Paradox
©
Fisana

Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Agar Questions


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 ethnobotanist420

ethnobotanist420

    Welcome to the Machine

  • OG VIP
  • 3,660 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:03 AM

Hey all,

I’m finally going to dip my toes into the magical world of agar and I have a few questions for all you agar gurus. Basically all of my spores are old and have been exposed to some pretty damn cold temps and I want to get them going and hopefully grow them out and “update” my spore library with fresher prints lol

Anyway... on to the questions!

So the first questions are about this recipe from peacefrog for “Cornmeal Agar” from this thread:

https://mycotopia.ne...le-and-recipes/

He goes into preparing the agar here:

I mix up my dry ingredients and add to jars of water, stir then sterilize. This is easier and cleaner IMO, due to the fact that you do not need the added step of pouring. Note: I use food grade agar agar purchased from health food stores so the amount in the following recipes may need to be tweaked if using commercial grade agar agar. But a general rule is 20 grams of agar agar for 1 liter of water.


1. So my first question is with adding the ingredients... he says he mixes the dry ingredients and divides them up into the jars then adds water, mixes and PC’s... would there be any problem with adding all of the dry ingredients and the water into a pot and heating it all up enough to get everything thoroughly mixed before pouring it into the jars, and PCing?

I feel like I would get a more even product doing it that way but if there’s something I’m overlooking please let me know!

My next question is about the recipe itself...

Recipe 4 Cornmeal Agar:
5 grams (1 and 1/4 teaspoon) of corn meal (yellow or white)
4 grams (a heaping teaspoon) of agar agar
Optional: 1 gram of dextrose or 1/8 teaspoon of honey or karo


2. So when adding the cornmeal is it important for it to be VERY finely powdered? I am assuming I’m adding the cornmeal to the mix itself and not making a tea with it right? If that’s the case it would make sense for it to be finely powdered like flour to avoid large clumps no?

3. it says the dextrose/honey/karo is optional... what are the advantages disadvantages to adding/leaving out one of these sources of sugar? Most agar recipes I see contain some sugar... would you recommend using some dextrose or honey or karo or leaving it out?

4. As far as I understand it... mycelium can be “trained” while on agar to prefer certain future subrates (so to speak). The reason I want to try this recipe is because for grain spawn I almost exclusively use popcorn and it makes sense to me to start it on something with corn in it... does this make sense to you? Am I getting the idea or am I way off base?

5. The spores I want to germinate on this agar are pretty old and have gotten quite cold. I’d love to add some activated charcoal to the recipe to help the spores germinate. I’ve read that activated charcoal can really help get old spores going... so how much activated charcoal would you add? I’m thinking just a pinch should be enough right?

Once I get everything sorted out I’ll be sure to make a new thread documenting my first agar attempts trying to get some old spores going and doing some transfers :)

Thanks a lot everyone!
-Ethno

Edited by ethnobotanist420, 23 November 2019 - 01:10 AM.

  • coorsmikey and RutgerHauer like this

#2 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:38 AM

I think for the most part you are giving the answers yourself - and in general there's no need to get very complex or precise about it at this point. The recipes we find online and use aren't very precise and probably dont need to be either.

 

1. No problem and saves you some steps. Just make sure the mix is even, so to speak. Sometimes stuff will not dilute and collect on the bottom of the mix, if that ends up in the last jar you pour that one will be very different than the others.

2. You are correct it will help with solubility. Mixing the dry ingredients first will prevent clumps as well. Especially when working with starches.

3. Popcorn is mostly simple carbohydrates and a little sugar, not very nutritious, you could say the agar mix can reflect that if you want. Complex food sources like yeast and malt added to the mix can help to develop a healthy culture but also gives contaminants an edge. This is why people like to keep the added sugars to a minimum if possible.

4. You definitely don't NEED popcorn in there, just dont make it a very nutritious mix if you want it to reflect the nutritional values of corn. A lot of other things come close enough - you want the simple carbohydrates. It could stall the mycelium many, many transfers and generations down the road if they are used to highly nutritious substrates only, but the effect is less detrimental in the short run as far as I understand.  Not something to worry about when you start out. Getting started and trying out different things is more valuable!

5. I know nothing about this. I wouldn't mess with the mix until you conclude it doesn't work for your purpose.  Keep it simple.

 

Would like to see more experienced voices on this,  though I think the questions might not be super important for you at this point. No harm in trying, failing and try again.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 23 November 2019 - 01:40 AM.

  • ethnobotanist420 and macgyver like this

#3 ethnobotanist420

ethnobotanist420

    Welcome to the Machine

  • OG VIP
  • 3,660 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:46 AM

Thanks man! That helps a lot!

Excellent point on making sure I pour the agar into the jars “evenly”. I would definitely stir the shit out of it before pouring each jar to keep from having one jar be a shitstorm of sediment and the rest lacking nutrition lol

Edited by ethnobotanist420, 23 November 2019 - 01:51 AM.

  • RutgerHauer likes this

#4 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:52 AM

You'll mess up in several different ways regarding technique at first so that will have more impact than the details in the recipe at this point. I am messing up too, it is normal to do so. Agar at first is a game of contamination and correcting your methods to reduce them.


  • ethnobotanist420 likes this

#5 macgyver

macgyver

    Mycotopiate

  • VIP
  • 263 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:53 AM

Thanks man! That helps a lot!

Excellent point on making sure I pour the agar into the jars “evenly”. I would definitely stir the shit out of it before pouring each jar to keep from having one jar be a shitstorm of sediment and the rest lacking nutrition lol

Magnetic stirrers help me out so much lol. made one with some hard drive magnets and a CPU fan and I use LME which seems to want to coagulate as soon as it hits the water so the stirrer is a godsend!


  • ethnobotanist420 likes this

#6 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:01 AM

I add the ingredients incrementally so to end up with a better mix, and it helps to get the temperature of your water as close to boiling point as possible.


  • ethnobotanist420 and macgyver like this

#7 ethnobotanist420

ethnobotanist420

    Welcome to the Machine

  • OG VIP
  • 3,660 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:04 AM

Excellent tips, thank you :)

#8 buzzkilluton

buzzkilluton

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 256 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:10 AM

Try this out:

https://www.shroomer...Number/19208976

And this will get you the perfect amount of agar for your dishes:

https://www.shroomer...00/fpart/1/vc/1
This is what I use and have yet to run into failure.
  • ethnobotanist420 likes this

#9 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:22 AM

 

What are people's opinions on using the solid form of food grade agar like in this old TEK? I myself have only used powders: food grade but also the much finer powder for lab purposes. I found the food grade powder is harder to dissolve.



#10 buzzkilluton

buzzkilluton

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 256 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 04:19 AM

That's where the second link comes in man it uses the powder. I use the same weight measurements and I have had no problems with growth. This past run I went light on the LME and have started getting strong rhizomorphic growth.

#11 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 04:28 AM

Man, i wasnt judging you or saying you are wrong. No need to get defensive. I was just asking about opinions here on the food grade agar.

 

Stuff like, is anybody still using it and would you recommend it? And if someone has any idea why you wouldn't - or why you should/can.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 23 November 2019 - 09:29 AM.


#12 buzzkilluton

buzzkilluton

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 256 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 10:55 AM

Man, i wasnt judging you or saying you are wrong. No need to get defensive. I was just asking about opinions here on the food grade agar.

Stuff like, is anybody still using it and would you recommend it? And if someone has any idea why you wouldn't - or why you should/can.

I didn't mean to come off as mad. I'm sorry if it read that way. I haven't tried any lab grade agar. I just use the NOW! Brand agar from Amazon based off a tip from a TC (Trusted Cultivator) from the Shroomery. He also said cubes prefer a food grade and that some additives can harm or kill the mycelium. Again sorry for the confusion.

#13 CatsAndBats

CatsAndBats

    this motherfucker

  • OG VIP
  • 11,799 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 12:07 PM

Hey all,

I’m finally going to dip my toes into the magical world of agar and I have a few questions for all you agar gurus. Basically all of my spores are old and have been exposed to some pretty damn cold temps and I want to get them going and hopefully grow them out and “update” my spore library with fresher prints lol

Anyway... on to the questions!

So the first questions are about this recipe from peacefrog for “Cornmeal Agar” from this thread:

https://mycotopia.ne...le-and-recipes/

He goes into preparing the agar here:
 

I mix up my dry ingredients and add to jars of water, stir then sterilize. This is easier and cleaner IMO, due to the fact that you do not need the added step of pouring. Note: I use food grade agar agar purchased from health food stores so the amount in the following recipes may need to be tweaked if using commercial grade agar agar. But a general rule is 20 grams of agar agar for 1 liter of water.


1. So my first question is with adding the ingredients... he says he mixes the dry ingredients and divides them up into the jars then adds water, mixes and PC’s... would there be any problem with adding all of the dry ingredients and the water into a pot and heating it all up enough to get everything thoroughly mixed before pouring it into the jars, and PCing?

I feel like I would get a more even product doing it that way but if there’s something I’m overlooking please let me know!

My next question is about the recipe itself...

Recipe 4 Cornmeal Agar:
5 grams (1 and 1/4 teaspoon) of corn meal (yellow or white)
4 grams (a heaping teaspoon) of agar agar
Optional: 1 gram of dextrose or 1/8 teaspoon of honey or karo


2. So when adding the cornmeal is it important for it to be VERY finely powdered? I am assuming I’m adding the cornmeal to the mix itself and not making a tea with it right? If that’s the case it would make sense for it to be finely powdered like flour to avoid large clumps no?

3. it says the dextrose/honey/karo is optional... what are the advantages disadvantages to adding/leaving out one of these sources of sugar? Most agar recipes I see contain some sugar... would you recommend using some dextrose or honey or karo or leaving it out?

4. As far as I understand it... mycelium can be “trained” while on agar to prefer certain future subrates (so to speak). The reason I want to try this recipe is because for grain spawn I almost exclusively use popcorn and it makes sense to me to start it on something with corn in it... does this make sense to you? Am I getting the idea or am I way off base?

5. The spores I want to germinate on this agar are pretty old and have gotten quite cold. I’d love to add some activated charcoal to the recipe to help the spores germinate. I’ve read that activated charcoal can really help get old spores going... so how much activated charcoal would you add? I’m thinking just a pinch should be enough right?

Once I get everything sorted out I’ll be sure to make a new thread documenting my first agar attempts trying to get some old spores going and doing some transfers :)

Thanks a lot everyone!
-Ethno

 

 

 

A lot of your questions are answered here:

 

https://mycotopia.ne...izes-agar-agar/

 

but I'll answer line by line..

 

1) I pulverize this shit out of my dry ingredients and add my premeasured hot water into the vessel, adding the hot h2o helps get your nutes suspended in the agar.

 

2) Either way, but it'll be distributed more evenly powdered IMO.

 

3) I stay as far away from liquid ingredients as I can. Ya might end up with agar jelly. If you want the micronutes, from say molasses, just a few drops should be fine. For example, maybe I'm making a sucrose agar, and I want to germinate spores, I'll add a touch of something brown to provide the spores with micronutrients to aid in spore germination.

 

4)   YES YES YES!

 

5) The activated carbon (AC) allows for the mush spores to germinate while trapping bacterial spores/endospores, as I understand it. The reason that it's good for old prints is that older prints most likely have a larger bacterial lode.

 

I didn't read any of the responses, so forgive me if I repeated info or contradicted someone.


Edited by CatsAndBats, 23 November 2019 - 12:10 PM.

  • ethnobotanist420, Juthro and RutgerHauer like this

#14 ethnobotanist420

ethnobotanist420

    Welcome to the Machine

  • OG VIP
  • 3,660 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:25 PM

Thanks Cat!

I was reading through your Agar 3.0 thread the other night and that’s what finally gave me the kick in the ass to get into agar!

Thanks for all the information and help you’ve given out over the years :)

Edited by ethnobotanist420, 23 November 2019 - 02:26 PM.

  • CatsAndBats likes this

#15 CatsAndBats

CatsAndBats

    this motherfucker

  • OG VIP
  • 11,799 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:29 PM

Thanks Cat!

I was reading through your Agar 3.0 thread the other night and that’s what finally gave me the kick in the ass to get into agar!

Thanks for all the information and help you’ve given out over the years :)

youre-welcome.jpg



#16 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:39 PM

Hey does anybody know if metal drinking straws come in handy to make transfers? I swear I must have read somewhere someone using that to make agar to agar transfers - but all I can find when looking for it is the "drinking straw tek" which involves sticking a straw into a PF jar for some reason, or countless topics on straw substrate.


Has been bugging me all day I can't find anything on it. Not that it would probably be worth it though.. a scalpel works fine.

#17 CatsAndBats

CatsAndBats

    this motherfucker

  • OG VIP
  • 11,799 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:47 PM

Hey does anybody know if metal drinking straws come in handy to make transfers? I swear I must have read somewhere someone using that to make agar to agar transfers - but all I can find when looking for it is the "drinking straw tek" which involves sticking a straw into a PF jar for some reason, or countless topics on straw substrate.


Has been bugging me all day I can't find anything on it. Not that it would probably be worth it though.. a scalpel works fine.

 

You're thinking of the syringe tek where one pokes a syringe through the stipe and gets a little plug. It's contamination city IMHO.

 

Putting a straw in the middle of PF cakes was something that I was doing when I was a neophyte to aid in hydrating the cake.


  • RutgerHauer likes this

#18 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:52 PM

Okay thanks, I can move on now! Haha

I'm not sure if I was thinking about the syringe tek.. maybe it's something I made up myself. I do that.

Edited by RutgerHauer, 23 November 2019 - 02:54 PM.

  • CatsAndBats likes this

#19 RutgerHauer

RutgerHauer

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 514 posts

Posted 23 November 2019 - 03:07 PM

@Ethno: By pure luck on a different search ended up on this 'black agar' topic. it says to use less than 1 gram of activated charcoal per liter of agar mix.

More coincidentally it talks about Hypholoma Capnoides, something I'm trying to germinate at the moment, which seems to really like it.

#20 ethnobotanist420

ethnobotanist420

    Welcome to the Machine

  • OG VIP
  • 3,660 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 23 November 2019 - 03:11 PM

Another quick question...

When I’m isolating sectors... do I need to try to grab all of them or just the sexiest ones? I want to get to the point of true isolate (at some point) but I don’t wanna potentially waste my time isolating tomentose, slow or otherwise inferior sectors.

Edit: Thanks @RutgerHauer! I figured it wouldn’t be a whole lot of activated charcoal needed.

Sorry guys I’m out of likes but I really appreciate these answers :) thank you!

Edited by ethnobotanist420, 23 November 2019 - 03:16 PM.





Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!