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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Agar, Malt Extract, Paul Stamets, Petri Dish, Potato Dextrose, Rye Grain

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Invisiblecantara
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 133
Loc: Beyond the sun
Agar Questions
    #367715 - 08/06/01 03:53 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Hello everyone....

My questions concern agar. For some reason I have been unable to make plates/jars of agar that are viable. My agar always seems way too thick, and mycelium placed on it branches out just a bit but never gets further. I am 100% sure that it is not the strain, nor the cleanliness of the agar jar - I am sure it is the thickness/consistency of the agar.

My question is - what is a nice, simple, easy tek for making agar of the right consistency and pouring it into plates/jars? TMC by Stamets recommends mixing the agar with water and first sterilizing that, *then* pouring it into jars. FOAF from way back had agar powder and would boil it in water just enough to dissolve and then pour that just one bottom-layer thick in the jars, then sterilize that. Problem is, I don't know what proportions of agar to water he used. I have been using approximately 50 g's agar (flakes, not powder - does this make a difference?) to liter of water, boiling to dissolve, pouring into plates, sterilizing, cooling and using as agar medium, but this is just way too thick. I am not sure what the happy medium of proportion of agar to water is, and I don't want to keep wasting culture or spores to find it.

Anyone who can offer a simple, clearcut tek for making viable agar, I would be eternally grateful. Feel free to explain it as you would to a child :) For some reason all other steps of the process I have been quite adept at, but simply making agar to right consistency is a real frustration.

Thanks!

We lead our truest lives when we are in dreams awake


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[green]Shroomism, please don't delete this thread![/green]


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Offlinejonnyshaggs420
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Re: Agar Questions [Re: cantara]
    #367747 - 08/06/01 04:57 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Don't mean to sound like an ass, but are you adding anything else to the agar, or are you just using straight agar agar?

Novelty

Edited by jonnyshaggs420 on 08/06/01 04:01 PM.



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Invisiblecantara
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 133
Loc: Beyond the sun
Re: Agar Questions [Re: jonnyshaggs420]
    #367798 - 08/06/01 06:51 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

You're not sounding like an ass - like I said, I am having some kind of problems and I need some clarification!

Yes, what I have done in the failures was just use straight agar agar flakes - approx proportion 50 g's/liter h20.

If there are other recipes which others have that work, please clarify, and also the steps - in other words, do you boil it and then add to plates and then sterilize, etc?

As I said in the original post, FOAF had agar powder and he used only that and water. What am I doing wrong? Too much agar? Agar flakes vs. agar powder? Anything else?

Please do take a couple minutes and help me out, I would appreciate it. As I said, other stages of the process I have met with plenty of success but for some reason making viable agar has eluded me so far.

Thanks all!


We lead our truest lives when we are in dreams awake


--------------------
---- Cantara

[green]Shroomism, please don't delete this thread![/green]


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Offlinejonnyshaggs420
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Re: Agar Questions [Re: cantara]
    #367913 - 08/06/01 10:34 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Well there's your first problem. Agar is a gelling agent its not nutritive, and if it is, it doesn't provide nutrients to fungus. Here are some recipe's here at the shroomery http://www.shroomery.org/findorgrowthem.php?View=docs&doc=53

Offsite
http://mycotopia.yage.net/discus/messages/425/963.html?988499274

Novelty

Edited by jonnyshaggs420 on 08/06/01 09:35 PM.



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Invisiblecantara
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 133
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Re: Agar Questions [Re: jonnyshaggs420]
    #369006 - 08/08/01 10:14 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Thank you, I do appreciate the help. I guess I can conclude that the powder FOAF had - which I thought was and which he told me was just agar - was some kind of nutrified agar.

I appreicate the help! Pics possibly forthcoming.....

We lead our truest lives when we are in dreams awake


--------------------
---- Cantara

[green]Shroomism, please don't delete this thread![/green]


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OfflineWorkmanV
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Re: Agar Questions [Re: cantara]
    #369113 - 08/09/01 01:03 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Your FOAF was probably using a premixed commercial malt agar media and not pure agar. Its easy to use and can be found at most mycology related businesses.

You will need to add something nutritious to your agar and less of it. 50 grams per liter is too much, try 20 grams. Here are a couple of formulas I use regularly for psilocybes and some edibles. I generally make only a 1/2 liter which is just right for a 1 sleeve of 20 plastic petri dishes.

Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar (PDYA)

10 grams agar (flakes or powder)
10 gram dextrose (white powder from the brew store)
500 ml potato water* (water drained from boiled sliced potatoes)
1 gram nutritional yeast (optional, health food store)

* 5 grams of instant potato flakes in 500 ml water may be substituted for potato water.

Potato water is easy to make. Just scrub and slice the potatoes like you are going to boil them for eating. Cover them with water in a pot. Boil until they test tender with a fork. Drain and save the water. Mash the potatoes with milk, cream, butter, salt and cheese and have them for dinner. You can freeze the extra water if you have any left over. If you don't quite get a liter, just top off the flask with extra water to make a liter. You can strain the potato water through a coffee filter to remove excess starch if you want a clear broth, but I never do.

Malt Extract Agar (MEA)

10 grams agar
500 ml water
10 grams light tan malt power (from brew store)
1 gram nutritional yeast (optional)

MEA is the standard for mycology work, but I still prefer the potato agar. Growth just seems lusher.

Good luck!

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Invisiblear393
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Re: Agar Questions [Re: Workman]
    #369204 - 08/09/01 08:22 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

i use about 15 gm of rye flour and 15 gm of agar to about 1000ml of water for my cat, and this pours roughly a hundred plates (thin plates) . I think, i havent poured any plates in a while because i have been in england for a month for work and i dont return to the states for another week
peace, ar393



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