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Offlineout_of_step
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Registered: 01/01/21
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Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions.....
    #27120593 - 01/01/21 05:07 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

Hi everyone

New to the site and it's quite overwhelming. I've been on and off the forum over the past few months looking for information but figured it'd be easier if I just put a new post and read the replies to it.

I'm venturing into the world of amateur mycology and need some questions answered.

I want to grow some mushrooms and I'm going to use the PF Tek method to get it started.


1. I've got medium grade and fine grade vermiculite. Which is best or should I just mix it all together?

2. I bought some empty jam jars from Wilko in the UK. I've since seen that ones without a "shoulder" would be better in order to get the cakes out. However these are more expensive and you don't get as many. Will normal jam jars do? Does it really matter or will any glass receptable do as long as it can withstand the heat of sterilisation and I can cover it with tin foil? (I'm trying to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible so thinking of returning these back to the shop and just using any jars I've got lying around)

3. Do I really need a pressure cooker? I've seen a cheap second-hand one but not sure about it......(I'm a bit scared of using one!)

4. I initially read micropore tape as one of the supplies but haven't seen it since. Do I need it to cover the holes once injected? (Do the holes need covering over once the pots have been injected?)

5. Really daft question but instead of using individually wrapped alcohol wipes, can I use 70% alcohol hand gel for cleaning over the drilled holes in the lids if I used a clean cloth / paper roll?

Fruting chamber....I'm looking into doing a SGFC but wondering what size to box to go for (room to grow vs humidity levels...) I have some leftover plastic mushroom grow bags from kits I've bought online and was wondering if I could just use these instead. I dont want to be growing tonnes of mushrooms.

Can I fruit the mushrooms in the jam jars?

If I were to do a SGFC, is it OK to keep the fruting chamber in one side of a room with natural day light (I can't put them right next to a window as all our radiators are under the windows and it'd get too hot)



I'm sure there's other questions I will have. Please don't confuse me with saying other methods are better! It's taken me ages to get my head around all the methods, teks and jargon and this is how I've chosen to start :-)


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InvisibleJim Nemo
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Registered: 07/11/13
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Re: Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions..... [Re: out_of_step]
    #27120764 - 01/01/21 06:58 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

peace!
i'm not into pf tec, but i try my best to clear out at least some of your questions and give some input.
no pressure to follow any of my sayings, do what you think will work.

Quote:

out_of_step said:
2. I bought some empty jam jars from Wilko in the UK. I've since seen that ones without a "shoulder" would be better in order to get the cakes out. However these are more expensive and you don't get as many. Will normal jam jars do? Does it really matter or will any glass receptable do as long as it can withstand the heat of sterilisation and I can cover it with tin foil? (I'm trying to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible so thinking of returning these back to the shop and just using any jars I've got lying around)





well... i can't think of any way a cake will go out of a jar with shoulder.
so for pf tec the answer is: no, jam jars won't do. but for casing/shoebox they work fine. just saying.

and for the recycling/reusing - no problem, the jars will last forever, only the lids will need to be replaced once in a while, but not often.


Quote:

out_of_step said:
3. Do I really need a pressure cooker? I've seen a cheap second-hand one but not sure about it......(I'm a bit scared of using one!)





hell yes! :smile:
don't go second hand, because there may be something wrong with some parts. in the beginning i used a second hand pc - and when i replaced it i learned that the big rubber seal is not supposed to be yellowish, but grey. :/

pressure cookers are good for lots of other things, preparing beans and sterilizing jars with food in it.
so it's worth the investment!

and don't be scared, they are simple to use and when you use it the first time, stay in the kitchen and do the babysitter. five usages later you just set a timer and go for groceries without second thought, no doubt :wink:


Quote:

out_of_step said:
4. I initially read micropore tape as one of the supplies but haven't seen it since. Do I need it to cover the holes once injected? (Do the holes need covering over once the pots have been injected?)





micropore tape seems to work out perfect for lots of people in the hobby, but why not use polyfil - it's pretty cheap, one pack will last forever(like literally) and it works perfect as well.

if you work without a laminar hood, better cover the lids with tinfoil(aluminum foil). remove them right before inoculation and then leave them off the lids, the mycelium needs the bit of breating.


Quote:

out_of_step said:
5. Really daft question but instead of using individually wrapped alcohol wipes, can I use 70% alcohol hand gel for cleaning over the drilled holes in the lids if I used a clean cloth / paper roll?





in my country you can just go to a pharmacy and buy a liter of isopropanol 70 for like 8 bucks. buy a little 100ml bottle made of glass and a spray head/lid. done. that's simple, cheap and works perfect.


Quote:

out_of_step said:
Fruting chamber....I'm looking into doing a SGFC but wondering what size to box to go for (room to grow vs humidity levels...) I have some leftover plastic mushroom grow bags from kits I've bought online and was wondering if I could just use these instead. I dont want to be growing tonnes of mushrooms.

Can I fruit the mushrooms in the jam jars?

If I were to do a SGFC, is it OK to keep the fruting chamber in one side of a room with natural day light (I can't put them right next to a window as all our radiators are under the windows and it'd get too hot)





again i can only say what works fine for me: just use any form of plastic container(like these shoeboxes), drill some holes, fill them with polyfil/put some micropore-tape on the holes. done. some holes higher, some lower for cross ventilation.

leave the idea of fruiting only in the jam jars. other thing would be if you put the opened jam jar in a plastic container. that'll work. in a germanic speaking community a member named zardoz sucessfully used that method and even named it "simple tek". unfortunately the community message board is offline so i can't give you a link.
just wrap the jars in tinfoil(aluminum foil) to prevent at least a bit of shrooms growing to the side of the jar. the opening needs to be open and not wrapped of course.


Quote:

out_of_step said:
I'm sure there's other questions I will have. Please don't confuse me with saying other methods are better! It's taken me ages to get my head around all the methods, teks and jargon and this is how I've chosen to start :-)





it'll work out fine! if you have questions, just go ahead, if we can, we will help!
i hope i didn't confuse you too much :wink:
and sorry about that vermiculite question, i have no idea - i don't use it.

cheers,
jim


--------------------
When the acid trip is over, you gotta come back to mother blues...


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Invisiblestubb
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Re: Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions..... [Re: out_of_step]
    #27120777 - 01/01/21 07:07 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

0. Check out this modern, comprehensive pf tek:  https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/24179086

1. I'm no PF expert, most seem to say verm grade doesn't matter, but preference seems to go to fine grade.

2. Birthing the cakes from tapered jars intact is definitely problematic, you'll want wide mouth jars. The tek above also links to an alternative container method, if it helps.

3. No, you don't need a pressure cooker for pf.  The tek above doesn't use a pressure cooker.

4. No, you don't need micropore tape.  This is what the dry verm layer is for, the tek above just leaves the holes uncovered.

5. I have no idea. 

6. There's lots of suggestions for fruiting chambers in the tek above.  Size you need depends on how many cakes you're making. 

7. Yes.  It's called 'top fruiting'.

8. Yes, they don't need to be in the dark. 

9. Welcome to the shroomery.


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OfflineLtLurker
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Re: Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions..... [Re: stubb]
    #27120876 - 01/01/21 08:11 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

Fine verm is best.

MP tape is superfluous imo. I've done cakes weekly for a couple years and a dry verm layer is all you really need. I've often seen stalled jars posted here because the tape and verm were restricting too much air.

There's multiple ways to fruit cakes. Mateah's humidity chamber save's you making holes, you can top fruit straight from a jar, or you can just shred cakes to bulk in a shoebox.

Fruiting away from a window is fine. They want indirect sunlight anyway.


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OfflineKyngwhatt
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Re: Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions..... [Re: out_of_step]
    #27121098 - 01/01/21 10:28 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

1. both work
2. you need to get the cake out so no shoulders. I’ve seem people use coffee cups with foil secured to it as a lid. But it’s nice if its clear so you can see what is going on.
3.people say you can use a normal pot with a tight fitting lid and something to hold it down, but I think they are non negotiable. I have a PC I bought from good will, I replaced the gasket and it works great. Make sure everything on it seems to function you’ll be fine. They arent that dangerous they have a over pressure valve that will blow and release all the pressure if something goes wrong, you just want that pointing away from you in case it does need to vent it wont vent into your body.
4.the dry layer of verm you put in the jar is your filter and you don’t need to tape it
5. I use a roll of the cheapest toilet paper and a bottle of 70% iso
6 yes you can use bags as a fruiting chamber for individual cakes but I think it requires a little more attention.
7”can I fruit from the jam jars” that is the old school way mckenna showed us how to do it. And if you intend to do it that way you can use the jars with the shoulders because you aren’t going to take the cake out to fruit it. I think you’ll get less product that way but you might not care.
8. yes that’s what you are going for ambient light not direct sunlight.
Good luck friend come back and show us what you’ve come up with.


--------------------


Whatt


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OfflineLtLurker
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Re: Novice mushroom grower about to start on the adventure! Got some silly questions..... [Re: Kyngwhatt]
    #27121118 - 01/01/21 10:40 PM (2 months, 1 day ago)

Top fruiting works fine. Only real downside is cutting out cakes if you get side pins. For cake yield it seems about the same to me if you get the surface conditions right. Bulking it out with coir to a shoe box seems to do a little better than individual cakes ime.
some top fruits


an early 4 cake shoebox


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