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InvisibleShroomismM
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Bulk Questions
    #1389095 - 03/18/03 07:33 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Sorry if this is the wrong forum..move it if need be. I tried finding the answers to my questions but search is down and it's hard going through manually. Flying squirrel has worked with straw before, but this is his first time doing straw and dung combo so he wants to make sure he is doing things right.. he made a batch today and has a few questions.

1. Flying squirrel had dung that was in a filter patch bag, so he put it in the pressure cooker at 15 psi for 1 hour to sterilize. Is this an effective means of dung sterilization or should pasteurization occur next time?

2. Flying squirrel pasteurized the straw at 170F for 1 hour, then drained and cooled and mixed with the dung, which was put into a bin. Squirrel is concered that he did not let the substrate drain enough.. too wet.. he already mixed the spawn in it.. he read on a 3T tek to put small holes in the bottom of the container, can he do this and then put the bin raised inside of a box lined with plastic and assume it will allow for proper drainage and bring moisture to proper levels?

3. Squirrel spawned the dung/straw and then layed a piece of plastic with many small holes over it. Since the mixture was about 70% straw, Squirrel took a piece of wood and drilled many holes into it, and then layed that on top of the plastic and put a brick on the piece of wood to compress the straw as he read in ShroomGod's straw tek. Squirrel seems to think that this will boost colonization time, is this a safe assumption or should squirrel remove the board and brick and let it go naturally?

4. Assuming all goes well, should squirrel use a casing layer? He would use a vermiculite/coir layer, about 1/2" deep. Should it come before or after the first flush?

Thanks in advance for answering these questions and any advice/comments/tips/feedback is greatly appreciated.


Edited by Shroomism (03/18/03 08:05 PM)


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: Shroomism]
    #1389991 - 03/19/03 05:11 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

1. Dung is sterilized pretty fast. 1 hour at 15 psi is far enough.

2. It's a good idea. Don't forget to close the holes when the drainage is done.

3. Pressure is good in such a substrate and will improove colonization time. Stack some books, they are great to compress the substrate.

4. A casing layer is optional, not needed, if you can achieve a steady/good humidity level. You have no problem applying a casing layer between flushes.

MAIA


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Invisiblemycofile
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: Shroomism]
    #1390035 - 03/19/03 05:30 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

1. Yes, that's an effective means of sterilization. For most appliccations you don't want sterilization of a bulk substrate. The general rule with bulk substrates is that if they will ever be in contact with, or exposed to, non-sterile environments or objects then you want to pasteurize. In your case, the straw you mixed it with was not sterile, so you should have pasteurized the dung. Also, pasteurized casing material, trays, and growrooms that aren't absolutely sterile (pretty much invitro is the only truly sterile growth environment for most people) all call for pasteurization rather than sterilization of bulk subs.

2. Depends how long you let it drain. Drainage should last a couple hours at least, or until all surface moisture has drained off. In other words, the straw is moist, but no water can be shaken off. If it was wetter than that, you can either drill holes, remove the top covering, or combination of the two.

3. Compressing the straw will speed colonization. Can't say for sure, but I doubt you really drilled enough holes in the wood to really allow it breath enough. Far better is the plastic grid sold with flourescent lights that shroomgod talks about. $10 at hardware stores. Basically, are any of the holes in the plastic covered by the wood? If so, I'd consider using something else to compress with. Perhaps even a grid of thin (1x1) wood if you want to avoid spending the $10 and have wood available, but I would definitely recomend the flourescent light cover grid things.

4. All bulk substrates benefit from a casing layer. IMO if you are going to case, you should do it as soon as the substrate is colonized, although some people seem to wait until post 1st flush for some reason. Given that it's 70% straw, you may not get much of a second flush if you don't case it from the beginning as uncased straw dries out incredibly fast and doesn't recover well. I'd case at colonization.


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: mycofile]
    #1390804 - 03/19/03 09:45 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Great thanks for your replies Maia and Mycofile!

There's about 200 slits all over the plastic..
I used a 3/8 inch drill bit and drilled about 25 holes in the piece of wood, they are about 1-2 inches apart. I can't afford the flourescent light grid right now, so I guess I will just drill more holes in the wood.

Now I know to pasteurize the dung next time.. hopefully I won't run into any problems this time.. 10 lbs of premium dung and a hefty chunk of straw compressed into 2'x1'x6"..would suck to lose it to contams.

I'm going to drill a few small holes in the bottom of the bin and elevate it inside of a box lined with plastic. I'm a bit concerned about leaving the top open for long periods of time as it is in an old dusty closet.

Hopefully things go smoothly, I'll update in a couple days..thanks for your help.


Edited by Shroomism (03/19/03 10:01 AM)


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Offlineathena
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: Shroomism]
    #1390937 - 03/19/03 10:23 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Hi,
I have a question regarding bulk substrates, and thought I would ask it here, rather than start another thread. I hope no one minds.
I read in another tek page that wheat STRAW ( the wheat stem left over after the grain head has been removed) is somewhat better, or more nutritious than plain HAY ( cut and baled pasture grasses, brome, blue grass, a few weeds, etc.) for use as a bulk subtrate. Here, however, Mycophile is telling Shroomism that Flying Squirrel will not get repeated flushes because he has used primarily straw in the substrate.
My question then is what is the popular opinion regarding the 2, straw compared to hay as bulk substrates?
I thank you for allowing me to post a question in your thread, Shroomism.
And I appreciate any information. Athena.


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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: athena]
    #1390947 - 03/19/03 10:28 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

hay contains grass and other stuff. This is more likley to contain endospores, which require pressure cooking, other than that there shouldnt be much difference for the shroom.


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Invisiblemycofile
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: JazzMatazz]
    #1391156 - 03/19/03 11:33 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

No no, I was saying he likely wouldn't get repeated flushes if he doesn't case it. If he cases it, he can expect up to 6 good flushes! Straw simply dries out really bad if you don't case it, that's why you'll hardly ever see people not case it. It's just too much work for only one or two flushes.

Hay is no good for cultivation. Hay has seeds in it, therefore has a higher nitrogen content and is more contam prone. It's more contam prone because the seeds do not take to pasteurization. In the case of wheat hay, it's basically got wheat berries in it and everybody knows you can't pasteurize wheat berries and get away with it. Also, the increased nitrogen levels lead to increased thermogenesis, and in 9 times out of 10, bacterial bloom of thermophillic species. IOW, a big stink. You could probably use hay if you sterilized it, and kept it sterile, but who wants to do that? You'd be much better off using straight grain if that's the route you're going.

So far as comparing subs, straw is a great bulk substrate. Especially for the beginner. I've seen many people online report upwards of 1/4# dry per sq. ft on their very first straw trays. Hay, as I say above is worthless. Dungs definately have their merits, but I usually used them to supplement straw. Composts are great substrates, but unless you are shelling out the money for mycota pro, then most people aren't going to take the time an effort to make a good compost.


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PM me with any cultivation questions.

I just looked at my profile and realized I had a website at one point in time on geocities, it's not there anymore and I have no idea what I had on it. Anybody remember my website from several years aga? PM if so please.


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: mycofile]
    #1393311 - 03/19/03 10:59 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Ok I will case as soon as spawn run is complete. Do you think a 1" thick casing layer is too much? I'm trying to follow Stamets' instructions but I can't find my book.


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OfflinePooPs
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: Shroomism]
    #1394049 - 03/20/03 05:29 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

i'd say 1/2 inch at the most.

good luck.


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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: mycofile]
    #1395364 - 03/20/03 01:54 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

My friend has worked with straw for a while, and found it very forgiving on her first bulk attempts. She has since supplemented with compost mixes in the top layers, and has several boxes which have flushed 8 times and still look healthy. She does case, with a verm/peat moss/oyster combo. Straw is good stuff - get it from feed places, the quality FAR surpasses any of the craft stuff. The best time of year to get really good straw is early October (in Florida, at least.)


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Invisiblespadlishus7
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: babyshroom]
    #1766852 - 07/31/03 06:47 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

roger that! I just got a wheat bale at a local feed store that cost me a whopping 4 bucks! Real good looking straw too.


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: Bulk Questions [Re: spadlishus7]
    #1767301 - 07/31/03 09:54 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

If you have a relatively deep tray (4" or more) which is usually the case, you'd really want about an inch of casing. As long as you colonize it properly you shouldn't have a problem. Too shallow of a casing can really easily get overlayed, especially with straw.

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