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Amazon Shop: ½ Pint Jars, Gypsum, Paul Stamets, Pressure Cooker

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preparing 10 lb bag grain spawn questions
    #4331119 - 06/24/05 03:09 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i dont know if this is wuite the right forum for this butmy question is more complicated than most

i am making 10 lb bags of grain and am a little confused. is it necassary to determine dry weight of grain when you are going to steep it in hot water for 1 hour and also how do you know how much water is absorbed in one hour of steeping grain ? how long do you dry it for after being moistened?
how important is it in the experience of others to test the water weight ratio when doing 10 lb bags at a time? i read in GGMM that the differnece in 10% water may encourage proliferation of bacteria.
does the techinique for adding a recomended amount of water and letting it sit overnight, then sterilizing the bag, work well?
i am planning on inoculating with 200-300 cc's of hericium liquid culture.

i tried to do one bag in a "presto" cooker with too little water, and it burned the bag. i am doing one right now in an all-american and in under two hours the cooker had vented almost all of the 2 quarts of water in it. i dont know how big the cooker is but it holds 7 or 8 quart jars. i let it cool briefly and added more water for the remaining two hours. do you think this bag will still "sterilize" properly

how necassary is gypsum? how do you add it if you are steeping your grain for a time...
does the time of steeping or the rate of heat applied during steeping affect water absorption... by how much?

thanks for the time i hope i brought up some good questions that may help others

also after i burned the first bag i wrapped the second in a towel and put enough water to come up to about an 1/8 of an inch around the bag.. i jst went out to check on the second bag and after an hour and a half after i added more water, the vent cock has stopped rocking the weight... i think my cloth soakeed up all the water if this is so how can i avoid that and would trading a dry cloth and going for another hour and a half work a total of 3 hour and a half cycles at 20 psi?

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Edited by fungophiliac (06/24/05 03:22 AM)

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Re: preparing 10 lb bag grain spawn questions [Re: fungophiliac]
    #4331574 - 06/24/05 10:18 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

OK.... first off if you are new to grain i suggest starting with 1/2gals or something so you are not wasting a bunch right at the beggining...

now to answer some of your questions...

you'll want to know the dry weigh of grain, but only at the beggining... it seems in my 1/2gal jars i use around 450grams or around 1 pound of dry grain... i inoculate with liquid culture and after spawn run is complete the jars weigh around 2/2.25lbs... so it seems grain will double in weigh as well as size when water is added.. you will want to know how much grain you are starting with so you can make a measuring scoop, so you know how much grain to cook.. hope all of this is making sense...

this is how i prepare spawn bags, i simply cook the grain, you can soak it overnight if you want.. 1 part grain to 2 parts water in a pot.. i usually put around a gallon of cooked grain into each bag and it weighs from 5-8lbs.. this is with the large spawn bags sold at mycofactory.com for $.30/piece when you buy 100.. i dont know what kind of bag you are using but you really dont want to fill these bags up to 10lbs... you will not be able to adequatly(sp?) shake them at all... ive found 5lbs to be really manageable and I can fit 8 of these bags in the largest AA cooker, the 1941.. to cook them i just bring it to a boil, then lower temp to a light light simmer.. then watch, usually takes about a half hour.. and i wait for the first popped kernels to appear... once you see any popped kernels it is done... you dont want too many of course.. after that i just drain the cooked grain in a strainer, making sure that all water is out, i bag and PC for 2-3hours... i only need 1/2gal of water in my PC and it always works fine... i highly recommend a good PC for any commercial edible work..

btw i have not found that adding dry grain and water to a bag works very well, but it may work for others.

i have not found gypsum to be neccessary if you strain the grain properly. it may be neccessary with fruiting supplemented sawdust as it does provide some nutrients. i have created sawdust spawn just fine w/o it though...

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Re: preparing 10 lb bag grain spawn questions [Re: fungophiliac]
    #4331604 - 06/24/05 10:37 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Weigh out 100 grams of grain. Lay onto a flat cookie sheet, and toss into a 150-250 degree oven for several hours. Depending on rH, it may take 2-4 hours to get the grain totally dry. Now weigh the grain. This is considered "dry" weight. Of course, there will be some residual moisture remaining. Now do the appropriate math to figure out the rest.... too early for me.

THe purpose of gypsum is to make the grain break up easier. You want to add gypsum when you are adding the grain to the bag. IIRC, gypsum isn't very water soluable. When I was a noob, I soaked fifty pounds of grain and too much gypsum. The next day there was gypsum sludge on the bottom. But I don't think gypsum will be neccessary for you. Liquid culture requires you only to be shaking the fully grown culture once - at least according to P. Stamets instructions.

It sounds like your pressure cooker is going too hot, the weight should only jiggle once or twice every couple of minutes. My AA941 can run for 3+ hours including warm up on only three quarts of water. Of course, this is only possible if your heating element is easily controlled.

After you fill your bags, slam them bottom side down onto the floor and fold them over. Less air = better. No water pooling at the bottom = best and absolutely neccesary. I use office clips to hold the plastic down. Then wrap them in a fully damp cloth towel.

Bags break for primarily two reasons: most commonly by touching the hot metal of the pressure cooker, this happens because of 2) air and water vapor expansion. If the expanding gas causes the bag to touch the pressure cooker the bag will melt. If the bag expands too much, regardless of whether it touches the hot metal, it will burst.

Edited by YidakiMan (06/24/05 10:39 AM)

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Re: preparing 10 lb bag grain spawn questions [Re: YidakiMan]
    #4339577 - 06/26/05 05:47 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I am sorry, but I have to inject here. Bags do not melt when they touch the sides of a pressure cooker. I have a 24-quart Mirro and have packed spawn bags against the sides every since I first used it. I use the sides to fully support the bags and not once has a bag melted. It's a myth.

Now I bet I know how that myth got started: if a bag touches the BOTTOM or the pressure cooker runs dry, that's totally different. The bottom of the pressure cooker can get hot enough to melt the plastic if enough water is pushed aside by the bag or if the water runs dry. The sides can also melt the bag if the water runs dry. But under normal circumstances, the sides are limited to the temperature of the bottom, the bottom is limited to the temperature of the water pooled on it, and the water is limited to the pressure to about 250F under 15 PSI, which is not hot enough to melt the spawn bags.

Edited by Blue Helix (06/26/05 05:48 PM)

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Amazon Shop: ½ Pint Jars, Gypsum, Paul Stamets, Pressure Cooker

Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Cultivation

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