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There is more background information below to help in answering these questions. The questions are at the top of the post to save you a bunch of reading if you don?t need the background.
So far a very large percentage of jars have fallen to contams. Is it ever enough to clean spray, wipe, wear clean clothes, etc.? Or is it usually necessary to make a flowhood or glovebox?
What is the correct way to cover the lids in the PC? It has been very difficult to get jar moisture correct. She believes this is to blame for the high rate of loss. The directions are followed to the letter but the jars are all too wet or too dry. So far Pat has tried the following
? ?? hole stuffed with polyfil, rye grain (VERY DRY)
? ?? hole stuffed with polyfil, covered with foil, rye grain (VERY WET)
? ?? hole, 4 needle sized holes, Tyvek, rye grain & BRF (dry)
? ?? hole, 4 needle sized holes, Tyvek, covered with foil rye grain & BRF (wet)
All were PC?ed at 15psi for 1 hour, all needle holes were covered with waterproof tape before, during & after PC?ing & Innoc. Quart jars used for rye. 3 Pint and 12 ? Pint jars for BRF. All BRF jars were at field capacity. Rye grain jars were done by the book. (3/4 of a cup per qt. jars if memory serves)
She has now lost almost 100% of the grain jars and about 40% of the BRF jars. Is she correct to blame too much/little moisture?
Is there maybe something so simple it?s taken for granted and therefore may not be mentioned in the teks?
THE ORIGINAL IDEA:
Pat, my sloth friend began reading the mushroom cultivator about 5 years ago, but never did anything about it & eventually forgot about it. She accidentally procured several syringes not to long ago and began to brush up on her shroom knowledge. Unfortunately she didn?t find the shroomery until after many experiments had already begun. The book led her in the direction of bulk substrates and grain transfers and so her original plan was to follow this line of thinking.
JARS SO FAR: (constant 80?, dark, sterlite incubator)
She first has attempted rye grain in quart jars. The grain was NOT soaked, the lids were drilled and filled with polyfil (1/4? hole). This resulted in VERY dry grain. After 5 weeks there is slow growth of extremely ?fluffy? myc, but 4 of 7 are still showing no signs of contamination.
After finding the fine folks of this community she switched to tyvek and soaking. This has apparently resulted in very moist grain. The jars have a caramel colored goo around many grains immediately after PC?ing. This goo settles to the bottom after a few days. It results in this
Finally the tried and true PF tek was attempted. This has resulted in about 60% of the ? pint jars surviving to this point (about 80% colonized). Several pint jars were tried but they are very dense and very wet. Growth is apparent by it?s not likely they will be usable.
In the rye grain jars there is generally no growth visible for more than 2-3 weeks. She currently has 1 good looking rye jar setting in the fridge waiting for insight. The fruiting chamber is being tested now. So far it?s stuck at 72% humidity but there is no substrate of any kind in there to add to the humidity. (Hepa filtered cool mist for air exchange and an air pump in a small container of perlite)
CASINGS SO FAR:
Pat tried a compost/straw tek with the only jar that has made it to full colonization. This jar was a rye grain quart jar (EQ). The casings were left alone covered with foil (no holes) inside a Sterlite container for a week. The first tray was already a stinking cobweb fest with very little myc growth and was destroyed.
The second was found green when checked 5 days later and destroyed. A total loss!
All basic kitchen sterilization techniques possible (spraying alcohol, wiping bleach, clean clothes, gloves, brushed teeth, etc.)have been strictly adhered to since the first jars were pc?ed. Bleach & Alcohol are her friend. She has a HEPA room filter on order and plans to use its filter to create a flowhood.
I know this has been a long post & I appreciate any help you can give
-------------------- The above statement has been a figment of my imagination. Niether the statement nor the writer is real, we are both fiction & should not be taken seriously in any way
Ad rye: There is no exact recipe for rye. What will work for one won?t for the other. If the jars are too wet, then add 5 ml water less. Are they too dry, add 5 ml more. Still too wet? Add even less. It only takes a few jars to figure the correct amount of moisture.
#1 - Using a glove box or flow hood will decrease the changes of contamination considerably.
#2 #3 Anno already gave you some good hints about this. When working with grains, i personally like to soak them first for 8 hours and boil them slowly for an hour, then you shouldn't need to add any water to sterilize it in the PC. Lids should be tighten and covered with aluminum foil.
#4 Water content with grains is not always what is seems. It depends if you soak it first or boil it.