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What can I expect from my first grow?


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#1 Ringo

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 01:30 PM

Hi gang. New here. New to shrooms. 50+ year pot head/grower. Just wondering what I can expect from my first grow. I plan to do PF Tek. I have everything ready to go except the spores and they should be here any day.

 

My buddy told me that when he grew shrooms many years ago, out of 24 jars, all but 3 or 4 were contaminated. Seems like a high failure rate to me.

 

I have 10 jars. 10 ml syringe of spores. I made a still air box. I don't have a pressure cooker so I'll be sterilizing on the stove in a pot. I have read a ton of tuts and watched a ton of vids. There are conflicts among the info (which is typ on the internet) but for the most part, I know how to follow instructions and I have everything in line. Hoping for a much better success rate than he had. He didn't do PF Tek. He used agar and went that way. I guess this was before PF posted his method for PF Tek.

 

I'm not looking for a bonanza the first time but I would like to see a relative measure of success.

 

If shrooms help me out with my Bi-Polar and depression and OCD and AADD and the other mental issues I have, I'll be growing bigger crops. PF looked like a fun intro method.

 

Well gang, thanks for being here and I'm sure I'll have some questions along the way. I'll post some pics once it gets going.

 

Thanks again

Ringo

 


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#2 Moonless

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 04:51 PM

Pulling up a chair and smoking a doobie brother!


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#3 Sidestreet

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:03 PM

3XWebZk

 

 

 

My buddy told me that when he grew shrooms many years ago, out of 24 jars, all but 3 or 4 were contaminated. Seems like a high failure rate to me.

 

That IS super high.  If you start with a quality vendor-made spore syringe and closely follow a good PF-tek writeup, that should not happen.  I think some of your green thumb might translate, but of course fungi are very different.

 

Sounds like you're well-prepared.  I think you'll do fine.

 

While you're here, if you are up for it, drop in on Mycotopia's Grassroots forum too.


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#4 PJammer24

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:34 AM

Your friend had a very high contamination rate but you should not be surprised if your rate is also high if you are not using a pressure cooker... It is possible to complete sterilization using a water bath but is less effective. I would suggest research "fractional sterilization" and follow that methodology... You will find that following those steps will increase your potential for success...

 

I am not a PF tek guru but I would suspect that 10 ml of solution is not enough to do ten jars... If you look at the PF tek directions, there are 3-4 holes in each jar that will need to receive solution. I would expect to put .5-1ml in each of those holes.

 

You can prepare for PF tek using agar... Agar is used to isolate genetics, clean up cultures, cloning, etc... It is not a method of actual fruiting mushrooms but this is besides the point.

 

Good luck!

 

Get yourself a pressure cooker and your chances of success increase dramatically!


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#5 Ringo

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:24 AM

Thanks gang, I appreciate the feedback.

 

@sidestreet I can definitely contribute in the grassroots forums. Especially the edibles sections. I am currently working on using maltodextrin to make cannabis oil water soluble. This does 2 things. It changes the onset from over an hour to about 10 minutes and it shortens the duration. More like Delta9 than Hydroxy11.

 

Also, once the oil is mixed with maltodextrin and is water soluble, it makes the most incredible home made beer that you can imagine. Also, awesome hard apple cider. I'll post my recipes over there as soon as I get a minute.

 

@PJammer24 I am headed to GoodWill today to try to find a pressure cooker. You're not the first to say it will increase my chances over steam sterilizing. Has anyone considered using the "sanitize" cycle on their dishwasher? Not real sure of the difference between sanitize and sterilize.

 

Also, the instructions I saw (actually several of them) said to squirt 1/4ml into each of the 4 holes so it would be 1ml per jar. However, I also felt this was a "no way". 1/4 ml is not very much and in a 10ml syringe, it would actually be difficult to squirt only 1/4 ml at a time.

 

So, I will figure closer to 1/2ml per hole and see what happens.

 

Thanks again, guys for the input.


Edited by Ringo, 13 April 2021 - 09:25 AM.

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#6 jrh

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:37 AM

No, you can't sterilize PF cakes in the dishwasher. The outside of the jar might be sterilized, but certainly not the center of the cake.

 

When you inoculate your cakes, tilt the jar so that the inoculation hole is at the bottom and inject your spore water right at the glass. This gives you the satisfaction of seeing growth as soon as possible and the advantage of seeing contams from dirty syringes as soon as possible. Contams from inadequate sterilization might be lurking in the middle, unfortunately.


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#7 Ringo

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 11:32 AM

OK, you all convinced me. (I'm easy LOL). Just got back from a WallyMart run. Got a Presto 16 qt Pressure Canner (is this the same as a pressure cooker? (I hope)). I liked this unit for a number of reasons over the "pressure cookers". This has a nice flat bottom and a rack for the jars. The 'cookers' had mostly round bottoms which would make it tough to sit jars straight. Plus, this was WAY bigger and will definitely hold twice as many jars. Hopefully, this will sterilize properly. I am not going to open it until I hear, just in case I need to return it. Again, thanks in advance for the help.

 

And, right next to it was a Presto Food Dehydrator (in anticipation of many many harvests. LOL). From what I have read so far, the dehydrator is way better than sun or oven drying. Not sure if that's true but for $40, I figured I'd grab it.

 

Peace

Ringo

 

EDIT: I have another quick question, if I may? Is a BIGGER fruiting chamber better? I am probably going to end up with 6 jars. I have 2 clear plastic bins I can use as fruiting chambers. One is 32 qt and roughly 18"x14". Looks like it would fit 6 jars nicely about 3 or 4" apart. Maybe more.The other is huge. About 4 times bigger at 14"x22" and twice as tall. I have plenty of perlite for the bottom of either. Lots of nice air moving in a bigger box but is that what I want? Or, is the smaller box easier to maintain high humidity? Thanks


Edited by Ringo, 13 April 2021 - 12:01 PM.

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#8 Sidestreet

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 04:34 AM

 

Also, the instructions I saw (actually several of them) said to squirt 1/4ml into each of the 4 holes so it would be 1ml per jar. However, I also felt this was a "no way". 1/4 ml is not very much and in a 10ml syringe, it would actually be difficult to squirt only 1/4 ml at a time.

 

So, I will figure closer to 1/2ml per hole and see what happens.

 

1/4 ml should be enough if your spore water is good.  One thing I'll do to try to conserve is to grip the syringe with my fist so that my thumb is on the plunger.  This gives better control.  Then I'll push down when ready, watching the plunger in the syringe barrel for any movement at all.  Still, it's not easy for me to stretch 10 ml to ten jars.  Once you get to the point where you can make your own spore prints and spore water, you'll be able to make way more spore water than you need.

 

 

 

@sidestreet I can definitely contribute in the grassroots forums. Especially the edibles sections. I am currently working on using maltodextrin to make cannabis oil water soluble. This does 2 things. It changes the onset from over an hour to about 10 minutes and it shortens the duration. More like Delta9 than Hydroxy11.

 

Also, once the oil is mixed with maltodextrin and is water soluble, it makes the most incredible home made beer that you can imagine. Also, awesome hard apple cider. I'll post my recipes over there as soon as I get a minute.

 

I think this crowd would LOVE to hear more about that stuff!

 

 

 

Got a Presto 16 qt Pressure Canner

 

Yes! Now you're ready to rock.  The rocker it came with should cause it to cook at 15 psi.  Follow the instructions carefully and do a test run with no jars to make sure.  The dehydrator should work well, too.  I haven't used one myself but I hear they're a good way to go.

 

 

 

Is a BIGGER fruiting chamber better?

 

It's more about what works for you and dialing in the conditions.  The bigger one will hold more cakes, but you're right that it will need more perlite to keep humidity up.  On the other hand, the bigger one will contain a larger volume of air and maybe need less fresh air exchanges (FAE) to keep your cakes happy.


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#9 Ringo

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:21 AM

@Sidestreet and the rest. Thanks for all the answers, bud. Great forum with awesome mods, admins and members.

 

My band has a gig tonight but tomorrow begins my trip down mushroom road. If I can get, even 1 shroom to grow, I'll definitely be making prints and new spore jars. Then, it's on to Penis Envy and the stronger varieties. My first spores are Golden Teacher. I have been breeding my own strains of pot for decades. I wonder, can you cross breed and develop new varieties in mushrooms. I don't know if shrooms are like pot but, it's going to be fun finding out.

 

Not sure if I remember seeing a forum for grow journals but if we have one, I'll be posting my progress.

 

Thanks again for everything.

 

Ringo


Edited by Ringo, 14 April 2021 - 11:53 AM.


#10 Phish

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:55 PM

Hiya Ringo, welcome to the forum. My first few grows were PF Tek with a pressure cooker, and I had a huge rate of success. You can inoculate 10 jars with one syringe, 1ml spread out over those 4 holes, if you're real careful and have a very light touch with your thumb on the plunger.
Just a dribble down the side of the glass is sufficient. Remember to shake the hell out of your syringe first to disperse the spores within the solution.
But most of all, maintain a clean and sterile work area and pay Attention To Detail for a successful grow.
Good luck and look forward to following your progress .
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#11 Sidestreet

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 04:41 AM

 

I wonder, can you cross breed and develop new varieties in mushrooms. I don't know if shrooms are like pot but, it's going to be fun finding out.

 

Here are some discussions on breeding.  It's important to note that cross-strain hybridization and strain isolation are two different things.  Actual breeding involves sexual reproduction between two varieties of the same species, while isolation involves "filtering out" a single substrain with desirable characteristics from a mass of multiple strains (as a ROUGH approximation, think about picking out that one bad ass mama plant and taking clones.)  The latter is traditionally much easier. 

 

Probably some of the most credible and established information I'm aware of: https://mycotopia.ne...reeding-method/

 

A new potential method being established: https://mycotopia.ne...spore-solution/

 

More discussion:

 

https://mycotopia.ne...de-of-ms-grows/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...a-group-effort/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...breeding-cubes/

 

https://mycotopia.ne...oscybe-cubenis/


Edited by Sidestreet, 15 April 2021 - 04:42 AM.

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#12 Oldpunk

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 06:26 AM

Hiya Ringo, welcome to the forum. My first few grows were PF Tek with a pressure cooker, and I had a huge rate of success. You can inoculate 10 jars with one syringe, 1ml spread out over those 4 holes, if you're real careful and have a very light touch with your thumb on the plunger.
Just a dribble down the side of the glass is sufficient. Remember to shake the hell out of your syringe first to disperse the spores within the solution.
But most of all, maintain a clean and sterile work area and pay Attention To Detail for a successful grow.
Good luck and look forward to following your progress .


Yep. What they said.
Clean work area. 1ml per jar.
Out of 12 jars on my first grow only 2 seemed funky and I sterilized without a pressure cooker.
Biggest mistake I made was over watering right away. They take a while to get started and impatiently over watering will only make it take longer and possibly just drown them.

Pf tek cakes where a good place to start.
Best of luck. It's a real fun grow experience.

#13 Oldpunk

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 06:34 AM

A quick note on the grow chamber question. They will both work. Sounds like what I got as well. I started with the bigger tub and found I liked using the 2 smaller ones better. Easier to move and they just worked better for me. I had 3 cakes in each one.
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#14 Ringo

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for all the great answers, gang. I have so many questions and they just keep on coming. LOL You can read read read but something always seems to come up that's not covered in the searches.

 

I am already planning expansion and growth. LOL Damn, tough being manic. LOL So, I have another question that isn't really worthy of it's own thread so I'll ask here, if I may...... Would a standard cannabis grow tent make a good myco-lab? I have a 4x4 tent and I could get completely inside and close the zipper to make a small sealed room.

 

The problem I see is that the walls are canvas and they are 'wavy' and as they move they create a LOT of air movement. I suppose I could put hepa filters on the intake vents and use an exhaust fan and filter like I do for my pot plants. There would still be a lot of air movement but it would (theoretically) be clean air.

 

I am going to do my first PF Tek this week and I'll use my bathroom this time. But, in planning future expansion, I was curious if the grow tent was a good idea.

 

Thanks



#15 Sidestreet

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 04:52 PM

 

I am already planning expansion and growth. LOL Damn, tough being manic. LOL So, I have another question that isn't really worthy of it's own thread so I'll ask here, if I may...... Would a standard cannabis grow tent make a good myco-lab? I have a 4x4 tent and I could get completely inside and close the zipper to make a small sealed room.

 

Yes, I think I've heard of that before.  It would work as long as you have room for a table or something to work on.  Be sure you have enough air to breathe in there!


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#16 Ringo

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 05:21 PM

Thanks, Sidestreet. I also think the shower stall would make a nice room. I have a huge shower in one of my bathrooms. More than big enough to put a small table and chair in. With nothing but fiberglass walls and the shower door, that sure seems like it would be easy to clean.

 

Oh boy, Oh boy, my spores came today. I made my BRF cakes and the jars just finished in the pressure cooker. I was a little anxious and started a little early. Now, the jars are going to have to sit in there for about 20 hours. Most instructions I read said to leave them cool for at least 8 hours and overnight was just fine. I hope 20 to 24 hours isn't too long to let them sit in there. The pressure cooker is sealed and will remain sealed until I need the cakes, right?

 

I'll get to it as early as possible tomorrow but I probably should have waited until tonight to cook them. Oops. :)

 

I'm so excited.Little soldiers marching off to trippyland. :)

 

The only thing I am concerned about is the size of the vermiculite. You can see it in the first pic. When I opened the bag I was surprised to see that it was so fine. The verm I have used over the years was always much more coarse than this. I hope this is not too fine. When reading the tuts, one said to find the most coarse you can find. Most of the others said, medium. This is definitely, "Fine". LOL Hopefully, it won't hurt.

 

1.jpg

 

2.jpg

 

3.jpg

 

4.jpg


Edited by Ringo, 15 April 2021 - 05:23 PM.

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#17 Sidestreet

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 05:39 PM

 

I hope 20 to 24 hours isn't too long to let them sit in there. The pressure cooker is sealed and will remain sealed until I need the cakes, right?

 

No, that's not too long.  The pressure cooker isn't exactly sealed.  As it cools, air is drawn in to the pressure regulator spout.  Ideally, the spout would be covered by some sort of filter.  Paul Stamets recommended an alcohol-soaked piece of cloth in one of his books I think, but I haven't really messed with that.

 

The jar lids are protected by the tin foil.  If your syringe needle touches anything other than a jar lid, you should re-sterilize it.  You should also sterilize between each jar.  Some people flame sterilize between every jar, but I wipe with alcohol instead and then flame sterilize every few jars and have good success.

 

You'll find out what works for you.


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#18 Ringo

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 06:01 PM

Awesome....Thanks.

 

I am sofa king excited. LOL


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#19 Ringo

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 05:29 PM

Well, the deed is done. I think I did pretty well. Only one thing that bothers me....

 

Apparently while the jars sit in the pressure cooker and boil, they bounce up and down a little. At least, that's the only thing I can think of. Because all the jars were not as full as I filled them. In fact, most of them have about a 1/2 inch of air space between the lid and the dry vermiculite.

 

Some were packed such that when I put the needle in the hole to inoculate it, the needle barely made it past the dry verm to the substrate. Naturally, with a little pressure from the squirt and the tilt of the glass jar, it did run down into the cake. I'm just not so sure I have that dry barrier between the cake and the outside world any longer.

 

I did really well on the syringe. I use them often to fill caps and this one was nice and smooth. After 10 jars, I had less than 1/2 ml left. I just emptied it into one of the jars and finished. So, I got about 1 ml in each jar.

 

I put them all into a dark tote and they are next to me at my desk. The temp in my house is 75F. The lid was a little translucent so I have a towel over it to make sure it's 100% dark. That's is what I want, right?

 

Now, all I have to do is check on them every 30 seconds or so for 10 days. LMAO OK OK, I'll be good and leave it closed. I assume it's OK to open it once a day to inspect for contams.

 

Well, I am pretty excited.

 

I still don't understand all this but if I do understand a little, I would want to keep a steady source of fresh shrooms. Most of what I have read here makes it clear there's a difference between fresh and dried. And, duh, fresh is almost always better than processed in so many things. So, is it practical to have a small fruiting chamber that provides a perpetual supply of fresh shrooms. I'm sure the setup would produce more than I need and I'm fine with capsules, drying or whatever for long term storage and later use. But, if it's possible (and practical) to have a very small perpetual supply, I would think that is what I would want to shoot for. Any time you want a little buzz, grab an abort off the cake and pop it in your mouth.

 

Well, just plumber's dreams from a total noob who doesn't even know what to wish for yet. LOL

 

And, as Stymie from The Little Rascals said, "I don't know where we's goin'. But. we's on our way".


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#20 Sidestreet

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 05:46 PM

 

Now, all I have to do is check on them every 30 seconds or so for 10 days.

 

Ha!  That sounds about right.

 

 

 

Apparently while the jars sit in the pressure cooker and boil, they bounce up and down a little. At least, that's the only thing I can think of. Because all the jars were not as full as I filled them. In fact, most of them have about a 1/2 inch of air space between the lid and the dry vermiculite.

 

Huh.  I've never had the substrate settle that much.  Usually I'll gently put the substrate into the jars up to the bottom of the threads and tap the jar on the counter so it's level and settles a little, to where I want it to be.  Once I've wiped the inside of the rim with a dry paper towel, I add dry vermiculite up a little ways past the top of the jar, so it gets just a bit compacted when I screw on the lid.  How does that compare to what you did?

 

 

 

The only thing I am concerned about is the size of the vermiculite.

 

 

I meant to respond to this before.  I like the medium stuff but the fine works fine.


Edited by Sidestreet, 16 April 2021 - 05:48 PM.

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