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Hippie3 (Admin)
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 02:27 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

by
SixTango
aka Mycota
#1383190 - 03/17/03 07:02 AM



Quote:

The key factor is allowing a drain and/or bottom venting of a bulk substrate tray.
My foaf has received a lot of em & pm's from folks trying their first BIG bulk substrate attempt & having problems.

By "big" & "bulk" substrate, he means aged / leached manure, manure/straw combo, or compost & large plastic trays (18 to 24 inches wide, 24 to 32 inches long, with depths ranging from 4 to 6 inches).

Assuming that you do everything in the most sterile manner possible;

TRAY PREPARATION:

Because the moisture level of a bulk substrate is hard for a novice to judge & most tend to get a bulk substrate to moist (via wet pasteurization).

You can rectify that problem by drilling an even pattern of approximate 1/2 or 3/8ths holes in the casing tray BOTTOM, then cover bottom of the tray with a sterilized spunbond polyester professional grade landscape fabric.

This fabric is the exact same thing filter disk material is made of (spunbond polyester), only thicker & slightly more porous. It can be PC'ed, without effect. It is also reusable, by simply spraying it off (well) with a hose, then PC'ing it again.

The best type is Easy Gardener Professional Grade Landscape cloth & most good garden supply stores (Home Depot, Lowes, et, al., stock it or a similar material.

An example is shown on the bottom of the following page:

CLICK HERE:

3 foot X 50 foot rolls of this material costs about $20

This is an IMPORTANT FACTOR, as it allows the substrate to drain, if it is initially to moist. Moreover, it allows a tiny bit of gas exchange, on the bottom of a tray. Which will give the substrate a better opportunity to fully colonize, ASAP.

Point 1.

Substrate MUST be properly PASTEURIZED, or STERILIZED.

HINT: placing a pre/moistened bulk substrate in a large baking pan, then placing that pan in a pre/heated oven, with a meat thermometer inserted into the substrate is an easy method of pasteurization. Insure the internal substrate temp reaches & maintains 175 to 185 F, for 90 minutes.

Point 2.

Substrate moisture content at spawning should be around 70% of it's capacity.
(meaning as moist as you can get it, without being able to squeeze moisture droplets out of it, with a fairly firm squeeze)

Point 3.

Spawn to substrate ratio should be AT LEAST 10%. 20 to 25% is preferable, as this will cause quicker colonization of the substrate.

Point 4.

Spawn should be mixed thoroughly into the substrate, top to bottom & side to side.

HINT: save back about 2% of the spawn & when finished mixing in the majority of spawn, add that extra amount to the surface of the substrate, as a topping. This will cause the surface to colonize slightly quicker than the substrate underneath, giving the substrate a quicker protective cover.

Point 5.

Substrate should not be compacted into the tray, when spawn is added.

Point 6.

Cover the tray with aluminum foil, not tightly. This will keep out light, help retain moisture, allow CO2 to build up & there will be a very small amount of gas exchange (a good thing), if the foil is not sealed tight.

Point 7.

Incubate @ 80 to 82 F.

Point 8.

Be patient. Let it do it's thing. Do not inspect it often. The more you open it, the more opportunity contam's have to get to it at this critical time.

Point 9.

Once the substrate appears fully colonized, give it another day or 3 to finish, as the surface will colonize faster than the substrate, underneath.

Point 10.

Once fully colonized, case the tray with 3/4 to 1 inch of pH tested & balanced casing mix. A casing mix pH should be 7 to 7.5.

6T (aka Mycota)





How do the holes in the bottom help more than the standard method? Seems like it would let out too much moisture.


by
mycofile

Quote:

Good advice.
Question: I think I saw you mention somewhere that the landscape fabric allows some, but a limited amount of moisture evaporation. If it limits a significant amount of moisture evaporation, then it seems like it would make a good top filter in place of the foil. It would keep in most moisture, block light, and prevent flies and many airborne contaminates from entering. Perhaps even attached to the trays with velcro so as to make the trays re-usable and re-sealable. What do you think? I think I read you say that it limits about 70% of evaporation, which may be a little more porous than the perforated plastic (trash bags) that a lot of people use for covering trays, but is a similar stat to the plastic sheeting that the pros use when colonizing or fruiting oysters off of uncased straw.

point 5 clarification, substrate should not be compacted unless it is a mostly straw mix, or a very airy compost with large pieces of straw not decomposed. At that, many commercial cultivators compress all of their substrates to ensure an even surface for the casing to be applied to, ensuring even casing depth/colonization and therefore pinning. The expense is slightly longer colonization times and more risk of anearobic areas forming.

Point 7 clarification, make sure the advised incubation temps are measured at the substrate, not the incubation room or chamber. Especially when dealing with high spawn rates, substrates which have been SASed (supplemented at spawning), or mixes unusually high in nitrogen (10-20% hay or alfalfa in straw mixes, composts supplemented with sugars or oils) etc... thermogenisis can get out of hand. For most people it will be high spawn rates which lead to increased thermogenesis. Often heavily spawned trays will generate enough heat to incubate themselves, even in a 70 degree environment.

tip home depot mortar trays make great bulk trays. They have two sizes one 6 in deep by roughly 1' X 2' and the larger 8" deep 2' X 3'. They are much cheaper than their counterparts at Lowe's or other similar stores.





deanofmean
actually it doesn't, if you keep rh around 86 it will be fine .
the main purpose is to let co2 drain, but mycelium doesn't like it's feet wet .
this works well for smaller casings too, tho you should use smaller holes .



SixTango
Mycota

Quote:

Yup them mortor mix trays work well.

My foaf uses the landscape fabric both top & bottom.
mycota

Pic is of a dung straw mix, before I started making compost.

Anothr little trick is to mix in a little bit of pasturized vegatable oil in with the substrate, before spawning. I don't really know the technical points of why it helps, but it does (something about "floctuation" < SP or some such thing).






Shroomism
Spiritual Warrior
For poor people.. is it ok to simply drill the holes and not use the landscaping material? I don't see any problems other than possible contamination.




My friend recently tried dung/straw for the first time. Previously he'd been using only dung with good success. This time the straw and whatever seemed to make it too wet which he realized by the spawn's reaction after spawing. So in an attempt to fix this he made sure the foil over the top was secure, flipped the whole damn things over and drilled 16 holes in the bottoms of each of the 3 gallon containers then flipped them back.

So to answer your question, they seem to be doing great since this operation


The only problem is that the flipping unleveled the surface of the substrate, severly on one of them. So does anybody know, should he try to level this with a fork right before applying the casing layer?

Thanks

p.s. You also could try cutting flat pieces out of tyvek envelopes from the post office or wherever, and using those to cover the holes, I'm not sure how well they'd let water pass though.


Now for anyone who may know or have the time to help my friend out, here is a hypothetical question regarding 6T's piece. Say you knew someone that took a clear Rubbermaid container and drilled two 1 and 1/2 inch holes in the lid then proceeded to take two, two inch pieces of Mycron Magic filter discs and hot glue them to the lid of the Rubbermaid container. Thus providing Co2 exchange as well as to let some water evaporate if need be as well as making sure that no contams can enter as long as you don’t open it. The lid is a solid white but the bottom and the sides are clear, my friend likes this so he can see if there are any contams developing on the outer area until he births it to the terrarium, which by that time the outside/bottom has been taped with duct tape. So to the specifics - the substrate is straw, roughly about two gallons worth , the spawn is two, more than fully colonized, quart jars of rye berries, that were evenly distributed into the pasteurized straw on Tuesday. Everything is colonizing very well or so it seems, the rye is nice and fluffy, with yummy mycelium and already has started to colonize the straw . Here comes the doubt , it seems that there is a-lot of water condensation on the sides and the bottom of the Rubbermaid. So the question is do I tell him to perform surgery much like Psyphon did, or just see how things develop? Any help please!!!


When my friend could tell from the spawn's reaction that the substrate was too wet, what he observed was the mycelium having trouble recovering or fluffing up a bit but not "jumping off" onto the substrate, which is something that he observed in his first few bulk attempts, before he got the moisture level right.

So as long as it seems that the straw is being colonized, it should be alright. Even in my friends recent run where he thought he might have made it too dry (first time he's done that) there was water condensation on the sides. One reason this might happen is that the colonizing mycelium and the beneficial organisms left over after pasteurizing generate heat, so the substrate could be warmer than the air outside the tray making the walls of the tray cooler and thus the water condenses on them.

Two additional points: Like mycofile said, you might want to compress your substate since its straw. The filter discs in the lids might help with air exchange, but aren't too likely to help evacuate excess CO2, its heavier than air so filtered holes are usually made on the sides just above substrate level so the CO2 will sort of pour itself out or be pushed out by whatever air exchange device is being used.

One more thing, (yeah I know I said two but...) you're going to want to cover up the clear sides of the container either now or near complete colonization at the latest because light will initiate pinning and you'll end up with them growing from the sides or bottom of the substrate, something you definately don't want. Hmm...I just saw the thing about the duct tape so I guess you know about that but just but sure that its colonizing in the dark and you might want to put that tape on now.







Quote:

Quote:
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The only problem is that the flipping unleveled the surface of the substrate, severly on one of them. So does anybody know, should he try to level this with a fork right before applying the casing layer?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Depends how picky you are. The easiest solution would be to simply make sure that the depth of the casing is the same over the whole tray, regardless of the surface being actually level or not. This can be done on an uneven surface by using depth rings. Cut rings of large diameter PVC, tennis ball tubes, even paper towel tubes to the width that you want your casing depth to be (I'd say somewhere between .75 and 1.25 inches). Lay these rings over the uneven substrate, then case to the tops of the depth rings. Remove the rings after casing is applied. This will make your casing depth even although it will still look sloped.

Reasoning is that the depth of the substrate being uneven will have a slight impact on fruiting in that area, but far more important is to insure that the entire tray pins at the same time. An even casing depth is important to even pin set because it helps the mycelium reach the surface at the same time.

I wouldn't bother re-leveling the substrate as long as the casing is applied evenly.







The other day I tried to PC some of that landscaping material and I ended up with a steaming, smelly, porous, molten looking block of black plastic. It was sitting on a towel in the PC and there was more than enough water...guess it was just too hot....and I DID use the right thing.... the Easy Gardner cloth. Anyone else with this problem? or am I just that special?

Anyhow, I decided to just use the stuff unsterilized. Works fine. Pasteurised substrate is supposed to be selecive anyhow, right? Day 3 and the top is 80% colonized...not bad says me.

....For all the lazy people out there...I just thought I'd plant the idea of not bothering with the PC for the cloth.

-MM



SixTango
Mycota

Quote:

Quote--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other day I tried to PC some of that landscaping material and I ended up with a steaming, smelly, porous, molten looking block of black plastic. It was sitting on a towel in the PC and there was more than enough water...guess it was just too hot....and I DID use the right thing.... the Easy Gardner cloth. Anyone else with this problem? or am I just that special?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Polyester spunbonded landscape clothe has never melted in my FOAF's experiance when being PC'ed.

Does the stuff you used look like plastc, or a cloth like material?

Because if it looks like plastic w/pin holes in it. It is not a polyester spunbonded landscape cloth.

The right stuff looks like this cloth that covers this tray:


6T


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Highflyer (Highflyer)
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 09:50 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for posting that here Hip. Lots of helpful advice.
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Hippie3 (Admin)
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 12:50 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thx
i'm methodically going thru shroomery's older posts, mining out the gold.
they don't archive the good stuff over there like we do here, so much great material is just buried amidst the tens of thousands of other posts waiting to be re-discovered.
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Hippie3 (Admin)
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 01:48 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

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