This modified version of the PF tek is composed by three main parts (1-Heat shock 2-FAE increase 3-Slow dunk) and it is therefore based on three basic assumptions which would probably arise some criticism.
1-Contrary to a cold shock, a heat shock is not believed to be a pinning trigger but only to be the best way to get your cakes dried. 2-During the first days in the FC, FAE is much more important than RH. 3-A dried substrate can produce an excellent pinset if properly but slowly hydrated.
I do not believe that the substrate composition will make much a difference as long as it is nutritious. I normally use brf, buckwheat or brown bread flour. I still prefer buckwheat but brf is foolproof so just stick to it. I prepare my jars in the usual way:verm brf water (2:1:1 ratio). I do not add anything else.
THE HEAT SHOCK
As RR pointed out many times cubes are tropical species and a cold shock will not be beneficial for their growth. I guess a heat shock works in a different way. Jules Renard (a french writer whom I much admire) once wrote:%u201DLaziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired%u201D. This quote serves my purpose: we want our mycelium to be as healthy as possible but we don%u2019t want it to become lazy. My hypothesis is that a mycelium living in a dried substrate will become much more aggressive than a mycelium living in optimal moisture conditions. Here is the complete procedure:
-Once your cakes have reached full colonization, you should proceed with the consolidation week. The heat shock will start only once full colonization has been reached. It will last 7-10 days and at any rate until the end of the consolidation period. -In order to get your cakes heat shocked you can use a heatbomb (Ohmatic's heatbomb). Put your cakes close to your heatbomb and set the temperature on 32C/90F (MAX temp). This is just an example:
Let them sit and do not worry about them. You can probably use a heatpad as well but I%u2019ve never tried that. What you want is a just a slightly higher temperature, you don%u2019t want to kill your mycelium. So do not use space heaters or radiators. -At the end of the consolidation week your cakes will be very dried. They can also show some blue spots: that's normal. -Go on with a 24 hours dunk, then roll and double end. Don%u2019t expect the 24 hours dunk to replenish all the moisture lost. After the dunk, your cakes will still be pretty dried.
Now your cakes are in the FC. I use a SG terrarium but since I need to significantly increase FAE I make a few holes more. What does this mean? Build a SG terrarium per tek then add about 3-5 holes to every side of the tub (3 for the smaller ones and 5 for the bigger ones). These will be our extra holes. These extra holes should be open during the first 3-5 days after your cakes have been placed into the FC and closed only after the first pins have appeared. This means you are going to sacrifice your RH in order to stimulate pinning. There are probably other ways to increase FAE but this is what I did ( maybe fanning 10 times every day could be an option but it is a very demanding job) . If you don't have a SG terrarium I am afraid I can't help you.Try to experiment yourself.
Since your cakes are still quite dried and since you increased the amount of fresh air in your FC you need more water as well. This is essential. If you don%u2019t do this, your pins won%u2019t be able to develop and they will dry out very soon like in this picture:
Now, that%u2019s how I add more water to my cakes. I guess this method has been previously used but I am not sure if it was called %u201Cslow dunk%u201D. Anyway we don%u2019t care about labels and names that much, do we?
-Mist and fan as usually required ( I do this 3 times a day but you can do it more often) -Once you misted your cakes, use your misting bottle to hydrate them. Let some drops gently fall on top of your cakes and create a pool of water.
(sorry for the out of focus pic)
You want this pool of water to stay there at least until lots of pins have appeared so I suggest you to repeat this procedure every time you mist and fan. -With this method you shouldn't need to add more water to your cakes and your pins should be able to reach full maturity without any other problem. But as sometimes you can have between 50 and 100 pins on your cake, an additional 12 hours dunk could be necessary in order to support pins growth ( I tried a 3, 5, 8 and 12 hours dunk and I noticed the last choice to be the best one).
This is pretty much all I did in order to get cakes like these:
I am not saying this tek will work for everyone of you because there are too many variables involved in growing mushrooms. However I decided to post it because I felt like sharing with you some ideas and because I hope you will contribute to this in any way you feel appropriate. Thank you all. Long live the shroomery!
Edit: Other details
-Light: a 6500k fluorescent bulb, 12/12 -Temps: between 60F (night) and 74F(day).