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Mini Monotub Smells Musty?


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#1 Akkariacher

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 06:23 PM

So I just got done with my first harvest using brf cakes. I want to move on to monotubs so I decided to make a small version to learn on a smaller scale. I used coco coir that I pasteurized and 3 half pint brf cakes. The strain is Huautla if it helps any. I shredded the cakes and mixed them with the coir 1:1 ratio. It colonized within 10 days so I put it into fruiting conditions. I'm noticing though that there is an off smell. When I first smell it it smells like healthy mushrooms, but then I get a whiff of something musty or like gym socks.
I originally had tape on the outside to prevent side pinning but took it off to see if the sides showed any signs of contam.
I have no idea what's wrong as it looks healthy I think? It also looks as if it's forming knots for pinning. But the smell is sussing me out.
Any idea what could be wrong? I've been keeping my misting to a minimum because I heard that it's a lot easier to overmist a tub than cakes. So I only mist if it looks dry and I don't mist directly. Here's some photos.
Edit: To clarify these are not spent cakes I'm using, they are cakes I inoculated in the middle of my first harvest. The cakes I put in the mini mono have not gone through any flushes prior.

20210109_181210.jpg 20210109_181208.jpg 20210109_181130.jpg

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Edited by Akkariacher, 09 January 2021 - 08:10 PM.


#2 HrVanker

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 07:57 PM

The other day, I came across a post from RogerRabbit (a legend in mycology) addressing the question: "Can we take spent cakes and crumble them into pasteurized sub to make a new tub/cake?" RR noted that when our subs sit out in the FC, they are collecting mold spores and bacteria. So we would be mixing those spores and bacteria into fresh sub, which is a recipe for mold and bacteria. It may not happen every time, but the chance is there.

 

Those brown patches might be something to watch. They don't appear to be fully colonized which leaves that area open to contamination, or they never fully colonized because they are contaminated. I would move it out of your grow area and keep an eye on it. You don't want a bunch of trich to show up and coat your grow space in spores!



#3 Akkariacher

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:03 PM

The other day, I came across a post from RogerRabbit (a legend in mycology) addressing the question: "Can we take spent cakes and crumble them into pasteurized sub to make a new tub/cake?" RR noted that when our subs sit out in the FC, they are collecting mold spores and bacteria. So we would be mixing those spores and bacteria into fresh sub, which is a recipe for mold and bacteria. It may not happen every time, but the chance is there.

Those brown patches might be something to watch. They don't appear to be fully colonized which leaves that area open to contamination, or they never fully colonized because they are contaminated. I would move it out of your grow area and keep an eye on it. You don't want a bunch of trich to show up and coat your grow space in spores!

Ah I see, I probably took it out of the Colonization stage too early... And I should have specified the cakes were already 100% colonized. That's when I shredded and mixed them with coco coir.

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#4 HrVanker

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:05 PM

From your first post, it sounded like you had flushed the cakes once and then crumbled them.



#5 Akkariacher

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:08 PM

From your first post, it sounded like you had flushed the cakes once and then crumbled them.

Crap you're right it does my bad. These are cakes that I inoculated in the middle of my first harvest. Once they were done colonizing they went straight into a mini mono with some coco coir. No spent cakes.

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#6 HrVanker

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:18 PM

Oh ok. Then yeah, you may have taken it out of colonization too early. I would also double check your pasteurization method, just be sure that you are keeping the sub between 160 and 180-ish degrees Fahrenheit, I typically aim for 2hrs or more.



#7 Akkariacher

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:27 PM

Oh ok. Then yeah, you may have taken it out of colonization too early. I would also double check your pasteurization method, just be sure that you are keeping the sub between 160 and 180-ish degrees Fahrenheit, I typically aim for 2hrs or more.

Should I keep the tub going to see if anything happens? And should I stop giving it light and fae? It's my only tub going on atm so there's nothing around it that could contam.

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#8 Moby

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 09:03 PM

Sock smell and slow colonization at a 1:1 spawn/bulk ratio sounds like bacteria.

I usually do 1:1 or 1.1,5 ratio and have full colonization in 3-4 days, 10 days is a bit long and suspect.

 

It can happen that after the first or the second flush something unwanted starts to show up.

 

________________

 

I did rebulk two small spent transkei tubs.

One tub I decided to cut away the outer layer and the other tub was just washed roughly with the whole hand under running water.

 

Bulked with plain sterilized straw pellets.

Was just a testrun and expected more from the straw, did work tho.

cake to straw ratio was roughly 1:0,5 should've taken more straw but well.

 

IMG_20200614_102051.jpg

 

The culture also wasn't isolated.

_________________

 

Hope everything goes well with your box



#9 HrVanker

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 09:07 PM

If you really want to get into in this hobby it's good to follow best practices so that you can achieve consistently positive results down the road. One of the best practices in this hobby is to isolate or throw away any substrate that is contaminated. This is for a few reasons:

1. Many types of mold spores are viable for many months, so even if you don't have anything else growing now, you could run into problems down the road. Some members here have had to clean their entire living space from floor to ceiling because the spore count was so high that their subs kept contaminating.

2. There are common molds and bacteria that can pose a risk to one's health if you maintain close quarters with them. [Google seems to think that the mold associated with the gym-sock smell is not likely to pose a health risk unless there are underlying conditions such as asthma or other respiratory issues]

 

All of that being said: You can probably leave it where it is and keep an eye on it. If you see any funny looking colors or the smell gets worse, follow what I said above. If you aren't sure whether a funny color is mold, try the q-tip test: Swab the colored area with a clean cotton swab. If the color transfers to the swab then it's highly likely that they are mold spores.



#10 coorsmikey

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 09:39 PM

When I hear "Musty" I think of an earthy mushroom smell. What I perceive when others say 'musty" I picture like a 100 yr old house or any church. This is the first time I have thought about musty and ass as the same, ass being what I perceive as gym socks smelling like. I am forever ruined!


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#11 jrh

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 11:02 PM

I would also double check your pasteurization method, just be sure that you are keeping the sub between 160 and 180-ish degrees Fahrenheit, I typically aim for 2hrs or more.

 

I thought it was 140 ish to 165 ish. If 170 is in range that makes life a lot easier.



#12 HrVanker

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 11:11 PM

 

I would also double check your pasteurization method, just be sure that you are keeping the sub between 160 and 180-ish degrees Fahrenheit, I typically aim for 2hrs or more.

 

I thought it was 140 ish to 165 ish. If 170 is in range that makes life a lot easier.

 

Cards on the table, I didn't look anything up. But 160 sticks in my mind as the lower-bound temp for pasteurization, and 180 isn't that much hotter while still being well below boiling.



#13 Sidestreet

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 08:29 AM

I haven't pasteurized anything in a long while, but I pulled out out my handy reference The Mushroom Cultivator by Stamets and Chilton (what?  You say you don't own a copy?  Well you should check it out!)

 

On page 119 they're talking about pasteurizing straw with steam: 

 

140 - 150 degrees at 2-4 hours

or as low as 122 degrees for 12-24 hours.

 

or in a hot water bath at 160 - 170 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

 

In Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Stamets, he has something slightly different on page 169, talking about 160 degrees for 1 to 2 hours.



#14 jrh

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 10:35 AM

I also think part of it is how long you let it "rest" after cooking. Don't drop the temp to 80 and use.... Let it come down to a useable temp over the course of hours to allow whatever good stuff is still alive in there do a dance on the bodies of their fallen enemies and multiply.



#15 Sidestreet

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 10:48 AM

Oh yeah, and you don't want to hurt the mycelium in your spawn either.  Let it cool all the way for sure.



#16 Akkariacher

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 01:39 PM

Alright so I've been keeping an eye on my mini tub and it's started to pin. The smell now is a kind of sour/sweet smell, mainly on the sides of the tub. It's not overpowering, very subtle but definitely something there. Still no visible signs of contam (that I know of) but I'm not sure if I should let it fruit or throw it out? 20210112_133601.jpg 20210112_133554.jpg

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