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Casting Microwave Pasteurization

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#1 Telepathic



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:27 PM

After grabbing a 5lb bag of casting I began reading the archives, I ran across this easy pasteurization method....

After the suitable moisture level has been reached it is time to pasteurize. Put the lid on the mixing bowl, leaving it loose so as to allow the steam that is produced during pasteurization to escape slowly. Microwave the castings on high for 5 minutes. Let them stand in the microwave 1 hour, and again, cook on high for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes are up, clean your hands with a sanitizer, and open the microwave and close the bowl lid tight. Allow the castings to cool in the microwave.

Has anyone one used this to any success? Then I also have two (tweaks) I would like to make to this tek.

1) My substrate will be Castings, Coir and Verm, either 1:1:1 or 2:1:1. If I mix them all prior, will this effect the efficiency of this microwave pasteurization tek?

2) Will it be okay to pasteurize/cool and then colonize in the same container?

My plan is to spawn 2 or 3 PF Jars to a 3.07L Family size tupperware container of castings, coir and verm.

#2 Bulk


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:51 PM

Mix all yous shit together in a pillowcase (maybe add a half a teaspoon of lime), get a cooler or a large storage tub, fill tub with boiling water, submerge pillowcase in water, cover, leave for a few hours.

After a few hours hang pillowcase to drip for about 5-8 hours. It'll drip to perfect field capacity while it cools.
It honestly can't get easier... and it's damn near impossible to eff up lol.


(I have no experience using the microwave.... to easy to pas in a cooler...and I always do a shit ton of sub at a time)

1. Can you microwave verm? Not sure... other then that you should be good to pasteurize it all together.

2. in order for that to work, you'd need to use the perfect amount of water, too much and you'll have standing water in the bottom of your sub... not enough and you'll have a dry sub that won't colonize.

#3 Telepathic



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 05:23 PM

Not only do I not want to deal with a pillowcase full of shit, and the draining. I also don't own a cooler. Thanks for the advice Bulk but honestly would like to stay on topic here.

Microwave Pasteurization.

You can microwave vermiculite I have done it before, as long as it is wet, you're okay.

The tek states they use 100% W. Casting. Does anyone see why microwaving it all together would cause any variance? I'm aiming to start doing this as soon as I get a "sounds kosher"

#4 Bulk


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 05:33 PM

I can't see it making a difference...
Same temps and what not.

If you can pasteurize W. casings in the microwave alone, I can't see why you'd have any issue doing it together.

Good luck.
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#5 Telepathic



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Bulk,

I just wanted to check before I went ahead with this. Didn't want to do one of those DOH moments, I'm newer to this hobby still and I'm stoned nearly all day after work. :weedpoke: You know...

Edit: Will report with pictures of process and results.

Edited by Telepathic, 03 March 2011 - 05:48 PM.

#6 dpwishy


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:01 PM

I always place my bulk inside qt jars, and put them in a water bath of 160 degree's for 2 hours. Once you get the stove dial down, after a few trys, you can set it and check on it every 30 mins, without any big temp change.

I was told that RogerRabbit had a tek where you put the bulk inside qt jars, placed inside a pot with a lid, having the water come up 2/3's on the jars. Once the water starts to boil, shut the stove off and leave it on the burner for an hour covered. If this is true and works, this would save me tons of time, but I never wanted to test it and lose spawn as I only make a few pints at a time, so I never did...

Me personally,
I like to do them in side closed qt jars,
as I can keep them closed and safe,
if I don't want to use them asap.

In divine friendship,
your brother,

Edited by dpwishy, 03 March 2011 - 06:19 PM.

#7 Telepathic



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:13 PM

Once again, not to be rude. But please keep this thread on the topic of Microwave Pasteurization. If you have no experience or advice on the topic then please don't post other tek's that you've been using. If you funnel people down into the same exact methods then you're actually limiting the amount of information on this website. Yes, other teks work (and are probably more tried and true) but I am talking about Microwaving here. I've read other pasteurization methods used and many of those in the archives, this is the one I see as the most feasible and easy. For me. Again, I hope that isn't to forward and I DO appreciate your intent to help but I see this all the time in mine and other posts.

I'm working on expanding the use of my microwave, it's fast and easy and almost everyone has one. In the past I have used it to pasteurize coir and verm, separately, and it has worked. I even stored coir in my fridge for over a month and microwaved it for 2 minutes, twice. Worked.

So here is a little pictorial of what I just mixed together.

3 cups dry castings;

Add 60ml Spring Water;

Add 3 cups Coir (Previously Hydrated);

Add 3 cups Verm (Previously Hydrated);

Mix Well, making sure you scrape the bottom edges;
Most of the coir took on the castings coloring when it was mixed, it just clung right onto it and took up the coir's shape and body.

And into the beast for 2 separate 5 minute cookings spaced 1 hour apart.

For reference this container is 13 cups, I got 3 of them for $5.

I plan on using 3 Half Pints as spawn.

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#8 Bulk


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:37 PM

Looks good! :bow:

#9 pizark2



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:08 PM

I heated verm in the microwave in a plastic bowl and it melted(the bowl),guess it wasn't wet.
Looks good to me.

#10 mydarling


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:09 PM

i edited the title so maybe you will get more on-topic responses. :thumbup:

#11 amphispiza



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:36 PM

Okay. I hve not pasteurized with a microwave. I don't even grow mushrooms. But I understand the biology behind pasteurization as I assume you do. Get yourself a thermometer and check it out. All that maters is getting up to temp and staying there. If your microwave functions as a cooler to maintain temp, Then that's great. Mileage may vary based on make, size, etc. And various microwaves would take longer to get up to temp, etc. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Nuke it, check temp. Shut door, wAit, check temp again, adjust as needed. May want to nuke then put in insulated cooler to hold temp? Hope that's not too off topic.... In theory it should work just fine. Let us know what you find. :)

#12 condeviernes



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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:47 PM

I always pasteurize/semi-sterilize my bulks on the microwave. Mostly they are made of verm, coir and castings.

Here´s how I do it:

1) The mix should be a little above field capacity (not too much! castings are very tricky); the microwave evaporates the water very quickly.

2) Then I put the mix into a PP5 container with no lid cause IME many containers are made of PP5 but their lids don´t...they can melt in the microwave. Instead of the lid I just use plastic film (saran wrap) and poke 10 holes with a needle.

3) Nuke for 8-10 minutes at max. potency.

4) As soon as the microwave finishes, I take the container with some oven mitts and then put more plastic wrap on top of the first. This creates some vacuum and the container seals itself.

5) Finally I wrap the container with a blanket or something like that so it keeps the temperature a little longer.

That´s the way I´ve been semi-sterilizing (I don´t think it´s pasteurization because of the high temps) my bulks since I started with this hobby and I made a lot of batches this way with very little contamination.

With this method I tried bagged compost, castings, peanut shells and pekan shells for oysters.

Hope it helps!

#13 extrememetal43


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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:31 PM

Nice post cond. let us know how this works out telepathic.

i dont recomend pillowcase pasteurizing worm castings. if you get them too wet theyl rinse away, id think youd definitely rinse away the water soluble nutrients when you squeeze out the excess water.

#14 Telepathic



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Posted 04 March 2011 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Cond. ; Thanks, I like your post. It sounds like you're using the same technique used in the Microwave LC TEK , which if I remember h3 also highly approved of. I forgot to mention in the pictorial above that right before I put it in the microwave I used a syringe and squirted 10ml evenly over the top of the substrate to help off set moisture loss. I have no idea at what rate water evaporates, but most of it seemed to condense on the top of the lid, which before spawning I just tipped the container sideways and it all went back in the sub. Then was mixed up nicely right away when the cakes were added n mixed.

My microwave works really well IMO, I don't need to cook anything longer than a few minutes and it's barrelin' hot, and I got it for free.

Okay, now a little more about the meat therm. I like the idea for the accuracy that you could achieve through it, but I don't like having to open the container to check. In the tek it states to close the lid right after the second nuking, and let it cool. This is the part when the spores need to stay out, as it's clean in there now. Maybe I could run a test and check it till I get my cooking times down then follow suit with those figure.

#15 Telepathic



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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

Well two days on top of the fridge in a paper bag.
I didn't open the top for obvious reasons, it only has 5 holes poked in dice formation on the top. They're real small too just enough to fit the tip of a knife through.

Fingers Crossed Ladies n Gents.

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#16 wildedibles



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Posted 07 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

that's cool thanks for sharing I'm growing oyster mushrooms now would this method work for wet wood sawdust/chips? It should I thought of something really funny thoe .... don't subsitute popcorn lol thought this post needed a laugh, sorry if it a little anoying :)
one more thing you can buy microwave thermomoters now sorry bad speller
I just seen them somewhere I think you keep them in there probably set it near the window so you can see it may not be exact temp as in the mix but close to the right temp and you dont have to open the microwave I think it was in the grocery store.

#17 Telepathic



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Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:16 PM

:lol: Yes I don't know if popcorn would work so well in the microwave... unless you're looking for a snack.

Thanks for the info on the microwaveable thermometer. I'll have to look for one, you can open the microwave, quickly, and check the temp just not the container itself. After thinking for a while, I decided you could put a self healing silicone port in the top of the lid and this could allow for checking temps without opening the lid, using a regular metal meat thermometer. That is if those thermometer sticks are pointed enough to pierce through the silicone.

I'd say give it a shot for your wood chips, pasteurization temps would be the same and I would think 5minutes in the microwave would easily achieve them. Just make sure that you close the lid and quickly close the microwave to keep the heat in so it stays above that 170 temp for the right amount of time.

#18 Telepathic



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Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:33 PM

Well this sub was moved to the fruiting chamber about 6 days ago and is showing aggressive knots all over the top and some quickly developing pins on the sides. This and a tray of old spent cakes that I crumpled and cased are the only two things in my FC at the moment, and the action is just begining.

The substrate tray I made in the microwave is the un-cased one on the left, and is shown here in the close-up, it might appear to have spots of yellowish on the surface but this is because I layed some spawn on the top, and they were PF cakes so the higher concentration of vermiculite stands out.

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#19 usagolden


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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:58 PM

woot woot!!
get on the pin train!

#20 MrGumball


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:02 AM

Lookin' good.

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