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Agar Agar: The 2020 Agar Agar Thread


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#1 Akari

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 10:35 AM

So I'll reluctantly admit. I didn't really know how to use the vaults in the past.
 
I do now though. The Encyclopedias has no entry when you click agar. I don't know who still fucks with it, but I've been eating the vaults, and I can only cross reference many other threads... Sadly, I can't present the information, I'm trying to figure it out. I've found recipes, but I'm confused about quite a bit.
 
I have a number of questions, and if we could have the best of the best post their agar recipes here, it would be a singular resource for people trying their hand at agar for the first time. With grain/sub/casing, there's enough info to make a hodgepodge, but agar seems cloaked with "smart people" mystery.
 
I assure you, I am a "smart people", I just need info. People are not totally clear about everything. Most of the agar threads are guys asking questions about agar. (I'm so unique) But I'll specifically ask people who answer to write super professionally and clearly. This is the new one stop shop agar thread for post Covid 19 sanitation equipment scarce environment.
 
Few starter questions tho.
 
If I make a liter of agar, am I cooking that DOWN to less. Or am I gonna have a whole damn liter of jelly? Because, no.
 
Also, additives such as charcoal, and other coloring agents... You know what. Scratch that question ....
 
He's my question stated professionally.
 
What are the base constituents of agar and what are their purposes. We know you need grain, sub, and the ingredients in the subs, but agar, I only understand it needs carbohydrates... So what carbos are the best? And what purpose does any non sugar ingredients (such as charcoal) serve in agar.
 
Also, you can PC (as oppose to autoclave) agar correct.
 
And I have yet to find a comprehensive Tek teaching me exactly how to cook it step by step... Please help.
 
This thread can include links internal and external if you don't wanna write a bunch. YouTube videos? Please! This is the new Agar Agar thread... 
 
Let's Go!!!!!!


#2 mushit

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 12:57 PM

Here is a couple links.  They are found in the archives.

 

https://mycotopia.ne...le-and-recipes/

https://mycotopia.ne...media-cookbook/

https://mycotopia.ne...html?1037044369

 

That should be enough for a couple minutes. :tongue:


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#3 Akari

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 01:51 PM

Bro! You made short work of this thread in three links. BEAUTIFUL. This thread still helped to make a easy singular source. Fantastic! I'm about to eat some info!



#4 Arathu

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 12:13 PM

post-113856-0-40069400-1596215367.jpg

 

(Malt-Dextrose-Yeast Extract-Antibiotic-Agar)

MDYAA

 

Agar rules!

 

Definitely worth studying and experimenting....IMHO

 

A

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#5 sandman

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:47 PM

Mushit this the 2020 agar thread we don't wanna see that old shit!

 

I might have something to show.

 

20200722_191033.jpg

 

on that new shit


Edited by sandman, 31 July 2020 - 06:52 PM.

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#6 ItBeBasidia

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 07:55 PM

Ive been digging grain water agar. I use 250 ml grain water, 250 ml water, and 9g agar.

Heres pics of GWA vs. PDA.

The GWA was noccd 2 weeks after the PDA and has more robust growth.8f760991ee031393c5d30f3fc00a5805.jpga89db24e9dac1e0364402e5b45f251cf.jpg
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#7 sandman

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 10:37 PM

I dont like PDA I think it sucks compared to MEA. Never done the GWA though, don't really soak grains personally.


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#8 ItBeBasidia

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:46 PM

Yeah, I'd say for anyone dabbling in agar, skip the PDA.

#9 ItBeBasidia

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:56 PM

what is that puncture tool you got there sandman?

#10 sandman

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 10:42 AM

Its a piece of stainless 304 seamless tubing, 1/4" OD x 0.01 wall

 

I cut one end to be a scalpel and one end is a punch. Circular transfers gives the best circular growth patterns and you can use the circles to "spawn" master grain jars/bags too.

 

Much easier to flame this, cool it and cut 100 circles at one time and lift out with the other end.

 

20200722_190959.jpg

 

 


Edited by sandman, 01 August 2020 - 10:43 AM.

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#11 Arathu

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:09 AM

 I have some stainless tubing too....I like those agar plugs.

 

A



#12 rockyfungus

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:37 AM

I use a leather punch to do the same thing, really digging the custom tool!



#13 Akari

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:17 PM

I got a lot of research to do still before I can make an educated response. Just being honest here. Been really busy, but I'll have some sit-down time soon.



#14 Arathu

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 03:20 PM

No way is this comprehensive on my part just my thoughts and general procedures.....for better or worse this is my understanding of things...

 

Keep in mind I'm known to eat mushrooms........and make strange tribal sounds with various instruments and objects....... :cool:

 

My basic recipe is an MEA (Malt Extract Agar):

500 ml well water (which is very rich in iron here) - hydration

10g Agar Agar- gelatinization

10g Malt Extract- sugar(s)

 

To which many other supplements are added......depending on what I'm trying to do.....

 

Based upon information from Chapter 12 of GGMM, Stamets:

 

  • Agar coagulates water when added in excess of 10g/1000ml H2O which is the basis for this technique (various nutrient's are added to the water-agar base)
  • One of the most common is a fortified version of Malt Extract Agar (MEA, has water, agar, and malt (sugar))
  • Yeast and Peptone adds vitamins and amino acids
  • Sugars, complex sources preferably so the organism has to "work" to get at them and diversified so the spectrum of digestive enzyme production stays wide and adaptable (no lazy fungus), are essential for healthy growth of mycelium
  • Well water, spring water, or rain water should be used and chlorinated water avoided, distilled water is probably not necessary just IMHO

Nitrogen and Carbohydrate Supplements are basically added to the above ratio "baseline" MEA mostly in 1g increments/item (for 500 ml water batches) and in various combinations like this:

  • 1g yeast extract
  • 1g peptone
  • 1g oatmeal or oat bran
  • 1g rye or wheat flour
  • 0.5g soybean meal
  • 0.5g spirolina
  • 1g high quality dog food

End (fruiting) Substrate Additives can be used as well to introduce the mycelium to the targeted fruiting substrate early in it's life:

  • 1.5g sawdust(s) dried and powdered depending on the species of mushroom
  • 1.5g manure(s) dried and powdered depending on the species of mushroom
  • 1.5g dried and powdered straw
  • 1.5g dried and powdered woody stems and roots depending on the species of mushroom
  • 1.5g dried and powdered insects depending on the species of mushroom
  • and etc. etc. crazy things like plastic, cigarette butts, petrol, and ????? Politicians ??????

 

All of the mediums should be as fresh as possible and kept absolutely as dry as possible for storage. I collect desiccant packs of various sizes and "recharge" them in an oven or dehydrator. The ingredients I buy are extremely hygroscopic, VERY susceptible to humidity in the air, and additives are dehydrated in one of the same units my mushrooms are dried in. A good heavy mortar and pestle are quite useful as are food processing and coffee grinders.   

 

The process I'm currently using goes something like this:

 

small_GEDC7474.jpg

Water is put into a 1000ml screw cap flask and set on the hotplate stirrer to warm up and spin. Ingredients are weighed out to the added mix. I'll heat and spin them for 20 to 30 minutes or so until it looks like nothing more is going to happen and it's as well mixed as it's going to get. Vented cap screwed on and aluminum foil wrapped....into the PC

 

small_GEDC7491.jpg

15 psi for 30 minutes usually....I don't think I run anything under 30 minutes any more, even my agar and I ramp my heat up to where I want it not put the fires of Surt to it immediately.....I do 500ml batches to try and avoid boiling over issues (the picture shows an example of me trying to cheat and get away with 750 ml batch of water which DIDN'T work out for me so I got to scrub the PC of overflow)....and it works well with the number of plates I usually have....especially now with the glass.

 

small_GEDC7500.jpg

After the appropriate timer goes off the PC is moved in front of the hood and allowed to cool and depressurize........in the HEPA filtered air stream.....

 

small_GEDC7507.jpg

After which the flask and other goodies that also got sterilized are removed from the PC.....the agar in the flask is returned to a stirring plate, now in (pretty close but not quite in the pic) the stream as well, and spun until it cools to 45c.....

 

small_GEDC7510.jpg

Plates are poured, I try to get them even and maximize the batch, hopefully I wait long enough and cool enough that my condensation is minimal....then they are allowed to cool completely.

 

I store my plates upside down in brand new Ziploc bags in a cool place (a refrigerator is optimal but I prefer NOT to use the one in a kitchen) also a clean new sealing tote in a cool basement works well.


Edited by Arathu, 01 August 2020 - 03:41 PM.

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#15 Akari

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 05:36 PM

Looks like MEA is good for starters. I'll probably add poo and charcoal.

 

So let me clarify this. It can be stored in the refrigerator until use correct?

And when growing the myc, does the incubation temp change?



#16 Arathu

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 05:47 PM

Yes within reason but sterile agar will keep in the fridge for a good amount of time....

 

I incubate plates in the same place that I incubate grains and other substrates in jars and bags....just up on a shelf ...

 

A


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#17 YoshiTrainer

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:05 PM

I make mine in 1/4 pint jars that seal in the PC, they get stored on a shelf until I need them.

I do no pour with a recipe similar to Arathu's. I mix 3 tbl of DME and 3 tbl of agar in a plastic bowl with a lid. In each 1/4 pint jar, 10ml of water and 1/4 tsp DME/agar mix, wipe rim, add the lid and band. I tighten them all the way then loosen about a 1/4 turn. PC 15 psi for 30 min.

I add different food coloring to keep track of time or special mixes.
For additives, I use charcoal to help start old spores. With fresh spores it is not necessary but doesn't hurt.
I also make teas with hardwood, pine, straw, poo, rice, grain soak, etc. Add tbl or two of your target ingredients to water being used to make agar or even LC. Let sit for 10 min or so, strain and use as needed.

Like Arathu mentions, you can add all sorts of other things to optimize your agar or LC. I made agar and LC the other night from a tea with straw, rye grass seeds and pinch of HPOO.

Lastly, so far, plain DME and agar has sprouted every mushroom species I have gotten to try including woodlovers, grass lovers and poo lovers. They might grow happier on special mixes which still contain MEA, it is a great workhorse.

Edited by YoshiTrainer, 01 August 2020 - 10:19 PM.

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#18 ItBeBasidia

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:13 PM

Gotta say, flow hood and setup is looking top notch Arathu .

I've been using a Don Julio tequila bottle and a microwave to heat up my agar. How nice is that hot stir plate?

I usually try to put a bit of future subs in my agar and grain. I think it not only helps adapt the myc, but also is a form of environmental selection when germinating spores for the best candidates. I love the Stamets cultivation books.
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#19 rockyfungus

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:55 PM

I lately prefer my agar on the softer side. 500 mL filtered water + 8g agar + 10g of MEA is my go to formula.

If people are having issues with clumping, or not mixed solution. I'm a bit lucky and use a filtered water dispenser that has the red handle. Seems to be the perfect temperature for mixing and making tea.

With 2-4 grams less of agar you have a stickier agar. Wedges will transfer and adhere instantly. You can transfer, seal up and invert if you store upside down. With the stiffer agar, my wedges risked falling at the slightest bump.

 

If you transfer your wedge to sterilized water and shake you can cheat and make a liquid agar that isn't quite as vigorous as LC, but more vigorous then wedges. (Just make sure that shit is clean!)
Two transfers out is usually plenty clean if you have a clean starting point, the smaller the area you grab the better the odds it's clean.

Gel food dye works way better then a liquid based one. If you want those plates to be translucent filter through cheese cloth before you add to your media bottle.

I got my start with PP5 Tupperware/containers/mason jars from the dollar store/thrift stores. Round and shallow if you want a petri dish look.

I have every odd shape/size and they all work, just pour thin. With random PP5 you can foil all the pieces individually (or all lids together and stacked PP5 containers separately foiled). If you work in front of a SAB use a clean baking rack/grill elevated off the bottom and put all pieces face down on the rack to allow any condensation to fall out. I allow my agar to cool at this time. Once it's cool pour and close 'em up.

Or if you got a flowhood you could allow your PP5/Lids to remove any condensation as a Arathu pointed out.
 

 

Anyone a fan of swabs, syringes, or just your plain old xacto/scapel?

Edited: to add part of the stash. Dang, don't get me started on slants. The round open container is my favorite (PP5 Jewelry cases)

stash.png


Edited by rockyfungus, 01 August 2020 - 09:09 PM.

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#20 mushit

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:29 PM

Mushit this the 2020 agar thread we don't wanna see that old shit!

That old shit is all I know!

I have been away too long.... :wacko:
 


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