But not growing for that long kind of throws you out of the loop because we're constantly coming up with new and updated treks and methods and if you can't practice them hands-on, then you can't really talk or teach about them as effectively as if you were experimenting yourself.
So basically all my contributions as far as grows goes, they're already said and done and there won't be more, BUT I still have ideas now and then and right before I had to stop growing I was working on things like late casing (which I know didn't go over well here, but I don't think it's a method to do in every situation... it worked well with my bulk prep method because I layered my tubs and I think the way the top fruiting surface works when layered, late casing is most beneficial; which would mean people trying it with regular mixed substrates probably wouldn't see the results I did) late casing is still used over at other websites, but usually in instances where a person doesn't normally use a casing, but lives in a dry climate, so they find it useful to help stave off evaporation from the fruiting surface..
So growing on the idea of late casing, the next natural step in my mind would be to get rid the step of casing altogether, late or otherwise... but casings are beneficial, so the problem of keeping the benefits, but getting rid of the added step is what I wanted to solve.
I believe that the layered top fruiting surface is the best way to get even, full, and faster pin sets compared to a mixed tub that is left to colonize, then cased as most people have come to do.... and here's why I came to that conclusion...
Most people find that mixing their substrates and spawn colonies faster (which is probably true--someone actually did a gif of calculated simulations and the mixed "tub" colonized faster) but the problem for me is that you lose the control you had when you layered a tub..
I'll probably over explain the idea throughput this post, but bear with me, please.
if you want to reference my bulk write-up, it's here:
https://mycotopia.ne...akes +bulk +tub.
That top layer of substrate over that grain layer gives a lot more control over your fruiting surface... Although there are some things that I would like to update in that write-up like, I'd pasteurize in smaller amounts instead of huge oven bags to be more sure my bulk sub was pasteurized all the way through.. like gallon zip locks or RR style in quart jars. AND I'd laymix the tubs. Here's what laymixing is:
ATTN: Again..There may be a lot of duplicate info below that I already stated above. Sorry about that I did a lot of copy and pasting. At the end there will be some pics of some people's examples of tubs that they did laymixing with (permissions have been gotten on most except frankhorrigan, but he's been mia and I don't think he'd mind since he did the tub specifically for testing out my theories of laymixing.)
EDIT: Nov. 2016
THE METHOD OF "LAYMIX" As the name suggests, this is using both mixing and layering of the substrate and spawn methods while creating the substrate block--see below for directions and rough graph
Laymixed tub by Eatyualive
A lot of people say that mixing of the substrate is better for faster colonization... But I feel that you lose the ability to manipulate the fruiting surface with evenness in pinning and on a lesser note, pin sets. Mixing the majority of the tub, but leaving two quarts worth of spawn And 3/4 inches of bulk material--preferably, coir (CVPG) aside for making the fruiting surface (just like described below in the original directions). So like this:
( .......3/4inches of Just cvpg......)
( two quarts worth of rye spawn )
( ...... Mixed.....bulk substrate.... )
( ....with 4 quarts....of.................)
Basically the bottom part of the substrate is mixed and then there's a top layer of two quarts of grain then 3/4 of sub on top of that. Well, actually no matter what bulk sub you use in the mixed portion, I'd still use coir/verm/small amount of peat/gypsum for the top sub layer; the coir promotes heavy knotting and pin formation and the peat is to slightly lighten the mix so that it acts as built-in casing.
I feel this better represents where I would have ended up with my substrate block design had I had the opportunity. You get the fastness of mixed substrate colonization without losing the control of fruiting surface manipulation by concentrating high nutrients near the surface in an even layer, thereby bypassing any unevenness left at said surface by simply mixing the entire tub and fruiting it like that. I believe that by placing an even layer of bulk sub over the spawn layer helps promote vertical myc through the bulk substrate layer much like a built-in casing layer. This is not a frosting layer; it's actually the exact opposite of a frosting layer as the exposed grain layer is completely cover by the top substrate layer.
Here's a copy and paste from a PM with sidestreet (it's just me explaining the process further--not releasing any of his words etc.)
The biggest benefit to putting that top layer in is that is negates any fluxuation that one may have done during mixing. You can mix and mix til your hands fall off, but you're still going to get spots that colonize faster than other spots either due to the density of your substrate in certain areas or the clumping of spawn in certain areas, etc. And being how full colonization is a huge pinning trigger, those areas are going to fruit sooner, leaving you with a staggered flush. But if you layer a couple quarts of spawn over the mixed sub block underneath, you can literally place each kernel of spawn if you wanted to (that'd be ridiculous, but you could) in an even layer... Then you can very evenly place a 3/4" (you can play with this amount like eatualive did--he went way under that and got smaller fruits, even though I warned him that 3/4" is best) of the coir/verm/gypsum/peat(small amount of peat) over that. That's your fruiting surface. That's what you want total control over. And the more even the layer, the more even the flush. Obviously, this is going to work best with a clone or isolate that acts the same throughout the tub... MS would still benefit of course, but the outcome is, well, MS.. so it can vary even with laymixing.
We all know that if you fruit straight grain, it's going to pin poorly, right? if you case grain, you'll get better results... this leaves me to believe that most pinning happens away from the high nutrient source; something with low nutes like coir/verm/peatw/gypsum. So having that even, flat layer of grain 3/4" under that c/v/p/g layer allows the myc to grow vertically away from the grain.. this, along with the coir (which promotes heavy knotting and pinning) will give the highest amount of pin sets.
That layer of grain is also a source of high nutes for fruits to pull from and the myc doesn't have to waste a whole bunch of energy transporting nutes from other parts of the sub block (it does of course, but there's less need for it) as it's right underneath the fruits.. This leaves the bottom mixed portion of the sub block to mainly act as a water reservoir for the growing fruiting surface.
Now the reason I would add a bit of peat in that top layer is to slightly "thin" that layer out and makes that layer act as an internal natural casing. My whole thing with this method is to speed up the process and give better, more even pin sets. I want to get rid of casing all together. Now, my logic with this is that when the top layer of c/v/p/g is about 70% and up colonized, you can pretty much guarantee that the "mixed" portion of the tub below the fruiting surface is almost completely colonized (that's with an average spawn ratio used--obviously if use a lower amount of spawn, you should wait longer to initiate fruiting.) So, I'd wait till about 90-95% colonized and initiate fruiting. This will keep that top layer from getting matted and right about the time that the top is fully colonized, you'll see pinning... and lots of it. This way, you get rid of the extra step of casing and it's pinning almost immediately upon full colonization (because as you know, even though you initiate fruiting the myc still continues to colonize albeit slower--that's why you initiate at 90ish%--but that all depends on your strain variety too... there's a lot of factors, but this is a generalization for conveying this info)
Here's some results of laymixing from some fine folks over at the shroomery and topia:
Eatyualive pics PF Amazon (only 1 quart was used for the top grain layer in these.. he used more eventually, but I'd recommend at least 2 if not 3 quarts for the top grain layer if your using a tub around 55-60 quarts)
Eatyualive pics Thai lip yai (1 quart spawn top layer)
Full pics of that frankhorrigan tub
Frankhorrigan did alright with it, he fruited the tub at only like 40%. I think that's why the weight on the tub could have been better I'd have waited til about 95% to fruit it, but he did end up with a sweet 2nd flush with some bigguns. Fruiting it early like that, I think caused the top section of grain and top sub layer to pin as an island substrate and if he would have waited to fruit at say 90%ish, you can pretty much guarantee that the bottom mixed portion and top layers are acting as a whole sub block, giving out bigger fruits than it did... I also think he harvested a little early... he could have gotten more out of the first flush.. the second was nice though.
There's a few others like, pastywhyte and blindingleaf that have used it, but I'll add them later, but for now I think this is a good place to end and get some conversation started with the method and if anyone is willing to give it a go.
Thanks for reading all that! Lol. I know it's a lot..l so I appreciate it. Any comments are always welcome.
Edited by phishoil, 31 December 2016 - 03:32 AM.