Im going to share how i prep my Whole Oats. Many that i witness using oats typicaly follow some sort of a no prep tek and although i have had success, it is my least favorite way of preparing them. Oats or any similar grains or seed such as wbs, rye, corn (cracked or whole) and even grass seed can be prepared via a steep method. Sorry popcorn lovers but steeping corn doesnt work, or at least not for me within a 2 hour time window.
I did not create this method of hydrating grains i just execute the process microbe style.
You need some oats. I use Whole Oats that come complemented with whole corn, twigs, straw/hay and on occassion a few dried up mouse remains (i think) and none of which ever posed a problem for me just like sunflower seeds in my wbs never did. Needless to say these oats are not Race Horse grade but work fine and there is no need in paying a premium price IMO.
Get enough water on a heat source that you will need, you want to bring to a rolling boil.
While waiting on the water i measure out my grains by pouring into a 10 quart measuring tub that i fill to the rim. I then add the 10 quarts of dry oats into a 5 gallon nylon mesh bag. Oats will expand 1.5 times its volume during a 2 hour steep thus leaving me with 45 quarts of hydrated grains.
Once in the bags i twist the top and apply a releasable cable tie to secure the bag tightly keeping grains from floating out during the steep. It also adds a handle that makes handling the bag throughout the process.
Once the bags are secured closed its time to rinse some of the dirt and other impurities off of the grain. Today i will be outdoors using a garden hose but a sink sprayer will work also. I spray down the bags for a few minutes each. I do not rinse until the water runs clear but instead i consider my grains rinsed well enough when i pick the bag up off of the ground and the water draining is slightly murky versus the brown when i first start.
I toss my bag into a 5 gallon bucket.
This is optional but i then take a few scoops (by hand) of gypsum and toss down in top of the bags and pour 1 quart of house hold bleach into the bucket.
When the water is boiling carefully remove the vessel from the heat source and pour in enough water so that there is at least 2 inches of water above the sack. I wear thermal gloves that i used to wear when i was a Fire Fighter.
I then carefully grab the cable tie handle and pick the bag up out of the water and then lower it back in as if i were dipping a tea bag. This helps agitate the solution and the water should look like coffee with a creamer.
I place a lid on the bucket and wait 2 hours.
After 2 hours is up i open the lids the steep water now looks like tea. Assuming you didnt add bleach you can make a lc and or nutrient rich agar using just the steep water or it can be supplemented with dextrose to your liking or current need. Give it a try!
I rinse the grain again to remove the bleach, starch and excess gypsum.
I toss it up on the central air unit and let drip for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes i load the grain into bags. This project i am making up several 5 quart bags for working spawn, a few 2 quart bags for secondary master spawn and a few pint jars for primary masters. I will inoculate the masters with agar plugs and expand via glc to secondaries that also are used for GLC purposes.
Once the bags are loaded i roll the bag to push all the air out. I use .5 micron filter patch bags and they say you cant impulse seal these bags before you PC them but you can as long as you get all the air out. Once the air is out i impulse seal them.
Once sealed i place them in tyvek envelope, this isnt necessary with the .5 filters but im using them until they are gone. Once in the envelope i place a releasable cable ties and load into the pc.
I pack hand towels around the bags to prevent the bags from touching the side walls of the pc and melting. I learned this the hard way!
I lay another bag on top and pack towels around it and then place a ceramic plate on top and close the lid. I PC for 2 hours because of the volume of the bags.
Finished bag of oats. Place somewhere for 24 hours so that the bags can self inflate making them easier to work with.
I will share how i use bags as glc once the secondaries are ready. For now all of the oats will receive myc water from masters.
I like to thank my buddy ToRn2bits for turning me onto bags. It sure beats washing all them dang jars. This would have been 55+ quart size jars assuming they were filled to 75%.
Hope this helps someone.
Ok there is the photo down there ⬇, the handful of gypsum that is supposed to be up there ⬆.
Edited by wharfrat, 28 April 2016 - 08:15 PM.