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Make Home Grown Penicillin: Don't Clean Out That Refrigerator!

Updated on August 26, 2010

WARNING: This is a work of satire!  It is not real!  DO NOT try to make penicillin at home.  There is no truth to this whatsoever.  Some idiots have actually believed this.  DO NOT east mold!  If you think you need penicillin, SEE A DOCTOR. 

Random Ramblings From Idlewild


I know what you're thinking. "Chris," you're saying to yourself, "Chris, how can I, average Joe, make oodles and boodles of money from mold?" The good news is you can! And you can do it at home without any special equipment using only items you already have around the house. You don't have to be Dr. Frankenstein, Louis Pasteur or even Richard James, the inventor of the Slinky. Along with a little patience, all you need is a bio-breeding receptiplace, a little patience, and before you know it you'll be a real penicillin propagator.

Think of the opportunities! In today's world of war, pestilence, and atmospheric mayhem, there is a greater need for "the miracle drug" than ever before. Not to mention the health benefits for you and your loved ones. You're a busy person . Now, you'll be prepared for common colds, streptococcal viruses, and that surprise visit from Mr. Gonorrhea. Heck, you can't afford to run off to the doctor every time one of the kids gets Ebola. If you've told them once you've told them a thousand times, "Don't put that rodent in your never know where it's been!" Oh, you'll be ready, my friend...and you'll save lives while you're making money!

Molecule Penicillin

A Penicillin Saved Is a Penicillin Earned

Before you get started on your path to sainthood, you'll want to know a little about the history of penicillin. In 1928, British scientist Alexander Fleming, noticed that mold had prevented bacteria from growing in his lab. He thought it was cool but didn't do anything about it. "Righty O," he said, and went about his work trying to invent the slinky. It was 10 years later when Australian scientist Howard Flory's dedicated research transformed this mold - this penicillin - from an amusing observation into the life saving substance we know and love today.

Due to lack of funds, Fleming had a difficult time in producing significant amounts of the mold. According to Dr. Simon Torok in his article published in Helix magazine, Maker of the Miracle Mould (that's "mold" to us Americans), "At first penicillin was made using old dairy equipment. Hospital bedpans were used to grow mould." From my experience hospital bedpans are still growing mold, except in England where they grow mould, only they don't make penicillin out of it.

Penicillin Cells

Microscope Video of Dirty Fridge Fluid

Workin' On The Chain Gang


The actual biological process of the mold turning into penicillin is a complicated one, so I will simplify here. Once the mold has begun to form, blah, blah, blah and jabber, jabber, jabber. Then when this bi-product yada, yada, yada, it solidifies until it yakety yak don't talk back. But don't concern yourself with the scientific details.

All you need to know is that penicillin works thusly: When you get some nasty bacteria in your system that makes you call in sick to work - for real this time - this bacterium constructs a bacterial cell wall called peptidoglycan. This wall protects the bacteria from your natural defense system. Since your anti-bodies can't penetrate this bacterial wall, the bacteria a free to set up their own enterprise right inside your body producing more bacteria, which they are then free to sell on the open market. Penicillin prevents the bacteria from forming this cell wall, so your little anti-bodies can attack the dickens out of them, like Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage, only their anti-bodies aren't as shapely as Raquel's. Now, the human body doesn't have any peptidoglycan in it, so the penicillin does no damage to us, just the bacterium. Class dismissed.

This Is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

This is suitable as a food storage unit only.
This is suitable as a food storage unit only.

Yes, Yes, Yes!

A perfectly prepared receptiplace
A perfectly prepared receptiplace

Let's Get This Party Started

So let's get started on your new humanitarian and make-a-few-bucks mission. First you'll need a bio-breeding receptiplace. You probably already have one and call it a refrigerator, a fridge, an icebox, a cooler, or a great place for the kids to hide. You're a professional now, so call it a bio-breeding receptiplace. Keep your receptiplace at a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder and you can inhibit the development of your vital mold cultures, retarding their growth and causing them to take the little yellow bus to school. Also avoid any products with chemicals harmful to the mold, such as bleach, Ajax, Comet, Lysol, Fantastic, Scrubbing Bubbles, Draino, grease dissolver, rust remover, industrial strength acid, or anything with the word "cleaner" on the label. If you have obsessive compulsive disorder and feel you "must" clean your receptiplace, buy a second receptiplace and call it a food storage unit. You may clean your food storage unit until your knuckles bleed and it won't disturb your receptiplace environment.

The next step is selecting your ideal penicillin mediums. I don't mean psychics covered in mold, but rather the "foodstuffs" you will use to breed your moldy microbes. Just about any edible item will do, but some are better than others. Milk is an excellent platform. Purchase a 1 quart carton of chocolate milk. The brown color will help you observe your product as it grows. Pour out half of the contents and leave the remainder sitting in a warm environment for 3 days. Now, without closing the carton, place the milk into your bio-breeding receptiplace. Cheese is also a superior platform for penicillin production. Simply unwrap it, set it and forget it.

A Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

Perfect to stuff into your receptiplace
Perfect to stuff into your receptiplace
Cheese is a good medium
Cheese is a good medium
Moldy canteloupe is best
Moldy canteloupe is best

I'm a Chaquita Bananna la, la, la

A truly superior breeding ground is any type of fruit or vegetables. As their composition breaks down, they increase their mushy, pulpy, putrid environment. Remember to expose the interior of the fruit and vegetables, removing any protective skins. Carmen Miranda is perfect for this use, as she contains both fruits and vegetables. Just remember to peel her first, and then stick her in your receptiplace. If Carmen Miranda isn't available, alternatives are easy to find. When purchasing fruit or vegetables, choose them from the "discount" bargain bin at your local grocer. In some countries, this is called the "dumpster". They should be soft - not firm. Pale and dull in color - not bright. Also, a peculiar odor should emanate from them.

In the early 1940s, the hunt was on to find the absolute best medium for penicillin production. According to Dr. Torok, "Mary Hunt, known as Mouldy Mary for her enthusiasm in finding new sources of mould [and the condition of her underwear - ed.), then found mould growing in cantaloupe (rock melon) was twice as successful ... at producing penicillin (Maker of the Miracle Mould, Helix)." Cut the cantaloupe in half, exposing its moist, fertile interior and DO NOT wrap in plastic.

Prevent Unnecessary Access

Frighten interlopers
Frighten interlopers

Dis-Organizing Your Bio-Breeding Receptiplace


Now that you have assembled your mold growth platforms, it is time to set up your habitat. Double check to make sure the temperature is set to no cooler than 72 degrees. Also, your cultures prefer a dark habitat, so unscrew the light bulb included with your receptiplace but leave it there. You will need it later during harvesting. Also, it is natural, as a new member of the penicillin propagation community, to feel excitement and curiosity about the development of your product. Please refrain from opening the door of your receptiplace to admire your mold's progress unnecessarily. Opening the door allows fresh air and light into the receptiplace which is not ideal for the mold's development.

Now stack the items on top of each other. Shove them into corners and recesses. Place them into the handy bins way in the back. Some items may be better contained within their own "Tupperware" style containers, but don't use the lids. The lids are only for when the containers are NOT IN USE. This prevents any freshness or dish washing soap from getting inside the container in between growth cycles. Finally, mist the interior with distilled water mixed with a little sugar. Ordinary tap water can contain chemicals and fluoride which can be harmful to mold. Now close it up and NO PEAKY.

Regimen of Introducing Stress

Scream at your penicillin cultures.
Scream at your penicillin cultures.

Caring For Your Crop


While penicillin propagation is mostly a "turn-key" operation, there are some minor duties that you, as the mold "farmer", must perform. As stated in Wikipedia, "Penicillin is a secondary metabolite of fungus Penicillium, which means the fungus will not produce the antibiotics while it is growing, but will produce penicillin when its growth is inhibited by stress." Furthermore, the more constant the stress, the more penicillin you will produce. For this reason, we maintain what we like to call our "Tough Love" program.

Once a week, access your bio-breeding receptiplace and scream hurtful comments at your mold cultures. Scream really loud. If the neighbors can't hear you, you're not screaming loud enough. Over time you will develop the mean spirited and esteem squashing phraseology that works best for you, but we have provided you with some insults for beginners to start off with:









These are just the beginning. Curse words are always effective. Remember too that insults requiring "reasoning" on the part of the mold do not work. For example, "You know, in the larger scope of things, you are but a microbe in a petri dish" is ineffectual. And as long as you have the door to your receptiplace open, take this opportunity to spray the interior thoroughly with your water and sugar solution. Now close her up until next weeks "Tough Love" session. You may increase the sessions as desired.

Vintage Amplifier Vacuum Tubes

Alternative Medicine

Unfortunately, penicillin can cause violent reactions to those with a penicillin allergy. There's no need to lose these poor souls as customers. It is a simple matter to alter selected mold colonies to produce ampicillan, the alternative to penicillin. When your mold cultures are well along in development, but AT LEAST 2 WEEKS prior to harvest, simply stick a vintage amplifier vacuum tube into the cultures you wish to develop into ampicillan. These tubes are readily available on the Internet, goodwill stores, and junk yards.

Unfortunate Child Undergoes Treatment

This is what she looks like today.
This is what she looks like today.

Harvesting, Using, and Selling Your Crop

This is truly simple. Bear in mind, you are looking for the blue/green stuff. That's the highest quality of penicillin you have produced. In terms of treating yourself, your family, and your friends, it couldn't be easier. Say you feel really bad. You are burning up, but you are freezing. You are sweating, but you are shivering. Do you go to the doctor and spend 50 bucks just so he can come in to your examining room, wash his hands for two minutes, and then write you a prescription that costs another 50 bucks? No, no, no. It doesn't even matter what horrible thing you have. Just make a blue/green cheese sandwich and, wah lah, you're cured and you saved $100.00! (NOTE: Do not make a grilled cheese sandwich. Frying or heating the sandwich will lessen the curative qualities of the cheese.)

Let's take a real-life case example. A penicillin propagator I know has a young daughter. She came down with a horrible, face disfiguring illness. Now, my friend had many unexpected expenditures around this time, and simply could not afford medical treatment, intensive care, and possibly surgery on the poor dear thing. What did he do? He began to give the sweet little girl a tablespoon of putrid goo 3 times a day right from the cantaloupe in his receptiplace. He didn't know what she had. It doesn't matter. Penicillin is the miracle drug. Today, she is a happy, normal girl with only minor nerve damage! Fortunately, he took pictures of the whole process so you can see the actual results.

International Penicillan Import/Export

Your representative will look like this.
Your representative will look like this.

You're Helping Others

Selling your product is also a piece of moldy cake. You'll want to get your product into the hands of the people who can take it to the masses on an international scale. Look in your local phone directory under Black Market Penicillin Import Export. Call several and tell them you have some penicillin you want to unload. They will send a representative to you and analyze your product. They then will make a bid on your stock. Collect several bids and then sell to the highest bidder. Your home grown penicillin is now saving lives and you are pocketing the cash.

Whether strictly for home use or to alleviate the suffering of the needy, you're sure to find penicillin propagation a worthwhile and fascinating hobby. Good luck and bon appetit!

WARNING: CAUTION: Do not eat mold! Do not eat moldy food! Do not feed it to your daughter! Penicillin does not cure Ebola! In people, Ebola is often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, limited kidney and liver functions, and both internal and external bleeding, and that's just the beginning. If I told you the rest it would make you sick. No specific treatment or vaccine exists for Ebola haemorrhagic fever. If you've got it, it's too late. Clean your refrigerator regularly. There are no listings in the phone book under Black Market Penicillin Import/Export. If there were, a pirate would not come to your house. Don't stick Carmen Miranda in the fridge. Don't tell your kids to play in the fridge. Don't spray sugar water into the fridge! Oddly enough, yelling at mold probably DOES stress it out, but it will not turn into penicillin. For more information (and a lot more laughs), please read the comment section below. Thank you.


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