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Clear top Agar jar lids


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#1 VibrationalAlchemy

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 07:38 PM

Use Jars for agar, AND see you cultures clearly.

 

Maybe this already exists and I just haven’t seen it, it would not surprise me in the least.  

If it doesn’t exist, then here is my contribution.  If it does, then here is my take on it.

 

I am somewhat new to Mycology, so please make me aware of any errors in my novice thinking.  I am not claiming to know anything, just sharing what I believe to be a cool innovation.  

 

These are clear top (plexiglass) jars that can be used for agar.  Many people seem to think jars are a better route than petri dishes.  The downside of jars, as I have seen it discussed and what drove me to solve this issue for myself, is that one cannot easily monitor, or have a good look at the culture and be certain of whats goin on in there without opening the lid, which can introduce contamination to your sterile culture.

 

Much Gratitude to CatsAndBats for democratizing Agar.  I was feeling Orange vibes on this particular day.

IMG_7332.JPG

 

Since I was going to make some Agar jars for the first time, I thought there must be a way to remedy this lid situation.  First, I called the local glass shop. Their circle cutting tools can’t go that small.  So I just got a sheet of 1/8" plexiglass from them and decided I’d try to make my own.  I put a cutting bit on my dremel, traced some jar lids and went for it. I think the plexiglass was about 15 bucks for a 24" x 18" piece.  Luckily they leave the paper on the glass which makes writing on it easy.  The first couple circles were rough until I got a feel for cutting it. 

 

They dont have to be perfect, just round-ish and able to cover the diameter of the jar (2.5" I think).  It’s better to go big and then trim down the edges a little at the end so it fits snugly inside of the metal ring/lid.  I am considering experimenting with adding a little glue or silicone in a few spots to where the glass and the rim meet.  Then in theory its one piece and smoother/easier to remove when working with cultures..... in theory....

 

You need a dremel, some other rotary tool, or some other clever way to cut the plexiglass.

On my dremel, I have a flexible extension piece that makes using the tool much easier when doing more precise work.  I’m sure one could get by without it, but it’s nice. Here is a picture of the dremel, the plexiglass sheet, and the bit I used.  

IMG_7275.JPG IMG_7276.JPG

 

 

And here is my first ever culture on Agar, taken from a Cost Rican Cube. 

 

IMG_7334.JPG

 

I left the jar lids pretty loose when putting them in the PC, and also covered them with foil.  As you can see there is some condensation on the lid of the jar with the culture in it.  There is also some water on the surface of the agar in some of the jars.  Is that normal? I’m wondering where the extra moisture came from.  Could it be from not letting the agar cool fully before PCing  I thought I did, but I’m not certain it was 100% cooled.  Is condensation likely to happen no matter what I do?  In some jars the condensation cleared up after a few days, but some still had condensation and/or moisture on the surface of the agar.  Like this one, you can see there is a small puddle when I tilted the jar.

 

IMG_7333.JPG

 

This clear lid stuff needs more experimenting to find out the best way to have no (or little) condensation for a clear view

 

I’m going to experiment with this more, by next time….

 - Putting the lids on a bit tighter on some jars, and loose on others to note the difference.

 - Being 100% sure the agar has fully cooled before putting the lid on to PC.

 

Any other thoughts?

 

 

Thanks to all who have shared their knowledge on here. 

I am very grateful for this community and knowledge base.


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#2 Sidestreet

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 08:09 AM

Very cool!  Nice work. 



#3 VibrationalAlchemy

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 12:30 AM

Thanks!



#4 YoshiTrainer

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:55 AM

Congrats on the Costa Rican culture, it is looking happy!

The plastic lids can pucker a bit when heated and then under vacuum when cooled. This is especially true if you use thinner materials like plastic deli container lids. If you tighten the bands then back of about a 1/4 turn, they should seal. I do no pour agar in 1/4 pint jars so I can't speak specifically about cooling before PCing. I do get condensation in my jars too and even a little extra liquid on the surface. When I make them, I'll usually make 2-3 dozen at a time and store them on a shelf 'til needed. When it is time to use them, pop the lid, dump the excess moisture and continue. If I'm starting spores, I'll leave a little of the moisture in the jar. I think from reading it is caused the agar not cooling slow enough in the PC? I used to wrap the jars in a heating pad on high and slowly reduce the heat over a few hours. Now, I just dump the excess moisture.
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#5 Oldpunk

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:39 PM

Thats pretty cool. The visibility factor is my biggest complaint about the first no pours I just tried. That and the extra space to store them.

Was it hard to keep that rotozip blade from wandering? Looks like you got it pretty smooth. When I first started reading I was wondering how you cut it. I know Plexiglass chips really easily using something like a jig saw.

Looks like it worked great and that sample looks real good.



Edit in a quick afterthought.
Think it was pacearrow that put up a link to a shroomery post where they drilled a small hole and covered it with 2-3 layers of med tape. His cups looked real clear and not much condensation. Just a thought if you're experimenting to reduce condensation

Edited by Oldpunk, 07 June 2021 - 01:45 PM.


#6 YoshiTrainer

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 04:20 PM

Tin snips work pretty well for cutting thicker materials, just go slow.

#7 VibrationalAlchemy

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 11:35 PM

 When it is time to use them, pop the lid, dump the excess moisture and continue.

 

 

Pouring off the water as needed..... seems so obvious now that you say it.  Thanks for pointing that out  :thumbs_up:

 

 

 

 

Was it hard to keep that rotozip blade from wandering? Looks like you got it pretty smooth. When I first started reading I was wondering how you cut it. I know Plexiglass chips really easily using something like a jig saw.

Edit in a quick afterthought.
Think it was pacearrow that put up a link to a shroomery post where they drilled a small hole and covered it with 2-3 layers of med tape. His cups looked real clear and not much condensation. Just a thought if you're experimenting to reduce condensation

 

 

No, actually it was really easy to cut.  I didn't know if it would work very well at all, so I was pleasantly surprised.  No wandering, just drilled a hole close to the edge of the circle I drew and then somewhat slowly cut out the circle.  botta bing, botta boom
 
I posted this shortly after the jars had cooled, but there really isn't too much condensation now, but I may give it a go with a hole and some micropore tape just to see how it goes. 
 
 
 

Tin snips work pretty well for cutting thicker materials, just go slow.

 

I feel like that would break the plexiglass, but could definitely work with other materials.


#8 YoshiTrainer

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:45 AM

Sorry, I thought you were using polypropylene, PP/5. I used tin snips on a broken tub (PP/5) and if you put your plastic near the pivot point of the tin snips and go slow, works like a charm!

Good luck!

#9 VibrationalAlchemy

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 06:26 PM

Sorry, I thought you were using polypropylene, PP/5. I used tin snips on a broken tub (PP/5) and if you put your plastic near the pivot point of the tin snips and go slow, works like a charm!

Good luck!

 

 

Oh yeah, that makes sense.  Definitely would work with PP5! 

 

~Cheers


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