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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives * 13
    #27808630 - 06/06/22 07:29 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

So, you've decided to try and grow some mushrooms ๐Ÿ„ You do a quick online search so you can get the right supplies... you find a vendor that has spore syringes and another vendor that has pre-strrilized grain jars/bags (or you take the time to prepare your own jars/bags).. You're extra careful and take every precaution when you inoculate your grain. You built a SAB, you followed sterile technique, and you waited for colonization...

A couple weeks later, you go to The Shroomery to post a picture and ask "how does this look?"... and everyone tells you that your spawn looks bacterial/contaminated. Sound familiar?

How can this be? You bought your spores from a trusted vendor and you were soo careful when you inoculated your grain.. It's frustrating, right? :grrr:

Here's what went wrong:

You inoculated your grains with a spore syringe.
...I know... I know.. the bag/jar has an inoculation port, so it must be for a spore syringe?!

Unfortunately, this is incorrect. The port is actually intended for a LC (Liquid Culture) or LI (Liquid Inoculant) but vendors can't sell you a pre-made LC/LI for "magic mushrooms" due to the legality. Spore syringes can be sold legally for microscopy purposes because they don't contain the active components psilocybin or psilocin. LC/LI's are pre-germinated, (hopefully) clean, cultures that are ready to go to grain.

Why won't a spore syringe work?

Spore syringes are inherently contaminated due to the fact that we don't fruit in a sterile environment. When the cap of a fruit opens to release spores, it is exposed to any bacteria or mold spores in it's enviromemt. Mold and bacteria are EVERYWHERE. We breathe in mold spores every day.

Even if the vendor/cultivator is very careful and collects their spores and prepares the syringe in a SAB or in front of a flow hood, there is still a very high chance that bacteria or mold has found its way in to the syringe.

So, when you inoculated your grains, the contamination was able to thrive due to the nutritional content of the grains.

Yes, it is possible to have a successful grow using this method, but it's a gamble. The odds are stacked against you due to a contamination vector that is outside of your control.

What can you do differently next time to greatly increase your odds of success?

Well, you have a couple of options to choose from.

Option #1: PF Tek

Your first option is to start with a PF Tek grow. This is your best option if you're looking to inoculate directly using spores.

PF Tek is a very beginner friendly method of growing mushrooms ๐Ÿ„ it is more contam resistant, so you don't run into the same issues as you would with grains when using spores.

I highly recommend getting at least one PF Tek grow under your belt while you're learning the basics.

You can always shred the cakes to bulk using a Shoebox Tek so it's a very good tool to teach yourself Proper Surface Conditions and the other fundamentals of cultivation.

Don't believe everything you read about PF Tek cakes having low yields. Check out these cakes

Option #2: Agar

Agar can seem like a lot of work and it may seem complex. A lot of people avoid it at first because of these reasons. Agar is not actually difficult. After your first couple attempts you will start to understand the basics and have a foundation to grow from. Agar opens a whole new world of possibilities in this hobby. Do yourself a favor and start agar asap.

I personally recommend doing both option #1 & #2 at the same time and developing both skills while keeping a constant rotation of different projects.. This will highly accelerate the learning process.

There are 2 different ways of doing agar. Pour, and no-pour.. A lot of people start with a no-pour tek like this one and eventually start pouring their own plates..

The agar recipe I personally use is this one

You can inoculate agar plates with spores and do transfers until you have a clean culture to work with. Then you can use a wedge of agar with clean mycelium to inoculate your grain jars..
You can also use a wedge to make LC/LI. However, it is recommended to hold of on doing this until you know that your agar skills are good and you're working with a clean culture.




I really hope that some of you find this information useful. It seems like one of the most common noob mistakes that pops up on the forums is the use of spores to inoculate grains. I decided it was time to do a write-up that explains why this is discouraged and provide an explanation of the recommend methods.


Edited by Rotnpins (07/15/22 01:38 PM)


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Onlinesan pedro guy
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 3
    #27808655 - 06/06/22 07:54 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Nice write up! :thumbup:

Hopefully some see it BEFORE that post that never dies :lol:

What is the benefit of pouring plates? I do holy grails and never understood why I would fumble around in the sab trying to pour plates when I can pour them before pc and I can measure the pour so they are all the sameโ€ฆ


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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: san pedro guy]
    #27808663 - 06/06/22 08:01 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Thanks san pedro guy! I've been thinking about doing it for a while. Hopefully  it helps some people out... I'm personally going to link it to noobs instead of typing the same shit all the time

I just personally started pouring, but I also fill my PC with no-pours when prepping the agar.. I like the no-pours because they're ready by the next day (or sooner) but the plates I poured have WAY better visibility.. I've had a lot of problems trying to take good pictures of my no pours (both ziplock twist tops & holy grails) to get advice, but my poured plates are crystal clear :shrug:


Edited by Rotnpins (06/06/22 08:05 PM)


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OnlineMrBlueshrooms
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 1
    #27808673 - 06/06/22 08:09 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Solid post! :thumbup:

Also with holy grails it is easy to make variations to a few plates. A little softer agar for germination for example by adding a splash of extra water.


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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: MrBlueshrooms] * 1
    #27808681 - 06/06/22 08:13 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Quote:

MrBlueshrooms said:
Solid post! :thumbup:

Also with holy grails it is easy to make variations to a few plates. A little softer agar for germination for example by adding a splash of extra water.




Thanks! Very true. I hadn't thought of doing that.. personally I think I'm going to continue doing both pour and no pour... but I'm kinda weird like that.. I do about  half my projects grain and the other half Pf Tek.. and I split the Pf Tek, half cakes and half shredded to shoeboxes.. I guess I just enjoy mixing things up and learning as many ways of doing things as I can.:shrug:


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OfflineChrlsDxtrWrdS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 2
    #27808689 - 06/06/22 08:17 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

I saw this and it made me smile.
:hereyougo:


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OfflineDEZn00ts
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: ChrlsDxtrWrd] * 1
    #27808696 - 06/06/22 08:21 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Lol. :lamastare:


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OfflineTheTimelessDon
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 1
    #27808708 - 06/06/22 08:34 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Love it!  You're so willing to help in the threads, and this is great! 
Happy you're finding something you're passionate about too
:happyclaps:


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Offlinecozmyc
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins]
    #27808712 - 06/06/22 08:37 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Huzzah! Straight to the good points. This is much appreciated.  I have a couple grows under my belt, starting with agar now and wished I would have started from the git! :mushroom2: If I could rate I would :thumbup:


Edited by cozmyc (06/06/22 08:40 PM)


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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: TheTimelessDon] * 1
    #27808713 - 06/06/22 08:37 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Quote:

TheTimelessDon said:
Love it!  You're so willing to help in the threads, and this is great! 
Happy you're finding something you're passionate about too
:happyclaps:





Thanks man! I recently made some big changes in my life and got clean from all hard drugs. This hobby has been a huge blessing for me, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of trying my best to help other people on their journey into mycology.

Sometimes I think I spend too much time on here (1,100 posts since January is A LOT) but its a lot better than most of the other things I was doing with my time


Edited by Rotnpins (06/06/22 08:39 PM)


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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: cozmyc]
    #27808715 - 06/06/22 08:41 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

Quote:

cozmyc said:
Huzzah! Straight to the good points. Thus is much appreciated.  I have a couple grows under my belt, starting with agar now and wished I would have started from the git! :mushroom2: of I could rate I would :thumbup:




Thank you! I'm glad you found it helpful. I think this is a topic that has really  needed a thread that can be used as reference.


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OfflineKROM
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 1
    #27808736 - 06/06/22 08:57 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)



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Offlinehigh_desert
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: TheTimelessDon]
    #27808758 - 06/06/22 09:14 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

You have to ask yourself: what makes pf tek more resilient to the inherent bacteria in spore solution? I think nutrient density is a factor but a big part must be water content. The germination time gives bacteria a huge head start and when you have slimy soupy conditions in your bag or jar it's just asking for trouble. And then you're adding even more water via the spore solution too..

This is why I think drier, unpopped grains with highly uniform water content are essential if you're going to do multispore to grain.

Pf tek has sort of built-in water content adjustment and uniformity and with agar to grain the water content shouldn't be quite as important because bacteria doesn't have that time it takes your spores to germinate as a head start. These are my theories anyway..


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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: high_desert]
    #27808899 - 06/06/22 10:53 PM (2 months, 4 days ago)

This logic may apply more to cubensis as opposed to stone producers.

I used a spore syringe of 'mexicana Jalisco' to knock up a few jars back when I was just starting. I soaked wheat, I wanted to soak it 1 night but I ended up leaving it for two. Then I steamed the grain jars on the stove for 2 hours each, just like what is recommended for of tek jars. I used 1-3cc spore solution per jar, and I inoculated them in a side room with the windows closed to minimize airflow (rather than a still air box).

So, despite all these parameters being subpar - steamed grains instead of pressure cooked, no still air box, spores to grain - I still got good stones. 4 jars failed and I did 11 - so 7/11, not the worst rate in the world.

All jars colonized within 3 months but it took 6 to form sclerotia, 8 or more to complete it.


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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: CreonAntigone] * 1
    #27822517 - 06/16/22 03:01 PM (1 month, 26 days ago)

Nice write up :thumbup:


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InvisibleRotnpinsS
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Ashtray161]
    #27822623 - 06/16/22 03:52 PM (1 month, 26 days ago)

Quote:

Ashtray161 said:
Nice write up :thumbup:





Thanks man, I appreciate it!


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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins]
    #27830165 - 06/21/22 12:50 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

Maybe I should update this to include a section about UB :shrug:


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Offlinecozmyc
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: Rotnpins] * 1
    #27830243 - 06/21/22 01:42 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

Just felt I needed to come back to yell STICKY!
:glue:


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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: cozmyc] * 1
    #27830288 - 06/21/22 02:24 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

This is helpful, thanks! BTW, I am aware of at least one online seller of psilocybe LC syringes (PM for details) that I have used with success so if beginners can find pre-made LC it may help ease people into it without the concern of having to do agar work on a first attempt.


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OnlineSeamonkey84
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Re: Spores to Grain: Why it's discouraged & Recommended Alternatives [Re: MycoRob] * 1
    #27830353 - 06/21/22 03:08 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

There are many vendors on IG that sell fully cultured agar plates, not sure why they donโ€™t just do LC.  I started with cultures from a IG vendor a buddy recommended, Iโ€™ve got many cultures in the fridge and Iโ€™ve yet to try any thing from spores.


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