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Straw + Gypsum


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#1 Elenchus

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 01:52 PM

What exactly are the benefits of using gypsum with straw substrates?

 

 

I've experimented with using hydrated lime but it slowed down colonization times too much to be worth using IMO. 

 

Follow up questions:

 

How does gypsum affect PH? Compared to lime? 

 

How exactly does gypsum affect nutrient uptake?

 

Will it slow down colonization times?

 

Thanks!



#2 psilyguy808

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 02:35 PM

From what I understand the gypsum adds calcium and sulfur. Not sure how it affects ph. It also loosens dense substrates, straw isn't that dense but I still add it for the calcium and sulfur and for good luck.
These are escondido on straw/steer manure/gypsum. It was from a ms syringe, pretty good flushes, would have been insane if I had cloned. I want to believe the gypsum helps with the robustness of the fruits, but i have no idea.
I also hot water bath pasteurize with a few cups of coffee(not grounds) and it seems to help bring substrate colonization to about a week with a sub/spawn/sub/spawn/sub... layering to about 4 to 5 inches deep and I deffinatey use gypsum in my casing.received_996188430726461.jpg received_535380120631978.jpg

Edited by psilyguy808, 12 January 2020 - 02:42 PM.

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#3 psilyguy808

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 02:55 PM

This is from Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms20200112_095107.jpg 20200112_095410.jpg
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#4 TVCasualty

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 03:01 PM

This post might be helpful: https://mycotopia.ne...k/#entry1433541


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#5 FunG

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 04:26 PM

Gypsum is p.h neutral

It helps prevent p.h swings in substrate materials

It is absorbed by mycelium just like cellulose fibers are broken down and absorbed.

Adding it to substrates has shown in research through commercial mushroom farming to produce a higher yield (not sure of the %)

Add gypsum
I like gypsum
Hurrah!
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#6 Auxin

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:31 PM

Keep in mind that hydrated lime is highly caustic, at equal concentrations its pretty much equal to lye. It'll cause chemical burns to any mycelium it contacts.

When people use it to base a casing it may burn the surface of the colonized spawn, but the mycelial mass will soon saturate the casing with carbon dioxide, turning the lime into much milder limestone and even calcium bicarbonate.

When spawn is mixed with substrates containing too much residual lime, every little grain of substrate is burned and they have to struggle to emit carbon dioxide to neutralize it. That is probably what slowed you down so much, if you had used the precisely correct amount of lime it likely wouldnt have been so bad.

Hypothetically, layering rather than mixing and making sure the straw was just below field capacity would likely be good insurance.


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#7 Elenchus

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:14 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the good info!!

 

If I want to use a PH buffer in conjunction with gypsum, would limestone chalk be a better source?

 

Does anyone use both limestone and gypsum regularly?

 

Thanks and peace,

 

The Socratic Elenchus.



#8 psilyguy808

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 03:19 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the good info!!

If I want to use a PH buffer in conjunction with gypsum, would limestone chalk be a better source?

Does anyone use both limestone and gypsum regularly?

Thanks and peace,

The Socratic Elenchus.

I use calcium carbonate in my casing. 1 part cal carb, 1 part gypsum, 10 parts sphag peat, 10 parts vermiculite. The cal carb for the ph

#9 PJammer24

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:08 AM

gypsum is used as a buffer... Adding it won't move the substrate's PH in either direction but it will help in keeping the PH at a level conducive to mushroom growth for a longer period of time. As a substrate ages and breaks down due to being consumed by the mycelium, the substrate gradually becomes more acidic. Contaminates thrive in acidic environments so higher PH levels help to limit/prevent competitors from getting a foot hold in your substrate.

 

Lime on the other hand can be used to raise the substrate's PH and make it more basic. Lime is often used when you are using peat, for example, in your substrate or casing layer which had been pretty common back in the day... Peat has a PH that is well below neutral (mid 4s) so lime would be added to increase the PH to levels that are optimal for mycelial growth. Peat has been replaced with products like coir which has a neutral PH. I would only consider using lime when I am dealing with substrate components that have a lower PH.

 

When growing cubes, you want to have a neutral PH, somewhere in the high 6 to low 7 range, for optimal growth. You want to keep it in that optimal range for as long as possible. Starting the spawn run slightly higher than neutral isn't terrible because as the substrate breaks down, the PH will begin to drop. When you add the gypsum, it keeps the PH from dropping as quickly without initially raising it to a level that is not conducive to growth.

 

One of the main reasons that substrates contaminate in later flushes is that the PH level has dropped and conditions are favorable to the contaminates that thrive in acidic environs. As available nutrients decrease and PH levels decrease, the mushroom mycelium weakens... It is always a fight between the mushrooms and the contaminates. There are always contaminate spores in your grows just waiting for their opportunity to germinate and colonize the nutrient source. When you mix live mycelium for the spawn run, it can colonize the nutrient source faster than the contaminate can germinate and start colonization, PH levels help with this race as well as the fact that our myc doesn't have to germinate and also the amount of spawn we are adding... This is also why field capacity is so important... You want the substrate consistency to be ideal for mushroom growth so it can out run any potential contaminates.

 

I kinda veered off course a little but I was trying to give you guys the big picture of why gypsum is beneficial so there is an understanding of why it works and not just that it does...


Edited by PJammer24, 15 January 2020 - 10:12 AM.

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#10 PJammer24

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:16 AM

 

Thanks to everyone for all the good info!!

If I want to use a PH buffer in conjunction with gypsum, would limestone chalk be a better source?

Does anyone use both limestone and gypsum regularly?

Thanks and peace,

The Socratic Elenchus.

I use calcium carbonate in my casing. 1 part cal carb, 1 part gypsum, 10 parts sphag peat, 10 parts vermiculite. The cal carb for the ph

 

 

 

The calcium carbonate you are using has a PH somewhere over 9 which helps to balance your substrate PH when paired with the peat which has a PH somewhere between 4 and 5... Lime has a PH over 12. You could probably substitute lime for your calcium carbonate and achieve the same goal, though I don't know the ratio....

 

I used a WBS with calcium carbonate added about a year ago... I was getting super frustrated by how slow the growth was. I think the slow growth could potentially be attributed to the added calcium carbonate which would have increased the PH. The jars eventually colonized but it was agonizingly slow....


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#11 MsBehavin420

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:07 AM

I use ground up egg shells. Boil first! You dont want no sour vanilla (salmanilla)

#12 Elenchus

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:16 AM

gypsum is used as a buffer... Adding it won't move the substrate's PH in either direction but it will help in keeping the PH at a level conducive to mushroom growth for a longer period of time. As a substrate ages and breaks down due to being consumed by the mycelium, the substrate gradually becomes more acidic. Contaminates thrive in acidic environments so higher PH levels help to limit/prevent competitors from getting a foot hold in your substrate.

 

Lime on the other hand can be used to raise the substrate's PH and make it more basic. Lime is often used when you are using peat, for example, in your substrate or casing layer which had been pretty common back in the day... Peat has a PH that is well below neutral (mid 4s) so lime would be added to increase the PH to levels that are optimal for mycelial growth. Peat has been replaced with products like coir which has a neutral PH. I would only consider using lime when I am dealing with substrate components that have a lower PH.

 

When growing cubes, you want to have a neutral PH, somewhere in the high 6 to low 7 range, for optimal growth. You want to keep it in that optimal range for as long as possible. Starting the spawn run slightly higher than neutral isn't terrible because as the substrate breaks down, the PH will begin to drop. When you add the gypsum, it keeps the PH from dropping as quickly without initially raising it to a level that is not conducive to growth.

 

One of the main reasons that substrates contaminate in later flushes is that the PH level has dropped and conditions are favorable to the contaminates that thrive in acidic environs. As available nutrients decrease and PH levels decrease, the mushroom mycelium weakens... It is always a fight between the mushrooms and the contaminates. There are always contaminate spores in your grows just waiting for their opportunity to germinate and colonize the nutrient source. When you mix live mycelium for the spawn run, it can colonize the nutrient source faster than the contaminate can germinate and start colonization, PH levels help with this race as well as the fact that our myc doesn't have to germinate and also the amount of spawn we are adding... This is also why field capacity is so important... You want the substrate consistency to be ideal for mushroom growth so it can out run any potential contaminates.

 

I kinda veered off course a little but I was trying to give you guys the big picture of why gypsum is beneficial so there is an understanding of why it works and not just that it does...

 

Thank you for taking the time to give me an explanation. 

 

So, I take it that in my case, when using straw as a sub and coir/verm as a casing, all I would need to do is add gypsum to the straw during pasteurization (i.e. in the water) in order to get more flushes? 

 

I just bought a PH meter, so I can start testing my substrate after pasteurization. 

 

I was told that hydrated lime was highly caustic and the most potent of the various forms of lime, but I was given some for free and only used a small amount. After reading Roger Rabbits straw log tek, I thought it would be a good idea to try to raise the PH of the straw. I think I was confused about the difference between a PH buffer and something that would raise the PH of a substrate. 

 

Can anyone tell me the PH of straw?

 

Thanks, 

Elenchus



#13 FunG

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:40 AM

Google says straw is between 8.5 and 9.5 ph

If you're going to use straw might I suggest horse manure too 50/50...best substrate for p.cubensis.
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#14 joeya

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:48 AM

 

gypsum is used as a buffer... Adding it won't move the substrate's PH in either direction but it will help in keeping the PH at a level conducive to mushroom growth for a longer period of time. As a substrate ages and breaks down due to being consumed by the mycelium, the substrate gradually becomes more acidic. Contaminates thrive in acidic environments so higher PH levels help to limit/prevent competitors from getting a foot hold in your substrate.

 

Lime on the other hand can be used to raise the substrate's PH and make it more basic. Lime is often used when you are using peat, for example, in your substrate or casing layer which had been pretty common back in the day... Peat has a PH that is well below neutral (mid 4s) so lime would be added to increase the PH to levels that are optimal for mycelial growth. Peat has been replaced with products like coir which has a neutral PH. I would only consider using lime when I am dealing with substrate components that have a lower PH.

 

When growing cubes, you want to have a neutral PH, somewhere in the high 6 to low 7 range, for optimal growth. You want to keep it in that optimal range for as long as possible. Starting the spawn run slightly higher than neutral isn't terrible because as the substrate breaks down, the PH will begin to drop. When you add the gypsum, it keeps the PH from dropping as quickly without initially raising it to a level that is not conducive to growth.

 

One of the main reasons that substrates contaminate in later flushes is that the PH level has dropped and conditions are favorable to the contaminates that thrive in acidic environs. As available nutrients decrease and PH levels decrease, the mushroom mycelium weakens... It is always a fight between the mushrooms and the contaminates. There are always contaminate spores in your grows just waiting for their opportunity to germinate and colonize the nutrient source. When you mix live mycelium for the spawn run, it can colonize the nutrient source faster than the contaminate can germinate and start colonization, PH levels help with this race as well as the fact that our myc doesn't have to germinate and also the amount of spawn we are adding... This is also why field capacity is so important... You want the substrate consistency to be ideal for mushroom growth so it can out run any potential contaminates.

 

I kinda veered off course a little but I was trying to give you guys the big picture of why gypsum is beneficial so there is an understanding of why it works and not just that it does...

 

Thank you for taking the time to give me an explanation. 

 

So, I take it that in my case, when using straw as a sub and coir/verm as a casing, all I would need to do is add gypsum to the straw during pasteurization (i.e. in the water) in order to get more flushes? 

 

I just bought a PH meter, so I can start testing my substrate after pasteurization. 

 

I was told that hydrated lime was highly caustic and the most potent of the various forms of lime, but I was given some for free and only used a small amount. After reading Roger Rabbits straw log tek, I thought it would be a good idea to try to raise the PH of the straw. I think I was confused about the difference between a PH buffer and something that would raise the PH of a substrate. 

 

Can anyone tell me the PH of straw?

 

Thanks, 

Elenchus

 

Actual barley straw tends on the slightly acidic side of neutral, around 6.0 or so. I'm not sure if straw from different grasses has a different pH.

 

One word of caution on your pH meter, most of them are nowhere close to accurate! Unless you spent a few hundred dollars on it, don't trust the results. I find using pH paper and squeezing it in moist substrate gives a much better indication than even the more expensive meters.
 



#15 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:40 PM

Yes, gardening pH meters tend to be far from accurate, but a good one doesn't have to cost hundreds. I got my lowest-level lab grade meter for €70 and I've seen friends on the nexus do pH-metric harmine/harmaline separation with pool & aquarium pH meters for under half the price [that's an operation that requires more precision than generally needed in mycology]. You likely don't want one that doesn't have the probe stored in potassium chloride solution. A good hint to quality is their calibration mechanics. If you want a useful pH meter you'll want to get one that comes with liquid for the probe and at least one type packet of pH buffer for calibration. One packet type means single point calibration, that is what is most used in cheaper but useful pool meters, generally readable to 1 pH or 0.1 pH. If it uses two point calibration that is likely a good to very good pool meter. Three point calibrated meters are the expensive ones, you can use them to impress your friends and make drugs far beyond the scope of this site :wink:

Mine is a three-point with a 'probe-on-a-string', its readable down to 0.01, auto-adjusts for temperature, and is more power than I'll ever need for mushrooms.

But man, does it make some mind-blowing harmine and THH as well as very clean mescaline :laugh:






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