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Almost screwed up, or maybe I did


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#1 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 12:23 PM

Hello all, long time creeper here, just now joined.  I did a small batch of GT cakes several years ago, quite successfully.  Just recently got to a point where I can start again.  So here's my dilemma, if it's even a dilemma.

I use wheat berries.  Typical tek, rinse thoroughly, soak for 12-24, boil/simmer for 15 or so, drain and PC for 90 minutes.  Got good colonization in all of the jars (GT and PE, by the way), but I think I should have let them go a few more days.  I expected to be able to slide the cakes out like before, they kinda disintegrated, although they were fairly solid (which is why I think I should have let them go a little longer).  I transferred each jar into it's own ziplock, filled with water, and let them soak in the fridge for almost 24 hours (possibly messed up soaking that long, given they were loose and not really cakes at that point).  Next day, drained the water from all of them, took them up to my tub (a 40gal, with 16qts of perlite), laid some aluminum foil on top of the perlite, and emptied the bags onto the foil.  Temps are consistently 75-79F, humidity is constantly 100% (to the point that there's condensation on the underside of the lid.

At first I figured it was 50/50, they'd either grow or they wouldn't.  So I kept the lid closed and checked on them every other day.  Yesterday I could tell they'd definitely bounced back, actively colonizing, but there were some fuzzy spots on top in several places, not too out of the ordinary, typical of the fuzz I might see on top while they're still in jars... I sorta worried that it may be too humid.  Either way, I started researching casing materials... I've never done bulk before, so casing is not my forte, and lack of money keeps me from getting verm and coir, so I hand shredded a cardboard box last night, simmered it in my crock pot for 6 hours in a water/liquid coffee/gypsum solution (same as soaking berries).  Just drained it, let it drip as much as possible, and sprinkled it on top of my berries in the tub.

I'm hoping I haven't done anything detrimental to my future babies, any input is welcome.  As far as I can tell, where I may have messed up at was 1) not letting them colonize long enough, 2) dunking them for too long since they weren't true "cakes", 3) using cardboard that is colored white on one side (I'm hoping that whatever "ink" was used to color it isn't bad for my berries).  Adding a few pics to this post, hopefully they'll be viewable (not sure since I'm a new member).

1st pic:  just a view of my tub from the outside, I keep a towel on it while they're colonizing some more to keep any light out
20191123_105741.jpg

2nd pic:  taken a few nights ago, when I dumped the bags onto the foil
20191121_020452.jpg

3rd pic:  taken less than an hour ago, cardboard shavings on top, I should have taken a pic before I put the cardboard on there, my bad
20191123_105807.jpg
 



#2 coorsmikey

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 12:42 PM

I've never seen anything like it! Interesting way to wing it that's for sure. Can't say you did anything "wrong" as it looks like you are are observing and learning. I definitely will have my chair pulled up watching. Let us know how it goes? Oh and Welcome to Mycotopia!


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#3 bezevo

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:50 PM

welcome good luck



#4 dial8

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 05:25 PM

Right on, Coors. They will definitely colonize cardboard. Good luck, Skinny!



#5 onediadem

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 12:06 AM

All my hopes.. I will be surprised if that gets something fruiting.. but I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure! If it doesn't contaminate and nothing seems to happen after a couple weeks, try breaking it up and mixing it in a coir and or straw substrate.



#6 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 01:10 AM

All my hopes.. I will be surprised if that gets something fruiting.. but I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure! If it doesn't contaminate and nothing seems to happen after a couple weeks, try breaking it up and mixing it in a coir and or straw substrate.

What, specifically, makes you think it won't fruit?  Luckily I did a g2g when I decided to go bulk, so all is not lost, I'll be able to try again... but I'm wondering what else I can do to optimize my chances of success.



#7 RutgerHauer

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 05:14 AM

Great to see you are getting started on this, though your choices of how to might be unconventional, I hope the best for you.

Onediadem's advice here is something to follow. Mixing your colonized grains with some less nutritious material (next time) will help for different reasons. For one, it helps by not inviting as much contaminants since using pure grain is an overly nutritious substrate and especially if it wasn't colonized a hundred percent this might cause some trouble.

I don't want to get your hopes down, because I have gotten some fruits from doing trays with only grain - but they all contaminated pretty quick. Hoping that your substrate produce some fruits as well!

#8 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 11:43 AM

Great to see you are getting started on this, though your choices of how to might be unconventional, I hope the best for you.

Onediadem's advice here is something to follow. Mixing your colonized grains with some less nutritious material (next time) will help for different reasons. For one, it helps by not inviting as much contaminants since using pure grain is an overly nutritious substrate and especially if it wasn't colonized a hundred percent this might cause some trouble.

I don't want to get your hopes down, because I have gotten some fruits from doing trays with only grain - but they all contaminated pretty quick. Hoping that your substrate produce some fruits as well!

Do you think regular misting with peroxide could lessen the chances of contams?



#9 RutgerHauer

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 02:37 PM

I know nothing about that! Never used the stuff. I read some people saying they use it with great success, but like I said I don't know it to be true in my own experience.

#10 onediadem

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 06:07 PM

 

All my hopes.. I will be surprised if that gets something fruiting.. but I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure! If it doesn't contaminate and nothing seems to happen after a couple weeks, try breaking it up and mixing it in a coir and or straw substrate.

What, specifically, makes you think it won't fruit?  Luckily I did a g2g when I decided to go bulk, so all is not lost, I'll be able to try again... but I'm wondering what else I can do to optimize my chances of success.

 

 

While you may get some fruits, grain is typically used for spawn. The problem with just grain, while very nutritious, is it cannot support the water uptake fruit bodies need. That is why you will see small, insignificant flushes. Coir and straw subs offer much more porous material that holds significant amounts of moisture. It is difficult to keep grains hydrated  because grains do not absorb moisture by misting. The water will run off and collect on the bottom creating a potential stagnant pool. If you do want to fruit grain, you are going to have to case that with better material that can hold in and supply your moisture. Mad props for thinking outside the box, and it really does my heart good to see experimenting. Just keep in mind, Einstein failed hundreds of times before he had a success. This hobby is no different. Starting out it is a good idea to stick with the old faithfuls if you want success right off the bat. The archives are full of people who did all the guess work for you. And please do not take this as discouragement. On the contrart. I just want you to have bountiful flushes.


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#11 joeya

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 07:27 PM

There is no reason to think fruiting from grain won't work, peacefrog has written about this more then once, most notably for me in this link; https://mycotopia.ne...oring-cultures/    Arguably, if growing for maximum yield, it may not be best, PF used it here as the quickest way to prove out isolates. 

 

With that said, I've grown out some wheat berries myself and yielded 5 flushes before it became to too contaminated. Not outstanding yields, but sufficient for my purposes. 

 

Good luck!



#12 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 08:10 PM

All my hopes.. I will be surprised if that gets something fruiting.. but I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure! If it doesn't contaminate and nothing seems to happen after a couple weeks, try breaking it up and mixing it in a coir and or straw substrate.

I'm thinking pretty hard about ordering a good sub mix (coir, verm, lime) tomorrow since I could use it for the current run and have it for the next run... which, based on the colonization level, I'd say will be ready to mix in the next couple weeks.  I've added a pic of my next run and current run as of now.
20191124_184146.jpg
20191124_184241.jpg
This time has me wanting to try a different approach than originally intended (cakes).  I'd done cakes before and it seemed easy, real easy.  And all I was using was the same soak/simmer solution and only berries.  Of course this time didn't go as planned, which has me wanting to go bulk from now on.  If I go that route, would it be a good idea to basically keep this same process?  i.e. noc some berries, colonize, mix with coir/verm/lime, and just let it do it's thing...  it seems to me that if I can avoid having to case for future runs I can speed up the process a little bit while also lessening the chances of contams (so long as I've done everything right).
If casing is likely to give better results though I'm totally down for it, especially if I can use the same coir/verm mix to case with... that would just make it more convenient.  My end goal is to give my babies everything they need to be happy.



#13 RutgerHauer

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:21 AM

Most people case with straight vermiculite, straight coco coir or a mix of the two! So you are correct in proposing to use the same mix for your casing as you would use for your substrate.

I haven't seen anyone using grains to make cakes. Usually people go for the PF/Brown Rice Flour method in that case. Sometimes with some grains added in the mix.

I would again confirm onediadem's advice and going for an exact copy of a proven method. It's a good way to get a feel for the process.
When I started out I mixed up all kinds of methods, thinking I unsterstood the concept enough to pull it off. It didn't work so well.

Edited by RutgerHauer, 25 November 2019 - 08:28 AM.

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#14 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 12:34 PM

I'm definitely gonna modify my method for sure. Considering how "touchy" grain cakes seem to be I'm a little surprised I had such success last time. If I remember correctly I got a solid 1st flush, decent 2nd, and okay 3rd. Cant remember if I dunked after the 1st or 2nd though.

Gonna get my hands on some good sub material soon.

Considering I have 15 qts of soon-to-be colonized grain, it looks like I'm gonna have my hands full in the near future when they're mixed into subs... might end up either having to throw away some, or just make my sub layer even thicker on the next run.

I'm guessing that a 1-part coir, 1-part verm, 1-part grain sub mix wouldn't hurt unless someone has a better idea. Also, any ideas as to the extra grain I'm about to have would be welcome... too cold to try an outdoor grow... makes me wish I still had my azure spores (although I might still have them somewhere, but the syringe would have been exposed to multiple years of hot summers and fairly cold winters)

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#15 onediadem

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 01:14 PM

That is a good ratio. I spawn super heavy for faster colonization anyway.


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#16 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 01:18 PM

Cool. I should end up with 45 qts of sub next run then... that seems like a lot. I may need to downsize in the future, but it's good to know I can triple my sub (and have better results) by adding the proper ingredients.

Probably gonna give my jars a shake tonight. Need to finish my wood stove install today first, just gotta spread the furnace cement and "cure" (aka, burn a log)

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#17 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 03:56 PM

Been looking at sub-mixtures, I'm not in a hurry to order today since it wouldn't ship today anyway, but want to get anyone's thoughts on which they think might be the best route to go...

Option 1)  This one seems to be a quick, easy solution... just hydrate and mix, no measuring needed, although I can't know for sure what ratios are used (especially how much humus and lime are used).  $15 per 2.5lbs though, not a bad price.
https://www.ebay.com...wn/362808704381

Option 2)  Or I could mix it myself, maybe getting around the same amount or more for the same price or more...
https://www.ebay.com...ck/283542542230
+
https://www.ebay.com...qEAAOSwuPZbqouv
Not sure how many qts can be had after hydrating 4 qts of dry verm...  and I haven't factored in using lime either, which would increase the price

Seems like I could end up with similar results between the 2 options, although I do like the lime included in the first... I'm just not educated enough yet to know whether verm or humus is better


Edited by SkinnyDIpper, 25 November 2019 - 03:58 PM.


#18 SkinnyDIpper

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:05 AM

Got some coir and verm on the way. Later in the week I'll get it all mixed up and done right. Didnt get any lime, decided to save my pennies until next time, then I'll start adding that into my subs from then on.

I'll post an update on Friday.

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#19 HeavyOntheMental

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 12:38 AM

Keep us updated, I am rooting for you and I hope you end up with a good harvest. I have a few noob questions for you, What are those white rocks under your foil and what is the purpose of them? "I use wheat berries.  Typical tek, rinse thoroughly, soak for 12-24, boil/simmer for 15 or so, drain and PC for 90 minutes.  Got good colonization in all of the jars (GT and PE, by the way), but I think I should have let them go a few more days" How long did you wait in the first place, and how much longer would you have waited given a second chance?  And can anyone give some insight to peroxide misting, is it a good idea?



#20 dial8

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 03:31 AM

Skinny, can you get your hands on some wheat straw? Very cheap, very easy to come by (at least in my area), very easy to use, very easy to prep, and a very good bulk substrate.


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