Greetings again fellow amateur mycologists, autodidactic researchers and citizen scientists! Welcome to my new and improved agar-agar thread!
When I started my last agar thread it was set up as a learn as I go type thread, posting questions, problems etc. It also served as a log of sorts for recipes and my progress. This new thread is intended to be more of an active resource page. I will continue to log and display my work, but now that I have a couple of years working with agar, I feel that I (along with my fellow "agar heads") can offer guidance and encouragement. Basically I'm cleaning up my other thread and placing all of the resources from it here in order to be accessed quickly and easily.
I get a lot of questions regarding homemade agar recipes and what type of agar should be purchased. Any powdered agar-agar from an Asian market will work. The agar strips are entirely too much work and aren't worth it IMHO. The basic recipe that I use for all of my own recipes is as follows:
10-12g agar powder (I've been using 12g but "standard" is 10g)
600ml h2o (there's wiggle room here too 500-700ml works as well, just adjust the agar content accordingly)
additives/future food (optional)
I refer to mine as "catattives" which are a pinch of all future substrates plus eggshells, pulverized and at the most add up to 0.5g total.
Now the above recipe can be adapted for virtually any purpose. If one were to use potato flake and corn sugar as the nutrition, one would have PDA agar, which is potato dextrose agar and is pretty universal in it's employ. One may use any sugar or "ose" as the nutrition, ie dextrose (corn sugar), sucrose (table sugar), maltose (yeast sugars), etc.. One may also use brown rice flour, dung, ground insects, and or any combination one may think of. I am of the opinion that if one has no previous agar making experience, that one should stick to a basic carbohydrate/sugar source for the nutrition. At the end of this post I linked @seeker2be's aloha medicinal scholarship agar recipe index, which has many useful recipes and I use for reference.
It should be noted that activated carbon may be added as well to aid in spore germination, especially if the spores are older or their viability is questionable.
Here is an example of how I prepare a yeast agar that mycelium love:
The above is all of my ingredients that I'm playing with this particular round.
Included are 12g 'telephone' brand agar, a 7g packet of yeast , black food coloring, h2o, ~5g of my 'catattives' (powdered: eggshells, coir, oats, cornmeal, dirt, tiny bit of charcoal dust for good measure).
In that picture there's a quart jar that has the activated yeast, which I activated by following the temperature parameters on the packet, which were 110-130f, I stirred/shook until it was thoroughly consuming the 1/4tsp sucrose (table sugar) that I fed it, also on the packet. My goal was to get the yeast to produce maltose, which I hope coupled with my catattives, will be a terrific medium for my next set of transfers.
So basically after I got the yeast all riled up, I added water and everything together and shook vigorously, I then warmed it thoroughly on the stove, stirring a lot. I find this step seems to disperse whatever I've added as nutrition, and gets the agar thickened up, which helps keep all of my powders suspended, making my dishes uniformly nutritious. All together it was 700ml on the dot.
Here's the jars:
I did clean up this example so that it's only "meat and potatoes". It is just that, an example, and like my sample recipe it can be adjusted to one's particular needs.
I will update this tonight (hopefully) starting from where I left off on the former thread.
I would be remiss if I didn't reference and acknowledge my mentors and their agar threads.
My boy whitethumb:
And last but certainly not least, our beloved founder may he rest in peace:
Edited by catattack, 25 January 2017 - 12:44 PM.