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Nan (Nanook)
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2001 - 03:14 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Preparing the substrate

The left jar is 5 days after inoculation. (shroom water)
The right one is 8.
See the helpful products page for info on the filter tops.

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package except for reducing the water to 1 1/2 cup water to 1 cup grain and leaving out the margarine/salt. Try a bite to see if it's fully cooked and tender. Then fluff and stir the grain, and spoon it into jars until full. Tap the jars to work the grain down. Don't over compact the jars. If it makes a mush in the bottom with hardly any air spaces, you should empty it out and re-fluff with a fork. Leave the usual 1/2" space for the vermiculite in the top. Wipe the top of the jars and add the vermiculite per MMGG. Use your favorite lid arrangement to close the jars and Pressure Cook for 30 min. at 15 PSI.
also see fractional sterilization if you have no pressure cooker
The Grain has already been cooked and if you work quickly, it'll still be quite hot when it goes in the cooker.

This makes a very nicely aerated Substrate and solves the biggest problems with using whole grain for cakes: uneven water content and aeration. If one inoculates with shroom water, the growth rate can be incredible. 100% colonization in 2 -3 weeks (average) for pt jars. Some in as little as 10 days. Another advantage is that it takes less inoculant to flow all the way through the grain because of the open structure of the substrate. Inject enough shroom water to wet down to the bottom in 4 or 5 places around the jar for fastest colonization. This works nicely with Rye Grain also. If you're sure the grain is too wet after it is fully cooked, you can add some dry vermiculite to the grain to soak up excess water during the sterilizing process or (preferred) fluff the steaming rice with a fork for an extra minute or two and let it evaporate off the excess moisture. The picture below shows the proper texture for the substrate.

The point of all this is to remedy the problems with cooking and sterilizing the grain at the same time in the jars. For many people, this has always lead to dry grain in the top of the jar and a soggy mass in the bottom with almost no air spaces. It is also difficult to use the prophylactic vermiculite layer (MMGG's masterpiece) on uncooked grain due to expansion of the grain. While this is not the end of the world, the above procedure improves the substrate tremendously and allows one to fill the jars to the top and apply the vermiculite layer per MMGG.

A convenient recipe:

Here's a convenient recipe. It makes a little more than 7 pint jars. For many pressure cookers this is the best batch size. The excess is just enough for a tasty treat.

Use a whole 2 lb. bag Brown Rice (Lundberg's nutrifarmed is great.) with 6.5 cups Water in a big pan. Be sure to turn the heat way down (almost off) for simmering. If it scorches it won't work as well. You may want to experiment with Additives. Several tablespoons of flax seed meal (health food stores) is a favorite. Delicious and nutritious for us and the mushrooms.

Here's some photos of the kind of flushes this substrate (and entire process) yield:

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(Message edited by admin on November 15, 2004)