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Wet towel tek ... indoors?


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#1 ElPirana

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 12:47 PM

I guess this is directed to TV since my question is based on his tek:

https://mycotopia.ne...-wet-towel-tek/

First, I did follow the original tek earlier this summer and it worked very well.

I am curious now, what do you think would be the results if trying this indoors? I was thinking of using a couple tubs, with a towel over each. Since this would be indoors, I would simply run a fan and direct the airflow across the top of the tubs.
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#2 PJammer24

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:31 PM

I am interested to see what TV has to say since I have never done this. I think your biggest issue would be to ensure adequate FAE since you are indoors rather than outdoors... Indoors, evaporation from the towel may not occur as quickly. You also do not have the sun beating down so evaporation from the towel will be slower. There is a chance that there will be issues with the towel growing mold that were not an issue on the outdoor grows...

 

TV is a pretty thorough and experienced Topiate... More than likely, he has already considered the potential pitfalls when doing this indoors.


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#3 TVCasualty

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:40 PM

You risk humidifying the room they're in to the degree that it may encourage mold growth depending on how much fresh air circulation the room gets.

 

I used the towel tek indoors a bunch of times, with numerous bins in a room that had no drywall or exposed wood (a basement room with block walls that I added a ceiling made from FRP to it). You don't need to have a fan blowing over them, and in fact that will probably cause problems. I'd definitely paint over any exposed wood and a fresh coat on the walls (esp. if they're drywall) is always good for helping keep things clean.

 

They get enough fresh air as-is in the bins so long as the room itself has some fresh air exchange going on (the gap under the door when it's closed may be enough unless you have a ridiculous number of bins, like more than 20), and if I think they need more air I just fold back the edges of the towel to expose a thin margin of window screen around it so air can circulate unimpeded.

 

 

Pro-Tip: Don't use FRP as a ceiling. It worked, but takes 4 people to install each panel if you want to maintain your sanity. I only had one helper and it was a nightmare and it kind of looks like crap, but it's functional.


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#4 ElPirana

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for the replies, the concerns you both brought up make sense. I’ll just stick with my normal fruiting indoors for now and may just start another tub out on the deck again. I really don’t wanna risk any mold issues! I wonder if the extra humidity might actually be beneficial for the room once the seasons change and the furnace is running, the air gets damn dry inside.

#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the replies, the concerns you both brought up make sense. I’ll just stick with my normal fruiting indoors for now and may just start another tub out on the deck again. I really don’t wanna risk any mold issues! I wonder if the extra humidity might actually be beneficial for the room once the seasons change and the furnace is running, the air gets damn dry inside.

 

Your reply reminded me that the season is an important factor even when growing indoors, at least where I live.

 

Heating a room is easily accomplished in ways that maintain cleanliness, such as with an oil-filled radiant heater that requires no fan (don't forget to block off the HVAC duct to the room, if there is one).

 

Cooling (in a residential setting) is a serious challenge, however, since using a central A/C blows microbiologically-dirty air into the room, or if using a mini-split mold can grow in the tray where the condensation is channeled into the drain hose and the fan circulating the cool air also circulates the resulting mold spores around the room.

 

What I ended up doing, or rather what I was forced into doing was only growing during times of year when I needed to heat the room (to maintain my preferred temp of 75℉/24℃). As soon as I don't need to use A/C for my own comfort I need to start heating the grow room for the mushrooms' comfort, and when a room is warmer than surrounding rooms (or outside) then the humidity generated by evaporating towels is being pushed out of the room towards cooler, drier air so it doesn't build up enough in the grow room to cause problems.

 

The principle to keep in mind with grow room humidification is that moisture is driven by heat from warmer spaces toward cooler spaces. In Summer, humidity is constantly being pumped into the room by hot weather (or whenever it's warmer outside than inside). It would be boosted even higher by a bunch of wet towels. To keep mold from growing in the room all that excess humidity has to be dehumidified by a dehumidifier or air conditioner, both of which tend to be mold factories (and a dehumidifier also heats the air, so isn't really a viable option by itself).

 

I actually did go to the trouble of installing a one-room mini-split just for my grow space, and while it was brand new and squeaky-clean it worked great and allowed me to grow indoors all Summer long in tropical weather.  By the third year contam rates were becoming unacceptable, and I ruled out everything but the mini-split as the cause. They don't design those things to be cleaned to the degree that cooling a lab space requires, so they're not really a viable solution to the cooling problem, either.

 

And never cover your walls with plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier (just in case the idea had crossed anyone's mind).


Edited by TVCasualty, 03 September 2020 - 10:34 AM.

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#6 LIFELESSDEAD

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 02:23 AM

Why should we not cover the walls with plastic?

#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 10:58 AM

Why should we not cover the walls with plastic?

 

Because heat pushes moisture towards cooler spaces until it hits a vapor barrier, where it will gather until the heat flow is reversed. In most cases this would be restricted to walls that face the outside of the house and not walls separating rooms.

 

So outdoor humidity gets pushed inside in Summer until it reaches the cooler plastic lining the wall where it condenses and builds up between the wall and plastic until it's a sopping wet mold factory that will require tearing out and replacing the drywall to fix.



#8 Jrotten

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 08:55 PM

Why should we not cover the walls with plastic?


Because heat pushes moisture towards cooler spaces until it hits a vapor barrier, where it will gather until the heat flow is reversed. In most cases this would be restricted to walls that face the outside of the house and not walls separating rooms.

So outdoor humidity gets pushed inside in Summer until it reaches the cooler plastic lining the wall where it condenses and builds up between the wall and plastic until it's a sopping wet mold factory that will require tearing out and replacing the drywall to fix.
Different circumstances but the same principles involving HVAC in a hot humid climate are the reason I keep mentioning a high ambient spore count and major repairs to my house. I’ve had to gut 2 rooms to studs and joists and rebuild after fixing the source of additional water creating the humidity and vapor drive. Even people that should understand this well frequently don’t. At work I just saw this create a subfloor in a million dollar house have greater than 50% moisture content in the subfloor planks. The crawl space was raining like an over wet fruiting chamber.

Edited by Jrotten, 06 September 2020 - 08:58 PM.


#9 clumsy

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 09:43 PM

The links you put in your original towel tek are no longer good. It would be cool if this were fixed :rolleyes: @TVCasualty



#10 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 08:18 AM

The links you put in your original towel tek are no longer good. It would be cool if this were fixed :rolleyes: @TVCasualty

 

It appears that the images didn't continue to be embedded in the posts after the last platform migration (the links were just to the photos). Fortunately the photos are all still there, just as thumbnails. I guess I can fix that.


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#11 LIFELESSDEAD

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 08:18 PM

Ah that's great advice? I was considering lining a closet but now I will do something else. Maybe a grow tent then!

#12 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 10:51 PM

You can build a room inside the room with PVC pipe as a frame and sheeting for walls. Basically a custom-built tent, and you can make a door with adhesive tarp zippers.

 

I'm not sure what commercial grow tents sell for these days but DIY with PVC is probably cheaper. I've built all kinds of crap with PVC and usually don't use any cement with most of the fittings since the structural requirements are minimal. There are some really cool specialty fittings available online, too. Like "hinge" fittings and 5 and 6-way hubs, etc.






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