I'm returning to the cultivation hobby after an extended hiatus - about 15 years. I've run into my first issue, although hopefully it's just a bump in the road. A month ago I made up 6 quarts of rye berry spawn and a dozen PF tek jars using some rye berries left over from 15 years ago. The grain had been stored in a sealed 5 gallon "Homer" bucket in the pantry and was ggod stuff when last used 15 years ago. It still looks fine. I pre-hydrated the whole grains for the quart jars and also used a coffee grinder to make rye flour for the otherwise standard PF cakes.
Long story short: the old rye berries didn't hardly work. 1/2 the PF jars didn't have one 'noc point germinate (out of 4 inoculation points per jar) and 1/2 had 1 or two take with weak growth. The whole grain jars, same story, 1/2 did nothing with the other half appearing started but stalled. No contamination either. Jars look fine, just dead. The kicker is that (luckily) I did 6 PF jars at the same time using fresh ground BRF and they all went as expected - all fully colonized in 14 days. Spores used were ATL#7 and tampanensis. The Atl#7 is already showing nice stone formation MS inoculation. The PF jars were intended for selecting stone and fruit material for clones and the grain jars were intended for harvest. At this point the whole grain jars look like a failure. Luckily I'm fairly confident I can get some good isolation material from the cake jars. Spores are $pendy now.
Anyone ever seen old grain which appears okay to totally fail like this? It just about has to be the rye because everything was identical with the BRF jars except the grain used.
What is your favorite grain for stone harvest now ? I'm going to buy fresh grain and chuck the last 10 lbs of the old rye. I hopefully will have a clean LC isolate in 10 days or 2 weeks, I'm going to needle biopsy the invitro stones tomorrow.. I like the looks of ATL#7 stones better than tampanensis and I think I'll move just that forward for a harvest attempt to begin with.