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OfflineZebedee
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Registered: 02/13/02
Posts: 9
Last seen: 15 years, 3 months
bad smell, no visible contam
    #555078 - 02/18/02 07:04 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Hello

This is my first post to the Shroomery, although I I?ve been following the forums for a while, and I'd like to thank everyone involved for helping me to learn so much.
I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on a weird contamination that I experienced recently. A set of PF jars, which appeared to be healthy, turned out when opened to smell like rotten fruit, with a vague whiff of ammonia. The mycelium was extremely dry: I had capped the jars with micron magic filter disks but had stupidly ignored the advice to keep jars prepared that way in a humidification chamber - they were kept in a home-made water-heated incubation chamber, but without humidification they went very dry.
I figured that if I cased the jars then either the smell would go away or the mycelium would prove itself to be as dead as I thought it was. Wrong - it started to colonise the casing soil vigorously, but the smell got worse. I kept one of the cakes to fruit uncased in a perlite terrarium, just to see what it did. It didn't do much for a while, taking a long time to re-hydrate, I think, but now it's pinning prolifically.
I searched on the contams forum for threads about similar experiences, and found that this was not a unique situation, and that other people in my situation had thrown away the offending casings. However, there wasn't much information proffered about the possible causes, apart from the suggestion that it may have been a yeast infection. I threw away mine, but I'm still intrigued that the other person who reported a similar experience to mine also reported that their mycelium was very dry.
I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on the possible nature of this contamination and any ways of avoiding it. I'm also wondering if there's an outside chance that it's not a contamination at all, but some reaction caused by the fact that the water in the bottom of the incubation chamber has bleach in it to keep it sterile, and the jars being capped only with thin filter disks may have let in a lot of the chemical-laden fumes.

Thanks for reading such a tedious post, if anyone has!



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Time for bed...


Edited by Zebedee (02/18/02 07:14 AM)


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Offlinefresh357
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Registered: 09/02/01
Posts: 493
Last seen: 15 years, 4 months
Re: bad smell, no visible contam [Re: Zebedee]
    #555477 - 02/18/02 05:32 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

bad smell = bacteria 99% of the time. This is bad, real bad. Even if you got them to fruit, you couldnt eat them without getting botulism or some bacterial infection.

cause could be, not enough time in sterilization, infection during your innoculation, etc.


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InvisibleInsomnia
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Registered: 07/18/00
Posts: 345
Re: bad smell, no visible contam [Re: fresh357]
    #555512 - 02/18/02 06:05 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Sometimes a "sharp" smell can be a result of other things. For example, I often use oven bags to sterilize casings. I set the oven for 275 and let it work for an hour. Sometimes when I open bag after cooling, the bag plastic smell sticks to the casing.

But as always, better safe than sorry.


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"If you believe in things you do not understand, you will suffer." ? Stevie Wonder


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InvisibletrendalM
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Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,978
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: bad smell, no visible contam [Re: fresh357]
    #555564 - 02/18/02 07:02 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Is botulism even a risk when growing mycelium? What I mean is: does botulism contamination ever happen when growing mushrooms in this manner?


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OfflineZebedee
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Registered: 02/13/02
Posts: 9
Last seen: 15 years, 3 months
Re: bad smell, no visible contam [Re: Insomnia]
    #561234 - 02/24/02 04:06 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Thanks for the advice folks. I think it was probably a case of under-sterilization.


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