How to Make Penicillin at Home

C. Davis
By C. Davis May 17, 2014 07:26

How to Make Penicillin at Home

How to Make Penicillin at Home

One of the risks most of us will face after the collapse will be an almost total lack of medications. Many of us will sicken and die over things that wouldn’t have even been considered serious before SHTF. After having read this article you learn how to make Penicillin at home. You can either start to make you own penicillin or just use the information in case SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.

Just to give you an idea about how precious will be to know how to make Penicillin, think of this:  during the early penicillin era, the drug was so scarce and so highly valued that it became common to collect the urine from patients being treated, so that the penicillin in the urine could be isolated and reused for other patients.

About Penicillin

Penicillin is an antibiotic which fights bacteria, fungi or microbes in our body. Penicillin was the first antibiotic discovered (1933) – the word means against (anti) life (bio).

Penicillin: C16H18N2O5S

The discovery of penicillin and its medicinal uses was arguably the most important medical discovery of the 20th century. The production of penicillin is a process that has changed dramatically since its beginnings.

Opposed to what most people think, penicillin is used not only for treating colds but also serious diseases like Typhoid Fever, Syphilis, Pneumonia,  Meningitis, Anthrax, Tetanus  Tuberculosis, Chlamydia, Abscesses, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease.

But the most important thing is that it treats infections. Simple cuts can begin to show infection very fast when SHTF. And without an antibiotic, you can develop septicemia (blood infection) or gangrene which are deadly without very powerful antibiotics or surgery. Without antibiotics many people had died because of simple wounds including kings such as Louis XIV, Napoleon III or Gustav III of Sweden.

How to Make Penicillin at Home?

1.    Make Penicillin Fungus

In order to make penicillin at home you first need to grow the Penicillin fungus. The most important thing to remember is to always use sterile techniques or you will likely wind up with growing something else!

Expose a slice of bread to the air, in a dark place and normal-high humidity, at 70 deg. F until a bluish-green mold develops. This process may last up to 7-14 days.

The mold will start out gray, but as it develops will turn bright blue-green. Once it gets started, cut the bread up into pieces and put it in a sterilized flask. Incubate it in the flask for about a week in the same conditions.

You can also make penicillin the same way out of the peel of citrus fruits, cantaloupe or salami.

2.    Prepare the Solution to Separate the Penicillin Substance from the Fungus

Dissolve the following ingredients, in the order listed, into 500ml of cold tap water:

  • Lactose Monohydrate – 44.0 grams – which you can find here
  • Cornstarch – 25.0 grams – which you can find here
  • Sodium Nitrate – 3.0 grams – which you can find here
  • Magnesium Sulfate – 0.25 grams – which you can find here
  • Potassium Phosphate Mono – 0.50 grams – which you can find here
  • Glucose Monohydrate – 2.75 grams – which you can find here or here
  • Zinc Sulfate – 0.044 grams – which you can find here
  • Manganese Sulfate – 0.044 grams – which you can find here

Then add enough cold tap water to make one liter. Use Hydrochloric Acid to adjust the pH between 5.0 and 5.5.

3.    Separate the Penicillin substance

Pour the solution into sterilized milk bottles. Use only enough so that when the bottle is placed in its side, the media does not reach the plug. Add approximately one tablespoon of the spores you’ve grown.

Incubate the bottles at 70 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 days. If the culture produced penicillin, you may see it now in the liquid portion of the solution following this incubation period. Filter the media (using a coffee filter or a thick canvas), plug the bottles and refrigerate immediately. That’s how you make penicillin.

After a few hours use again the hydrochloric acid to adjust the solution to 2.2 Ph. Mix it with cold Ethyl Acetate in a Separatory Funnel and shake well.

Drain the ethyl acetate, from the bottom, into a beaker which has been placed in an ice bath and repeat the process. Add 1% potassium acetate and mix. Now wait until the ethyl acetate will evaporate off. This may take a while.

When it finally dries, the remaining powder contains Penicillin.

There are other ways to make penicillin. In fact, nowadays, pharmaceutical companies make penicillin using other, more complicated, methods. But this was the best solution to make penicillin when it first started. Watch short video:

The resulting penicillin made this way, is actively excreted, and about 80% of a penicillin dose is cleared from the body within three to four hours of administration. In order to have a long lasting effect, scientist combined it with probenecid. When probenecid and penicillin are administered together, probenecid competitively inhibits the excretion of penicillin, increasing penicillin’s concentration and prolonging its activity.


How to Test Homemade Penicillin Before Using It

Although you did probably make mold growing on the bread, it is possible you also got other molds.  Even with the right kind of fungi growing, filtering out everything but the penicillin is difficult.

In order to be sure that you did make penicillin and not a toxic substance you have to test it!

Antibiotic activity may be measured in a crude way by making a mold of agar in a petri dish with tiny depressions, introducing a drop of penicillin broth into each depression, innoculating the plate with a known, penicillin-susceptible bacteria, and observing the area of inhibition from the penicillin-laced depressions over several days, compared to controls into which only water has been introduced before innoculation.

If the result is positive, I suggest, before taking it, to try it on an animal in small quantities just to be perfectly sure it’s not harmful. In case you have a sick animal try it on it and see the results. It might get better very shortly!
The penicillin made from this experiment should not be used unless it is a survival situation.

Related Articles:

5 Home Remedies for Diarrhea

How to Make Medicinal Prickled Garlic

How to Make Your Own Charcoal (medical treatment for indigestion or poisoning)


Penicillin Production – Tom OíHare & Lynne White

Industrial Processing – Penicillin Recovery Strategies – Eimear McGlade & Ruairi Lennon

In case of apocalypse, here’s how to make penicillin in your kitchen – Esther Inglis-Arkell

Making Penicillin at Home – Dr. Bones

How To Make Penicillin – Megan McFarland

How To Make Penicillin: Cheap and Tasty Version

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C. Davis
By C. Davis May 17, 2014 07:26
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  1. Kevin June 4, 13:58

    What is the shelf life for the ingredients listed above? Can they be stored long term?

    Reply to this comment
    • C. Davis Author June 5, 07:26

      Hi Kevin,

      Most of them don’t have a listed shelf life. Because they are chemical compounds, they may last indefinitely, or at least for some generations.

      The only one that can go bad is the cornstarch, but only if you store it in high humidity.

      More so, the resulted penicillin may last for generations. Shelf life for most medicines including antibiotics is based on maximizing the profit not that the pills will go bad.

      Reply to this comment
      • Scrot December 23, 19:00

        Everything has a half-life. Temperature is also a determining factor when calculating “shelf-lives” of meds. Chemicals dont just exist in perpetuity. They degrade. All it takes is time.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Ken September 26, 12:47

    Great. But I’m allergic to penicillin. What now?

    Reply to this comment
  3. jo March 5, 21:17

    And by the way, let’s hope someone will remember how to make bread.

    Reply to this comment
  4. ScottySatan June 9, 14:49

    Blue bread mold is Aspergillus and does not contain pennecillin at all. Pennecillium mold is white. If this worked at all for you, then it would be because you had a lot of contamination of the stuff you actually needed.

    Reply to this comment
    • Emil February 13, 07:37

      Haha, here it says that the mold should be green.

      Reply to this comment
      • James June 2, 03:09

        There is so much nonsense being spread around the Internet about this. I teach chemical synthesis, and can assure you, that you are far more likely to poison yourself trying to synthesize penicillin than you are to make an appreciable amount of uncontaminated, useful drug.

        For far less than the cost of buying all these chemicals, and with none of the risk of a botched synthesis, you can just buy a bottle of fish antibiotics online. With the exception of tetracycline, most antibiotics are potent long past their expiration date if kept in a cool, dry, oxygen-free environment.

        This synthesis method is interesting from an academic standpoint, but practical preppers need practical solutions.

        Reply to this comment
    • Namor April 22, 17:30

      Well… according to Google: About 200 species of Penicillium have been described. They are commonly called the blue or green moulds because they produce enormous quantities of greenish, bluish or yellowish spores which give them their characteristic colours. Spores from this species of mold are found everywhere in the air and soil.

      Reply to this comment
  5. CLAUDE MOSER . February 6, 02:31

    call me at 307-331-7162 getting piss off..where is my order.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Emil February 13, 07:35

    There’s a factual error early on in this article: you can’t treat a cold (or any other virus infection) with antibiotics such as penicillin.

    Reply to this comment
  7. harleyxx December 4, 21:32

    When the SHTF I’ll be heading to the nearest pharmacy with my Glock and a large Garbage back and haul all the essential meds I can get back to my bunker. No way am I going to try to make my own penicillin..

    Reply to this comment
  8. JP777 August 26, 06:31

    Can I substitute battery acid for hydrochloric acid? This recipe reminds me of homemade TNT haha!

    Reply to this comment
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