Thank you everyone for participating today! Wonderful session, I am so pulled towards setting up a lab right now. One thing I’ll post here is a copy from Glyph’s Scuttlebutt post that I mentioned in the call. It seems to be a very elegant and low-tech way to produce a whole bunch of spawn. Thanks Glyph for letting me repost it here!
All-in-one Myco Bags
Trying out this elegant tek I learned from the Radical Mycology book. When prepping bags for wood lovers ( Hericium erinaceus in this case), embed a disk of cooked wheat grain into the bulk substrate (hemp hurd, coir, gypsum) and then sterilize. Once cooled, inject liquid culture (mycelium) through the bag and onto the grain disk. Incubate the bags and let the mycelium colonise the grain. Once fully colonized, break up the grain disk and mix the contents of the bag. Each myceliated kernel then serves as a leap-off point for the mycelium to colonise the bulk substrate. Genius.
So simple, so beautiful! No need to colonise grain in separate jars and then transfer the contents to the bag. Less waste, fewer contamination vectors, less washing up.
I’ve created six bags with this technique and have not had any contamination issues yet. The incubation times have been incredibly short! Here’s the basic timeline to date:
12 July - sterilized and inoculated 4 bags
17 July - sterilized and inoculated 2 more bags
23 July - broke up the grain disk in each bag and distributed (bag stays closed for this process)
2 August - moved all 6 bags into the fruiting chamber and cut two small X’s into each bag
9 August - primordia already emerging from the X’s (photo below)
So that’s a maximum of 21 days from inoculation to fruiting conditions and roughly 29 days from inoculation to primordia formation, all with very little energy expenditure in between.
I am guessing you are just injecting with syringe through the plastic so, just a tiny amount of liquid mycelium?
That’s correct. All six bags were inoculated from a single jar of liquid culture and we still have lots to spare (each bag received 5-10 ml of LC).
I’ll update this thread when the first mushrooms are harvested.
I’m very happy with the technique. The first flush from these bags stalled when the mushrooms were approximately 10 cm in diameter, most likely due to cold ambient temperatures (we do not currently heat our cultivation space). Those mushrooms were harvested and I’m hoping the warmer conditions will bring about a solid second flush.
We lost two of eight bags to Trichoderma. I believe the contamination occurred when my cultivation partner was sealing the bag after sterilization.
I now have king oyster ( Pleurotus eryngii ) and garden giant ( Stropharia rugosoannulata ) liquid cultures ready to go and will be utilising the same in-all-on bag technique with those. The king oyster spawn will go into mini-buckets for personal food supply and the garden giant will be spawned to soaked woodchips in a cardboard box (for starting outdoor beds). It is time to ride the wave of rising warmth into the heart of summer.