So somone over at the shroomery asked me what exactly is goin on in the bag and how it was made so I did a small pictorial over there and thought that it would be nice to have here as well.. :) now this is just a quick type up so exact instructions are a little shakey. But you get the point. heres the quote from over there..
If some people are going to try something like this, I should probably tell you how to do it the right way the first time, because I've already failed more times than I would like to reflect on right now lol If you want to build a absolutely, 100% (or as freakin close to it as you can), sterile environment for the complete fruiting cycle of the mushroom, then you are
going to have to take into account the tiniest, smallest cracks, nooks, and crannies that can possibly be a vector for contaminating your spores/spore water. :thumbup:
I'm using oven bags of the turkey size.. get two of them per box. about $2.40 for two of them. make sure you check the bag out and make sure you are satisfied with the seam at the bottom made in the factory by the impulse sealer. some bags aren't made as well as others...
and apparently, it's great for hams too.
***whenever you see the lid off the container or on the container or if the jar is out in the bag or in the glove, this was done without putting my hand in the glove inside the bag. The bag is very easy to maneuver... it's basically like having another glove but with no fingers.. like having a mitten. lol you can hold things, screw lids on and off, or pull the lid off the container. The only time that I use the glove is when I do the actual printing of the caps. You just have to be extra careful not to tear the oven bag. But they are very durable. if you are having a difficult time with room and such when you are trying to move things around or remove lids etc., you can just blow the bag up a bit with the filter attachment and air pump... pump some atmosphere in the bag so you aren't working in a vacuum.
**everything that is in the bag right now, was put in before a 45 min. Pressure cooking at 15 psi and has been in there since.** I'll probably end up repeating myself a bit from the original post for clarity sake
lets start with...
...And look at whats in the bag and why it's in there.
while looking at the bag and it's contents, think of the bag as a clock with the three attachments on the bag (that kind of form a triangle)...
...as the center of the clock in Picture 2 (I'll talk about the attachments in a bit, but for right now, I'm just using them as a reference point to help describe the contents of the bag)
In the 11 o'clock slot is the green lid to the substrate container. Normally the lid is kept on, but I wanted to show you the entire contents of the bag. There is also a pair of scissors on top of the lid.. this is to cut the caps off the stems for printing or flooding... there is a small piece of electrical tape (ele. tape stands up really well in the PC i.e., doesn't get hard or crusty) to help prevent any tear in the oven bag by the tip of the scissors (try to get a rounded tipped scissors anyway).
In the 1 'clock spot is the actual container holding the substrate. The substrate is about two pf cakes worth of pf recipe that is slightly on the wet side due to usually getting better flushes with a dunked or fractionally hydrated cake... and the fact that that substrate never sees unfiltered dirty air means it can stand to be a little over-hydrated from the get go without worry of contamination. There is electrical tape on the outside of the container to about half way up the container to prevent pinning from underneath the substrate.
at the 3 o'clock position is the glove. Now this is just a latex long sleeved glove. It stands up great in a PC with no noticeable effects, i.e., melting, shrinking, etc. This idea was a nice way to cap off the oven bag but also give me a way to actually maneuver inside the bag. This is the last thing to go on the bag before it goes into the PC. There is a PVC tubing about 2 in. wide by 4.5 inch (whatever your hand fits thru easily) in diameter. The bag end is pulled thru the tubing and folded back over the top of the tubing. Then, I take the glove and put it in thru the tubing so that about half the glove is in the bag and tubing. Then fold the rest of the glove back onto the bag that is over the top of the tubing and apply an adjustable clamp to create a seal like so...
now there is duct tape in that pic, but it doesn't go on until after the PC'ing. the least amount of tape that needs to go thru the PC, the better. The reason for the duct tape in that pic is important because there is a gap in the clamp where the "head" of the clamp and "tail" meet.. so we need to create another seal beyond that. But when the FS (fahtsack) goes thru the PC, the cable ties will heat and expand and then cool again which will loosen them a tad after coming out of the PC. so immediately after removing it from the PC, you need to re-tighten all the ties. you also need to do this to the clamp on the glove/tubing as it will loosen a bit too. so, after you tighten everything again, is when you put the duct tape half on the tubing and half on the glove/bag end that is folded back on the tubing to seal it. I'll talk more about seals here in a bit. this is how the FS goes into the PC...
...notice how there isn't any tape on the tubing/glove/bag ends and the airports. If you look back at Picture 2 you can see a nice side shot of the gloved opening.. you can see the glove and bag end bulge out under 1/2 the tape and the other side is the smooth tubing.. this makes a nice seal.
In the five o'clock slot is the tall 1/2 pint jar with one of my master jar lids which can be found HERE. This jar is just like the glove in that it doesn't get used until the actual time of printing. there are basically three layers of environment going on here, each with their own level of protection...
1. Primary--The container of substrate w/lid **lowest level of protection due to the lid being removed for FAE etc.
2. Secondary--The 1/2 pint master jar which will hold your bounty safe and sterile after removal from the bag to be extracted from at will. It's basically a small portable version of a much safer bag without all the tools in it; just the spores. :D **highest level of protection since it sits untouched from the PC'ing until it's needed for about twenty minutes (in this instance).
3, Shell--The oven bag that contains everything. **intermediate protection. The bag can have and probably does have a few very small microscopic holes in it, but it's more than better to have it than not. ;)
Now the bag itself. Down in the corner of the bag is a piece of tubing that is stuffed with polyfil...
this is just a vent so that the bag will equalize in the PC and not pop which has happened a few times.. I probably don't need it due to the airports that I have on the bag, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and it takes nothing to put it on. This is a good time to tell you about the cable ties and why I use two of them. If you look at that last pic, you can see that there are two cable ties with the heads of each opposite the other. This is done because no matter how tight you get the cable tie, there will be a tiny gap between the locking head and the tail that clicks in.. so I put another one on opposite that one and they cancel out each others gaps. :thumbup:
Okay, now look at Picture 3 these are the attachments on the bag.. The top point of that triangle is the filtered airport that is used to blow air into the FS via aquarium pump. This is a version of hippie3's airport tek.. it's a great tek. It just so happened that I had an aquarium pump from doing automated setups in the past along with the tubing and it fit perfectly onto the needle port on the upside down syringe. The left point on the triangle is the outtake airport which is also an inverted syringe, but with the needle attachment totally removed to get a larger surface area to exhaust from than that tiny needle sized hole. It was kind of funny.. I was stumped, I couldn't think of a small enough pump to suck the air out.. I looked online and I started getting bummed... then I had a moment of clarity and said "wait, I'M A PUMP!" LOL so I cut the syringe and now I just put a sock over the opening to thwart tiny polyfil particles from being sucked in my lungs (don't forget this part, it's important for you health eh.) and suck the exhausted air out of the FS. Big thanks go out to Hippie3 for these airports.. this makes the FAE a.. ahem.. breeze. :)
Now the reason that I have electrical tape on the airports, but not on the flexible tubing is that since the flexible tubing squeezes in when the cable ties are put on (kind of like a person and a belt) they are much tighter and the seal is better, but on the solid syringes, you can only tighten as much as the hard plastic will "give" which isn't that much, if at all. So the tape is the extra seal as a precaution.
The right point of the triangle is the self-healing inoc port. the easiest way to do this is probably to just put a blob on the bag and let it dry prior to PC'ing, but I'm too afraid it's going to peel off so I like making a solid one that I can attach. It's a piece of tubing like the one the corner vent is made out of. It has a piece of tyvek stretched over it and a smooth 1/8 in thick silicone port is made on top and inside the tubing under the tyvek as well. I then let dry. Then a hole is made in the bag and the inoc port is attached with the bag going over the tyvek and tubing to keep the tyvek tight and create a seal. no tape here either because the flexible tubing was used.
heres what it looks like with the lid on the container...
it sits in a closet on a towel (to help prevent tearing of the bag by friction)...
...notice how the jar is sitting in the inside out glove for space.
Someone asked me what do i do if the fruits outgrow the container since it's only about four inches high total. well, the good thing about there being three layers of environment is that you can just use the bag itself as a lid if need be.. all you do is take the lid and maneuver it under the container and use the bag as a lid...
...you probably wouldn't ever need as much as room as the corner implies.. I just did it like that for demonstration purposes. you can use any part of the bag to get a lid size that won't dry your sub out but allow the fruits to grow to full potential.
Then I have these nifty "helping hand" large zip ties...
...you can "undo" them by pushing on a little lever on the bottom of the locking mechanism... so they aren't permanent zip ties. I put four together, but keep two "open" or unzipped so that you can wrap it around the container to keep the lid semi-sealed to prevent drying out...
...and there, it's a larger container if you need it to be. :thumbup:
So with this one I'm airing it out everday and it's knotting.. I'm expecting pins in the next couple days...
...once I get mature fruits, I'll cut the caps off and with a 60 cc sterile syringe i'll inject thru the inoc port. unscrew the lid on that 1/2 pint and hold the cap upside down over the mouth of the jar and flood the caps... use the needle tip to do a bit of scrubbing and dump straight into the jar.. once I do that for all caps, I'll put the lid back on the jar and remove it from the bag... done. :)