WAZA wood vinegar is a by-product of Kishu binchōtan, widely regarded as one of the best fuels for grilling. When Japanese ubame oak branches are pyrolised in oxygen-deprived kilns to make charcoal, the smoke that is emitted is distilled and captured as a liquid. This is raw wood vinegar, which contains over 200 organic compounds. It has a strong, smokey smell, but is not acrid.
Wood vinegar in a diluted form has been proven to be beneficial for gardening use in particular. Wood vinegar should not be consumed undiluted by humans or animals, so it is important to use the correct ratios.
- Repel nematodes (apply to the base of the plants): 1:500
- Repel insect pests (spray onto leaves): 1:300
- Control of fungal diseases (spray onto leaves): 1:200
- Control of root rot (apply to the base of the plants) 1:200
- Reduce incidence of fruit flowers aborting (spray onto leaves): 1:300
- Improve flavour of sweet fruits and stimulate crop development: 1:500 to 1:1000
- Stimulate compost production (mix into soil): 1:100
- Combat bad odours in animal pens: 1:50
- Supplement for livestock feed: 1:200 and 1:300
- Enrich garden soil. Use a strong solution of 1:30 to apply to the garden soil surface at a rate of 6 litres of solution per 1m² to enrich the soil prior to planting crops. To control soil-based plant pathogens, use an even stronger rate of 1:5 to 1:10.
- Repel houseflies (spray on affected areas): 1:100
- Add to bathwater as skin softener: 60ml per bath
WAZA wood vinegar is made by Mr. Monobe, the owner of Monobe Seitan Sho in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, who has been producing Kishu binchōtan for over 30 years as a member of the Wakayama Binchōtan Association, which ensures quality control of any charcoal bearing the ‘Kishu’ name. He personally harvests the wood he uses to make charcoal, and does not buy from wood wholesalers, since he feels that sumiyaki (binchōtan makers) must go into the mountains themselves to cut what they need, in order to appreciate Nature as a finite resource that needs to be managed sustainably. He also built his own kiln using no concrete or cement.