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Limited temp control - options?

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#1 morthos



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Posted 13 December 2019 - 06:33 PM



I've set thermometers in my apartment in the locations I'm likely to place my Obire bags, and they tend to be about 73F. If memory serves me well, ideal temps for colonization are 85F and fruiting 75F. While I've no intention of trying to reach 85F while the jars of WBS colonize, I'd like to think of ways of getting the best possible temp for the colonizing stage. At the same time, I won't be leaving plug-in heaters unattended!


Sunlight hitting an exterior shell of the box of jars won't work as the windows don't get much sun in winter, and in that section I plan to have the light blinds closed anyway.


My apartment uses baseboard/hot water for heating. It occurs to be I could build a small enclosure next to the line, and set a USB fan on the baseboard to get more heat in that area, and test the result in a cardboard enclosure before committing jars to it.


Would you consider your options in this scenario, or just accept the slower colonization speed of the lower temp?



#2 coorsmikey



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Posted 13 December 2019 - 07:06 PM

Wow you have been gone a while. Good to see ya around, welcome back! Hey while you were gone though, there is a bunch of us that have come to the consensus that higher temps bring on more problems than waiting another two day to colonize at room temperature. 85-86 has been proven to be the fastest to colonize and if you are working in a sterile lab with a flow hood and medical grade lab equiptment that may prove effective. But in the clandestine kitchen and in some cases would you believe folks do study mycology in the bathroom, those high temps create a hospitable environment for stuff that we aren't intending to grow. If something undesired don't get ya the mycelium is racing to colonize before the grain dries out too much.

Just my personal experience, I save money by not spending on the extra heat and even though I lose a day or to time. Heck I'm usually not ready to go to bulk yet when my jars a ready, but if I was in a hurry I would take my chances with lower and slower. If I have to start over from scratch because I tried to speed things up that would take me twice as long, wouldn't it? Man we have been having awesome results with room temperature. I can't count how many threads I see while people over cooking their grows cuz there are to many to count. Heat...Baaaad.

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#3 TVCasualty


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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:52 PM

Long time no see!



I'm thinking there maybe should be a sticky thread about temperature. My life got and remained a lot easier when I began incubating and fruiting at 75F.




I suspect that the often-repeated 85-86 degree suggestion originally came from Stamets' The Mushroom Cultivator which had a page with the temp. plot for cubensis showing it peaking at ~86F. I'd bet that that page has caused a whole lot of problems for new growers in the decades since it was published.


I suspect that it was referring to the growth rate of mycelium as measured on a petri dish, which means the culture was actually at 86 degrees. When growing in a contained substrate of any kind, even BRF jars, the temperature will get substantially warmer than the ambient air temperature as the mycelial mass increases.



So you incubate jars at 85, and as the mycelium expands the temperature spikes much higher. And for those who don't remember that graph, the growth rate of cubensis drops through the floor as soon as you exceed that temperature, and that's if you're lucky enough to avoid contamination. So even if we were able to keep a culture right at 86 degrees, it's so close to the point of diminishing returns that any mistake or error puts the whole thing at risk of going bad.



I tried an incubation strategy that seems to work well based on the above: When starting new BRF jars (which I use for either crumbling into bulk subs or expanding with slurries to grain) I shoot the spores or isolate into them and incubate them at 85 degrees for 48 hours, then I drop the temp to 80 for 48 hours, then down to 75 and hold it there after that. They did seem to take off a bit faster with the warmer temp at the beginning, but it's hard to quantify for sure since there are so many variables involved.

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#4 stmhunter



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Posted 14 December 2019 - 01:25 PM

keep my home around 75-78 seems to work fine.

#5 RutgerHauer


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Posted 14 December 2019 - 01:40 PM

That is pretty hot to live in constantly if you ask me stmhunter - I find 70/71 to be pretty intense for myself, the mycelia love it at that temperature as well.

Edited by RutgerHauer, 14 December 2019 - 01:40 PM.

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#6 morthos



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Posted 14 December 2019 - 02:39 PM

Great info, thanks guys! I don't plan on changing the general temp, so knowing that it works ok at 70/71 is reassuring. Will just run with the ambient temp then.

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#7 macgyver



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Posted 14 December 2019 - 08:09 PM

70 is what I keep my place at, it seems to work fine! My place swings down to 65ish sometimes though so I have a wardrobe incubator set up that I keep at 75, this helps keep everything in one spot and avoid any temperature swing complications. I read that grain jars can be up to 5 degrees warmer than ambient temp, so I wouldn't want them to be any warmer than 77 max. My mini tubs are colonizing in the wardrobe and using temperature probes, I found that in the center they are 84 with the wardrobe at 76.


I think as long as you avoid big temperature swings you should be okay at normal temperature. It's pretty easy to maintain a comfortable temp for both you and mycelium in the winter!

#8 stmhunter



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Posted 20 December 2019 - 06:41 PM

That is pretty hot to live in constantly if you ask me stmhunter - I find 70/71 to be pretty intense for myself, the mycelia love it at that temperature as well.

not if you live where the temp is in the 90s to 100s 80% of the year like south texas.

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#9 stmhunter



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Posted 20 December 2019 - 06:43 PM

hell my electric bill runs 500-600 a month during the hottest part of the summer.

#10 Theinvitrowalrus



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Posted 20 December 2019 - 11:23 PM

It has been surprising to me how resilient my cakes have been to the varying temperatures of my room. 

I wish i could have a dedicated place for them but i currently have 7 brf cakes in a nice clean spot behind my tv. 

I have a thermometer right next to them and it currently says 70 f. 

theyre fruiting nice, ive seen it dip as low as 56 with them still going fine. 

Ive been going strong for 4 months now. 

I incubate my brf jars in the same room just in a different area and it takes them about 3 weeks to colonize fully.

#11 Psychgro



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Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:58 PM

I keep my thermostat at 68. I keep Petri dishes and cultures in a closed tote right up against the baseboard heater, the wall of the tote gets up into the 80s and the dishes and jars stay in the low to mid 70s.


im planning on making a cabinet to keep jars and tubs. I’ll be heating that with an old egg incubator I have laying around. The incubator has a heating element, fan, and automatically monitors humidity and temp.

#12 PJammer24


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Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:49 AM

My temperatures are never even close to 80F, let alone 85-86F... I do everything at room temperature... You might colonize a day or two faster using the higher temps but you are also increasing your contamination risk... It is not worth it when room temps work just fine... For a decade, I have not provided any additional heat what so ever during any phase of growth and I see excellent results...


You should also keep in mind that the jars produce heat during the metabolic process... So the temp inside the jars is higher than the temperature of the room...


My suggestion would to be keep your grow area at room temperature, typically 68-75F, for all stages of growth... Those temps are ideal for fruiting and colonization occurs just fine at those temps also... Right now, I have bags colonizing in a room that ranges from 68-72F and I have bags fruiting adjacent to them...  I recently had jars colonizing on a shelf in that room and several others colonizing in a close upstairs where temps are 3-5 degrees warmer. The jars upstairs finished a 24-36 hours faster. I feel that this small benefit isn't worth any additional effort, especially when the additional effort will be making conditions more favorable for competitors.

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#13 MsBehavin420



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Posted 09 January 2020 - 01:05 PM

Thank you everyone.... Ive been stressing over 5 degrees over here. I try to keep it around 60 overnight, and 68-70 depending on the outside temp and inside drafts..

I am having suuuppper slow colonization times with my pf classics. I did make a LC by squirting water on to a hunk of agar and sucking it out in a plunger and then to a cake, and thats already taking off

#14 Psychgro



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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:12 PM

PJ, it’s just the wall of the tote that gets up to 80s, the inside of the tote doesn’t go past 76. The “Petri jars” that I had along that side of the tote never got too hot...luckily.


I did cover the gap between the wall and tote (at the top only) with a sweater, after doing this I realized I’ve been keeping my house cooler than I originally thought. The thermostat sits a few feet above the baseboard heating and when the thermostat reads 68 (because heat rises) the rest of the room feels considerably colder, no wonder I’m always cold .

#15 sandman



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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:44 PM

Because of the condensation it's fairly important to try to keep your room a stable temperature, whatever it may be. Particularly with agar plates. My room is not central a/c. I have a window unit and a regular old cheap space heater. They are plugged in to this temp controller that is capable of handling 1650 watts. It really handles it all no problem. Just make sure you dont get a temp controller that can not handle the power of your heater, most are only good for 1000 watts or less and most heaters are 1500 watts on high.

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