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PF Tek and squeezing for saturation testing..


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#1 Zorkloin

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 07:57 PM

I have very find verm. , that's about the only thing I can attribute to what happened what I did my first five jars earlier. Two parts verm, one part water, mix , and then one part BRF.

It mixed fine, but when I tried to squeeze to test for field capacity ( water saturation ) instead of water coming out, it just clumped. So I added a tiny bit more water, made sure there were no pre existing clumps, and loaded five jars.

I've heard fine verm is good for myco and will colonize faster, but is getting a clump instead of water running out normal ? I know I got about the right amount of water because of the ratio, I just remember the squeeze to test for water, and it's not working this time around. I actually put aside the first BRF cake mix I made because it just seemed too muddy. The BRF is really finely ground as well. That and the fine verm, will this give me trouble?

Any thoughts?



#2 TVCasualty

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 08:09 PM

That's a lot of BRF.

 

Fine verm is not a problem; there were years when it was all I had and it worked as well as coarse as far as I could tell.

 

What recipe/Tek are you using?

 

When it comes to water content for cakes, I go by the sound of the squeeze test not the amount of water that is squeezed out (I don't bother to measure it anymore). The sound I'm listening for is hard to describe, but comes from repeated grows and paying attention to the sound it makes at different saturation levels (so do a few and you'll get the ear for it, too). It gets louder as water is added and when it's over saturated it starts to not squish as loud anymore (so I aim for peak squish-sound). Don't forget to fluff the clump back up after squeezing it.

 

 

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#3 coorsmikey

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:37 AM

If you mix your BRF and verm thoroughly before adding water you will get more consistent results after adding the water. I'm not sure in what order or how you're mixing but its a simple hint that gets overlooked a lot.


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#4 OldFart1971

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:43 AM

Wow, Our first attempt is now 7 days old. Some are looking good...others seem real slow. We didn't do the squeeze test for moisture so I'm hoping that is not going to stall the growth. There is mycelium in all the jars, however I guess I'm asking if its possible to add more water if it seems like it stalls out? Really nervous and dreaming my first attempt at BRF will be total success.



#5 CrystalShip

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:59 AM

Yeah I made mention of this in another reply to a posting and I am a total noob but I clearly remember reading multiple times how important of a step this is. And can really have an adverse effect it seems on the health of the grow in general. I made sure that when i squeezed the soil it maybe made 2 or 3 drops of water roll off my fist max. I also really made sure everything was mixed very well. Spent a lot of time on this step.



#6 Zorkloin

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 03:41 PM

I'm afraid they mite be too dry. It's too late, I inocculated them earlier. Just five half pints.  I'm just gonna wait and see what I get and how fast. I've had problems with BRF cakes that are too dry in the past. I almost wanna order some grain. Mite as well do grain as well. I need co co too.

Is gypsum an absolute necessity for casing?

I have another syringe, but I need to see if I got this right. I'm not using any particular TEK, just your standard PF Tek. They are incubating now. See what happens.

edit: I went back and played with the "to dry" BRF material that I didn't use, for whatever reason the very find BRF makes mud, so there's really no squeezing for run off, muddy rice flour runs out. It VERY bad about clumping. I had to put clumpy BRF material into the five jars I PC'ing now.

I can't think of what I used to use to prevent clumping? am I doing anything wrong?


Edited by Zorkloin, 22 May 2020 - 04:58 PM.


#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 07:34 PM

Try to fluff up the mix as much as possible with a fork (before putting it in the jars).

 

And use less BRF; the original PF Tek recipe called for 1/8 cup BRF per half-pint jar and 2/3 cup of verm, which is 1 part BRF to 5.33 parts verm. You can use more BRF, but the more you use the more it clumps (especially with fine flour).


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#8 Zorkloin

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 07:51 PM

Too much BRF then. The problem was BRF mudd, instead of water when squeezed... I have not done this in years, I'll do better next time. I just hope these jars colonize !
 
The last time I ran PF Tek, I could not find actual brown rice flour, so I just used ground brown rice flour which was always course and easier to work with. I don't know how the fungus likes particle size re: BRF, tiny or small?

"That's a lot of BRF." I didn't know what you guys meant at first, I was told one part BRF, one water, to two parts verm. Ugh


Edited by Zorkloin, 22 May 2020 - 08:07 PM.


#9 coorsmikey

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:24 PM

Try to fluff up the mix as much as possible with a fork (before putting it in the jars).

 

And use less BRF; the original PF Tek recipe called for 1/8 cup BRF per half-pint jar and 2/3 cup of verm, which is 1 part BRF to 5.33 parts verm. You can use more BRF, but the more you use the more it clumps (especially with fine flour).

I have always had great results using the standard 1:1:2: BRF/Water/Verm ratio since before internet was a thing and I got PF instructions with my syringe that I ordered from the back of High Times magazine. In fact I have seen 10 of thousands of successful grows using that ratio and have been big on saying that its hard to screw it up for decades. I imagine that Professor Fanaticus probably started with some ratio that is different than what is consider the normal 20 years ago and now. But where did you come up with this 1:5.33 ratio? If it's superior to the the common 1:1:2 ratio can you please link me to yours or anyone's threads documenting the results? I'm not challenging what your say, I honestly have no experience with this 1:5.33 and have a hard time making sense of it. I can find anything on a simple search. Why have we been supporting that the Original recipe is 1:1:2? If anything at all I would love the nostalgia of seeing some old literature before the consensus changed to the revised ratio. I have a paper copy of the PF tek from the early eighties some where that supports the current ratios. I am gonna have to dig out the instructions from Homestead Book Co and see how far off the ratios are from the same time.


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#10 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 03:49 PM

But where did you come up with this 1:5.33 ratio?

 

It's the original PF Tek recipe, converted into proportions.*

 

And it is merely a starting point for learning how to grow, not an approach intended to chase the optimum in terms of yields or whatever.

 

We tend to baffle and confuse new growers with the "curse of knowledge." I try to get them to have a successful grow as quickly as possible, not necessarily one that maximizes yields with ingredient proportions that push the upper bounds of what will work. And as originally written, the PF Tek will work for everyone who follows the directions. Once it does, and they know what healthy mycelium looks like and how a grow progresses and all that then they can start tweaking recipes and Teks much more effectively since they'll know what a successful grow looks like at all stages.

 

*It was the recipe printed on the sheet that came with my first PF kit in the mid-90's, which I still have somewhere but all that stuff is currently in storage (I got it from my notes, which I have with me). It's not the recipe that appears on PF's fanaticus.com site, which is the 1:1:2 mix you posted.


Edited by TVCasualty, 23 May 2020 - 04:36 PM.

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#11 Zorkloin

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:05 PM

I PC'd the remaining BRF material, it came out shrunk, I'm kinda depressed. Not as dry as the previous batch, but now starts the wait. 

Can someone recommend a particular PF Tek I could use next time? Can't believe I made these mistakes lol

 



#12 Arathu

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:36 PM

IMO....Part of what everyone is learning, specifically at the stage of working with PF Tek which is usually beginner BUT not necessarily as it works quite well, is the ratio's of substrate components and how those items interact when hydrated to field capacity. I have seen all kinds of responses in regards to what "field capacity" is but generally the rule of thumb is squeeze a nice chunk of the hydrated substrate and have to work hard to get a drop of water out.......now that's just my loose understanding but generally speaking if I followed that (and all the other instructions AS STATED).....mushies resulted.

 

For the most part, when hydrating something I intend on having a fungus colonize, I tend to error on the drier side. Mud is definitely bad. So too, potentially speaking, is any pooling of water in jars or bags. That being said I have certainly had jars and bags with extra water in them that did just fine but I've lost way more from over water than under. 

 

So a nice fluffy moist substrate is what most should shoot for......(Hyphaenation's puck tek makes everything I said bullshit but I'd wait to try those things until you've built a nice stash) Don't pack it into the jars tightly and definitely don't start shooting water into your inoculated jars......again at least until you're comfortable with knowing what effects you'll likely see when you do it. I'm not saying don't experiment but there's no need to reinvent the wheel either. PF Tek is brilliant......it changed things for the better....

 

Good growing vibes and welcome to all new(er) folks.......Mycotopia, a legitimate institution of higher learning.....

 


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#13 Zorkloin

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 06:51 PM

My hands are shakey, I'm not as fast as I used to be. I'll make more in the next couple days, I will get it right. I had a feeling I mite need two spore syringes though, and I did.

I did PF Tek three years ago and had fruits on the first try. But I have been learning on and off for years. I have already made a lot of mistakes, so in hindsight I should have thrown that damned last batch out ( because I wasted spores when I'm pretty sure it was too dry )

I live alone. So I ate about a gram and I started seeing energy cables coming and going in and out of things. I was not ready, I let it scare me and I gave the sacrament to a better prepared friend.

Now I need healing. I'm in bad  shape. I feel rushed. Every THING I do I feel rushed, but in this especially. I feel like I don't have many chances left to heal/ learn/ grow out of this horrible funk I am in



#14 TVCasualty

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 09:55 AM

I would highly recommend that you explore making a liquid culture.

 

It's arguably easier than making up a cake since it's just sugar water in a jar that has holes in the lid covered with silicone. Since you ordered more than one spore syringe you have an extra syringe you can use as an "airport" (used for gas exchange in LCs). If you make a few LC jars then you can inject 1cc from your spore syringes into each, and then inoculate at least 10 cakes from each LC with the resulting mycelium (greatly extending your purchased spores, and if managed well you won't need to buy spores again).

 

I guess you'll need three syringes at a minimum for starting a liquid culture (one with the spores, one for an airport, and one to draw up the mycelium from the LC to inoculte cakes with). Having multiple LCs is prudent, so each jar needs its own "airport" (a syringe filled with polyfil as a filter).

 

It's a step that adds a week or so to the length of a grow, but it could also greatly shorten the amount of time it takes to get a good harvest since you won't have to wait on new spores to be sent if a batch of cakes goes bad, among other advantages.


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#15 flashingrooster

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 06:49 PM

If you mix your BRF and verm thoroughly before adding water you will get more consistent results after adding the water. I'm not sure in what order or how you're mixing but its a simple hint that gets overlooked a lot.

 Sounds just like when you mix the dry ingredients together for a cake. Cool, that makes perfect sense to me I will try to remember that


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#16 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 08:40 AM

 

If you mix your BRF and verm thoroughly before adding water you will get more consistent results after adding the water. I'm not sure in what order or how you're mixing but its a simple hint that gets overlooked a lot.

 Sounds just like when you mix the dry ingredients together for a cake.

 

lol, that is literally exactly what you're doing. They're just cakes that don't taste very good, but can make your poop sparkle. :cool:



#17 Zorkloin

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 10:37 AM

I have growth on four of six jars. Kinda surprised. I see the ropy looking types of myc. climbing around the jar. I'll try to get pics later, to make sure I don't just have a contaminant farm

It looks slightly fluffy compared to all the myc. I've seen in the past, but it's not even been a week. The growth pattern follows the direction I squirted the h20 so I know it at least came from the syringe

Edit: I have some pics, do I have uploading privileges? all I see is a place to put a URL. How to upload pics? do I have to upload them to an outside pic source?

All the mycelium is fuzzy looking, no real ropy looking things yet, but it's only been a few days. I've heard of only colonization of only one type of mycellium resulting in no fruits... I don't want that. Seems like I remember reading about the two types of mycellium that must find each other in order to make consolidated mycellium.

I don't have a smart phone, and only an old digital camera. Hard to get close ups

https://i.postimg.cc...2c/100-3838.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc...qr/100-3840.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc...wM/100-3837.jpg
 


Edited by Zorkloin, 26 May 2020 - 02:51 PM.


#18 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 10:55 AM

Sounds good, and pics definitely help know for sure.



#19 flashingrooster

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 04:20 PM

 

 

If you mix your BRF and verm thoroughly before adding water you will get more consistent results after adding the water. I'm not sure in what order or how you're mixing but its a simple hint that gets overlooked a lot.

 Sounds just like when you mix the dry ingredients together for a cake.

 

lol, that is literally exactly what you're doing. They're just cakes that don't taste very good, but can make your poop sparkle. :cool:

 

Haha oh right,  they are called cakes :biggrin:  duh


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#20 Zorkloin

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 06:51 PM

Can anyone confirm I have proper mycellium? It's very hard to get a close up, It just doesn't look as ropey as I remember. And I recall a thing that happens.. where monokaryotic mycellium never meats dykaryotic and subsequently won't fruit? I do see some fiberous myc. in there, but I still am in disbelief it colonized this quickly.

I did used more spore water per jar, I think that's the reason I got really quick col.

https://i.postimg.cc...2c/100-3838.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc...qr/100-3840.jpg
https://postimg.cc/7GHKSG5X

 






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