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OfflineMagixMushMan8
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Making my own Shiitake Dowels
    #14640450 - 06/20/11 01:14 AM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Hey guys. I got my first Shiitake growing operation under way and, as with any newbie, I have questions. First, I want to get some opinions on the method I used. I found it online, which was very hard because there is virtually NO information on how to make Shiitake dowels (only where to buy them). I like to start projects myself, from start to finish, not only for quality control but because the result is 100% my doing which gives me a great feeling. Anyway this is what I did:
1. Boiled a few cups of water
2. Put hardwood dowels (non-treated) in to a quart canning jar with holes poked on the top
3. Pour the boiled water on the dowels and let them sit to cool and absorb the water for about 6 hours
4. Drained off the water
5. Injected Shiitake cultures, which I got from a website that is already in a syringe, in to the holes on to the dowels and covered the top with tin foil so no nasty microbes can get in.

It's been a few days and no growth, which I was expecting, but what are your thoughts on this method? Everything was sterilized of course.

My next question is how long will it take for the dowels to become colonized enough to where I can put them in my logs.

Thank you for any input, greatly appreciated. :thumbup:


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InvisiblewildernessjunkieM
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Re: Making my own Shiitake Dowels [Re: MagixMushMan8]
    #14640733 - 06/20/11 02:28 AM (10 years, 4 months ago)

People usually go to grain first, then from grain to wood.

I am curious how this turns out though. Im hoping it works for you.


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Offlinecurry
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Re: Making my own Shiitake Dowels [Re: wildernessjunkie]
    #14643241 - 06/20/11 03:44 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Like wildernessjunkie said, you have to take steps to get to where you want to go, not just one leap.  The BEST way to accomplish what you're after is to make a petri dish from your syringe, and grow it out.  Then, take some of the mycelium from the petri dish and put it into a grain jar that was PC'd, and let it grow out.  Then, PC several jars full of dowels, break up the grain jar and (using a glovebox) pour some of the grain that was colonized into each of the dowel jars.

Having said that, growing shitake in logs is possible, but not very practical.  Much easier growing it from bags of wood shavings/chips, and much faster.  Lots of info here how to do it.  Good growin'.


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OfflineMagixMushMan8
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Re: Making my own Shiitake Dowels [Re: curry] * 1
    #14722585 - 07/05/11 10:58 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Well my dowels are doing well...The thin and wispy mycelium of the shiitake is starting to show. I appreciate the advice and worries about growing on logs. I have a nice big vegetable garden in my backyard and everything, down to the stakes I use, are completely nature (bamboo from my yard). I don't like to just simulate nature, I want to push it in the right direction to thrive in the spots (on this planet) that I would be beneficial to me (ie. in my yard so I can eat it!). So logs are what I am using.


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Offlineadadada
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Re: Making my own Shiitake Dowels [Re: MagixMushMan8]
    #22825978 - 01/26/16 09:24 AM (5 years, 8 months ago)

Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but I'm doing this same experiment and figured it'd be better to combine than start a new one.

I'm using shiitake WR46 dowels from field & forest that I ordered last fall.

I think the video that the original poster saw was this one ...


My approach varied somewhat from the method described above

  • I used 1 gallon ziplock bags for the container.  I had enough dowels for 3 bags.
  • I boiled the dowels for 15 minutes and then let them soak for 5, 60, and 360 minutes as an experiment.  I transferred the dowels straight from the liquid to the bags in each case.


It's now about 3 weeks later and I do have mycellium growth on the dowels although it's wispy and not vigorous.

What I've found is that the dowels soaked for 5 minutes didn't have enough moisture while the dowels soaked for 1 & 6 hours had too much moisture and I seem to be having a problem with slime molds/bacteria in those bags.  In those bags, I could see water pooling in the corners after about a week.  I had to open the bags to drain those off which likely caused my contamination issues.

I would also use a firm container next time because every time I inspected the ziploc bags, the movement probably bruised the mycellium and impacted their growth. 

I would also install some sort of ventilation in the containers since I think unaltered ziplock bags are too airtight.

I also think that some moderate enrichment would help to speed the mycellium growth.  Maybe adding in a small amount of coffee grounds or grain.  The mycellium didn't seem to grow very strongly but then again, I'm just a beginner.

Having said that, though, I think this method is viable to propagate dowels from dowels.

Of course, I don't have any mushrooms yet so who knows?

Has anyone else had any luck with this approach?


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Offlineadadada
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Re: Making my own Shiitake Dowels [Re: adadada]
    #23384495 - 06/26/16 05:49 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

Closing the loop on this.

While the dowels did eventually colonize with shiitake without contamination (minor miracle), it took several months and the growth was very slow.

I highly recommend using grain to inoculate sawdust spawn instead of dowels.  Sawdust is much cheaper (possibly free) and easier to work with.


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