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Incubator for Colonisation


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#1 Mizamook

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 05:02 PM

Howdy!

 

I put my new DIY incubator into use today.  I designed it to be a dual-purpose box, with space to incubate a bag or two and a stack of jars.  I'll be inoculating some jars today.

 

The two bags seen in these pics are "all in one" bags, two of the first, and likely last, that I buy.  Using my SAB, they were both inoculated with 5-6cc's of liquid culture on 1-Oct-21, and kept mostly in dark at around 60F.  On 15-Oct-21, after seeing no activity whatsoever, and under the advice of the seller of the bags and LC, I injected the remainder of the LC into the appropriate bags.  Another week, and no activity prompted me to move them upstairs, placed in a heavy carboard box, and allowed to warm up to about 71.38 (max, recorded using a temp/humidity sensor placed in the box between the bags) for a few hours while the wood stove was burning, and lowering to just over 64F as the fire dies out and the diesel boiler takes over and keeps us at a balmy 64F, which is what our thermostat is set for.  Now, on the 25th of October, there is yet no activity, and I finished my incubator, and will be keeping the bags at 72F (air temp, measured with the probe you can see near the outlet in the box) and monitored with the wireless temp/humidity sensor.  

 

I just checked and the wireless sensor is indicating 72.61, while the Inkbird is registering 71.0 currently ... since the probe and the wireless sensor are pretty much in the same spot, I can assume one of them is in err.  I might choose to lower the temp in the Inkbird .. better too cool than too hot. Ah .. I just realised that there might be some heat emanating from the outlet due to current.  Lousy place to put a temperature probe.  Will modify. (I put both sensors in between the bags for now)

 

The incubator is comprised of double-wall greenhouse polycarbonate.  The top, sides, and front are double layers (with a small airspace between layers) and sealed with tape.  The bottom, and back are single layer, but with thin plywood, with small airspace (afforded by using adhesive/caulk) and also with a layer of Mylar to act as radiant barrier.  The top also has a layer of Mylar on the inside.  The top's fitment is pretty precise.  I intend to add some thin foam, but as the inner layer of the top is recessed, and for once my cuts are accurate, there will be very little heat loss due to hot air escaping.  

 

There is a 24-watt liquid graphite heating mat sitting on a layer of aluminium flashing on the bottom of the incubator.  There is a steel rack above the heating pad held up by standoffs made from spent water filter insides, approximately 2.5" higher than the heating matt.  A layer of thick cardboard with slits cut into it at intervals sits atop the steel grate, and the bags are sitting on the cardboard.

 

Incubator 1st Use Shiitake and Lions Mane bags.jpg Incubator Setup 1.jpg Incubator Setup 2.jpg

 

Later, as I need to, I will modify this to act as fruiting chamber, and will use the other probe from the Inkbird to control humidity with an ultrasonic humidifier I will set up, as well as a small fan for fresh air exchange. 

 

Currently I have a Midwest Grow Kits tub set up as fruiting chamber for a single container of cordyceps militaris (just in there for convenience) with the other al in one bag I bought, which is fully-colonised Florida Oyster, which was sent to me by mistake by the same seller that sent me the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane.  I didn't expect the Florida Oyster to do well, so had injected the whole syringe, and kept it by the wood stove.  It's been in fruiting conditions since the 23rd of October ... (not getting warm (75-82F) like it was during colonisation, now about 63 F, and around 95%RH), also monitored by a wireless temp/humidity unit, and FAE by fanning.  During daylight hours I am using the battery-operated LED light, and after dusk I switch on the bright LED.  When I go to bed (about 1:00) the lights go off.

 

Fruiting Chamber with Cordyceps and Florida Oyster.jpg

 

So I'm curious about what you think.  Also, I put all the detail I could into this post so that I could later reference it and add to it so that if/when I ask questions or make comments on other threads, I can use this as a destination instead of typing it all up again.  I'll update to this thread (hopefully in the right place, Mods please relocate if needed) if that is the right thing to do, as I continue on this path ... 

 

Thanks for anything and everything!

 


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#2 Mizamook

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 05:05 PM

I forgot to mention that the seller of the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane is sending new culture as well as some grains, with intent that I should inoculate the grains and then when those colonise, add them to the deadbeat all in one bags.  Not sure about that .. wont' opening the bags to add the grains allow for invasion by bad unwelcome microbes, especially after so long a period of inaction?



#3 xXHeathenXx

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 05:03 PM

Thank you Goodwill!!! LoL20211027_180054.jpg 20211027_180121.jpg
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#4 bezevo

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 10:33 AM

Welcome  ! Mizamook i hope  your second run succeeds ...

Are you working in a simple (SAB / Still Air Box) to minimize chances of contamination  when doing  inoculations ,agar transfers or grain to grain inoculation ?

 

A simple SAB is easy to make no fancy attached gloves etc. needed .

 

Just get a really big clear tote , like at BIG LOTS i use lid as  base .i took a  tomato juice can and cut top and bottom out of can i heated it up red hot and used vice grips to grab and just melted a cpl arm holes in to side of to , lot's easier than trying to cut holes ,

 

ok  now if your next try  with all-inn-one bags fails .............perhaps you might consider trying  PF TEK  BRF CAKES   (BRF = Brown Rice Flower Cakes )  PF tek was designed for almost fool proof beginner success ..... later you can move on to more advanced after a few BRF Cake successes  grain bags or tubes ect.

Bellow is a link for a thread called  MAGIC FOR THE MASSES   .it's basically an up dated PF tek ,

There is a  link for a .....FREE !  PDF Book ...... At  bottom of first post on this thread .............IF ....You

Follow the PF PDF Book to a  "T" no modifications or substitutions  , you should have success .

GOOD LUCK 

BEZ

https://mycotopia.ne...for-the-masses/


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#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 01:07 PM

I forgot to mention that the seller of the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane is sending new culture as well as some grains, with intent that I should inoculate the grains and then when those colonise, add them to the deadbeat all in one bags.  Not sure about that .. wont' opening the bags to add the grains allow for invasion by bad unwelcome microbes, especially after so long a period of inaction?

 

That is a strange suggestion because like you suspect it would definitely be very risky, and you'd probably lose it all to contamination unless you got really lucky and have a high quality flow hood to work in front of. At this point the bags are probably a bit on the dry side, too. So even if everything worked they will probably produce disappointing yields.

 

 

And that's a real fancy incubator you got there. I like building stuff like that, too. But it's not really necessary for our purposes unless we're growing something that requires higher than usual temps to colonize quickly (tropical species, perhaps).

 

I like the use of polycarb greenhouse panels for making grow boxes out of; that has some interesting potential in terms of designs for terrariums/fruiting chambers. Their insulating properties probably allow for incubating without adding any heat at all once colonization has reached a certain point thanks to generating their own heat (so watch out for overheating!).


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#6 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 03:27 PM

Thanks Bezevo, A few responses to your input below:

 

Yes, I use a SAB.  I made one out of a small aquarium and a spare panel of polycarbonate (I used a scroll saw for the holes) with clear hummus containers for armhole extensions (the whole lid/front frame comes off) and I sanitise it with 70% isopropyl .., a lot.  It exists in a sealed-off basement shower stall, (the basement bathroom is my wine/beer cellar, the shower is for inoculations, transfers etc.)  The door is a movie screen projector!  I need to make a few more shelves and such.  If I stick with this hobby I'll go to flow hood of some type.  If I remember I'll stick a pic or two of it in this thread below.  Not sure how to do that in a response.

 

The Florida Oyster in the all-in-one bag is showing a "snout" which I guess I could call primordia?  It's definitely doing something, which is exciting.  I had expanded the "X" I cut in the side to include some pure white, and that is where it's active.  I learned something.  I just checked the shiitake and lion's mane all in one bags, and "maybe" something is happening, but if my gut instinct is correct it's not the right "something", rather, being mold in the coir substrate instead of hyphae in the grains.  

 

The mega grow kit came with BRF jars.  I inoculated 12 of those the other day and put it in my heated terrarium (which is now set to 74F).  4 jars each of GT, Z-strain, and Blue Oyster.  I might see wispy hyphae in the Blue Oyster already!  Definitely watching the temps.  The wireless logger adn the Inkbird controller probe are right next to each other, in the midpoint between the box of jars and the two all in one bags.  It is definitely not hot, and if anything gets active and generates its own heat, I think for sure the inkbird will simply not try to heat it up further.  Watching the data from the logger is interesting.  It oscillates regularly, from about 71.6 to 73.85F seems every 15 minutes.

 

THANK YOU for sending the link to Magic for the Masses.  Whew.  Now I don't have to ask.  I had found that before I was a legit entity herein, and I could not download it, then I lost the link and could not find it as I did not recall the name.  Got it now!

 

 

 

Welcome  ! Mizamook i hope  your second run succeeds ...

Are you working in a simple (SAB / Still Air Box) to minimize chances of contamination  when doing  inoculations ,agar transfers or grain to grain inoculation ?

 

A simple SAB is easy to make no fancy attached gloves etc. needed .

 

Just get a really big clear tote , like at BIG LOTS i use lid as  base .i took a  tomato juice can and cut top and bottom out of can i heated it up red hot and used vice grips to grab and just melted a cpl arm holes in to side of to , lot's easier than trying to cut holes ,

 

ok  now if your next try  with all-inn-one bags fails .............perhaps you might consider trying  PF TEK  BRF CAKES   (BRF = Brown Rice Flower Cakes )  PF tek was designed for almost fool proof beginner success ..... later you can move on to more advanced after a few BRF Cake successes  grain bags or tubes ect.

Bellow is a link for a thread called  MAGIC FOR THE MASSES   .it's basically an up dated PF tek ,

There is a  link for a .....FREE !  PDF Book ...... At  bottom of first post on this thread .............IF ....You

Follow the PF PDF Book to a  "T" no modifications or substitutions  , you should have success .

GOOD LUCK 

BEZ

https://mycotopia.ne...for-the-masses/



#7 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 03:36 PM

 

I forgot to mention that the seller of the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane is sending new culture as well as some grains, with intent that I should inoculate the grains and then when those colonise, add them to the deadbeat all in one bags.  Not sure about that .. wont' opening the bags to add the grains allow for invasion by bad unwelcome microbes, especially after so long a period of inaction?

 

I did ask her about it, and she said she has some bags that are months old before use (and she grows edibles for sale, so she must know what she's saying, I assume ... seems like it, anyway) but I wonder if these were made to order or old bags???  Weird that she would suggest opening them.  IN fact, I "might" see contam in the substrate of the Lion's Mane .. maybe something in the Shiitake, too, but nothing in the grains .. just the substrate.

 

Of course shiitake and Lion's Mane are wood loving.. why am I trying to get them to grow on grains and coir?  I have asked myself that a lot, but never voiced the question here.

 

Regarding the overheating potential ... at least for incubating ... I will certainly pay attention, and also use another probe thermometer in a dummy jar to make sure temperature creep isn't affecting things.  I recall people saying lower temps make stronger more resilient fruits, just slower, so erring on the side of caution will be good for me. Our house is so chilly ... for these tropical strains at least, 63F wont' do.  And it takes a lot less energy to keep things at 42-74 than it does 80F, so I think a good 6 degrees of headroom might be OK.  Do you agree with my thinking on that, or should I drop it down a tad more?

 

Frankly, I wish the polycarb greenhouse was a bit more insulative.  One thing I did incorporate into the design was the deadspace between the panels.  For insulation itself, that should help.  But it also allows me to drop in reflective radiant barriers on the sides and front.  I might do that and see if I can get the heat to stay in longer.  So cool to have a data logging app for experiments like these.

 

 

 

 

 

That is a strange suggestion because like you suspect it would definitely be very risky, and you'd probably lose it all to contamination unless you got really lucky and have a high quality flow hood to work in front of. At this point the bags are probably a bit on the dry side, too. So even if everything worked they will probably produce disappointing yields.

 

 

And that's a real fancy incubator you got there. I like building stuff like that, too. But it's not really necessary for our purposes unless we're growing something that requires higher than usual temps to colonize quickly (tropical species, perhaps).

 

I like the use of polycarb greenhouse panels for making grow boxes out of; that has some interesting potential in terms of designs for terrariums/fruiting chambers. Their insulating properties probably allow for incubating without adding any heat at all once colonization has reached a certain point thanks to generating their own heat (so watch out for overheating!).

 



#8 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 03:41 PM

Mushroom lab.jpg

 

Photo of my modified shower "lab" and still air box with repurposed toilet shelf thing : )

 

 


Edited by Mizamook, 29 October 2021 - 03:44 PM.

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#9 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 03:45 PM

Not sure why the pic is sideways.  Shows up straight in my editing software!



#10 xXHeathenXx

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 04:07 PM

Howdy!

I put my new DIY incubator into use today. I designed it to be a dual-purpose box, with space to incubate a bag or two and a stack of jars. I'll be inoculating some jars today.

The two bags seen in these pics are "all in one" bags, two of the first, and likely last, that I buy. Using my SAB, they were both inoculated with 5-6cc's of liquid culture on 1-Oct-21, and kept mostly in dark at around 60F. On 15-Oct-21, after seeing no activity whatsoever, and under the advice of the seller of the bags and LC, I injected the remainder of the LC into the appropriate bags. Another week, and no activity prompted me to move them upstairs, placed in a heavy carboard box, and allowed to warm up to about 71.38 (max, recorded using a temp/humidity sensor placed in the box between the bags) for a few hours while the wood stove was burning, and lowering to just over 64F as the fire dies out and the diesel boiler takes over and keeps us at a balmy 64F, which is what our thermostat is set for. Now, on the 25th of October, there is yet no activity, and I finished my incubator, and will be keeping the bags at 72F (air temp, measured with the probe you can see near the outlet in the box) and monitored with the wireless temp/humidity sensor.

I just checked and the wireless sensor is indicating 72.61, while the Inkbird is registering 71.0 currently ... since the probe and the wireless sensor are pretty much in the same spot, I can assume one of them is in err. I might choose to lower the temp in the Inkbird .. better too cool than too hot. Ah .. I just realised that there might be some heat emanating from the outlet due to current. Lousy place to put a temperature probe. Will modify. (I put both sensors in between the bags for now)

The incubator is comprised of double-wall greenhouse polycarbonate. The top, sides, and front are double layers (with a small airspace between layers) and sealed with tape. The bottom, and back are single layer, but with thin plywood, with small airspace (afforded by using adhesive/caulk) and also with a layer of Mylar to act as radiant barrier. The top also has a layer of Mylar on the inside. The top's fitment is pretty precise. I intend to add some thin foam, but as the inner layer of the top is recessed, and for once my cuts are accurate, there will be very little heat loss due to hot air escaping.

There is a 24-watt liquid graphite heating mat sitting on a layer of aluminium flashing on the bottom of the incubator. There is a steel rack above the heating pad held up by standoffs made from spent water filter insides, approximately 2.5" higher than the heating matt. A layer of thick cardboard with slits cut into it at intervals sits atop the steel grate, and the bags are sitting on the cardboard.

attachicon.gifIncubator 1st Use Shiitake and Lions Mane bags.jpgattachicon.gifIncubator Setup 1.jpgattachicon.gifIncubator Setup 2.jpg

Later, as I need to, I will modify this to act as fruiting chamber, and will use the other probe from the Inkbird to control humidity with an ultrasonic humidifier I will set up, as well as a small fan for fresh air exchange.

Currently I have a Midwest Grow Kits tub set up as fruiting chamber for a single container of cordyceps militaris (just in there for convenience) with the other al in one bag I bought, which is fully-colonised Florida Oyster, which was sent to me by mistake by the same seller that sent me the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane. I didn't expect the Florida Oyster to do well, so had injected the whole syringe, and kept it by the wood stove. It's been in fruiting conditions since the 23rd of October ... (not getting warm (75-82F) like it was during colonisation, now about 63 F, and around 95%RH), also monitored by a wireless temp/humidity unit, and FAE by fanning. During daylight hours I am using the battery-operated LED light, and after dusk I switch on the bright LED. When I go to bed (about 1:00) the lights go off.

attachicon.gifFruiting Chamber with Cordyceps and Florida Oyster.jpg

So I'm curious about what you think. Also, I put all the detail I could into this post so that I could later reference it and add to it so that if/when I ask questions or make comments on other threads, I can use this as a destination instead of typing it all up again. I'll update to this thread (hopefully in the right place, Mods please relocate if needed) if that is the right thing to do, as I continue on this path ...

Thanks for anything and everything!

What temp is best for trying to colonize bags and agar from spore?

#11 xXHeathenXx

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 04:21 PM

I forgot to mention that the seller of the deadbeat shiitake and lion's mane is sending new culture as well as some grains, with intent that I should inoculate the grains and then when those colonise, add them to the deadbeat all in one bags. Not sure about that .. wont' opening the bags to add the grains allow for invasion by bad unwelcome microbes, especially after so long a period of inaction?


That is a strange suggestion because like you suspect it would definitely be very risky, and you'd probably lose it all to contamination unless you got really lucky and have a high quality flow hood to work in front of. At this point the bags are probably a bit on the dry side, too. So even if everything worked they will probably produce disappointing yields.


And that's a real fancy incubator you got there. I like building stuff like that, too. But it's not really necessary for our purposes unless we're growing something that requires higher than usual temps to colonize quickly (tropical species, perhaps).

I like the use of polycarb greenhouse panels for making grow boxes out of; that has some interesting potential in terms of designs for terrariums/fruiting chambers. Their insulating properties probably allow for incubating without adding any heat at all once colonization has reached a certain point thanks to generating their own heat (so watch out for overheating!).
What temp do you think best to colonize something like PE or Burma?

#12 rockyfungus

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:27 PM

I did ask her about it, and she said she has some bags that are months old before use (and she grows edibles for sale, so she must know what she's saying, I assume ... seems like it, anyway) but I wonder if these were made to order or old bags???  Weird that she would suggest opening them.  IN fact, I "might" see contam in the substrate of the Lion's Mane .. maybe something in the Shiitake, too, but nothing in the grains .. just the substrate.

 

Of course shiitake and Lion's Mane are wood loving.. why am I trying to get them to grow on grains and coir?  I have asked myself that a lot, but never voiced the question here.

Think I got that formatting fixed.

 

The bags can sit for months inoculated or not inoculated. Grains are used to feed the myc. Also to allow us to expand out to larger "spawn". Once we have enough spawn. We go to a fruiting mix. Wood or Coir. Coir is subpar and will give you crappy oyster yields. Shiitake never tried on coir. Lions mane works kinda on coir but a PITA and subpar fruits. The coir is essentially a sponge to give them enough water to balloon up into mushrooms or fruit. 

Trying to visualize what you have. If you inoculated grains; shiitake (shi) and lions mane (LM) are very wispy and thin. LM is obvious as it will fruit spontaneously everywhere. 

Shi takes a long long time in comparison to everything else. There's multiple steps there.

Do you have spawn that is clean (grains). Or was the spawn pre-mixed with coir?


Edited by rockyfungus, 29 October 2021 - 06:29 PM.


#13 Baphom3t

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:28 PM

I've said this a few million times, so a few million and one shouldn't hurt.

If your house is kept at 70F or 21.111C, you can colonize and fruit. It's that simple.
The higher you raise temps the higher risk you run for contam's. They love heat.
All my grows stay within 68F - 73F
You got to remember that as the myc grows it generates it's own heat because it is alive.


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#14 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:30 PM

You're asking me?  : )  Best I can get to this (and your other question) is 68f-80f.  The "room temperature" people often quote.  Higher temps supposedly can make invasive bad contam spores/bacteria thrive, so most people say "room temp" (not, apparently, acknowledging that some of us live in cooler climes with lackluster insulation).  But from what I can gather, "most" p.cubensis seems happiest in mid-70's.

 

Shiitake and lion's mane and blue oyster "should" be happy in mid 60's.  

 

Again, this is only what I think after searching and searching for "the definitive authority" on the subject.

 

 

 

What temp is best for trying to colonize bags and agar from spore?

 


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#15 rockyfungus

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:30 PM

He was responding to Heathen

I've pulled off 55F fruits (32 outside??). The colder the better but it's a patience tester. 


Edited by rockyfungus, 29 October 2021 - 06:31 PM.

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#16 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:35 PM

Exactly.  Our house is "usually" 64.  Not 70 ... in fact I noticed it was 70 the other day after I started the fire earlier in the day and the cold spell that was forecast went away.  I noted the phenomenon as it was very very unusual to see 70.  Our house is 63-65F 2/3rds of each 24-hour cycle.

 

So my incubator is averaging 72.725F right now.    If I start to see successes more, I will certainly be happy to lower it.  

 

I've said this a few million times, so a few million and one shouldn't hurt.

If your house is kept at 70F or 21.111C, you can colonize and fruit. It's that simple.
The higher you raise temps the higher risk you run for contam's. They love heat.
All my grows stay within 68F - 73F
You got to remember that as the myc grows it generates it's own heat because it is alive.



#17 Baphom3t

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:47 PM

No mizamook, I was referring to Heathen.
I didn't realize you (mizamook), was talking about all other edible fungi.
You asked the question in the magic mushroom section and not the All Edible, Medicinal and Other section. You'd more than likely get better help in that section than in the magic mush section. 


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#18 rockyfungus

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 06:49 PM

Not many of us edible folks here, but I tried. Come over to the edible section and check out Arathu or MushLuvr


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#19 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:02 PM

Thank you!

 

Today I received the grains-only (2 1-lb bags) and the replacement LC syringes from the seller.  (I'm not naming her as I do not want my fumbledly dumbness to affect her reputation and she's been very supportive.)  I intend to inoculate the new grains with the new culture.  Then 

 

The all in one bags are 6-lbs each total, the bottom is grains, the top is coir (and possibly other stuff).  Only "mixed" as the shipping shook them, but for the sake of argument separate enough.  They came "ready to inoculate".  Since the Florida Oyster looks like it might be thinking of fruiting, I'm going to let it and see what happens.  I am considering using the remains of the myc/spawn in that bag to disperse/grow to a larger substrate.

 

We'll know pretty soon if the two all in one bags (Shi and LM) are growing mushrooms or contam.  If contam, I will compost.

 

So if I understand you correctly I should NOT think of the coir in the all in one bags as fruiting medium, but rather a helper to get the myc good and strong, then spawn to wood (substrate and/or logs).  

 

For the shi and LM, I should order some wood.  This is a topic I had planned to broach with you guys, but was not ready.  Locally, that might be appropriate, we have cottonwood and hemlock.  Our alders are pretty pinner here.  I could easily access freshly-cut cottonwood and give it 3 weeks to be ready to inoculate.  I can also "make" sawdust and chunks to be pasteurised or sterilised.  Or ... I can just order some hardwood substrate!

 

Interesting that you mention the shi takes longer.  A couple people on forums and one particular video mentioned it colonised bags in a week!

 

I have seen hericium erinaceus in the wild in one place (not local .. about 70 miles to the north of where I am now) fruiting from a very dead cottonwood.  Believe me, I looked for more, every season!  I hope to find some donor trees and try to get it going outside, but also have a decent indoor method.  

 

I'll post the pics "as things are now" below.  Hopefully not sideways!  

 

 

Think I got that formatting fixed.

 

 

The bags can sit for months inoculated or not inoculated. Grains are used to feed the myc. Also to allow us to expand out to larger "spawn". Once we have enough spawn. We go to a fruiting mix. Wood or Coir. Coir is subpar and will give you crappy oyster yields. Shiitake never tried on coir. Lions mane works kinda on coir but a PITA and subpar fruits. The coir is essentially a sponge to give them enough water to balloon up into mushrooms or fruit. 

Trying to visualize what you have. If you inoculated grains; shiitake (shi) and lions mane (LM) are very wispy and thin. LM is obvious as it will fruit spontaneously everywhere. 

Shi takes a long long time in comparison to everything else. There's multiple steps there.

Do you have spawn that is clean (grains). Or was the spawn pre-mixed with coir?

 

 



#20 Mizamook

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:04 PM

As things stand, 29-Oct-21

 

Incubator Shi LM PFTek 29Oct21.jpg

 

Florida Oyster and Cordyceps 29Oct21.jpg






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