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Invisiblealtarego
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Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 130
Super Spawn? Maybe. **UPDATED 1/4**
    #492947 - 12/16/01 04:20 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

I apologize in advance for the excessive length of this one.

I recently found this PATENT concerning a newly developed mushroom spawn formula, and intrigued, I thought I'd give it a go with PC varieties.

I have long had bacterial problems with rye grain spawn, even after steeping periods and long cooking times, and liked this technique since it is designed to minimize contamination problems, and provide an equivalent (if not better) nutritional profile.

The idea is a sort of ?super spawn recipe,? one that has a number of useful features:

1. High number of inoculation points (esp. useful for use as a bulk inoculant.)
2. High nutrient contents, including both readily available nutrients as well as time-release nutrients, for longevity.
3. Rapid colonization, to beat competitor organisms.
4. Ease of steam penetration, for complete sterilization.
5. Improved aeration for rapid and complete colonization.
6. Improved structure, to eliminate clumping.

Here?s an excerpt with the important details:

In reply to:

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

. . .to provide performance at least equivalent to existing mushroom spawn formulas in the time to full colonization of the substrate.

. . . to provide the maximum number of points of inoculum in the mushroom substrate to reduce the time for full colonization of the substrate.

. . . to provide a formulated mushroom spawn with a high content of nutrients to reduce or eliminate the need to separately add a mushroom nutrient supplement.

. . . to provide supplementary nutrients to the mushroom substrate without a resultant detrimental increase in substrate temperature.

. . . to provide supplementary nutrients to the mushroom substrate without the need to treat the nutrients with pesticides, denaturants, or other chemical or physical treatments to eliminate the growth of competing microorganisms.

. . . to provide a formulated mushroom spawn that reduces the risks of sterilization failure and incomplete colonization of the mixtures by improving aeration of the mixtures and reducing the formation of clumps.

. . .When prepared and used as disclosed herein, the mushroom spawn reduces the time to achieve full colonization of the substrate and provides unexpected increases in mushroom yield and production efficiency. . . The invention provides a fully functional formulated mushroom spawn and mushroom supplement in a single ingredient. Because the spawn as disclosed is heavily colonized with mushroom mycelium, most foreign microorganisms cannot grow well on the material. Therefore, the invention also provides a mushroom supplement containing no pesticides, denaturants, or other chemical or physical treatments to control the growth of competing microorganisms and avoids deleterious increases in the temperature of non-sterile substrates.





The patent gives a long list of various recipes (it?s worth obtaining for that reason alone) as well as a history of mushroom spawn development.

This is the basic recipe:

Formula 83
______________________________________
Corn Gluten (60% protein) 30.2 g
Paper Pellets 14.5 g
Calcined Earth (8/16 mesh) 29.1 g
Feather Meal (15.4% nitrogen) 17.4 g
CaCO3 8.7 g
Water 75.6 ml
______________________________________
The nitrogen content of this formula is 6.39%.

Now you might ask, what are some of these ingredients and where might I find them? Well, it took me some time myself, but they are all available if you know where to look.

CORN GLUTEN:

This is the proteinaceous by product of the manufacture of corn syrup, and was a waste product until some smart person figured out that it was a potent and safe organic herbicide, useful on lawns and elsewhere to keep weeds down. Know why? Because fungi love the stuff, including the fungi that kill young plants by inhibiting proper root growth (it has no effect on healthy, fully grown plants). What?s cooler is that it breaks down slowly into a nice fertilizer (60% protein), so it even benefits the established plants.

Turns out all these features make it an ideal slow-release mushroom nutrient source.

It?s available under a number of brand names; the one I found is called ?CONCERN?.

FEATHER MEAL:

This is feather waste from the poultry industry. Chicken feathers are ground and heat treated, to make a high N fertilizer. This is the ?quick-release? N source.

This can be found from well-stocked garden supply centers, or online.


CALCINED EARTH

This took awhile to locate. It is also known as Calcium Bentonite, and it is high calcium clay that has been super heated (like perlite), which expands its structure and chemical composition.

It is used in industry for a number of things, including cat litter and spill absorbent, but the kind needed here is called ?Soil Conditioner? (it?s the same stuff they put on baseball fields to keep the rain from ruining the surface, and is also called ?TURFACE?). It is a granular material like course gravel, with water retention capability similar to vermiculite, but a more open structure (this is cited in the patent as one of the sources of high inoculation points.)

PAPER PELLETS:
I used 100% recycled paper pellet cat litter, the ?Good Mews? brand.

Water and CaCO3 are available from a number of sources.

So here are MY results so far, preliminary but promising.

I sterilized (1h @ 15psi) 7 quart jars each of pre-soaked rye grain + 1/4 tsp. CaCo3 vs. Formula 83 (as above, multipled to fill jars 2/3), and inoculated each with a healthy strain of PC (Ecuador). Two jars of each succumbed to contamination, and were discarded (likely reason, my lazy sterile techniques), and 5 of each look good. Here are some photos after approx. 3 weeks:

RYE GRAIN:




?SUPER SPAWN?




Notice that the rye grain, while healthy, is not fully colonized (the mycelium is ?wispy?), while the SS is dense and thick. The rye jars required at least one additional shaking, while the SS jars were shaken only once.

I thought these results were promising, hence this posting.

What to do next is three-fold:

1. I will use a jar or two to inoculate a bulk substrate to see how easily it colonizes (This is usually where my bacterial problems get out of hand. Jars of rye that seem totally healthy often prove contaminated with bacteria when I use them to inoculate bulk substrates.)

2. I will also fruit one of each of these to compare yields (I don?t yet know whether the SS will fruit, but given its vigor, I think it likely.)

3. I will also try other mushroom strains and species, to see if this would make universal bulk spawn substrate (?Ultra Spawn?)


Anyway, I thought I?d share this to see what others thought and to encourage further experimentation.

Lobster,
AE


Edited by altarego (01/04/02 03:11 PM)


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OfflineLarrythescaryrexS
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493138 - 12/16/01 08:06 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

what would the cost comparision be to more traditional substrates?

larry


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OfflineXxMuSHRooMHeaDxX
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493288 - 12/16/01 11:17 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Verry interesting , keep us posted on results.Peace


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: Larrythescaryrex]
    #493314 - 12/16/01 11:38 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Larry -

I meant to work that one out; thanks for the reminder. I'll get back to you, gotta check my figures.

- AE


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InvisibleOlgualion
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493364 - 12/17/01 12:33 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Sounds like a wonderful idea!

IMO it would be best suited for spawning straw or bags of grain. I think it would also be a great idea for spawning woodchips for azures.

I'd bet that if you try to fruit directly, yield would not be as high as with other substrates though.

Oq


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Offlineaka
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493540 - 12/17/01 06:25 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

what made u choose that particular formula out of the lot?
or is formula 83 supposedly the highest yeild, w/highest particle lvl?

also, would anyone like to comment on the importance of the Nitrogen lvl in this or any other tek, as i'm curious to know if that may make any diff to the out come of the final product in potency or taste


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: aka]
    #493563 - 12/17/01 07:36 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Form. 83 was the "representative" recipe, and I suspect it was the best they found.

As for N levels and thier effect on various quantities/qualities, I don't know yet, but will pay attention.

- AE


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493805 - 12/17/01 03:39 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Oh, one other interesting detail: The Super Spawn jars generate a lot of heat, (they are warm to the touch) while the rye jars don't.

Hmmm . . .

- AE


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: Larrythescaryrex]
    #493850 - 12/17/01 04:45 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Ok, I worked out the cost of this spawn recipe. It works out to around $1.25/lb, estimating on the high end (the prices of the various elements vary depending on where you get them.)

Rye grain is anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50/lb.

The question remains whether the SS will fruit on its own; if so, the relative value of rye vs. ss can be determined. If not, then it is only a qualitative difference it provides (faster colonization, lower contamination rates, etc.).

Rye probably costs me more in the long run, given the number of containers I chuck due to contams.

- AE


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OfflineDung_Lord
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #493855 - 12/17/01 04:51 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Why is rye so widly used if it contamiates so much, I have never really had any luck with rye for that reason even though I sterilized it for an hour at 15-20 psi.


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: Dung_Lord]
    #493942 - 12/17/01 06:27 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Well, despite its contamination problems, rye is a good substrate for a number of reasons:

1. It holds up nicely on cooking, so it doesn't clump or get gooey, making shaking and separation easy.

2. It has a good nutritional profile, higher in carbs and N than most other grains.

3. When cooked, it has a favorable moisture content (other grains are too dry or too wet for optimum mycelial growth.)

The bacterial problem is apparently endemic to rye, and, according to my friend who works with large scale growers, bacterial counts in rye have gone up over the years, requiring double the cooking times they used to see.

Another reason rye is not good is that the mycelium does not readily penetrate the outer coat, so the inside remains essentially uncolonized, leaving it for other organisms.

The advantage of ss is its very open porous structure, which allows the mycelium to penetrate all of it quickly.

A good way to minimize bacterial problems on grain is to soak it in hot water (pour the water hot, no need to keep it so) for 24h, then drain. It should be at the right moisture level, and have a slightly fermented smell (that's good, cause it means the spores have germinated, making them susceptible to sterilization.)

In most situations rye is used as a bulk innoculate for some other fruiting substrate. It's really only cubensis growers who fruit directly from rye.

- AE


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Offlinenewbiegrower
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #494348 - 12/18/01 01:10 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

I went and read the patent because I was having trouble finding calcined earth. It seems to me according to this sentence, "The selection of the appropriate particulate material for the specialty mushroom spawn formula is based on desired final product density, particle sizes, desired number of particles (points of inoculum), cost, ease of handling and use, and other characteristics. The spawn application equipment used by most mushroom growers is designed and optimized to deliver specific weights and volumes of grain spawn. High density materials such as calcined earth can be mixed with low density materials such as vermiculite and perlite to closely approximate the density of grain spawn in the finished spawn formula," that there is no reason to prefer calcined earth to perlit or vermiculite other than the fact that it works well with the equipment currently being used by large scale growers. Thus I suggest that rather than trying to find this calcined earth perlite could be substituted. This would definitely make the ingredients easier to find since all shroomerites know where to get perlite. In addition another promising source of calcium bentonite may be your local homebrewing store. It is used in the production of wine. also homebrew stores can be good sources of sterilizing equipment.

On another note I found a site that sells both corn gluten and feather meal.
http://www.extremelygreen.com/



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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #494380 - 12/18/01 01:34 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

You sound like you've got your shrooms all in a row. Great work.

Have you noticed a difference in contamination rates when soaking rye and when not?

I'm looking for a rye tech. I've looked around, all I find are brief references to the use of rye. I've purchased rolled rye. Do you think it will work as a substitute for whole rye?

Joshua


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Offlineaka
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: newbiegrower]
    #494410 - 12/18/01 02:11 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Newbiegrower, thanks for the link!!! thats a badass site, it's got just about everything one might need for the cultivation of any type of plant and fungal life.

everything!! hehe

HOWEVER, to answer to your post on the Calcined Earth subject.
I believe that the reason to use that as opposed to Perlite, is because of its small particle size as opposed to the chunky perlite, i know its not huge, but when u consider that the idea is to provide the maximum particles per mass of mixture that is where the choice is made.

for example, if u read the entire Patent article, u would've noticed that they mentioned that the optimum formula provided for 40,000+ particles per 100 grams of mixture, where as Rye would give apprx 1500 particles per 100 grams of mixture. If u consider that SURFACE area is what gets colonized, and colonized quicker when it's all closer together, that would explain why SS fully colonized MUCH quicker than Rye.

Also, Rye doesn't fully colonize on the inside of the seeds because of the protective coating. AND the average rye berry is 3-5 mm in diameter. As opposed to SS, which is based on exponentially more particles that are much smaller in diameter, and have no protective coating.

To get back to the point, PERLITE is not necessarily as big as Rye berries, but i would imagine it is on the average larger than calcined earth.

so.... in my untrained yet somewhat scientific eye, this still leads to the conclusion that Formula 83 is OFF DA HOOK! =]

peace out


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: aka]
    #494564 - 12/18/01 07:12 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Yes, Aka, that's right. Calcium Bentonite is very porous, much more so than verm or perlite (you can tell just looking at it.

I thought I'd have to find a substitute myself, but it turned out my local garden center had tons of the stuff, under the brand name I mentioned earier.

Also another source is from aquaculture suppliers; apparently it makes a good "soil" for underwater plant life.

Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention. Feather meal smells awful, like what you'd expect a chicken slaughterhouse to smell like, esp. after pressure cooking (leaving the pc closed until cooled helps some.) That's one ingredient that you might substitute if you're having trouble finding it.

- AE


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Offlineazurescen
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: Dung_Lord]
    #494741 - 12/18/01 12:56 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

do you use filter disks in your jars? with out the vermiculite layer, a filter disk would definitely reduce your bacterial contams. also, as soon as the jars look colonized, give them 2 more days to really work their way through the substrate.
I will be marking this thread so I can watch your results. I wonder how easy it will be to break up at the end.


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: azurescen]
    #494808 - 12/18/01 02:20 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

I think the reason for contamination is that the rye has contaminants inside of it (endospores). A filter disk would not help if contaminants are already in.

Joshua


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Offlineaka
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #494839 - 12/18/01 03:03 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

AlterEgo, and everyone else for that matter.
check out that site www.extremelygreen.com

they've got just about everything! with pretty good descriptions of their supplies as well. i checked out a few things, and found possible substitutes for CalciumCarbonate and mebbe vermiculite and others. there's something called Blood Feed too, with nigh Nitrogen content, which is only second best to Feather Meal and can probably be used in the same formula instead of FM.
this place can prolly provide for just about any experiment u might want to run, including the growing of green plants as well as fungal :)

aka


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Invisiblealtarego
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: aka]
    #495270 - 12/18/01 10:00 PM (14 years, 11 months ago)

Aka -

Thanks for the tip. The corn gluten they sell lists as "primarily" CG, whereas CONCERN is 100% CG. Probably not an issue, but being a control freak, I'd want to know what else is in there.

Oh, and today I innoculated 6 more jars, this time with Hypsizigus Ulmarius (Elm Oyster) agar wedges. They should do great.

I used less substrate per jar (the others were a little too full for my taste), multiplying the basic recipe by 10, and getting 6 (dry) cups, 1 per jar, with 125ml H20 each. When fully hydrated, the jars were 1/2 full.

- AE


Edited by altarego (12/18/01 10:04 PM)


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Offlineaka
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Re: Super Spawn? Maybe. [Re: altarego]
    #495477 - 12/19/01 01:16 AM (14 years, 11 months ago)

well, i didn't actually realise that there would be any additives in a product they sold as Corn Gluten :) which basically means that i'm now lookin to find Concern brand somewhere, or other source of corn gluten.
(altho it seems that Concern(R) sponsored Iowa U for this study in the 80's just for the rights to produce it right away and corner the market for pest control :)

now to only track down a store that carries it or website that delivers

thanks for the clarification, and if u can recommend any places of obtaining calcined earth, that would be greatly appreciated

aka


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