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CopyCatattack some cubensis bulk.


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#1 CatsAndBats

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:21 PM

Hello again fellow mycotopiates. 
 
The meaning behind this thread's title is twofold. Firstly it is an homage to the fantastic growers on this site, that have inspired me and that I oft emulate. I have culled, copied, and patterned my process from our amazing members, without whom, I'd still be trying to figure out how to birth a PF/BRF cake. Secondly, I will try to make it as clear and as easy as possible, so that any eager reader may follow (copy) the process and not be intimidated (being a copycat is encouraged). Paying it forward if you will, there is no groundbreaking information here, it's intended to be user-friendly for our newish members.
 
So let's begin!
 
 
 
Things that one will need to do this grow:
 
Spawn/inoculant or spores/spore syringe.
 
Quart jars and lids, I make my own lids out of pp5 plastic, but one may absolutely use the lids one has, as long as they have a gas exchange (GE) filter, and for those using a syringe, a SHIP.
 
A pressure cooker/autoclave.
 
A space for your 'clean work' i.e. SAB/GB, flow hood etc, which you should already be employing at this point, for transfers, inoculation, etc..
 
Grain, I use oats, but one could certainly use wild bird seed (WBS), or any grain that is traditionally used. If you use popcorn, you will have to give them a good rinse after hydration, which is unnecessary for oats or WBS.
 
A cooler for the steep.
 
Coir. I do not suggest using a substitute or replacing this part. Coir is purrfect for bulk for many reasons. It is extremely contaminate resistant, which makes it very user friendly. It is renewable, as opposed to peat (harvested from swamps) or vermiculite (which is mined). It also does not need a PH adjustment (like peat or grass clippings). One could use straw in lieu of coir, however straw is a different animal, and I suggest that for our purposes one only use it as an additive (optional) to give your sub a little extra air for the mycelium colony. 
 
Dirt or manure. There is some confusion among newer growers about bulk recipes. This particular process is primarily a 50:50 recipe. Half being the reservoir (coir) and half being a nutrition source (dirt). I'm here to tell you that virtually any quality dirt may be used. I use field collected composted horse manure, but I have used Black Kow right out of the bag, as well as organic topsoil. Don't over think it or try to reinvent the wheel. The goal is fluffy, hydrated, relatively nutritious material, that the mycelium can consume/colonize quickly with room to 'breathe'.
 
Calcium source. When following a steep tek (which we will), there is usually a handful of lime added (I use pickling lime, which is food grade), it's purpose is PH adjustment, which makes the sub more resistant to trichoderma contamination, but an oft overlooked benefit is the calcium boost. Oyster shells, egg shells, lime (calcium hydroxide) etc, will give the mycelium a calcium boost that they respond extremely well to in my experience.
 
Turkey tins for pasteurizing sub.
 
Sterlite bins. In this process, we'll be doing monotubs, therefore eliminating the need for a separate fruiting chamber. 
 
Trash bags (optional, used to discourage side pinning after consolidation)
 
 
 
The first step is grain hydration
 
I have done the boiling corn until it swells, I've done overnight soaks, and I've done no-prep. I've been successful with all of them to some degree, but steeping is NO guesswork. If you can make ramen noodles, you can use steep tek.
 
Take your preferred grain and measure roughly half of your desired end result of hydrated grain. For example, my PCs hold 7 quart jars. I prefer there to be plenty of room for a good shake, so if I were to do one run, I'd measure out ~4-5 quarts of oats. Any extra hydrated grain can be stored successfully in the freezer for later use, or better yet, just do more runs. The hydrated grains won't sprout for a couple of days.
 
Place the grain into a cooler, this is the stage that I add lime for the PH adjustment, a little dab will do, approx 1/4c but I usually just eyeball it. If you have ph strips, the desired ph is around 7 to 7.5. If you want, this is when to add eggshells, especially if you aren't doing the ph adjustment with lime. After that just boil enough h2o to completely cover the grains, and once added there is enough h2o to stir the grains easily.
 
20160622_125830.jpg
 
Cover with the cooler lid and wait 60min. Once 60min is up (one could let it go 90min, but I always error on the side of too dry in every stage of mushroom growing), drain using the cooler drain or use some sort of strainer. I save the drained liquid for other projects, but I digress. I use a rice strainer like this one pictured:
 
20160623_105158.jpg
 
Now comes the drying. The advantage of this rice strainer, is that I can shake/spin it and do the entire drying process in the strainer. The goal is just dry on the outside of the grain kernel. If you don't have a suitable strainer, just spread them out on a towel in the sun.
 
 
 
Time to sterilize and then inoculate:
 
Alright, put the grains in your quart jars and tighten. The gas exchange vents in your lids will keep the jars from exploding. I prefer to fill with an inch or two gap from the top, which allows me to shake with abandon.
 
20160623_105153.jpg
The vanilla is added to the oats to make it smell more like cookies than mushroom spawn when PC'd
 
Here's a closer look at 3 lids:
 
lids.jpg
 
The top lid was just purchased from a vendor, the next one is a homemade lid with a manufactured SHIP, and the last one is completely homemade, tyvek gas exchange and a clear silicone SHIP.
 
 
PC the jars for at least 90min, I have moved to a 2 hour PC time to insure sterility, but be mindful of not running your PC dry.
 
After the PC run, allow it to cool slowly as is, preferably overnight. Do not take the rocker off or any other 'cheat'. Patience is our most valuable intangible, if you don't have it, you will acquire it in this "hobby".
 
Inoculate your jars with your preferred method. If you have a spore syringe, saturate the SHIP with a non-flammable disinfectant and torch your needle and inject away! I do this open air, but if you're new, do it in your SAB/GB/flow hood. You can also follow those steps and do grain to grain, agar to grain, or if you are super special, a cloned sample acquired in a sterile/aseptic manner. Shake your jars at 30% colonization to expedite the colonization. Right before you spawn to bulk, give them a final shake to make sure that they do recover, this ensures that they are contaminant free.  
 
 
 
Let's go prep the bulk!
 
Let's get the math out of the way. The purrfect ratio of grain spawn to bulk substrate is 1:3 in my experience. Less than that (spawn) is going to lengthen the colonization time, and more than that will probably end up giving one too much excess moisture as the myc makes it's run.
 
So lets say that you have PC'd 7 quarts. If you do the math, you need 21 quarts of bulk substrate. Let's just call it 20. So 10 of coir and 10 of dirt/manure/compost. 
 
Here are two of the most common coir/s that I find at the hydro store:
 
20160623_082759.jpg
 
If you are pressed for time and have the money, do yourself a favor and get the bag, it's pretty much purrfectly hydrated already. If you have time and/or are low on funds, get the block form. If you don't have a hydro store, go to a petsmart and get the 3 brick eco-earth coir. It's cheap and the hydration ratio is roughly 3 quarts of h2o per brick (thanks @mlbjammer).
 
Now the main nutrition source. If you are blessed like me and have access to field collected horse dung, by all means use it. All one has to do is let it dry cracker dry and crumble. Field collected horse manure > than stall collected. The dung from a stall is covered in urine, which requires ph adjustment or at the least composting. 
 
I'm going to assume that not everyone has access to dung, so grab a bag of black kow/organic soil/dirt, which should be sifted to get rid of rocks or twigs, however I have skipped that step with no ill effects.
 
Now mix 10 quarts of both together thoroughly. Excuse my french but FUCK field capacity, it's too wet IMO. I hydrate bulk sub so that it  holds it's form when squeezed, with no dripping. The incredible hulk couldn't get one drop of water out of my sub. Like I said before, too dry > too wet in every stage of cubensis cultivation.
 
The goal is light and fluffy, if you get muddy, add more coir.
 
 
 
Pasteurization time!
 
A standard turkey tin will hold about 9 quarts of sub which is the amount one would use with 3 quarts of spawn. I am in the @tvcasualty camp of long slow and low on the pasteurization. I do mine on a grill that I can maintain 150-160f for as long as I want. The thought being that at 140f-170f, the thermophilic bacteria are active. The minimum pasteurization to kill off unwanted competitors is 2hrs at ~150f. Start the timer when the middle of your covered sub reaches 150f. 
 
If you want, put a large pan of water in with your tins to keep the air saturated, therefore avoiding moisture loss from your already purrfectly hydrated subs. ;) Just make sure to keep it filled  (This trick also helps if you are roasting meat, keeps it moist).
 
Personally I pasteurize at 150f for ~6-8hrs on the grill (you could do it in the oven or a homemade steam pasteurizer). Then I place the turkey tins in a cooler with towels and blankets surrounding it. The long slow cool off allows different thermophiles (active at different temps) to sex and multiply, in turn occupying more space on your sub.
 
 
Almost done kids!
 
Let's fill some monos. Get your  bins ready. I use the 27qt sterlites. If you want, drill three or four 1" holes right above where the sub levels out which is should be about 3" deep (the sub depth). Cover the holes with micropore tape, fill tightly with polyfill (loosen during fruiting), or easyfelt. I have also forgone the holes and just did a lid cracking for half the day and closed the other half with excellent results (@sgfchamber style) If you don't want side pinning, use a trash bag here (I don't usually). If you skip the bags, wipe out your bins with h2o2 or any other environmentally friendly disinfectant. Now  just mindfully mix 3qt jars of spawn with 9qts of your exquisitely prepared sub. I do it open air with disposable gloves. Just get all of your grains broken up and mixed real well.
 
The colonization run should take about 2 weeks, depending on how aggressive your strain is. Once it's 100% colonized, the sub should start to consolidate and shrink a little bit off of the sides of your bins.
 
Once you see little hyphal knots on the sub, place into fruiting,  just increase FAE to initiate pin formation. This happens at about 75% relative humidity. Fan 3x a day and/or do the cracked lid method, slightly cracked 12hrs, closed 12hrs. If you gave it GE holes make sure there is a fan in the room keeping the air circulating.  Ideally you want evaporation happening on the bulk surface. You know that this is happening as the moisture on the walls of the bin. When they dry, spray the walls.
 
Basically you want evaporation off of the sub surface, and wall surface. Spray the sides of the tub when they dry out.
 
Here's how they look when you are in fruiting:
 
BPK.jpg
 
Here's how they look right before harvest, sidepins and all:
 
IMG_20160625_184852.jpg
 
IMG_20160625_182830.jpg
 
*catEdit Both of those tubs were Ban Phang Ka, MS and took 5-7 weeks from "spore to spore". Both prepared with the above method.
 
Hope this helps you budding hobbyists. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
 
@microbe77, @mlbjammer, @wharfrat, @tvcasualty, @cue, @coorsmikey, @peacefrog, @hyph, @roscoe, @turkeyRanch, @seeker2be, @kcmoxtractor @myc, @happy, @agama, @psybearknot, @numeric,  @sgfchamber, @whitethumb, @zen, @gadgetguy @alder, @EntireMycotopiaCommunity (if I missed someone, I apologize, this was more tiring than I thought it'd be) are just some of the members who I copied, was mentored by, or encouraged by to arrive at this point.
 
And of course our beloved founder @hippie3. RIP

Edited by Sidestreet, 05 September 2016 - 02:25 PM.
added archive tag

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#2 coorsmikey

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:27 PM

I feel like a proud father! Well done Cattattack!
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#3 CatsAndBats

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:41 PM

I feel like a proud father! Well done Cattattack!

 

Well I figured it was about time to put my money where my mouth is, and lay it out. 


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#4 Juthro

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:41 PM

Not bad, for a cat ;P

Just kidding :)

Great work brother, well done!
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#5 wharfrat

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:41 PM

nice write up brother.. gotta call you out on the bagged hydrated coir, it contains an anti-fungal (most do) it might cause issues. Well done  :thumbs_up:


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#6 coorsmikey

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:43 PM

Does this mean you're moving out of the house and going to college?
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#7 CatsAndBats

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:45 PM

nice write up brother.. gotta call you out on the bagged hydrated coir, it contains an anti-fungal (most do) it might cause issues. Well done  :thumbs_up:

They ate it up. Must be the genetics ;)

 

Does this mean you're moving out of the house and going to college?

 

I already got thrown out for "inappropriate behavior" while writing this.


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#8 Microbe

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 10:25 PM

Show off! About time you laid down some good stuff ;)
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#9 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 10:30 PM

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?


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#10 CatsAndBats

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 10:55 PM

Oh I totally forgot. These are COMPLETELY optional, but I've used with great success: I add a bit of everything that the culture is going to eat in the grain soak. So it gets a handful coir, egg shells, dirt, horse dung etc. The point of this is for the mycelium to develop the enzymes/polysaccharides at the earliest point. That way it will make the jump to the bulk quicker and seamlessly. The myc will "recognize" the food.

 

I also add a handful of organic seabird guano (@cue) for a nitrogen burst and trace minerals, which my cultures have responded really well to. I also add a big sprig of mint to it to help the smell. The myc doesn't mind. They'll eat a lot of things.

 

seabird.jpg


Edited by catattack, 11 July 2016 - 11:03 PM.

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#11 peacefrog

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:21 AM

Great write up cat! I love a great pictorial. Easy to follow and well laid out with awesome results. This will surely help many growers.
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#12 Cue

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:41 AM

 

Oh I totally forgot. These are COMPLETELY optional, but I've used with great success: I add a bit of everything that the culture is going to eat in the grain soak. So it gets a handful coir, egg shells, dirt, horse dung etc. The point of this is for the mycelium to develop the enzymes/polysaccharides at the earliest point. That way it will make the jump to the bulk quicker and seamlessly. The myc will "recognize" the food.

I really notice that using the drained water from the steep to hydrate my substrate really helps the myc jump from spawn onto the substrate.

Now my tubs are usually ready for FC within a week.

 

 

Once you see little hyphal knots on the sub, place into fruiting,  just increase FAE to initiate pin formation.

I should probably wait that long. But I like giving them FAE as soon as I feel safe to do so, because bad things can happen in anaerobic environments.

 

 

Excuse my french but FUCK field capacity, it's too wet IMO.

Which IME also means FUCK the hot water bath! IMO it leaves the substrate too wet.

IME wetter substrates are more prone to Cobweb and anaerobic bacteria.
 

 

I also add a handful of organic seabird guano (@cue) for a nitrogen burst and trace minerals

Cat read one of my threads at another site where I was playing with bat guano. But after reading where Cat was playing with seabird guano I looked into it, and seabird guano looks to be even better.

 

First reason: There is a beetle that lives in the caves (and I think it feeds off of the their guano if I remember right) who's waste has anti-fungal properties.

Second reason: Is that in the caves some of the nutrients are washed out by water. Which is one reason to look for seabird guano from arid environments. They were recommending seabird guano from such locations as Portugal.

 

I want to add one thing about guano; I was reading where it was best to aerate it with an air stone for 12-24 before using it. This aeration was recommended to kick start the aerobic bacteria in the guano. Aeration is something that I had been considering anyway for my drain water that I save for substrate hydration.


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#13 meyer

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:56 PM

Well done Cat! I will begin testing this tek this weekend.

 

I have never steeped any of my grains, could this be a problem (or my problem) for why I am getting my quarts contaminated. I had 2 of 14 quarts make it, in my latest run, other times I have had close to a 20% success rate. I will be doing everything as clean as possible this time, maybe I could rent a clean room at a hospitable!?

 

Several dumb questions, but you essentially require 20-21 quarts of sub, yet these turkey tubs you referenced hold 9, so do you do 3 pasteurizations or tubs, if they all fit in the oven? And while you are doing this, do you ever cover up the sub, if so, at what point (I assume while it is cooling???)?

 

How do you drain the water? I am assuming (making an ass of myself here) that you put a screen over the drain hole in your cooler? I am assuming I could use a tub and simulate the same thing and drain the water... I like Cue's idea of saving the water to add to the sub, but when do you add this to the sub, right before pasteurization, correct?

 

Last question for this minute, You just take a quart and a measuring cup to add the hydrated grain to the quart and NO excess water then put in the PC, correct? Since we are pasteurizing the sub, do we then pasteurize the grain, or do we sterilize the grain?

 

Sorry guys for the dumb questions, but it is these small things that I think people like me get hung up on (sorry, not trying to speak for other people), but I will post what I think are reasonable questions here for the benefit of others and myself, and go directly to Cat (which I know he loves!) with specific questions for him.

 

If this works, I think I should have enough shrooms for the rest of the summer, hahaha!

 

Thanks again Cat, one day I hope I absorb enough of this to do this for others down the road.


Edited by meyer, 12 July 2016 - 06:01 PM.

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#14 Cue

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:27 PM

@ Meyer; some of your questions may be answered here.

 

https://mycotopia.ne...-wbs-steep-tek/


Edited by Cue, 12 July 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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#15 ethnobotanist420

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:46 PM

Awesome job! awesome write-up!

 

820.jpeg

 

Damn that is a sexy tub!!!


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#16 CatsAndBats

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:22 PM

@meyer

 

I don't do a lot of measuring anymore (I don't do a ton of growing either), those were just loose guidelines. Speaking to your question though, You absolutely cover the turkey tins. That is the only step where I think it's ok to be a little too wet, as one is going to lose moisture in the pasteurization stage, even if one employs the trick with the pan of water. Double wrap that bad boy in 2 layers of good foil. Two tins could hold 20 quarts of that sub, but it's going to be a little 'tight', so to speak. If there's a little mound in the middle, it's fine.

 

Yes, you will be sterilizing your jars in your PC

 

The only place/stage I think that one needs a clean area, is when inoculating say grain to grain, using an agar wedge, or clone material. I like to tell newer hobbyists to use their clean space for other functions too. The more practice you get in your SAB/GB the better. It encourages and fosters mindfulness, confidence, and muscle memory. No hospital rentals needed!

 

The grain will serve you well if it's on the dry side, you want it to be dry on the surface but easily squashed with your fingers. It's also more user friendly if you have room to shake.

 

I drain my water right through the strainer, one could rubber band a sock around the drain hole of the cooler. I too save my liquid, but it goes in the flower bed. I'm entirely organic with all my grows, from tomatoes, to zinnias, to fungi. It's better environmental karma. I <3 microbes.

 

-Cat


Edited by catattack, 12 July 2016 - 07:28 PM.

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#17 meyer

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:07 PM

Thank you for clearing up several of my questions Cat.

 

What do you, or others say about myself or anyone else employing this method using Rye Berries? Would I need to change anything?

 

Thank you!



#18 ethnobotanist420

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:28 PM

Do you have a dry weight by any chance, Cat? You used a 27 quart "no hole mono" what is that like 25 litres?

Awesome job, man!
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#19 Cue

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:31 AM

What do you, or others say about myself or anyone else employing this method using Rye Berries? Would I need to change anything?

 

I don't know know about steep rye berries, but I would assume they would take as long as oats (60 minutes).

If you find out anything let me know.

 

But other than maybe prepping rye berries should work using the techniques that Cat outlined above.


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#20 hyphaenation

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:49 AM

Here's a steeping wbs from 10 years ago.

https://mycotopia.ne...isture-content/

Rye steeping from a dozen years ago.

https://mycotopia.ne...-step-rye-prep/

Oldies but not moldies

Edited by hyphaenation, 13 July 2016 - 10:50 AM.

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