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popcorn discusions [merged]

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#61 Lazlo


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Posted 10 June 2005 - 10:28 PM

That pic looks great man! Nice job.

#62 sevenveils



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 02:48 PM

I have been having problems with bacteria in my popcorn jars.
Here is my procedure:
1.)Soak 24 hrs. with ~30% coffee and 1 tbsp gypsum.
2.)Simmer 30-45 min.
3.)Rinse thoroughly, then Dry in collander then spread out on a towel until grains are dry to the touch. Load into quart jars with a little vermiculite in the bottom.
4.)PC ~75 min. 15 psi
5.) Innoculate with syringe (through polyfill hole) and place in TUT set up.
Notes: Spore prints were over 1 year old and have been taking about 7 days to germinate. At first everything is fine, the grains are dry and "clink" against the glass when shaken. I have been shaking 3-4 days after germination to mix up the vermiculite and to speed up colonization. At first, it seems to take off, then I start to notice the kind of starchy "wet spots".
Possible explanations:1.) too much heat. At first I had the aquarium heater set at 86 F. I have since turned it down to ~80.
2.) Shaking? Contamination seems to appear after shaking.
3.) Too much time before germination. This shortens the "window of opportunity" Hopefully I will have a couple of jars that are successful, then do grain to grain, then get fresh specimens for printing.
Anyway, sorry for the long read. I have been doing my research. I was just wondering if anyone had similar experiences with popcorn and how they were able to fix the problem.
Thanks for your help. This site is great.

#63 spyker



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 03:24 PM

I've never had problems with popcorn, nor the chicken feed whole corn... I dont soak, but cook till kernals are "al dente" haha like pasta, cooked through but still almost cooked right in the middle (it takes over an hour sometimes with the corn). Then load up jars in pc with a bit of verm on the bottom. PC for 75 mins. Have 1 out of 20 contam at most..

Verm is a key to stop the soggy bits...But your technique seems fine, although U could save urself the soaking. R U sure that your print is clean and your inoc procedure is clean?

#64 sevenveils



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for the reply.
I think my innoculation/syringe technique is ok.
What temp. do you incubate at?
Do you shake? Is it better to not shake, allowing the vermiculite to remain on the bottom to soak up moisture?
Well, I definitely have some experimenting to do. I will try increasing the PC time and possibly the soak time (can't hurt).

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:42 PM

How much spore solution are you innoculating with? That is the only additional liquid you're adding to the jars so it could be where you're getting the extra moisture.

Your technique sounds okay also. The only thing I can think of is you're using too much inoculant? But its hard to say. You could try a tyvek filter instead of polyfill also, this may let the jar breath easier.

#66 roc


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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:46 PM

It is possible that the spore syringe is the contamination source? I believe it could be... I never have problems with popcorn prepared as you describe.

#67 sevenveils



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:58 PM

I use 1 cc. max for innoculant.
I think you may be on to something regarding fresh air. I have one quarter inch hole(that was my biggest drill bit) in each lid stuffed pretty tight with polyfill. So I doubt much air is getting through. That is possibly why it takes off after shaking b/c it forces fresh air in that wasn't getting in otherwise.

Should I use the same quarter inch hole without polyfill and put a square of tyvek in between the ring and lid? Or should I drill more holes.

Thanks for your help. Its frustrating because I feel like I'm on the verge of success, I just need to figure out the flaw in my technique. It keeps it interesting though.

I guess it is possible the syringe/print is contaminated as the prints are pretty old. I will make new syringes with a different print and use tyvek next batch.

#68 Guest_Peter Cottontail_*

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 09:39 PM

Could it be that when you shake, the polyfil gets wet? If so, that's the problem. The filter material must stay bone dry at all times, or bacteria from the air will colonize right through the filter material to your corn. Also, a 1/4" hole is probably not enough if it's stuffed tight. Try several holes. In addition, that's a bit too warm for an incubation temperature. Remember, the mycelium builds heat as it colonizes and glass is an insulator which holds heat in. I'd drop the temp to regular room temperature and up the amount of air exchange. Figure out a way to shake without getting the filter material wet. I use synthetic filter disks on the outside of the lid, with three 1/8" holes drilled in the metal lid. This keeps the filter dry when I shake. Also remember, shaking is optional with corn. It doesn't take much mycelium to colonize a jar of popcorn, so it goes very fast without shaking.

#69 sevenveils



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Posted 05 November 2005 - 09:55 PM

Thanks for the replies. I've been doing a little more reading and have learned that excessive heat and lack of fresh air create conditions for bacteria to thrive. I think my grain prep/innoc. is ok, so I'm guessing my problem is with the incubation conditions.

I had the tub-in-tub pretty tightly sealed due to placing a 30 lb. dumbell on top of the lid so the upper tub would sit lower in the water. This increased temp. and also sealed created a tight seal. So there was this stagnant hot environment in the tub. What I have done is remove the weight and leave the lid just loosely laying on top of the tub to allow the jars to "breathe" and moderate temp's.

I did notice that the jars sitting on the bottom of the tub where it is hotter have are more prone to wet spot than the jars sitting near the top of the tub.

I will try tyvek on the next batch to see if that improves air exchange.

#70 mullugh



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Posted 27 November 2005 - 01:39 PM

I read a thread where someone made PF cakes out of chopped up popcorn instead of BRF - It only poduced a few small mushrooms and didn't seem to be a practical new method.

However, I thought it might be a good idea to add a small amount to the BRF mix. i.e 1/5 popcorn to 4/5 BRF as the substrate.

Anyone tried this yet???

I will also try adding some used coffie grinds to the mix in my next project...

Just innoculated, so will try to keep you informed

#71 shedthemonkey



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Posted 27 November 2005 - 10:07 PM

Not sure this is what you meant, but...
My monkey's brother has taken popcorn, washed and double pc'd it, colinized it with cubbies, mixed it with equal volume of field-capacity wet vermiculite (also PC'd but that was just his preference...was likely clean) let it incubate for a few days, put in fruiting conditions...and produced nice yields such as in the picture. It wasn't bad for a first attempt...anyway, the second and third flush were about the same...tons of little guys.

Now if you meant using corn flour or corn meal instead of rice, there are threads in the archives that have shown these will work. Hip has said many times that rice works the best, but the other grains and grain flours can be subbed if needed. Your milage may vary. Rice is very easy to get and grinds nice in a cheap coffee grinder. If you have some awesome results with corn get pics and tell us about it. :D good luck.

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#72 Hippie3



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Posted 28 November 2005 - 08:28 AM

if you want a supplement for your cakes
i'd use cornmeal instead.

#73 mullugh



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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:36 PM

does the cornmeal suppliment improve either yeild or colonisation time in your opinion??

Where do you get it from?

#74 shroomatt



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Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:11 PM

i am going to try popcorn once (or more if i like it),because i have a large surplus of organic white kernel popcorn, and when i read teks it says simmer for about 30-60 min. when they say simmer does that mean bring to a boil and turn the heat down then start the simmer, or just put it on low heat for the said amount of time?

#75 Guest_lost_onabbey_rd_*

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:36 PM

in cooking most of the time you bring to a steady boil and turn the head down to a low boil (simmer) i would guess that's what is ment

#76 shroomatt



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Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:38 PM

cool, thats what i guessed.

#77 shroomatt



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Posted 21 December 2005 - 12:00 AM

i have another question, once polyfill gets wet it stops filtering, right?

#78 BuckarooBanzai


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Posted 21 December 2005 - 03:58 AM

My FOAF has had great results hydrating popcorn in a double boiler. He has an electric stove and even on low it boils the water, bursting many kernels at the 45-55 minute time frame. The double boiler cooks slower and gets the corn a good bit softer and more hydrated before too many kernels pop (70-90 minutes). My friend checks every five minutes toward the end and takes it off the heat as soon as %3-%5 of the kernels break. My friend had excellent results with the crock pot, but it took like 3-4 hours.

My friend pours the corn out into a collander (still piping hot) and stirs it continuously with a fork for 10 minutes. By the time the corn cools, enough water has evaporated that the corn is just about perfect for colonization. If it still feels moist (too dry is MUCH better than too moist) he spreads it out on newspaper for 2-3 hours.

Wet polyfil is no longer an effective barrier against contaminants. Bugs land in the exposed moist end and then colonize the polyfil, eventually reaching inside the jar. My friend uses two layers of tyvek over a hole slightly smaller than a pencil (3/8 inch) for fresh air.

#79 jrogers311



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Posted 24 December 2005 - 04:32 PM

A friend soaks the popcorn for 24 hours then simmers until some kernals start splitting. Drying out the seeds is important too, couldn't agree more that too dry is better than to wet. My friend has had better succsess spawning the popcorn with crumbled colonized brf cakes than LC or multispore. Best wishes!

#80 Guest_lost_onabbey_rd_*

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 06:50 PM

just thought i would mention that if you add a few table spoons of dry verm to the jar before you put the corn in it can help control the moisture content
which is where i think most people seem to have problems with corn
the verms small size allso helps create more innc points when you spawn it

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