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Been a member for a few years, but first time posting with a few questions


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#1 TheBFA

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 09:44 AM

Howzit? I'm planning on getting back into cultivating, and looking to tighten up my process. When I say "get back into", I mean I've harvested once about 7 years ago. I thought it went pretty good for my first time, but ran into unexpected results with fruiting. I used BRF, and used a canning pot for sterilization, and ended up with 100% colonization with 10 jars using golden teacher spores. After colonization, I broke up the cakes into pieces and put into a baking pan for further colonizing. I don't remember the exact method now, but I followed some recipes from here I believe. The problem I ran into was having my fruiting chamber too short. I think I was using an under-bed style tote only about 8 inches deep. I didn't expect the shrooms to get so tall, some of them over 6 or 7 inches. I had a lot falling over from hitting the lid and started going bad.

But some questions I had (and I'm still searching for these myself, but it would much easier if I could get some quick "off the top of your head" answers instead of sifting through dozens of threads)

Should I harvest the shrooms individually as they hit a certain size? My understanding is the size means nothing as the amount of active ingredient remains the same as it grows. I plan on just leaving the cakes intact this time.

I used round band aids as my filter screen because it seemed the easiest to use, and I didn't get any contaminated jars on the first run. I believe I made a 1/4" hole in the center of the lids, and covered them with the band aids. They made it through steaming with no deterioration, and even looked like they could be used again after I pulled the cakes out. I made 1/8" holes for inoculation with silicone to self seal, which is why I didn't go with a tyvek disc over the top, which was my other consideration at the time. But is there any reason against using band aids in this manner that I should know about? I figure it could only be an improvement over micropore tape, and they come sterile, which micropore tape doesn't.

I used a canning pot before, and I had 100% success the first run, and 0% on my second, which I'm pretty sure was from shorting my time on the stove. I have an 8qt electric pressure cooker now, or steamer, or rice cooker. I'm not sure what to call it. I'm Asian and have been using a "rice cooker" my entire life, but I've never put anything in one other than white rice. If it were a standard stovetop pressure cooker, I wouldn't have any questions. But I have never seen any pressure settings for a rice cooker, and I know people have been using them. Is there a good general setting to select, like a specific food that would have a similar cooking time such as brown rice or steam vegetables?

I also have an electric roaster oven, and I've looked into that from seeing a few people ask questions, but haven't seen a definitive answer. The benefit is that I can probably do 20 jars at once, and I don't have to monitor the water level as much as a boiling canning pot. And the temperature is selectable. It seems like it would almost work perfectly.


Like I said, I'm steady looking for info, but some quick answers would be much appreciated, or some direction where to look. There's lots of info, but I'm looking for a recommendation on what info to follow, if that makes sense. Thanks again.

#2 TheBFA

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 10:03 AM

Another quick question that just popped up while looking through some posts...

Is it normal to fruit BFR cakes that look like granola bars? When I did mine, they were completely solid white, with absolutely no vermiculite left after 4 weeks. But I keep seeing these new grower posts with solid looking chunks of jar shaped verm, and nobody mentioning anything about it in the replies. Are people just being polite, or is that actually normal looking?

#3 TVCasualty

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 01:08 PM

Unless you're making spore prints, harvest just as the veil begins to break.They can be harvested one at a time as they reach that stage. If any are almost there before it's time for bed then pull those as well since they'll be fully open and dropping spores by morning (usually). IMO pulling them a bit early is much better than letting them sporulate.

 

If you're doing BRF jars, stick with the four small holes and dry verm layer approach. It works.There's no need for micropore tape or band aids.

 

 

 

I have an 8qt electric pressure cooker now, or steamer, or rice cooker. I'm not sure what to call it.

 

 

 

It's pretty important that you find out which it is. Pressure cook BRF jars for 60 minutes at 15 psig. Or a bit longer if restricted to 10-12 psig.

 

 

You can use the electric roaster oven to steam jars only so long as the heating element only heats the water, which doesn't seem likely. If there is an exposed heating element that heats the air (as opposed to being immersed in water) then it will dry out the jars and they will be useless.

 

 

Another quick question that just popped up while looking through some posts...

Is it normal to fruit BFR cakes that look like granola bars? When I did mine, they were completely solid white, with absolutely no vermiculite left after 4 weeks. But I keep seeing these new grower posts with solid looking chunks of jar shaped verm, and nobody mentioning anything about it in the replies. Are people just being polite, or is that actually normal looking?

 

Got a link to any photos of that? My guess is that it was someone doing a "dunk and roll" (rolling the cakes in vermiculite after a dunk).


Edited by TVCasualty, 19 July 2020 - 01:09 PM.


#4 Boebs

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 07:00 AM

The granola bar looking cakes, people roll their newly birthed cakes in fresh vermiculite. It helps hold water.

I use a large steam pot for my brf cakes.
I put them in for about 2 hours.
And i rarely have issues, usually i say contaminat is due to when i knock them up.

Rice cookers i bet would work, but nvr used mine for that..

#5 TheBFA

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 04:56 PM

I thought I replied again, but I don't see it here haha. I don't really want to call anyone out on the pics, but now that's it's been mentioned, I think a free I saw were exactly that. There just happened to be another one where they were fruiting straight from jars that weren't fully colonized.

I checked out the pressure cooker I have. It's an actual electric pressure cooker. It's a wolfgang puck 8qt. I can't find the operating pressure posted for it, but everything I'm seeing says to expect around 12.5psi. I have a rice cooker already, and I remember buying this one specifically for the jars. The only control it has is the timer, and it goes up to 90 min.

#6 TVCasualty

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 11:39 AM

90 minutes at 12-12.5 psig is plenty for BRF jars.



#7 rockyfungus

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:21 AM

I started the hobby with a  rice cooker/instant pot. They usually reach around 12psi like TV mentioned.

If a recipe calls for 90 mins @15psi. I just add about 20-30 minutes to be extra cautious. Once I went Presto, I only use rice cooker for agar/glassware.






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