This fruiting chamber is super flexible. By changing the RH setting and fan size or speed you can fruit just about any species in here. The fan is mounted on the bucket lid so i have 2 differnt lids with different fan sizes depending on target FAE. I can also change the power supply voltage to further adjust FAE rate. The fruiting chamber will consist of a $50 home depot 24"x 36" five shelf HDX plastic shelf system. It will have the following features
- bucket humidifier running 24/7 - Self filling float valve from swamp cooler - Purge pump to freshen humidifier water - Overflow port and drain hose in the event of a reservoir overflow - Ultrasonic foggers controlled by a digital humidistat for humidity boosting - 1.5" pvc air ducting/balancer - Digital temperature controller - Ceramic heater - 4 13w Daylight CFL bulbs ( soon to be 4' daylight floros for even light) - 3.5MM Poly
Bounty from my Home Depot run
HUMIDIFIER AND FRESH AIR
After my kal cool mist started to fill with gunk and make funny noises i decided to go a cleaner route. A 5 gal pail or tote can be cleaned and sanitized much easier than a cool mist and should last years with proper maintenance. Im in the desert so i use a swamp cooler in the summer to help cool and boost humidity. This is not necessary for most locations and a fan with ultrasonics on a humidistat should be enough. I use two pails because the swamp cooler mesh is treated with a surfactant that kills the ultrasonic mist. There is a 1/4 drip hose that gravity feeds the swamp cooler from the ultrasonic bucket and the purge pump is located in the swamp cooler pail that purges out under my garage door 30 mins every 24 hours. The purge pump removes the built up minerals in the reservoir as only water evaporates not minerals. Over time without a purge pump you will have an extremely high PPM of minerals if you don't purge. The other way around this is use a RO water supply.
Ive found the best fan to use are computer cooling fan blowers. These units glued to the lid of a pail push a good volume and pressure and there design keeps the electronics away from the humidity inside the pail. Axial computer fans tend to fail over time from being exposed to humidity inside the pail on one side. Size the fan appropriate to your required FAE. The 120mm units are great for high FAE like oyster mushrooms while 75MM units ran at lower voltages are better for lower FAE mushrooms. For a power supply i use old ac/dc inverters i have laying around, these can easily be found at thrift stores if you don't have them on hand.
If your fruiting edibles such as oysters, especially pink oysters where you typically let them mature fully you will need an active exhaust or a large passive exhaust and be sure to well seal your chamber. Prolonged spore load exposure can cause allergies and respiratory issues to include lung cancer in the long term. You want your exhaust CFM to almost match your intake CFM with a slight advantage on the exhaust. This causes a slight vacuum which can be seen with by watching the poly walls flex in with the chambers door shut. The main disadvantage of running an exuast fan is regular maintenance of the fan blades is mandatory to prevent spore buildup and the fan from sizezing. If you're using a passive exhaust make sure the exhaust diameter is 2-4X larger than your intake ducting and as short as possible. So use 4" ducts if you have a 1-1/4" forced air inlet duct.
$1 5 gal pail, used $8 Dial #4154 - Brass float valve w 1/4 comp fitting - Home Depot $4 DIAL #4296 - 1/4" x 50' drip hose $4 - Home Depot $2 DIG #C37B - 1/4 Female hose thread to 1/4 drip adapter - Home Depot $5 DIG #D46 - Garden hose thread drip adapter - Home Depot (or copper pipe piercing valve) $24 Two AGPtek - Mini mist ultrasonic fogger - Amazon $12 1 1/4" plastic sump pump hose $16 two 80 GPH 120v aquarium pump for purge and swamp(amazon) $4 GE #15119 - Basic timer (for purge pump)- Home depot $0 5-12V power supply (dug through pile of old power inverters/chargers)
$10 Squirrel cage computer cooling fan blower
FAE/Humidifier TOTAL $78
Swamp cooler pail with constantly recirculating water dripping onto the sponge material
Ulstrasonic pail with float valve
both pails, you can see i have the ulstrasonic pail on wood to raise the water level in the swamp cooler pail while allowing the ultrasonics to run with minimal water for better effectiveness.
$12 Carlon #E987RR - Junction Box - Home Depot $16 Inkbird digital temp controller - Amazon $28 Image digital humidity controller - Amazon $10 #60025WF - 25 ft 16/3 extension cord - Home Depot ( cut off a few feet or get a 50' cord for wiring inside the box if you don't have spare wire like i did) $2 Two Leviton #R52-05320-00W- 15A duplex outlet - Home Depot $4 GE #15119 - Basic timer - Home depot $3 Two Pass & Seymour Model # SL8CC20 - 1 gang duplex stainless outlet wall plate - Home Depot $5 10 pack power socket plug 125V 15A - Amazon (hong kong 3-4 weeks mail time) $3 Amico M20x1.5 6-11mm cable gland (or 3/8 cable clamp from home depot) - Amazon (hong kong 3-4 weeks mail time)
Automation TOTAL $78
The socket plugs or the wall sockets can be used exclusively, when mounting to the top and bottom of the box the wall plates will not sit flush due to box design so i purchased a set of the socket plugs for a cleaner look. The socket plugs are the cheaper route but the outlets give you screw terminals you can stack 2-3 electrical connections to for splitting power. The socket plugs are a PITA to drill the holes compared to the wall sockets, I needed to trim the locking wings down since the box plastic is so thick.
Settings for the controller should be as follows,
HC = H D = 1 this is the one that matters for accuracy of RH% LS = 75 HS = 99 CA = whatever your wet towel or wet salt calibration calls for, mine was 7 PT = 0
$50 HDX #128974 - 24x36x72" 5 shelf ventilated storage plastic shelving - Home Depot $11 HDX #RSHD3510-25C - 10X25 ft clear 3.5 mil plastic sheeting - Home Depot $9 Gorilla #60035 - Heavy duty duct tape - Home Depot $1 #44241- SS positive lock hook and eye - Home Depot $8 six 1"x2"x8' furring strips - Home Depot $2 1x 1.5" hinge 2 pack - Home depot $7 1 1/2" x 10ft PVC pipe - Home Depot $1 1 1/2" PVC 90* elbow - Home Depot $3 1 1/2" PVC Tee - Home Depot $1 three large zip ties for securing ducting to structure - Home Depot $1 1 1/2" PVC end socket cap - Home Depot
Chamber TOTAL $102
Vent pipes roughed in (horizontal pipes were later removed due to condensation) I use loosely tightened large zip ties to hold the pipes in place, nothing is glued so i can disassemble and sanitize as needed.
Currently using daylights CFL's plans to install 4' vertical mounted fluorescent daylight tubes for more even light distribution.
At first i dicked around with 5 gal buckets only to find out they are hard to get pinset and a PITA to clean. I ended up using 4 XL grow bags per shelf with 10-14 lbs of pasteurized straw sub in each and had great results with side fruiting pinks like that. Im currently using this chamber for kings, nameko, maitake, shiitake in a rotation of sorts adjusting FAE and humidity for each species. They are grown on hardwood fuel pellets and bran in XL grow bags, 12-13 lbs per bag and top fruited except for the shiitake where i strip the block and just leave the bottom.
as of Jan 2016 i just got my 55 gal drum steamer operational, so this should start being ran at full capacity real soon. 8 bags per shelf for kings, nameko and other top fruiters and 6 blocks per shelf for shiitake.