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Need Help...Just trashed 36 jars (PF tek method). 36 Remain.
Dark green mold took up residence after 22 seemingly peaceful days. Given the utmost respect I paid to insure sterility, airborne contams seem to be the most likely culprit. Given that I just installed Air Conditioning in my apartment. I'm pointing my finger in that direction. That and/or pollen counts in my area have been at record levels. I know I can search all of this out over time but time is critical for me right now. Expedient responses appreciated. If I lose it all I will take it as a rite of passage.
I need a sage mind to confirm that the AC is the culprit and recommend a way for me to salvage what cultures I have remaining.
I seriously doubt your AC is the culprit. Your PF jars should have a dry vermiculite barrier that will protect them from airborne contaminants.
Also, green molds which are for the most part trichoderma and to a lesser degree aspergillus, are killed off by fairly low temperatures, and simple pasteurization usually is enough. If you boiled/steamed/pc'd your jars per the PF tek, you can rule those out as the cause of your headache.
My guess is they got contaminated when you inoculated the jars. Always do so in a glove box or in front of a flow hood. If you use a glove box, there is no need to waste money on lysol, bleach, etc. simply wash the inside with soap and water before use. What you want is a still air environment. Glove boxes are not sterile and don't need to be.
NEVER forget to flame sterilize the needle on your syringe before you inoculate. Heat it up until it's red hot as this will kill contaminants on the inside as well as the outside of the needle. The first squirt of solution from the syringe will cool the needle, so there is no reason to dip in alcohol or anything else that is not sterile. (Alcohol is NOT sterile)
All you need for inoculations is a rubbermaid container with a couple of holes big enough for your wrists to enter. Remember, it's STILL air that makes a glovebox work, not sterility. RR
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