|Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 05:16 pm:||
Simple Cubensis Growing Technique Version 3-17-00 [Edited & Updated 09/002/02 : Shroom Glossary :
PF Tek Homepage]
This is an abbreviated form of the PF TEK formerly found at
A quick description of the procedure:
A substrate consisting of Brown Rice Flour, Vermiculite, and Water is sealed in ½ pint jars and sterilized in a Pressure Cooker. Spores are added to the substrate using a Syringe full of spore solution. The spores germinate, creating a living mycelium that colonizes the entire Jar full of Substrate. The resulting "Cakes" are Removed from the jars when fully colonized, and placed in a Terrarium until mushrooms begin to grow from the cakes.
Equipment for Substrate Preparation
Hammer and Nail - For poking holes in the metal jar lids. The nail should be about 2 mm (3/32") thick.
Mixing Bowl - Fairly large, plastic or metal mixing bowl for mixing up your substrate in.
Mixing Spoon - A long, sturdy kitchen spoon for mixing up the substrate. Use a plastic or metal spoon, not wood.
Measuring Cups - In 1 Cup, ½ Cup, 1/3 Cup, and ¼ Cup Sizes, for measuring out substrate ingredients.
Vermiculite - A soft, spongy volcanic gravel used in potting soil. A good-sized (1-3 cubic feet) bag can be purchased for about $3.00 at most hardware/garden stores.
Brown Rice Flour - A flour made from long grain brown rice. An ample bag (1-2 lbs.) can be purchased from some health food stores for $3-4.00.
Bottled Spring Water - Can be purchased at most grocery stores.
½ Pint Tapered Wide Mouth Canning Jars - They must be half pint size and they must be tapered (sides of the jar slant outward so that the top is widest part of the jar) so that the substrate cakes can easily drop out of the jar. These can be found in grocery stores, hardware stores, and drug stores for much of the summer and during the fall, and cost about $7.00 for a box of 12 jars. During other parts of the year they may be very difficult to find, especially in this odd size. Good places to check during the off season are hardware stores, especially in small towns.
Aluminum Foil - Enough to make a 5" by 5" (15cm by 15cm) square for each jar.
Pressure Cooker or Pressure Canner - The larger the better. Make absolutely sure that you know how to use it, and that all seals, valves, and safety plugs are in working order. For most people this is the most difficult item to obtain. New pressure cookers start at about $60.00 each, and new pressure canners are start at about $250-300.00 each. Pressure canners are much easier to use and hold many more jars, but can be difficult to find. Both can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, etc. Most people who are into canning will have one. This item is essential for preventing bacteria from contaminating your cakes. However, if one has no choice, a large pot with a tight fitting lid can be used to steam the jars with moderate to good success rates.
Sterile Syringe of Psilocybe Cubensis Spores - Available from Various Sources for about $10-20.00 each.
Equipment for Fruiting Chamber
Fruiting Chamber - Aquariums, camping coolers, and large plastic Rubbermaid storage containers are examples of suitable fruiting chambers. See Fruiting and Harvesting for a more complete description.
Perlite - Another volcanic gravel used in potting soil, perlite is white and porous. Also can be purchased for about $3.00 at most hardware/garden stores.
Colander - For draining water out of the perlite. Suitable substitutes include a piece of screen or cloth, or anything that will hold perlite but let water drain out.
Dust mask (optional) - Perlite is puffed volcanic glass. When you work with perlite, it tends to be dusty, creating a cloud of glass dust that can be harmful to the lungs, especially if you are asthmatic. Disposable dust masks can be found in hardware stores, often in the Paint section. They are very inexpensive. They can also be used to prevent breathing our germ filled air all over our your cakes and terrariums when working with them.
Equipment for Glove Box (Optional)
Large Cardboard Box - Preferably unused and clean, at least 12" tall and at least 16" wide by 16" deep.
Saran Wrap (Kitchen cling-wrap) or Transparent Plastic Tarp - Large enough to cover the top of the box. Cling wrap can be placed in overlapping rows if it is not as wide as the top of the box.
Tape - To hold the box together and to attach the plastic onto the box.
Pair of Dishwashing Gloves - Preferably new and unused
Poke Holes in the Canning Lids
Take the lids from the ½ pint jars and use the hammer and nail to poke holes in them. I recommend putting at least two, three or preferably four equidistant holes in your lid. Make sure that the holes are not too close to the edge of the lid. About ¾" (2 cm) in from the edge is sufficient.
Mix Up the Substrate
Using the appropriate quantities as outlined in the table below, mix the vermiculite and brown rice flour together in the mixing bowl, using the large spoon. Bottled spring water is best for making the cakes, however, I have used tap water before with no harm done to the cakes. Add the water and mix thoroughly. This will take some patience and will probably wear out your arm a bit.
PF Max Fruiting Formula
1/2 c. verm.
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1/4 c. spring water
Add Substrate to the Jars
Using the mixing spoon, fill each jar to about 1/2" (2 cm) of the top of the jar. It is very important that the substrate mix be open and airy, not packed into the jar. Dump it in, shake any excess back into the bowl, but don't pack it down at all. Mycelium will grow best in all those little open spaces.
Leave a 1/2 to 3/4 inch space at the top. Level the substrate with a fingertip or a spoon. Then with a dry tissue or a fingertip, wipe the insides of the jar down to the substrate. Fill the top of the jar with plain dry vermiculite and level it off at the top. This upper layer will protect the wet substrate from air borne contaminants. It acts as a contaminant barrier. This is a Psylocybe Fanaticus original discovery. What this dry vermiculite layer does is protect the wet substrate from airborne contaminants and also absorbs and regulates moisture transpiration and condensation.
Tighen lid and Cover with Foil.
Sterilizing the Jars
Place the finished jars in your pressure cooker or pressure canner, and cook them at 15psi for 45-60 minutes, according to the instructions for your pressure cooker/canner. Let the entire apparatus cool completely. Do not try to open the pressure cooker before it is cool to the touch, and do not try to speed the cooling process, as a quick change in temperature could crack the jars. Be sure to let the jars cool for several hours, because heat is often trapped in the center of the cake, even if the jar feels cool. This heat can kill your spores if you try to inoculate too soon after cooking. It's best if you can let your jars cool overnight. The jars are now sealed containers of sterile substrate. If you have done everything correctly, they can be stored indefinitely until you are ready to use them.
Optional but not recommended:
Since a pressure cooker can often be difficult to obtain, a common substitute used is simply boiling the jars in a pot of steaming water. The pot is filled until the water is about halfway up the side of the jars, and then a lid is put on the pot to hold the steam in. Boil for at least an hour. This method works to some degree, and I have heard of people having a 100% success rate using it. More common, however, is that some jars will get contaminated with bacteria.
Inoculating your jars is the main step where contamination is possible, and thus should be done in a clean environment if possible. If the room you're working in is clean, you can get away with inoculating them in open air. The needle of the syringe, if not absolutely sterile, can carry bacteria and spores from other molds into your cake, contaminating and ruining the cake. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Wear clean clothes. Anything in the area of the syringe and jars could contaminate your cakes if it is not clean.
Glove Box (Optional)
If you're concerned about sterility, a good way to accomplish this is to make a "glove box," an enclosed, semi-sealed box with holes for gloves to go through and a see-through top. A cheap, halfway decent one can be built for only a couple bucks worth of stuff. All you need is a large cardboard box, some tape and saran wrap to go over the top of the box, and a pair of new, unused dishwashing gloves. Tape saran wrap over the top and cut two holes big enough for your arms in the sides. Disinfect the gloves and the inside of the box with Lysol spray disinfectant. A small gate can be cut into the side of the box for getting the syringe and jars into the box, or they can be put through one of the arm holes (if you choose not to attach the gloves to the holes).
It's a good idea to have a lighter handy as well to sterilize the needle as you go. Flame the needle until it gets very hot, then dip it in the alcohol to cool down the needle before sticking it in the cake. Putting a hot needle into the cake will get burnt-on rice flour all over the needle.
Once you're ready to inoculate, shake up the spore syringe to get as many spores as possible off the sides of the syringe and into the water. Carefully remove the cap over the syringe needle and slide the needle into one of the holes in the jar lid. Shove it all the way in, so that the needle goes thru the cake itself, yet the tip is visible . Gently squeeze out about .5-1.0 cc of spore solution into each jar, splitting up the amount you inject through more than one hole (highly recommended). Tilt the jar and swish the solution around to cover maximum area.
Most people suggest using an entire cc of solution per jar.
Be careful that nothing but the jar and substrate touch the needle, and re-cap it immediately after using it to avoid contaminating the needle. Also be careful of using too much spore solution. With spore syringes it can be easy to accidentally push the plunger on the syringe too forcefully and dump out way too much solution. Once each jar is inoculated, it is ready for incubation. There is not need to put tape over the holes in the lid, because the dry vermiculite will keep out any contaminants.
Mycelial (Vegetative) Growth
Now the jars are Incubated at about 75-85 degrees F, for a couple weeks. If you have a room that is constantly kept in this general range, this is a good place to incubate your jars. If not, you will need to find some other source of heat to keep them in that temperature range. Be careful not to use any heat source that could cause fires; a heating pad will usually work, some people have used fish tank heaters submerged in a warm water bath. A good investment here is a thermometer that keeps track of highest and lowest temperatures, so you can see how hot or cold your cakes are getting. If they get too cold, their growth will slow considerably, and if they get too hot, they will lose water and eventually die. (They will usually die if they ever get above 105 degrees F)
The first signs of mycelial growth should appear within 5-7 days. If none appear within two weeks, something went wrong. (Perhaps the cake was not cooled completely before inoculation, and the heat killed the spores, or the spores simply did not make it into the cake.) This type of mushroom mycelium will always be a Brilliant White Fuzz, often growing in ropy strands. This ropy type of growth is called rhizomorphic growth, and is a sign that the mycelium will probably fruit very well. Any other color of mold, including some less brilliantly white molds (cobweb mold, for example, is white but not so thick, and it does look a lot like cobwebs.), is a sign of contamination.
A colonizing cake displaying rhizomorphic mycelial growth completely colonized cake in a ½ pint jar cake, contaminated with a Green Mold, in a ½ pint jar
Fruiting (Producing Mushrooms) and Harvesting
The Fruiting Chamber (Terrarium)
Many different things can be used for a fruiting chamber, including camping coolers, aquariums, and large plastic containers (Rubbermaid brand or similar containers work great). The fruiting chamber must be at least 6-8" (15-20cm) tall, and have enough floor space for the cakes to be arranged with at least 1" (2.5cm) of free space on all sides. Spread the cakes out as much as possible so that the mushrooms have room to grow. If the chamber is much too tall or too large, it may be difficult to keep the humidity high enough. The bottom of the chamber must be able to contain water, and the lid must be somewhat airtight in order to keep the humidity inside high. Light must be able to shine into the terrarium. If you are using a cooler or non-transparent plastic container, you will need to cut a window into the top of it and seal it with some sort of transparent material so that light can get in but humidity can't get out.
Birthing the Cakes
Once a cake is completely covered in white mycelium, wait at least 1-2 more days before taking the cake out of the jar. When you are ready, and in a fairly clean room, begin transferring the cakes from their jars into their fruiting chamber (described in the next step). Remove the lid of each jar, and dump out the loose dry vermiculite on top. Then, put the lid back over the top of the jar. Slowly turn the jar upside down, so that the cake is resting on the jar lid. You may need to gently tap the jar to knock the cake loose. Take the jar off the top of the cake and then carefully pick up the cake and place the cake on a square piece of tinfoil, put them both into the fruiting chamber. Once all the cakes have been transferred, you're ready to induce fruiting.
Inducing Fruiting (Producing Mushrooms)
In order to initiate fruiting, three main conditions must be met for the cakes. First, they need Light. Only a dim light is needed. A fluorescent lamp or indirect sunlight is plenty of light. Mushrooms do not gain energy from the light like plants do, but in this particular species of mushroom light sends a signal to the mycelium that it is time to produce mushrooms. A source with a wide spectrum of light, especially containing lots of bluish light (daylight and fluorescent plant lights are very good examples of light with lots of blue) is best, but a low wattage (15 watts is plenty) incandescent light bulb will supply enough light.
Second, they need a fairly high Humidity. 95-100% humidity is a good range for fruiting. The best and easiest way to do this is by lining the bottom of the fruiting chamber with damp Perlite. A common mistake is to get the perlite too wet, and end up with a swamp of water and perlite that is very difficult to clean up, and will drown the cakes. Get enough perlite to make a 2" (5 cm) thick layer on the bottom of the fruiting chamber, and put it into a colander, strainer, or cloth enclosure that it can't slip out of. Wet it thoroughly with normal tap water, and let the water drain out. Then move the perlite into the fruiting chamber and smooth out the surface. You now have a layer of damp perlite that the cakes/foil can be set directly on, and which will keep the humidity in the chamber high enough for the cakes to fruit. By the time your cakes have stopped producing mushrooms, the perlite might start getting a little bit skunky smelling. If you want to reuse it, put it in a baking pan and cook it at 350 degrees in your oven until it is dry. Let it cool, and it's ready to be used again. You can also add some Hydrogen Peroxide to the wet perlite to help it stay clean a bit longer.
Lastly, it is a good idea to lower the Temperature range a bit, to about 75-80 degrees F. However, Psilocybe Cubensis fruit so easily that lowering the temperature is not necessary.
Pinning, Fruiting, and Harvesting
For the first week or two, the cakes will generally not do anything. Then, very small bumps, called "pins," "pinheads," or "primordia" will begin to grow out of the surface of the cake. These are the beginnings of mushrooms. Many will never grow any larger. However, some will grow until they are full-grown mushrooms. A mushroom is ready to be picked when the edge of the cap tears away from the "stem" (the stem of a mushroom is called the stipe). Often, there will be a thin veil between the cap and stipe. If this is present, you can wait until the veil tears before picking the mushroom. To pick a mushroom, grasp it near the base where it is joined to the cake, and gently twist it until it comes off. Immediately begin the process of preserving it, either by refrigerating it or by drying it, mushrooms will begin to rot immediately. Each cake will produce about 1-3 waves or "Flushes" of mushrooms, normally with 2-5 [5-15] days of dormancy between flushes. After about a month or so of fruiting, most cakes will be spent, and will not produce any more mushrooms unless dunked or re-hydrated in some way.
"I dream the same thing every night. I see our freedom in my sight."
[This message has been edited by Hippie3 (edited 03-17-2000).] [Linked by Nanook 11-08-01]
See: Double-End Casing : Shroom Glossary : Supplies
(Message edited by admin on April 25, 2004)
|Posted on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 12:40 pm:||
i'm posting this guy's work here, because he's getting his ass flamed off at shroomery for writting it.
it's not bad, kinda funny, and might be helpful to someone.
11/15/01 05:25 PM
Re: New Tek is complete, What do you think? [re: 3ptCrown] Reply
Obviously I put something together that people aren't getting, which is fine. As far as confusing people with paper towels, dude, I specifically mentioned that this is NOT a cultivation tek. It's a materials tek for newbies, I've never seen one before. So I created one. If you actually READ the whole tek, you would also see that many of the items I have listed are optional. And if you didn't read the whole thing, you have no business playing critic. Have any of the people who are critiquing me ever written a tek??? I'd like to see theirs!! LOLOL!
I'm beginning to think that a whole slew of 16 year olds are sitting at home playing couch critic because it's becoming obvious that there are few people here reading my tek who took time to read it all. And if they did, they certainly aren't showing it! Some of the feedback I've gotten is pretty damn lame.
This has been wild! Something I didn't expect! LOL! That people would come at me attacking the tek, saying that everything is " stolen " or " old news " or " unoriginal" .... * laughing * And I gotta admit, it's been a lot of fun!!! I feel like a teacher in a schoolyard! LOLOL!!! And I have yet to get any feedback on misinformation I printed, well, unless you count the paper towels!!! LOLOLOL!!! We'll just leave those in for now until someone more qualified than the guy who didn't bother to read the whole tek comes along
Below is todays update, For those few who care. ;0) I have added in A particulate catcher face mask, Tweezers, a few odds and ends and thinned out my blabber a little bit :0)
NEWBIE SHROOMERS BEGINNER MATERIALS TEK ( It's all about the details! )
If you are reading this you are either NEW at growing Mushrooms, or you just like to read anything interesting and shroom related that passes under your eyes. Well, regardless of why you are here, I hope you enjoy my ramblings...
This guide is an Overview of the materials and preparation of everything Shroomy for the Beginner. This is NOT a tek to tell you specifically how to go about cultivation. Merely a list of facts and tips for those of us who are starting from the very beginning.
( Authors Note: I take no responsibility for this Document, I was sitting on the couch when I wrote this, and a friend who was hiding under the cushion I was sitting on whispered it all in my ear.. I just wrote down what he told me )
So You want to grow Shrooms. You may want to grow just for yourself, or you might want to become a shroom king who pr*duces and de*ls in mass quantities. The Various teks available on the web are all different. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Many are very similar, but they tell you to do slightly different things, many are not dated, many are horribly out of date, and some are even plain wrong. The state of information regarding the Newbies initial production of shrooms is confusing and spread to the four winds. Where is the Newbie supposed to go? Who will he turn to? Who is under my couch? So many questions... Here, let me ask just one more...
QUESTION: What's a Newbie to do? ANSWER: Listen to The Newbie Shroomer!
Why Me? Because I have shrooms on the brain. Though I am not very experienced * Blush * I do come home from work every day and spend several hours tending to my ever amazing, ever growing Fungus Farm. No more Late nights playing pool, no more watching tv, even my sex life has suffered. I am obsessed. The Ideas below are a collection of material learned from the masters of yesterday, and the innovators of today.
OK, You have read the PF Tek, You've read the MMGG, You've read Psilly Simons Grow guide. You are confident, full of enthusiasm, bursting to tell someone, anyone, that you have attained insider knowledge pertaining to the Fruit of the Gods. You my friend are a master of your own destiny ready to become a Full Fledged Dr*g Pr*ducer. A dream Come true, eh? NOT QUITE YET! So, What now?
Grab your own flavorite Newbie Cultivation Tek, and lets get started. ( I recommend the Magic Mushroom Growers Guide until mine is finished )
Ahhhhh, Materials.... That is a GREAT start to any Fledgling business. In fact, you really need to have Your Shit Together when it comes to shrooms.
Let me say one word here: TIME. Every time you need to run back to the store for lysol, tin foil, Vermiculite, BRF, lube, sheep ect... YOU are going to lose time. And when you lose time, you take shortcuts.
BAD NEWBIE! DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS THAT UNDERCUT STERILITY IN YOUR INITIAL EXPERIMENTATION.
When growing shrooms, the key is STERILITY. I Cannot Emphasize Sterility enough, But we will talk more on that issue later.
Main Entry: ster·ile
a : failing to bear or incapable of producing fruit or spores
b : failing to produce or incapable of producing offspring
c : incapable of germinating of a flower
d : neither perfect nor pistillate
a : unproductive of vegetation
b : free from living organisms and especially microorganisms
c : lacking in stimulating emotional or intellectual quality :
YES!!!!! READ THE ABOVE & BURN IT INTO YOUR BRAIN!!!
UNDERSTAND that the Mushroom needs A STERILE SUBSTRATE to grow. Soil/Shrooms need STERILE substrate.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN = Enviroment, work area, your person, your tools.
You have your materials READY, so you do NOT take shortcuts on sterility and so you do not have to extend the time period to grow waiting for the damn store to open because it's 3 in the morning. Er, maybe that's just me tho... ;0)
So, when we talk about materials, lets start with everything we need to get the Cakes made and ready for Terrariums, Casing, ect. Everything up to that point. Many of these items are optional, some you might not need at all, but why not have everything the first time, just in case?
One last thought. The teks you follow that say " You can do it all for under $30!! " If thats the kinda budget you have to work with, then for Gods Sake, read No further!!! Because initial materials for this " hobby " can get expensive, VERY expensive. BUT, once you have the items you need in bulk, overhead is almost nothing.
* SPORES/SPORE SYRINGES *
Where to get: Multiple Vendors can be found on the Forest Floor and the Shroomery.
Ahhhhhhh, Easily the most important decision you need to make when contemplating Mycology. All the time I see people on the boards whining " But I placed my order three months ago and I want to get started, my stuff isn't here yet!! " Sniveling Idiots. Place MULTIPLE orders your first time out. You WILL NOT regret this. You will get materials regularly in the mail that way, and not get stuck behind some zoned out, overworked, fry-brained vendor.
Personally the first time I ordered I used three vendors and got a free spore print from Ralphsters Free Spore Ring ( If you haven't gone there yet, What are you waiting for? Great deals and a Spore Print for a dollar!! )
So look to spend about $50 to $60 bucks on spore stuff out the gate. This will give you all of the raw materials you need to be successful or learn great new ways of fucking up without tapping out on the wild wind.
What do you get for $60? Shop around. Ask for deals when you can. Give them the pity trip that you are a newbie and have had to actually BUY shrooms in the past.. * shudder * They will cry with you and give you free shit... Just kidding. Really tho, with 60 bills you should be able to get around three syringes full of stuff, 5 or so empty syringes, and 3 or 4 prints. Just need to scout yer sources.
So think about it. for one initial payout you can get:
* 3 full syringes
* 5 empties
* 4 prints
That is ALL you will need for a LONG time if you are even halfway sterile
( Side Note: When choosing your vendors be sure that thier recent track record is good. Talk to them via email or IM personally.}
Do NOT go thru anybody who:
A. Is having troubles with the law
B. Seems to always send things 2 other people 2 months later
C. Has a poor reputation for product quality
D. Always has to defend themselves/products publicly on the boards
E. Likes to have sex with dead people.
Things to remember about Spores:
A. Do NOT touch them with your hands, Use tweezers & a scalpel.
B. You can contaminate your entire print with ease, be careful.
C. Anything you can see, is thousands of spores
D. Contrary to popular Belief, Shroom Spores are NOT good to snort.
( Tip: When using taping teks to innoculate jars, usually you are dealing with sealed jars that have cooled and are STARVING for Oxygen. I found out the hard way that these jars will suck down an entire syringe. NO KIDDING. I have a pint jar at home that has the contents of a whole Matius Romero syringe sitting in it, The colonization IS AWESOME. But that damn jar cost me around $11.50 in spore juice!! LOL!! Looking into some testing with this development and agar/mycelium but nobody seems to think it will work but me. Will keep you all posted And oh yea, if your jars are ready to suck in a lot of air, be sure you are using an Oven Tek or a glovebox. Glovebox is better. Just save a sterilized empty needle head to pierce the tape if you are worried.)
Thats it! Investigate the people you will be sending your money to, as your overall success can live and die with the quality of spores they send. )
* JARS *
Where to get: Vons, Ralphs, K-mart... Call around locally and let them know you need Wide Mouth TAPERED jars. Price check and then roll out and pick up your shit! :0)
When the Newbie jumps over to the Shroomery, he is often told that he should start small, learn the life cycle of the mushroom, blah blah blah. Newbie Shroomer says: FUCK THAT NOISE. My advice, start with 24 jars. 12 half pints you will begin work with, and 12 full pints which you will start working with a week after the halves are done. But thats down the road.... I haven't even written it yet! But by the time you get there... *ack!* I'm trippin, let me breathe a minute... In Fact, Breathe with me! Breathing is very important in Mycology, Meaning do NOT BREATHE on your Cultivation equipment or anything you are using. Ahhhhh, Thats better... Lets Continue....
This way, ( starting with 24 jars ) even if you experience Massive Contams, you are covered. And if all your jars pull thru, ( Three Cheers for the Newbie in all of us! ) then you can begin experimenting with your extra cakes as you see fit.
Things to remember about Jars:
A. You NEED them. They are perfect for fungus farming.
B. You WILL want lots of jars going, they are inexpensive, so why not?
C. Jars ARE fun to look at in the sun, see how they sparkle and shine?
D. Lids facing up OR down, doesn't appear to matter, no worries.
* TOOLS *
Where to get: Medical Supply Stores, Home Dept, Wallmart
Oh Boy! Tools! Chainsaws, Arc Welders, Back-hoes... Oh wait, Thought I was writing the redneck version of my guide, damn. My Bad. Forget everything I just said. :0P
Here are some of the things you might need + how and where to get them.
1. Scalpel: I have been told that a sharp knife will work instead of a scalpel for moving spores about.
BUT, what you don't hear often is that the damn spores are attached to whatever they are on like gold on a t.v. evangelist. Gotta pry that shit off. Scalpels are not only easier to use, but easier to sanitize.
When you buy your scalpel, Try going to a medical supply store and getting a STAINLESS STEEL scalpel with extra tips. Home depot also carries these but not nearly as nice and not stainless.
( Tip: Your scalpel will become important in MANY aspects of your operation, be sure you have a nice one. Keep it where you will not end up sitting on it or the next time you use it you'll be cutting stitches out of your ass. )
2. Tongs: You never hear about this one either, but tongs can save you from contaminating your materials as well as some pretty bad burns. Pick up tongs at a thrift store used or cheaply anywhere they sell tongs. :0D
( Tip: Make sure your tongs are all metal, rubber/plastic parts hold water and can contaminate and drip all over, and besides, they look far more menacing all stripped down.)
3. Tin Foil: YES!!! For those of us who love tin foil, but have no excuse to play with it, Shroom Cultivation is a dream come true! Tin Foil will become a staple supply right up there with VERM. You will be going thru 25 square feet of tin foil like a fat person goes thru fried chicken. Trust me, Buy 2 Boxes. It's even easier if you get the foil that tears away in sheets. Good Stuff. And Remember, Newbie Shroomer's details are the Bomb Baby, You gotta come to me for the good stuff, the other guys are to boring, and detail-less...
( Tip: Buy a lot, Really. It's cheap, it's useful, you will need it, and it goes quick. )
4. Alcohol: You will need to get very drunk before you start... Oh, thats my sex life... * ouch! * Er, Rather you will need rubbing alcohol for many things as well. From Constructing a sediment free alcohol lamp, to rubbing it all up and down your hands an arms before an oven tek, this stuff IS important.
( Tip: create an alcohol lamp by shoving cotton balls in a shot glass and setting on fire. Light just prior to any kind of jar innoculation. )
5. Peroxide: Great stuff, Use peroxide in the water you boil to sterilize jars, use it in your casing mix, use it on yourself, great germ killer. If ya can, go to a medical supply store and get the good stuff, but, if'n ya don't, no worries.
( Tip: Using peroxide in your ears once a week is good for you simply pour capful in ear, wait until bubbling stops, drain and use a q-tip. )
6. Shot Glass: The shot glass will come in handy for things such as innoculating Spore Syringes, and as I previously mentioned as an Alcohol Lamp. You really only need one, but be sure it is made of thick glass and, you can alway sterilize it with Jack Daniels!! That was a joke. * grin *
( Tip: Personally, I do all of my shot glass sterilization in a teapot on the stove, at the same time you sterilize your shot glass, you can draw water out of the teapot to fill a spore syringe )
7. Cotton Balls: These are needed only for the alcohol lamp.
8. Alcohol Wipes: I tend to use these for EVERYTHING. Get a big box of them. Will last you forever, and you will find they will become a staple of your cultivation kit.
( Tip: I think I Read this in the Hawks Sterility guide... When you are innoculating, be SURE to sterilize needle between jars using the alcohol lamp, and then use an alcohol wipe to cool and cleanse the outside of the needle. I learned this one the hard way, lost 9 of 12 jars because I failed to follow this one simple step. )
9. Lysol: This stuff is great, lemme tell ya, My first batch I didn't use lysol, and ended up with some SERIOUS green contams, since lysol came into my life, NO Contams. I advise stocking up on this stuff as well. You will notice in the other teks that sometimes the author says " Make sure you NUKE the place with lysol. " That really stuck in my head, the word NUKE. Think about it, what happens when a NUKE hits something? * smile * You get the picture. Whenever using lysol for anything shroom related, think NUKE.
( Tip: Lysol is a bit pricey in my area, I found that I could buy a HUGE container of it and save quite a few $$$
10. Vermiculite: When you purchase this item, make sure you get the BIG bag. It's only about ten bucks for like 4 square feet of the stuff, you will NEVER run out. If you buy the small bag, you will find it's only good to fill about 15 or 16 jars. And thats 4 bucks already
( Tip: While you are picking up your verm, grab a couple of 5 gallon buckets to store it in. Long term use of a big bag, wil eventually age the bag and it will start to develop holes and get all over the place. )
11. Brown Rice Flour: You can pick that stuff up at any organic foods store. Or you can find a grinder and make your own. People say it's better to make your own, but they never say why, if you know, tell me and I will update this tek pronto!
( Tip: When initially mixing with verm and water, mix verm and water FIRST. VERY IMPORTANT tip Brought to me by the infamous anno. The idea is not to mix it all together. Ideally, you mix VERM and WATER first, till the verm has soaked up ALL the water. Do not worry about measuring water, just feed the verm till it all soaks in, wait a few minutes, and THEN add the BRF and COAT the verm with it. This is yet another hidden Idea I found lurking in just one place. Gratis Anno. )
( Tip: If they look at you funny in the store, tell them you are cultivating Magic Mushrooms, you think the cops are onto you, and you need someone to create a diversion...)
12. Water: Often overlooked! You will use water in SOOOOOO many steps cultivating mushrooms, that it's not even funny. from mixing it with the verm, to using it in the Pressure Cooker, to filling the Humidifier, If you have one of those faucet purifiers you are in business, if not, heres another idea: I purchased two five gallon water bottles and a spigot for about 25 bucks. From the Glacier machines water is a quarter a gallon, and CRYSTAL clear. So ten gallons = two dollars and fifty cents.
13. Pressure Cooker versus Boiling pot: Very mixed signals from these two camps. While the boiling pot in theory should work almost as well as the cooker, in my studies
I have found that people using boiling pots are indeed MORE open to contams. But if you boil long enough you shouldbe A-ok. The pressure cooker on the other hand, is THE way to go. Flawless sterilization every time. It's nice when you can be sure that the Jar sterilization part of the procedure is NOT a factor when you are tracking contams.
( Tip: If you are using a boiling pot, don't even bother trying any of the grain teks. Here is why: Grains have much thicker casings and more mass to cook thru and tiny bacteria, mold spores and microns to small for us to fathom can hide away in those. With a BP as opposed to a PC you can't be sure the heat killed all those little guys. )
( Tip: * Swiped from Captain Max * If your cookers jiggly thing on top ( that's what my girlfriend calls it ) is broken, use a shot glass on top to hold the steam, works like a charm. )
14. Washrag/Towel: Because the jars cannot touch the metal of the bottom of the cooker or pot, you will need to place a rag under the jars. The reason for this, is that the HUGE amount of heat can crack a jar, the heat can dry a jar, and because it's fun to clean stained old rags by boiling them.
( Tip: Add a few capfuls of peroxide to the water you are using to sterilize the jars just for shits and giggles :0) )
15. Paper Towels: Yes, Yes, I know, You are thinking " But Grand PoohBa Newbie Shroomer Sir, nobody else includes paper towels in thier teks!? " Well, get over it. Newbie Shroomer finds the vast majority of mushroom cultivation teks out there not only incomplete, but sadly lacking in details. This is the main reason Newbie Shroomer is here holding out my hand to you right now. So you don't have to sort all of the details out for yourself like I did when I started. And out of the goodness of my heart :0) * Heterosexual Hugs to all! * Paper towels are nice to have on hand cause they are dry, sterile, and disposable. Keep a roll at hand when you start and you'll thank me later!
16. Bleach: I usually only use bleach water to sterilize previously used jars, and, if you are reading this you are probably not there yet. But it is nice to have on on hand, NOTHING can live thru a nice bleach bath.
( Tip: When you your initial jars start showing signs of contam, empty the jars immediately * don't listen to the teks telling you they can be saved, cause it ain't worth the trouble * and soak lids and jars for 4 to 6 hours in %20 bleach water. Then rinse and boil lids and jars for another 45 minutes or so, and your jars are again ready for action.
17. STERILE latex gloves: These are great! You can get a box of about 100 for under three bucks. Disposable, keeps your hands clean, easy to work in. A great Idea for anyone using oven teks especially. Make sure you spray the gloves liberally with lysol before use. Dispose of used gloves when done. If you hafta go around picking things up between sensitive innoculating/spore printing or whatever just get some new ones, they are cheao cheap cheap.
( Tip: Do NOT TRY using tape teks with the latex gloves on. I tried to do that and it was sooooo frustrating. I felt like a cat with tape on it's paws!!! * grin *
18. Tape: Soooooooooo many uses. Need I say more? LOL! Of course I do! This is The Newbie Shroomer baby, I got's oodles of info, holding nothing back! * grin * You will need strong packing tape, duct tape and masking tape.
A. Masking tape - is used to mark jars, easy to write on, easy to read, easy to take off. Mark tape on tops of jars as you won't be able to watch colonization in places where tape covers the sides of the jar. You can also use it to date whole boxes of jars, that way you don't have dates and strain names all over your boxes
B. Duct Tape - If you are thinking of Constructing a glove box ( Newbie Shroomer has Developed the BOMB glovebox with BOMB instructions to go with it, coming soon! * wink *) you will need this stuff. Buy the INDUSTRIAL grade which is nice and extra sticky.
C. Clear Packing tape - This will be used with any tek that involves taping jars prior to sterilization.
19. Sharpie Fine Tip: Pretty petty adding a pen into the mix, but dammit, If you are about to go shopping for materials you will NEED this item anyways. You should get a green Sharpie, cause thats my favorite color. I'm kidding, color doesn't really matter. The pen will be used to write on the masking tape to label strains/dates/specific numerical jar numbering. VERY IMPORTANT.
( Tip: Make sure that you DO label your jars. When you produce them in mass quantities it's very easy to mix jars up and forget what they are and when they were innoculated )
20. Paper and Pen: I could give a rats ass about a log book, but some people swear by them. ( If you choose, ) You should make a log of every step you take, what went where, times dates, and meticulously script your progress. This will help you track down things you do wrong, as well as the things you do right
21. ZipLock Freezer Bags: Cheap, 1 box lasts forever, and will save you some time re-sterilizing crap. Store your empty syringes in one bag, your new ones in another. Discard the original bags your syringes/prints came in, just more evidence against you should the MAN come down and swoop on your pad.
( Tip: sterilize all tools in a pot, when done, place on LYSOL soaked tin foil, wrap, store in lysol soaked zip lock, do not open again till ready to use in glovebox or stove. )
22. Face Mask: Not sure what this puppy is called, but I bought a few from a medical supply store. Originally I went to home depot for this little item, and discovered that the kind I wanted ( catches spores, bacteria, micron size organisms ) wasn't there. So I went to a medical supply store and and picked up 3 nice ones, kinda pricey, but they can be used over and over again. Supposedly when you breathe around your ongoing projects, you are letting loose all kinds of bad stuff that might add contams to your batch.
( Tip: Common Knowledge, I know!!! But be sure to try and gargle with some strong mouthwash before doing anything where contamination might be a factor. Every little thing you do to prevent contams, helps prevent contams! )
23. Tweezers: These are used to hold down the spore print while you are using your scalpel to scrape off the spores.
( Tip: Before submitting new teks to people who have no clue what you are trying to accomplish, please fasten your seat-belt and ready yourself for baseless attacks, BRING IT! :0) )
22. A Plastic Box: Keep all of your crap together in one place. Buy a box to hold everything. That way you don't need to go searching all over the house when you feel like doing some work. I always end up with my materials scattered up and down the mansion, er, I mean apartment!
23. Your Tek: Finally, the last thing we are probably going to need is the tek you will use to get everything going. Don't try your first time with only your memory to rely on if it is your first time. Odds are VERY good that you will forget a vital step and ruin a lot of work, and quite possibly some substantial $$$ worth of spore juice.
( Tip: Get some magnets and post all the tek papers you will need to your fridge, this will help prevent them from mixing up + you can post teks side by side to borrow from two or three. I have found few teks complete and up to date that cover EVERYTHING. Newbie Shroomer will have his beginners tek written shortly, depending on whether this tek gets any attention or not. So LQQK for it
You are ROLLING in Materials if you buy all this crap, and should want for very little. Part II will deal with my very own beginners cultivation Tek. Watch Out!!!
Thats it for now. I wrote this Tek While at Work on 11/14/2001 within a 5 hour period. I have no written material I was pulling this info from, it was all in my head. I gave credit to those who deserved it, and I had a blast. Anybody has anything to add, HEY! LEMME KNOW! I will give you full credit, and This TEK will be a HAFTA HAVE for the New Newbies. Thats my goal today anyway
If you Actually grow a crop of mushies, and I helped with this tek, By all Means send me a spore print!! I'd Appreciate that!
Email me @ [email protected] or pm me at the Shroomery!