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Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5
more beginner questions ...
    #3346841 - 11/11/04 01:50 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Have some questions that after researching them Im still a bit fuzzy on. Would welcome some clarity on these from the experts...

1. The vermiculite I can get is Lowe's fine horticultural grade. It looks very fine to me compared to pics Ive seen of jars on this site. Question- Does the coarseness of the vermiculite change the amount of water you should user for maximum fruiting?

2. A guy told me that he likes to fill jars then hit them against the counter one time to pack before adding dry vermiculite on top. His reasoning is that yes, it will take longer to colonize, but the flush will be much better. Some things Ive read seem to contradict his advice. So whats best.. to pack or not to pack?  Keep in mind Im using very fine vermiculite.

3. If boiling jars (no pressure cooker), what is the IDEAL time to steam them to avoid drying them out? I would like to know what what is the minimum time that people have found that works.

4. Is there really any point to using peroxide in your water spray bottle or terrarium? I heard from a relative in the medical field that putting peroxide on a wound does nothing at all for killing bacteria etc. Its the foaming/bubbling action of it that washes the wound out physically is all. Therefore if it doesnt actually kill or sterilize anything, would it stand to reason that it would do nothing beneficial for shroom growth?? Im wondering if the peroxide thing is a bit of a myth. (no offense to anyone who uses it, just chalk this question up to a confused novice).  :confused:

Thank you all for your patience. I really appreciate all the wisdom Ive gained from everyones helpful answers on here. You guys are great.

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Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 2,436
Loc: Wiki, Kentucky
Re: more beginner questions ... [Re: tripz_two]
    #3346869 - 11/11/04 01:54 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

1) Well just get the water content about right (squeeze slowly and get a few drops out)
2)not to pack. If you are casing then your breaking it all apart anyways. If your doing cakes they will shrink alot, but still work the same!
3) 45minutes
4)it stops any spores from germinating i believe. so it dosent kill stuff, just keeps it sleeping :smile:

Today?s Pig is Tomorrow?s Bacon

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Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 2,072
Loc: El Mexicano
Last seen: 9 months, 1 hour
Re: more beginner questions ... [Re: tripz_two]
    #3346877 - 11/11/04 01:55 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

1) Fine grade verm is great IMO, it holds a bit more water than course as well. :thumbup:  I use fine all the time.

2) Do NOT pack, especially with fine verm.  That guy is wrong.  The more airy your substrate the quicker it will colonize and the faster it colonizes the less chance contams have to get a foot hold.  If you pack it can cause excess water to gather at the bottom of your jar also, with puddles in the bottom it can't colonize.

3) I boiled mine for an hour and 10 minutes and they turned out fine.  Only had three jars contam out of 48 that I did with the PF-Tek and it wasn't from unsterile substrate preparation.

4) I'm not really sure if peroxide really helps.  I don't use it other than in the water I put in my perlite.  If it doesn't hurt, why not do it right?

Hope I've helped ya atleast a bit and good luck man! :smile:
- Silven

What do you bring to the table?

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the ghost with the most

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Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 2,253
Loc: 6' under pushin up shroom...
Last seen: 5 years, 4 months
Re: more beginner questions ... [Re: Silven]
    #3347094 - 11/11/04 02:24 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

I'm a new grower myself so I wont offer any advice on any of the questions other than the one about the peroxide...

4) H2O2, is what I was told to mix with the water for the perlite but I'm not sure if it actually does anything or not. Reason is this. Hydrogen Peroxide-(H2O2), when exposed to sunlight, loses the extra oxygen atom and breaks down into water-(H2O). This is the reason it is always stored in a brown (or otherwise opaque but commonly brown) container. Seeing as your cakes/casings need a certain ammount of light during the fruiting stage, it seems reasonable to me that the H202 plays no significant role in staving off bacteria after the first day. By the second day it would most certainly have broken down into nothing but water.


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I didn't go to work for a month.

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 1,169
Loc: Middle of nowhere
Last seen: 6 years, 1 month
Re: more beginner questions ... [Re: 13eetleJuice]
    #3347173 - 11/11/04 02:37 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Fine grade verm works fine, just be EXTRA careful not to pack the stuff down, you want the substrate airy and light so it's easier for the mycelium to colonize.

Don't pack, especially with fine verm. Your jar will take longer to colonize, and with boiling I don't see taking the risk of letting contaminates take hold as a reasonable one for a minute amount of extra substrate.

I agree with Silven on the boil time. I did an hour and 5 and they worked out, only one jar out of 12 in my first run got contamed. Get a pressure cooker and those numbers will be cut down.

The h2o2 added to the water keeps contaminates in your water at bay (molds, mildew, etc.). It is used in small quantities, and basically as a buffer in case anything is floating around in tap water... It does kill mycelium if it's too strong... it's just a precaution.

"a monkey would fuck you up if you tried to put it in a autoclave" - Psychoslut

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Registered: 09/23/04
Posts: 2,142
Loc: Cali
Re: more beginner questions ... [Re: ZeroArmy27]
    #3347643 - 11/11/04 03:59 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

1. Horticultural just means plant grade.  Which is what you want.  I'm going to have to strongly advise you to look for more coarse stuff.  At least try very hard.  The fine grade will hold more water.  But that's really not needed anymore because you can roll or double end case to meet water requirement easy.  What you really want is to have it colonize fast, which will be easier with fluffy substrate.  Which leads to next question...

2.  I don't know about how much you think is a lot, but I get over 350g wet from each 1/2 pint cake over 3 flushes.  I rotate the cakes out after 3, but I'm sure I can get a lot more if I pushed it.  And this is with fluffiest substrate.  What I'm trying to say is don't worry about the yield.  It'll come.  Just worry about getting through colonization.  Don't pack.  Make extra efforts to fluff things up a lot.  If you are using a spoon or a fork, pick up the substrate to be loaded with spoon or fork by digging in at sharp angles.  I don't drag my spoon to dig it out of the bowl.  I do a quick turn of the spoon and lift the substrate up.  As I load the jars, i tap very very gently on the table to let settle a bit.  But even big gaps size of peas are okay.  Don't force the issue.  This is a lot easier with coarse verm than fine.  Fine verm is <1mm avg and looks powdery.  You probably saw medium grade which is 1-3mm average.  Fine stuff is really really hard not to pack.

3.  Since you are boiling, don't worry about the water content.  Use max fruiting formula, then put the lid on firmly and tape those holes up.  Use duct tape or strong electrical tape and tape well.  Put some foil cover and forget about the moisture content for the rest of the grow.  If you start second guessing youself, you'll probably try to do something to fix it, and you usually mess things up by trying to fix something that's not broke.

Moisture content will not change from boiling as long as you have water in there even if tapes become a little loose.  I used to boil my jars for over 2 hours.  So, don't worry about it.  I suggest you boil for about an hour at low boil, not simmer.

4.  Peroxide helps.  It's very good against spores(the bad kind :smile: and the good kind :frown: )  So we don't use peroxide on spore solutions or substrate.  Mycelium is largely unnaffected by peroxide.  And at concentration we use(3% bottles diluted  down to 1/10th, so .3%) is very safe and often beneficial.  If nothing else, it helps us sleep better at night.  Peroxide also helps against algae build up as algae won't build up in peroxide added water.  Even 3% wouldn't be detrimental, though it is likely to do damage if you leave that strength in contact for a prolonged time.

The thing with bacteria...  Peroxide actually is good against bacteria. It's not as effective as against spores but does still work relatively well.  It's hard to wipe bacteria invasion with peroxide alone, though.  But it sure makes it easier for healthy mycelium to fight it back.  The fizzing is from chemical interaction between peroxide and enzymes.  Don't think too much into it.

I highly recommend all regular maintainance with water use 1/10th H2O2 mixture.  For larger cleansing such as initial and occasional complete cleansing of tubs and disinfecting after contam, I suggest you use 1/25th bleach solution.

Anyways, good luck


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If you want a rating from me, please PM me.  For those really newbies, don't expect an answer back, but you can try me anyways.

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