Growing Mushrooms :)
Wrote this guide ages ago and put it nowhere, so I thought I'd drop it here so maybe you too can have some fun!
This method is by no means perfect. It does not have the highest yields and there is lots of potential for contams. However, this is what I know. It has worked for me, it requires little ingredients, and it will fit into a small space. The method we will be using for inoculation is what is known as the PF tek, and we will be using Mini Mono Tubs for the fruiting. I encourage you to look into other methods! If this doesn't work for you don't worry, experiment and try some other techniques, browse around shroomery.org or read some mushroom growing guides. You will definitely need patience for this as a full cycle takes around 2 months. You should try to schedule it so that you will be around for the last few weeks.
- Mushroom spores: ~20$ I recommend sporeworks.com as they allow bitcoin purchases and have a good rep. If you mention that shroomery.com sent you in the notes they will send you extra as well. You only really need purchase one syringe because we will be making our own liquid cultures. The ideal strain for a beginner is the B+ cubensis.
- ½ Pint wide mouth canning jars: ~15$
- Microspore tape: ~5$ – Optional
- Large pot/Pressure cooker This is for sterilization. If you are just doing this once I would not recommend going out and buying a 100$ pressure cooker, just use what you have. It will just take longer to sterilize your jars.
- Fine vermiculite: ~10$
- Organic brown rice flour: ~10$ If you have brown rice you can also use a coffee grinder to grind it into a very fine grain.
- Tin foil: ~5$
- Isopropyl alcohol: ~5$
- Lighter: ~free
- Coco coir brick: ~7$
- 5 Gallon bucket: ~10$
- Sterilite 1896 container or similar: ~10$
- Drill: ~15$
- Duck tape: ~4$
- Spray bottle: ~1$
- Honey: ~5$
- Fan: ~2$
Total cost: Around 120$ if you have none of the equipment prior or don't have the... skills necessary to find these things. I stole lots from work so it cost me less. If you do not have that kind of money to spend immediately you can buy what is necessary for part one first, then go buy part two's, then part 3's.
Part 1 – Step 1: Preparing jars
We only need 6 jars worth spawn however I made 7 in case of contamination. Poke 4 holes with a nail in a + shape on the lid of each jar as near to the rim as you can. The magic ratio for substrate is 2 parts Vermiculite(verm) 1 part water and 1 part brown rice flower. But because we're making an odd ratio of jars we'll make a little extra but you can just put it in your garden or something.
- In a large bowl first add 3 cups of vermiculite then add 1.5 cups of water. Stir it up real good.
- Then add the 1.5 cups of brown rice flour and stir until it's loose and there aren't any clumps.
- Fill all the jars up evenly and make sure not to pack the mixture down, you want it airy. Leave a half inch space at the top of the jars. Then with a paper towel wipe down the rim the you left clear.
- Now fill the remaining space with dry vermiculite, then cap the jar and cover the tops with tin foil. The tin foil is to keep the jars airtight while they are sterilizing.
Part 1 – Step 2: Sterilizing
Now that we have to sterilize the jars. We have to prepare our pot for sterilization.
- Line the bottom of your pot with spare jar rings as shown
- Add water to the top of your layer of jar rings. You want 1-2 inches of water.
- Place your layer of folded tinfoil on top of the layer of jar rings.
- Next place your substrate jars on to the tinfoil and make sure they are not in direct contact with the water, we are not trying to cook the jars, we are only using the steam to sterilize them.
- Place your TIGHT fitting lid on and turn your burner to high. Once the water starts boiling turn the burner down to a simmer and start your 90-120 minute timer.
- If you are not using a tight fitting lid a lot of steam will escape and your pot will tend to boil dry. This will warp the bottom of your pot ruining it. If you need to add more water at anytime, use hot tap water and carefully pour it in your pot. Keep a close eye on your pot, and add water if and when needed.
- After the time is up leave the lid on, remove from heat and let cool overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Place your trivet or metal rack into the bottom of your PC and fill with 1-1.5 inches of water.
- Place your jars on the metal rack above the water line.
- Follow your pressure cookers instructions to bring it up to pressure (15 PSI) and let it cook for 45 to 60 minutes.
- After your pressure cooker cycle has finished turn off your burner and allow to cool overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Part 1 – Step 3: Inoculation
Once your jars are cooled it's time to inoculate. This step is super important and if you are lazy you will ruin your jars.
- In a room with no airflow wipe down a table with rubbing alcohol.
- Take a shower then put on a clean long sleeve shirt and new rubber gloves.
- Take your jars out of the pot or PC and set them on the table.
- Flame sterilize your spore syringe and inject about 1/4cc in each hole. Flame sterilize the syringe after each jar.
If you bought microspore tape put it over each hole now.
We're done Part 1! Set your jars on the shelf and wait for them to colonize. This step will take 2 to 4 weeks. Once the jars are fully colonized wait another week for them to consolidate.
Part 2 – Step 1: Prepare the container
Tape (or paint) for bottom 4 ½ inches, then drill ¼” holes every 2”
Part 2 – Step 2: Prepare the substrate
- Throw the ½ brick of coir and the 1 quart of vermiculite in a 5 gallon bucket, add 2 quarts of boiling water and place the lid securely on the bucket.
- Come back in 30-60 minutes and mix ingredients thoroughly,then place the lid back on for 2-4 hours. Come back and mix thoroughly again and check the temperature, it needs to be below 80°F. If it's still too warm, leave it for a while longer.
Part 2 – Step 3: Mix the spawn/last few touches
- Pour ¾ of your cooled mixture into the bottom of the container you prepared.
- One at a time we are going to take 4 of our incubated pucks out of their glass conatiner, scraping the dry vermiculite into the garbage then giving them a rinse. Crumble the cake fairly finely into the sub in the container. To prevent adding contaminted spawn into the mix I like to split my cakes in half first and check that no green mold is growing inside. If there is then you have to throw out the cake and wash your hands very well.
- Once you have crumbled 4 of the cakes, mix the substrate in the container. Now crumble the last cakes on top and then cover it lightly with the remaining substrate.
- We are basically done with this now you need to put the case inside a garbage bag with the opening folded underneath and leave it for 10-14 days.
DONT PEEK. Peeking risks contamination!!! If you don't think you can help yourself go out and buy clear garbage bags.
Part 3: Fruiting
10-14 days has passed. It's time to open up the garbage bag and take a look. Do this in a room with no airflow in case it isn't fully consilidated. To give you a rough idea this is what mine looked like after 10 days and this is more than substantial. You're looking for lots of white, and no green. The forum post below is an incredible compilation of what it should and shouldn't look. If you aren't seeing much white, put it back in the bag for a couple days.
If it's looking ready put the box somewhere where it will get substantial sunlight. Now spray the interior twice a day or as needed to keep it moist.
Part 4: Harvesting, prints, and drying.
The ideal time to harvest is right as the caps are just starting to open. Assuming you got the B+ strain it should look like this.
If you didn't I suggest looking up the strain you used and checking when to harvest. Just pick them off at the base and lay them out on tin foil. Cut off two smaller squares of tin foil a bit larger than your biggest mushrooms caps. Cut your biggest mush right at the top of the stem and then place the cap with the gills down and cover the whole thing with a cup overnight.
Hopefully you have a large enough bounty that you wont be able to eat them all before they start to go bad. So to preserve them we'll have to dry them. There are a couple methods for doing so but the easiest I have found is just to put them in front of or on a fan for 24-48 hours. Then with an oven heated to 140F with the door ajar leave it on for an hour or two until really dry. You could also just fan dry. Either way works.
Part 5: Liquid culture and repeat.
- Take one of your lids and punch just one hole into it near the side.
- Throw the lid and the jar into a pot of water and bring it to a boil (Don't put the jar into the already boiling water or it will crack) this is to sterilise the water and the jar.
- After 30 minutes of boiling clean your work table with alcohol then take the jar and lid out and put it on the table.
- Fill the jar ¾ full with the water that you boiled. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to the jar per 250mls of water then put the lid on.
- Cover the top of the jar and then put it back into the pot. You want the water level to be about half the way up the jar, you can tip some out if it's too high. Put on a lid and leave it for another 30 minutes.
- Turn the pot off after 30 minutes and leave it overnight to cool.
- Next day, get ready your LC, your spore print and a sharp knife on your bench top.
- Flame sterilize your knife. Crack the jar only slightly.
- In one scrape try and get as much of the spore off a spore print. The slip it into the jar and reseal.
- Place a piece of tape over the hole and swirl the jar gently.
- Label it with date, time and strain.
- After about a week it should be ready but it can sit for a long time.
Now you can use this for our cakes, I use about 1cc of it per injection site.
And there you have unlimited shrooms! If you have mastered this then it's time to move onto a full monotub. Damion5050 has a good guide out there. Good luck!