So, I wanted to start a new topic where I can share my stuff on my grows. I had some other topics going but since that was a while ago and I have been through some changes I figured, let me start a new one so to keep all my progress in one place. It feels like a new start for me, where I don't want to cut corners on my projects anymore.
For ease of writing this up I will use quarts as a measurement of bigger volumes, but actually if I were to be accurate I would have to write down liters. It's close enough. For precise measurements I will use milliliters.
In the past I would write down every little thing, idea and hypothesis down in my personal log, but I am not doing that anymore. I only write down facts and dates, and notes of developments out of the ordinary. I keep a much smaller notebook now to keep my log data such as dates, materials used and yields - I have a bigger one to write up ideas and plans but since I don't want to overthink as much as in the past that will stay empty for the most part. My recipes are nice and tidy in digital form so I can reproduce them any time.
Let's start at the beginning. In the beginning of October I started with two fresh Liquid Cultures made with Malt Extract, Dextrose and a pinch of Agar-agar. I have several varieties of Cubensis in my fridge in spore vials, and picked two at random to use: The Colombian variety and B+.
I inoculated the LCs of both approximately 125ml with 1ml of spore solution and let it colonize for about a month. My temperatures were fluctuating a lot, especially at night it got down to as low as 60°F/16°C. That might have slowed it down a bit, but it was no problem. I tested those LCs on agar late October and they were both clean - and I was happy. They went into cold storage on the 2nd of November.
The 8th and 9th of November I prepped the rye (24 hour soak starting with hot water and after that simmered for 10 minutes). In the evening of the 9th I used the LCs to inoculate six half quart jars of rye with 2ml of LC in each jar. That was the plan, at least. I double-inoculated one of the B+ jars because I got them mixed up in my SAB, the one that I forgot because of it I redid 5 days later when nothing was happening there. After a week or three of colonizing, this is what they looked like.
[ B+/Colombian ]
I was worried about the top two jars, and the other ones as well, because I was distracted and thought four weeks had passed already. Seeing the temperature fluctuations there was nothing to worry about in case of the four jars that were getting close to full colonization now. The other two jars I shook as to make them catch up, to no avail. That B+ I inoculated later, completely stalled and the Colombian recovered eventually, but that took a while. I now believe my rye prep must have been a bit off, they must have been a bit too dry - somebody here gave me a heads up about that. Something I have to work on.
Might as well had to do with gas exchange, since I wasn't using micropore tape, but three layers of a woven type medical tape. Someone pointed this out as well, and I scored a few years worth of micropore tape.
While I let the jars go for a week longer I got the final stuff together to make my fruiting chambers. I had been using propagators in the past with not much luck. I had come across 12 quart transparent buckets and acquired four of them. The dimensions were so that they are relatively high in relation to the surface area of the bottom, so it would be perfect to put substrates of 3 to 4 quarts in there, and have plenty of room for the fruits to grow up.
I drilled 6 holes of 1cm / 3/8 inches in every bucket: two below, just above the substrate and four near the top. I also painted the bottom parts up until about 1/3 of the bucket black. I knew of the fact this was not necessary, but I figured it will help me with achieving better pinsets.
This is how they turned out:
The day after I finished the bucket modifications I got to spawning two jars of each variety into substrates of roughly 3-3.5 quarts. To prep the substrate I hydrated a quarter of a coco coir brick with one quart of hot water, that quarter brick was supposed to expand to about 2 or 2.5 quarts. After that had cooled down and steamed off, I would say 10 minutes, I added 2.5 quarts of vermiculite and mixed thoroughly. The mix was not yet up to field capacity, but almost there. I added 100ml of cold water, mixed it in and checked for field capacity. It was almost there and added another 50ml of cold water, which did the trick.
I know this isn't the usual way to go about things when using coco+verm substrates, but I chose to be safe and sterilize them in half quart jars. The 5 or 6 quarts of substrate I could fit into 8 jars, which just about fit in my pressure cooker.
After the cool down, I had 4 jars of substrate for 2 jars of colonized rye grain. I broke up the grains whacking the jars on my rolled up workout mat (it's useful for something again, finally) and mixed the two jars with 3.5 jars of substrate, the 0.5 jar I left to sprinkle on top. I put that mix into its bucket, sprinkled the remaining substrate on top, taped the holes on the sides with two layers of micropore tape and repeated the process for the other variety. This was done on the 3rd of December.
At this point I changed my room temperature to always remain around 21.5°C/70°F.
The 9th of December it all looked to go very well, the mycelium was growing rapidly.
[ B+/Colombian ]
Today on the 10th, on the 7th day of colonizing the substrate I switched on my light at a 12/12 cycle and removed the second layer of micropore to increase airflow.
The next post about this on will hopefully be one where there will be some pins to see.
Hope to be back before Christmas for that.
I have 8, really full jars going for round two and the other two buckets I prepared. The rye is much more hydrated last time, I hope not too much. This time I did not simmer after the 24 hour soak, but boiled.
So far after three days they are doing okay, not much to show off yet.
Edited by RutgerHauer, 10 December 2019 - 01:28 PM.