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a friend of mine has had success with using straight horse crap and crap mixed with straw but the time she used straight straw the results were green. she was wondering if any of you folks could share your favorite methods for contam-free straw casings. thanks wog
One simple tips is increasing the spawn-to-straw ratio so that the mycelium will take hold more quickly. The material should be compressed a great deal as well which will increase the uniformity and density of the substrate, which tends to promote more even spawn running and fruiting, and may help combat contams somewhat as well.
Stamets describes a method of supplemental heating after your first pasteurization, which is to keep the straw at approx. 122 degrees F for an additional 12-24 hours before allowing it to cool sufficiently so that you may innoculate safely (<80 degrees F) This will increase beneficial microbial activity and make the straw more selective for mushroom mycelial growth over the growth of other sporulating molds.
The casing itself should have the proper pH and moisture levels. If both of these factors are maintained, you should not get contams as long as you use enough spawn, case only after the straw has pretty much finished colonizing, have healthy strains and accomplish growth in a reasonably clean environment.
Search "old timer's method" in mushroom cultivation/ allposts. be sure to read the whole thing as we are graced with the presence of the old geezer himself and given the complete process along w/ some extra bits of Q&A
Anyone have a pic of how straw looks when it is completely colonized ?? Im on my first attempt and am wondering how I will know when its ready to be cased, Ive seen some pics and am starting to wonder if the pic I have in my head is TOO colonized, Ild hate to wait to long to case it.
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