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Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions
    #313678 - 05/10/01 03:23 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

K, most of this sh*t I haven't tried out yet, and some are just ideas I've come up with. But, anyway to save time for anyone looking for vermiculite or brf substitutes, and just to try and spark more ideas, I've posted this up. All the more informed shroomers reading aren't gonna learn anything knew, but you might wanna comment on my idea in the last paragraph ; )

First off, most people will tell you to try coir in place of vermiculite. I've heard success stories from using this and have also heard that mixing some lime powder in with the coir makes it, in the opinions of those who posted it, better than vermiculite. I don't know if its better than the verm or not, but its worth a try if you're up for experimenting.

Substitutes for BRF (Brown Rice Flour for the newbies)... First off a lot of these would probably work better mixed with brf and there's plenty of recipes out there dealing with most of these. But, for those of you that don't have any brf you will most likely have success just using these as substitutes. Whole Wheat Flour can be found in most grocery stores and is used for making wheat bread (bet you didn't know you used flour for that, did ya? heh). I've heard that the whole wheat flour will work fine and I'm going to conduct a little comparison with the "WWF" and the BRF sometime soon. If it works as good as the brf, its a lot easier to find. The other substitutes/additions for your brf is finch seed, other bird seed, and other whole grains. There's probably a lot of other flours that would work as well, feel free to experiment and be sure to post your results. A problem with whole grains is that they are harder to sterilize w/o a pressure cooker handy. Now that you know this stuff, you can go out and find some recipes or try and throw togethor your own. Heh

-= Flour/Grain/Seed Pastes =-
Ok, this is just an idea I had and its probably more trouble than most people would be willing to go through. But, here it is anyway. Sterility is the main problem with using whole grains and I was also reading somewhere about making brf paste and how you can supposedly use it in place of agar. I haven't tried it, but the paste idea made a few ideas of my own spit out. First off, you could grind up finch seed and other whole grains with some added flour and make a more nutrient paste. This would also make sterilizing the whole grains a lot easier being as you would grind them up and then boil them while making the paste. If I'm remember correct it was a post by Lizard King talking about the brf paste and said the best consistency for the paste is where the paste will maintain a peek when you poke a toothpick in and out of it. After that you put it in a jar like you would agar and toss it in the pressure cooker for a few minutes, search for his post for more info. Anyway, back to my idea with the paste. This paste would make sterilizing the whole grains a lot easier and after making the paste I was thinking you could spread it on a sheet of alluminum foil and toss it in the oven till it was dry and solid. After that, grind the paste up and you should have a nice powder to use in place of the brf for making your cakes. The only advantage would really be having multiple nutrients in your 'flour' and if this works there's another route to go about making better cake recipes using multiple grains and flours. Also, I don't know how well grinded up grains/seeds will paste and more than likely its gonna require the use of some flour. Anyway, I plan on trying this out in the future when I have enough spores to put at risk.
Right now I've only made a few 'batches' of shrooms and you could still consider me a newbie, but a very enthusiastic one ; ) Also, for the grinder I plan on using a coffee bean grinder. If you don't have one, you can pick one up at just about any *mart or coffee shop for like $10 - $20 and they really come in handy (I use it for "cracking" grain for homebrew, it does a little more than crack the grain, but none the less it works great). Post if you see anything that would make this idea not work or with any ideas on what grains you think would work best.

PS. To make the paste you would put your flour and/or grinded grains/seeds into a pot with a little water and boil to the 'poke with a peak' consistency. I would suggest putting enough water in that it would be able to boil for about 45 minutes or so without boiling down too far, just use a lid on the pot and it shouldn't be a problem. Also, if you're not using whole grains/seeds you shouldn't need to boil it that long cause with the flour sterility isn't a major problem.

Vitamin C chase, kill the taste. You can tell its nasty by the look on my face.
Ralphster44 & The FSR!
All thats stated above is for humor and a lie!!

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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: DarK_SavioR]
    #313725 - 05/10/01 05:35 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Yeah, you've got the right idea.... some other ingredients to use in combination with a coffee grinder are:

Flax seed - excellent
Potato flour - good for thickening substrate that is too wet
Amaranth - L-lysene
Shit soup - Shit extracted in water
Barley malt extract
earthworm Castings soaked in water =
Soilsoup www.yelmworms.com
Steeped birdseed juice mixed with shit soup added to PF-tek mix, or replace BRF with ground finch + add flax meal, and whatever else you can dream up.... it all works ;-) so many variables. I never use the exact same mix/ratio twice. Next to harvest, its the funnest part.... I recommend using a rice steamer to mix all this in after you cook it up (grains) .

but I dont get this part of what you said:

" . This paste would make sterilizing the whole grains a lot easier and after making the paste I was thinking you could spread it on a sheet of alluminum foil and toss it in the oven till it was dry and solid. After that, grind the paste up and you should have a nice powder to use in place of the brf for making your cakes."

You can just grind all this up in a coffe grinder and mix beforehand and use it in place. You definatly have the right ideas though. :) keep em comin!

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Registered: 04/25/01
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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: DarK_SavioR]
    #313753 - 05/10/01 07:38 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

DS.. You'll find a comprehensive substrate ingredient comparison in the 'list of materials' appendix of The Mushroom Cultivator. WWF will work fine, it's the post-processing (bleaching, preservatives, etc.) that would make it unsuitable. The "right" flour will naturally be harder to find because, as a product, it has a shorter shelf-life than the 'wrong' flours.

In short, the important thing with the flour is to get some good organic stuff. Rye, wheat, rice, oat, millet, amaranth, whatever..

Where there's skill, there's a better way..

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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: Anonymous]
    #313840 - 05/10/01 11:22 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

heh, k. Thanks for the info ; ) I haven't messed with this paste idea any yet and I've just heard from other posts and a few documents that sterility can be a problem with whole grains when you don't have a pressure cooker. Now that I think about it though, there really isn't a point in boiling the stuff after its grinded since you're going to be boiling it in the pot to sterilize it anyway : )~ Just a brain fart, I'll play with this stuff sometime and try making a multi-grain paste and use it like agar. When I decide to try it out I'll post results and try and get a few pics and all that good stuff.

Vitamin C chase, kill the taste. You can tell its nasty by the look on my face.
Ralphster44 & The FSR!
All thats stated above is for humor and a lie!!

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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: DarK_SavioR]
    #315265 - 05/12/01 12:10 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I was wondering about super-nutritious bread that I got from my local health food store. It claims to have all the essential protiens. I left one loaf out for like, a day, and it was ruined by trych. While this may seem a negative thing, I was thinking that perhaps that means that this would be excellent food for fungi?

Waddaya think?

...slow moves, sweet feet...

...slow moves, sweet feet...

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Registered: 05/11/01
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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: DarK_SavioR]
    #315523 - 05/12/01 10:35 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I would imagine that semolina (ground durum wheat) would make a suitable substitute for BRF. It has a similar texture, but is more nutritious. I know from 3 years of baking that yeast love it.

Durum flour is the yellow flour most pasta is made from. Any baker's supply or nut-house ;) should carry semolina/durum.

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Re: Ideas for 'ingredient' substitutions [Re: DarK_SavioR]
    #315574 - 05/12/01 11:56 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

First of all you must know that shrooms are a life form with specific needs, what you consider "nutricious" might be disposable by shrooms, i think sometimes a very "nutricious" substrate might be a reason for contams to grow up faster. Green mold is also a type of fungi (cryptogamic) wich competes with the shroom hyphae for the nutrients on the substrate, the green mold is by far more agressive than mycelium and a richer substrate will only help contams grow faster. I will also try new substrates soon but i also consider this variables as a probable cause for some future failure. Anyway i've got something you may want to read, note this is a study made by libraries, but is enough to explain what a green mold is:
2.1 Structure of mold

Mold is the commonly used term for cryptogamic fungi, i.e. fungi that propagate by means of spores. The prevention of mold growth through the exclusion of mold spores from the environment is not a viable option. Mold spores are ever present in virtually all environments and the distribution of species is relatively uniform world wide. The extreme micro-biological deterioration that occurs in tropical climates differs from that in temperate climates only in degree, not in kind. It is the result of optimum conditions rather than unique or particularly virulent strains. The isolation and identification of large numbers of fungi found in the tropics have failed to reveal any genera that can be singled out as either characteristically tropical, or limited to tropical areas.2

The majority of molds of concern to the librarian and the archivist are made up of two different structures, vegetative and reproductive. The vegetative portion is characterized by a branching of colorless threadlike filaments called hyphae. These hyphae, collectively referred to as mycelium, branch out across the paper or other substrate and are quite invisible to the unaided eye. They form the root system of the plant. Their presence preceeds the appearance of the visible mold growth. Once the mycelium are established, the mold reproduces by spores produced externally on the hyphae. In most of the mold which are of concern to librarians, the individual hyphae produces stalks known as conidiophores, which in turn produce phialides, which are the colored components of the mold. These are the reproductive structures.

Molds are admirably equipped by nature for survival. Of the spores produced, there are two general types. Some spores are produced rapidly and in large numbers, but have very little resistance to drying, sunlight and other adverse environmental factors. They make possible the rapid growth and development of colonies when conditions are favorable. Other spores are much more resistant to unfavorable conditions. These "hold-over" or resting spores enable the organism to survive over long periods of adverse conditions.3

In many molds, the flowering stage, which is evidenced by colored phialides is proceeded by a soft, grey, fuzzy growth visible to the unaided eye. If the mold is removed at this stage, before the flowering begins and the effect on the substrate is most severe, mold stains seldom occur. This is not to say that the substrate will not be damaged, but the damage may be greatly reduced.

The exact cause of the stains often seen after mold has been removed or in dead or dormant colonies is difficult to determine, as is the time frame within which the staining occurs. While staining usually seems to be the result of mature colonies that have been allowed prolonged growth and development, certain molds are known chromophores, and may produce extensive color changes in the substrate, even though their growth is limited.4 Belyakova has identified numerous genera which produce stains on paper due to the production of pigments by the fungi or to the mycelium, which penetrate the paper. The color of the stains is not an accurate guide to the specific mold which caused it. Penicillium frequentans for example produces yellow stains in some instances, pink stains in others.5 Much work remains to be done in order to determine whether staining is produced by the molds digesting the nutrients in the substrate and excreting the by products, as some sources suggest, as a result of acids produced during the hydrolysis of the cellulose, or simply by chromophores present in the cells of the mold itself.

In addition to the cryptogamic fungi, which are the primary focus of this study, two other types of mold may cause damage to library materials. Foxing, the common designation for the small brown spots that appear in old papers, is a mystery yet to be resolved. Its exact nature and cause remain uncertain. Dard Hunter noted that books papers before 1501 seldom showed signs of foxing and attributed its occurance after that date to the increased demand for paper which caused paper makers to reduce the amount of water used and did not allow enough time for "the proper cleansing of the fibers."6 In the 1920's Beckwith found that foxing was usually associated with the presence of iron in the paper,7 leading others to believe that it is the result of metals left in the paper during manufacture, and that it's incidence coincided with the invention of the Hollander beater in the late 17th century. While trace elements of iron may be a necessary component, the presence of foxing, called hoshi (stars), in very old Japanese papers produced using traditional beating and sheet formation techniques would seem to indicate that iron left in the paper as a result of Western manufacturing processes is not the sole cause. Though foxing has yet to be produced on demand in the laboratory, many now believe foxing to be a form of micro-biological growth. In 1984, a Japanese researcher, using a scanning electron microscope isolated and identified the fungi Aspergillus glaucus and Aspergillus restrictus which he believes to be the cause of foxing.8 Whatever the cause, it seems certain that its incidence is increased by high temperatures, high humidity, and by proximity to poor quality materials. That it does indeed damage paper is evidenced by differential wetting characteristics of foxed papers during conservation treatment.

Slime molds, which are relatively rare on finished materials, most commonly occur during paper manufacture. These organisms are usually destroyed by various chemicals and by the heat of the drying process. Their presence however may serve to weaken paper and make it more vulnerable to deterioration when combined with adverse environmental conditions later.

2.2 Environmental and nutritional factors in growth and survival

Most of the information available on the growth and development of mold is derived from laboratory cultures rather than on site studies. This information is therefore not always relevant to the growth and development of the same organism in the library environment. It is however, accurate to say that three factors are essential for the growth and survival of molds: the correct temperature, adequate moisture, and proper nutrients. St. George9 notes that it is a common misconception that light is required for mold growth. Unlike most plants, virtually all molds lack chlorophyl and therefore, light plays no role in their development. Colonies thrive in the dark, since for some varieties, exposure to ultra-violet light is injurious or lethal.10

2.2.1 Temperature

There are three critical temperatures for mold, the temperature below which no growth occurs, the temperature above which no growth occurs, and the temperature at which most rapid growth takes place. Most microbial forms grow in temperatures ranging from 59? to 95? F (15? to 35? C), although there are forms which will grow at almost freezing and others which thrive at over 150? F. The average optimum for mold growth is usually stated to be in the vicinity of 86? F. The optimum temperature for the growth of specific molds is difficult to determine, in part because of variables in other environmental conditions, and in part because the culturing of organisms in the laboratory is a very different matter than the growth of the same organism in more natural surroundings.

It should be noted that the temperature below which no growth occurs is not synonymous with the temperature at which the potential for growth is destroyed. Many molds can survive periods of several months at sub-zero temperatures, but are less tolerant of alternating below-freezing and above-freezing temperatures.11

Sykes, speaking of bacteria, says:

Refrigeration at low temperatures...is popularly considered to be fatal to all forms of life. Whilst this may be true for the larger forms of organized life, it is certainly not true for the smaller plant life, including micro-organisms....sometimes the death rate is as high as 99% but once frozen at a sufficiently low temperature the surviving cells can be preserved for long periods.12

Given the existence of the "hold-over" spores, this undoubtedly applies to molds as well.

2.2.2 Moisture

The amount of moisture required for mold development is seldom addressed in the microbiological literature. In the laboratory molds are cultured in media with a high moisture content, but the precise level is seldom mentioned in their reports. The covered petrie dish creates a microclimate where the mold can flourish undisturbed. With regard to the growth of mold outside the laboratory, sources do indicate that the hygoscopic nature of materials affects the growth of mold. Materials which absorb and hold moisture from the air require lower levels of ambient relative humidity than do less hygroscopic materials. Thus, in a non-laboratory environment, the mold has at its disposal two sources of moisture, the air surrounding the item and the moisture held by the item itself.

2.2.3 Nutrients

The elements required for the growth of fungi include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, potassium, and magnesium. Trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and in some cases, calcium may also be required. Certain of the vitamins are also needed. Most naturally occuring compounds can be utilized by fungi as sources of carbon and energy. Cellulose provides many of these elements, as do animal and vegetable fats and their component acids and glycerine."

Now a little example on competitive growth, this bacteria is an avirulent Geotricum Candidum, and does to green mold what green mold does to mycelium:

"Geotrichum candidum

Actinovate WYEC 108 is a beneficial bacteria strain that inhibits and attacks predatory fungi such as Pythium families, and Rhizoctonia solani family (brown patch), Fusarium family, Phytophthora family, Sclertinia family, Phanerchaete family, Coriolus versicolor, Postia placenta, Geotrichum candidum, and the Verticillium dahliae. Avtinovate has the ability to inhibit and kill predatory fungi often associated with plants. The advantage offered by Actinovate versus normal chemical fungicides is that normal fungicides are non selective and Actinovate is not! Many of the bacteria are either completely wiped out or depleted to the level that they no longer function. Therefore, the only nutrient the plant can receive are foliar nutrients. Most commercially available foliar nutrients contain nitrogen in the form of Ammonium Nitrate or Urea, which tend to invite disease and stress. Plants can be severely damaged in a very short period of time by predatory fungi."


== :) Spread the Spores :) ==

Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.

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