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OfflineKnobleJunga
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Advantages of complex casings?
    #2311257 - 02/07/04 11:26 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I've been looking at lots of posts, and the Casing section on the main site, but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

Basically, at some point in the future I'd like to try casing. Some people only do it with vermiculte, some use vermiculite mixed with coir. Some have a bottom layer of these also, or a bottom layer of vermiculite. Some mix in additives to the casing (to correct pH)...

Where do the differences come in? Speed, fruit size, potency, resistence to contams, number of flushes? Does it really matter? Is it perfectly fine to just use a top layer of vermiculite only, or is it much better to add other things?

Also, do these things depend on the substrate you're casing? Right now i have PF cakes, but I'm going to try popcorn next, and probably case that. :confused:


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OfflineMikeOLogical
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2311264 - 02/07/04 11:33 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

awhile ago my friend and I both tried casing... the problem is, we live where the water is very hard, and we couldn't get the right kind of lime... all of our casings failed... they grew through with mycelium and even pinned a little, but the yields were miniscule... we eventually abandoned the project


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InvisibleMilkVein
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: MikeOLogical]
    #2311267 - 02/07/04 11:37 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

a friends dad had the same prob...bottle water is cheap.


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Offlinenife
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2311409 - 02/07/04 01:27 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Its whatever works for you. As mentioned above, different water PH's will affect the additives. Most casing materials are used to protect and deliver water so exact mixtures seem less important, so long as the correct Ph and nutrients are included.


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OfflineMikeOLogical
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: MilkVein]
    #2311419 - 02/07/04 01:30 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

it wasnt just the water, everything here is slanted toward alkaline, even peatmoss...


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InvisibleTomandjerry58
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: nife]
    #2311421 - 02/07/04 01:31 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

usually verm works for begginers. you can use coco coir too. don't use peat the ph is too low.


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Anonymous

Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: MikeOLogical]
    #2311542 - 02/07/04 02:18 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)


it wasnt just the water, everything here is slanted toward alkaline, even peatmoss...


peat moss is fairly acidic and hard water will not cause problems with mushroom culture.


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Anonymous

Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2311547 - 02/07/04 02:20 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i have a feeling that the texture of verm isn't quite as good as coir. it holds a little more water. i usually use a mix, but if i had to pick one or the other, it would definitely be coir. adding a touch of oyster shell is a good pH buffer to counteract acidic mushroom wastes. lime is needed if you're working with peat.


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OfflineAlbacore
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Registered: 02/03/04
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: ]
    #2311996 - 02/07/04 04:27 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

does the coir and vermiculate have to be sterilized? if so...how?
thanks


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: Albacore]
    #2312015 - 02/07/04 04:33 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I always sterilize my casing material in the microwave for 5 min, and I've never had a casing contam.


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Anonymous

Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: Redstorm]
    #2312667 - 02/07/04 09:06 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

You have never had a casing contaminate?  Where do you live, the MOON :tongue:


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Invisibleutopianglory
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2312704 - 02/07/04 09:20 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Well on the time, speed and particularities of materials:

I don't know about anybody else but I have found straight coir to be ran over way too quickly by the mycelium. My 50/50 Peat/Verm with dash lime also copped it though. Generally if you do not want overlay you might be wise to put an all vermiculite layer on top. Straight verm seems to be fantastic at not getting too much overlay if that is your problem (at the very least it slows rabid growth on the top layer down).

There are some differences in size (generally larger depth = bigger fruits, longer time to take over casing layer). Potency is pretty much impossible to prove different at the moment. As you have probably read you are shooting for a casing layer 25% in size of layer of colonized substrate below (ie 4 inch substrate, 1 inch layer). Some suggest upper limit of effectivity is around 4/5 inches.. who knows though. They are only suggestions and quite a few people have their own opinion.

Sterilization

I have always done the microwave aswell, 5 mins, wait a little while, 5 mins again. Out of the microwave, wait to cool. This method is especially good if you have too much water, just don't cover your casing material if this is the case, your water will be culled off. If I were you I would use a nice, thick strong ceramic pot to sterilize in though, people advocate tupperware but plastics do excrete chemicals into what they are holding and if the substrate gets too hot, it will burn a nice big hole through the container. Not to mention the smell, which is not very inconspicuous. Say if your parents were coming home in 30 mins. (Happened to me once).

Difficulty

Lastly, I do not quite understand this stigma that casing is harder. I do not agree with this, it is longer, adds more onto the process but ultimately it really isn't much harder. Crumble, place sterilized casing material on top. Follow precautions and there should be no problems. Having very healthy mycelium helps. Casing a jar that took say 3 months to finish is more risky than casing one that took 2 weeks (this I have found to be true in my case).


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InvisibleTomandjerry58
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: ]
    #2312761 - 02/07/04 09:42 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i found that i don't really like a casing mixure on top. maybe for half pints. i think its a good way to get a contam. i find that if you just mix with verm. cover and incubate for a week then fruuit works fine for me. now i wish i could figure out a way to get nutrients in the casing.


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OfflineAlbacore
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: Tomandjerry58]
    #2313000 - 02/07/04 11:29 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

do i mix the casing with water then put in the mocrowave? is it possible to boil it instead then let it dry out later? and also, what is overlay? thanks


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Anonymous

Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: Albacore]
    #2313087 - 02/08/04 12:04 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Albacore said:
does the coir and vermiculate have to be sterilized? if so...how?
thanks




not IME it dosen't....I have never had coir contam on me and I keep it wet in a bag before I use it then add dry verm and then h202/h20 to get it to the right moisture content....IME 75% coir 25% verm is the best mix


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InvisibleOldSpice
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Post deleted by Administrator [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2313607 - 02/08/04 04:24 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)



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Invisibleutopianglory
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: OldSpice]
    #2313732 - 02/08/04 07:29 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I have sterilized and not sterilized and whilst sterilization is clearly "optional" its not too much trouble to spend 5-10 minutes doing it.


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Offlinesnowspeed1
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: KnobleJunga]
    #2450567 - 03/19/04 05:30 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

there are huge differences in what happens to your mushrooms depending on what casing you use. a lot of them, especially ones with verm, dont hold water for long. you might get a great first flush and crappy ones after.

i find something along the lines of potting soil works the best. you should definitely experiment to find your groove.

if it has nutrients in it you are looking at a possible contamination. verm doesnt have any so you could safely sterilize it, although its already pretty much sterile out of the package.
anything that has nutrients in it that will be exposed to a non sterile environment should be pastuerized. you keep sterile substrate in a sterile jar to grow. thats why its sterile. otherwise it would be a rampant breeding ground for contams. if its going to be in contact with all kind of crap from the air then it needs it own defense. thats why you pasturize.

to pastuerize throw it in a pillowcase and cook in water at about 170 no higher than 190. it kills all the bad bacteria while letting the good bacterial live their so that nothing else has a chance to move in.
if you sterilize it you kill everything and its a bacterial free for all.

but honestly, i never sterilize my casings, as long as you keep the fruiting area clean it is normally not a problem. but prevention is always a time saver.


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OfflineAnnoA
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: ]
    #2450575 - 03/19/04 05:36 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

>You have never had a casing contaminate? Where do you live, the MOON

Haha, so true.


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Offlinemockeylock
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Re: Advantages of complex casings? [Re: snowspeed1]
    #2451436 - 03/19/04 02:02 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

snowspeed1 said:
there are huge differences in what happens to your mushrooms depending on what casing you use. a lot of them, especially ones with verm, dont hold water for long.



Isn't water retention the reason for adding vermiculite?


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