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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Agar, Brown Rice Flour, Cordyceps, HEPA Filter, Paul Stamets, Pressure Cooker, Rye Grain, Wild Bird Seed

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OfflineSuntzu
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fool proof birdseed method * 2
    #644625 - 05/25/02 11:55 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Pictures are worth a thousand words, I hope someone gets something from this. It?s extremely easy, as long as attention is paid to a couple of things;

1. Some kind of filtration system; FP, etc. filter disks and plastic lids are a fantastic combination. Polyfill and other filters work as well if done right.
2. Attention to the cooling phase of PC?ing. I believe this is where a lot of birdseed failures occur, along with significant departures from proper water content. At the very least, wrap an alcohol, 10% bleach, or other liquid-soaked wrag around the air intake of the pressure cooker. Let it cool in as clean of a place as possible, even a small hepa running in a dirty bedroom will suffice.

This is the quickest, no-mess method I?ve found for preparing birdseed jars. Not much to clean up, not a lot of grain down the disposal.
The type of birdseed really makes no difference, as long as you try for the lower sunflower seed brands. They are usually a mix of millet [the lighter colored, smaller grains] and milo [I think that?s it, the larger brown, BB-sized grains]

First, about 3 liters of mixed wild birdseed is submerged under lukewarm tap water. It is stirred for half a minute or so.



A handstrainer is a very useful item for this work. It can be used to skim some of the surface floaters--which include almost all of the sunflower seeds. No need to remove them all, only when in large numbers do they seem to cause problems. Notice the murky brown water. This wash contains a high number of bacterial endospores, mold spores, and ammendments/dust that can make the spawn sticky, and seemingly more susceptible to contaminants.



While submerged, the grain slurry can be poured through the handstrainer.



Once filled, the faucet is run over the strainer, giving a second rinse. This is then deposited in a separate mixing bowl. This is repeated until all the grain is washed.



Water added to the original slurry makes pouring it into the strainer easy and mess-free:



Grain is added to the jars to between 1/3 and 1/2 jar volume. It isn?t too important how much, though too much above 1/2 full can make the jars too full and difficult to shake. Vary this depending on inoculation methods.

Important: When adding water to the rinsed grain, it should be ?knocked? a few times as the water level rises. This causes any major air pockets to settle giving a more accurate indication of water height.



The grain and water amounts are never measured, which is partly laziness, partly never-needing-to after doing it this way. If too much water is added, you can tilt the jar slowly and drain a little. This process could be sped up with pre-fashioned measuring devices, however rinsed grain never really ?measures? that well. It sticks and makes a mess.
As the following pic shows, there can be differences in grain amounts used as long as the relative height of water-to-grain is similar. The black lines were drawn to the water levels "post-knocking".



After adding water to the last jar, go back to the first one and give each a final knock, making sure the ?water line? is where it should be before loading the PC. I recommend 15 PSI for one hour, start timing when the needle hits 15.



The other big issue is inoculation technique, many good ones exist and the ones that work will vary between individuals. Personally, I make a slurry from agar growth and use it as liquid inoculum. Grain-to-grain is easy and shows quicker take-off growth, but requires a slight bit more technique, as the jar lids tend to be open for a longer time. Whatever you do, plan every hand motion in advance of opening any jar, so that the transfers/inoculations can be done quickly and with as little air movement as possible. This will allow predictable success in most lysol/glovebox systems, less attention to detail needed if using a well set up flowhood.



Some jars, left to right: Maitake [with a few dowels mixed in], Hericium, Cordyceps, and Morchella angusticeps. The jar in front was a jar prepared as in the above pics, with somewhat more sunflower seeds. . .3-4 hits after cooling and the grain comes apart with ease.

Good luck


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InvisibleDreaMaTrix
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644637 - 05/25/02 12:04 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

This is one very coool post!!

Thanx for taking the time and effort to share!!



Good luck



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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644699 - 05/25/02 12:52 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks Stunzu. You kick ass!!! I will be transfering wedges to 2 quart jars prepared via your instructions a couple of days ago. I?ll keep you posted.

Joshua


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OfflineTheShroomHermit
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644704 - 05/25/02 12:58 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

looks very easy.
thanks for the convincing post!!!


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Offlinebravar
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644823 - 05/25/02 03:01 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for posting this..Ive had trouble with birdseed jars in the past..but this
method seems pretty easy. Do you think 1 hour+15 minutes would be sufficient if i use a vegtable steamer?any input would be appreciated..thanks


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Invisibleangryshroom
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644856 - 05/25/02 03:26 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Awesome post man.

So in estimation, how much water to grain ratio do you use? I thought this was rather important.


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OfflineDex_Detrimental
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #644950 - 05/25/02 05:38 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Great post, Suntzu.

I think I will try this.

Are those radishes or cherries in your sink?

LOL



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OfflineSuntzu
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Dex_Detrimental]
    #645035 - 05/25/02 06:58 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for the complements, there really is nothing special here. I just don?t remember any recent birdseed prep pics, Una had some nice rye ones awhile back if I remember right.

bravar, without a pressure cooker birdseed can?t really be recommended. There are methods of sterilizing without one, the two that come to mind are tyndallization and post-pasteurizing peroxide treatment [effectiveness unknown to me]. Pressure cooker is pretty much part of the game, IMO.

They?re radishes


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OfflineC12H17N204P
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #648080 - 05/27/02 04:01 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Very impressive and I love the pics. I?m gonna try this tek out for myself. I?ve always wanted to try birdseed as a substrate and you info makes me feel like I can accomplish it. Thanks much


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My senses are not dulled, I simply see clear"

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OfflineDinoMyc
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #662836 - 06/04/02 03:45 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Two thumbs up!
I?m sure this will help many people.
Since this is the standard cult forum, I?ll make the following reccomendation to all up and coming mycologists:
two excellent books on the subject, pretty much default books for all cultivation mycologists:
The Mushroom Cultivator, by Staments and Chilton (abbr. TMC)
and Growing Gormet and Medicinal Mushrooms, ?? ?? (GGMM)
enjoy, and good luck to all.


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If I made affirmation, I apologize.
I merely came to listen, came to say.


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Offlinedi11rod
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #663043 - 06/04/02 06:24 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Sun,

thanks a lot for illuminating this procedure. It?s been very problematic for me and I have recently abandonded it due to the high percentage of gross sludge jars I?ve turned out.

The thing I?m curious about is this water level, though. From your markings on the jars, it looks like you are creating a very wet mix. If you can see water up to that line, then I?d think this is so saturated that the mycellium will take forever to colonize. How long did it take those jars in the pics to colonize like that? Every other mycellium culturing tek out there cautins agains using too much water in the substrate. Yours seems to contradict this warning. Please give some more detail on the approximate water amounts you?re using.


appreciatively,

di11rod


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Invisiblemushie
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: di11rod]
    #663116 - 06/04/02 07:26 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I did birdseed yesterday and I got a big mass of birdseed sludge. It looked like glue in the bottom. what part did I miss


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OfflineSuntzu
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: mushie]
    #663132 - 06/04/02 07:51 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

One thing that I might have overlooked is the percentage of millet vs. milo of various birdseed mixes. The measurements used in the pics above gave perfectly shakeable spawn with no sludge, but the birdseed used was the cheapest stuff on the shelf, not the higher millet content [i.e. NICER] stuff like Hartz etc.
Since millet is a smaller grain than milo, the ?water level? type of measurement will likely have to be adjusted if you use the nicer mixes. Specifically, if you have a 100% millet jar, the water level would have to be closer to 1/2 the height of the grain I would guess. A jar of millet-only is just more more dense, and the ?height of water to grain? is absolutely dependent on the density of the grain used.
One other thing to keep in mind, as Josh pointed out, is that allowing the grain to sit submerged for any length of time will cause it to absorb appreciable amounts of water, once again making it necessary to adjust the water height.

I apologize for not catching this obvious oversight, the variety of grain percentages in ?birdseed?. The good news is that the method above will still work, just lower the water level. Make sure to knock the jars to ensure the grain is settled before adding water. There could very well be some other factor that lets me use that water level, but I?m sure I?d get colonizeable grain if I added an entire inch less. I measured it out the other day for the heck of it, and using the birdseed above with the same water levels came out damn close to a 2:1 ratio of seed to water. This is of course, nearly dry seed--it sits submerged for no more than 5 minutes while being strained.

It?s a real individual thing with all the different products out there; If finding the sweet zone is still tough, go ahead and run a batch with measured out rinsed grain, and measure out differing amounts of water to each one. Keep a simple set of notations so you know which one hit it right on, giving easily-shaken, non-burst spawn. Duplicate that one and you should be off and running for a full load right away [the same day, even].


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Offlineavarrin
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #663554 - 06/05/02 05:30 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Great post... very informative, thank you! But you did not mention when to shake your jars... you mentioned something about having a cloth with alcohol on it while cooling.. but do you shake your jars RIGHT as soon as your done (and the needle is at 0) or do you wait unitl it is fully cooled?

~ava


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Offlinehispeed67
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #663840 - 06/05/02 09:44 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

what I usually do when changing birdseed type is I weigh 225 grams of birdsee into 6 quart jars. Then, I add 150 grams of water to a jar, 160 grams of water to another jar, etc... so, I have between 150 and 200 grams of water in the jars....I label the jars with a marker and pc them for an hour...i select the best jar and use that ratio for the rest of the bag of birdseed..... have to do this for each bag, but I use 25 lb. bags, so it isn?t too often.


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OfflineSalsaShark
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: hispeed67]
    #663926 - 06/05/02 10:40 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Would it be better to just go to a health food store and buy organic millet and just use that instead of birdseed? I was at a store today picking up supplies for a few different teks and noticed they had millet for pretty cheap. I lost the sheet I wrote what I needed on and totally forgot the damn rye berries

Also health food stores are where I get my whole grain brown rice and a few other items. I feel better using that instead of Uncle Ben?s


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: SalsaShark]
    #676019 - 06/13/02 06:29 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

The millet at healthfood stores is usually hulled millet, meaning w/o hull. You do not want to use that kind. If my town has a bird store, I?m sure most towns w/ a decent population do. Try to either get millet w/ hulls or a birdseed mix w/ lots of millet in it.

I followed this tek a while back w/ great success. Thank you Suntzu!

Joshua


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"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: avarrin]
    #681149 - 06/16/02 12:28 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Shake the jar as soon as your pressure equalises. This will mix the dry top portion of seeds with the moist bottom portion and make your moisture even.

Joshua


--------------------
The Shroomery Bookstore

Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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OfflineAnnoA
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Joshua]
    #719712 - 07/03/02 09:15 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

This is likely (next to the amoount of water used) the most important thing with all grain preparations.


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OfflineKingBolete
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Re: fool proof birdseed method [Re: Suntzu]
    #719775 - 07/03/02 09:57 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Hey there,

I assume using the plastic lids and filter disks requires you to remove the lid and disk to inject the agar slurry (can you give some details on the preparation of your agar slurry i.e. technique etc.) you prepared...is that correct? Do you use a box or do you think the oven tek would work at this point? That is a nice size PC...one these days I might have enough money for one of those bigger units that hold quart jars. Thanks for the informative post!

Best regards,

KingBolete


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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Agar, Brown Rice Flour, Cordyceps, HEPA Filter, Paul Stamets, Pressure Cooker, Rye Grain, Wild Bird Seed

Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Cultivation >> Mushroom Cultivation Archive >> Substrates

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