Casing is the easy stuff. First thing is get everything together. Coir and verm:
Strainer (4 pieces of PVC and 4 corner PVC pieces with screen stretched across it and zip tied, leaving plenty of slack for stuff to sit):
Calcium Carbonate/Powdered oyster shells and dust mask:
Now you’re good to go. First find a bucket and throw a hunk of coir in there. It takes some time to learn the exact size to break off. I buy the huge bricks offline with huge bags of verm. The 6 cu foot bag of verm is stored elsewhere and a small bag is kept with the brick. Fill the bucket with the coir in it with HOT water out of your tap. It will help expansion by using hot water. Now just let it expand:
Now time to buffer. I put in this much, about 5-8 times:
Mixing it around very well each time. You need to make sure whatever long term buffer your using is POWDERED. Crushed will not benefit you very much as it will not break down over time. Mycelium release acidic secretions over time and flushes. Powdered oyster shells (Calcium Carbonate, chalk (not the kind a teacher uses), powder eggshells) will work to keep the pH at an even 7. Coir will perform well without the pH adjustment, however, it is WELL worth the investment. It will increase flush yield and number and decrease chance of contams (green mold thrives in acidic environment and doesn’t like neutral to well). Powdered oyster shells can be found cheap (2$/pound) here, among other places. Then into the strainer it goes and the bucket gets filled with verm up to just below the point the coir was:
Then fill with warm water. Again, warm water helps absorption. Once filled and soaked for a couple minutes, pour the bucket of wet verm into the strainer with the coir and get mixing! Usually by the time it’s thoroughly mixed (adding in verm if needed), it’s well strained. You want to use a horticultural or medium grade verm. Fine verm works, but courser verm is better. Try not to compress the verm to much at any point.
Moisture content isn’t so important because when you apply it, it can be misted to the proper content. You defiantly want it nice and moist though. It should feel like nice soil. Then you just shovel it into jars, making sure you don’t pack it down:
And PC for 30 minutes at 15 PSI. There are no nutrients in the casing mix and it should be relatively clean as it is so 30 minutes is plenty. If you are concerned, you can extend the time to 60 minutes. I have found this to make things easiest on me, I can store the jars for long periods of time until needed then crack one open when ever patching, repair, or casing needs to be done. And if you need large amounts for bulk, it can be loaded into bags instead of jars (don’t load to full and compact it, you want it to remain fluffy and airy). Make sure rubber side is up on the lid, you dont want to seal the jars and create a vacuum.
aim for a mix that is about 2/3's verm and 1/3 coir if overlay is a concern.