I wish you luck man, those strips are a pain in the ass. I get powdered agar from an Asian store, it's also available online:
Lemme (us) know how it works out, not sure yours is going to set.
Was this comment due to the use of the agar strips, or based on the other ingredients / process used?
I had an excellent set as I was pouring from the pan initially. In fact, almost too quickly. I had a slight raise/mound at the area of pour. (The mound was hot & moist, Cat) I think this (the quick set) was due to the fact that I added cool water at the end to bring the total volume back up to 500 mL. I'm wondering if I should have just started with a larger initial volume and tried skipping the PCing. I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot on the first try though.
I made a comment in another thread about appreciating a well-planned clean setup vs. people making videos where they talk up a storm about sanitizing everything, and then do open-air transfers in an uncontrolled environment, with their open mouth a few inches above the agar dishes. (watch as I wipe down my hands and scalpel in ispropyl and flame-sterilize the blade, and then as small droplets of spittle and bacteria-laden dust from my cat's litter box over there land directly on my agar) However, I've thought a lot about that comment and would like to clarify that I'm not actually against people doing things low-tech, or taking chances, if that's their choice. It's just when people are purporting to "sterilize" and then are doing really stupid things at the same time (essentially giving the uninformed people really bad advice and a false expectation of what "sterilized" is). My first attempt at mushroom propagation months ago was basically a bad science experiment that resulted in a shriveled mold cake. But at least I knew that it was a likely outcome based on the minimal time, effort, and resources I put into the process and wasn't deceived into thinking I was going to have a good chance of positive results only to be sorely disappointed.
That aside, I PC'd 8 jars last night and 4 jars tonight. My PC is tiny, only holding four half pints at a time. I think it would hold four full pint jars, but another stack of half pints were a no go. My wife ordered it off TV late one night several years ago, and due to her health issues, this is the first use it's had. I PC'd for 90 minutes at what I'm assuming to be fluctuating about 12-15 PSI. PC specs and online search only revealed that electric PC's sold in the U.S. are set to a peak of 15 PSI for safety reasons, with a drop down to perhaps 10-12 PSI depending on the temperature control.
There is a little bit of fluid on the surface of last night's jars, but for the most part they have a good set. Other than the free fluid, there is no perceptible flow to the agar mass when tilting the jar. The hardwood particulate has also settled to the bottom, whereas it was evenly suspended before PCing. If the fluid doesn't reabsorb into the agar by the time I'm ready to inoculate, should I try to pour it off?
Mission for this weekend is to find a suitable container to serve as a SAB.