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OfflineJohn in WI
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drying grain spawn before PC?
    #26151840 - 08/25/19 06:49 AM (1 year, 5 months ago)

Hello Folks,
I'm curious about something.  I noticed that a couple of my grain jars--the ones that stalled out or didn't recover from shaking--seem to be suffering from the grain being too wet.

I've been following the popcorn tek and the WbS tek in terms of hydrating the grain. Getting the grains nice and swollen up and fat, but stopping before they burst.  Staments says the grain should be between 35 and 50% water when they are properly prepared.

My issue is, I think, drying the grain after simmering them  I've been leaving them in a collander, and dropping the collander a few inches in the sink to try and drive water out the bottom.  Mixing a couple of times to let steam from the core evaporate.  But the grains--especially WBS--are still quite wet even after allowing them to sit in the strainer for a good half hour and cooling off.

I have 2 questions--how "anal" do you need to be about it?  I was hoping, if the grain was very slightly under done--that the excess water would be soaked up in the PC step.  Is that correct?

I'm also curious, is it possible to add something to soak up the excess water, directly to the jars?  I tried adding dry whole brown rice, hoping that any steam generated in the jar would be soaked up with it.  Not sure if it helps, or if it just makes a gummy mess.  Maybe adding a small amount of dry oats of popcorn would be better?

Any clarifications or tips on drying grain?  WbS especially, simply does not like to dry off for me.  I'm straining it very hot, rinsing it, and letting it cool/dry for a good half hour with stirring.  What else can you do?

Thanks for any sage advice.  I'm afraid wet grain has screwed a few of my jars. They stall out, and I'm asking for contamination.


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OfflineZifozonke
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: John in WI]
    #26151861 - 08/25/19 07:31 AM (1 year, 5 months ago)

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/score.php?id=24126032

Bods tek got me going in right direction ....
Oats are great and easy to do.
I now alternate between milo (red sorghum) and oats.

Once Ive simmered my grains I spread them onto a screen I made up and leave them there for a hour or so - mixing them up every now and again to ensure even drying.


Once dry simply load into jars and sterilize.


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OfflineJohn in WI
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: Zifozonke]
    #26151882 - 08/25/19 08:08 AM (1 year, 5 months ago)

oh, ok.  That's a great idea.  Tons of surface area, air flow on the top and bottom. Much thinner in the middle than trying to dry it in the strainer. 

I need to cobble something up.  I have some left over metal window screen from a door. Maybe make a tray of some kind from an old cookie or pizza sheet. Drill a ballilion holes in it, lay the screen on top...

Thanks for that info. 

How "anal" are you about drying the grain?  I mean, their is no visible water on your grain when you put it in the jar? That's ultimately what we are after here?


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Offlinesan pedro guy
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: John in WI]
    #26151993 - 08/25/19 09:56 AM (1 year, 5 months ago)

once you think your grain is dry enough, put some on a piece of toilet paper. If it sticks or leaves a wet spot they are too wet.

Why would you think 30 minutes is long enough?


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OfflineJohn in WI
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: san pedro guy]
    #26152193 - 08/25/19 12:11 PM (1 year, 5 months ago)

I didn't think 30 min was long enough.  I'm not honestly experienced enough to know one way or the other.at 30 minutesthe grains are about room temperature, and no steam is coming off.  Also, in the oats tek, the author comments to "not get crazy"--that they are wet, but that they can handle a little more water, which would be soaked up during PCing.


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Offline3RR0R 4O4
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: John in WI]
    #26152208 - 08/25/19 12:25 PM (1 year, 5 months ago)

I've had some success with putting a small layer of verm in the bottoms of my jars before pc'ing them to help absorb some of the excess moisture. Just enough to put a small layer over the bottom of the jar. Like, maybe a tablespoon or two.


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InvisiblebodhisattaM
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: 3RR0R 4O4]
    #26152240 - 08/25/19 12:43 PM (1 year, 5 months ago)

If you need to use verm in grain jars for excess moisture what you really need to do is fix your grain prep entirely.

You could put your hydrated spawn in the oven for 30m at 350f and it wouldn't be even close to completely dried back out. Always error on over drying spawn before sterilization. Because you will not be able to dehydrate the grain enough for it to fail. But you can easily make it too wet.


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OfflineJohn in WI
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: bodhisatta]
    #26152266 - 08/25/19 01:04 PM (1 year, 5 months ago)

thanks for the info.    I'm going to work through the TEK today, doing just a quart at a time, and figure out the finer points.  I knew you didn't want it DRIPPING wet.  But I was not clear that indeed you want it visibily DRY.  I mean, soaked to the gills inside, but the outer skin very dry. 

I appreciate the clarification and idea.  I was just being impatient I think.  I figured if the grain was dry enough to be able to shake around, and no pooling water in the bottom it was good to go. I guess I was incorrect in my understanding.  I need to take as long as it takes to really get it dry.

I have an old cabinet style home built dehydrator.  It has two small PC fans in the bottom, and 2 light bulbs for heat.  I bet that would work--I have some cookie sheets that fit the shelves.  Spread the grain out, run it at maybe 100F, with a bit of moving air.  Mix it a couple times, and wait as long as i takes to REALLY dry the surface off.  It's probably fairly easy--no way am I going to remove the interior water, that is soaked up into the carbohydrates and fiber of the grains themselves.

Again, appreciate the clarification and ideas. I just didn't appreciate how important this step is.


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Offlinetripdawg420
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Re: drying grain spawn before PC? [Re: John in WI]
    #26152281 - 08/25/19 01:16 PM (1 year, 5 months ago)

i just lay mine still hot out on newspaper

its dry about hoir or so :shrug:


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