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.
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.
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!