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Recently I innoculated 30 Verm/BRF jars with Lipa Yai, Koh Samui, and B+ strains. The first batch of Lipa Yai's, six jars, were done on Sept. 29th. As of yet, none of them have shown signs of germination. The second batch of Lipa Yai's, eight jars, were prepared and innoculated the following day, Sept. 30. One of these jars has shown signs of germination. The third batch, sixteen jars, were innoculated with Koh Samui and B+ yesterday, October 5th. All of the jars were put in an incubator @ 85 degrees on October 5th.
The problem is that the first and second batches of jars show a yellowish discolouration where the water had run down each innoculation point. There is also an unpleasant odor coming from these jars. Though, as mentioned, one of the jars is showing signs of strong germination. The mycellium, in fact, is seen surrounded by discolouration. I am not able to provide photographs. It is only visible to the naked eye.
I've been through this before, with my first grow. The odor is the same, though the discolouration is more evident. I believe it is more evident because I am using jars twice the size as last time. My first grow was a complete success, with mycellium eventually taking over and the odor disappearing.
All of the jars were sterilized in a pot of water for one hour and twenty minutes to two hours. Please don't tell me I need a pressure cooker, as I'm already well aware. I simply do not have the funds. It would seem sterilization techniques are not the problem, since the discolouration seems present only at points of innoculation. I flame my needle until it glows orange before innoculating a new jar. I use electrical tape over the holes. I have never experienced any molds or other contaminants.
Some time ago, it was suggested to me that this may be some kind of bacterial contamination. Can anybody offer any greater insight into this ongoing problem?
It really sounds like some sort of bacterial contamination. Especially the bad odor. It is not unheard of for mycelium to outcompete bacteria, but on media as virgin as 'sterilized' BRF the bacteria often win.
Personally [emphasize PERSONALLY, many others are more conservative] I would consider a completely colonized cake fine for fruiting. . .the caveat is that the centers may harbor a bacterial core even if the outside looks fine. Better, to use such a cake to spawn a little bit of bulk substrate [and thus checking the interior]. Better yet, PC, but the cost/etc. is understandable.
Rule of thumb, bad odor=bacteria; Most grain bacteria are going to be pretty benign, but again. . .personal opinion.
And bacteria are more likely to come from incomplete sterilization [when not PC'd] than they are from innoculations. You might have luck with a secondary 'sterilization step'., aka mini-tyndallization.
edit** I just reread where you said the yellowing only appears around the inoculation points. . .this could indicate faulty innoculant. It could still be incomplete sterilization, and the endospores only reactivated in the moist innoculation points.