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InvisibleGroboClone
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Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days)
    #14037227 - 02/27/11 07:35 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

Right now I'm in the middle of expanding my grain spawn for commercial production. I have colonized jars of Oyster, Lion's Mane and Shiitake.  I want to test out my cultures so I'm setting up a mini grow with sawdust blocks.


The recipe I used per block is:

3 L  sawdust
1 L    water
250 mL wheat bran
125 mL gypsum


The sawdust is from wood fuel pellets. I had a hard time finding hardwood pellets, up here in Canada it's mostly softwood. The best I could find was the "Maine Woods" brand from Canadian Tire, which is %80 hardwood. I filled two 5 gallon buckets with 5L of pellets each. To each bucket I added 5L of water. The pellets really expand and I ended up with 28L of sawdust. The sawdust was transfered to tubs and the gypsum and bran added. I made 8 blocks, 4 with proper spawn bags and 4 with autoclave bags and a tyvek filter. The blocks were sterilized at 15 psi for two hours.



The spawn bags I picked up are the large gusseted type but I don't know about the filters. To me they look like a type 14 or 14a. Would I be right in thinking these would be good for Oyster and Lion's Mane but not so good for shiitake?

I made the autoclave bags just to try them out. They are much thinner than the spawn bags and not gusseted. I wonder what the effective filter size of tyvek is?

It is clear to me that the proper bags are the way to go. What specific type should I get? What is the best place to get them in Canada?


Edited by GroboClone (08/16/11 08:26 PM)


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: GroboClone]
    #14037551 - 02/27/11 08:30 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

http://www.mycosupply.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?preadd=action&key=SBFP01

Is what I plan on buying.  I'd imagine it's the best buy for the money.


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OnlineRogerRabbitM
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: Humility]
    #14037668 - 02/27/11 08:52 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

You can grow shiitake on Douglas fir.  It helps to mix a bit of hardwood in with it, but it's not totally necessary.  You should be able to get all the D fir sawdust you can haul in a truck for free if there's sawmills nearby. 

I trade my guy a pound or two of shiitake for a truckload of sawdust, which makes us both happy.
RR


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InvisibleGroboClone
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: RogerRabbit]
    #14041571 - 02/28/11 02:16 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

Humility

Check out MycoPath for bags, the prices are a bit better.

If you want to pick up 1000 or more contact Unicorn directly, you can't get any cheaper than the source. I was quoted $220 for 1000 bags. I'm trying to find a way to get them delivered here without incurring crazy import fees.

RogerRabbit

Come summer I will be swimming in sawdust. We have about 50 acres of trees on our quarter, mostly poplar. Also, the neighbour to the north has a sawmill.



Today I inoculated 14 bags. I made them yesterday and they still had a vacuum seal. I taped some tyvek filters over the rubber stoppers on my pressure cookers after they dropped down to atmospheric pressure but before they started sucking in air. Since this is the only place they can let air in I'm pretty confident they will be sterile. The filter slowed the airflow so much the pressure cookers developed a vacuum. After they cooled down I put them in front of my flow hood and flipped the valves allowing air to rush in.As a secondary precaution I put tyvek slips over the bags.


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OnlineRogerRabbitM
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: GroboClone]
    #14041648 - 02/28/11 02:27 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

GroboClone said:

RogerRabbit

Come summer I will be swimming in sawdust. We have about 50 acres of trees on our quarter, mostly poplar. Also, the neighbour to the north has a sawmill.





I've got a bunch of cottonwood trees too.  The smaller branches work better than the large trunks.  If your neighbor has a sawmill, the cottonwood sawdust will mix well with many other species, including conifers.  This should stretch your sawdust a lot.  It also helps with oysters and shiitake to blend in up to 30% straw with your sawdust blocks.

Another tip is to spread the course(not fine) sawdust out in the sun for the summer to dry.  Sawdust that has aged and been re-hydrated works better than fresh.

Also, the picture of the filter patch you posted is the 5 micron M type filter.  These are fine for oysters, reishi, cubensis, etc., but for shiitake you'd be better off with the T filters, which filter down to .2 micron.
RR


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: GroboClone]
    #14042280 - 02/28/11 03:55 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

GroboClone said:
Humility

Check out MycoPath for bags, the prices are a bit better.

If you want to pick up 1000 or more contact Unicorn directly, you can't get any cheaper than the source. I was quoted $220 for 1000 bags. I'm trying to find a way to get them delivered here without incurring crazy import fees.





+5 shrooms; saved me quite a bit of money.  I might as well just order $1000 bags.


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InvisibleAlkaloids
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: Humility]
    #14047638 - 03/01/11 11:51 AM (3 years, 8 months ago)

great stuff $220 for 1000 bags seems pretty nice to me. Once funding is taken care of might be looking into that.

Thanks for the thread and info everybody.


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InvisibleGroboClone
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: Alkaloids]
    #14080480 - 03/07/11 01:32 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

One Week Update

The Pearl Oysters immediately jumped off the grain and into the sawdust. All the Oyster bags are well over 50% colonized, some closer to 80%. The Shiitake and Lion's Mane are much slower with the Lion's Mane showing almost no growth at all.

I picked up a 5.5 HP chipper/shredder over the weekend so I'm switching my focus to producing Oyster straw logs. I will continue to make Shiitake blocks but I think I will stop growing Lion's Mane for the time being.



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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: GroboClone]
    #14080513 - 03/07/11 01:41 PM (3 years, 8 months ago)

That's a good choice.  Hericium is tasty, but has practically no shelf life, so if you're wanting to sell to stores and/or restaurants, it's almost impossible.  Once it dries out and yellows, nobody buys it, so you're working for nothing.
RR


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InvisibleGroboClone
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: RogerRabbit]
    #14209779 - 03/30/11 04:10 PM (3 years, 7 months ago)

Most of the bags have been in the fruiting room for a little over 2 weeks now. This is the first run through the new room so conditions are a little less than ideal but I think I've almost got them up to snuff.

Temperatures have been 14-17°C (57-63°F) with 95-100% humidity.


The Lions Mane performed nicely, especially blocks with single clusters.



The Oysters still need a bit of work. They were fruited immediately after reaching 100% colonization, the fan supplying air to the room was on low and the only light was a small compact fluorescent.



Needless to say, I've increased airflow and am installing lights to the tune of 1500 lux.

The Shiitake blocks have started to blister nicely and have yet to show signs of fruiting in-vitro.


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags [Re: GroboClone]
    #14210202 - 03/30/11 05:42 PM (3 years, 7 months ago)

Doing great, excellent grow.
Listen to RR he knows much.


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InvisibleGroboClone
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: GroboClone]
    #14933456 - 08/16/11 09:15 PM (3 years, 3 months ago)

After nearly half a year I'm finally fruiting the first Shiitake blocks I made. To prep them I stripped off the bag , sprayed them off in the sink, slapped them around real good and gave them a dunk in cold water.

They are sitting on a shelf under the Oyster logs I have hanging from the ceiling. My room temperature is 16°C (60°F) and humidity is 85%.



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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: GroboClone]
    #14935086 - 08/17/11 02:19 AM (3 years, 3 months ago)

I hear you Grobo... the blocks I made back in March are just now starting to brown, and I'm even pushing it a bit by removing the bag with some of 'em half brown.  I mean, how much longer can I wait?  I've got people begging for shitake at the farmers market, and I can't grow enough only because the peckers won't brown.  I've got good blue oysters production, the kings pooped out from the heat, and now I'm running into shitake production problems because of lack of browning.  Any tricks to make a block brown, anyone?  Is it oxygen, light, or just time?


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: curry]
    #14973432 - 08/24/11 11:22 PM (3 years, 2 months ago)



Here we are 8 days into fruiting. The blocks started pinning on Sunday and are growing steadily. I've been at the lake since Friday so the system has pretty much been running on auto pilot for the last 6 days. I had someone come in a couple times to top up the humidifier and make sure nothing had gone haywire. Before I left I had the room running at 13°C (55°F) with high humidity for a couple days.



Some of the blocks have pinned pretty heavy on the bottom, some not. I think this may be because I didn't spray down the block at all since I wasn't around. I'm pretty happy with the results considering this was my first attempt and used an unknown strain. I'm looking forward to seeing what better genetics will get me. I'll be making up some bags of Shiitake 75 and Night Velvet next week.



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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: GroboClone]
    #14973933 - 08/25/11 12:55 AM (3 years, 2 months ago)

Some beautiful fruits you have their my friend :congrats:

I cannot wait to see how those other strains perform in your setup,
what strain did you run on those blocks if you do not mind me asking?


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: EvilMushroom666]
    #14977814 - 08/25/11 07:17 PM (3 years, 2 months ago)

Due to the astronomical 'gestation' period, which creates a higher chance of contamimation, do you guys charge substantially more for shiitake than other varieties?


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: NSF]
    #14979358 - 08/26/11 12:14 AM (3 years, 2 months ago)

Once the block is colonized I have yet to deal with any contamination.

Any contams that I have dealt with show up in the first 4 weeks after
inoculation.

As far as price goes, things are going to be different from place to
place. The going rate in my area is $10-16 per lb, $16/lb going at
the local grocery store, $10 at the farmers markets. The quality of
both are sub par, but the farmers market shiitake are a little better
as far as harvesting at the correct time, proper storage, handling,
etc.

The specimens at the grocery store are GROSS, small caps, over mature,
gills are bruised, crushed, substrate left on stems, VERY low grade and
they charge $16 a lb. I provide a clean, well handled, high grade product
that is superior to both main venues for buying shiitake, so I figure
if people will pay $16 for crap, they will not mind paying $16 a lb
for quality. So far so good.


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: EvilMushroom666]
    #14980131 - 08/26/11 03:17 AM (3 years, 2 months ago)

Why wouldn't they pay $20 or $24 for a far superior, locally grown and fresher product??


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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: NSF]
    #14981165 - 08/26/11 11:55 AM (3 years, 2 months ago)

I personally think that is just being greedy and would end up losing me
customers. I am sure you could fetch that price in the right area, but
their is a point I think where a lot of people will take the cheaper
product(farmers market shiitake) over a locally grown fresh quality
product when the difference in price is $10-14 per lb.

Offering my product at the same price as the grocery store for a higher
quality shiitake has treated me good so far, the last thing I want to
do is drive customers away or get greedy.

I spend .75-.80 cents to make a block of shiitake. When things go right
I can easily get 3/4ths of a lb to a lb per block(Often times more).

So I spend .80 cents, sell the fruits for $12-16 dollars and make a
profit of $11.20-$15.20 per block. Sure it would nice to be making $23.20
profit a block, but I think that trade off would be losing a few customers,
and killing my chance for reaching new customers.

Keep in mind this is just my feel of where I live and my perception
on the market, if someone will pay you $20-24 per lb take the $$ and
run.


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InvisibleGroboClone
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Re: Thoughts on Sawdust Blocks and Bags (Shiitake Fruiting After 170 Days) [Re: EvilMushroom666]
    #14982256 - 08/26/11 04:34 PM (3 years, 2 months ago)

I really doubt I could get much more for Shiitake than my Oysters on a wholesale level.

The local grocery stores sell Shiitake for $15.50-$18 per pound. You can hardly call them Shiitake, they're about the size of a dollar coin, spotty, and about to expire. No one is growing them locally so they are shipped in from over 2000 km away. Even so I would never be able to sell mine for more than $18 per pound retail and that would be pushing it.

Some places are selling both Shiitake and Oysters for the same price. I'm able to get $16/lb for Oysters at farmers markets. I sell larger quantities to restaurants and groceries for $12/lb and orders over 10 pounds are $10/lb.

Another strange thing is there is no distinction between King Oyster and any other Oyster price wise. Oysters sell for between $10-$16/lb and I wouldn't even consider them edible. They are either cellophane packed and so old they are starting to liquify or sold in bulk and left to dry out on the shelf.

At the wholesale level it cost around $5/lb for Oysters and $6-7/lb for Shiitake with a minium 5 kg (11 lb) order to get them shipped in from the west coast. I've has produce managers tell me the quality is so bad they have to literally start throwing away mushrooms the day they get them. There is also competition for King Oysters from Korea, China, and a few places in eastern Canada.


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