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catsANDbats democratizes agar-agar


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#1 CatsAndBats

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:10 PM

This was originally buried in my current active agar thread and @microbe suggested that I make its own thread instead of burying it and I agreed

I also cleaned it up and used a simpler recipe so as not to confuse newer agar heads. Enjoy.

 

 

Original: https://mycotopia.ne...k-some-agar-30/

 

 

post-147940-0-00604000-1518405592.jpg

 

 

I've been meaning to write a quick refresher/crash course post on agar in order to make sure all of our newest agar-heads are crystal clear on some basics.

 

In this thread I'll use a simpler recipe/s. I suggest that one gets some potato flakes and/or malt extract use one or the other as the main nutrition source. Both are suitable for all basic agar tasks (ie spore germination, transfers, storage etc)

 


 

  • 10g powdered agar (I use telephone brand powder)
  • 10g standard nutrition (either potato or ME)
  • ~1g "catattives" (trace amounts of future substrates, so if one plans on using popcorn as the grain and straw as the bulk, this would be your "catattives"
  • 500ml h2o
  • 1-2 drops food coloring for quick identification and differentiation.

 

 

 

Preparation

 

I take all of the dry ingredients and pulverize the shit out of them in an electric grinder. I want all of the ingredients to be evenly distributed and I want everything to dissolve and/or be suspended in my final jars. I now take the powder and add it to a wide mouth jar (if you're pouring traditional petris, use whatever vessel that'll work).

 

500ml h2o is added at 212f (100c) so that the agar activates and starts to thicken. Agar is like a rue, or cornstarch, it needs to be boiled to start to set properly. I want this to occur before I start doling it out so that not much sinks. I stir the mixture very thoroughly  and then place the jar in a small pot on the stove that I fill with hot water so the jar takes a nice hot bath.

 

I use a ladle that gives me about a 1/4" of agar in the half pints that I use. It's frugal enough that I'm not wasting it, but deep enough to sustain the mycelial colony if I wait too long to attend to them, or if I have to refrigerate them to delay growth or even to use as masters.

 

IMHO one shouldn't fill too high if using jars. It'll be hard to see the surface, plus it's wasteful.

 

Cooking

 

Stack no pours above the water level/surface with a pie tin placed underneath the insert that came with your PC. If you don't have one, use balled up foil or a towel.

 

I use unmodified plastic lids (no GE or SHIP), I turn them just barely tight and rarely have a problem with them being too tight or too loose when I retrieve them. If one is stuck, run it under hot water. If you get a really loose lid just discard or tighten the lid and set aside to see if it contaminates.

 

Bring your PC up to temp with the rocker off. When it starts steaming, set a timer for 10min, that's about how long for one to get a steady stream of steam (that rhymed!) which means the air is purged, which is important for sterilizing properly. Put the rocker on and when it comes to pressure (starts rocking or indicated by a dial), set your timer for 30min, proper sterilization or thermal spore destruction is 30min at temperature and pressure with liquids/agar.

 

Cooling

 

Just like pasteurizing, the slower the better!

 

If you're doing no pours, leave them in the PC with the rocker on, preferably on the burner on which it cooked. No cheating by putting in a cold room/space or taking the rocker off! The slower you cool them the less condensation that you're going to get.

 

Same thing goes for pouring traditional petri dishes, keep your pouring vessel as hot as you can so that it doesn't harden too much (ie before you're done). Then stack them all so that they stay warmer longer, again lessening condensation.

 

Spore germination

 

One only needs a little scrape of spores to go to agar, that's why it's the most efficient use of spores, no waste. If mindful, one can literally start hundreds of 1/2 pint jars or petri dishes from a decent print.

 

Just drag your scalpel or inoculation needle or inoculation loop/tool across the print. If using a blade, just slice the spores very shallowly into the agar surface. If using a loop or swab, drag the spores in a zig-zag or "S" shape or do your fucking initials. :tongue: Making a streak will afford one good places to get good mycelium away from any nasty competitors that may accompany a dirty print or an open air swab.

 

Having the standard 1:1 ratio leaves the agar moist enough for spore germination (typically).

 

Transfers

 

Just like the aforementioned spores, one only wants the tiniest wisp of mycelium to transfer to its new home.

 

One wants only mushroom mycelium, no extra unseen spores or piggy-backers.

 

The smaller the piece of myc, the narrower the genetics will be and the closer you'll be to a mono or to a truly isolated set of genetics.

 

Just swipe with the flat side of your blade right at the tip of the most aggressive growth, then slice into your new agar surface in the center. Same thing goes for an inoculation needle you could employ for this task. If any is going up the glass, grab that! It's aggressive and it's easier to pull a lil piece of myc off the glass surface to boot!

 

After one does the above techniques, it'll become second nature.

 

Alright, I hope these tips will help budding agar heads be more successful!

 

 

 

attachicon.gifIMG_20180209_225522.jpg

post-147940-0-60604700-1468725389.jpg


Edited by CatsAndBats, 12 February 2018 - 08:27 PM.

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#2 PinkMenace

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:14 PM

I thought this was going to be an interactive thread where you voted one which sector to transfer or something. I was thinking of doing that with my domestication project.
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#3 CatsAndBats

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:15 PM

I thought this was going to be an interactive thread where you voted one which sector to transfer or something. I was thinking of doing that with my domestication project.

 

 

You're like me, you take on a lot of projects. :thumbs_up:


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#4 wharfrat

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:20 PM

excellence as always  :thumbs_up:


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#5 PinkMenace

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:31 AM

Also, this is amazing, thank you.
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#6 onediadem

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:44 AM

Interesting jars. Where are you finding them? Are they ball jars? I have never seen them shaped like that before. It almost looks like you have them sitting on the floor in that picture. This is before your pc run with them right? I like using colored agar also, though I avoid dark colors because it makes it hard to see dark/ black contams. Do you ever use H2O2 in your agar for transfers?


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#7 CatsAndBats

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:20 AM

Interesting jars. Where are you finding them? Are they ball jars? I have never seen them shaped like that before. It almost looks like you have them sitting on the floor in that picture. This is before your pc run with them right? I like using colored agar also, though I avoid dark colors because it makes it hard to see dark/ black contams. Do you ever use H2O2 in your agar for transfers?

That's a towel that I use to make clean up easier in case of spillage. It is pre-sterilization.

Negative on h2o2. Shit, I don't even clean or heat my blades, I use disposable scalpels though.

I don't believe in antibiotic agar in any form. I shoot for precise and flawless execution of clean work and hand movements. Don't Get me wrong, I'm NEVER perfect but I aim for perfection. That way I become better each time. I find being in the "zone" helps. Crack a bottle, pop some pills, music is a must! If one is frustrated or pissed off one is going to do shitty work IME/O.


Jars are anchor glass 1/2 pints.


https://www.walmart....t-12pk/43184792

Edited by CatsAndBats, 13 February 2018 - 11:21 AM.

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#8 onediadem

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:05 PM

Thats actually a good price on jars. I like the shape of them for other projects I do. I have never ran antibiotic agar either. I suppose it has it's place, but I think a lot the problems that need it can be avoided with sterile work prices like you stated. lad you started another thread.


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#9 CatsAndBats

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 01:47 PM


 

Thats actually a good price on jars. I like the shape of them for other projects I do. I have never ran antibiotic agar either. I suppose it has it's place, but I think a lot the problems that need it can be avoided with sterile work prices like you stated. lad you started another thread.

 

Thats actually a good price on jars. I like the shape of them for other projects I do. I have never ran antibiotic agar either. I suppose it has it's place, but I think a lot the problems that need it can be avoided with sterile work prices like you stated. lad you started another thread.

 

 

There, I fixed your font color ;)


Edited by CatsAndBats, 15 February 2018 - 01:47 PM.

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#10 onediadem

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 03:59 PM

Aww, thank you. My editor is fickle I guess. I just said hell with it. I got tired of editing.


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#11 onediadem

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:01 PM

Ps. You could have spell checked that mess while you were at it lol.


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#12 Kraven

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:16 PM

Got in your agar zone today @CatsandBats with a second run at Black stained no pour MEA...they cycled hours ago and will sit till tomorrow in the same spot they got sterilized in.

 

 

IMG_20180215_123842.jpg


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#13 Hash_Man

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 07:14 AM

good repost and well written and to the point, saved to notes.

. @CatsAndBats have ever used or concidered using activated charcoal for a dye? it's been awhile but I've seen guys use it as a stain and control while cleaning up spores.. I suspect that's what earthtongue uses in what he touts as patented 'new moon spores syringes' not that would give it any credence, LOL.

Edited by Hash_Man, 16 February 2018 - 08:07 AM.

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#14 CatsAndBats

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:30 AM

good repost and well written and to the point, saved to notes.

. @CatsAndBats have ever used or concidered using activated charcoal for a dye? it's been awhile but I've seen guys use it as a stain and control while cleaning up spores.. I suspect that's what earthtongue uses in what he touts as patented 'new moon spores syringes' not that would give it any credence, LOL.

 

 

Indeed my main man made out of hash! Here's 1g of activated carbon (AC) in ~500-600ml of agar:

 

post-147940-0-34490300-1478094987.jpg

 

 

From here: https://mycotopia.ne...gain/?p=1293192

 

I talked to Ben from Earth's tongue some time ago and he said that once they get the patent on the new moon syringes that he'd release the recipe but that it's more than AC.

 

As I understand it the AC has a much smaller pore size and will absorb a lot of bacteria which aids in spore germination on older more compromised prints, giving fungal mycelium a better chance/head start.

 

I don't use it much any more in agar but I think Microbe does. I was trying to replace vermiculite in PF cakes with it but I couldn't get the ratio right and then I kinda lost interest.


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#15 Hash_Man

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:56 PM

@Cat .. yeah, I hear ya, it's kinda nice to do it the old fashioned way, like how you might do it if all this other fancy shit didn't exist, like your example of not using antibiotics .. kudos to bat dicks, lol
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#16 CatsAndBats

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:23 PM

post-147940-0-39803000-1519145866.jpg

Made this today, thought y'all would like it.


Edited by CatsAndBats, 20 February 2018 - 09:25 PM.

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#17 Marleyahu

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 02:16 AM

Thanks for the read cats. Nice thread!

#18 peacefrog

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

You crazy agar head you!

Solid post as usual brother Cats.
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#19 Sidestreet

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:47 PM

Archive material!  I'm in librarian mode today.  :biggrin:


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#20 CatsAndBats

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:48 PM

Archive material!  I'm in librarian mode today.  :biggrin:

 

 

Thanks man, not too soon though, I have some tips/hacks/work arounds on clean work to add, gotta shoot video and convert to gifs.

 

Plus, now you have to do some agar. It's soooooo fun. Literally my favorite thing is for my gf and dog to go to bed, I get buzzed, do agar and play with my cat during the dust settling times that comes with SAB work.


Edited by CatsAndBats, 25 February 2018 - 01:51 PM.

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