Post Number: 8239
|Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 02:23 pm:||
by my old buddy mycofile
Got tired of giving half assed explanations on this over the years, so I'm digging up pics. Seriously folks, this is the easiest way to pasteurize large amounts of straw, especially if you live in an apartment or don't want to buy a burner.
This is a method of pasteurizing a large amount of straw rather easily. It is especially helpful for those living in apartments or otherwise unwilling/able to go with the traditional propane burner and steel drum. Basically we will be utilizing a hotwater heater to provide near ideal temperature water, adding a small amount of boiling water, and letting sit with no additional heat source. You no longer need to slave over a pot all day, doing multiple small loads.
Heed the safety warnings througout. Electrical hazards are presented by adjusting the hot water heater. You must disconnect the power to the hotwater heater, typically by flipping a breaker, before adjusting it. This is not dangerous, the hotwater heater is made to be adjusted, you just need to make sure you turn the power off first.
There is also a large risk posed by having 170* water available nearly instantaneously at every faucet in the house. If you have kids, send them to grandma's. If other adults live in the house, you must tell them not to use the water, even if you don't think they will be home (no trying to hide it from parents/roomates by doing it when they aren't there!). If someone comes home unexpectedly, or if you forget to turn the temp down or bleed the hw heater once finished, you could literally kill someone. 170* water is hot. Seriously hot. Be careful. It can poach a baby in less than 2 seconds. Poached babies may taste good, but they don't do very well in school, and the screams they tend to emit while cooking may attract authorities .
This is what the shriner's have to say about hot water:
Each year, several thousand children and adults are burned by tap water because the water is too hot. These burns can be prevented.
NOTE: At 130 degrees, a serious burn can occur in 30 seconds. At 140 degrees, only 5 seconds are required. The time may be reduced by 50 percent or more for children under age 5 and some adults over 65.
large plastic barrel or trash can with tight fitting lid
hose and faucet adapter or kitchen sprayer and duct tape
large amount of wheatstraw
Whatever else you need to colonize/fruit the straw however you want.
1. Turn off the breaker for the hotwater heater. You will be opening an access panel on the hotwater heater and everything under it will shock you if the breaker isn't off. Everytime. Believe me, I shocked myself 3 times being stupid enough to think I could just be careful about what I touched before I learned my lesson.
2. Access and adjust the thermostat on the hotwater heater:
Note the two brown access panels. Most heaters will have two panels, even though many heaters only have one element. My hw heater manual says that one is a thermestat and the other is a back-up maximum temp safety setting. Some may have two thermestats though. Either way, you need to adjust both of them in order to get super hot water.
Hotwater heater thermastat at original setting of 130*F, plenty hot for normal household use (both my thermestat and the emergency back-up look identical and should be set to the same temperature:
Conveniently goes up to 170*F. I think the mushroom gods dictated that as a divinely inspired standard
It is adjusted with a screwdriver on the gold pin holding the white plastic arrow. Turn it to it's highest setting and repeat if you're heater has two access panels.
Close both panels and turn the breaker back on.
3. Boil a pot of water
This is a 20ish qt pot and it has always been sufficient. Note that it takes a long time on most stoves to heat up to boiling.
4. Prepare straw. I won't get into this too much right now. Some people chop, some don't. Some people use laundry bags, some use pillow cases, some wire baskets. The following illustrations show mesh laundry bags with semi chopped straw (3-5 inches).
5. Put straw into a large pasteurization container.
This is a great container, it's a 50 gallon plastic food barrel. You can use a trash can if you don't want to try to get the food barrel. The food barrel is nice cause it has a tight fitting screw on gasketted lid which helps to keep the heat in. The capacity of your hotwater heater may help determine your pasteurization contaner. Some shitty ones are only 20 gallons. This one is 40 gallons and is plenty big enough to submerge as much straw as I could fit in the barrel.
6. Rig something to keep straw submerged. May be a screen with a brick, whatever, may depend on what you put the straw in to begin with. The set-up pictured has a custom circular screen that is the size of the barrel at it's widest. The taper at the top of the barrel prevents the screen and thus the straw from going any higher. You don't even need to put the straw in bags or pillow cases at all. Yeah, it's neat, but a cinder block works just as well. I've even used a pizza pan with a large pot of water sitting on it in a pich! As long as it holds the straw submerged, and won't dissolve in the water, you're golden.
7. Wait for water to heat up. It may take anywhere from an hour to several for your water to heat up depending on how nice of a heater you have, and how hot the water was to begin with. Mine goes from 130-165 in about 1.5 hours. You may need to do a little experimenting to get the timing of your hotwater heater coming up to temp and boiling your water synchronized. Or just wait till the hw heater is hot before even starting the pot of water. This water is now hot.
8. Fill the barrel with the now hot ass water. I find the sprayer in a kitchen sink to be convenient. Use duct tape or a rubberband to make it squirt continuosly. I set the lid loosely over the hose to minimize heat lost as steam. An adapter to hook a hose up to a faucet would be easier, and should only cost a few dollars at a hardware store. You don't need to fill the barrel, just cover the straw with a few inches.
9. Check temp. This is from a huge load of straw (probably 35+ gallons shredded). The straw absorbs some of the heat and lowers the temp, in this case to about 150 (which is actually hot enough to pasteurize, except we are going to loose heat over the next hour since there isn't a burner/heat source involved).
10. So go get that pot off the stove that is now boiling, and dump it into your container. A little experimentation will tell you how much is too much. Keep the temp under 180. In my case, usually about 15 qts boiling water was plenty for most size batches. You may not even need the additional water, if you have a lot more water than straw in your container, it may have raised the temperature up to about 160 ish. You want it at least that high, and I'd shoot for more like 170.
There is a general rule that relates temperature and time when pasteurizing. The lower the temp, the more time it takes. 140*F is generally the lowest acceptable temperature, and 4 hrs above 140 is needed to provide pasteurization. At 170*F, only about 30 minutes is needed.
My personal guidelines were to stay over 150, and leave it in the water for an hour.
You must not exceed 180 degrees or you will activate thermophillic bacteria, kill beneficial bacteria, and generally ruin your substrate. In effect you will have turned a substrate that is more readily colonized by mushroom mycelium than anything else into a substrate that is easily colonized by any microorganism looking for a home.
11. Drain the straw. There are many ways to do it. Here are two oven racks placed over a sink.
And straw in laundry bags draining:
Straw usually needs to drain for at least several hours. If draining inside over a sink, you may want to cover the straw with a large rubbermaid or something to keep airborne contaminates from settling on it, and you can let it drain overnight.
If you are doing very large batches, you will have to come up with alternative draining methods. The barrel pictured above was designed for such things. The water is siphoned out of it, then it is inverted into a large rubbermaid. The custom screen used to keep the straw submerged now acts to hold the straw out of the water while allowing it to drip dry. Unfortunately the inside of the barrel doesn't photograph well, so you'll have to figure it out yourself.
12. Turn that hotwater heater back down! Remember to kill the breaker first, then set it back down to a safe level.
130*F is more than hot enough for most people. 120*F will save you on your utility bill, and is still plenty hot enough. I know the pic shows 130* but I subsequently learned that I was perfectly happy with 120*.
13. PURGE THE REMAINING SUPER HOTWATER FROM THE HOTWATER HEATER BY RUNNING THE TAP UNTIL IT'S COLD!
That's it. Use the straw as you see fit. Here's a taste of how you might use it.
Red wheat in injectable bag:
Large cement tub (2'X3'X8"), and a little castings:
Cover with plastic, and tuck those edges in:
Cover with Flouro diffuser grid and poke air holes:
Six square feet, 6.5 inches deep, ready for a compression weight:
Colonized (should take less than 10 days tops):
Straw makes 'em big, thumbs up:
BTW, don't fuck with your hotwater heater without turning off the breaker first. Everything in there is grounded to everything else, you will shock yourself, I promise.
One could order a barrel like that from many sources, I think in the $30-50 range. I'll dig up a link before it's finished.
You could also get one free from a food factory if you live near one. FDA regulations prevent them from being re-used so they are usually in pretty good shape, and many places get lots of ingredients in barrels similar to that. If you've seen the compost tumbler, he uses a very similar barrel, and says he gets his free from a pickle factory. Some places do recycle them, but only if there is a plant nearby, they cost too much to ship just to recycle them. FYI, places that do recycle them make cool shit out of them, like sweaters!
The one above features a screw on gasketed top, which probably helps alot in keeping the heat in.
Note that it is 6 sq. ft, not 6 ft long! It's a 2'X3'X8" deep cement tray, the large size available at chains such as home depot. They are in the $10 range if I remember correctly.
Being 6 sq. ft, a minimum of 12 cups of spawn is needed. I recomend at least a gallon, and would probably personally use 2 gallons. Spawn is cheap and easy, might as well use as much as you can!
I rigged the barrel so that it can be used for drainage inside. It's a very specific modification and I think that posting a clear picture of it would be a security breech for myself. But, basically you need a round screen that fits the diameter of the barrel snuggly. It can be mounted in the barrel a few inches off the bottom, and a hose connected to the bottom of the barrel drains the majority of the water, while the rest slowly drips beneath the screen. BTW, a hose hooked up to the bottom has a lot of pressure when the tub is full, it's enough to pump the water up several feet to start a siphon as long as the end of the hose is below the bottom of the barrel.Or you can mount it in the top, dump the barrel out the door, then invert it inside in a tray/tub/bathtub to catch the drippigns.
You could simply use large bags such as laundry bags, pillow cases etc, and these can be suspended to drip over tubs or in a bathtub. They can be hung from the ceiling, hooks in the wall, however you want to do it.
However works best for you, without too much trouble, one can easily pasteurize, drain, and innoculate at least a full bail indoors in a days work.
Post Number: 8240
|Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 02:32 pm:||
to check out more of mycofile's work and ideas,
see Bulk Neglect Report *completed*
Post Number: 559
|Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 02:37 pm:||
now if there were more peeps that thought simple on a large scale like that we'd be living in domes well fed and driving solar/electric cars to work. lol
Post Number: 427
|Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 10:26 pm:||
Cuts right to the point-
Simple, available . . . genious.
I'm going for straw..
Post Number: 8296
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 12:18 am:||
mycofile has a real gift for simplifying things.
one might toss in some lime and/or bleach as per stamets if one wanted extra redundancy in ensuring full pasturization but even without such chemicals this is a solid tek.
Post Number: 198
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 03:54 pm:||
"mycofile has a real gift for simplifying things."
Yes, he does -- he's a really smart person.
What about a gas-powered water heater? I'm assuming one could just turn the heat up? Or could this present a hazard (I don't see why it would?)
Post Number: 8343
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 04:22 pm:||
correct, a gas heater would just need to be set at desired temps, no need to disconnect electricity, which would kill the gas regulator valve, shutting down the heater and forcing you to light it once you restored power. i've adjusted my gas water heater many times and never got any shock, the voltage needed to run the valve and thermostat is quite low.
Post Number: 199
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 04:26 pm:||
pretty much just lazy (Purefficiency)
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 09:21 pm:||
I don't know shit about water heaters but I don't see how this can be done in an apartment.
not *really* a Jedi (Mycofile)
Post Number: 54
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 09:32 pm:||
Why not? Those pics were actually taken in a 800 sq. ft. apartment.
Oh yeah, gas! You know that tendency to think that everybody's shit is the same as yours? I didn't even think about gas hotwater heaters, I guess that makes everything even easier!
Post Number: 8375
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 10:42 pm:||
some apartments share a common water heater so it might not be possible to change settings.
in that case,
not *really* a Jedi (Mycofile)
Post Number: 55
|Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 11:02 pm:||
word to that hippie. Any dwelling that shares anything other than a wall or a parking lot with anybody else requires a move for anyone involved in anything shady.
pretty much just lazy (Purefficiency)
Post Number: 21
|Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 02:23 am:||
Thanks for the advice. I haven't even seen a water heater in an apartment before, but I'll look for one when I move in a couple of months.
Post Number: 8427
|Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 02:39 am:||
look in the closet near the bathroom or possibly under the bathroom sink in a cabinet.
psycho naut (Xochipilli2012)
Post Number: 226
|Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 03:26 am:||
I have mine turned on high(gas heater),and it still no where near 170.
and it's only 5 months old.
maybe the fact that i live near the ocean has something to do with it.
a lot of salt?
Post Number: 8455
|Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 04:23 pm:||
some newer hot water heaters are designed to be child-proof and do not allow one to raise the temp as high as is needed for pasturization.
not *really* a Jedi (Mycofile)
Post Number: 57
|Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 06:55 pm:||
Damn! That sucks. It's news to me though. To be sure I'd check the manufacturers web site to see if they have a manual (many have them in pdf format), this would tell you for sure how to adjust it as high as possible, or if there is a child proof feature which could be turned off.
Oh, here's a related thread at nansnook:
This guy Fearless1 runs with the hotwater heater in a whole new direction. He takes a spare hotwater heater, and hooks it up as a completely stand-alone electric pasteurizer! Now I've actually heard the idea before, but Fearless shows step by step pics, and lots of info. I was thoroughly impressed and just wanted to share here.
Hippie, that thread may be worh it's own thread over here for archival purposes, why don't you do one of your great copy jobs?
Post Number: 8647
|Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 07:44 pm:||
well, i'm not registered there,
so i can't see it.
Post Number: 168
|Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 09:40 pm:||
I registered to check it out. Mycofile asked Fearless if he could share the tek with us and Fearless said okay. Then somebody named Tyk stepped in and said that the pics will be hosted at the nook! All of Fearless's posts were edited by Tyk and the pictures were deleted.
(Message edited by banjojo on December 05, 2003)
there's a fungus among us!
Post Number: 8654
|Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 09:45 pm:||
no shit ?
that's disturbing news indeed.
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 05:39 am:||
it tis indeed!