Mushroom Growing Walkthrough - PF-TEK For the Absolute Beginner in the
The Grow Room forums; Whether it's people asking me for shrooms, spores, or how to make mushrooms I have decided to answer these questions ...
Mushroom Growing Walkthrough - PF-TEK For the Absolute Beginner
Whether it's people asking me for shrooms, spores, or how to make mushrooms I have decided to answer these questions with a simple to follow guide.
Yes, you too can grow mushrooms! It's so easy, a caveman can do it!
Without further ado... let's begin.
Preparing the Substrate
Birthing The Cakes
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Last edited by malbulja; 03-25-2009 at 08:26 AM.
Reason: Updated links
1. 12 Canning Jars (250ml) – Make sure the opening is tapered
2. Pressure Cooker (or large boiling pot)
3. Plastic Sterlite Tub – Mine is 16” long, 12” deep
6. Natural Brown Rice
8. Distilled Water (or treated water)
Figure 1: The basic materials needed
Preparing the Substrate
1. Use a coffee grinder to grind up your natural brown rice into flour (or you can use brown rice flour if available to you).
2. Set aside a large bowl to mix your substrate.
3. Mix ingredients in the bowl based on how many jars you’re filling (see chart below).
4. Fill each jar according to the chart below, leaving ½ inch at the top empty. Don’t pack it down; be sure the substrate is loose.
5. Fill the last ½ inch with plain dry vermiculite. This will act as a contamination barrier.
1 250ml Jar
* 3/4 c vermiculite
* 1/4 c brown rice flour
* 1/4 c water
12 250ml Jars
* 9 c vermiculite
* 3 c brown rice flour
* 3 c water
6. You can either place aluminum foil over the jars, or you can turn each lid upside down and use a hammer and nail to create inoculation holes in the lid.
Figure 2: Both types of lids are being used; hammered and tin foil
1. Put as many substrate jars into your pressure cooker that can fit, stacking if needed. Be sure to read the directions on your pressure cooker!
2. You can also use a big boiling pot but be sure the substrate jars are not coming in contact directly with the heating element!
3. Be sure to add water; cook jars for 1 hour at 250F/15 P.S.I.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few hours (preferably overnight)
This is the most important step in the entire process. Most grows fail due to contamination at this stage. Be sure to where gloves, surgical mouth cover, and bleach the area thoroughly.
1. Remove the jars from the pressure cooker
2. Remove the syringe from the shipping packaging
3. Strongly shake up the syringe to mix up the spores
4. Remove the needle cap and if you have an alcohol lamp, flame the tip. If not, then do your injections quickly trying your hardest not to breathe anywhere near the needle and don’t let the needle touch anything.
5. Angle the needle tip into the jar so that the tip touches the side of the jar and the spores run down the jar when injected.
6. Inject 1/2ml of solution into each hole, giving each jar 2 injections (1 on each side of the jar).
1. Put the inoculated jars into a container (preferably their original box)
2. Place the jars in a warm, dark place such as a black trash bag on top of a fridge or a bag in an entertainment center.
Figure 3: Inoculated substrate jars placed in a beach bag inside an entertainment center
3. Allow the jars to incubate between 70F-90F, with the ideal temperature being 86F.
4. The jars should take 10-15 days to fully colonize at 86F but can take 30+ days at lower temperatures.
5. Check the jars every 3-4 days for healthy mycelium growth. The mycelium should be stringy white. If you discover any non-white or “poofy” growth or smell anything odorous, then the jar is contaminated and must be thrown away immediately. The first sign of mycelia growth should appear in about 6 days.
Figure 4: Healthy mycelium growth.
6. Once the jars are fully colonized, or the entire substrate is white, it’s wise to allow an extra week of incubation so the mycelia can strengthen. This ensures that areas inside the center of the substrate are colonized as well.
While the jars are incubating, build your terrarium. This is the high humidity chamber that you will use to fruit the cakes. Just get a clear Sterlite plastic tub and drill holes in it on all 4 sides, and the top and bottom.
Figure 5: Simple Terrarium w/ drilled holes, perlite base, and thermometer
1. Make your terrarium from a clear plastic tote by drilling holes on all sides.
2. Pour 2 inches or so of Perlite into the terrarium.
3. Put the terrarium under a water hose and soak down the Perlite.
4. Allow the Perlite to dry out for a few hours and put the lid on it.
The terrarium MUST maintain around 100% humidity for the mushrooms to grow. Luckily, the Perlite base will keep the terrarium at the desired level for weeks at a time.
Birthing the Cakes
After the substrate is 100% colonized they are ready to be birthed.
1. Open the jars and place the lids on the Perlite in the terrarium.
2. Turn each jar upside down and bang it on a counter. The cake will just slide out of the jar.
3. Place the cake on a lid inside the terrarium (as shown below).
Figure 6: Cakes are birthed into terrarium.Half of them have been dunked and rolled
4. At this stage you can “dunk & roll”, which gave me a much better result than direct birth. Instead of placing the cakes directly into the terrarium, place them in a large pot full of distilled water and weigh them down with a few dinner plates (so they are submerged in water). Leave them there for 24 hours. Remove them from the water and roll them in fresh vermiculite.
5. Once the cakes are in the terrarium, replace the cover and sit them somewhere that they’ll get indirect sunlight, like on the floor of a spare room. They don’t need sunlight, just indirect sunlight. If this isn’t available then a fluorescent light on a 12/12 cycle is fine too.
6. 3 times a day, remove the lid from the terrarium and fan the inside by waving the lid vigorously over the terrarium. This releases CO2 buildup.
7. Make sure the terrarium is always at 99%+ humidity. If not then just pour a few cups of water over the Perlite and ensure the lid has a tight fit.
8. Keep the temperature 10 degrees cooler than it was during incubation (70F-80F)
After a few weeks, the cakes will begin to show small bulbs with brown heads developing. Most of these will remain pins (aborts) but some will grow into full sized mushrooms. Once pins start to develop, it only takes a few days for the pins to grow into ripe mushrooms. When the veil on the underside of the mushroom head starts to tear, it’s at it’s peak and needs to be harvest.
Figure 7: Several mushrooms have passed peak harvest time. As soon as a veil is starting to break, it needs to be harvested.
Figure 8: A days harvest for 3 cakes. They will sit on the paper towel is a cool dry place for 3 days to dry.
1. You can consume the mushrooms fresh but they don’t last long so it’s recommended that you properly dry them out
2. Place the picked mushrooms on a paper towel, taking care that they don’t touch one another. Set the paper towel on a plate above the fridge, or a well ventilated, cool place. Keep out of direct sunlight.
3. Once you have harvested a cake, you can dunk & roll it, where you soak it in water for 24 hours and roll it in vermiculite and then place it back in the terrarium. This will result in the cake producing another harvest. You can get 3-5 harvests off a single cake using this technique!
Figure 9: First flush (harvest) results in 19g of dried product! These cakes will go on to produce triple that amount with very little effort.
Last edited by malbulja; 02-25-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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