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First bulk grow. Just a few questions.


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#1 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 08:14 PM

Hello, fellow mycologists been lurking a long time, but never had a bulk setup. Going to use 66 quart tubs. I have been trying to decide on a substrate that wont smell up the house. I've decided to go with coir and maybe do a rez effect tub but wanted to get more than one or two flushes. Would wheat straw and coir be an ok mix on its own or would I be missing something? Is there anything I can add to the substrate to help resist contam?

#2 RutgerHauer

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 04:30 PM



Hi, first of all welcome! I am not experienced in doing bulk grows but have read a lot about it.

You could look into cold water pasteurization for the straw, I believe they use hydrated lime for that - from what I have read using straw can be a big contamination risk in itself so it would be good to clean things up I guess.

You could also use coir+vermiculite - since they both have less contaminants present than straw for example - or just plain coco coir, seems to be working just fine for some people..
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#3 PJammer24

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:09 AM

Hello, fellow mycologists been lurking a long time, but never had a bulk setup. Going to use 66 quart tubs. I have been trying to decide on a substrate that wont smell up the house. I've decided to go with coir and maybe do a rez effect tub but wanted to get more than one or two flushes. Would wheat straw and coir be an ok mix on its own or would I be missing something? Is there anything I can add to the substrate to help resist contam?

 

 

Pasteurizing substrate doesn't really smell bad IMO... I use hpoo substrates pretty exclusively and I have never taken umbrage to the smell... It smells earthy, that's about it...

 

Your house isn't going to start smelling like farts... 


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#4 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 09:02 AM

Thanks guys! I had never heard of a cold water pasturization. I am already intrigued hehe. I feel like a goof not paying attention to my own post, but what can I say? Life is hectic. Ive heard before that the pasturized poo doesn't stink but is very earthy. I figured it would be a very strong earthy for my studio appartment though. Considering my landlord is like an invasive species in my habitat haha but maybe i will give it a shot..

#5 seventen

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 04:44 PM

Hello Dimitri. So i have come to realize(In my experience) that less is more with bulk substrates. For 5qts of spawn. I use 1 brick of coir, 2 qts verm and pasteurize with 4 qts of boiling water in a 5 gallon bucket. Works wonders, its Damion5050 Coir Tek. Sometimes I will use gypsum depending on what kind of grains I will be using. It doesn't stink up the house at all. There is a faint earthy odor when you open to bucket to mix it or to spawn but that's about it. Good luck!


Edited by seventen, 24 March 2019 - 04:46 PM.


#6 pastyoureyes

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 06:49 PM

Sterilizing Grain jars stinks up my house. I pasteurize in a cooler and the smell from the sub (poo/coir) doesnt even permeate in to the room

#7 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:26 PM

Thanks guys it is reasurring to know what is essentially my plan doesnt stray too far off from the norm and has seen success. Cant get too crazy first time around. Also good to know jars might make a smell as i am getting a pc soon. Forget pre sterilized stuff it always worked for me. Notice I said for me lol but im ashamed to use it. So pc from now on for me.

#8 peacefrog

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:21 PM

Hello, fellow mycologists been lurking a long time, but never had a bulk setup. Going to use 66 quart tubs. I have been trying to decide on a substrate that wont smell up the house. I've decided to go with coir and maybe do a rez effect tub but wanted to get more than one or two flushes. Would wheat straw and coir be an ok mix on its own or would I be missing something? Is there anything I can add to the substrate to help resist contam?

Yes, coir and straw would work just fine. Just know that straw NEEDS to be pasteurized properly if spawning in open air or the green monster will quickly take over.

My first real bulk substrate was straw and I failed many times due to not treating the straw properly. Once I learned how to pasteurize it correctly, it was smooth sailings from then on. Still my favorite bulk sub to work with. And I tried the lime bath pasteurization tek, as well as the peroxide tek but they never gave me the consistent results that the good old hot water bath gave me. Just my experience though.

My advice would be start with a coir based sub. Coir by itself, coir+verm, coir+verm+gypsum etc. Get a feel for moisture content in the sub and move on from there. Coir is VERY contam. resistant and easy to manage.

My 2 cents.

Edited by peacefrog, 29 March 2019 - 07:24 PM.

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#9 Newmusher

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:42 PM

Personally, if my landlord were akin to an invasive species in my home, I wouldn't be growing anything illegal...


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#10 raymycoto

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 03:38 PM

Cooked grain doesn't smell too bad to me. If they ask, just tell anyone that your are making soup or bread or if they don't believe that then beer.

 

66 qt tubs seems too large to start with IMO for a beginner or even for me and I'm not far from a beginner. You might hit it off with the right moisture, air exchange and substrate combo. However, my really big bins failed and I've gone back to 16 qt tubs. I'm not sure you really gain anything from really big ones but others may offer their comments. They become difficult to move around as well as you transfer them from an incubation area to fruiting and perhaps move them around to mist them. I found that I could not simply scale them up from smaller bins.

 

More attention seems to be needed to air exchange in a large bin. This makes some sense. The mass of sub is going up in a cubic exponential with bin size while the area for gas exchange (the top or edges of the top or holes . . . . whatever you use for GE) goes up more like bin_size squared or even a linear function.

 

Also, the optimal substrate moisture content is less as you go from small to medium to large bins although I can't precisely tell you how to quantify that.

 

Doesn't mean you can't make it work but by the time I figured it out I was tired of wasting materials and time and went back to smaller and easier to maneuver bins so I'm sticking with the 16 qt. Lots of folks are doing 6 qt bins. This even gives you more options to experiment with if you care to try variations in techniques between bins. With the small bins I even give them away to folks to get them interested. They are about $0.50 at the dollar store.

 

I've tried one in-vitro bag. It's done well in terms of yield for the substrate volume. It seems a lot slower but it's much less work - no misting, no touch until you harvest. No grow chamber. But slower to mature and produce from my one bag - like 50% slower. I intend to try some more. @Deelena24 and others could comment on this as I took his advice on how to do it.  It's not typically a beginner technique but there is no reason why it could not be.


Edited by raymycoto, 31 March 2019 - 03:41 PM.

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#11 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 06:08 PM

Cooked grain doesn't smell too bad to me. If they ask, just tell anyone that your are making soup or bread or if they don't believe that then beer.

66 qt tubs seems too large to start with IMO for a beginner or even for me and I'm not far from a beginner. You might hit it off with the right moisture, air exchange and substrate combo. However, my really big bins failed and I've gone back to 16 qt tubs. I'm not sure you really gain anything from really big ones but others may offer their comments. They become difficult to move around as well as you transfer them from an incubation area to fruiting and perhaps move them around to mist them. I found that I could not simply scale them up from smaller bins.

More attention seems to be needed to air exchange in a large bin. This makes some sense. The mass of sub is going up in a cubic exponential with bin size while the area for gas exchange (the top or edges of the top or holes . . . . whatever you use for GE) goes up more like bin_size squared or even a linear function.

Also, the optimal substrate moisture content is less as you go from small to medium to large bins although I can't precisely tell you how to quantify that.

Doesn't mean you can't make it work but by the time I figured it out I was tired of wasting materials and time and went back to smaller and easier to maneuver bins so I'm sticking with the 16 qt. Lots of folks are doing 6 qt bins. This even gives you more options to experiment with if you care to try variations in techniques between bins. With the small bins I even give them away to folks to get them interested. They are about $0.50 at the dollar store.

I've tried one in-vitro bag. It's done well in terms of yield for the substrate volume. It seems a lot slower but it's much less work - no misting, no touch until you harvest. No grow chamber. But slower to mature and produce from my one bag - like 50% slower. I intend to try some more. @Deelena24 and others could comment on this as I took his advice on how to do it. It's not typically a beginner technique but there is no reason why it could not be.


You know I think you've convinced me! I've been worried about this tub failing anyway, I wanna work with agar, i wanna use wedges to innoculate. So im just gonna take the big 64qt and turn it into a glove box. Will make my life a little more interesting anyway.
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#12 raymycoto

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 06:39 PM

Costco (if you have one) has 16 qt tubs x 6 for $15. I'll shoot a pic later - but the are pretty standard. And they are a good size for storing stuff or flipping a bottom piece to the top for a dub tub.

 

I was thinking the same thing long ago - go big - less work, better yield. But did not work out that way. And shuffling things around with really big tubs was a pain for my workflow. But perhaps others have made it work. I'd love to hear about how they did it and what was the difference in the tech to be successful.

 

I'm sure I could have kept at it, but I lost two big bins to cobweb contaminant and eventually trich and I can say I've never had any contam with my 16 qt bins.  BTW, I like a spawn ratio of around 1:1 to 1:2 and that helps with success. I may have been doing 1:4 or greater back when I did the big bins.

 

Another think I like about doing the 16 qt is this - I typically do 1 qt grain spawn jar filled about 75% (don't over fill them). My current recipe for my 16 quart bins is two of these colonized grain jars plus about 800 gm of hydrated, sterilized substrate (wt after sterilizing). I cook the sub in the orange bags they have at costco near the fish and meat area. These are high temp bags that hold up great to PC or autoclave. They are a perfect size so you can put about 1 kg of hydrated sub into them (or measure about 800 gm if you want to use the whole bag for one bin).

 

Put your hydrated sub into the bag(s). Loosely fold the top or maybe put a rubber band around a loosely folded top. Then PC. Keep them away from the sided of the PC if you use a PC. The wt will not change by more than 1% during PC. When you pull them from the PC, tie the top in a loose knot or double up the top a bit and tighten the rubber band. This is now a mostly sealed and sterile bag o' sterile substrate. Use ASAP or at least within a week. Somehow things just manage to pickup contam if not used soon. You can put in the fridge if you need to to extend the life or add an outside garbage bag to extend as well. Be aware, those orange bags are light wt and they don't leak but they seem gas permeable and the sub will dry out somewhat over a couple of weeks if left by itself in room environment. I think this is a 'feature' so they are used to hold meats and give some permeability.


Edited by raymycoto, 31 March 2019 - 07:01 PM.


#13 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:50 PM

So sterilization of bulk sub has worked for you consistently? Have heard lots of people say that destroys the "good stuff" whatever that may be. Im kindof going for non nutritious rez effect though so not sure what good stuff i need. Got any pictures or links to those bags?

#14 raymycoto

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 11:32 PM

That is a debatable issue re sterilize or pasteurize. I believe that either may work well but feel free to try both and let us know what you figure out.

 

I sterilize because it's actually easier in my case. I can put my autoclave into a lower temp mode but I have not tried that.

 

I can say that persistent high (above 250F) temps can caramelize spawn or sub and cause a resistance to colonization. I have witnessed this in spawn that I had to resterilize and it took twice as long to colonize. It was darker as well and had obviously undergone some changes. So that potential problem is real.

 

When I 'sterilize' I set my 'clave to 240 and undershoot a bit just to prevent that problem.

 

Here is the Costco bag I use.

 

20190331 185916

Edited by raymycoto, 31 March 2019 - 11:33 PM.


#15 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 12:05 AM

Well considering people say coir is pretty safe alone, and theres nothing beneficial to destroy in it to my knowledge, I will sterilize. Ill throw it in the pc and make sure the pressure regulator doesnt jiggle very much to be safe. Do those 16qt tubs have enough room for the fruits, or do you have to dub tub it? The 20qts have an extra 3 inch height, but same length and width. I might just go with those to avoid the dub tub ordeal.

#16 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 12:22 AM

As a matter of fact, I believe I will do one tub sterilized substrate, one tub pasturized, and start a new thread with the results in a few weeks after I spawn. Im here might as well try to contribute right ;)
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#17 raymycoto

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 02:09 PM

 

Do those 16qt tubs have enough room for the fruits, or do you have to dub tub it? The 20qts have an extra 3 inch height, but same length and width. I might just go with those to avoid the dub tub ordeal.

 

Good observation. Yes, the 16 qt doesn't give them much headroom. I can get away with just the top in place for a while. I wonder whether the extra air space of the dub tub is a benefit. I tend to think so although I can't think of a concrete reason why the extra air space helps. If I just use the top then I keep it on rather loosely or even angle it a bit to give leaks all around.

 

If you want to go with just the 20 qt and no dub tub or equivalent then that may work well. I will defer to others as to the merits or not of just putting the top onto the tub rather than adding the inverted second tub vs other goofy methods that I show below.

 

I tend to use a really large shower cap thing that us used for covering x-ray equipment over a sterile operating field. It's pretty convenient and I don't have to cut up my bins.

 

20190213 053139
20190213 053047
20190213 052835

 

And there is enough leak around the rubber banded part to provide enough air exchange, or so it seems. If I keep the inside surface sprayed with water then it stays really moist all the time.

 

I spent a lot of time working on my grow tent / chamber (GC) but still I'm having trouble getting my humidity right so I put them in the tent with the big plastic cover. I need to work out the issues but haven't yet.

 

The bins shown are, BTW, the 16 qt variety we are discussing.


Edited by raymycoto, 01 April 2019 - 02:17 PM.


#18 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 09:03 PM

How thick is that sub? My instincts are telling me theres enough room for the mushies to grow with just the lid. Probably less misting required. Not sure if fae would need to be done, more often, or less often... but I always have a fan running anyway, and it isnt hard to turn it on and off haha.

#19 raymycoto

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 09:42 PM

That sub is around 2.5". Recently I've been playing with mounding the sub in different ways just for grins and to give it additional surface area. That started one time when i put too much sub into the bin and mounded it around to give it tapered sides and a furrow in the middle. It worked fine. I'm not saying it's any better than just a flat sub. But I've done that with my last 5 bins and I feel like I can get more sub into the bin and it works fine that way.


Edited by raymycoto, 01 April 2019 - 09:42 PM.


#20 Dimitri2teachme

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 03:15 PM

Interesting... Your kind of showing me what i've always assumed to be true. These little regulations for cultivation the community thinks are so concrete, must not be so set in stone. Not anything against the community, this place is lovely. It just seems the majority of cultivators have a set way to do things, and highly suggest not to stray from their instruction. Anyway it has made me afraid to figure out my own way. Just me being paranoid. You are an inspiration my friend.




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