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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Brown Rice Flour, Microscope, Pressure Cooker, Vermiculite

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Offlineagentjrr
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Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 48
Loc: Mountain West
Last seen: 11 years, 1 month
Bacteria
    #2452217 - 03/19/04 06:37 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Frequently when I do a batch of the jars they have a bacterial smell and if I open the incubator after a few days it smells pretty bad. But many of them colonize fine and the ones i throw out don't smell bad at all inside. The cakes go on to do just fine as casings. Also the jars smell only faintly if left sitting out for a while.

Is it possible that the contamination is not inside the jars but rather somewhere on the lid such as in the remnants of old tape or something?

I do cleas them with bleach between uses. I'm just not sure what is going on.


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OfflineSuntzu
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Re: Bacteria [Re: agentjrr]
    #2452863 - 03/19/04 10:30 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Can you describe the bacterial smell?

Do you use a PC?

As a general rule, mycelium does not often win a war with Bacillus.  You may be smelling something else.  Too bad you can't post an aroma :wink:

When you say the jars smell fine on the inside, do you mean after you birth them you can't smell the bacteria?  Does it seem like the mycelium outcompeted the bacteria?  Did the grain look wet or greasy during the colonization?

A lot of questions, but it's tough to come up with answers without some more information.


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Offlineagentjrr
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Re: Bacteria [Re: Suntzu]
    #2454059 - 03/20/04 01:19 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

OK, a little more info.

The jars are standard PF tek.

I do not at present use a pressure cooker, so I expect some failures.

The smell is generally a combination of my kitchen trash and old gym socks. My girlfriend (who has a degree in Microbiology) commented the first time she smelled it that it smelled bacterial with perhaps a hint of mildew. But she refuses to pass judgement with culturing a sample and/or looking at it under a microscope.

There is some condensation inside the jars, but no more than when no smell is present. I have had obviously bad jars that became very wet looking but none of them ever germinated.

When I say the smell fine inside, I mean that when I kill off a partly colonized or uncolonized jar, the remaining substrate doesn't smell bad at all. It has a pleasant kind of earthy aroma (like vermiculite and wet rice flour).

Maybe the mycelia does out compete it, thats kind of how it looks, but I'm skeptical because that would mean the mycelia is winning the war 75% of the time.

If you need more info just ask.


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OfflineSuntzu
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Re: Bacteria [Re: agentjrr]
    #2454161 - 03/20/04 02:03 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Not using a pressure cooker with BRF jars is a gamble at best. . .Some folks have had success microwaving and/or extensive boiling [haven't seen much on successful 'tyndallization', though it's in the FAQ]. The thing that needs tweaking in these cases is water content, but theoretically you can get clean PF jars without a PC.

It sounds like you understand the situation; not using a PC is most definitely the source of the problem. It's interesting that when you birth a partly-colonized cake, the uncolonized sections smell like non-utilized substrate [is that right?]. Usually bacteria will spread spacially much quicker than mycelium, especially in under-cooked substrate where the organisms are likely more abundant.

If you can get a cake to colonize nicely, by all means *try* to fruit it. . .be on the lookout for odd growths [i.e. MOLD] which may be in the mix.

The best advice is to try to get a PC, or investigate other means of substrate preparation---microwaving [I don't have that link on-hand], tyndallization.

We can also be of greater help with photos, though that's not always possible.
Best of luck!


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Offlineagentjrr
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Re: Bacteria [Re: Suntzu]
    #2454993 - 03/20/04 06:15 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Thanks for the thoughts. I really do need to get a pressure cooker if for no other reason than to do whole grain.

The uncolonized part smelling okay is really weird. I still can't figure it out.

Thanks again.


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Offlineagentjrr
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Registered: 01/14/04
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Re: Bacteria [Re: agentjrr]
    #2466406 - 03/24/04 04:46 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Update, I cased two half colonized jars. The casing is doing great. Smells pleasant and is fruiting like crazy. I still don't no whats going on in those cases. The recently posted pictorial on contams was a big help, some were definitely infected with bacteria. But there is a very definite line where the growth stops in the jar.

Oh well. I just bought a PC so it shouldn't be a problem.


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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Brown Rice Flour, Microscope, Pressure Cooker, Vermiculite

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