Rice Water

Random non scientific/academic question regarding saving the water rinse from rice washing. I was told saving that water would assist with seed starting and propagating like a fertilizer. So I washed multiple types of rice - jasmine, basmati - saving the rinse water and bottling it in some repurposed liter sized water bottles. A day later I noticed the bottles were losing shape, filing with bubbles and showing signs of growth similar to a mother at the bottom of vinegar. The liquid inside had become gaseous and opening them released this smelly trapped air temporarily relinquishing the shape of the repurposed bottle. However, later on even with a slightly open cap the air in that liquid was rapidly expanding. This all happened within 48 hours. So instead I poured all the liquid into my outdoor compost hoping it would have some starter effect. But I have wondered exactly what was happening and wanted clarity how this resource in the kitchen, garden and for many in beauty … like a fortifier for rapid hair growth became so acidic and volatile. Any insight?

I heard in the past about many superlative claims about the benefits of rice washings, rice water, etc.From.personal experience during my childhood days I watched my grandmother using the rice washing to water her orchids and noticed it produced flowers regularly than from my neighbor that have the same plant but was just watered by tap water and rarely it produce blossoms. .It seems to have growth factor in it from the layman’s perspective .
Now looking at it from Food Chemistry standpoint.Milled rice contains traces of rice flour ,rice starch, the rice endosperm itself contains mostly starch, little protein, little fiber, minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium,some types of Vitamin B is there. Summing it up parts of these components are leached out ,iif rice is steeped or washed in water to make rice washings a mild fertilizer and culture medium for microbes.
Therefore as rice is exposed to air,then airborne microbes that abound in cereals like pathogens clostridium perfringens, bacillus cereus, some enterococcus as well as lactic bacteria, yeast and molds spores .These cocktail of microbes are responsible for fermentation action if rice washings are stored. Hence vigorous gas generation ,carbon dioxide,nitrogen ,hydrogen, traces of hydrogen sulfide etc. .will cause your sealed plastic water bottle to bulge and deform… If you release the pressure you will get an offensive smell due to those gases.
Now if you allow it to ferment longer, gradually these pathogens are outnumbered by lactic bacteria ( homo and heterfermentative types)generating lactic acid, acetic acid, acetone, acetaldehyde resulting in a sour smell.Although these changes does not happen often as it depends on the environment as well.
Regarding its much hyped beneficial effect on skin.to me it’ a mixed bag : some suffers skin allergies. Its maybe because these allergic users utilized a pathogen infested rice washings and those that benefits it their rice washings are dominated by friendly non pathogenic lactobacteria.
In the same vein some people claim.similar benefit by applying sourdough starter to their skin and had nice tone. , become supple , etc.
So there you go, in theory if the rice washing attain similar microbial environment as sourdough starter it will give beneficial effect due to lactic acid and other components in the brew that promotes it.Otherwise it won’t…
Finally science still is skeptical about the claimed benefits ,but devoted users still do it.


This! I was wondering was it microbes. I think the fad of saving it will resurge as people are staying indoors, starting gardens, looking for at home wellness and medicine. Thanks!

Yes great details. Not sure may be one day someone might even come up with a wine out of rice water…
In skin care, this rice water is trending too - especially hyped for collagen production, korean glossy skin etc etc and cosmetic industry might be looking at it too.
On another level, some people even use it as natural spray for killing some pests on indoor plants.
I have done exactly as @MamaDuck mentioned too and the bottle bulged & even lost its shape, and i couldnt complete my attempt to keep it for more than 2 weeks.
Thank you

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