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Popcorn Grain Spawn

An easy spawn or substrate preparation utilising corn

In the recent months there has been a buzz in the online mushroom community about the use of popcorn as a grain spawn. It was mentioned briefly in the past year or so but it was unknowingly overlooked by the masses. It has been said that a Swedish guy who runs a mushroom community over in Europe was using popcorn with great results. One member of the OMC, ran some pretty conclusive tests with popcorn and so I decided to try it myself. I like to make up a clean process when I embark so I decided to draft up this tek but I do not claim it as my own. I just thought it would make a nice contribution to the cultivation archives here at the Shroomery. 

Thanks to many on the forums I have put together what I feel is a direct method of using popcorn as a very easy and fast colonizing grain spawn. The one major advantage of popcorn over say rye berries is that it shakes up easier and it seems to pop less kernels when cooked. The grain is very nutritious and should support large flushes when cased with 50/50 or the better yet coco coir casings.

The supplies you will need are:

  1. Couple gallons of cheap spring water.
  2. Any sized jars you prefer but quarts are recommended.
  3. Strainer
  4. Pressure Cooker is a must!

A good thing to use for your jars would be polyfill filters. Anno has a good site with info on this at http://www.fungifun.org/English/Polyfil. This would greatly reduce the chances of contams and allow good air exchange for rapid growth.

Popcorn Spawn Formula

  • Take the amount of grains you desire to fill your jars around 2/3 full. Remember that the grains will expand, so it will take a tad less to reach that goal.
  • Pour the grains in a large pot and then pour in the cheap spring water till the grains are well covered with around an 1/2 inch of water.
  • Cover the pot and let soak for 24 hours.
  • After the 24 hours, make sure there is still plenty of water, if not add some more. More water is better than not enough in this case. Now you want to bring the water to a low boil on the stove and then let simmer for 1 hour.
  • Next pour the water and grains through a strainer and let the grains drip drain for half an hour. Important! Do not skip or fall short on the drain, its a must or you may end up with way too wet popcorn and contaminants.
  • Now load your jars around 2/3 and place in your pressure cooker. Cook at 15 p.s.i. for 70 mins.
  • Allow to cool and then inoculate with syringe or whatever is your preferred method.
  • Shake the grains every 4 or 5 days till they are fully colonized.

One guy used a coco coir casing mixed with some vermiculite and the results were amazing. The popcorn colonizes very rapidly and is very easy to shake. Hope this helps, I know I am filing this in my archive.

Threads in the forums:

Drafted by Alien on Jan 11 2003

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