Mokusaku is pure wood vinegar (tree cell fluid). It has not been condensed, diluted or mixed with any similar substances. The product is made by placing the undiluted natural solution in a storage tank, waiting for the solution to naturally condense and settle, and then filtering the solution with activated carbon for refinement (i.e. to eliminate minute impurities). Provided in an easy-to-recognize acid resistant container, Mokusaku is a complete and pure wood vinegar.
Characteristics such as color (including transparency), pH and specific gravity are important factors in the quality assessment of wood vinegar. Recent years have seen the introduction into the market of various imported wood vinegar products and similar products made using special production methods. It is important, therefore, that you acquire wood vinegar from a producer you can trust.
1) Wood vinegar that contains foreign elements or appears dirty when a small amount is placed in a glass container is poor quality. A good quality product has a clear yellowish-brown to reddish-brown tone. The color should be similar to the pleasing hue of black tea, beer or wine.
(2) The wood vinegar should not have an offensive odor. Wood vinegar that has a strong, pungent odor is a synthetic product containing a substance such as glacial acetic acid to adjust the pH.
(3) The pH value should be around 3. Higher extraction temperatures result in higher acidic values.
4) The specific gravity of wood vinegar should be around 1.015 at a liquid temperature of 15‹C (when Japanese oak is carbonized in an earthen kiln). Wood vinegar extracted at higher temperatures has a higher specific gravity. Please note that the specific gravity varies greatly when a device other than an earthen kiln, such as an iron kiln or combustion furnace, is used.
(5) You can also identify good wood vinegar using chemicals. The wood vinegar is acceptable if the liquid remains transparent at the neutral point, and if the odor remains the same as the initial odor without abnormalities. The chemical test must prove that the liquid is the cell fluid (sap) of a young tree.
Red Bakau has strong tannins and Wood vinegar extracted from it has a strong germicidal effect due to its high acidity and the presence of germicidal ingredients such as methanol and phenol. The microbes first killed by wood vinegar are bacilli which have no spores, and some hyphomycetes which are weak in acid. However, when wood vinegar is diluted 20 times, it greatly increases the concentration of microbes in the soil.
Plants and microbes produce a substance named acetyl coenzyme from acetic aid. Acetyl coenzyme itself is then converted into various substances which facilitate the growth of plants and microbes. Wood vinegar usually is able to reduce soil diseases through its ability to destroy harmful microbes and encourage the growth of helpful ones. Wood vinegar both has a direct germicidal effect, and an indirect, prophylactic effect through changing the biota on the leaf surface.
When leaves are temporarily acidified, it prevents the increase of germs. The most conspicuous benefit of spraying wood vinegar on leaves, is the vinegar’s ability to strengthen plants’ natural resistances to diseases and to increase the permeability of agricultural chemicals. The bottom line, wood vinegar is beneficial to plants.
Wood vinegar prevents excessive nitrogen levels, improves plant metabolism and contributes to higher fruit sugar levels. Stimulate compost production: A solution rate of 1:100 will help increase the biological activity of various beneficial microbes and can decrease composting times.