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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Figuring out water content of substrate. TEK * 2
    #26632628 - 04/27/20 07:37 PM (8 months, 21 days ago)

Apparently, most people do not know the correct way of getting the water content of the substrate to the proper level. Once done you will be able to reproduce bags with the proper moisture content in minutes. All your bags will be consistent and produce great mushrooms.

(The quick way to figure out water content is at the very bottom of this post. Still read this to understand what is going on)

There are two ways of getting the proper water content. They are as follows...

My preferred method is to use a ZJ-LCD-M flow meter. It would take a long time to do 100 bags weighing out the water for each bag...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-2-Water-Diesel-Fuel-Oil-Flow-Meter-LCD-Display-Flow-Sensor-Solenoid-US/362907177094?hash=item547ef41086:g:rx8AAOSwnYVePRvr

The other way is to weigh out your water. Weighing out the water is more time consuming but it is possible. You will follow all of these steps the only difference is you will weigh out the water instead of pressing a button and having the correct amount of water dispensed by the flow meter.

This method can be used with any supplements that you would like to use in your substrate. The important thing is to make sure all your supplements are in the bag and measured out properly each time or the bags will not be consistent.

I grow oysters so I use soy hulls $5 for 50 lbs and fuel pellets $5 for 40 lbs. Soy hulls and fuel pellets will give you the biggest flushes and are by far the quickest and easiest to use.

I do 11 lb bags. If you want 5.5 lb bags cut the weights in half.

We need to be able to put the correct weights in the bag so what I did is I took a piece of 4 inch PVC and cut it at 8 inches. I put a 4-inch flat cap on the 8 inch PVC. I then weighed out 2.4 Lbs of fuel pellets (2.4 is because I use 11 lb bags). I poured the fuel pellets into the PVC with the cap on it. Level out the pellets and mark a line at the top of the pellets. Cut the PVC off at the line and put some sort of handle on the PVC. Now put 1 scoop of fuel pellets in a bag and one scoop of soy hulls. This gives you a 50/50 mixture of soy hulls and fuel pellets. Using the PVC makes it quick, easy, and consistent enough.

Now weigh out (1 gallon) 8.34 pounds of water. Add about half the water to the bag of soy hulls and fuel pellets and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Break up any fuel or soy hulls the best you can. Add more water until you can take a handful and squeeze hard and water pools around your finger but no drips. Now put your bag in the PC and PC it for 2 hours. this will cause the soy and fuel pellets to break up better. Once cooled add water from the 1 gallon that you weighed out until you get the same water pool around your fingers but no drips.

Now take a bowl and place it on your scale tear off the weight of the bowl so the scale reads 0. Place 100 grams of the substrate you just made in the bowl. (if you have a scale that shuts off after a certain amount of time you will need to write down the weight of the bowl to subtract it later.)

1. Place a small glass of water in the microwave along with the bowl and substrate. Run the microwave for 3 minutes on the defrost mode. (The water in the cup will keep you from blowing up your microwave)

2. Remove the bowl and weigh it. It should have lost 4 or 5 grams of weight.

3. Place the bowl back in the microwave and run it for 1 minute on defrost mode. Remove the bowl and weigh it again. Repeat this step until there is only a little change in weight. This means the sample is dry.

4. Weigh the substrate in the bowl 1 last time and write down the weight.

5. subtract the dry weight of the substrate from the original sample wet weight of 100 grams. The number you have after subtracting is the percentage of water that is in your substrate.

You want 60% water content for mushrooms. If you have less than 60% pour some water from the 1 gallon you weighed at the beginning into the bag and start again with drying out in the microwave.

Once you have 60% water content. Weigh the leftover water from the 1 gallon you started with. Whatever number you get after subtracting will need to be subtracted from 8.34 lbs the original weight of water you started with. This will give you a new number for the weight of water that needs to be added to each bag to get 60% water content.

Last but not least here are the weights that I use. Remember that depending on your brand of fuel pellets and your brand of soy hulls these may be right or may be wrong. Every brand of soy hulls and fuel pellets have a different amount of water content.

Just to be clear I have changed some things on my flow meter so I can not give you the liters I used. Although my flow meter is consistent in putting out the same amount of water every time it is not accurate in the number of liters. I am not sure if it was accurate in the beginning or not. So match it up by weight not by liters. Because I am afraid they may not all read the same and it is better to be safe than to be sorry.

5.5 lb bags...

1.2 lbs soy hulls (One point Two LBS)
1.2 lbs fuel pellets (One point Two LBS)
3  lbs water (Three LBS)

11 lb bags...

2.4 lbs soy hulls (Two point Four LBS)
2.4 lbs fuel pellets (Two point Four LBS)
6  lbs water (Six LBS)





The desiccator is not necessary we do not need to be that accurate.

I check my water content once every year. In three years I have not had to change the amount of water to get it to 60%. Actually my water content comes out to 62% (or 38 grams dry) but that is close enough.



Edited by SHROOMSISAY01 (05/08/20 11:39 PM)


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Offlinesendmehummus
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Re: Figuring out water content of substrate. TEK [Re: SHROOMSISAY01]
    #26873972 - 08/10/20 09:42 PM (5 months, 9 days ago)

Excellent write up thanks man! Albeit just a tad confusing to read and make sense of some stuff but Im a hands on person so following step by step it will make more sense. One question. Does the location you store your pellets and hulls in make a huge difference after youve calculated your water content? Wouldn't a humid or dry storage room potentially alter the pellet content? Or is that negligible? Again, thanks for this I needed it.


--------------------
So if I try to grow mold, will my fav mushrooms contaminate my blocks instead??


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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Re: Figuring out water content of substrate. TEK [Re: sendmehummus]
    #26873993 - 08/10/20 09:55 PM (5 months, 9 days ago)

I don't do anything special to store my pellets. I store them in my garage. They should be in a plastic bag so they should stay close to the same moisture content. Sorry for any confusing parts. I don't guess I am very good at writing things like this up.


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Offlinesendmehummus
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Re: Figuring out water content of substrate. TEK [Re: SHROOMSISAY01]
    #26873999 - 08/10/20 10:00 PM (5 months, 9 days ago)

No you did an awesome job! I think Im just frazzled from nonstop research and information for the last few days and stressing out with my grow. My brain is goop, Ill read it again tomorrow and it will likely make perfect sense 👍.


--------------------
So if I try to grow mold, will my fav mushrooms contaminate my blocks instead??


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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Registered: 01/22/17
Posts: 2,707
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Last seen: 15 minutes, 57 seconds
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Re: Figuring out water content of substrate. TEK [Re: sendmehummus]
    #26874057 - 08/10/20 10:37 PM (5 months, 9 days ago)

If you need help just PM me. I will help if I know the answer.


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