forever. We can't stand that! We need you all to enjoy sprouting and too keep doing it - forever!
Just like the picture: Solid white drip tray on bottom, growing tray, growing tray, growing tray and the white reservoir tray on top.
You MUST have the white siphon plugs in place for Bio-Set to function. You get 4 - one for each growing tray and one for the reservoir tray. Treat those little caps well and don't lose them!
Cleaning: Scrub well between crops with soap and water. Be sure to get into the grooves on every tray! Rinse well!
Sterilize: Scrub and soak in bleach water. We do this every crop because a clean sprouter produces better sprouts a sterile sprouter is a great place to begin a crop.
* If you have a Biosta (we don't sell them anymore) you can follow the instructions on this page pretty much word for word. The ONLY difference between the two is that when you add water to Biosta it goes directly into the top growing tray while water added to the Bio-Set is added to the reservoir tray. Adjust accordingly. Biosta is also larger, having about twice the capacity per tray as Bio-Set.
170 Mendell St.
San Francisco, CA 94124
We only use the phone for emergencies.
Back in 2001 we were still using the phone. One day I was talking to a long-time customer while pushing my (then 4 year old) daughter on the swing in our backyard (this is what a mom n' pop business is like on the internet). It dawned on me that my priorities were severely messed up, so I stopped using the phone. I love to talk and I love to help, but my family would never see me if I picked up the phone again, and that's just wrong don't you think?!
The very best way to contact us is through E-mail =:-)
We are quite fast and VERY thorough. We love to help.
We have been an internet only business since 2001. We are not a big corporation. We are but 2 people, Mom n' Pop Sprout. We decided after years of juggling our family's (kids, dogs, cats and even our own) needs, and the needs of Sproutpeople, that we had to make more time for our kids, so we stopped talking on the phone. All calls go to voice mail and have since 2001.
We are very fast to fill orders and answer e-mail, and though we wish we could make the time to talk, we just can't seem to get more minutes into a each hour. We are many years older than when we started and our days are too short and made up of too few hours to do everything. This limitation in our business has not kept us from pleasing our customers, nor from growing (as we have every year since 1993). We do what we do as well as we can, and we think we do it very well indeed.
We appreciate your patronage more than we can say. We ask that you use the phone for emergencies only and that you search our site for answers before e-mailing us. This site is bigger than any 4 sprout books put together, it is always available and it is free, and we know that almost all questions are answered here.
Thanks again for your support and your many kind words.