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Coir preparation


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#1 Doctor D

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 01:47 PM

Just curious, how does everyone prepare their coir when using it as a casing mix? I've been searching through the vaults, and I don't see any teks that describe exactly how to prepare it, whereas materials such as vermiculite are usually covered in depth.

What I have been doing is cutting off a small section of Eco-Earth coir, then placing it in a bowl of hot water for half an hour or so. I do not break up the coir, as simply hydrating it seems to make it fall apart by itself. Then I take a strainer spoon and measure out a level scoopful, squeezing out as much water as I can. This still leaves the coir very wet. Is this advisable?

I then take the very wet coir and mix it with dry or slightly damp vermiculite, in a roughly 70/30 mix (verm/coir). Even with the dry verm, I usually end up with a bit of excess water when all is mixed. When previously I have tried mixes of 50% or greater coir as a double-end case for cakes, I've noticed that the very bottoms of my lower casing layers turn black with mold in some areas. (Obviously, I don't do that anymore!)

How do you prepare coir? Do you think I should strain out more water, or keep on doing what I'm doing? Honestly, I can't determine yet whether flushes have increased by using coir, but they definitely haven't decreased. Reduction in glittershits alone is all the benefit I need. Regards,

Doctor D

#2 Hippie3

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 01:52 PM

see
http://mycotopia.net...html?1146752898

#3 Doctor D

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:00 PM

That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks. Any ideas about the black mold? It wasn't near the cakes at all, but on the underside of the casing layer. Too much water?

I assume the microwaving of the verm/coir is done for sterilization purposes. I haven't been doing that. Does anyone PC instead?

#4 Hippie3

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:05 PM

you could pc but most pasteurize casing materials
since they will contact open [unsterile] air

the black is likely bacteria, or mold spores.
too wet + not enough air

#5 golly

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:08 PM

I would think that the 70% dry verm would easily absorb any excess water from the hydrated coir ,i would proly have to add more water to reach the optimum level...If you let the coir sit in a collander to drain for a while, it should b fine...

#6 Doctor D

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:55 PM

I would think that the 70% dry verm would easily absorb any excess water from the hydrated coir


Yeah, you're right. I'm eyeballing my measurements and I'm probably using more like 60%/40%.

#7 duncan

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 10:25 PM

Ok in the past when I have used coir for my casing layer, I rehydrate it, squeeze out most of the moisture. Toss it in a roasting pan in my oven get the coir to 170F drop my oven temp to that and pasturize it for 2 hours. Some say it is overkill, but I want every pan to have a fighting chance. I cool it check the moisture level and apply it. I dont cut it with anything. Now a days I am using Verm. But it seems like a byatch getting all the glitter off the shrooms before drying them. Oh well I can call it magic pixie dust.LOL

#8 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 10:00 AM

Check the first part of this:
http://mycotopia.net...35&postcount=11

Gives you a process for finding out exactly how much moisture to add to your coir to get it "just right."

#9 Doctor D

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 03:57 PM

Check the first part of this:
http://mycotopia.net...35&postcount=11

Gives you a process for finding out exactly how much moisture to add to your coir to get it "just right."


I saw that, Buckaroo. It's awesome. You do a great job explaining things in detail with pictures. I'll be trying your casing soon. Thanks for all your help!

And thanks Hippie and all the other mods and everyone else who has ever given me or other newbies advice. I really appreciate how very few people talk down or belittle newcomers here, and everyone is willing to part with their good advice. This is a very good place to be!

#10 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 04:56 PM

Without fresh blood, even the grandest of edifices will eventually crumble and blow away. So much dust in the wind, they become.

Encouraging fresh blood gives an edifice the ability to adapt and improve - and stay relevant. Such edifices become living, growing and breathing institutions.

Hippie3's philosophy of "no question is stupid" and "embrace EVERYONE who can behave" are the things that make this place different from so many others like it.

And make no mistake, this place IS different.

Glad you found us, brother!

#11 Doctor D

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 05:36 PM

One more question about coir. As I have to be discreet about my growing and preparing, hydrating coir can be a pain. Does anyone mix more verm/coir than they are going to use at any one time? I'd like to be able to mix a decent quantity to be able to use later on in the week.

I'm guessing that placing the wet coir and verm into a sealed tupperware container without refrigeration would be a very bad idea. How about if I just leave it open, exposed to air? It would dry out somewhat, and perhaps be less of a contam problem than if I kept it tightly sealed in its own juices. When I was ready to use it, I would rehydrate and microwave it prior to use.

What do you think?

#12 Hippie3

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:05 PM

i've left damp coir in a bucket in open air for several weeks and never saw any mold.




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