Hello, fellow Newbs!!
When I first started this hobby six months ago, one of my major questions was how do I know that I am looking at Mycelium or something bad like mold or other invasive fungi? Since then I see this question almost daily (mainly in the new member introduction thread).
I thought I would post some images of contaminated spawn jars and an example of a healthy growing jar and a fully colonized jar.
I am not claiming anything in this post, I am not an expert on mold and fungi identification. I am just posting this because I feel it might be of some use to people like myself just getting our feet wet (so to speak).
What I AM an expert at (as the photos will show) is causing and growing contamination. I recommend NOT getting good at that skill as I have.
However, it is sure to happen. The photos of contamination are all from the same inoculation day and exhibit at least three types of contamination... maybe more! I purposefully inoculated 25% more jars than I need because I expect contamination. Maybe when I get a flow hood and more experience I will not have to waste so much spawn, but until that day comes I feel making more spawn than needed is a good tactic for a beginner and I recommend it.
As I said, the below images are of the same inoculation day, from the same SAB and the same grain from the same pressure cooker (just several batches). All the jars were stored in my fridge for about two weeks before inoculation. Beginners will find that inoculation day involves a fair amount of prep so doing it all at once is advisable. IMHO
For each contaminated jar you see, there are at least two successfully colonized jars that have since been put into a sub.
Below is early stage colonization from Agar that is around 7 days old. And another of a fully colonized jar next to a rancid jar for comparison. The good jar is a snowy white in contrast to the contaminated one. What is important to note, the contaminated jars looked perfect up until about a week ago. I learned because of that, to wait to see pins form in the jar before birthing. That way you reduce the chance of transferring bad spawn into good spawn and ruining it all. That is not to say it still won't happen but you will be off to a better start!
Also very important! NEVER open a contaminated tub or jar in your house! You will most likely ruin any future grows by airborne contamination. I take my jars outside far from the house, wear a dust mask, and slowly fill them with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water and let them sit 30 minutes and then throw the spawn in the trash and resanitize the jars and lids.
Good verses bad Early Stage Colonization from Agar to fully colonized
Same bad jar above early stage contamination
Pinning jar ready to birth
Edited by Jinroh, 21 November 2019 - 03:27 AM.