Harvest is pretty easy. Grab the mushroom or cluster of mushrooms by the base of the stem and give them a twist until they come loose from the substrate. The fruit will pull a divot of casing material up with it. Large clusters will remove a lot of casing. Don’t worry about it. You will fill those divots in the next step when you re-case.
- A fruiting case, ready to harvest
- A dehydrator (or a desk fan and a paper plate)
- Jars and lids
- Envelopes/packets of silica dessicant
You don’t have to harvest all the mushrooms at the same time. If some mature quicker than others, harvest them first.
When the mushroom is still fresh, you can scrape/wipe most of the excess casing and whatnot off the base and throw it away. After the mushroom is dry, an old toothbrush can be used to brush away any residual casing material. Try to remove all the casing material. Vermiculite grit in your mouth is gross. Eating polyacrylamide is hazardous to your health.
Wet mushrooms need to be dried or refrigerated immediately to keep them from rotting. Put freshies in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week.
NEVER store freshies in plastic bags. Fresh mushrooms will rot very quickly in a plastic bag.
To dry your freshies, either put them in a dehydrator or arrange them in front of a small fan on a paper plate. Keep the air moving until they are cracker dry and the stems break crisply. Don’t jar them up until they are super crisp/dry. They will rot and all the magic will turn into a funky stank. DON'T EAT ROTTED MUSHROOMS UNLESS YOU ENJOY PROJECTILE VOMITING.
Four dehydrator trays ready to do their job.
If you use a dehydrator, make certain it isn’t heated. Hot air dehydrators will destroy part of the magic. If you are electrically inclined, the heating element can be pretty easily disabled or put on a separate switch. If you put the heater on a separate switch, make certain it only operates when the fan is also turned on. Those little heating elements get very hot very quick with no fan blowing on them. If you aren’t electrically inclined, use the fan/paper plate method or buy a cold air dehydrator.
Once the shrooms are cracker dry, put them in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid (wide mouth pints work GREAT). Put a desiccant pack on the bottom and on the top. Smash as many mushies as possible into the jar. The less air space there is, the better. Store the jars in the freezer if they aren’t going to be used within the next few months. Cracker dry shrooms in an air tight jar with a desiccant will stay good in the freezer for a number of years.
Always measure/weigh your mushies before consuming. You can always eat some more. You can’t un-eat them if you have too much…
BB'S drying tek
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Posted 20 August 2006 - 08:21 AM