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OfflineBlue Helix
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A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. * 13
    #4903105 - 11/07/05 02:54 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Why Use Spawn Bags?

Regardless of the type of mushroom that one wants to grow, spawn bags provide an excellent solution to handle many pounds of substrate in a totally sterile environment with relative ease. Spawn bags can be used to colonize either spawn or the final fruiting substrate (which can then be laid in a tray if desired). As a cultivation tool for the colonizing the fruiting substrate, spawn bags greatly simplify the process of bulk growing, reducing the chance of failure and speeding the growing cycle by one or two weeks since the spawning process is bypassed entirely.

The books covering spawn bag methodologies describe usage assuming one has access to a HEPA filtered flow hood, so one can easily be intimidated assuming spawn bags are in the domain of professional growers only. Nothing, though, could be further from the truth!

One doesn't need a HEPA filter as I show below, and using spawn bags is a pretty cheap way to make things a lot easier and less prone to contamination! Large spawn bags, holding over a gallon of substrate and complete with a breathing filter patch, can be had online for as little as a quarter a piece bought in bulk (see www.sporeworks.com). Additionally, a 12"-wide impulse sealer, as required to properly seal the bags, can be found on Ebay for about $25 plus shipping (look for one with a 2mm or wider seal). And once one is set up with spawn bags, a single large 140ml syringe injection can take the place of 80 or more smaller injections one would require using PF half pint jars, saving a lot of time. Below I have simplified the process of preparing spawn bags without the use of a HEPA filter using pictures.

Step 1 - Place duct tape covered by masking tape on the spawn bag directly opposite the filter patch (never cover or inject through the filter patch). Tape on the bag serves as an injection reinforcement platform. The footprint of the tape should be at least as big as the filter patch on the opposite side of the bag. Any other thick tape that can withstand pressure cooking can also be used. Although I do not have any experience with them, I have been told that some fancy foam tapes are self-sealing so that when the inoculation needle is removed they automatically seal shut. Such a tape could eliminate the need for hot glue as shown later.

Step 2 - Load the bags with the final fruiting substrate. The substrate should not appear significantly wetter on the bottom than the sides. Any sign of standing water is a sign of certain failure. The material should have a light and airy texture totally unlike mud. Vermiculite should be liberally added as needed to improve the texture of the substrate if required to achieve a light substrate.



Step 3 - Clean the inside flaps with a paper towel if necessary and tape the sides tidily if desired. Remember you'll want the bag flaps to lay flat like they came, not all wrinkled up, and you don't want substrate to impede forming an airtight seal so keep the inside clean.


Step 4 - Load the bags in the pressure cooker. The bags should be loaded such that the flaps are folded down the sides and flipped back up. You want to have easy access to the bag flaps so they can be sealed quickly and with little effort when the time comes. Put metal band separators between the bags to ensure even steam penetration. The bags can be against the pressure cooker walls, but if one has a gas stove, you'll need to elevate the floor separator an inch or two or else flames can lick the sides and cause the bags to melt. Multiple levels of bags should be rotated 90 degrees for better steam penetration.


Step 5 - Pressure cook the bags for 3 to 4 hours. If a single large spawn bag is used, one might be able to get away with only 2 hours.

Step 6 - Allow at least an hour for the cooker to partially cool. While the cooker is cooling, spray the room used for sealing the bags with Oust or Lysol to clean the air. Put on a facial breather mask and rubber gloves. Wash the outside of the gloves with rubbing alcohol. Bring the cooker in the cleaned room and seal the bags. The bags must be sealed without allowing any outside air in them. It is best to seal them without moving the bags or moving them as little as possible to prevent outside air from entering them.


Step 7 - Cooling and self-inflation of the bags. Inflation of the bags is essential to mixing the innoculants, so air must be encouraged to enter the bag through the fitler patch. The good news is that the bags will partially inflate on their own if hung up to cool. Rubber-footed wood clamps are great to hang up cooling bags so they may self-inflate.


Step 8 - Once the bags have totally cooled (12 hours) they can be injected with liquid culture. Again in a clean room sprayed with Oust and wearing facial mask and gloves, plug in your hot glue gun to heat it up. Using an alcohol-soaked cotton ball, rub the tape reinforcement injection site with rubbing alcohol. Inject through the tape reinforcement. Typically a large spawn bag can be injected with a full 140mls of live culture. After pulling out the needle immediately seal the hole with a blob of hot glue over the tape (this is not required for self-sealing tapes). Allow the glue to cool completely. Knead the contents of the bag mixing the inoculants throughout. Put the bags up and watch them grow! They should completely colonize in only 7 to 14 days! Once colonized the content can be used for spawn or laid in trays as a bulk substrate.



Edited by Blue Helix (11/07/05 04:08 AM)


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Invisiblejarroddupont
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 1
    #4903117 - 11/07/05 02:57 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Very nice...I can see this going into the Cult Archive once it's ran it's course!


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P. Cubensis Growth Parameters
"All mushrooms are edible, but some only once."
-- Croatian Proverb


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Offlineryonen
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 2
    #8690305 - 07/27/08 11:46 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Yo helix, sorry if this is a total noob question, but...I'm hoping there's no such thing as a stupid question.  I notice you didn't mention the incubation period for letting the mycelium grow with this method.  Do you need it at the usual temp (as per PF jar tek etc)or do you just keep the spawn bags at ambient once they've been injected?  Thanks for taking the time to answer...


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Offlineunderdwg
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: ryonen] * 2
    #8690391 - 07/28/08 12:04 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

it's a stupid question because this post is about 3 years old. And it appears to me that he is not incubating the bags just room temperature.

At any rate.. I am sure that after 3 years those bags are done and gone by now :wink:


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OfflineBlue Helix
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 2
    #8690799 - 07/28/08 01:27 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

This is an EXCELLENT question, so thank you for asking.  You should not keep the bags at an elevated temperature as you would with a small PF substrate half pint jar.  Bags like this produce a huge amount of internal heat, especially if the LC was very healthy and dense and you injected 100ml or more.  As a result, if you did heat the bag, the core temperature would soar to way over 86F, the ideal temperature.  Additionally, even keeping the bags touching is a bad idea because they can heat each other.  Today, I personally keep my bags separated by at least an inch and on a wire rack shelf in room temperature (75F or so).  This will keep the core from getting too hot.

Also, while we are here, I want to give you guys a great formula for a fruiting substrate for either cubensis or pan cyan (this fills about two large spawn bags half way):

Horse Manure 60  oz
WBS          15  oz
water        150  oz
vermiculite  2 liter
Final moisture content should be ~65% +/- 1% (ideal)


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OfflineTrippyhippie
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 1
    #9542799 - 01/04/09 11:42 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Blue Helix,

Yet another nu-be ?. If one was to use a One pound spawn bag, how many cc's would be needed to inoculate the bag?

1 cc= 1ml
Is this right, and if so how many cc's or in a syringe?


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OfflineCoffee
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. *DELETED* [Re: Trippyhippie] * 1
    #9542875 - 01/04/09 12:02 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Post deleted by Coffee

Reason for deletion: .



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Offlinefungiamongi2
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Coffee] * 1
    #9542919 - 01/04/09 12:11 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

trippyhippie, this thread is three yrs old


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OfflineBlue Helix
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Trippyhippie] * 2
    #9542966 - 01/04/09 12:22 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Trippyhippie said:
Blue Helix,

Yet another nu-be ?. If one was to use a One pound spawn bag, how many cc's would be needed to inoculate the bag?

1 cc= 1ml
Is this right, and if so how many cc's or in a syringe?




1cc of water is equal to 1ml of water, which at room temperature and sea-level pressure is about 1 gram of water.

A typical syringe is about 10ml.  There are many sizes, though.  Some big ass ones (mostly used for vet stuff) are 120ml.  The most common large ones you can find at most farmers supply are 60ml.

A pound bag is about the size of a small spawn bag.  How much liquid culture to use?  That's sort of a trick question since it depends on how dense the liquid culture is and how much assurance you want that it'll colonize well.  If you use too much liquid culture and the substrate moisture content is right to begin with, I wouldn't go over 60ml or so just so you don't get it too wet in there.  If it's pure grain spawn without vermiculite, maybe half that.  But you could also use 10ml of a dense liquid culture and get away with it.

So how much for a tiny one-pound spawn bag?  I don't know.  How much do you have?  I'd use at least 10ml for a pound spawn bag but less than 60ml probably.  20ml seems like a good number.


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InvisibledrSE
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 2
    #10365852 - 05/19/09 08:49 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

hate to bring back an old post but am i required to use an LC for this, or could i just inoculate it with a syringe?


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Offlinebluedavenger
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: drSE] * 1
    #10365987 - 05/19/09 09:17 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Uhh i thought that you use LC in the syringe...


--------------------
Lifes a b**** and then you die.
F*** the world lets go get high.
And if at first you dont succeed,
Try again with better weed!!!
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InvisibledrSE
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: bluedavenger] * 1
    #10366016 - 05/19/09 09:23 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

LC is a liquid culture.  doesn't that require agar work?  not just spores in distilled water which is what i am talking about


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InvisibleNuminosum
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: drSE] * 1
    #10366133 - 05/19/09 09:45 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yes, you need to use an LC for this. No this does not require agar. The
reason you need an LC is because you are using the final fruiting
substrate IE Hpoo. Because spores do not readily germinate in hpoo etc. you must use LC.

Now onto LC- there are many teks here to show you how to do this but long
story short an LC is when you germinate spores in a "honey water" sub.
look for karo tek I believe it is.


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InvisibledrSE
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Numinosum] * 1
    #10366236 - 05/19/09 09:57 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

thank you.  you have been most helpfull


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OfflineRedBombX
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: drSE] * 1
    #10402463 - 05/26/09 04:53 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I'm actually getting ready to start using this tek very soon and I was just wondering If one were to let the bag of WBS colonize sideways in a tray and then case with 50/50+.

Would I treat it just like any other casing? humidity and temp wise?


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Offlineveda_sticks
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: RedBombX] * 1
    #10402528 - 05/26/09 05:05 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

yes, fruiting conditions are the same whether you do cakes, cased susbtrates, or uncased


--------------------

PF TEK - writeup by EvilMushroom666
Lets Grow Mushrooms - RogerRabbit & RoadKills website with sample videos plus the full PF TEK video series. Alot of great information - BUY THE DVD
Cakes can and will pin! - So you think cakes suck for pins. Your wrong
Franks Simple Coir/Verm Tek
Franks Proper Pasturisation Tek
Franks Spawning To Bulk - Monotub
Professor Pinheads RTV Injection Port Tek
Foo Mans No Soak WBS Prep Tek


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OfflineRedBombX
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: veda_sticks] * 1
    #10402587 - 05/26/09 05:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

If i were to do this tek, would you recommend casing it or just letting it fruit uncased?


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Offlineaudiophoenix
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 1
    #10977523 - 09/01/09 05:22 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Blue Helix said:
Why Use Spawn Bags?

It is best to seal them without moving the bags or moving them as little as possible to prevent outside air from entering them.






I'm not sure if this would actually work but maybe before you put the bags into the PC you could seal the bag with a little bit of petroleum jelly and then roll it up a litte leaving just enough excess bag hanging out to seal it. I may use this Tech in the future and I think I will give that a shot. I have used petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to seal other things temporarily and it works pretty good. I just don't know how the heat of the pressure cooker would effect it.

... I don't really know if that is necessary or not, it just seems like a risk trying to make sure that air does not get into an unsealed bag. I imagine that is near impossible. Anyone try this and get contaminated?


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OfflineBlue Helix
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: audiophoenix] * 1
    #11020124 - 09/08/09 12:58 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

This thread is a bit old.  Today's spawn bags have very breathable filter patches which allow them to release steam fast enough so they can be sealed before cooking without risk of them exploding as the cooker cools.  They are called pre-sealable spawn bags, and I always seal before cooking now.


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OfflineTweexican
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Re: A pictorial to use spawn bags to grow pounds of mushrooms! No HEPA required. [Re: Blue Helix] * 1
    #11244090 - 10/14/09 05:26 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Blue I noticed that you said you are sealing before pressure cooking now.

I have been trying and trying and trying (wasting pounds upon pounds of rye) to get these bags right. I'm sure you can imagine how much time and effort is wasted when all the bags in a batch are having that sweet smell of bacteria.

Almost every single spawn bag that I make has been lost to bacteria. I even tried not innoculating one of the bags in a batch to see if maybe my sterile procedures are faulted. Sure enough that bag spoiled too.

A couple of people over at mycotopia have helped me a bit but I'm still having the same problem despite their help. I'll outline my procedure to see if you can help me out.

*************** THIS IS MY PROCESS *****************

1) 24 hour pre-soak of pure rye grain.

2) After the rye has been soaking for at least 24 hours, I load them into a large kettle and simmer for about 15 minutes. I am mindful to make sure the rye is not completely hydrated. I have been told to keep the grain drier than usual.

3) After the simmer, I drain the rye on a large 3'X3' screen I have built and let them sit for about 2 hours. (most of the time this is done outdoors)

4) After the grain has dried to the point that the surface of each grain has no appearance whatsoever of moisture I begin to load them into my bags.
**** Sandman over at Mycotopia has even hinted that adding dry vermiculite to the bags helps with the moisture problems. So I also add about 2 cups of dry coarse grade vermiculite per pound of rye.

5) Each bag is loaded so that all the substrate is at least 5 inches below the filter patch. (I'm wondering if I am filling my bags too much?)

6) Air is pressed out of each bag and then sealed with an impulse sealer> ( I often put two seals down just in case)

7)I I have the comparable to an AA940 (41QT) sterilizer. It has an inner lining that I put my bags into. I load the bags in careful to make sure that the top of the bag is folded down against the base of the bag with the FILTER sandwiched in between its top half and bottom.
**** IS THIS CORRECT???***

8) I stack the bags making sure to keep a jar ring in between each bag to make sure I have enough room for steam to get aroundt the entire bag.

9) I turn on my pc and let it heat up. Often times I will put the lid on and flip up both of the safety release valves.

***** per the late Agar's instructions I retro fitted my PC with two of the safety release valves to make sure I am not running my PC dry during sterilization cycles.
  Because of this I am finding that very little steam is escaping my PC. Almost all the water I use to sterilize is at the bottom of my liner (where the bags are held) at the end of the sterilization cycle.
Also, after the 90 min sterilization,  and after my pressure cooker has completely cooled, I am finding there is still lots of positive pressure inside my cooker. In fact, I can't open it until I pull up on my release valve and pressure is neutralized.
Any ideas on this?

Anyway, I next open my pc, slide the sleeve out and carry the bags to my flowhood. I then prep them for inoculation and set them aside and wait... only to find them spoiled within 5 days or so.

I am noticing a lot of moisture inside the bags. The rye grains  look very dry. but I see lots of condensation built up inside the bags (mainly at the top).

I have tried letting them dry for more than 2 hours, with multiple fans underneath and on top of the grains.

Nothing seems to be working and I am at my wits end. I still have about 50 pre-sealable bags and about 200 lbs of rye grain...



BlueHelix if you could give me ANY insight as to how you find so much success I would be forever grateful. Thank you.


-Tweex


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Edited by Tweexican (10/15/09 04:46 PM)


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