- Sterilize yogurt container
- Clip mature cap and place in container
- Sterilize syringes
- After spores drop, remove cap
- Add sterile water, scrape spores of bottom of container, fill syringes
To sterilize a yogurt container, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of water, an airtight lid, and throw it in the microwave. Make sure to crack the lid of the container a little bit. I nuke mine for 5 minutes on high, which steams nearly all the water in the container and thus sterilizes it, but YMMV (Your Microwave May Vary). Drain excess water from container right after heating while still in the microwave, and then re-cover. Store someplace special.
When clipping the cap, make sure to practice sterile procedures. Wash up, wear a surgical mask and latex gloves. Dip scissors in rubbing alcohol and apply flame. Of course, remove scissors from rubbing alcohol first (it's _extremely_ flammable). The blades should burn for a few moments and then extinguish themselves. Either grip the cap lightly with a gloved hand, or pierce gently with a sterilized pin (just flame the pin with a lighter until it glows red, then let it cool). By using the pin, human hands may never have to touch the cap. Drop the cap in the sterilized container, making sure the lid stays is off as little as possible (reduces chance of airborne contaminant landings).
Wait a day, or until spores drop. There will still be plenty of moisture in the container left over from steam sterilization to maintain proper humidity for a while.
Sterilize syringes. 10cc syringes with 18 gauge 1-1/2" needles are best. Get the Luer Lok kind. I like B-D syringes myself. The needle can be sterilized by dousing in rubbing alcohol and the rinsing in sterile water. The syringe can be sterilized by drawing in 1cc of tap water, pulling the plunger all the way back, and placing in the microwave. Nuke for 5 minutes (YMMV). The 1cc of water will be heated to steam to provide for a nice steam sterilization of the entire inside of the syringe. Easier than 1 hour in a pot, IMHO. Cap the syringe before removing from microwave. Some water will be trapped in the syringe, but don't worry, it's sterile.
The cap should be removed from the yogurt container using the same sterile procedure that was used to put it in there. Once it's out, the container can be filled with enough water to fill the syringes needed (ie, 2 syringes x 10cc = 20cc H20). Sterile water can be gotten at the pharmacy, or made by either boiling water, or nuking it in the microwave (5 minutes in a yogurt container). Remember to sterilize more water than is needed for syringe filling because a large portion will get converted into steam.
After that, all that's left to do is to add the water to the yogurt container, scratch the spore print from the bottom of the container and fill each syringe. Don't forget to pat yourself on the back: You've just saved yourself at least $10 per syringe and a couple of weeks worth of waiting. Not only that, but you're self sufficient!
Whew. Sorry for taking up so much bandwidth, but hopefully someone'll find this informational. It does work, by the way. I created 3 syringes using this tek, and have inoculated 6 jars without contamination (100% colonization today!).
Random Useful Tip: Have you cased a few cakes but have no room in the terrarium for them? Just put 'em into a large plastic ziplock bag and mist inside the bag a bit. It'll keep the humidity up while the casing recovers and gives you time to make room in the terrarium.