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Re: Sterility and Casing
    #16473 - 05/11/00 12:00 PM (17 years, 17 days ago)

First off, if you have never done a casing before, I wouldn't suggest using a tray. If it gets contaminated, you might lose the whole thing. I cased four B+ cakes in one big bowl and I got a nice first flush but it all got contaminated after that. That is a great loss. I would suggest using black or even blue plastic cups like the kind you have at a keg party, and case half of a cake in each one. That way if a couple get contaminated it's no great loss. I didn't sterilize any of my casing materials, and had minimal problems with contams and great results. So be careful but don't worry too much.

"No culture has a monopoly on beauty or value, just as no religion has a monopoly on truth."

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Re: Sterility and Casing
    #16475 - 05/12/00 02:32 PM (17 years, 16 days ago)

Using straight vermiculite may be a good choice to begin with. I have had good luck using it straight out of the bag with little contamination.

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Re: Sterility and Casing
    #16476 - 05/12/00 03:05 PM (17 years, 16 days ago)

There are many opinions on sterilizing casing. I do sterilize my casing materials. I do it in 1/2 gal jars w/filter discs and covered w/aluminum foil in a p. cooker. This way, I can store as long as needed.

Since you don't have a p. cooker, you can pasturize yours in an oven. You can still use jars so you can store what you dont use immediately or you can just use a clean roasting pan and bake at least 140F (per Stamets) but I would use a higher temp like 300 or so. This will kill any bugs and most contams.

If you plan on staying with mushroom cultivation, I would get a decent Pressure cooker as soon as you can. Your success rate will go WAY up and stay there. I have used a p. cooker from the start, so that is where my experience lies.

On a side note, one of my friends who doesn't have a pressure cooker, comes over and does his substrate here and doesn't bother with sterilizing his casings or verm and does pretty good. He has a little more contams, but he doesn't mind a few loses.

For casing trays, I like to use the large Gladware containers, painted with a blue rubberized spray called Plasti-Dip. You can still place the lid on for recover and it isn't transparent with the spray.

And yes, you will notice a large increase in yields over cakes, barring any contam problems.

"Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway."

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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Cultivation

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