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Offlinescifi5001
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Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed!
    #3150992 - 09/18/04 07:34 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Hello!

It has really been a long time i have visited here!
I have been keeping me busy all the time though! :cool:

Anyway, i need some of your help!

I recently bought some peat and i soaked some of it in water and got a ph level of 4,5.

How much should i mix in limestone flour?

The optimal ph is 6-7 right?

Thanks!


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OfflineAnnoA
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: scifi5001]
    #3151029 - 09/18/04 08:20 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

>How much should i mix in limestone flour?
~10% by volume.

>The optimal ph is 6-7 right?
7-7.5.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: Anno]
    #3151685 - 09/18/04 07:34 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Actually, according to Stamets, the optimal pH for cubies is 6.8 to 7.2.  I always aim a little high of optimal when preparing a casing, though, because mycelium will drive the pH down over the course of fruiting.  :mushroom2:


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Offlinehyphae
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: Diploid]
    #3151702 - 09/18/04 07:44 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Actually in the real world myc is very tolerant of pH ranges as it's not consuming it only passing through it and as we all know myc produces acidic waste as it ages and lowers the casings pH so starting a bit high is just what we as experienced growers have come to realize and capitalized on. :wink: In otherwords Ditto


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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: scifi5001]
    #3154968 - 09/20/04 03:21 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Have any of you guys experience with using NaOH as a base?

10 vol. % seems like an awful lot of chalk in my casing, but surely it would work as many of you have done this for years.

I am currently using 700ml coir + 700ml verm.
So i should use 700ml peat, 700ml verm. and 70ml limestone flour?

NaOH of course is a very strong base so measuring it would be a problem...

Thanks guys! :smile:


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: hyphae]
    #3155264 - 09/20/04 12:41 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

NaOH as a base
Well, mushrooms are high in potassium, but ironically NaOH is an effective fungicide.  I don't think it would work, though I've never used it in a casing...

10 vol. % seems like an awful lot of chalk in my casing
It is, but without a pH meter, anything stronger risks making the casing too alkaline.  You can get by with much less by using hydrated lime, but without a pH meter or litmus paper, it's hard to avoid overshooting.

I am currently using 700ml coir + 700ml verm.
Verm and coir are both close enough to neutral that they don't need pH adjustments or buffering. The pH additives are to compensate for the acidity of peat.

The following excerpt from one of my previous posts is admittedly overkill, but it's always worked for me and I enjoy optimizing my processes so I don't mind the extra work:

First, I start off with a 33/33/33 mix of peat/verm/coir. I like the peat because it's so dammed airy and fluffy when moistened just right. The verm provides moisture, and the coir provides more moisture and contributes to the airiness. It also distinctly changes color when dry, so I get a really good visual indicator of when it's time to mist without having to touch the casing.

Next, I add ~15% by volume crushed oyster shells. As mycelium metabolism progresses, it releases acids that drive the pH of the casing down. The crushed oyster shells both add a rough, open texture to the casing, and over time, they dissolve and gently counter the mycelium's acid secretions. They help to stabilize (buffer) the casing's pH over time.

The next thing I add to the casing material is ~3% by volume diatomaceous earth to keep any flies, worms, eggs, and miscellaneous bugs from making a home in my casings. DE is the fossilized skeletons of siliceous marine and fresh water organisms, particularly diatoms and other algae. These skeletons are made of hydrated amorphous silica or opal. The particles are actually very tiny, sharp shards so small that the material feels like talcum powder. This is easily picked up by the hairy bodies of most insects where it scratches through their body causing a rapid loss of moisture; the insects dry up and die.

DE is harmless to humans, though I'd avoid breathing it, and is frequently added to grain on farms to protect it from insects. You can get it at any well-stocked aquarium store; it's used to filter water.

Once all those dry ingredients are mixed well, I spray on enough water to thoroughly moisten but not quite reach field capacity. It takes a really hard squeeze to get a drop of water.

At this point, I measure the pH with a pH meter. The peat will normally drop the pH below optimum, which for cubies is 6.8 to 7.2. I add a tiny bit of hydrated lime (.25 teaspoon/liter of casing) and measure the pH again. I repeat until the pH reaches about 7.5. This is slightly out of the optimal range, but the mycelium quickly drives the pH down into the optimal range even with the buffering provided by the crushed oyster shells. Be careful with hydrated lime. It's very strong and a tiny amount will go a long way. It will also cause you a lot of grief if you get it on your hands and touch your eyes. Treat it with respect. You can also use limestone flour; it's far less potent so you'll have to use more to get the same effect on the pH.

By the way, don't ever use dolomitic lime. It has too-high a concentration of magnesium which has been shown to retard pin formation.

When I'm happy with the pH and moisture, I pasteurize for a few minutes in the microwave in case there were some undetected little critters in my peat, then I let it cool, check the moisture and pH one last time, and case.

:mushroom2: Hope this makes sense...

Third flush:


The two rightmost in the previous pic after drying:


Edit: typo and added pic


Edited by Diploid (09/20/04 03:14 PM)


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Offlinescifi5001
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: Diploid]
    #3155728 - 09/20/04 02:50 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the very informative reply!

I'll get the limestone flour in a couple of days, hope it works out ok.
I have gotten great yields with 50/50. They didn't have coir at the petstore i usually get it from but instead they had peat. I didn't realize it was acidic until i measured it. Then i remembered reading about it over here.

Always a great place!

Thanks! :smile:


Edited by scifi5001 (09/20/04 02:52 PM)


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Offlinehyphae
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Re: Some help with peat/limestone flour casing needed! [Re: Diploid]
    #3156752 - 09/20/04 06:26 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Coir pH can be 5.7-6.5 which will require buffering for substained flushes because of the myc's acidic waste over time. I personally would still use a buffer with coir/verm casings. Beautiful third flush Diploid :heart: :thumbup: :heart:


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