Updated PF-Tek Guide 2017 Edition
Before we begin I personally feel that we need an update on the Pf-tek guide. This is that guide. Those old guides don't use an SAB or they use a Glovebox. Now it is to be noted that you don't technically need an SAB for Pf-Tek it's just recommended and can increase your success rate. It is also good practice for those who are going to eventually get into agar.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
We need the following items
- Vermiculite - Verm
- Brown Rice Flour - BRF
- 4 oz or 8 oz mason jars
- Hammer and Nail
- Pressure Cooker or Steamer
- SAB - Still Air Box
- Fruiting Chamber - SGFC or Monotub
- Alcohol Lamp, Torch, or lighter
- Tin Foil
- Spray Bottle
- Drill and a 1/4" Drill Bit or Soldering Iron (Making Holes in your SGFC)
- 70% ISO Alcohol
- Soap & Water Spray Bottle
- 5000k to 6500k Light Bulb
- 24 hour timer 12 on 12 off timer
- Spore Syringe or Liquid Culture or Liquid Inoculate
Step 2: Lets make some Lids & Load some Jars
It's time to load up our jars. The ratio is 2:1:1 - That means 2 parts Verm 1 Part BRF 1 Part Water. You can do any ammount you want as long as you stick to this ratio. So the up scaling is 4:2:2 8:4:4 and so on. I use cups. So in my case it'd be 2 cups verm 1 cup BRF and 1 cup water. If you are doing edibles here is an edibles formula by CH Hell. Edible Cakes
1. Prep our lids.
This is very simple, Take a hammer and a nail and drive 2 or 4 holes in the lids of your jars. I do mine like so.
I have found that it really doesn't matter if you have 2 or 4 holes. The only difference really is inoculation points. CBK Suggests using 1 hole in the center of the lid so you use less spore solution and once you see colonization you know the cake is almost ready.
2. Take two cups of verm and place it in a mixing container.
We want to achieve an ideal water content. Known as Field Capacity. I usually squeeze my verm until only a few drops of water comes out. I find that with these measurements though Field Capacity is met after adding the BRF
Once you add the BRF in it absorbs the excess water usually. I'd do a squeeze after adding the brf and mixing throughly. see whatcha get then
The purpose of those verm squeezes is to help new people identify what field capacity looks like. Cause its gonna look the same for Hpoo, coir, cpoo ect. the only difference will be the amount of water each material can hold.
Way Over Field Capacity
Over Field Capacity
4. Add 1 cup of Brown Rice Flour and mix thoroughly
5. Load up our jars with our BRF-Verm Mixture to the band line. When loading them, don't pack the mixture down. It needs to be light a fluffy.
6. Add our dry verm layer
To get it nice and even I use my finger and swipe it across after filling the jar over full like in the gif below.
7. Add Lid and Foil em up
It's time for sterilization