When inoculating a large volume of grain, the more inoculant used (up to a point) the faster the grain will complete. Shredded/macerated mushroom mycelia suspended in water (a slurry) makes an excellent bulk grain inoculant.
In about 10 days, .5mL of spore or clone water can easily be turned into 600mL of mycelia slurry using a pint jar and popcorn. 600mL of slurry will inoculate a lot of grain...
Total props to Fahtster for first introducing me to this idea in his thread:
- Spore syringe
- 5 pint canning jars
- 2 pint lids with Tyvek vents and silicone injection ports
- 3 pint lids with double silicone injection ports
- 5 pint lid bands
- 60mL syringe (a 10mL will work but it takes much longer)
- Airport syringe
- Aluminum foil
- PC capable of 15psi for 90min
Make all your lids with nice thick silicone ports. Use double Tyvek layers (one on the outside and one on the inside) for the popcorn jars. I find it helpful to attach circles of Tyvek to metal washers and then attach the washers to the lids. A dead air space between the Tyvek layers is important. The silicone used for the injection ports can be used to “glue” the Tyvek and the washers.
This is a picture of the lids and two popcorn jars. I like thick blobs of silicone.
When you prepare the popcorn, it needs to be properly hydrated (not wet), as pictured. Don’t use a layer of verm in the bottom – it will clog the syringe later.
Inject .5mL of spore water into the sterilized popcorn jar and incubate until it is about 60% finished. Shake the jar up violently at 60% and incubate until it is 100% finished. Shake it up again violently (after 100% colonized) and verify that it recovers. The jar on the right has been beaten up real bad and recovered each time – this is very important.
Shaking the popcorn and verifying recovery tests for contaminants you can’t see easily. If popcorn doesn’t recover, it has an infection of some kind and the jar is useless for this Tek.
The mycelia will also grow much thicker inside the jar from all the abuse - this is very helpful for this Tek.
The night that you beat up the popcorn for the last time, prepare your sterile water, airport and whatever grain you want to inoculate. I like to PC the airport syringe wrapped in aluminum foil with the 60mL syringe when I do the grain/water. I always try to sterilize grain bags/jars the night before they are used. I like to sterilize EVERYTHING for 60 minutes @ 15psi. This is overkill for the water jars and airport.
Put the sterile water in 3 pint jars with two silicone injection ports each. Fill the jars to the bottom of the band line with tap water and place the bands on loosely. PC or boil sterilize the water jars. Be certain a vacuum forms under each lid. No vacuum means no seal means don’t use the water jar. Tighten the bands down after they are sterilized. Sterilized/sealed water jars can be kept around indefinitely.
After you get everything into your work station, use the airport syringe to bleed the vacuum from a sterile water jar. You should hear the lid pop back up a few seconds after inserting the airport. If the lid doesn’t pop – the jar isn’t sealed and the water should not be used.
Leaving the airport in place to equalize the vacuum, draw 60mL of sterile water into the large syringe. You will do the same thing in a moment to extract the 60mL of mycelia water from the popcorn pint.
Shake the fully colonized popcorn jar until all the kernels are broken up.
Inject the 60mL of sterile water into the popcorn jar
Repeat until you have put 180mL of sterile water into the popcorn jar. It should be almost full with about ½ inch of free space to make shaking easier.
Shake the popcorn jar violently for about 60 seconds.
Take the airport out of the water jar and put it into the popcorn jar.
Insert the empty 60mL syringe into the popcorn jar and extract the mycelia slurry. Use the airport to equalize pressure rather than the Tyvek to avoid any chance of sucking contamination into the jar.
Use the 60mL of slurry to inoculate a big bag of grain (or whatever else you want). That 60mL will be inoculating the pictured 8 cups of hydrated popcorn (medium spawn bag from sporeworks.com). Note the slurry jar in the upper right hand corner.
You can easily make 600mL-700mL of slurry from a single popcorn pint jar. Just keep putting in more sterile water and shaking the heck out of it.
This is the 10th 60mL slurry syringe extracted from a popcorn pint. Not quite as thick/rich with mycelia but still totally usable.
I find this process for expanding myc volume and generating large amounts of inoculant to be superior to using Liquid Cultures.
The primary reason is being able to visually identify contaminants on the popcorn – there are no easy visual IDs of contaminants in an LC.
Slurry syringes should be used within 3-5 days if not immediately. Any slurry not used immediately should be refrigerated (not frozen).
Dispose of the popcorn jar immediately before it becomes contaminated and a hazard in your grow area...
Edited by Sidestreet, 02 October 2016 - 03:06 PM.