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OfflineJXAllen
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Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars.
    #27448954 - 08/30/21 06:16 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

I just tried to make some BRF jars. I followed the advice I read on several threads. 2 parts verm 1 part BRF 1 part water. I mixed 4 cups verm with 2 cups water until it was fully absorbed and blended. I then slowly added 2 cups BRF, about 1/4 cup at a time, ensuring the flour was fully mixed each time before adding the next 1/4 cup. I then scooped that into 8 8oz jars, filling to just under the threads, leaving it loose and airy. I then topped with verm, lid and foil. I cooked them in the PC for 90 minutes and allowed to cool. I just took them out to do some inoculation, but they seem to have messed up somehow. The BRF/verm mix has settled to around 2/3 of the jar, verm layer following, leaving almost an inch of air space between the top of the verm and the lid. It also looks like the flour somehow separated and migrated to the bottom of the jars. I'm not sure what I did wrong? I thought I followed the guides to the letter. Please help!


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Invisiblecoversall
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: JXAllen]
    #27448958 - 08/30/21 06:34 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

They look too wet, I prefer to mix all the dry stuff then slowly add the water until it's field cap, even I tend to give each handful a slight squeeze before going in the jar to ensure the water isn't too much.

Also you might have gone a little too far on the 'loose and airy'.

I fill the jar then tap the it firmly on the work top to settle/gently pack it in the jar, and gently tamp the top to make sure its level. The thing to keep in mind is that you don't want the mix to be crammed in there, but it doesn't have to been floating-around-loose.

Did you fill the dry very layer all the way to the top? I like my dry verm layer to be ever so slightly above the top of the jar so when I screw the lid on it gently presses it down, ensuring the whole mix is nice and stable.

Was your foil on nice and tight?

90 mins is long for BRF cakes, 60 mins at 15 psi is plenty, but I'm not sure how much difference that could make.

I rekcon your mix was a bit too wet and too loose in the jar.


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Edited by coversall (08/30/21 06:36 AM)


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OfflineJXAllen
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: coversall]
    #27448966 - 08/30/21 06:49 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

I thought it looked like it was at "field capacity" acording to the videos I've watched. I had to squeeze pretty hard just to get a couple drops out just before jarring. They were loose and airy, but still full, no air pockets, I just didn't press it down any. I scooped spoonfulls in, using a canning funnel and regular spoon, until the mixture was in the bottom of the funnel, I then tapped it to get it even and settle it slightly, but not compact it. I topped with enough verm that the lid pressed it down slightly. But it compacted somehow in the PC and I have an inch of empty head space. Foil was tight and large enough to cover half the jar. Water in the PC was just at the very bottom of the jars.


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Invisiblecoversall
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: JXAllen]
    #27448990 - 08/30/21 07:36 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

If they compacted down by an inch in the PC then I reckon you straight up didn't put enough mix in. Maybe do a couple of test, one jar at a time to limit waste, and try out different levels of 'fullness' to see how they react.


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Invisiblesandman420
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: coversall] * 1
    #27449110 - 08/30/21 09:52 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

Clearly there wasn't enough in there because it hadn't settled.

Next time bang the jar against the table and vibrate it to make sure it's good and settled before topping way to the top with dry verm.

Highly recommend that you use wide mouth half pints instead of those jars also.


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OfflineJXAllen
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: sandman420]
    #27450213 - 08/31/21 12:25 AM (1 month, 19 days ago)

Good grief you two!!!

4 cups in 4 cups out... 2 cups verm 1 cup BRF 1 cup water that's 4 cups of material, into 4 cups worth of jar space. Something else must be going on here. I didn't under fill. The recipe I followed said I should have been able to fill 5 8oz jars.
https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11585613#11585613
The only thing I did differently is use tall 8oz jars, not wide. and It filled 4 jars, not 5.

Edit..
I just emptied the jars. The BRF/verm pucks were dense and solid, as if all of the air had been squeezed out. It looked like a marshmallow that had been through a vacuum, expanded and then condensed.


Edited by JXAllen (08/31/21 02:32 AM)


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OfflineLogicaL ChaosM
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: JXAllen]
    #27451215 - 08/31/21 06:43 PM (1 month, 18 days ago)

The mixture looks too wet (too much water added) and u didnt mix it well enough. I suggest trying a smaller batch recipie such as 2/3 cup verm with 1/4 cup water, mix well then add 1/4 cup BRF. I find it mixes better when you do smaller mini batches and go in the mixing order of verm then water then BRF.

The final consistency should feel like damp sand.


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OfflineJXAllen
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: LogicaL Chaos] * 1
    #27451231 - 08/31/21 06:57 PM (1 month, 18 days ago)

I made another batch yesterday.  Followed same recipe,  same procedure.  Only change is reducing  PC time at 15psi from 90 minutes to 60 minutes.  They came out right this time.  I don't know what happened to the first batch.  I don't know what caused the cakes to compress like they did,  so I can be sure to avoid it in the future.

I used less water in the PC as well. The first batch, I added 3 quarts for the 90 minutes.  This time I only used 2. The first time, the water touched the bottom of the jars, just barely. Second time, water was well below the canning ring. I don't know why that would matter, but thought I'd mention it just in case.


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OfflineLogicaL ChaosM
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: JXAllen]
    #27451340 - 08/31/21 08:17 PM (1 month, 18 days ago)

Interesting. Perhaps the PC water boiled up into the top of the jars from the increased pressure :strokebeard:


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Invisiblefungusul
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: LogicaL Chaos] * 1
    #27451495 - 08/31/21 10:21 PM (1 month, 18 days ago)

Welcome to Shroomery! :mushroom2:

The recommended PF-TEK is Updated PF Tek Guide. Other guides might contain outdated information.

The vermiculite for the substrate should be medium while the one for dry filter should be fine. If vermiculite for the substrate is too fine then the substrate is going to be compacted.

First mix vermiculite with water, measure the capacity field, and add BRF. Mix substrate with a whisker to make it airy. It's always better to be on drier side than too wet side.

Use the same cup to measure all ingredients to ensure 2:1:1 proportions.

PC time should be 60 minutes. Adding more time to PC is going to increase the water in jars. Recommended procedure for PC is BOD's Easy AF how to use your pressure cooker for mycology TEK.

Check aluminum foil for holes. It's better to use a heavy strong aluminum foil. The foil should not be too long because it's going to catch water. Foil should be tightly set around ring.

Jars should never touch the water, they must to be raised above water. Adding a foil between water and first jars is recommend.


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OfflineJXAllen
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: fungusul]
    #27451839 - 09/01/21 08:18 AM (1 month, 18 days ago)

Ah ha! I'm using the same verm in my mix as my topping,  fine grade, which was all I could find locally.  I'll have to do some more looking around to get a more course grade.


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OfflineJXAllen
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Re: Not sure how I messed up these BRF Jars. [Re: JXAllen]
    #27467318 - 09/13/21 10:07 PM (1 month, 5 days ago)

My second round of jars, made with all fine vermiculite are working well. I made a third batch once I had coarse vermiculite and they seem to have come out even better.

So, the lesson here is, don't use fine vermiculite as your base verm, just the topper. I'd read that before, but it wasn't really stressed, nor was it really explained why. Lesson learned.

The jars I inoculated with LC are coming along nicely. These WERE made with all fine verm, so it seems to be contracting a bit as it's being colonized.


The jar I inoculates with two different spore syringes is already nearly, fully colonized!


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