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Plastic tek

Plastic Tek - An Alternative to Glass



In this tek I'll teach you how to use plastic containers instead of glass.

For smaller containers plastic containers are cheaper, easier to find and faster then using glass jars.  

You can easily find 1/4 pint, 1/2 pint and 1 pint plastic container in any grocery or department store.  I prefer gladware or ziploc brand. 

My favorite are Gladware Mini-Rounds:


These are cheap around 8 for $3.  Comes out to be around 40 cents a piece.  Half pint glass jars cost around $8 for a dozen or 70 cents a piece.  It's also a bit faster because you can shake to speed up colonization - unlike glass jars. 

I also like ziploc containers as well.  Careful with Twist N Locs - the lids are prone to cracking while drilling.

All these containers are Polypropylene with Polyethylene lids.  They hold up just fine in the PC even after multiple uses. 

What you want is #5 PP



Modifying your Lids:

What you'll need: (to do it my way)
Lids
1/2" center drill bit
1/4" center drill bit (drill bit set)
Tyvek (coveralls from the painting section of your nearest hardware store)
Silicone Rubber (to seal/glue)
Injection Ports


Here's how I do mine:



First drill 2 holes one dead center with 1/2" center drill bit.  Then on the side drill one 1/4" hole for gas exchange.

Smear some silicone glue around both holes.  Insert the injection port into the center one.  Lay a piece of tyvek over the GE hole and make sure it's firmly glued down.  
I found that micropore tape likes to come off when it gets hot and wet so it needs to be retaped after pcing sometimes.  I haven't had any trouble with the silicone coming off. You also do not need to wait 24 hours for it to cure, give it 10 minutes so it's dry on the outside.  The PC cycle will quickly cure it.

There are a hundred ways to do your lids - this is just how I do them. It's cheap, easy and it works.  

I've done several large batches of these using a modified PF tek.

2 parts fine verm: 1 part flour (brown rice, wild bird seed, rye all works the same) 1 part water.
Then 5 tablespoons spent coffee and 2 tablespoons gypsum per 2 cups verm.

Mix up your stuff:



Load your containers:



Throw them in the PC for 1 hour @ 15 psi.



Once they're all cooked and cooled inject 1-2cc's of liquid culture into each container (per 1/4 pint) Draw a line across the top of the jar and squirt enough solution so it reaches the bottom on 2 sides.  This will ensure rapid colonization.

Note: Due to the shape/size of some containers you can't reach the sides with inoculant. In this case, hold the container up and inject until you see a quarter or so sized wet spot on the bottom.




Once they're injected stack them in an attractive and space efficient pyramid.



36 hours after inoculation some jars will show significant signs of growth:



On approximately day 4 they should be ready to shake.

Check all around each jar to be sure.  You're not worried about any % of colonization but more about how thick the growth is.  Once it starts to thicken along the sides and get fuzzy on top, it's ready. 


















Once you're ready.  Find a hard but padded object.  A bike tire will work.  The padded arm of a chair or couch.  Be creative.  Grip the container firmly with your thumb holding the lid down tight - you do NOT want the lid popping off. 

Then proceed to smack the container onto the surface while spinning it.  Once you do that for 10 seconds or so - check the container by slowly rolling it around and check for chunks of mycelium.  If you spot any then you need to smash it some more.  Continue until all chunks are broken up then shake well and then even it out so it's flat.  

Set it back on the shelf and wait. 

Here's a video of how I break up the mycelium. I am not gentle - I've done 100+ of these now and none have broken.



After shake:

A day or so after shaking you'll see the mycelium start to recover and begin growing again:









On or about Day 8 -

Full colonization!














Now you're ready to dunk and throw them into an FC or crumble them and case or spawn to bulk!





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