Double Tub Pictorial:
I would like to first say that this tek is not mine. I am taking the time to document this for the benefit of our fellow members. Credit must be given to those that have pioneered this technique. Primary credit goes to Eatualive who had the courage to try this and bring it to light. There are others out there who have used this tek, Iamthewalrus, Mushroommark, many others and me of course.
Okay let's get started.
This tek will be written as a 'How to' manual. I will attempt to cover every facet of the growth and make references to those people who have coinciding information to aid in the final product.
First Things First:
The first phase in any tek is the planning. When using the Double Tub tek you must plan ahead. Failure to plan properly will result in wasted material. When assessing the needs of your grow there are a few key measures that must be taken into account before you do anything. These are:
1. The amount of colonized substrate you will use.
2. The amount of substrate after the spawn is mixed.
3. Having enough substrate to fill the area needed.
4. Leaving room for the casing layer.
Failure to address these key measures may result in too much spawn, too little, lack of height for CO2 expulsion, and finally no room for your casing layer.
Preparation does not have to be exact, but must account for the medium in which you are going to be growing in, in this case Double Tubs. For the purpose of this tek I will be referring to horse manure and WBS as the spawn mediums.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. Do not to get wrapped up in exact specifications. This is not an exact science and a little imagination can go a long way.
There is no exact formula for mixing spawn. The difference between 2 quarts of WBS and 5 when spawning is time. The Double Tubs will keep the spawn contained in a contaminate free environment, as long as you keep the conditions reasonably clean. Allowing time to properly clean and sterilize all surfaces will go a long way and may mean the difference between 1 flush and 5.
Okay, now that we have those key points out of the way, let's move on.
The following are recommended tools for this tek, but are not required:
1. Drill (cordless or corded)
2. Hole-saw 1-1 1/2 inch
3. Tape measure
If you do not posses these tools, its okay, you can make your holes with a knife.
1. Sterlite or Rubbermaid tubs (19 qt minimum to 64 qt maximum) Qty. 2
2. Poly-fill 20 oz. Qty. 1 bag
3. Duct tape Qty. 1 roll
4. Black trash bags 30 gallon Qty. 2 bags
5. Alcohol Qty. 1 bottle
Now that we have our materials and tools in hand, it's time to start planning our hole placement. A total of 8 holes will be drilled for these containers (4 holes per container). 2 holes will be drilled approximately 4-5 inches from the bottom of the tub on each side, while the other tub will be drilled exactly the same.
When you are drilling the holes, place them semi-equally apart from one another by selecting the holes about 3-4 inches from the end of the sides. If you decide to use say 3 inches from the side and 4 inches up, do the same on the other side. Height placement is more important than side placement, as the holes should be fairly close to the substrate level.
Remember to leave room for the casing layer. If you are going to have 4 inches of substrate and a 1/2 inch casing layer, it does you know good to have your holes drilled at exactly 4 inches. Where would the casing layer go? The bottom of the holes is where the measurement needs to take place.
As seen here:
The reason why the two tubs will be drilled in the exact place is to avoid confusion on which tub is the top and which is the bottom. Remember that the tubs will be placed on top of each other, so the top tub, after it has been inverted, will be a considerable distance from the bottom holes.
What is the purpose of having holes at 4-5 inches on the bottom and way at the top for the top tub? I'm glad you asked. The lower holes, or holes at the substrate level, will aid in CO2 expulsion. The top holes will allow filtered air, filtered from the poly-fill, to enter the tub and provide air exchange.
The poly-fill is non-organic and not prone to habiting contaminates.
Now that that you have drilled your holes the container should look like this.
Notice how I planned my holes around where I want my substrate and final casing layer to be. I have plenty of room to even add a half inch of substrate if I choose, but I won't.
Collect your horse manure and place in to the container dry. See how much you need to get up the holes, leaving room for a casing layer, and even it out. Now pull out the horse manure and weigh it. This is now the dry weight you need to grow every time for that container.
What about when you hydrate it and the weight changes? Good question. The answer is it doesn't matter. Hydrating horse manure increases the weight not the volume. In other words, the same horse manure dry, will take up roughly the same space wet. The wet horse manure simply weighs more than the dry.
Once you have your holes drilled its time to pull some poly-fill out of the bag and stuff the holes. This does not need to be complicated. The best method for stuffing the poly-fill is to take a nice size wad and begin stuffing from the outside in. You want the poly-fill from the interior of the tub to look like large round cotton balls. This will avoid contact with the mushrooms during growth and looks neater. The poly-fill needs to be snug, but not so tight that the tub is deforming on you.
Okay, so we've stuffed all of our holes in both containers and now need to sterilize the containers. This can be accomplished by spraying some alcohol in the tub and thoroughly wiping the sides, rim, and bottom. Do not take your sweet time doing this. Get it done as quickly as possible. Place a trash bag or two on the bottom of the container that you are choosing to be the bottom. The trash bags should come up slightly higher than the poly-fill, by about a 1/2 inch, but not so high as to interfere with the fruiting.
Once this is done, invert the chosen top tub and place on top of the bottom tub. Make sure the container lips are aligned with one another so you don't have anything floating in there from the open air.
The next step is to take the materials for your spawn medium. You can use either Roadkill's
horse manure tek or Agar's
. Both work great.
In this case, I am using 7 quarts of PR WBS to about 12-15 lbs of dried horse manure in a 64 qt container. Place the horse manure into a sterilized container, preferably lined with a trash bag, and put your colonized substrate on top. In this case, I'm using WBS. Break up the WBS and begin mixing thoroughly. Once you have mixed up your spawn, place a lid onto the container with the spawn. Spray some Lysol into the air around the Double Tubs and wait for 10 minutes.
Now that I have mixed my spawn, I'm ready to place it into the bottom tub lined with the trash bag. Remember that your double tub should have closed during your spawn mix. Carefully place your mixed spawn into the bottom tub on top of the trash bag. You need to do this slowly, as you do not want the spawn to go down the sides of the trash bag, only inside the lined tub.
Now that you have your spawn in the tub, remove the tape you used to tack the trash bag in place and begin moving the bag so it is not covering the bottom holes. It may sag a little, but this is okay. Try and fold the sides of the bag towards the outside of the tub so they shorten in length. Remember, the water will drain down the sides, not onto the substrate.
Now that this is completed, you need to set the top tub onto the bottom tub, as seen below. To avoid knocking the top tub off the bottom, place duct tape between the lips of both tubs and seal in 4 places. If you want to be really cautious, you can seal the entire lip instead.
Place the double tub in your chosen room for incubation. A closet works very well for this, as the air does not circulate significantly, and the temps stay about the same. Ideal temps for the entire double tub grow are 68-74 degrees. Now that you have the container in your chosen room, place a black trash bag over the top of the tub so only the interior trash bag is visible. The bottom holes stuffed with poly-fill should be visible also.
The spawn needs to run for at least 5 days undisturbed. That means no peeking. After 5 days has passed, inspect your spawn by looking into the container, not opening it. If you are 100% colonized, prepare your casing mix. If you are not 100% colonized, leave the container in place and check every 2-3 days until you are complete.
Once you are complete, case the colonized substrate. I prefer the 50/50 mix. This can be found here.
It is very important to note that the tubs should only be opened to case and to harvest. There will be no misting or manually fanning. The only exception to this rule is when the double tubs are placed in a room that has stagnant air during the fruiting phase. If this is the case, you can use a personal size, oscillating fan to move air around the room. Do not point the fan directly at the tub, as you will dry out the casing and/or your growing mushrooms.
Once you have cased the substrate, it is time to incubate again for 5 days by placing back into the room where it began and placing the trash bag back on top. You will do no patching during the incubation phase for the casing. The substrate will colonize the casing layer evenly and you're ready to fruit.
You will see a bit of condensation on the sides of the container after the incubation of the casing layer. This is desired and will help in later flushes.
Depending on where you have your containers, you may need to place them in an area that has indirect sunlight. I place my tubs in my bathtub and crack my blinds. The course of the sun's natural rotation takes care of my lighting needs and affords about 12-14 hours of light. I also use a small personal size, oscillating fan in the room to move air around, but it is not required if air is coming in from an adjacent room.
At no time will you open the tubs, until the harvest. If you want to see the mushrooms growing, look through the top container. In about a week, you will start to see pins.
Once the mushrooms have completely matured and are ready for harvest, begin planning ahead. Set some time aside to complete the harvest. Have some Lysol on hand, alcohol, trays for mushroom collection, and pre-sterilized casing mix for patching. Before you remove the top tub, spray some Lysol into the air around the container and allow 5-10 minutes for everything to settle.
Spray some alcohol onto your hands and rub in thoroughly. Remove the duct tape from the lip of the two containers and have you collection tray/container ready for the mushrooms. This will be a monster flush, so try to avoid taking too much time doing the harvest. Once you have picked all of your mushrooms, grab your casing mix and lightly patch the areas you just pulled from.
Avoid allowing the mushrooms to mature too much. Overly mature mushrooms will drop their spores and cause a big mess on you casing layer. You also want to keep printing in mind during your harvest planning. All mushrooms should be picked within 24 hours of each other. During the next 24 hours of the harvest, you will pick all of the mushrooms, including the aborts. Nothing will be left behind.
After you have completed the harvest and patched, place the top back onto the bottom container and seal with duct tape again. Very important: Do not mist the casing after you have patched or you will disturb the environment.
There it is. Eatualive's Double Tub tek revisited. I have made some modifications to this tek, namely the sealing of the tubs, details on hole placement, recommendations for temperatures, and tips to avoid trouble along the way.
Additional photos will follow as things progress so there is no confusion.