A good tek written by noobieshroomie on how to prepare a bulk substrate for wood lovers.
Today I am going to show you how I prepare my sawdust/wood chip substrate bags. This recipe will make enough substrate to fill 2 large filter patch bags.
First we will gather all our materials needed. Wood fuel pellets,wood chips(I am using mesquite but any hard wood will work) Wheat bran,buckets for hydrating and mixing our pellets and chips,measuring cups.
At this time put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. This will later be used to hydrate our wood chips.
Next we get two buckets one for the pellets one for the wood chips. Measure out 10 cups of wood chips and add them to one of the buckets. My measuring cup is only 4 cups.So use 2 and a half.
Then measure out 8 cups of the pellets and add them to the other bucket. Again 2 measuring cups full.
At this time measure 2 cups of wheat bran and add to the pellets.
When the water has come to a boil add it to the wood chips and let them soak for about 1 hour to hydrate them.
After the soak pour into a strainer and give them a good shake to remove the extra water and let them sit to drain.
While they are draining measure 9 cups of hot tap water and add it to your pellets. The hot water helps them expand and absorb water faster. Give it a good stir then let it sit for 10-15 minuets. The pellets will expand to roughly twice their volume once hydrated.
After they are fully expanded you should have 16-17 cups of hydrated sawdust at field capacity.
Take the wood chips from the strainer,add them to the sawdust and give them a good mix. I did this in a bigger bucket so I would have more room to mix.
Now its time to fill our bags. Take 2 spawn bags and open them,put a hand full or two in each so they stand up. Place these next to your bucket.
Then what I do is I measure by hand fulls. I put four hand fulls in one bag,then four in the other. Do this until all your substrate is evenly distributed in each bag.
Next we wipe the inside of the bag down and fold it closed. Take the top 2 inches and fold it down, then fold that in half again. Secure with 3-4 cloths pins.
After the bag is closed fold the flaps down and put them in the PC. I like to put 2 layers of jar rings down. this not only keeps your bags out of the water but it also allows you to use the rack on top of the bags.
Use the rings for your lids as spacers to prevent the bag from coming in contact with the sides of your PC.
Place a plate or similar heavy object on top of the bags so they dont inflate and possibly clog the vent pipe on your PC. Im just using the rack that came with mine and a 5 pound weight.
Last but not least put about 1 inch of water in the PC and put on the stove. Turn the heat on high.Once you hit 15psi turn the heat down to the lowest temp that allows you to keep pressure.
Set your timer for 90 minuets and hit start.
Once the time is up remove from the heat and let cool completely. I suggest letting them cool overnight because these blocks retain heat really well.
Once cool inoculate with your wood lover of choice.