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I've been thinking about bulk techniques, and have been wondering if there isn't a better (than rye) substrate as a primary mycelial expansion medium (after agar or spores, before bulk compost, woodchips, straw, grass seed or whatever fruiting substrate a particular species prefers.)
Rye is ideal nutritionally, but it is problematic due to its high endospore count and large size. The size issue is particularly important here because as an intermediate substrate, one would want to maximize the mumber of points of innoculum. The mycelium remains on the outside of the kernels, so the greater the number of kernels, the greater the total surface area, the more points of innoculum. This would both reduce the time it takes to fully colonize the substrate, and for it to subsequently colonize the bulk substrate. (Rapid colonization would further reduce contamination by competitor organisms, another plus.)
Nutrition is not as important, since the fruiting nutrients would be derived from the bulk media, so all that would be necessary is to have an intermediate substrate that would be well-accepted by a wide range of species/strains, a sort of universal grain based mycelial expansion substrate.
So, my questions:
Does millet seem like a good candidate for this tek? Is there something else that might be better? What is the consensus on millet use? Steeped/pc'd? Pc'd raw w/ a spec. volume of H20? Mixed with vermicutlite or other absorptive material to make shakeable?
Time cut by using the smaller kernals is minimal, larger kernals means more air between the kernals, which is what the verm. would do. The millet is shakable already and by addidng verm you would just be making a cake. I assume that because you are talking of useing bulk substrate that it also means your not using 1/2 jars. Idealy the best jars, imo, would be quart sized jars because of the capacity for holding the most anount of substrate with also the most air volume. If you talking bags then I have no experience. Right now I have two jars of yellow Millet going, cooked for 30 minutes, and then pc'd for 1 hour, and are growing out nicely. But compared to my other jars that have finch seed, which is essentially the same thing, and my jars of rye it seems slower. I think if you goint to use millet why not just use birdsed? It has a few more grains in it, time tested, and works excellently- as well or even better than rye. PLUS its dirt cheap, $10 for a 50lb bag. I haven't used it to spawn any bulk substrates but from what pictures I have seen it seems to do great.
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