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PF tek: Cambodian Grow Report

Discussion in 'Hallucinatory Substances' started by AchillesLast, Aug 4, 2008.


    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Cambodian Mushroom Grow
    Reference Tek:
    I am following this tek completely.

    · Vermiculite
    · Brown Rice Flour
    · ½ pint jars
    · Distilled Water

    Procedure (6 jars):
    1. Vermiculite and Brown Rice Flour (BRF) are first put in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 min.
    2. Next jars are cleaned and top ½ inch is rubbed down with an alcohol wipe.
    3. Jars are gently filled with: 2/3 cup Vermiculite, ¼ cup BRF and ¼ Cup water.
    4. The top ½ inch or ¾ is filled with dry Vermiculite to prevent airborne contaminants.
    5. Half of the jars have the lids flipped with rubber side up and half of the jars are screwed on regularly. I am determining if this placement of the lid changes colonization time or not.
    6. Jars are placed in a very low boiling bath for 45 min to steam and sterilize the contents of the jars. The jars are cooled to room temperature in this bath (7 hours later).
    7. After jars are room temperature, jars are inoculated with about 1 cc of Cambodian spores.
    8. Jars are fitted with coffee filter tops to prevent contamination but allow airflow.
    9. Jars are placed in a dark closet with some indirect sunlight.

    This is a first time shroom grow for me. It was a little nervous preparing these jars late at night with my parents sleeping upstairs. I could just imagine them coming down as I’m mixing BRF and Vermiculite into little ½ pint jars. Either way, I am feeling pretty confident for a first time operation. I have been as sterile as possible. Whenever I am handling the jars I typically wear latex gloves and I try to disinfect/clean anything that may come into contact with the substrate.

    This is a first time project for me, and I am concerned that the cakes do not have enough water because they are very paste-like. Is this normal consistency for PF tek cakes?
    Also, even though I am following this tek and it suggests 2/3 cup Vermiculite, ¼ cup BRF and ¼ water to fill a ½ pint jar, this substrate material was too much for one jar. I ended up having a decent amount left over. Should I be worried that the balance will be thrown off inside the jars?

    I am following this setup almost exactly for my Semi-automated terrarium.

    I will update in a few days (3-5) with pictures as the jars start to colonize.
    I will also update with pictures of my Terrarium setup.

    Please post comments, encouragements, criticisms and suggestions thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Reserved for pictures.

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Update: Day 3

    Sorry no pics yet! I haven't had the heart to disturb my jars too much because there is no signs of growth yet. Which is normal at this stage, but I just want to do as little pestering as possible. Just leave these jars alone like teenagers and watch em produce.

    However, I do have an update as to a weird smell that is coming out of one of the jars. When I get home from work tonight I will isolating this jar in a ziplock bag to prevent it from spreading a possible contamination.

    I will be posting pictures tonight of my terrarium set up and grow area.

    canadianreefer Well-Known Member

    Uh-oh dude, get that smelly jar out of there!
    I made the same mistake on my first time and said I'll wait until I get home from school to isolate the possibly contaminated jar.
    BIG mistake... 9 jars gone between morning and afternoon
    Isolate it ASAP and aside from puting it in a bag, move it to another location in whatever room it's in.
    You really don't want contamination, dude.

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Alright will do. I will definitely move it and isolate it as soon as possible. It isn't showing any visible signs of growth yet so I'm not too worried about it spreading at this stage. It just smells a little funky haha. I dont want to totally abandon the smelly jar yet for a couple reasons. Mainly, its my first time and I want to see what happens so I'll know for next time.

    canadianreefer Well-Known Member

    Ah yeah makes sense...

    Funky smell could be mycelium, but since you said it's not realy colonized then it wouldn't be in this case.

    Keep in mind, that mold can spread even before mycelium grows - at least in my experience lol...

    Good luck ;)

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Yeah, thanks man for watching :D It will definitely help to get other people's insight in this project especially as the jars start colonizing and I get closer to the birthing stage. Keep an eye out on my thread as that stage gets closer, because Im sure I will have questions as problems/concerns become more apparent.

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Day 5 since inocculation.

    Still no signs of growth on any of the jars. However, some of the jars are starting to get a mushroom scent which is a good sign. I have removed the suspect jar from the incubator and have placed it in a ziplock bag. It is starting to get a powerful rancid smell. I am very certain it is contaiminated, but I would like to hold onto it to see what kind of contaiminate grows. I'm curious to see what I got instead of shrooms out of that jar for next time haha. I am very careful to keep it away from the other jars.

    Here are a few pics of the jars. The only camera I have is this little shitty webcam so that's one reason I'm not taking more pics and another reason why the pics are such shitty quality.

    The first one is a nice pic of all my jars sleeping. And the next pic is an upclose of one of the jars. All of the jars look like this one right now, no signs of growth.

    The jars are being keep around 77-84 degrees in my closet.

    Attached Files:


    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Well I guess you can't edit really old posts, so here is a pic of my grow area I was going to include here earlier.

    I am using an aquarium as a terrarium with a filtered air pump for FAE. I am planning on layering the bottom with perlite and then filling with water to increase humidity.

    Attached Files:


    canadianreefer Well-Known Member


    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Alright so back from vacation this weekend and boy did these jars do a lot!

    Let's see it's 6 days since inoculation.

    I have thrown out the questionable jar as it developed wet rot from some sort of bacteria. I opened the ziplock bag the jar was kept in and I almost threw up from the awful smell that come out of the bag. I zipped it up immediately and threw everything out.

    2 jars are starting to get white fuzzies poking out of the substrate. The jars do not smell bad all and are starting to get a mushroom aroma; so I am hoping this is my first signs of healthy mycelium!

    There seems to be a problem with the other 3 jars though. They have developed small pinhead-size orange spots on the substrate in random places. There is no sign of any mycelium in these jars just a handful of small orange spots. The jars DO NOT smell foul or rank at all. They smell distinctly mushroomy. I have spent an extensive time on shroomery.org to try and identify what is going on, and I've come to a couple conclusions.

    A) the beginning signs of lipstick mold :(

    B) possible rust spots from the jars or possibly the BRF has gotten some tinting. If this is the case, nothing to worry about.

    C) Possible mycelium piss? Not sure, since there isn't any mycelium.

    Everyone on shroomery.org seems to be dumbfounded by these tiny bright orange spots.

    I have decided to isolate said jars and keep track of the orange spots. If it is some sort of mold it should start to grow very rapidly in the next few days. I will keep an eye on it.

    Anyone have any ideas on what these tiny orange spots could be? Hopefully these orange spots turn out to be a fluke and mycelium starts to grow. I will be sad if I have to toss 4 out of 6 jars :( However, it will be a learning lesson in sterilization for next time I suppose.

    P.S. I will be updating with pictures when I come home from work tonight. Hopefully my shitty camera can capture whatever is in my jars.

    nashbar Well-Known Member

    any pictures of the orange spots?

    i've never seen any orange spots...

    canadianreefer Well-Known Member

    I hope you did this outside... you don't want mold spores floating around your room and attaching to your clothes and moving around. It could seriously jeopardize your other jars. If you did open it indoors, I'd give a nice spray with lysol dissinfectant. Just my opinion.


    I had this happen to me once too. I think my conclusion though was that it was just pieces of vermiculite pressed up against the inside of the jars. That's what people told me they thought it was and it made quite a bit of sense. Still be cautious though...

    Keep us updated :hump:

    nashbar Well-Known Member

    i guess i missed the part about boiling the jars...

    after 6 days, you should be able to see distinct strands of mycellium and no signs of anything else... maybe couple more days, anything that isn't white strands of mycellium is trash...

    PFTEK jars either work right away or they don't...

    if you don't see mycellium, like in all the pictures of PFTEK jars, something might be wrong.

    my advice, splurge, spend $40, buy a pressure cooker, spend another $40 on more spores and start over... then spend another $40 on a fruiting chamber... then proper mushrooms can be grown...

    huge difference between boiling and the pressure cooker, biologics and everything.... 212F is boiling, 250F is inside a pressure cooker

    no comparison, wasting money boiling jars

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    I've heard that it can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks for jars to get colonized. I have a feeling though, that my jars are too hot which is making the jars colonize slower. They are typically anywhere from 78-84 degrees in my closet. I just read today that the optimal jar temperature is the low 70s. Anyway, I'll keep watching them for a bit. For a first time grow, I am definitely learning that its not as easy as you read and I've a got some good techniques for next time sterilizing.

    I still have like 4 cc's of my cambodian spores so I think I'm going to prepare so more jars at the end of this week when I get a good verdict on my current jars.

    My goal from this first grow is to get at least one cake that fruits. That way I could take a spore print and do so more experimenting on tightening down my procedure. I think I will probably invest in a few more strands though. I'm looking at Golden Teacher from canadian's grow and maybe some B+.

    Btw I will be posting pictures of my all my jars after work. Maybe that will shed some light on the orange spots.

    canadianreefer Well-Known Member

    I'm not questioning nashbar, he seems to have more experience than me with mushroom growing, however, I personally wouldn't spend $40 on a fruiting chamber or a pressure cooker; especially not on a fruiting chamber when you can make on that's equally as good for less than $10.
    As for a pressure cooker, I had a 50% success rate with a 2 jar experiment using a regular pot and boiling the water with the lid on for 2 hours.

    Maybe go for the cooker, but in my opinion, a $40 fruiting chamber is a big waste...

    nashbar Well-Known Member

    go to www.shroomery.org, search "poor man's pod"...

    $40 for one fruiting chamber is high, i have two pods that probably cost less than $40, but you get the point... the only expensive part is an air pump ($9-$15), which i now have many of...

    i couldn't disagree with you more, pressure cookers and fruiting chambers are key to growing mushrooms as a hobby.

    if you want to grow once, trip once and be done, don't waste $50 on materials.

    if you want to grow more than once, trip out more than once and continue growing, spend $100 and grow some proper mushrooms.

    good equipment can eliminate a lot of potential problems (pressure cooker, poor man's pod)

    canadianreefer Well-Known Member

    lol.. i'll go along with you on the pressure cooker idea, and it being more efficient, although not a total necessity as i've heard of and experienced success without one...

    although my fruiting chamber holds 95%+ humidity with some damp perlite in the bottom, it's only a $10 rubbermaid container, which is more than sufficient...
    all i do is fan it out daily and it does the job, if you're not into doing any manual labour, then yeah, buy a fruiting chamber...

    AchillesLast Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I got a hold of an old aquarium for like $20 with a hood and everything which is basically the same idea as the rubbermaid. Going to put wet perlite on the bottom as well. The pressure cooker is definitely the way to go if your going to be doing this often and in large scale, but this is just more of a hobby until I get a proper place for growing bud. I've heard decent success with the boiling water so I'm going to be sticking with that for a bit until I see a decent return on some mushrooms. Just from one small scale first attempt I can see why this is harder than an Tek's make it out to be.

    Btw, and update of the orange spots. (Sorry I didn't take pictures. My girlfriend just moved back into town, but I will try to steal her nice digital camera). It is most definitely spreading. The orange pin-sized dots aren't growing themselves, but they are multipling in different places on the substrate. After closer inspection on one of the jars, it is starting to develop the beginnings of Lipstick mold.

    Lipstick Mold – Sporendonema purpurescens (Geotrichum candidium)
    This fungus colonizes compost or casing. As spores mature, the color of the mold changes from white to pink, to cherry red, and finally to dull orange. It is slow growing. Spores spread in air, during watering, and on pickers. The lipstick mold utilizes certain fats in the compost. It is an uncommon problem. Control is centered around sanitation.

    I think all the orange dots are also a precursor to the lipstick mold as one of my jars is starting to develop a pink tinge. Lipstick mold DOES pass through filters and has managed to get into all my jars. The orange dots are on everything now even the cakes that were showing signs of mycelium growth.

    I dunno what to do about it. I feel like waiting it out will just be a waste of time and space. However, I am tempted to keep the 2 jars that had the small mycelium growth just to see what happens. i.e. if the lipstick mold takes over or if the mycelium can out grow it. At this point, I HIGHLY doubt I will be birthing anything from this first run.

    Stuff I learned from my first attempt:

    DO NOT SHORTCUT ANYTHING! Any attempt, no matter how vain or useless it seems for sanitizing your workspace is a GOOD idea. I was obviously not nearly as careful as I could have been.

    Storing my jars in a cooler environment (mid to low 70s) may actually increase colonizing time. High temperatures seem to favor contaminates.

    Stuff I will be changing for next attempt:

    I will be lowering the water content in the jars to a little less than 1/4 cup and I will be using tap water this time. I've done some reading that mushies like regular water with some minerals and stuff in it. I used distilled water last time.

    I will be baking all substrate material at 300 degrees for 20 min prior to putting them into the jars. As boling only gets the jars up to 212 degrees, this could be a potential workaround to the Pressure Cooker at the moment and if nothing else, will be an extra precauting against contams.

    I am also looking into the oven tek as possible way for inocculating next time. This could provide a more sterile environment.

    When I get a chance to steal my gf's camera I'll try to take a nice resolution shot of these orange dots and see what we can make them out to be. I'm quite certain that it is nothing good though.

    massbaster Well-Known Member

    i dont use a pressure cooker either.

    BUT i do use a large lobster pot and place a wet dish cloth on the cover. not much of a pressure cooker but it should help increase the psi slightly as well as temps.

    i have not had any contamination initially from any of my jars. i just did not have them in complete darkness from the start. this caused uneven and slow mycelium growth. after birthing i only had some issues with cobweb mold.

    i have developed some horrible results from my first grow, although i did manage a few mushies.

    but could not get my cake to a second flush. have since tried to clone some of that cake and have failed at that as well.

    i am getting lots of cobweb mold and i am seeing the lipstick mold as well. i am not worried about it as i know how i messed up the first time and i did not expect any great results from my cloning exp. gonna dump everything soon.

    but, since i did buy another case of jars i am going to give it one more shot. i have 3 strains on the way and plan on making 7 jars of each.

    complete darkness for first 2 weeks.
    dunking after birthing
    roll in verm.

    these three things i did not do well last time and think it caused the problems.:peace:

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