Once the casing has been created it should be left at colonization conditions to allow the mycelium to permeate the casing layer. This is called the post casing/pre pinning stage. The casing layer should be left in darkness, with a RH of 95 incubation temperature (75 - 80°F), and no CO2
exchange (meaning, no fresh air exchange).
In small setups this incubation period is often achieved by covering the casing container with aluminium/tin foil or an opaque lid. If you use a lid and the lid closes very tightly, some small holes should be poked into the lid to allow for some gas exchange.
If you use foil holes are not needed since the foil doesn't seal the casing container off completely. The cover will allow for the CO2
to build up within darkness, while maintaining the high RH required for this stage.
A day or two after initially casing, some aggressive mycelia may have appeared in spots on top of the casing layer. Many people Patch Case
now, to create a more even pin set in the end.
Once the mycelium has appeared in the valleys of the casing layer it's time to trigger primordia formation. The mycelium shouldn't be allowed to colonize the casing surface since this can easily lead into an overlay
To trigger pinning, casings need three things:
- the introduction of fresh air exchanges (and thus, reduction of CO2 buildup)
- the introduction of light
- reduction in temperature
Ideally, the casing should be kept at 95 -100° RH at this phase, and temps maintained at around 70-75 degrees. To achieve this, remove the cover from the casing completely. Place it within an appropriate moist terrarium and fan it 1-2 times a day. Terrarium refers to any enlosed container with at least one translucent side, idealy at the top(terrarium, aquarium, rubbermaid box with a lid...)
The ambient light of the room should be enough to initiate pinning, assuming your terrarium has some light and is somewhat see -through. If the casing layer seems dry, *lightly* mist the casing layer with water. The casing should remain moist at all times but not soaking wet.