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InvisibleSmushroom
Avid Learner
Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 2,803
Balancing pH Idea
    #3742217 - 02/06/05 09:29 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I am not sure if this has been thought of before (I am sure it has but you can't search "pH" in the search function so I am just searching related words) but I had an idea for working with the pH of casings.

Quick question before I begin my idea. How much do shrooms lower the pH before they stop flushing? Are we talking 6.5, or like 4?

I am no expert, I only know what I have read on here and a little from my chem, bio, and organic chem classes. From what I have read on here, if you are wanting to extend the life of your casings, balancing the pH is very important. Everything I have read has dealt with raising the pH when making the casing to account for the increase in acidity as the mushrooms grow.

I haven't seen a definite answer on the posts I have read, but I would assume shrooms like the pH to be balanced at 7. If they are like humans, a little higher, like 7.3. From what I have read all the teks talk about adding oyster/lime/CaCO3 to the casing to raise the pH to 7.5+ or so. In my opinion, raising the pH too high may hurt the shrooms, be it potency, yeild, # of flushes, etc.

What about balancing the pH in the casing in the beginning, to achieve the optimal pH for shrooms. After each flush, measure the pH of the casing. When it becomes acidic (probably after the first, maybe second flush) you dunk the casing. My idea is to use water that has been made alkaline by the addition of CaCO3 to the water. This would increase the pH of the casing back to optimal levels. Dunking in the alkaline water each time the casing becomes too acidic could prolong the life of the casing.

I am not sure if the benefits would outway the time, effort, and damage to the mycelium when you keep moving it to dunk it. Also not sure exactly how much the pH of the casing will be altered by the mycelium.

Just an idea though.


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Offlinescatmanrav
Brainy Smurf

Registered: 05/08/04
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Trusted Cultivator
Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: Smushroom]
    #3744007 - 02/07/05 03:45 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

A casing buffered properly from the begining should last you 7-9 flushes..how much more do you want?

Your idea seems possible in theory, to me, just doesnt seem nessasary. Calcium carbonate slowly breaks down over time as the mushrooms secrete its wastes and keeps the casing pretty neutral.


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"life is like a drop of rain getting closer and closer to falling into a lake, and then when you hit the lake there is no more rain drop, only the lake."

Growing with bags, start to finish (including my new grain and substrate prep)
Anyone looking to start bulk tubs/mono tubs/shotgun hybrids? Good tubs to use..
How I do grain (old still good tips)
Turn your closet into a fruiting chamber
Casing layer colonization and overlay


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Offlinechocbruce
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Registered: 11/30/04
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Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: scatmanrav]
    #3744404 - 02/07/05 09:01 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Well this is interesting....human blood is an excellent buffer solution. It needs to be in case we eat something acidic (which happens all of the time). Buffers are just solutions that resist change in pH. Anyone ever tried using blood as a buffer in mycology?? I'm guessing it would also be a nute source. (didn't mean to hijack the thread man.)


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I look for answers and present ideas, but in no way shape or form endorse, or partake in, growing, or manufacture of substances, or plants, or any specie that is illegal in your neck of the woods. I do however, tear the tags off of my mattresses. Be warned.


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InvisibleSmushroom
Avid Learner
Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 2,803
Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: chocbruce]
    #3745497 - 02/07/05 03:08 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Thats cool, it is an interesting idea. However you would have to sterilize it, so I am guessing you would probably burn up a lot of the cells and some of the nutes in there.


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InvisibleATWAR
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Registered: 01/26/03
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Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: Smushroom]
    #3748047 - 02/07/05 11:34 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Smushroom said:
Quick question before I begin my idea. How much do shrooms lower the pH before they stop flushing? Are we talking 6.5, or like 4?





That is a good question, but I am not sure if it would be actually due to the rise in Ph levels of the substrate. Most likely it would be the loss of nutrients and/or contamination that sets in that finishes off the yield capacity. It would be interesting to know what the Ph is on a very old casing. In fact, I have the very thing right now. It has been in fruitng conditions for almost 3 months to the date with ?# of flushes. I will break it open and check the Ph of the internal substrate material and report back. Now I have a legitimate reason to get rid of it....



Quote:

I haven't seen a definite answer on the posts I have read, but I would assume shrooms like the pH to be balanced at 7. If they are like humans, a little higher, like 7.3. From what I have read all the teks talk about adding oyster/lime/CaCO3 to the casing to raise the pH to 7.5+ or so. In my opinion, raising the pH too high may hurt the shrooms, be it potency, yeild, # of flushes, etc.





You are correct, the Ph must be balanced for optimal yields. The optimum Ph of the substrate depends on each species. Some can tolerate higher ranges than others with little effect on growth. Generally the Ph is raised slightly higher than optimal at makeup to offset the lowering caused by natural excretions from the mycelium. This is usually suficient in most cases.


Quote:

What about balancing the pH in the casing in the beginning, to achieve the optimal pH for shrooms. After each flush, measure the pH of the casing. When it becomes acidic (probably after the first, maybe second flush) you dunk the casing. My idea is to use water that has been made alkaline by the addition of CaCO3 to the water. This would increase the pH of the casing back to optimal levels. Dunking in the alkaline water each time the casing becomes too acidic could prolong the life of the casing.





That idea may have some merit to those who dunk casings or cakes. Of course, there is additional risk of contamination, but it could prove viable. There are plenty of dunking methods out there that claim superior (to normal water) results though. But even so, it could help. I doubt it would prolong the life, as you can keep a casing alive a long time but it just stops producing. Perhaps this could help extract that last little bit (of yeild) from them. The transport of nutrients for plants is affected by Ph, it could very well effect mushrooms in a similar way...


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To give is to live...



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InvisibleATWAR
Connoisseur

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1,640
Loc: #108768 in line...
Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: scatmanrav]
    #3748085 - 02/07/05 11:41 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

scatmanrav said: Calcium carbonate slowly breaks down over time as the mushrooms secrete its wastes and keeps the casing pretty neutral.





In theory this would work (perfectly). But in reality, the Ph starts to lower shortly after colonization. The buffering agents work to off-set the lowering, or to slow it.. The older it gets, the more the buffering agents become overwhelmed. The casings will still continue to produce mushrooms, even though the Ph is far from "optimal"...


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To give is to live...



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InvisibleSmushroom
Avid Learner
Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 2,803
Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: ATWAR]
    #3748339 - 02/08/05 12:20 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I may try this in a couple months or so to see if it has an affect. And putting CaCO3 in the water you dunk in won't increase risk of contams I don't think, it has no nutes which is the problem when you dunk in karo water or poo tea, the nutes getting in the verm/coir/etc that is clung to the substrate.

And this may not just increase the flushing time, it would also be a nice experiment to see how the pH affects the amount per flush and size of fruits as well. If keeping a cake or whatever near optimal pH can increase the yield of just the first three flushes it would be beneficial, even if you just toss the cakes afterwards.


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InvisibleATWAR
Connoisseur

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1,640
Loc: #108768 in line...
Re: Balancing pH Idea [Re: Smushroom]
    #3748429 - 02/08/05 12:33 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Smushroom said:
And putting CaCO3 in the water you dunk in won't increase risk of contams I don't think, it has no nutes which is the problem




I was referring to adding anything to the dunk water in general. That is yet another vector of contamination that you must deal with, or just take the risk...


--------------------
To give is to live...



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