How to Make Penicillin

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How to Make Penicillin

Penicillin is one of the great discoveries of the 20th century. Used as an antibiotic, over 200,000,000 lives have been saved. And the great thing? If you are willing to practice and devote some of your time, you can learn how to make penicillin.

The correct chemicals and food is necessary. You can also use a few different combinations to make penicillin. The basis is simply moldy bread, but this does not mean the process is easy.

I know how to make penicillin safely, having done so numerous times in the past. I have also taught the process to most of my family and friends. It is important to mention I have not received any professional training. If you require medical advice, I recommend talking to your physician.

If you are wondering if you can make penicillin at home, the answer is yes. You need to know what materials are required, but you most likely already have many of them at home. This includes sugar, bread and fruit. Since penicillin was an accidental discovery and is essentially mold bread, making it at home is simple. The challenge is how to make penicillin safely. All of the information you need is contained within this article.

What is Penicillin?

The story of penicillin begins with the creator, Alexander Fleming. Once his assistant passed away, he noticed all of his dishes were becoming dirty. In 1929, he became curious and began analyzing the bacteria growing on one of his dishes. He discovered it was killing the surrounding bacteria. This was how he discovered penicillin.

Penicillin is a grouping of antibacterial drugs with the ability to attack a wide variety of bacteria. This was the first type of this drug used by physicians. The world of medicine was permanently changed due to the discovery of penicillin in 1929. The scientific community refers to penicillin as C16H18N2O5S. The medical formulation is called C16H18N2O5S, and 120720 is the Pubchem ID. The most common facts relating to this substance include:

  • The penicillin classification includes several different types of antibiotics
  • Penicillin is effective due to the interference with bacterial cell walls
  • The first antibiotic used by physicians was penicillin
  • Alexander Fleming received credit for the discovery of this substance
  • Less than one percent of the population has a dangerous penicillin allergy

Benefits of Penicillin

The reason most people are interested in how to make penicillin at home is to be more self-sufficient and sometimes to go off-grid entirely. When a patient has an infection resulting from bacteria, physicians often write a prescription for penicillin. Many different types of bacterial infections can be successfully treated including strep throat, syphilis, pneumonia, gonorrhea and meningitis. Penicillin is also beneficial for the prevention of dental infections.

Penicillin is used as an antibiotic to kill bacteria and to prevent multiplication and growth. The substance works by attacking the enzymes responsible for building bacteria in the cell walls. Bacteria are then prevented from synthesizing peptidoglycan. This is a molecule located in the cell wall providing enough strength for survival within the human body. The bacteria dies because the drug weakens the cell wall. This makes it possible to recover from an infection.

Different types of penicillin are required to treat a wide variety of infections. Some of the most common types include amoxicillin, Augmentin, ampicillin, penicillin V and penicillin G.

Instructions for Making Penicillin

The instructions to make your own penicillin are not difficult to follow. So here goes:

Start by placing a piece of bread and citrus fruit or cantaloupe in a container at 70 degrees Fahrenheit in a dark place. You need to close the container, but not airtight. Add a few drops of water and leave one corner of your container open to lock in the moisture. You need to be patient since mold often requires a few weeks to start growing and produce usable spores.

You will notice a gray mold appearing on your fruit or bread. Eventually, this will become a bluish-green color. This mold is necessary to make your own penicillin. You should use homemade bread since the majority of commercial bread includes additives for the inhibition of mold growth. The second step is re-culturing your penicillin or bread mold.

Penicillin is contained within your bluish-green mold growth. There is a belief that this mold is natural penicillin and can be immediately used. This is not true and will not work!

You may be able to treat the surface bacteria on a wound by rubbing in penicillin. This is not effective if the bacteria has spread to the bloodstream. The benefits can only be obtained by further culturing your mold.

Make Penicillin, Next Steps

After this is done, take 200 grams of unpeeled potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Place your potatoes into a one-liter mason jar, then fill it up with distilled water. And make sure you screw the lid on tightly!

Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil, then place your entire jar into the pot. Boil your jar for 30 minutes. Wait until your jar has cooled a little before opening it.

The next step is taking a cheesecloth and straining the contents (you can use sterilized lace curtains if cheesecloth is unavailable). Catch all of the liquid because it is necessary to continue. Add 20g of dextrose or glucose to the liquid. You can use plain sugar if you do not have any glucose. Now add 20g of agar to your liquid. You can also use plain gelatin but do not use Jello. Your agar will not dissolve completely.

Once this is complete, add distilled water until you reach a total volume of one liter. You need flat, wide jars with sealable lids to pour your liquid into. If you have Petri dishes, they are ideal. Immediately cover your dishes to stop microbes in the air from getting in. Now you need to move the penicillin mold spores into your Petri dishes containing the potato broth. The specific method used by the scientific community to grow cultures is called streaking.

Start with a thin piece of wire. You need to bend the tip into an oval shape. Use a flame for sterilizing the tip of your wire. The tip must be red hot. Dip your hot wire into the liquid for cooling. This will prevent your penicillin from being killed by the heat. Place the tip of your wire against your penicillin mold. Three lines need to be made on your Petri dish to grow the colonies and make your own penicillin. Keep your dish covered for about one week to allow your penicillin to grow.

Your penicillin will have a yellow coloration. Keep in mind other bacteria species are also yellow so unless you have a microscope and a trained eye it is difficult to be certain which species you have. The next step is fermenting your penicillin. This step is complicated because your penicillin spores must be fermented to ensure huge reproduction numbers. If you do not have enough, it is like trying to feed a starving country with a single hamburger. Making penicillin at home must be done properly.

Ferment your Penicillin

The majority of instructional websites recommend using a lot of strange ingredients such as sodium nitrate and potassium monophosphate. Even though these ingredients can be used for homemade penicillin,the problem is they are probably not in your kitchen cabinets. There is a simpler process you can use to ferment your penicillin. Simply follow the instructions below to make your own penicillin.

  • Set your oven at 315 degrees Fahrenheit, then sterilize your flask for one hour.
  • Place one teaspoon each of citric acid, sea salt, glucose, milk powder and yeast into the graduated cylinder.
  • Fill your cylinder with water up to 100ml
  • Pour all of the contents into your flask.
  • Put on the lid, then continue shaking until you dissolve all of your contents.
  • Put the penicillin cultures into your flask.

Make certain your methods are sterile including adding a sterilized metal loop to your cultures.

• Use sterilized aluminum foil to cover your flask. This will enable airflow while preventing unwanted microbes from entering your flask.

• Your flask needs to sit for a minimum of seven days and a maximum of 14 days.

After one week, your flask will contain fermented penicillin. You must remove all of the other ingredients before you will be able to use your penicillin. You will need coffee filters, a pH tester and hydrochloric acid. Your liquid will have solid parts, which you must separate from the rest of your liquid to make your own penicillin. Make certain to keep the liquid because this is where your penicillin is located.

Use sterilized cheesecloth or a coffee filter for straining your penicillin liquid. Use a sterile container to catch your liquid. You must now adjust the pH of your penicillin. Add one drop of hydrochloric acid before testing the pH. When you begin, your pH will most likely be around five. Continue adding drops of hydrochloric acid and testing the liquid until your reach a pH of 2.2. Theoretically, you can use the extracted penicillin you made now but it is extremely unstable.

You need to use your penicillin right away or your efforts have been wasted. This is because the majority of infections require multiple rounds of penicillin for treatment. This means you must complete another complicated scientific step to further extract your penicillin. For the extraction of pure penicillin, you will require ethyl acetate. Your penicillin will dissolve completely into the ethyl acetate, at which point you will be left with pure penicillin. You will need:

  • Separator funnel
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Potassium acetate

You can purchase everything you need online. Start by placing the ethyl acetate in your freezer to chill. Use a separator funnel to mix your penicillin liquid and the chilled ethyl acetate. Shake them both together for about 30 seconds, then let them separate again. You will see the ethyl acetate sinking to the bottom. Open your separator funnel. You want only the ethyl acetate to slowly drip out into a sterile mason jar or collection container.

Next you add Potassium acetate to your ethyl acetate. For every 100ml of liquid, you will require roughly one gram of potassium acetate. Place your solution into a ventilated area and leave it uncovered. Once the ethyl has evaporated, you will have penicillin. Making your own homemade penicillin requires a lot of supplies. Before you begin, make certain you have:

Supplies for Homemade Penicillin

  • White bread, should be homemade as opposed to commercial
  • Cantaloupe
  • Spray bottle
  • Ziplock bags
  • Piece of cloth such as a flour sack towel, cheesecloth or bandana
  • Agar
  • Sugar
  • Petri dish set
  • Graduated cylinder
  • Citric acid
  • Erlenmeyer flask
  • PH tester
  • Powdered milk
  • Thin piece of metal wire
  • Sea salt
  • Yeast extract
  • Hydraulic acid
  • Ethyl Acetate
  • Separator funnel


Although understanding how to make penicillin is a useful survival skill to have, you should understand the basic medical essentials first. Learning prevention is the best option, so you should have good first aid skills including growing your own medicinal herbal garden and knowing how to treat a wound to prevent an infection.

After reading this article, you should understand the process of how to make penicillin at home. I hope you have found this information both interesting and useful.

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