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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Agar, Pressure Cooker, Rye Grain

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Offlineblackout
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Wheat grain reached 135.4C in Microwave. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note)
    #4327704 - 06/23/05 08:41 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I have been doing a few experiments with microwaving recently. One was soaking grain for a week so all endospores would hopefully germinate and be killed by a simple microwaving. This was done only once on 20g of wheat so it may be a fluke. See thread
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4294326/an/0/page/0

I got 1kg of dry wheat and microwaved it for about 5mins on full, then I poured in 1 litre of boiling water. The water boiled up and bubbled violently which shows me the grain was above 100C. Dry grain can certainly get to very high temperatures in the microwave. Heres a pic of burnt wheat from a microwave.
.

My 20g of wheat was microwaved until it was dry, and probably well above 100C, I think this may have also lead to good endospore destruction and the good results I got.

In the past I recommended adding excess water and boiling it off the grains. Excess water will lead to a better heat distribution of heat as the water is a good heat conductor. The problems I had was the grain exploding and going mushy or leading to wet spot bacteria.

I now beleive that less water is better. I poured 1litre of boiling water on the hot grains. 12hours later it had absorbed all most all of the water. Only about 50ml was left and I think if it had been shaken up during the 12hrs that all of it would have been absorbed. The grain was just covered with water so when the grain started to absorb water the level would have dropped leaving the top grains drier. That is 100ml to 100g of grain. The same grain in a 24hr cold soak only absorbed 57.5ml per 100g. 48hr soak gave 60ml per 100g. 7 day cold soak was still only 92.5ml per 100g. So heating the grain and pouring on soaking water may be a good way to go. I think I had no burst kernels (some were broken to start with).

This may useful for people who pc grain. No need to dirty up a saucepan simmering, no straining. Anno recommends 105-110ml per 100g for rye, so you can calculate your water to be added at the start. The microwaving also heats up your jar slowly so there is less chance of thermal cracking when you pour in boiling water.`Some soak 24hr to germinate endospores. The heating of the grain and subsequent boiling water will kill some nasties. If you left the grain for a further 24hrs after the initial 12hr soak you should have your usual endospore germination happening, the cooling jars will be at a good incubating temp, without the need for forced incubation. Then you can pc them. Of course many will just add the correct water and PC, but some like the thought of a more even moisture level in the grains when they come out of the PC, and the added advantage of endospore germination.

So my fractional microwaving plan is to microwave the now moist grains until they are dry. It should take at least 30mins of heating after they get to boiling to drive off the moisture. 30mins is required in most fractional sterilization guidelines, if it is drying too fast you turn down the power, the less grain the lower the power you need, but you should heat on full until you see steam. The grain will be shaked every 5 minutes while microwaving to avoid hotspots and ensure even heating. The dry grain will be heated above 100C which should really ensure destruction of germinated endospores. Then while still hot I will add in another litre of water which should be absorbed. Now it will be left for 24hrs. It will have absorbed the grain and have heat which will incubate it. I will then do the process of microwaving until dry 2 more times with 48hr in between. My idea of 48hrs is that most endospores will have germinated in the first 3 exposures to water and incubation. So in the next 48hrs there should be more resiliant ones left which may take a bit longer to germinate. The final jar will have water added while hot and be microwaved for 30mins at a low setting to absorb and sterilize it for the last time.

All the guidelines for fractional sterilization are almost identical, I think it is odd that nobody has tried say 20mins 4 days in a row, or longer incubation times in between only 2 boils.

When microwaving you are subject to moisture loss, you must weigh your container and grain accurately to determine your final water content. Your "dry" grain when microaved may have more or less water than your original grain so adding measured amounts of water is not good enough. My jar is 1144g. I added 1kg of grain and am aiming for a 105ml to 100g water content so my final jar should weigh 3194g. If it is too heavy you must boil off more moisture so weigh while still hot. I want mine to weigh 3134g, then I can add 60ml of LC to speed up colonisation and have the correct moisture content.


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Edited by blackout (06/23/05 04:17 PM)


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Offlineblackout
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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: blackout]
    #4328838 - 06/23/05 04:16 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Results just in. I microwaved the jar with 1kg of wheat soaked in 1 litre of water in 6 minute intervals shaking every 6 minutes, in a 800W microwave. Heres the time table with moisture LEFT each time
18min - boiling 1000ml
42min - 439ml
54min - 281ml
72min - 64ml
78min - minus 7ml temp 129.3C (it has fully dried now and is loosing its natural water content).
81min - minus 31ml temp 135.4C

I immediately added another litre of water which boiled violently. I think wheat grain has a moisture content of about 10-12% so there was still about 70-90ml left in the grain, I did not want to burn it so stopped.

Here is a photo after it was dried.


And after adding the water


I wonder if that heat alone could have killed everything. Dry heat takes far longer to sterilize though. It had got a previous hot soak so some endospores would have germinated. I may try with a smaller jar since I do not want to waste all this grain to an experiment. I have no doubt that the temp reached was higher than 135.4C, it took the thermometer about 1minute or more to register it, and since it is not in direct contact with a liquid it will always be lower. It was preheated in boiling water so it would not take too long, and stirred in the grain 3 times.

It is time consuming, and having to shake every 6 minutes is a pain, 10minutes may work. I do think it is a feasible method, there is no doubt that all of the grain was at 100C for 30mins as per the fractional sterilization guidelines, so hot spots are not an issue with this method. There was no apparent grain explosions either. The jar is a good size, and you would need a big PC to fit it in. I prefer working with a single large jar than several small ones.

My question is do you have to have grains with the correct moisture conent for fractional sterilization to work?
i.e. could I heat them dry up to say 105C, turn it to defrost for 30mins maintaining 105C, maybe adding a little water. Then incubate and do the same again. Then on the last time heat to 105C, add the correct amount of boiling water and leave on defrost for 30mins? this would be far quicker. I presume for the endospores to germinate they have to be in a suitable environment though.


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Edited by blackout (06/23/05 04:31 PM)


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: blackout]
    #4328892 - 06/23/05 04:31 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Wow, I could see going through all this trouble if microwaving was faster, but use a PC and you're good in 45 minutes at 15psi.

I totally believe it can be done, but I just don't see why it should be done.

I think a microwave tek for a PF tek type substrate would be beneficial for folks trying to produce just a few shrooms and don't feel like dealing with a pressure cooker, but if you're using quantities of grain, this just seems silly to me.


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: mockeylock]
    #4328959 - 06/23/05 04:50 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Well the recommended amount of rye for a pint jar is about 100g maybe 125g. So this jar is 8-10 pint jars. I could have fit more grain in so it could have at least 10pints worth, I can also fit a bigger jar in the microwave possibly up to 15 pints worth of grain or more. When I had the use of a PC I could only fit 3 pint jars in it at a time. As I mentioned I would prefer to work with a single jar. I have no clean room or hood so I can be more careful with my inoculation of that single jar. I always pc'd for 90mins minimum, so 15 pint jars would take 5 loadings.


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Edited by blackout (06/23/05 04:52 PM)


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: blackout]
    #4329138 - 06/23/05 05:42 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I see what you're trying to do, I guess, I'm just saying that it's WAY too much work for what you're doing.

Get a bigger PC that holds 7 Qt's, and you will be loving life....
7 qts in 45 minutes.  Then, take one qt and do a grain to grain transfer to seven more qts.  In a week, you've turned one quart of spawn/substrate into seven.  Almost too easy... :smile:


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: mockeylock]
    #4329157 - 06/23/05 05:49 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Wow....

I'd rather spend the $$$ to get a PC....:smirk:

But only b/c i'm lazy...

I liked seeing experiments being done that might mean Something.

Good luck

-Gnostic


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: mockeylock]
    #4331309 - 06/24/05 04:53 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

mockeylock said:
Get a bigger PC that holds 7 Qt's, and you will be loving life....
7 qts in 45 minutes.



So you enter your kitchen with a bag of grain and 45 minutes later you have 7qts of sterile grain on your counter cooling down? You have to measure out grain for the 7 jars, heat up etc etc. I made one filter cap for one jar. I doubt you will sterilize a single jar with 2kg of wet grain in 45mins.

I do not have the space for a pc that can hold 7qt jars. I could afford one, but could think of other things I would prefer to spend the money on. Why buy a bakery if you only want a few slices of bread now and again.

I also can't do g2g as I have no flowhoods, glovebox etc. More money and space taken up.

The process I said will drop in time for smaller amounts of grain. With smaller jars it may only take 30mins for the process, I think the germinated endospores would be killed a lot faster when the grain is at 135C so holding for 30mins at boiling may not be neccesary.

It has soaked up all the water now and there are new exploded grains in it now.

My mini 20g jar microwaved ONCE for 25mins has now fully colonized its casing layer. If it grows soon I will clone and innoc this jar. If my azure agar takes off it is going in the jar.

If this method works it would be a good taster for people who want to see the benefits of grain for themselves before they fork out for a huge AA pc.

I can fit a 13.5litre microwavable container in my microwave. It would take a long time to heat though.


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Edited by blackout (06/24/05 12:31 PM)


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Re: "Fractionally Microwaving" Grain. (Pc'ing grain soakers also take note) [Re: blackout]
    #4332059 - 06/24/05 12:58 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

2nd proper heating: This time I did longer intervals that 6 minutes. I did 20,20,20,10,5. It seemed fine, you do need to shake more towards the end. In the initial stages there is so much moisture that the grain is effectively steamed which leads to more even heating, after the 10min (70mins) I spotted one pretty toasted grain while others were still slightly moist. Poured boiling water on once again after 75mins. It absorbs most of the water after only about 40mins. I am going to give it another blast to heat it back up and will leave it for either 2 or 3 days until I do my last heating.

There are more exploded grains now, hope it works out.

4 shakes is not a lot of work, I used to have to change the power on my cooker about 5 times during a PC run to keep the pressure up, yet not spitting out steam.

My cap has a filter disc, but not enough to let the steam out (it might but I do not want to risk damaging it. I unscrew the cap a tiny bit and hold it in place with tape going from one side over the cap to another so it won't fall off. When I added water I tightened the cap, it builds up a nice pressure with the filter disc. It was hissing and when I opened the cap it let lots out, like a soda bottle. If I keep the temp on low it will keep a small pressure in the jar with a closed lid, steaming the grains and reducing hot-spots.


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Edited by blackout (06/24/05 01:20 PM)


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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Agar, Pressure Cooker, Rye Grain

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