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Bulk Substrate Fell Apart. Should I Toss?

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#1 Nighthawk7234



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Posted 27 November 2019 - 02:38 AM

Hello everyone!


So I just started getting into doing bulk grows. The first, and only monotub (56 qt Sterilite) I have done produced a very small first/second flush ~5g dry with using 6 quarts of popcorn spawn. So I was under the assumption that maybe the substrate was just not hydrated enough, since my FAE I believe I have under control. Additionally the casing did look a little dry, and condensation wasn't building up on the walls of the tub anymore. So I did what you do and decided to dunk it for a little bit (~ 2 hours). I dunked the sub in the same tub that I used to fruit, just filled it with water and weighed it down with another tote on top. After the 2 hours was up I decided to transfer the substrate to another monotub I already had made previously as to keep things as clean as possible. I then attempted to lift the sub by the trash bag, but then to my horror the trash bag ripped and my sub came crashing down breaking into hundreds of different pieces. After I took sometime to cool down as I was pretty upset, I transferred all of the broken pieces into the new monotub with a new trashbag in the bottom (this time I made sure it was stronger). The new tub however is essentially just a mix of my casing, and my susbstrate. Not ideal!


My real question is that should I be concerned about contams as I seriously weakened the mycelium thus causing its immune system to weaken? Will it even produce fruit? Overall however this first tub has been pretty discouraging, with the small first flush and then this happening :(. Luckily I have some more grain spawn almost colonized, but I obviously don't want my first tub to get contaminated and ruin those! Any suggestions? If you need any pics let me know (although it won't help to much as it just looks like dirt at this point lol)


Substrate: HPoo, Coir, Verm, Pickling Lime

Casing: Peat Moss, Verm, Pickling Lime, Oyster Shells (50/50+)



#2 TVCasualty


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Posted 28 November 2019 - 11:51 AM

You will probably be happy to hear that busting-up a substrate is actually a way to get one that won't fruit to start fruiting.


You have to let it sit undisturbed after doing so so it can recombine into a large single mass again, but it will do that and it will still fruit though the chance of it going bad was increased by it breaking apart.


The longer a sub has been colonizing the more resilient it is to being torn up or broken apart. If it's already had one flush then it will probably survive to produce another and the first was probably smaller than expected because the sub was probably not hydrated enough. So the dunking will help a lot.


When I'd had a 4th flush off a substrate I'd usually dunk it overnight (12 hours) then break it into chunks and put it back into the tray which usually gets me at least two more flushes (of very few mushrooms, but they're huge). Squeezing a few extra flushes from a mostly-spent sub was what I'd originally made the Wet Towel Tek for.

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#3 Nighthawk7234



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Posted 01 December 2019 - 02:57 AM

Sorry about the late response just busy with Thanksgiving, and all!


That is great news actually! I am happy that I didn't seem to have royally messed up. I took a peek at my substrate today, and it already looks like it is forming hyphal knots on top! With luck it will hopefully produce a larger flush this time around when I increase the FAE in the chamber, and take out some of the pollyfill. That's also very interesting how you are able to squeeze out some of those extra flushes by breaking up the substrate, and also from the linked Wet Towel tek. I will definitely look into that more to see how much I can get out of my current bulk substrate.


Thank you again for all of the help / info! I will keep this topic posted when I have some mushrooms growing just for people who want future reference! Thanks!

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#4 CatsAndBats


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Posted 01 December 2019 - 08:36 PM

Maybe do smaller tubs next time. Throwing out a 6qt colony is a bazillion times easier on one's soul than throwing out a 56qt tub. Plus bigger tubs generate a shit ton of extra heat that will expedite any competitors' growth that are likely present, IME. I can feel a difference in temperature with just three 6qt shoe boxes stacked on top of each other.


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#5 Nibano



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Posted 02 December 2019 - 03:13 PM

I agree with CatsAndBats, especially since you just got into bulk growing. Small 6qt tubs and/or mini monos are nice, that's what I have been using so far. It's a risk for beginners to make big mono tubs, it would be discouraging if it failed because one of the jars was contamined (which can easily happen). It will still be some time before I "dare" to grow in big tubs.


However, I have never considered that the bigger tubs have extra heat, but it makes sense. I guess you learn something new every day!

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