The original forum post used as the basis for this document can be found here
Foreword: Magash (the original poster of this guide) has made many excellent contributions to this site during his time here, however, this guide is 10 years old now at the time of this edit in 2016, and it's worth noting that many of the practices detailed in this guide have bbeen proven ineffective or been phased out to better methods in the last 10 years. I think it should stay here for posterity, however, to anyone wanting to grow in 2016 or later, I highly encourage you to browse the top threads in mushroom cultivation rather than follow this guide to the T. Without further ado, enjoy the tek:
Making The Syringes
1. Well first I fill up a half pint jar with filtered water.
2. Then I like to add 2 or three drops of jet dry to the water (keeps
spores from clumping and sticking to the sides of the syringe) and fill
3. I put the syringes into a quart jar and put them in the pressure
cooker so the needle tip faces up. (if they don't face up the water
will shoot out when it boils.
4. I wrap 1 shot glass for each syringe in foil, put them in a quart
jar and put them in the pressure cooker too.
5. I pressure cook at 15psi for an hour.
6. When it's all still hot as hell I load it all into a glove box that
has had the living shit sprayed out of it with Lysol the night before.
Spore prints to be used go in too.
7. This part is just a me thing but when it cools I unwrap and use one
shot glass for each syringe. Flake off the print into the shot glass
the amount of spores your going to use, shoot in the water from one of
the syringes and suck it back up with the spores. The amount of spores
used is up to you cause at this point I go overboard again.
I know there is a lot of steps in this and it's a lot of overkill but
it does leave little room for contaminations.
Preparing the Grain and Jars
1. First thing I do is put one cup of rye in each quart jar.
2. Put in enough water for the soaking. Alternatively just measure out the grain and let it soak in a big pot(for instance the same pot you are going to use for the simmering later)
I like to soak for 24 hrs. Notice the difference in the color of the
water after 24 hrs.
Bacteria endospores have started to germinate.
This is the reason we soak the grain. Many believe that this is where
water is absorbed by the grain but this is only partially true since a substantial amount of water is absorbed by the grain when it is simmered. The main reason
for the soaking is that we are germinating the bacterial endospores
because they sometimes can survive the pressure cooking process. NOTE:
In hot weather(summer) rye will sometimes begin to sprout before the 24 hour
soak is over. This is NOT something you want to hapen. In this case shorten the
soak time to 12 or 16 hours.
3. Strain the grain through a colander to get rid of the dirty water.
Put in a
pot with plenty of fresh boiling water(roughly double the amount of the grain), reduce the heat and simmer for ~45 min, until the first rye kernels begin to open.
4. Strain the simered grain through a colander. I like to pour 6 gallons
through the grain in order to get rid of the starch on the outside of the kernels. (no reason for 6 it's just a me thing). After the rinsing let the grain sit in the collander for ~10 minutes so the excess water can run off. The grain is now
ready to be put into jars and pressure cooked.
5. Make 2 holes in the jar lids. One is a breather and one is for the
Put a piece of Tyvek over the top, add the ring and some foil and your
ready to PC.
Be sure to leave room in the jars to shake the grain
6. Load the jars into the PC
and pressure cook for 1 hour at 15 psi. Here is a finished jar.
Now your ready for the next step.
Incubator Set Up
1. First thing get your bottom tub and put in your heater. I also add a
water pump to mix the water that way it heats up more evenly but
it isn't a necessary item. I got the tape from a boat shop and it has
been working for some time. Good stuff for underwater.
2. Next put something (I used tall half pints) in each corner of the
tub. This will keep the heater and pump safe from being smashed if I
put in to many jars or do something stupid.
3. Now be sure to set the heater before you put on the top tub. I
attach the top tub with zip ties cause the top tub will want to float.
4. Add the water. I like to add as much water as I can before it starts
to spill out.
5. If you use the heaters with the external controls set them now to
get ready for the jars. Mine use a dial and a sensor that gives the
temp inside the chamber rather then the water. It also has a metal bulb
rather then a glass one.
1. First get your work area ready.
2. One of the reasons I like Tyvek is cause you can write on it.
3. I like to heat the needle tip then cool it with a alcohol wipe.
4. Inoculate the grain. I like to use 2.5 cc per quart.
5. I like to cover the inoculation hole with a band-aid. I like em
cause they come sterile.
6. Shake up the jars real good and put em in a 82 F %u2013 27.7C to 86F %u2013
7. I like to shake the jars again when they are about 25% colonized
then once more at about 50% to 75% done.
The Waiting Game
1. This is the hard part, the waiting game. Here is a jar 3 ?
days after being shot up.
Few days later
The first part of the waiting game is over time to
Get The Casing Mix Together
1. Well it's been exactly 9 days and the jars are done.
Time to get the casing supplies.
2. I like coco coir and vermiculite mix. Be sure you get coir and
not fiber. Coir is on the left and fiber is on the right.
Coir in the package.
vermiculite can be found all over the place and looks like this.
3. Add water to the coir as the directions say. Here is a brick.
Here is one with 4 quarts of water added.
4. Prepare your vermiculite. I just put it in a jar and fill it with
water, let it soak,
drain then add to a pot.
5. Now mix (I used 2 parts coir to 1 part vermiculite). Here it is when
6. Put the mix into jars (I just use the grain jars) and pressure cook
for 1 ? hrs at 15 psi. (Once again just something I do)
Making The Casing
1. I like to pressure cook everything. I pressure cook the casing
layer, the casing containers, the foil that goes over the top, and the
spoons and forks I use to do the work.
2. I like to do the work of putting the casing together in a walk in
closest that I have. I spray the shit out of the air with oust and wait
a few minutes then start the work. (With a face mask)
3. I pour a little (about a half inch) of the casing layer into the
4. Now scoop the mycelium out of your jar and put it in the container
on top of the bottom casing layer that you put in. Once you have the
amount of colonized substrate (these casings will be 1 quart each) that
you want to use even it out so it's nice and flat on top.
5. Now add the top casing layer. (In this case ? to ?
inch of casing layer) A good rule of thumb is a top casing layer
? as thick as the substrate layer.
6. Now cover (I like to use foil) and put into the incubator.
Usually this last 4 to 7 days. A finished casing should look a little
(I suggest covering the sides of clear containers to prevent side
pinning. These will be left uncovered for pictures used in this post)
Time to put the casings in
1. When the mycelium starts to break the casing surface is when I like
to put them in the chamber
Lots of people like to patch at this time. Myself I've never been one
for patching so in the chamber they go.
2. I like to use the tent style chamber that uses the cool mist running
all the time and a ultrasonic that comes on every few hours for so many
3. This is a Martha Stewart closet and hose set up.
I use the ultrasonic and cool mist. Very firm believer in air exchange.
In the electrical Dept of the hardware store I find these.
Now on the back of the closet I cut the holes for the hose fittings and
put tape over them and cut holes threw the tape for the fittings. The
reason for the tape is to give the closet plastic a little extra
strength when holding the hose weight.
The outlet for the ultrasonic goes above the cool mist outlet that way
the mist from the ultrasonic drops into the air stream of the cool mist
and mixes better.
4. Now that the casings are in the chamber it's time to wait for
5. If the coir starts to get a little lighter in color it may be
starting to get dry. Now is a good time to mist them with some sterile
water, it's safe to mist up to the point of pinning.
Well it's been a week and pinning has started.
A few days later
Well some of the veils are starting to tear
so it's time to think about
Harvesting and Taking Prints
1. Harvesting is easy. Just be sure to remove the whole shroom and
leave none behind to rot on the casing.
2. Cover the spots that show cause of the picked shrooms with casing
material and spray it down real good with the water H202 mix.
3. If you dunk your casings now would be the time.
Now I suggest you take your own prints to use
Well this is how I like to do it. I like to get my foil ready like this
That way when the print is done you have these flaps to fold over.
I then get a half pint jar (wide mouth) and prepare it like this. I
ditch the disk and silicone in a Tyvek disk.
This will allow the cap to dry a little as sits in the jar. (Which
causes more spores to drop and prevents the cap from rotting. Will also
allow the prints to dry once the mushroom cap is removed.)
Next put in the foil and cover with the lid.
Put some foil on top and pressure cook for one hour at 15 psi.
Now uncover and wipe off and your little print chamber is ready.
Now take the jar to your mushroom chamber and loosen the top but don't
I like to put a pin in each of the mushroom caps I'm going to print.
Cut the shroom just below the cap and put it on the foil in the jar as
fast as you can. Easy to do since the jar lid is loose.
Put it in a glove box or where you like to do your work.
In 24 hrs open up and take out the cap by the pin (now we know what the
pin is for) and put the cap back on. Let it sit for 24 hrs again to let
the spores dry.
Once dry fold up foil and store in a cool dry place.
Why do you wrap a shot glass for each syringe?
This is more of a me thing but I like one glass for each syringe just
in case there is a contamination I can keep it somewhat contained to
Why do you soak the grain in separate jars?
This is another one of those me things. I like to come by every once
and a while and shake up the jars. No idea if it helps but it makes me
feel better and I get a good look at all the grain being used.
Why do you pour out the water and fill and shake and pour that out
after the grain has soaked?
I like to be sure there is nothing bad like a endospore that may not
have germinated and to rinse the water the grain was soaking in out of
When the grain is done simmering why do you rinse it with 6 gallons
Well 6 gallons was used for every 10 quarts of substrate prepared for
this post. 6 gallons isn't needed but I do suggest rinsing off the
Why do you leave room in the jars to shake the grain?
The jars are shaken to spread the spores around and when the mycelium
has started to grow to spread it out so colonization is done faster
When you inoculate the grain you heat the needle tip then cool it
with a alcohol wipe, is it needed to do both?
No, if you like you can use one or the other.
When you prepare the vermiculite for the casing you soak it in a jar
is that the only way to do it.
No, that is just a easy way for me
to do it. Anything that can hold the vermiculite and water will pretty
much work. I like thee vermiculite to have as much water in it as
Is pressure cooking the casing layer the only way to sterilize it
No, that is just what I like to do and haven't had a contamination
problem using it. There are several other ways to do it and they can be
found here in the FAQ
In the post when you put the casing together you have it in a clear
Yes that was just done for the post. Light should be shielded from the
sides of the casing.
%u201CWhen the mycelium starts to break the casing surface is when I like
to put them in the chamber%u201D. What about patching?
I'm not one that feels that patching is all that needed but many people
do and how to do it is in the FAQ
With your chamber you use two humidifiers, is this needed?
I think so to get the most out of your shrooms. The cool mist exchanges
the air while not dropping the humidity to much and every few hours the
ultrasonic comes on to make sure the humidity is high enough. If you
use only one, use the cool mist humidifier.
Your print tek uses a lot of steps are there other ways to do it?
Yes look in the Grow section and you will find several ways