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Updated PF-tek Guide

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#1 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:05 AM

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
  • Perlite
  • 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

Ziran said:

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


5 Way over FC

Over Field Capacity


6 over FC


At Field Capacity

7 At FC

3. Add 1 cup of water to the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.



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. thumbup.gif


17 swipe

7. Add Lid and Foil em up



It's time for sterilization



#2 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:06 AM

Step 3: Sterilizing

Steaming - Taken from this guide here EvilMushroom666's Take on BRF Cakes


1. Line the bottom of your pot with spare jar rings as shown.
2. Add water to the top of your layer of jar rings. You want 1-2 inches of water.



3. Place your layer of folded tinfoil on top of the layer of jar rings.



4. Next place your substrate jars on to the tinfoil and make sure they are not in direct contact with the water, as started before it is the steam that will do the sterilization.



5. Place your TIGHT fitting lid on and turn your burner to high. Once the water starts boiling turn the burner down to a simmer and start your 90-120 minute timer. I prefer 120 minutes personally as it gives me a higher rate of success.







6. If you are not using a tight fitting lid a lot of steam will escape and your pot will tend to boil dry. This will warp the bottom of your pot ruining it. I cannot emphasis how important a tight fitting lid is. If you need to add more water at anytime, use hot tap water and carefully pour it in your pot. Keep a close eye on your pot, work sober, be careful and add water if and when needed.

7. After the time is up leave the lid on, remove from heat and let cool overnight.

Pressure Cooking


1. Place your trivet or metal rack (I use a combo of both) into the bottom of your PC and fill with 3 quarts of water for a 23 quart presto. (Refer to your manual if your PC is a different style.)







2. Place your jars on the metal rack above the water line.



3. Follow your pressure cookers instructions to bring it up to pressure (15 PSI) and let it cook for 45 to 60 minutes.



4. After your pressure cooker cycle has finished turn off your burner and allow to cool for at least 8 hours or just let it sit overnight.


Edited by Ziran, 05 April 2021 - 04:17 AM.

#3 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:06 AM

Step 4: Inoculation

1. Prep our SAB for work. How to prep your SAB for work

2. Load up our SAB with our jars.



3. Flame sterilize our spore syringe and inoculate each hole. I usually inoculate two jars then re-flame sterilize my syringe needle.





4. And into the jar the needle goes. Try to angle the needle a bit, so when you slide it in it goes up against the glass in between the verm layer and the glass. I use about a drop or two in each inoculation hole.



We leave the foil off after inoculation for a few reasons.

  • The foil blocks Gas Exhange and can cause jars to stall
  • Condensation can form on the foil causing the dry verm layer to fail


Edited by Ziran, 05 April 2021 - 04:16 AM.

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#4 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:08 AM

Step 5: The Wait - Incubation

This is the longest part of the whole process. The wait. Incubation should take place at 68 to 75 degree's Fahrenheit (20 to 24 Celsius). Germination usually takes about a week and full colonization can range from anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. I store mine on a shelf in a room, pretty straight forward. Here are some cakes in various stages of the process

Freshly inoculated:



Partially Colonized:



Fully Colonized:



Once they are fully colonized we need to wait about 1 week for consolidation. Then its time to birth the cakes.


Edited by Ziran, 05 April 2021 - 04:16 AM.

#5 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:09 AM

Step 6: Birthing, Dunking and Rolling

So, you want to skip the dunk and roll? Well. Heres an experiment of how much water gets absorbed by a BRF cake after different amounts of time Water absoprtion in BRF cakes -[EXPERIMENT] by Mateah

Birthing a cake is pretty straight forward. I take my lid off the jar flip it upside-down over the sink and spank the bottom till it pops out of the jar.
There are various ways to dunk and roll a cake. I do mine like CBK does. In fact heres the link - CBK's Dunk and Roll - Getting Verm to Stick

Below is how Shea25 does her's - Taken from her thread here Pf-tek done right by shea25

1. Birthed the cake



2. Gives her a good rinse.



3. And then she dunks in this type of container. I usually dunk my own cakes for about 20 hours in the jar or in a glad container big enough to hold a few cakes.




4. Then she rolls her cake in verm like so.







How I dunk and roll my cakes

The Dunk

1. Crack open the jar and dump the dry verm layer into the garbage.





2. Birth the cake by spanking the bottom of the jar. It should pop right out with ease.

3. Rinse the remainder of the dry verm layer off.




4. Fill a container big enough for the cake to become fully submerged in. I use these glad containers. You can fit 2 to 3 of the half pints in one of these containers or about 4 or 5 of the small 4 oz jelly jar cakes.





5. Snap the lid on and flip her over if your using these containers. I find that helps with any air pockets.



The Roll

1. Fill a bowl with enough vermiculite to make a "grave".





2. Place the soaking wet cake into the "grave"



3. Bury the cake with vermiculite.



4. Firmly press the vermiculite onto the cake. This will get it to stick.





6. Put that bad boy in your fruiting chamber. - If using a SGFC cut some foil to the exact size of the cake. CBK uses these bottom watering dishes. I use these dishes here ---> Link <---


Edited by Ziran, 05 April 2021 - 04:20 AM.

#6 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:10 AM

Step 7: Fruiting Time

The finish line is nearing! If you have already constructed your SGFC lets load those cakes up. If not here is a link to Spitball Jedi's SGFC Tek

Here is a picture of my SGFC and some lighting setups.



Lighting from the side:



If I were to grow in a closet, I would simply do my lighting like so.



Also noted I normally don't begin misting until my freshly dunked cakes have been in my chamber for about 12 to 20 hours. I find this helps with keeping the verm stuck to the cakes a lot better. Mist when the cakes need it, there is no set schedule. If they look dry and aren't glistening with moisture anymore its probably a good time to mist em. Here's a good link for assessing how they should look. The Misted Cake Project by Spitball Jedi.

We also don't want our cakes sitting directly on the perlite. So trim some foil down to the size of the cake or use a mason jar lid. CBK makes these bottom watering dishes to sit his cakes in, or you can use these reusable bottom watering dishes[/url]

Freshly Placed in the SGFC



Fruiting Cakes



Here are some baller cakes by Zelikoo





Step 9: Harvest

This is pretty straight forward. Use an xacto knife or scissors to cut the base of the stipe. Although, some users prefer to twist and pull. Sometimes that pulls off some of the sub with it and I don't recommend that.

After harvest we need to dry out our fruits. Dehydrators are the only way to go on this. Here is a comparison on drying fruits. Mushboy's Dry Fruit Comparison


-= Credits =-

ComeBackKid - Thanks for the bottom water and double dunk tek
Munch - Thanks for the sweet SAB vid
EvilMushroom and Shea25 - Gave me a platform to build on
Mushboy - Dry Fruit Comparison
Mateah - That sexy brf water absorption experiment
SpitballJedi - SAB, Mono, and SGFC Tek links. As well as Misted cake project
Everyone on the shroomery!

Edited by Ziran, 05 April 2021 - 04:24 AM.

#7 Ziran



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Posted 05 April 2021 - 04:26 AM

I know this guide is from 2017, but its something I made and is pretty solid. Seeing how the shroomery is down I'd figure I'd bring it over here for you guys. enjoy.

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