I began my journey into agar by following the above tek.
If you can do cubes, you may find Oysters a bit simple. I didn't care for their taste. Woodlovers are your challenge.
Reishi is fairly easy and rewarding. Shiitake are a bit more difficult but very very tasty. If you decide to get into spawn bags Enoki are slam-dunk easy and very tasty.
I have yet to try Lion's Mane but they look pretty simple.
All good choices.
Appreciate the link, gonna have a cold one and do some research as I have the next two days off from work. Only growing cubes for one more batch of jars so it's about time to look into this (even though I've got a good 2 months).
I heard that shiitake can be a pain, do you think I could grow them on hardwood pellets made for a pellet stove? I can get woodchips but for 4 dollars a bag I can get 40 pounds of pellets easily, just gotta check and see if there is any additives even though I don't think there would be considering people use them to burn and heat their houses. I really want to grow them, they're my favorite to cook with except morels but that's a whole other conversation haha.
I'm thinking for the first few times going with shiitake (if the above substrate seems to work), lions mane and reishi. Appreciate the tips!
I've had great luck with agar in my still air box.
Using a no pour tek where you fill little jelly jars with some and sterilize. If you go that route put a small hole in the lid that can be taped shut, then pressure can be equalized with an airport syringe.
Make a bunch as you may introduce outside contaminants on the first few before you get the hand movement right. Use lots of alcohol and keep track of which fingers touch what, sometimes rewiping / spraying hands and jars.
It sounds like a lot but after a few times the steps become instinct like inoculating a jar of grain.
One day I'll build a flow hood, right now it seems like hepa filters are expensive until I have commercial need for them.
Thanks for the encouragement, since agar doesn't seem expensive by any means I might as well give it a try (how else would one learn otherwise haha). I think I actually read a tek similar to what you described by hippie3, if you've had good success with it (or something similar anyways) I think I'll go ahead and give it a try!
Good call on making a bunch at a time, I've had a whole batch of jars go bad so I know the massive frustration involved in having to start over after 2 weeks deep lol. From what you said it reminded me of a quote that I read when I first starting cultivating; "There is no such thing as semi sterile, if sterility is in question in any way consider it non-sterile and start over". Definitely an excellent piece of advice.
I was looking into building a flow hood but with the filters costing a couple hundred bucks it seemed better to just buy one pre-built, especially considering what I read talked about having to get a fan that provides the perfect amount of air flow for the filter you're using (correct me if I'm wrong). Even though now trying to find an article I read by looking up "building a flowhood" it seems there are easy (easier anyways) methods to build one that aren't so specific... maybe one day haha.
Good vibes everyone, appreciate the insight.