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Growing Lion's Mane - Questions and log


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#1 Harlow

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 02:27 PM

Hello all my myco friends,

 

I am starting this post to document my progress through my first Lion's Mane grow.  I am pretty new to this whole mushroom growing thing in general.  I was just loaned Paul Stamet's book 'Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms', but have not cracked it open yet.  So this is all going off bits and pieces I have read about.  I have a general idea of how things should go, and will fill in any gaps as they come along.  I am looking forward to this grow going well and having a well documented process to follow and to share.

 

I have to wait until everything comes in, so this post is a bit premature, but I had a couple preparation questions I was hoping to get answers to.  And of course, if anyone does look at this and give me suggestions or tips, I would be very grateful.  After writing this up it seems like there is only a couple steps, but I also feel almost overwhelmed right now.  As of now, my steps and a list of my supplies are below.  I will have a SAB ready to used by the time I start this.  All spawn and substrate will be PC'ed.

 

 

1. Inject some of my purchased culture into a couple homemade LC jars, this way I can keep a live culture going.  Inoculate the rest of the purchased liquid culture into organic rye grain quart jars.

 

2. As the grains begin to colonize, I will give them a shake or two to make sure they look clean.  Also, I hear you should shake Lion's Mane to make sure the grain jars fully colonize.

 

3. Once the jars are fully colonized, I will mix them with my supplemented hardwood mixture.  I will place the mixture into some non-seal food bags I got at Walmart, and tie or tape the bags closed.

 

4. Cut some slits into the bags once they look ready to fruit.

 

 

 

Supplies:

 

-Lion's Mane Culture:  https://mushroomgrow...culture-syringe

 

-Grain: Great River Organic Milling, Whole Grain, Rye Grain, Organic, 25-Pounds
https://www.amazon.c...00?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

-Wood Pellets: Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Oak (20 lb. Bag)

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

-Bags: These are not the exact ones I bought, the ones I bought are larger, but the concept is the same.
https://www.walmart....-25pc/150513290

 

 

 

Questions I have:

 

1. Has anyone made and kept a successful Lion's Main liquid culture?  If you have, please share your recipe.  I have never done LC yet, so I am going to try a couple recipes. (2% Karo, 2% Honey, 94% spring water) (2% Karo, 2% Honey, 74% spring water, 20% Coconut water).  I have read a ton about the lc jar setup, so I feel comfortable 'as I can' with that process.

 

2. Should I add a top layer of dry vermiculite to the grain jars, as a contam barrier, or would it just get messed up with my first shake?


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#2 Cuboid

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 03:05 PM

Can't really give advice as I am on my first Lion's Mane grow attempt myself. I'll following with interest though.

I have a couple of jars of healthy looking grain spawn that hit 100% a week or two back and need to get my ass in gear and obtain the hard wood chips and sawdust and get on with preparing substrate.
Meanwhile I keep shaking the jars to break up the myc - GGMM suggests this to prevent premature fruiting in the jars which is overwise common and spoils it.
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#3 Mushinist

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 03:36 PM

I personally use Karo and malt extract for all my LCs as I like to keep it crystal clear. Yes I have a Lions mane LC on hand at all times.

Generally there's no need for the verm layer. The lion's mane is a fairly fast colonizer. I've also had little LMs starting to form in the jar, and in fact you can fruit them this way, but I broke it up as I normally would and spawned to wood sub, nothing spoiled or went bad and everything went as planned.
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#4 Harlow

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the quick replies so far!

Hey Cubiod, if you want you should be able to head to Home Depot or other places and get some wood pellets made for smokers. You probably know this already, but there is usually something in the stores like this. Thanks for the interest in this, and would like to hear how yours goes also.

Mush: Thank you very much for your knowledge. It's nice to know I can keep a liquid culture going for grows in the future, and to increase the amount I have on hand to inculcate with. Thank you for telling me what ingredients you use. I wasn't sure if LM was quick or slow, so it's nice to hear it is a good colonizer. I may even try to spawn some out of jars at some point! You have helped lower some of my concern and worry about doing everything. Thanks.

Edited by Harlow, 04 April 2019 - 03:58 PM.

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#5 Wimzers

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 04:21 PM

I recently ordered Lion's Mane and plan on implementing into my daily life. Will be making a liquid culture which will be a first for me. I look forward to your posts!

 

Wimz



#6 Harlow

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:29 PM

Hey Mushinist, mind sharing a bit more info on your LC recipe?  Do you measure out the malt extract like you would a regular sugar...so the karo and malt extract together equal about 4%?  I am going to pick up some malt extract, and since wimzers mentioned going lc also (although wimz may already have his recipe down), maybe your recipe could help others in the future.  I am very interested in it since you use it for Lion's Mane successfully.  Thanks!

 

And thanks Wimz.  I plan on implementing it into my daily life also, especially after a magic trip.



#7 levicah

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 09:17 PM

Lions mane is fun to grow, colonizes differently than a lot of other cultures. If done properly, you will notice it stealthy overruns its media or substrate microscopically long before it begins to show vegetative mycelium.  Sawdust and chip bags can look barely colonized, when in fact they are ready to fruit. Often, agar will begin looking uniformly cloudy before forming mycelium on the surface. It's the chips you look at...if a chip is showing mycelium outwardly, it has already been devoured on the inside. I've had LM mycelium stay alive in pure distilled water for months in the fridge... it only had one toothpick to eat. No Karo. It loves cold and will patiently wait for it's next meal. It will go nuts on karo, then you gotta slow it down. 


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#8 Mushinist

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 03:48 AM

Hey Mushinist, mind sharing a bit more info on your LC recipe?  Do you measure out the malt extract like you would a regular sugar...so the karo and malt extract together equal about 4%?  I am going to pick up some malt extract, and since wimzers mentioned going lc also (although wimz may already have his recipe down), maybe your recipe could help others in the future.  I am very interested in it since you use it for Lion's Mane successfully.  Thanks!
 
And thanks Wimz.  I plan on implementing it into my daily life also, especially after a magic trip.


Absolutely I'll share, nowadays I eyeball most everything, but I use quart jars with roughly 600-650 ml of distilled water, 1 Tbsp of Karo syrup, 1 gram of extra light malt extract. Works like a charm! I know there are a zillion ways to make LC, this just so happens to be the one that works best for me.

#9 Harlow

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 09:49 AM

Lions mane is fun to grow, colonizes differently than a lot of other cultures. If done properly, you will notice it stealthy overruns its media or substrate microscopically long before it begins to show vegetative mycelium.  Sawdust and chip bags can look barely colonized, when in fact they are ready to fruit. Often, agar will begin looking uniformly cloudy before forming mycelium on the surface. It's the chips you look at...if a chip is showing mycelium outwardly, it has already been devoured on the inside. I've had LM mycelium stay alive in pure distilled water for months in the fridge... it only had one toothpick to eat. No Karo. It loves cold and will patiently wait for it's next meal. It will go nuts on karo, then you gotta slow it down. 

 

Thank you for the sharing of knowledge on how this grows!  The more I hear about it, the more confident I will be successful, and this is great info to know about how it grows and behaves.



#10 levicah

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 03:56 PM

Yeah keep us posted, After growing out a few 5lb bags, I invested long term and made 8 fresh maple "log totems"...I'm fascinated by this method because the logs colonize much faster than the plug method. They should produce this coming fall and for a few years after that, with little to no maintenance. Just rain and shade. I am also interested in "stacking" Lions mane with a local favorite...the thought of growing new neural intersections and cognitive pathways makes a lot of sense! It's like one mushroom lights up unused areas of the brain, while Lions mane can help physically build the roadways and communication lines between those areas...using more of our brain for critical problem solving and creativity. Thats the goal anyway.  Peace.


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#11 Harlow

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 11:10 AM

Hey all. just a quick update.  It seems the in-laws are going to spend this week and weekend with us; it's my gf birthday coming up.  I like them, so that's not a problem at all, but also means I probably can't go all commando on my project for the week.  What's a bit more concerning is the lack of shipping updates for the liquid cultures I bought.  It's through USPS and I think I heard they don't always update very well, but the shipping label was created on the 2nd and since then I have had no further updates.  I will update if I get all my supplies in, but it looks like between the shipping issues and in-laws I am going to be put on a brief week long hold on this project.

 

@levicah As I have been learning more, I am super interested in mushroom's ability to grow new cognitive pathways, and the specific abilities of Lion's Mane as well.  I really need to watch more and read more about it, but the little I have heard is very exciting.  I have been thinking of trying inoculate some wood plugs at home, and try to grow out of some logs.  Where I live the wind is usually blowing, and it gets pretty hot and dry, so I am thinking of putting some logs somewhere protected and see if I can get something to grow.  But I don't have hardwood in my area, so that would have to be an oyster mushroom.  Still it's a cool idea.



#12 raymycoto

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:35 PM

Hey, I just looked and found this thread so I will follow :smile:

 

I just started some LM. I ordered an LC syringe on Amazon. I plated it for grins on PDA and it's growing well. I may use that one for additional LC creation.

 

Or should I just put a cc of my purchased LC into some LC nutrient to make a new LC?

 

How many cc of LC do you use to noc a quart grain jar? I used 2 cc about 3 days ago and I'm waiting . . .  And I did oat spawn with gypsum because that is what I have.

 

And . . . one more question - What is the recipe for the hardwood substrate and what is the spawn to sub ratio? I have some oak pellets I bought long ago for reishi and never did that project so I hope they will do.

 

And all of you growing the LM, please keep up with this thread and comment. I have no idea how to dose it.

 

https://mycotopia.ne...cts-and-dosing/


Edited by raymycoto, 08 April 2019 - 01:37 PM.


#13 PasF

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 08:34 PM

This is great. I'm currently growing an ordered Lion's Mane patch and plan on collecting spores to make an LC. Glad you started this thread Harlow.



#14 raymycoto

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 01:09 AM

Update on the lion's mane at almost 2 weeks. I read that it may be a bit slow. The LC from Amazon was pretty clean with one spot of contam that I excised from this plate about a week ago. I need to replate and make my own LC. The grain jar is clean but slow. I'm wondering what full grain colonization looks like in this species.

 

I'm guessing each on of those dots of growth is it's own isolate. That plate is about one week ago. They are a bit mixed together now. I should have taken some of them and isolated them. I think I can still do that.

 

The grain has a wispy covering with some white spots as noted.

 

20190413_005504.jpg

20190413_005509.jpg

20190416_215530.jpg


Edited by raymycoto, 17 April 2019 - 01:21 AM.

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#15 Harlow

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:44 AM

Hey raymycoto,

 

Glad to see you are growing also.  Sending good vibes to you!  I see you are much further along than me, and you are already into agar which really is something I need to invest time and money into.  As for your questions last week on the 8th, below are a couple quick guides I followed on growing LM and the substrate.  They are not extensive or anything but gave me enough to start.  As for the cc quantity per grain jar, I was not that precise to be honest.  I am about to post my first steps, but basically I just started two of my own LC and with the rest I inculcated four grain jars, and just put in an amount that I felt good with.  Not the most professional or calculating, but it's how I did it.

 

 

(Overall guide)
https://freshcapmush...-mane-mushroom/

(Supplemented hardwood sawdust)
https://freshcapmush...oom-on-sawdust/



#16 Harlow

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:57 AM

Hey all,

My girlfriend's parents went back home and I got most of my supplies in, so I was able to start. Below are the steps I have performed, the dates I did them on, and some pictures showing my process so far. Tell me if the formatting is difficult to follow, any of my write up needs editing, or picture re-sizing, and I will fix it.

(04-13-19): Started soaking my organic rye grains. I started this in evening in order to let them soak overnight. They were soaking for about 14 hours before I cooked them.

(04-14-19): Cooked and PC'ed rye grains. I simmered the grains around 30 minutes until they were slightly al dente. After straining, and doing my best to let all the steam evaporate, I jarred and PC'ed the grains. Once the PC reached 15 PSI I ran it for an hour then turned off the heat. I did not put gypsum in the grains as the shipment has not arrived yet.

(04-15-19): PC'ed my LC. I used a recipe of 96% water, 2% honey, 2% karo syrup. I heated the water on the stove and stirred in the honey and syrup, then stirred this for a few minutes to get it all mixed well. After transferring to my jars I PC'ed this at 11-12 PSI for about 45 minutes. I didn't want to caramelize the sugars so I kept to a lower PSI and time. However after I took the LC out it looks like they did caramelize, hope this is okay.

(04-16-19): Last night! I took my purchased LM LC syringe, and injected some into two different LC jars. I am unsure of exactly how much I put into each of my LC jars since the label was covering the measurements on the syringe, but I injected enough to get some mycelium chunks in the LC. After this I squirted the rest into four jars. I did about 2 cc in each jar, 1 cc per hole. This may be a little low, but it's all I had to work with...and I wanted to make sure I spread my LC around in case anything contaminated, I would still have other jars of grains and LC.



Grain 1.png Grain 2.png LC.png LM LC 2.png After.png

Edited by Harlow, 17 April 2019 - 02:54 PM.


#17 raymycoto

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 02:26 PM

Harlow - 

Thanks for the references on growing LM. They seem great.

Re your startup with LM. Looks excellent and your rationale for distributing the LC is great. That's what I do but I have not started a LM LC with my starter LC syringe (call it LC1). I need to do that ASAP before it contaminates. It's been in the fridge x 3 weeks.  So my plan re LM is:

 

  • Make one more spawn jar from the LC1. Maybe make a rye jar. I'll look at the grocery for some whole rye.
  • Agar work:
  •      Transfer about 3 apparent isolates from my agar plate to new agar plate - 3 samples per plate x 2 plates
  •      Make new LC - 2 cc from LC1 to 150 cc liquid nutrient. Trying to decide what to use. I have some sterile glucose and sterile gluc / malt mix ready to go. Maybe do both.
  •      Transfer an isolate to a slant to preserve what I got in case all fails.
  • Spawn jar to substrate - doesn't look ready yet. The article describes the spawn jar exactly like what I'm seeing. Don't really know when it's ready to go to substrate. If it starts fruiting in the jar then it certainly is. Also, I'm using oats instead of rye. I guess that's OK.

Not to get too much off topic but I bought other LC syringes at the same time. One is Cordyceps. Do you have any experience with that? It's also on jar oat spawn and is filling out nicely. Need to begin to think of the next step.



#18 Harlow

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:03 PM

Hey raymycoto,

 

I have never even heard of Cordyceps, now I'm interested and will have to do a little research on it.  I like your ideas on keeping a culture going a few different ways.  That's one of my biggest concerns, is losing it all and having to purchase more LM cultures online.  I would do both your LC recipes and see if the LM seems to like one more than the other...and if it doesn't work in one of the recipes (which I doubt) you have the other one going.  I have been reading on different grains, and I have seen oats used a bunch for various mushrooms, I bet LM would do great on it.

 

One thing I didn't add in my original post was the needles I bought.  Not sure if anyone else has a better supplier, but these seem to be by far the best deal I could find.  Right now they are on sale, $8.00 for 100.

 

https://hambydairysu...-of-100-43-164/



#19 levicah

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:37 PM

Some thoughts. I will be letting my grains cool slower in a sealed bucket before spreading them to dry. Both rye and wheat berries dried out too much when they were spread on a screen while hot. The surface moisture disappears almost instantly because of heat. Although they still reached full colonization, it was slow and noticeably dryer than they should be. The jars with modest beads of condensation on the glass were the ones that had the best growth by far. Thats with 24 hr soak and 15 minute boil, coffee and gypsum. I wouldnt alter the boil or soak times because I have had very few bursted grains thus far. LC's and agar get 15psi for 30 to 40 minutes...standard karo recipe didnt caramelize, so it is probably the honey or it's interaction. I always do a minimum of 4 agar plates first when I am nocking grain jars. results are 4 plates of mycelium and 5-7 qt. jars of inoculated grain per syringe. 2nd round of grains are knocked with one agar plate. LC's a plenty using another agar plate. The remaining agar plates are taken out of the fridge every 2-4 weeks and allowed to grow at room temps to revive the mycelium...then it is back in the fridge they go. As long as the agar has excess nutrients, this alternating hibernation seems to keep them healthy and alive. I'm still all about the mycelium at this point. I grew several flushs of LM out of 2 5lb bags and then used the substrate to nock 8 totem logs (not plugged logs). I miss mackin down on LM, but got tired of caring for the bags. I encourage anyone to google "totem log mushroom growing" as a faster and more successful way to grow LM outdoors. plugging logs can really be hit or miss with no harvest until year 2 or even 3. Anyway, this aint gospel, and all grains and spawn are not created equal, just my observations on my budding hobby. I do have sterile procedures down pretty well though...a glove box (tote) with arm holes but no attached gloves, just a towel taped above the holes, then moisten the towel with lysol spray before using it. Peace.



#20 raymycoto

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:57 PM

 

I always do a minimum of 4 agar plates first when I am nocking grain jars. results are 4 plates of mycelium and 5-7 qt. jars of inoculated grain per syringe. 2nd round of grains are knocked with one agar plate. LC's a plenty using another agar plate.

 

Hey, thanks for the info. Very interested but not quite understanding what you are saying here.

 

Are you saying you take one syringe and make 5-7 qt spawn plus you noc 4 plates? Next round, you use those plates to noc one jar per plate? And make one LC per plate otherwise? Seems that folks recommend you get 5-8 grain jars from one plate generally but I've not had great luck doing agar to grain and would try much more agar to grain ratio like 1/3 or 1/2 but my plates may be harboring some indolent bacteria as it turns out.

 

I've worked hard to come up with grain and water ratios to do no-precook grain jars and that works really well for me. My latest formula for oats is 220 gm oats + 135 gm boiling water + 4 gm gypsum and no coffee. I tried instant and coffee grounds for a long time until I did a side by side comparison and found the coffee jars did worse. Next I microwave the jars for about 2 minutes per jar with the lid slightly loose. It should be steaming by then. Tighten the lid a bit and shake using leather gloves (hot!!) You can microwave all at once or individually. I find the jars lose about 10 gm of water in the process and I want that water loss for the best water ratio in the final product. Assuming about a 10% hydration of the grain out of the bag, this calculates to about 45% hydration ratio in the final product. Next, do your usual PC or autoclave of the jars. Seal the lids and shake after removing from the PC. Takes 12-24 hrs to mature and absorb all water to look dry (what you want). Shake a few times over this 24 hr period. The grain on the bottom will be a bit wetter but will equalize.

 

Not sure is this is a good formula for rye but I don't see why not. Saves me a ton of time. There are two things to consider with grain hydration. I call them hydration and wetness and they are not the same. You can have over hydrated grain that might be more or less dry looking. You can have underhydrated grain that is wet all over. Hydration is the total ratio of water to water plus grain wt. What I call wetness is the appearance of moisture on the grain. A low hydration ratio with wet grain means it was not cooked enough to absorb the water. Think about it. You could have jar of grain, with very low hydration ratio that could be soaking wet. You might get this if you just poured a little water into a jar of grain but under cooked it. It could be low on water but wet on the outside. The best grain jar has plump kernels but not bursting and looks mostly dry. Myc and spores don't seem to like frank wetness IMO but like high humidity and to be on the mostly dry surface of something loaded with water like a good agar plate or grain in a well prepared grain jar.

 

But this is just my latest theory and may change again!

And how many cc of liquid nutrient do you noc with one plate to make your LC?

 

So maybe try the no-cook grain tech with your rye. I plan to whenever I get some rye grain.






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