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"How to" Mushroom BRF Tek.

Discussion in 'Hallucinatory Substances' started by zer0ed, Jul 2, 2010.


    zer0ed Active Member

    Alright guys, I've been giving a lot of mushroom advice, and several people have requested that i start a Guide on how to grow mushrooms. First a little background I've been doing this for awhile, and before i got started i read everything there was to read, it took me months of reading all day. I read all the way back to the old school methods. and it can be very confusing, because there is a lot of conflicting info out there. and also a lot of outdated info. the old "PF Tek" is outdated. I've also used many methods. I've used Rye grain, Wild Bird Seed, Popcorn, coco coir, vermiculite, and supplements such as corn syrup, beer malt, spaghetti water, mineral water and more. i have done both bulk casing grows and cake grows.

    Today, I'm going to show you the cheapest easiest method for growing as many mushrooms as you want. I've invested over $1k into growing. and don't regret it one bit. There are a lot of bells and whistles you can buy. But, I'm going to stick to the basics.

    Alright supplies.

    1.Pressure Cooker
    the first thing you will need is a pressure cooker. this is to sterilize your equipment and grow medium. this is the single most important and most expensive thing you will buy. But if you go to small, you will quickly out grow it, or be bottle necked by it. So the bigger you go at the beginning the better. I suggest nothing smaller then a 12Qt and it must be able to reach 15psi.
    amazon.com 23-quart $80 (this is the biggest bang for your buck)
    30-Quart All American $264 (this is a high end pressure cooker)

    2. Half Pint canning jars. i would start with a dozen.
    I find these at the super market, u might be able to find them at Walmart. regular or wide mouth lids, it doesn't matter. as long as the jar doesn't have a shoulder the cake needs to slide out in once piece later.

    3. Vermiculite 1bag
    I get mine at lowes. You'll find it in the gardening section. its like a mineral that is good at retaining water. its pretty much the inert medium that we are going to grow in.

    4. Brown Rice Flour
    This is the nutes. You can find it in health food stores or possibly health section of higher end supermarkets. I've bought it here online "Bob's Red Mill" $17 this should be enough to last you awhile. Or you can make your own. take a bag of brown rice and grind it up in a blender or coffee grinder. I've never done this, but I'm going to do it this way from now on.

    5. Tyvek Envelopes
    [​IMG] You can find these FREE at the US post office. just walk in, and you will see a little booth full of them grab 5 to 6 of them, and walk out. you know you got the right ones if you cant tear them with your hands. they are kind of like paper, but not. they come with blue or red on them with the words "Priority" or "Express"

    6. Spore syringes.
    there are many vendors out there.
    Sporeworks 4pack for $34 in my opinion this is the best bang for your buck. $8.50 a syringe. you cant beat that. and sporeworks is legit, and professional the catch is you don't get to choose your strains in this deal but mushrooms strains aren't like plant strains. the majority are very similar, with a few exceptions as long as your talking about " Psilocybe cubensis" which is what i recommend you start with. There are other family's of magic mushrooms out there, but they aren't as forgiving and need special skill to grow. some popular "cube" strains are Golden Teacher, B+, Cambodians, and my favorite strain is "Treasure Coast" other good vendors are thehawkseye and spores101. I've also heard good things about Ralphsters.

    OK, at this point if you have everything above, you don't have enough to complete your grow, but you do have enough to get started. So lets do it!

    your also going to need
    1. a large mixing bowl
    2. a measuring cup
    3. a large spoon for mixing.
    4. aluminum foil

    When growing mushrooms you are trying to create the conditions and environment for the mushrooms to grow happily. But these conditions are also good for bad things such as bacteria and mold to grow. Which we do not want. so we must take care to be as clean and sterile as possible. But right now at this point, You do not need to worry too much about it, because in a few steps, we are going to sterilize everything. so you going to kill all the bad stuff anyway. so before the pressure cooker step. don't worry about it. after the pressure cooker step, things are sterile so you need to help keep them that way. so for now relax :smile:

    First take your big mixing bowl and measure out 2cups verm and pour it in. then take 1cup of water, and slowly pour it over the verm, wetting as much of it as possible. then mix it well to all the verm is wet evenly, and looks consistent. then measure out 1cup of Brown Rice Flour sprinkle some over the verm, and smear it on with the spoon, and mix it well. then add some more a little at a time. you want to coat the verm with it evenly. keep adding and mixing. and mixing it some more till it looks even, and consistent. You can mix up any amount of this mixture so long as you keep the 2v:1w:1brf ratio the same. you will probably need 6cups verm 3cups water 3cups BRF for a dozen half pint jars.

    OK, now you have your mix in your bowl. Next start filling your jars all the way to the top. then run your spoon over the rim to level the jars of to the brim. (but don't pack or press the mix in!) you just want to lightly and fluffy fill it to the top. once all your jars are full, making more mix if you need to. take each jar, and tap the bottom of it on the palm of you hand, or gently on a flat surface. this will lightly pack down the mix and give you 1/4th an inch to 1/2 an inch of space at the top.

    Next, wipe the lip and the space of the jar between the mouth and the mix. to get all the "nutes" off the glass. this prevents contaminates from following the trail of nutes down into your jar. Now fill the jar up to the top again, but this time with dry verm. Dry verm is an inert nute-less substance. so even if contams land on it. they wont grow. So this layer actually works as a filter. do this for all your jars.

    OK, next step. take the jar lids and set them aside, you wont need them right now. then place an entire tyvek envelope over your jar. Then press down on the envelope with the jar ring. i usually spin it backwards till it "pops" into place, then spin it forward and screw it down tight. you want about an inch all around the rim of the jar so that jar band is holding the envelope down. next cut your jar off/out of the envelope. this will give you a double layer of tyvek. do this for all your jars. should take about 2 envelopes or less to do about a dozen jars.
    Next cap all the jars with foil. tear about a 5 inch strip of foil, and tear it in half. then place it over the jar, and press it down with your hands to form a cap. this is to keep any excess moisture out of the jar while its in the pressure cooker. to protect the "moisture content"

    alright, next place your jars in your pressure cooker, and put enough water in it so that the water is a quarter the way up, to half way up the jars. make sure that you have that little metal tray thing at the bottom to keep from burning the bottom of the jars. if you don't I've heard of ppl putting dishrags at the bottom. if you have a large pressure cooker, it is OK to stack them up if they fit that way. but i wouldn't lay them over on their side. seal the pressure cooker, and make sure your using the right pressure weight so that your cooker is set to 15psi. turn the heat up high. once your pressure cooker hisses/rattles for the first time. set a timer for 90min. at this point you can turn down the heat to med/low if u leave it hissing constantly, you will run out of water, and burn your jars, and possibly ruin your pressure cooker. so turn the heat down, and u want it to hiss/rattle every 15 to 20 seconds or so. when the 90min is up turn off the heat, and u can let it sit and de-pressurize/cool off over night. If for some reason you are in a hurry. you can take the pressure weight off to let the steam out. once all the steam has escaped you can open it up. but be careful everything is very hot. use a dishrag or oven mitt to remove the jars one by one. and place them somewhere where they can cool off for at least 12 hours.

    OK. at this point your jars are sterile, and as long as you leave the foil on, they will stay that way. Leave the foil on till your ready to use them. I would wait 12 to 24 hours from pressure cooking them before attempting to inoculate them with spores. If you jump the gun, the inside will still be hot, and kill your spores. also i would use them withing a week or two. after about 3 or 4 weeks, the moisture content may drop and the jars will run out of moisture half way though colonization, and stall.

    Alright now you have your jars and your spore syringes, Lets Noc that shit up!

    Additional supplies
    (some of these are optimal, but the more of them you have, the more successful you will be.)
    1. Rubbing alcohol
    2. Cotton Balls
    3. Lighter
    4. Lysol or oust
    5. Rubber Gloves (optional)
    6. Face mask (optional)
    7. Paper bandage tape (band-aid isle at walmart) or any tape since tyvek is breathable.

    get a small room, like a small bedroom, study, or maybe even a bathroom. if your using a bathroom you can get a large glass cutting board and place it on the sink to make a larger counter space.

    alright, start by wiping down your work area with alcohol, i usually use napkins or paper towels soaked in alcohol. then lay out your supplies. (jars, spore syringe, lighter cotton balls, Rubbing alcohol, tape) close all vents and turn off all fans and spray the entire ceiling with Lysol and close the door sealing the room. Then go take a good hot shower, brush your teeth, and mouthwash. put on clean clothes. by this time (30-45min) the room and Lysol has had time to settle. put on the face mask and gloves if you have them. and enter the room. next wipe down your gloves/hands with alcohol and give them a minute to dry.

    take the foil off the jar, crumple it up, and throw it aside. you don't need it anymore, its served its purpose. then take your spore syringe, and shake the SHIT out of it. you want the spores to be evenly distributed in the syringe, or you will end up injecting only water, and nothing will grow in some jars. take the cap off the needle and flame the entire needle for a few seconds, then wipe the needle with a alcohol soaked cotton ball, to cool it off. next stick the needle all the way in though the double tyvek layer at an angle. you want the needle pressed against the glass then CAREFULLY apply pressure on the plunger. as soon as you see droplets come out and get absorbed into the mix stop. you want to put about 1/4th a cc per injection site.

    Place a piece of tape over the needle hole.

    Shake, flame, and wipe the syringe, again. and inject the opposite side of the jar furthest from the first injection point. you can inject each jar 2 to 4 times per jar. its hard to inject very little in when you first get started. and you need 1/4th a cc per injection site and most syringes have 10cc's so you may want to conserve fluid by injecting only 2 sites per jar, and when your done use the left over fluid to inject 2 more sites on each jar till u run out. (did that make any sense?) having 4 sites will make them finish faster.

    OK, at this point all your jars are noc'ed up (inoculated) now what? you need to put them in a clean dry dark space preferably slightly warmer then room temperature. you can buy a small rubber-maid tote, similar to what you guys use as reservoir. and place them in there. Optimal temperature for incubating jars is 80*-82* you don't want anything hotter then 85* but also they will incubate just fine at 75* just don't go below 70* or they will take longer. I've heard placing them in the little cupboard above the fridge works well, because the fridge generates some heat.

    Alternatively, you can build an incubator, if you live in colder areas that are below 70*
    you will need a
    1. Large Rubbermaid tote
    2. expandable Rubbermaid organizer Like this one i found them at the super market and at lowes
    3. a Reptile under tank heating pad.
    4. a cookie sheet to stick the pad to
    5. a reptile thermostat. Like this one

    stick the heat mat to the bottom of the cookie sheet then place it upside down heat mat up in the bottom of the tote. then get the cupboard organizers (i use two) and expand them to fill the bottom of the tote, i bent the legs on the center legs, to make up for the cookie sheet being there, that way the shelves are level. then plug in your thermostat, set it to 80*-82* and then plug in the heat mat. place the thermometer probe on top of the shelf where the bottoms of your jars will be. that's it close it up. you may want to give it a dry run and maybe even place a thermometer inside to make sure the thermostat is working properly.

    For bonus points get a "indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer" usually between $15-$20 dollars at best buy or other places. and place the "outdoor" sensor inside your tote. now you can monitor your temperature from anywhere in your house, with out opening the tote! i place mine on top of the fridge, i can see it from almost everywhere, and can glance at it while raiding the fridge. :mrgreen: i find this helps ease the temptation to check the jars every 5 min.

    jars can take 7 to 10 days to show visible signs of growth. so don't panic if you don't see anything the first 7 days. in fact i recommend you don't even look at them for at least a week. just put them away, and try to forget about them. the longer you wait between checking your jars, the faster they will grow. and they can take 3 weeks or more to finish. so be patient with them. i find that the bottom is always the last to finish colonizing, so i look at the bottom of the jar, and if i don't see all white, they aren't finished.

    Fruiting Chamber
    OK, while your waiting 2-4 weeks for your jars to finish, now would be a good time to build your "Fruiting Chamber" almost any tub with clear walls. (or at least the lid) will do, so long as is about just over a foot tall, the long and wide will determine how many cake you can fit in at once. you want about 3 inches between cakes the bigger the tub the more you can grow! i was able to grow in as small a space as a 2-liter bottle for a single cake. OK, so you got your container. Go get some perlite place it in a strainer/colander, and run hot tap water over it, till it is soaked. then tap it shake it a bit till it stops dripping. u want it wet, but not dripping wet, because you don't want standing water at the bottom of your FC. fill up the bottom 3 to 4 inches of your fc with perlite. Next you want to make a hole the size of a quarter just above the perlite line. then you want to get a fist full of "polyfil" and stuff it into that hole. This creates a contam filter that allows co2 to escape and lets fresh air in. mushrooms breath o2 and release co2 and if there isn't a hole the mushrooms will suffocate in the co2, and grow skinny deficient looking mushrooms. also it will help if you get a air pump, and bubble stone in a cup of water in your FC. this will bring a constant flow of o2, help maintain humidity, and create positive pressure to force co2 out.

    Light is the most important the first few weeks of a cakes life right before mushrooms appear. the light is one of the triggers that tells the cake to produce mushrooms. just about any light will do. from a single CFL to LED rope lights to x-mas lights (lol) once the cake is producing mushrooms, light serves mostly as a indicator of what direction to grow in. and a light above the FC will give you uniform pretty mushroom fruits. time period doesn't matter. 12/12 will work fine. but i usually leave mine on 24/0

    OK, your jars are solid white and 100% colonized. at this point i write the date on the tyvek lid, and then wait another 7 to 10 days. (seriously) this give the jar a chance to finish colonizing the core of the jar, and to mature. if you birth the jar early, it just going to sit there and finish colonizing anyway. Mushroom fungus doesn't switch to "fruiting" mode till it has conquered everything it can touch. once it has done that. it switches to fruiting mode and begins making mushrooms as a survival mechanism to create spores to save themselves.
    (what was i saying? OK! lets continue)

    Birthing and dunking
    so now your jars are done and its been a week. take all the jars that are finished to your sink. open your jars, they should smell like fresh mushrooms. flip them upside down over your hand above the sink. all the dry verm should pour out. gently tap the jar on your palm till the cake slides out and into your hand. then rinse it with cold water. lightly rub the cake with your fingers getting all the verm off it. then place it in a large Tupperware, or zip-lock bag. do this with all your cakes. then fill your Tupperware with water and push the lid down tight letting the water over flow. you want your cake to be fully submerged underwater for 24 hours.

    OK, 24 hours have passed. get a bowl, and pour some dry verm in it. then get your cakes out of the water, and rinse them one more time. then roll the wet cake in the dry verm. apply a little pressure to get a nice thick layer of verm on the cake. then get some verm on the top and bottom too. remember those jar lids from your jars lids that we didn't need? well now is a good time for them. they make perfect holders for your cake. place your rolled cake on a jar lid. rubber side down. then place those cake and jar lids in your FC making sure the cakes don't touch the perlite. wait 30 to 45min then mist the cakes lightly (with little force) but make sure to get them nice and wet. (if you mist too early or too forcibly the verm will fall off.) also at this time mist all the walls of your FC chamber, and the lid very well. from this point on you want to maintain water droplets on the walls and lid. they are somewhat of a gauge. if they disappear between mistings, they you aren't misting enough. also you need to Fan the fruiting chamber with the lid of the chamber at least 3 times a day for at least 30 seconds. before misting and closing the chamber again. FAE (or fresh air exchange) is very important in all aspects of mushroom growing.

    you should first see fuzzy white stuff and some times white little fingers begin to poke though the verm layer. shortly after that you will see white little "pins" that begin to have a dark spot on the tip form on the cake. they begin to grow out of the cake like worms. then the cap begins to develop, and starts to open up. there is a thin skin between the cap and the stem this is called the "Veil" once the cap begins to open up the veil begins to tear and pop off the cap. once the veil tears or breaks, you can pick your mushrooms. or, you can wait till the cap opens up a little more.

    The difference is this. if your growing for potency, the instance the veil begins to tear, you can pick them and they are at the most peak of their potency. I personally don't like to pick them this early, and i have two reasons. 1. i like to collect spores to continue the cycle (I'll get into spore printing later.) and 2. if you let them grow a little more, and allow the caps to fully open, they gain more Weight. more weight means more end numbers and bigger final yield. So if your growing for potency pick when the veil pops. if your growing for weight let them mature a little more.

    Also, i would like to add that in no way are you "Loosing" potency by letting them mature. its kind of like this. if i had a pitcher of lemon-aid that had 1 cup of sugar. it will never have more sugar then it does right now. but if i add another cup of water to it. sure it may not be as sweet, but 100% of that cup of sugar is still there. none of it was lost. only volume gained. Mushrooms are like that. they stop producing the active ingredient, but continue to grow.

    OK, so your ready to harvest some mushrooms. pick the ones you know are ready by grabbing them by the base, and gently rocking them till they pop right off. harvest the ready ones, and any that are attached to them. (its hard to not harvest attached mushrooms even if they are not ready) its OK to let mushrooms that are not ready and not attached to ready ones mature a little longer. some times a few of them are a day or two behind. also there are some tiny mushrooms that will never be ready. these are called aborts. and their head will turn black as a sign that they have aborted. if a day or two has passed since you began picking most your mushrooms, go ahead and harvest the rest if they look like they haven't progressed.
    (on a side note aborts are one of the strongest most potent things you will ever try. its hard to collect them, because sometimes they can be as small as a grain of rice. but if you were to save 2grams of dried aborts and eat them, they would blow your mind. (in a good way) i know i have tried them. and made the mistake of giving them to my GF for her first trip. now she wont ever try them again LOL!)

    alright you have picked your mushrooms. go ahead and pretend you just birthed your cake, and rinse it under the faucet, and dunk it for 24 hours again. then re roll it in verm, and put it back in your fruiting chamber. each session of picking mushrooms is called a flush. and you can get 3 to 5 flushes per cake.

    and what about those mushrooms you just picked. well, you can eat them wet if you want. mushrooms are a little over 90% water most of the time, so 2grams of dried mushrooms equal 20grams of fresh ones. But fresh mushrooms don't keep very well and not for long. the best place for them is in a paper bag in the fridge. but i wouldn't keep them longer then a week.

    Or you could dry them, dried mushrooms will keep almost forever. to dry them place them on some newspaper, and place a small fan to blow over them on Low after about 3 days they should be mostly dry. but its impossible to get them dryer then the air you blow over them. (the humidity of the room their in.) to get them dryer, once you have air dried them place them in a sealed container with some desiccant such as damprid or silica gel. this will literally suck the last of the moisture from them. do not let them touch, make a shelf above the desiccant with some kind of mesh. what i do is get a half gallon jar and damprid (you can find it near the paint section of lowes or home depot) place the damprid at the bottom of the jar, and then a coffee filter to make a bowl above the damprid. then i place the mushrooms in the coffee filter bowl. and seal it, and put it away till its needed. YOU NEVER WANT YOUR MUSHROOMS TO TOUCH THE DESICCANT OR IT WILL BECOME FUSED WITH YOUR MUSHROOMS, AND YOU WILL HAVE TO THROW THEM AWAY.

    zer0ed Active Member

    Here are some Fequently Aske Questions that i have answered personally. i hope they Help too.

    Q: "do i need to do 12/12 hour light? is 24 hours ok?"
    A: "12 hours or 24 hours both work fine."

    Q: Do i have to incubate? what tempature should my colonizing jars be at?
    A: no incubation is not necessary jar can and will incubate at room tempature. BUT tempatures around 82* are said to have faster growth, while temps below 75* might have slower growth.

    Q: "what do i have to do to make my second flush come?"
    A: "nothing, its going to come anyway. but you will have better results, if you dunk your substrate, and re-case."

    Q: "do i have to dunk for 24 hours? cant i dunk for less?"
    A: "you could, but if your going to do it, why not do it right?"

    Q: my mushrooms have turned black while growing, have they gone bad?
    A: If it rubs off the caps, its just spores and should be just fine.

    Q: "its almost time to pick my fruits, how do i dry them?"
    A: "you should lay them out under a fan on low on top of newspaper, or place them in a dehydrator that has a tempature setting. this should take about 3 to 5 days. then store them in a sealed container with a desicant such as damprid, or silica gel to suck the last remaining moisture out."

    Q: "my fruits are growing at diffrent rates. Do i have to pick them all at once?"
    A: "you can pick the ones that are ready, and any that are attached to them, while leaving the rest to catch up"

    Q: i innoculated my cakes 3 Days ago!! why dont i see growth?! should i throw them away? did i make a mistake? did i have a bunk syringe?
    A: 3 days is hardly enough minimum amount is around 10 days to 30+ days.

    Q: when do i shake my jars? do i have to?
    A: most people that shake, shake at 30%. which will double the speed at which the jar colonizes. BUT others have been burned by jars that get shaken and never recover, and then stall. so shake at your own risk. (this applies to bulk grain jars. not to BRF jars like i discribed above.)

    Q: how long do i soak my WBS/RYE?
    A: 24 hours. any longer and too many of the grains will split during pressure cooking.

    Q: How much will my wet fruits dry to?
    A: usually slightly less the 10% of the wet weight. (200g wet will usually dry to around 18g dry)

    Q: For my second dunk and roll, after my first flush, how long do I need to soak my cakes or do i just dip them in water and roll them in vermiculite (and is this even necessary)?
    A: It is not "necessary" you could just mist your cakes, and they will continue right on into the second flush.
    But for the best performance. dunking and rolling will re-hydrate your myc.

    Q: Is misting harmful to pinning cakes? I read I need to mist daily but also read that water can be harmful to mycelium. Also read water isn't harmful, so a little confused. There seems to be conflicting information about how to cultivate mushrooms on the internet.
    A:This is outdated information from the before time. with teks that included "never let mist your cakes directly" "drip shields" and "never touch your cakes, or nothing will grow where you touched it." this is all outdated, and things are done differently now. My recommendation, is to mist all the walls of your fruiting chamber very well, then take a step back from your chamber, and mist above your cakes, and allow the mist to float down to them. then mist the lid well, and close the chamber. you should repeat this process before the water droplets disappear from the walls.

    Q: What is an effective yet inexpensive substrate? I used brown rice flower and vermiculite my first time because the cakes I made were too big for a pressure cooker. Any suggestions for a beginner?
    A:organic rye grain from the internet. or wild bird seed from walmart/home depot/lowes
    and get some canning jars! from the super market, or from the internet.

    Q Are big cakes or small cakes better or does it not really matter? I used large drinking glasses for mine this first time because that's what I had available.
    A: Half pint is the preferred size. ive heard going bigger dosnt work very well, but some ppl make up for that buy stacking 2 half pint cakes on top of each other.

    Q When I birth my cakes, do I really have to orient them as they were colonizing? I read off of a web site that I need to place them in the same position. This seems a bit suspicious though and might be an old wives tale but I just wanted to be sure.
    A: Nope, it dosn't matter. although some ppl say they like to flip the cake over if they see all the pins are coming from the underside of the cake.

    Q:What are some possible causes for aborts and how can I prevent them?
    A:First flush usually has tons of aborts. just expect it. the second flush will have a few. and the third and forth flushes will have little to none.

    Q: How much do I really need to fan daily?
    A: 3 times a day at least. (once in the morning. second time after coming home from work/school third time before bed.)
    fan with the lid of your fruiting chamber and then do the misting procedure i said above.

    Q: Last question, don't know if you guys can actually answer. Why is it that 90% of all the pictures of harvested medicinal mushrooms I see on this forum are harvested well after the veil has broken. I thought mushrooms are much more potent when one harvests just before it breaks.
    A: Just off the bat 2 reasons.
    1. to get spore prints. you need to wait till after the veil breaks so that you can cut off the cap and take some prints.
    2. some people on here are more intrested in weight over potency. they may not gain anymore potency after the veil breaks, but they will continue to grow a little, which equals a few more grams, which equals bigger end numbers.

    Q: Will water or misting hurt my mushrooms/fungi?

    Q:How much water do i need to use in my PC?
    A: Enough so that water reaches about a inch, to half a inch up the wall of the jars

    Q:What does "dunk and roll" mean, and how do i do it?
    A:You can find a video of it on you tube. if you you search "let's grow mushrooms" part 3

    1. Birth your cakes from the jar.

    2. "dunk"
    place them underwater for 24 hours.
    (i like to get a tupperware container, and fill it up till it overflows. then drop the cake, or cakes into it allowing it to over flow more, and then push the lid down on it, pushing the cake down, and letting it overflow till the container is sealed shut.

    3. "roll"
    I like to get a bowl, or tupperware, and put plenty of DRY verm in it, then i take the cake out of the dunking container, and rinse it under the faucet with cold water. then i immediately drop the wet cakes into the bowl full of DRY verm, and roll it around covering it, and sometimes tossing dry verm on top of it till it has a nice thick layer of verm.

    4. Place it in the FC, BUT DO NOT MIST YET. give it 30 min to an hour, to allow the verm to dry a little, making it really stick to the cake. and then mist it heavily untill the verm is really wet. from that point on, mist the cake lightly several times a day. mostly misting the walls, and lid.
    realcrackhead likes this.

    zer0ed Active Member

    Here is a FAQ that i helped make with a group of other. you will see some of my answers above mixed in with the others below.

    Questions about:

    • Cultivation
    • Cakes
    • Bulk Substrates
    • Fruiting

    General Cultivation Questions

    What is Perlite?
    Perilite is made of small white volcanic mineral pebbles that can be used in substrates for aeration and fruiting chambers for higher levels of humidity. Commonly found in potting soils.

    What is Vermiculite?
    Weathered Mica that has been heated until its expanded. Great additive to prevent substrate and/or casing compaction - helps with aeration and water retention - Ever wondered what that glittery stuff in your bag of shrooms was? Thats the stuff!

    Where do I get Mason Jars?
    Many places. Lowes, Walmart, Home depot, Anywhere they sell canning supplies should have them. Spores 101 sells them too!

    What is tyvek and where can I buy it?
    It is a weather resistant media that is breathable and has many different uses....as for use in this hobby it is primarily used as a filter as you may see in many applications in "teks" for wbs(wild bird seed) jars,grain jars, and even is incorporated into some peoples fc's...You can obtain this material free of charge via the local postal office per envelopes....better yet you can have them shipped to your door to save you the hassle...free of charge never-the-less!
    Where can I buy my supplies? Most of your supplies can be found at mushbox.com or spores101.com. You can also find most of your more common supplies at walmart, or Lowes. I have found everything I need at these shops. These are the only places I have shopped for supplies no need to go anywhere else.

    What are some common casing soil ingredients?
    Peat moss, vermiculite, and coco coir are the most common.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    What are some common pH buffers?
    Calcium carbonate is a natural substance and can be purchased in many forms. One of the most common and easy to find source for calcium carbonate is crushed oyster shell found in the bird supplies section at the pet store. Another common ingredient is calcium hydroxide can be purchased in the form of pickling lime,or quick lime, pickling lime is found in walmart near the canning jars. Some other pH buffers are gypsum, and chalk.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    What is the difference in strain potency?
    All p. cubensis mushrooms primarily have the same psychoactive chemicals know as psilocybin and psylocin. The mixture of these psychedelic alkaloids as well as cultivation methods make the difference. It is hard to say for sure which p.cubensis strain is more potent then another and to most people they find a favorite for one reason or another. Some members on this forum are fond of South American strain while others like Tasmanian. I am particularly fond of Cambodian. The fact is that it is a personal preference. I am sure no matter which p. cubensis strain you choose to study, you will not be disappointed.

    What is the difference in a spore syringe and spore print, and which one should I buy?
    A spore print is the actual spores released by the mushroom that has been collected on a piece of paper and will need to be prepared following a tek to make a syringe before use. A syringe is an inoculant that has already been prepared using a print. If you are new to cultivation you will want to purchase a syringe as there is no preparation work needed to use a syringe. Once you are familiar with cultivation you will be able to collect your own spore print and make your own syringes.

    My spore syringe looks like there are no spores in it, why?
    Spores are microscopic, so tiny that sometimes they will not be visible. In most cases when you see spores in your syringe you are actually looking at clumps of spores that have stuck together. If your syringe looks like there is nothing in it but water, rest assured there are spores there you just cant see them.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    My buddy only boils his jars and has never seen contams,can't I do that?
    A Pressure Cooker(PC) is the preferred method - Some people do get by with no pressure cooker and they're lucky. To be consistently succesful, pony up and get a Pressure Cooker!

    What is the difference in a cake and a casing, and which method should I use?
    A casing is an advanced method for cultivation using a grain based substrate, the fully colonized substrate is crumbled and layered in a pan with casing soil layered on top used to simulate nature, the casing soil provides a micro-climate and nutrients to help with fruiting, it involves many variables thus increasing the risk of human error. A cake is an easier method of colonization using brown rice flour and vermiculite as a substrate, the fully colonized substrate is gently removed from the jar whole and has the appearance of a cake thus the name. The cake is introduced to fruiting conditions and fruited as is, without added soil. If you are new to cultivation I would recommend using the cake cultivation method as there are less variables thus less risk of human error and a higher success rate.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    What is the difference in pasteurizing and sterilizing?
    Sterilizing kills all organisms and their spores and pasteurizing kills only heat susceptible harmful organisms while leaving helpful micro organisms that may be beneficial. Heat sterilizing involves temperatures of over 250 deg for extended periods of time. Pasteurizing involves temperatures of 160-179 deg for shorter periods of time. Substrates that do not contain helpful micro-organisms such as grain should be sterilized, while bulk substrates that do contain helpful micro-organisms such as dung and straw should be pasteurized.

    What is the best light to use for growing mushrooms?
    Pretty much any light source which looks "white" should work well to show the mushrooms which direction to grow. Some sources which are known to be effective are: diffuse sunlight; fluorescent lamps labelled as Daylight/xxxxK, Cool White/xxxxK, or Full Spectrum; uncoloured incandescent lamps (the heat they generate can be a problem though), battery operated, stick-on, white light LED based fixtures sold as undercounter or closet lights. Some sources which don't appear to put out enough energy in the required wavelength(s) are: Warm White/xxxxK and Soft White/xxxxK fluorescent lamps; blue LED Christmas lights; most lamps which look to be red, orange, or green.

    What growing method will give me the BIGGEST yield?
    There is no substitute for experience. But a good rule of thumb = Cake- low. Casing/Bulk - medium to high.

    Can I re-use my old syringes?
    When it comes to sterilizing syringes this is ultimately the safest way. Wrap them in foil and PC them for 30 min @ 15psi.

    This is likely the 2nd safest method of sterilizing syringes:
    1. Bring a small pot of water to a rapid boil.
    2. Allow to boil for at least 3 minutes (time it). Once the time is up turn the heat down.
    3. Suck up enough water to fill the syringe, let sit for about 15-30 seconds, and then shoot the water out into the sink.
    4. Repeat step #3 about 5 times.
    5. Flame sterilize the needle and now you can use your syringe.

    How much is 1cc?
    1cc is equal to 1ml.

    What are the benefits of using a humidifier?
    The benefits of using a humidifier are that you will have to fan and spray your fruiting chamber much less.. or not at all. Oftentimes a humidifier setup will be completely automated or low maintenance.. i.e - once you reach a certain stage.. you may not have to do anything besides add water to the humidifier and pick mushrooms. It often eliminates the need for fanning or misting.

    A cool mist humidifier provides almost ideal humidity levels for casings, and more importantly, constant gas exchange. Unless you have a very large terrarium, a cool mist is usually enough to provide adequate humidity levels.

    If you are going the humidifier route is recommended that you invest in a quality hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

    What can I do to ensure the water in my humidifier is clean and minimize contaminants?
    Use distilled, bottled, filtered, or even (cooled) boiled water. Tap water is generally to be avoided. A small amount of iodine can also be safely added (1-2 drops per gallon). Make sure your humidifier air intake has a clean filter on it. If it did not come with one, tape a HEPA or micron filter over it. Practice general sterile procedure and keep yourself and your grow room clean.

    What are the ideal humidity levels for cakes and casings?
    For cakes: 95%-100% relative humidity
    For casings: 92% dropped to as low as 82% during fruiting.

    Do i need to do 12/12 hour light? is 24 hours ok?
    12 hours or 24 hours both work fine.

    My mushrooms have turned black while growing, have they gone bad?
    If it rubs off the caps, its just spores and is a normal part of the process.

    Should I flame sterilize the syringe needle right before inoculation, with every jar?
    Yes you should flame sterilize the syringe needle right before you inoculate each substrate jar to eliminate risk of contamination that potentially resides on the needle even if the needle was sealed prior to use.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    How long can I safely store my pre-sterilized substrate jars?
    Pre-sterilized substrate jars should be used as soon as possible. However they have the potential to last several months in the refrigerator. Make sure they are in a ziplock bag to help eliminate the risk of contamination, and place them in the refrigerator.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    How long can I safely store my spore syringes?
    Spore syringes can be stored a very long time in the refrigerator. I have stored them as long as 6 months and they were still good. I would not recommend this, however, as it is better to order them as you need and use them as soon as possible. But yes, they will last in the refrigerator without any problem.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    What is the difference between jars and growbags, which one should I buy?
    The main difference is that jars are reusable and growbags are not. Both are good to use for grain substrates. I have found that jars are a little easier to work with when making your own. If this is your first grow I would recommend you make or buy the pf style substrate jars for your first grow as they are easier and have a higher success potential for beginner cultivators.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    Do i have to incubate? What tempature should my colonizing jars be at?
    No incubation is not necessary jar can and will incubate at room tempature. BUT tempatures around 82* are said to have faster growth, while temps below 75* might have slower growth.

    Am I supposed to use a humidifier when incubating my jars?
    No, absolutely not. You do not need or want any humidity in your incubator, this could invite contaminants as they thrive in warm wet places. It is important to have No added humidity in the incubator.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    How long will it take my jars to become fully colonized once inoculated with the spore solution?
    Depending on the size of the jar, anywhere between 14-20 days is common. There are a few rare occasions where the jar may take longer, I have had a jar take as long as 62 days to become fully colonized. The main thing is to be patient and try not to disturb your colonizing jars too much.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    When do I harvest my fruits?
    This is personal preference as much is in this hobby...but most prefer to do as the veil breaks/tears from the cap. You may do this as each individual fruit tears....or you may want to do this as the majority of the fruits have done this....often once the veil breaks and the caps start to "flaten out"....they will start to sporulate....causing a deep purple to black in appearance on the caps and the surface of the substrate....not to be alarmed as this will rinse off under running water and gently rubbing with your finger.

    The preferance is largely do to space constrictions amongst the fruits....as to not disturbed a "unripe" fruit....some do so as to avoid the mess spores can cause....and if not washed away before the next flush....can inhibit latter pinsets....HOWEVER.....most people rinse/dunk between flushes and this often doesn't present a problem.

    What do i have to do to make my second flush come?
    Nothing, its going to come anyway if there is sufficient moisture in the sub. but you will have better results, if you dunk your substrate, and re-case.

    Do i have to dunk for 24 hours? cant i dunk for less?
    You could, but if your going to do it, why not do it right?

    It's almost time to pick my fruits, how do i dry them
    You should lay them out under a fan on low on top of newspaper, or place them in a dehydrator that has a temerature setting. This should take about 3 to 5 days. Then store them in a sealed container with a dessicant such as damprid, or silica gel to suck the last remaining moisture out.

    How much will my wet fruits dry to?
    Usually slightly less the 10% of the wet weight. (200g wet will usually dry to around 18g dry)

    What are some possible causes for aborts and how can I prevent them?
    First flush usually has tons of aborts. just expect it. the second flush will have a few. and the third and forth flushes will have little to none.

    How much do I really need to fan daily?
    3 times a day at least. (once in the morning. second time after coming home from work/school third time before bed.)
    fan with the lid of your fruiting chamber its also a good idea to mist if your going to have the lid off.

    I think my cake or casing has contamination, Is there anything I can do to stop it?
    This depends on the type of contamination and the severity of it. The most common types of contamination are cobweb mold and Trichoderma also called green mold. If it is cobweb mold characterized by a fuzzy gray cobweb looking growth then you can make a solution of h2o2 and water and mist the cobweb mold, if caught early enough you may be able to salvage your work. If it is green mold than unfortunately there is really nothing you can do, get rid of the infected cake or casing immediately before it spreads to your other projects. Trying to remove the green mold from the cake or casing is a futile attempt at trying to salvage your work. It is not healthy because it will keep coming back and spreading, and can potentially release mold spores into the air. For more information on contamination check out this link originally posted by Dr.Gonzo:

    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    Commonly asked Questions about Cakes

    Is it necessary to dunk my cakes?
    Yes, if you want a good flush. Mushrooms are about 90% watter and 10% solid matter, so you see how important water is in this equation.

    Is it necessary to "cold shock" my cakes?
    No, but some people do believe it helps initiate pinning when placed in the fruiting chamber due to the temperature difference.

    Do I have to roll my cakes in vermiculite after dunking?
    No, but it does help as a contaminate barrier.

    I don't have the time to wait for mushrooms, is it OK to eat my cakes?
    No, you will get nothing out of it except a stomach ache.
    For my second dunk and roll, after my first flush, how long do I need to soak my cakes or do i just dip them in water and roll them in vermiculite (and is this even necessary)?
    It is not "necessary" you could just mist your cakes, and they will continue right on into the second flush.
    But for the best performance. dunking and rolling will re-hydrate your myc.

    Why are my cakes turning blue after I dunked them?
    The bluing you see is actually bruising caused by the dunking process. Mycelium contains psilocybin which turns blue when it oxidizes. Mycelium is very sensitive, and easily bruises anytime it experiences stress. The most common reasons for the bruising includes being handled roughly, too dry, or too cold. The main thing to remember is that bruising will not effect the growth process at all.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    There is purplish black stuff all over my cakes and fruiting chamber what is it, is it safe?
    This is what is called sporulation. When a mushroom is allowed to mature fully the veil will break and shortly after the veil breaks the mushroom will attempt to reproduce by dropping spores everywhere. The purplish black stuff is spores. Don't worry it will not affect anything, mushrooms that have spores on them are still ok to consume. And to answer your next question, no the spores that drop in your fruiting chamber will not grow new mushrooms.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ

    Bulk Substrates

    When do i shake my jars? do i have to?
    Shaking isnt necessary but people that shake, shake at 25-30%.This will help speed up the colonization process. BUT others have been burned by jars that get shaken and never recover, and then stall. So shake at your own risk.

    How long do i soak my WBS/RYE?
    24 hours. any longer and too many of the grains will split during pressure cooking.

    Some Fruiting FAQ's

    I just placed my cake or casing in the fruiting chamber,how long until it pins?
    Pin formation can take anywhere from 5-15 days given the proper fruiting conditions. I have seen pins form in as little as 3 days and sometimes take as long as 17 days it really is a variable and there is no exact answer as each grow is different.
    Credit to Sungirl69's Archived FAQ
    morfin56 likes this.

    zer0ed Active Member

    reserved for expansion

    Buddreams Active Member

    shit we need some pictures, got lost at the tyvek and aluminum foil >.<

    zer0ed Active Member

    Yeah, i'm sorry if its a little over whelming i've been typing for what seems like 6 hours straight.

    Just needed to get the information out there. now that i have i can try to orginize and seperate it better, and try to add pictures.

    also, if you have read most of it, and there is still something confusing, or dosnt make sense, or if you find any errors, feel free to let me know.
    Puffer Fish and zeffysaurus like this.

    Thordinar Well-Known Member

    Amazing thread bro!

    morfin56 New Member

    nice guide.. i read the whole thing and i hate reading.

    zer0ed Active Member

    Thank you very much. i hope i didn't Ramble too much.

    I'm Hoping to expand a little. and make some edits to make it more clear, and maybe add some pictures.

    I'm also planning on expanding with a few more advanced stuff. but ill probally make additinal threads on that.
    So far the extra ones i want to make are
    Spore Printing (to keep your grow cycle going and start over)
    turning a print into a syringe
    and building an automated Fruiting chamber.

    let me know if there are any questions.
    Thordinar likes this.
    Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Well-Known Member

    Hey Zer0ed .... informative, easy to follow .... touches on all bases !!!
    Thank you for your time putting this together .... ya we can all see that this took you a long time to put together !
    +rep that is for sure.


    Padawanbater2 Well-Known Member

    Dude, great thread! Thank you for making this, it sounds like you're pretty experienced in the mushroom making business.

    Sub'd! I will probably be referring back to this when the time comes!
  12. Nice Writeup! You have a really sweet setup as well dude. I'm gonna get started on modding my fruiting chamber tonight to be fully automated. I've had enough of the constant fanning and misting. Will be nice to not have to worry about always being here at home everyday to fan/mist the chamber 3-4 times a day.

    I'm interested to see your take on spore printing and syringe preparation as well. I have my own little system going here that I copied off of a writeup on shroomery, which has been working for me so far, but I would like find a better way if possible.

    Here's a pic of one of the cakes I grew last time which was a strain called Space Coast. I took 2.5g's which was about 6 of those dried, and they had me tripping harder than I have ever tripped before in my life. Taken plenty of 8ths of cubes in my time, but never one that fucked me up as bad as these did. The visuals where amazing, but the trip itself was kind of more scary than it was fun, it was that hardcore. Unless it was just the 1st flush that was that potent, I'm only doing 1.5 of these next time.

    +rep for u brotha :peace:

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    zer0ed Active Member

    very nice cake. =)
    did you dunk and roll it?

    ill try to get my spore printing tek up today.
    and a build write up on my fully automated chamber.

    and ive had my share of scary eye opening trips.
    in fact i haven't tripped in 7 months, and don't know, i'm more about watching other ppl trip now. ha ha.
    Fatty McDoobs likes this.

  14. Thanks bro. That SC mycellium took 33 days to fully colonize a 1/2 pint jar (even with air exchange), and I dunked it for 24hrs straight outta the jar, but didn't roll it. It produced around 7g's fully dried. It got rolled good the 2nd time around though, and actually ended up producing 10g's dried of small mushies. Those cakes went for 5 flushes before exhausting all their BRF nutrients.

    I'm probably not gonna trip again for awhile myself. After that last trip, I've pretty much had my fill for awhile. I also enjoy just getting stoned and watching other people trip outta their minds, can be incredibly funny at times. I mainly only do this anymore as a hobby, and so that other people can trip.

    Looking forward to seeing your fully automated fruiting chamber writeup as well.

    :peace: & :leaf:

    KlosetKing Well-Known Member

    SOOO GLAD to see that you went through with it and made the guide man! +Rep for sure

    i didn't have time to read the entire thing word for word right now, gotta bounce soon, but definitely looks fantastic, cant wait til some pics are added! oh, and thanks for the pm telling me too!

    jfa916 New Member

    you have a great thread on growing mushrooms thanks

    researchkitty Well-Known Member

    Why do you recommend spores101.com when the owners of that company were raided by drug officials and found marijuana and mushroom growing operations? Chances are they have their customers data, in addition to the owners of the site, safely at the police station. Great guide, just finished reading. Nothing new versus the pf tek which has been around for years, but neatly organized so its understandable. Thanks.

    zer0ed Active Member

    yes, The owner of spores101 did get raided, where they found a marijuana grow operation. But how is that different then the majority of people here on a MJ Growing website? if anything i would think you all would be willing to sympathize with him, and help the guy out. Not make him out to sound like a bad guy, because he was growing weed. The irony of dicriminating against a weed grower is mind boggling to me. he is not convicted yet, and he may get off, or he may serve some time. but who knows.

    but in order of vendors i like its

    ^^^ you see, spores101 is at the bottom of the list. but its still on the list because i have received products from them with no problems. and know hundreds of others that can say the same.

    researchkitty Well-Known Member

    The problem is that the police had their eyes on him, whether it be through spores101, or through his own inadequate protection of a growing operation. Either way, I'd suggest people who buy spores for magic mushrooms buy them from a vendor whos business and home is NOT likely to get raided, such as ralphsters. ;) Raids = discovery of documents = someone knocks on MY door because I ordered spores. Not good!

    Defend the guy all you like, but suggest guy from spores101 go find a new job. ;)

    KlosetKing Well-Known Member

    i see both sides of this one for sure. by no means do i judge the guy for growing weed or shrooms, nor would i hope many on this site would. but it is what it is, and it IS that he got raided. this does usually mean disclosure of documents, and whether or not its ACTUALLY dangerous, its something i wouldnt risk period (same goes for seed banks). iam all about being off the books as much as possible, i dont even like the idea of a MMJ card just because iam on paper somewhere.

    so all in all, i dont judge them at all, but it does show they practice unsafe business tactics for their 'operation' and that i should probably go with someone who hasnt been raided yet. lots of good words on ralphsters and sporeworks these days, might start looking into them soon =D

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