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Using the 1/2 layer of Vermiculite on top works, but doesn't work well, and is very restrictive. I use the Aluminum foil seal technique. Place square of aluminum foil over jar . Press the foil down in side the hole until it is 3/8 to a 1/2 inch deep. It will make a little pond inside the jar mouth. You must make sure you have 3/8 - 1/2 inch overlapping the rim of jar and pressed down firmly on the threads. Fill the "pond" to the level of jar rim with dry vermiculite, make sure it is filled perfectly to the edge. Place lid on jar with the rubber seal up. Screw on lid with the ring. Punch a single nail hole in the middle of jar lid, make sure it is big enough to insert a needle with out touching the sides. Place single sheet of aluminum foil over top of lid with hole to keep water, etc. out.
Pressure cook, or crock pot on high 3 hours then low for 3 hours. When jars are done, let them cool completely before removing from cooker or pot. Remove top foil, insert needle into jar until you can see the needle has penetrate the foil at bottom of pond. Squirt in spore water. As the needle goes through vermiculite and foil,it is wiped clean. It also doesn't come into contact with media, which makes it much cleaner. This way you can inoculate with a syringe and needle that is dirty on the outside, and get away with it. You also can use all different kinds of jars, you don't have to fill to top, wipe clean and all of that horse shit. You don't have to use the same media. You could fill the jar half full of rye (a quart or any size) and inoculate with out filling jar all the way. You can eat the cakes with this method when the are done fruiting as long as your media isn't mixed with vermiculite or perlite. You can start a lot of spawn, much easier. .....Mark