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Silly(c)One's first ventures into mycology


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#21 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 02:52 PM

Great details, SillyCone.

This is an excellent thread!

#22 SillyCone

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

Great details, SillyCone.

This is an excellent thread!

Coming from you, Buck, that's priceless ! Thanks !
I've read most of your excellent threads for my mycoeducation, so thank you for sharing the knowledge !

Oh I forgot a few more of my friends, this morning before going to bed...

This is my P.Azurescens Astoria Ossip from MRCA.
Initially I had ordered the Azur Hammond, but apparently they went out of stock right during my order and I got this one instead... times 2, thanks MRCA :)
A little anecdote about that order... I had previously ordered 3 times already by them, and each times they had used styrofoam for the packaging. That was making me completely berzerk, as I wondered : how can such a great shop, bearing all the european community approved BIO labels, selling mycelium for mycoremediation, use such a bad polutant for their packaging ? Wasn't it bad enough it has to come using petrol to my place, they also had to use petrol to package their goods. So I sent them a lengthy email, questioning their logic and providing them with this great link that most of you surely know already : http://www.ted.com/t...ew_plastic.html
Then, silence. No shipping occuring for 10 days... The package finally arrived 13 days later, and no styrofoam plus double dose of P.Azur spawn :dance:
Props to a company that can evolve in the right direction !

So here it is : the secondary spawn, the original remaining microbox and the agar.

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#23 SillyCone

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:40 PM

Could anybody tell me if my pints of P.Mexicana would be ready to spawn yet ?
Also the Mexican Dutch Kings in WBS are very white, but far from forming a cake. Could I spawn them on hpoo already or do I have to wait until the grains are impossible to separate like my pint of PFRS ?

#24 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:03 PM

Coming from you, Buck, that's priceless ! Thanks !


Dude - you are welcome and no problem! Detailed posts and lots of good pics generally make for the most educational threads. My favorite Teks and grow logs are those that ooze excessive details...

#25 SillyCone

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:58 PM

Hehehe Buck, I guess you won't be disappointed then ;)
I just can't stop talking about this anyway, at least in here I don't bore people to death with my "stupides champignons" ;)

Do you use gypsum to help in the soak? Have any contam issues with coffee? Do cubes like coffee? My friend has never had any luck with corn and such...you pointed out the double boil, sounds more than reasonable if even after a 24 hour soak with gypsum brought to a boil then towel dryed and sterilized had not worked...

I think I now got 2 jars of MDK in WBS with some trichoderma in them, visible after shaking... A few parameters might have played :
- that batch of WBS was only soaked for 2h prior to PC
- the lids are an intermediary version, might have some leaks in the silicone
- I can't remember how long it was PC'd, but it's possible it was only 60 minutes or made without enough care
- I think I waited too long after PC to 'noc 'em.
I don't think the contam comes from the syringe, as the Mex DK LC was made with the same water as the syringe, at the very end, and it's crystal clear, no way there is some trich in there... Though I must admit I have no idea what a trich contamination looks like in LC :P

The last batch of WBS, which was soaked 24h (in coffee) and double boiled but only PC'd for 60 minutes and without gypsum/lime, is much faster to colonize still than the previous batch... Hopefully, the myc will be fast enough this time and the 60 minutes were enough after the 24h soak. Once again, crossing fingers. (I should probably take care about that, else I'll end up with arthritis after a few months of mycology :lol:)

Whatever the results, there's something to learn from that experience.
Rye berries work really well but I really like the price and availability of WBS, so for me it's worth the time anyhow. I couldn't find a cheap local source for rye berries, so the cost of those skyrockets from less than 1€/kg for the WBS to more than 5€/kg mostly because of shipping costs.
My results with parakeet seeds (mostly millet) are not as conclusive as WBS, so I guess I'll stick to WBS in general and rye berries for the more tricky cases : I don't want to go through the whole process of fine tuning both WBS and parakeet seeds. From where I sit, I think I'll reserve rye to sclerotias producing species, after reading the Sclerotias Growing Guide available on the Shroomery I think. That allows me to either fruit them or leave them in their jars for sclerotias. PF Tek can only be used to fruit them as you don't want to be eating verm, rye grass seeds is supposed to be trickier to boot and/or fruit, and parakeet seeds are a PITA to clean from the truffles before consumption. I don't remember what he said about WBS, though. I'll reread the guide and if he doesn't talk about it, I'll probably try it for myself in a couple of quarts (1 for sclerotias, 1 for fruiting, I like the concept of diversity in the Mexicana family :D)

Edited by SillyCone, 06 July 2011 - 09:51 PM.


#26 SillyCone

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:29 PM

About the Pans, they are definitely more tricky to grow than the cubes.
And I'm not even talking about fruiting them, but just inoculation.

I'm starting to believe what I read somewhere, that is, germinating the spores on Agar and doing some selection is paramount to successful colonization and steady fructification.
I haven't worked with spores on agar yet, because I'm a wuss and only dare to work on agar with peroxyde, even in front of the hood. I have found some antibiotics at my local pharmacy, but didn't dare to make my own antibiotic agar recipe.
I also ordered some antibiotics along with my All American pressure sterilizer, but they are stuck at the fucking stupid incompetent mafiosos con men/thieves that call themselves customs since june 27th... I guess I'll have at least 2 more weeks before some asshole dares to put a sticker on the box and forward it to the postal services... Damn I hate those corrupted entities !!!
Oh, but eventually I'll have the last word : my order at MRCA should arrive tomorrow if all is well. In it : 3kg lime, 3kg gypsum, 500g Light Malt Extract, a n#7 scalpel and... an antibiotic ready to use agar mix :)
So where was I ? Ah yes, spores on agar... So probably tomorrow, I'll be able to sprout a few strains on antibiotic agar to learn the selection process, especially for the Panaeoluses.
I'd germinate the rest of my strains in spore syringe on those plates : Psilocybe Mexicana A, Panaeolus Cambodginensis Suphanburi aka Goliath, Panaeolus Cyanescens Hawaii (the same I got in LC and jars right now - I might even try an LC to agar transfer to see how the LC develops in 2D... but for that I guess my usual agar w/ h2o2 would suffice.) and maybe my last syringe of Z and the Teonanacatl + Mexican Dutch King prints to test both dry and hydrated spores.

#27 beatrixkiddo

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:19 AM

Man, what an inspiration! You hit the ground running for sure.

We've been at it a month now and loving every minute of it. Tried spores to WBS with a complicated spawn that's moving so slow. I just flooded some plain old WBS (white millet finch blend) with a strong APE LC, and the jars will probably surpass the first set we did about a month ago. Maybe a waste, but i probably put 10-15 cc in each jar. The LC was so big. We are working with limited space until we move. Once we do move, I'm setting up a real lab. This kitchen setup is getting old.

Thanks for the coffee soak idea, sounds great. I need to suck it up and create a grow log and get out of yours. Good luck from the middle of USA :)
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#28 SillyCone

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:40 AM

Man, what an inspiration!

Wow, thanks a lot, you made my day !

You hit the ground running for sure.

Hihihi yup that's me alright :D
It's the H in ADHD ;)
In fact, I now see psilocybin as my medecine. I've been tripping every 5 days for the last 2 months or so, and it has helped me tremendously already. Much more efficient than all the shit my psychiatrist has been prescribing me for the depression linked to my ADHD.
While the SSRI put me in a bubble when I won't solve a thing, the mushrooms either allow me to trip with great pleasure or to get my feet back on the ground and get back in touch with my feelings. And they force me to clean my act between trips in order to have good ones.
Hence my motivation in growing them psilos, and every kind I can put my hands on ;)
I might even experiment with harmala in the future... but before that I need to get totally centered and balanced. I'm planning a trip to Brazil in december, where I intend to do the whole shebang : ayahuasca with a shaman in the forest, and psilos and mescaline with friends in Sao Paulo/Belo Horizonte... BTW, I lived in Brazil some 20 years ago, still speak portuguese as my second language, better than english yet, and that's where I started smoking weed so this is not a newbie's trip to the tropics and psychedelics ;)

We've been at it a month now and loving every minute of it.

I knoooow right ? And we haven't even harvested our first fruits... *drooool*

I just flooded some plain old WBS (white millet finch blend) with a strong APE LC, and the jars will probably surpass the first set we did about a month ago.

That's terrific, because it's the proof you're making progress !
That's why I'm so thorough in documenting my progress, so I can come back and see how far I went and everything I've done and failed...

We are working with limited space until we move. Once we do move, I'm setting up a real lab. This kitchen setup is getting old.

That's the reason I waited more than 15 years before growing mushrooms. I didn't have the space or the means to build a proper lab until a few months ago, when my parents died and I took over their home to help my young brother finish uni... Now don't be too sad for me, that's the circle of life, and in the process, I inherited the home which was... Mom's garden center, along with hundreds of square yards of greenhouses :D
Also, Maman had her own private garden at the very end of the property, with glycins, a rose path, a few mixed borders with Rhododendrons for my future spawn of Azurs and lots of grass for other outdoors psilos...

Thanks for the coffee soak idea, sounds great. I need to suck it up and create a grow log and get out of yours.

That's alright, mate, you can stay ;)

Though I highly recommend you start your own too, as it will help you tremendously in tracking your own progress...
Don't be shy and try to write down all your mistakes !
It is easy to forget precisely what went wrong before it went right, but that's the most valuable information to keep for both you and us fellow topians :)

Cheers,
Silly©One.

Edited by SillyCone, 07 July 2011 - 09:56 AM.


#29 SillyCone

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 03:00 PM

I just drank 3.8g in a tea... See you all on the other side on my return :P

#30 SillyCone

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:30 PM

Wow, that was something...
The first half of the trip was so intense I couldn't move, and sometimes, I had to remember to breathe :D
It came slowly though, no big rush... initially, I thought it was going to be a very light trip, bcoz it took about half an hour to an hour to hit fully...

I guess I had enough for a little while, now...
I better take a bit more care of my plants, who are dying by lack of attention because all my energy was concentrated in the mushies...

It's an amazing drug, as it drives you away from it once it fullfilled its purpose...
Too bad most of the world is completely blind to its beauty...

#31 SillyCone

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:18 AM

Yesterday before my trip, I spawned the P.Mexicana Jalisco in 3 small alu containers with hpoo/kelp/straw pellets. 1 tub with the shaken up mini BRF cake, and 2 with 1 pint of rye.
I took a mini mini peak (couldn't resist) at the PF Red Spore spawn and the mycelium has already started to colonize the top layer :dance:

On the WBS front, I noticed something very important : not all WBS are alike at all !

Apparently, in the US, WBS is millet/milo/wheat/sunflower, while in Belgium, it is milo/wheat/corn/pea/sunflower !!! What you call WBS is parakeet seeds here...

That changes everything, it explains most of my contamination issues with WBS as most start on the corn or the pea's skins (trich).

I read on the Shroomery a nice recipe for preparation of WBS, and I derived my new method from there and my book (Psilocybin Mushroom Handbook). I now definitely soak the grains for 24h+ in diluted coffee after having drained them a few times, but instead of the first boil, I only add warm coffee and let it sip and cool down till the next day.

The book advices to soak WBS in cold water for 24h instead of warm, for the germination of endospores. And the Shroomery WBS Tek thread says to then simmer the grain for 20-30 minutes with no hard boiling, stirring from time to time. That allows for only 5% of the grain to "explode" and thus reduces chances of contamination.
I was making full boils on them and most of the wheat berries ended up crushed, leaving the pulp of the berries exposed to air, and I guess it was released far too much starch and it was a pain to wash away.

It seems quite difficult to get the right water content for the WBS. Many of my jars have had explosive starting growth but ended up stalling completely after the first shake, seemingly too dry :(

On the other hand, the last batch was a bit too wet, and that seems to have stalled the Cubes (Mex DK) a bit, while the Pans are just exploding : they're close to 100% colonization in just 5 days from inoculation !!!

Tonight I'll probably PC 4 more quarts of WBS, but this time I'll use gypsum again as I got my 3k's by the mail yesterday, and for a good 90 minutes just to be sure :P
Everything will depend on the drying process I guess...

Edited by SillyCone, 08 July 2011 - 07:39 AM.

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#32 SillyCone

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:15 PM

A few pics...

First the 3 Hawaiians : not shaken, shaken after 2-3 days, shaken yesterday as it was in a pool of water ?!??
So those were inoculated on july 3rd... 5 days ago !

Next comes the Mexican Dutch King, from spores @ 6/26 and from LC @ 7/3 like the Hawaii.

I had to throw one more pint of Pans Hawaii started from spores... Both eventually stalled. When I see the results with the LC, no way I'll use spore syringes directly...

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#33 Cue

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:52 PM

I used this method recommended to me by, I pretty sure, Mermaidia. http://mycotopia.net...3.html#poststop
It has only been 1.5 days since being inoculated so I can't comment on results yet. Even though some of the threads showed corn, I stayed away from it, because I noticed popcorn TEKs were a little different.

#34 SillyCone

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:02 AM

Hey thanks for the tip !

A note of interest, my WBS is composed of : corn, wheat berries, peas and milo (the "big" ones, not the millet).

Though I think I was a bit fast to declare the mean green on my 2 jars of Mex DK in WBS, it was probably just a few dots of colours that looked suspicious. They now are covered in snow white mycelium, no more traces of weird colours.
I guess when the conditions are right, though, the Pans are much faster to colonize than the Cubes !

Concerning the WBS preparation, I'm now PC'ing a few jars and am confident I found the right Tek for me.
The grains were just perfectly hydrated and dry on the outside, not sticky at all and with only a very few exploded wheat berries.

That's how I eventually did it :

1. Flush thoroughly the WBS with cool water, until the water runs clear

2. Boil 3 parts of water per 2 parts of WBS, and mix in a 50% dose of instant coffee

3. Put the WBS in a big cooking pot, and pour the hot water on it

4. Get all the floater out while mixing for a few minutes

5. Cover the pot and let the WBS soak for 24h-36h

6. Simmer the WBS :
- a. Heat the pot until vapour comes out then turn the heat down : we don't want to hard boil the WBS as the wheat will explode
- b. Keep stirring while maintaining an almost boiling temperature for 30 to 45 minutes, while removing all the floaters or broken cores you can find

7. Put the grain in colianders and thoroughly drain with hot water from the sink while stirring until the running water is clear. Also remove any "dead skins" and exploded grains (but don't spend an hour on it :P)

8. Keep stirring with a plastic "spatula" (don't know the word in english, but it's a silicone kindof spoon to stir doe, in order not to break the grains) until no more water is running below the colianders, no starch can be seen and no more vapour comes out.
Leave it be for a few minutes to an hour until the grain is totally dry on the outside.
Take a handfull of seeds and let it run through your fingers to make sure it is doesn't stick together and is nicely dried.
If it does stick, it means it hasn't been drained enough after simmering, just go back to step 7.

9. Fill in your jars up to 8/10, as the weight of corn and peas is enough to garantee easy shakes after colonization, seal, cover with 2 layers of alu foil and PC for 1h (start counting after the chamber of the cooker is filled with vapour and pressure built up to 15 psi - that's when the little weight starts rocking back and forth)
As usual, let the PC cool down before opening and tightening the jars (I found the Ball jars lids had a tendency to unscrew themselves a tiny bit during sterilization, as the filter doesn't allow for vacuum to form in the jars and complete the sealing process.)
I like to move the PC to the lab while it is still hot but the pressure has come down, in order to open it and tighten the jars in front of the hood (or in the glovebox if that's what you work with, but that may not be very useful anyways, just my paranoia talking ;))
Depending on the level of humidity in the jar, you might want to shake it a bit to distribute moisture before the jar is totally cooled of to room temperature.

10. Inoculate with up to 5ml of LC (in a pint jar, depending on the moisture of the WBS after cooling) and incubate

11. Get ready to prepare spawn or casing material soon, as colonization is crazy fast :D

I found the best was to use pint jars, as they colonize much faster

I'm not using any gypsum or lime for the moment, as I believe my tapwater to be sufficiently dosed with calcium for the nutriments, and the grain is dry enough not to need gypsum. Now I'm a bit lost concerning the need for pH adjustment too... We are "supposed" to give a rather high pH environment to the mycelium in order to "unfavorize" the bacterias, yet the coffee that boost mycelium growth has a much lower pH, and that didn't stop my PanCyans to explode of growth with coffee and no pH adjustments...
I guess in order to be scientific in that matter, I better get my pH/EC meter in the kitchen with me next time I prepare grains :D

Edited by SillyCone, 09 July 2011 - 11:36 AM.


#35 SillyCone

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:48 PM

Shit, I just lost 20 lines of text after a bad update :badday:

Let's start over...

First the bad news : probably 2 pints of Pan Cyan lost to the green. They were colonizing so fast ! In 5 days, the pint was totally white. I dared to shake just in case and voilà, trichoderma inside.
That wasn't totally unexpected, as the WBS was way too moist, but with the speed of growth, I thought the myc had won the race...
Then the good news : the quart of rye inoculated with PanCyan LC on june 26th is showing growth again, I thought it had stalled after the last shaking, like the WBS quarts inoculated the same day...
I *may* have some Pan Cyans to fruit soon after all :dance:

I checked the evolution of my first spawned hpoo PRRS & P.Mex.Jalisco under the hood, and both are colonizing steadily. I'll check on them again in 3 or 4 days.

On the WBS front, the last batch was perfect before PC'ing. After the jars had cooled down though, there were pools of water in every one of them. I thought I'd loose them again but inoculated anyways with 3 LCs : 4 pints of Pan Cyan, 2 pints of PF Red Spore and 2 quarts of Mexican Dutch King.
The pints were noc'd with 2ml and the quarts with 3ml.
After a few hours of incubation though, all the water had receeded in the grain !
I thought of 2 solutions to counter the temporary "flood" : either incubate for a few hours before inoculating, or add a pinch of gypsym right before PC'ing. I think the gypsum would be better, after all, it is it's main purpose ! (also, I just bought 3 kilos, godamit ;))

#36 SillyCone

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 12:08 PM

Good news everyone (for Futurama fans :D)

A quick peak in the most advanced PF Red Spore hpoo tray showed a 50% colonization of the top layer of poo :dance:
There were also a few drops of clear water on the myc, which I sucked up with cotton. Then I put a fresh sheet of foil on top and made a few holes.
I guess it will be ready to case in a few days.

The P.Mexicana Jalisco trays are also colonizing, albeit a tad slower. The Mexicanas myc is much less agressive than the cube's, and also fluffier and less of a flashy white.
The tray that was started from the small crumbled BRF cake still shows no signs of colonization on the outside, though.

I also took a few colonized grains while spawning them to hpoo and put them on some malt yeast cpoo agar, in order to make some LC in the future in case I don't successfully fruit the Jaliscos this time, as my spore syringe is empty...

After reading a few reports on the Jaliscos, I'm not much interested in growing sclerotias anymore, as the fruitbodies themselves look to be much more powerfull than cubies once dried and I'm not interested in eating fresh mushrooms anyways... So I've been looking at my big jar of grass seeds with a strange eye... The seeds are 100% colonized and form a big cake as I never shaked it.
Would it be a good idea to crumble the cake and spawn in it Straw+hpoo mix like I did for the rye jar ?

The last batch of WBS is starting to develop. All three strains show very clean spots of myc starting fast. I have the feeling this time it's going to work ok : there is no excess water at all in the jars, the grains have a nice clear color and look dry on the outside while looking perfectly hydrated on the inside. We'll see if the gypsum was needed after all...

#37 SillyCone

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:18 PM

On the woodlovers front, I just spawned my last box of P.Azurescens Astoria Ossip from MRCA.

Here's the procedure I used :

1. Soak 1.5L of coarse chestnut chips, mixed with 1.5L fine beech chips for 12 to 24h.
2. In parallel, bring 1L of fine beech sawdust to field capacity
3. Drain the coarse chips and mixin the sawdust
4. put a sheet of corrugated cardboard in the bottom of the box
5. spawn a little Azur on top of the cardboard
6. lay 2-3 cm of wood on top of the spawn
7. add some more spawn, then some wood, then some spawn then some wood
8. finish with the remaining spawn and cover with corrugated cardboard.
9. spray some water on the cardboard and put a brick on it.
10. close the container with a filter to allow for some FAE while keeping hygro high.

I even improvised a bit (crossing fingers) by fetching some dead branches and leaves from the rhododendron at the back of the garden, where the patch will be installed, crushed them and put them on top of the spawn before adding the top layer of cardboard.

I did approximately the same (without sawdust) a few weeks ago with my first box of Azur spawn, and as you can see in the pictures above, the Azur myc has started to colonize the chips and the cardboard...
Seems like creating secondary spawn for woodlovers is completely idiot-proof as I succeeded on my first attempt ;)

#38 SillyCone

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:00 PM

I know I love pics, don't you ? ;)

First, the fruiting chamber and hygro setup.
1200L/h pond air pump, with 2 mini HEPA filters, and an ultrasonic cell on a timer. Quite cheap compared to commercial offerings, and that thing boosts like liquid hell. If I remove the mini filters, the air pressure is such that the whole tent is filled with vapour in a matter of minutes... Hence the addition of a timer for the cell, and if I finally build my workshop, the conception of a microcontroller based thermo-hygrostat. I have all the components already, just need to get my head to it and dust off my "mad" electronics/coding skillzzzz :pirate:

I still have to setup the circulation fan and both heating cables. They are 4m long so depending on the heat they generate, maybe I'll spread each on 2 levels. I wonder if I can fruit pans at 82F on top and cubies at 75F on the bottom layers... That would be easier with the aforementioned microcontroler...

Oh yes and a good one... The tent was rather cheap (25€) and came with a plastic sleeve (installed) and a white one... in tyvek :dance:
It is completely useless to me for its intended use, but as filter material, it's just a terrific bonus, I gotta have minimum 4 sqm (approx 36 sqf I think).
For my lids, I much prefer synthetic filter discs, but tyvek is still great for a number of applications where I don't want to "spend" a filter disc or simply it isn't practical :
- making lids for woodlovers spawn boxes
- inserting a piece of tyvek in my spawn bags for sterilization, as advised by RR in his videos
- probably some other use I haven't thought about yet, instead of using polyfill which I trust less than tyvek : it's more difficult to get the pressure right for good FAE AND good filtration

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#39 SillyCone

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:15 PM

In the same order as the last time.
I thought 2 were contaminated, but I guess I was wrong :eusa_clap
The first one was looking like the second one, but was shaked for fear of weird colours. False alarm, and the myc is recovering very well. It's a first for me with Pans :D
The second one has been shaked twice already (20% - 80%) and is recovering nicely too.
Both will soon be ready to spawn.
The third was in a swimming pool but is also seemingly recovering, albeit slower.

So I prepared 4L of straw pellets/hpoo+kelp/verm/coir/lime/supradyn, and pasteurized them on my new mushroom dedicated induction heating element in an 11qt IKEA pot. 4 1L jars fit perfectly inside, the lid can even be closed to maintain temperature once boiling has been stopped. There is a timer on the "plaque", and it's possible to set it on temperature (60C-240C) !!!

I do hope the All American sterilizers do work on induction heating elements, as it would be the mix made in heaven with the integrated timer. The conveniency of All American electric sterilizer at the standard PC prices (1925X+heater+shipping = 300€+ <> 50X+shipping = 600€+) :dance:

I also prepared a mix for an experience in a spawn bag : the rest from the above mix + hay + extra hpoo. It's been sterilized in a spawn bag for 3 full hours due to the presence of the hay. I'll probably noc' it with 100ml of LC, from either the Mex Dutch King or the Pan Hawaii.

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Edited by SillyCone, 12 July 2011 - 11:36 PM.


#40 SillyCone

SillyCone

    Wounded Healer

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:42 PM

noc'd 3 days ago with LC.
First the Mex DK, then the PF Red Spore, then the Pan Hawaii.

I have a very good feeling about this last batch.
A few jars are sweating a little bit though, next time I'll use a bit of gypsum and maybe simmer the WBS for a little less time, like 20-25 minutes.

Even then I have great hopes !

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