Fungi can be quite finicky and that sometimes "you never know" why something went wrong, or equally as common, why something went right.
I try and measure things and control things that I can to eliminate variables. Measurement is also good for reproducing things that worked and when there is guesswork then I can just use a recipe. So I like being able to create an 'exact' spawn hydration ratio, for example. I just mixed some substrate for the first time in a while and realized I didn't really have an exact recipe so I mixed up what seemed to be a 'field capacity' sub with cow poo and straw. With the most effort I can almost squeeze a drop out of a handful after fiddling around with a big bucket of the stuff for over half an hour.
My sub, pre and post sterilization
So I'm thinking I could measure the hydration ratio and, assuming this is a good sub, reproduce this with exact weight of poop, straw and water. I realize that initial hydration of the ingredients figures into the formula but I decided to measure the sub hydration in the usual manner by drying some in the oven.
I found my sub was 67% water weight = 100 x water / (weight_of_hydrated_sub) and I guess this makes sense because sub appears wetter than spawn, which is not supposed to look wet.
By comparison, for ex, spawn grain hydration range is recommend at 42% to 62% depending on the container size.
So I should be able to reproduce it more quickly now without fiddling around and wondering if the straw is finished soaking up water or if I'm squeezing hard enough to measure the water or wondering what to add more of if I add too much water. If it works out or not I'll try again and post some formulas.
Edited by coorsmikey, 05 December 2018 - 05:06 PM.