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Invisiblemycocurious
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How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... * 2
    #7514176 - 10/13/07 11:49 PM (16 years, 7 months ago)

It's been a while since I posted anything of real substance and because I happened to have a decent camera handy I figured I'd go through the hell that it is to create a pictorial journal. Besides, I've been hemming and hawing about using homemade compost and I figure it's only fair that I show some images...

Before We Begin...


Before you begin, know how much you need and what you'll be working with...by volume! For my needs[1] I know that I'll need 21 quarts of compost, 21 quarts of coir. Also to prepare my coir I know I will 1 quart (roughly 5%) of garden gypsum, 7 quarts (roughly 33%) dry used coffee grounds and 3 quarts (roughly 15%) fully hydrated vermiculite. Those mud mixing tubs are less than $5.00 at your locale (orange) big-box hardware store and hold about 7 gallons worth of material. They make very bad substrate trays but they're super for mixing things together...the buckets keep things handy and tidy in between steps.


Preparing Coco-Coir As A Substrate


The very first thing you should notice is that this coco coir was hydrated the night before using nearly boiling hot water, and the bare minimum required. I hydrated 1.5 bricks and used less than 2 gallons of hot water to do it. I then let it steam dry in one of those mud tubs which is set on an angle to allow any excess water drain down to one side. You want your coco coir to be as dry as possible before you start your work... Might seem like a pain, but if you have every tried to mix in gypsum to coir that is too wet, you'll know how easily it clumps with the slightest contact to moisture.

Use 5% Gypsum By Volume


This is where having dry coco-coir comes in handy... Compare the two pictures and look how evenly the gypsum is mixed in. This is done slowly, quarter quart at a time of gypsum per 3rd of the bucket of coir. If the coir was too wet from being hydrated too recently the gypsum would form little plaster-like clumps and would not provide nearly the beneficial properties to the substrate.

33% Used Coffee Grounds By Volume


Again, I poured a 3rd of our coco-coir back into one of the mud tubs and then mixed in 2 & 1/3rd quarts of dry used coffee grounds (free via the Starbuck's "Grounds for Gardens" program) until all 7 quarts (33%) of the coffee grounds have been uniformly mixed into the coir.

Hydrate Your Vermiculite To Field Capacity


Before we mix in our vermiculite we have to hydrate it to field capacity. To do that, I slowly pour water into the bucket containing the 3 quarts of vermiculite, stirring as I go until it gets just the slightest bit "sloshy" and then I transfer it, a handful - squeezing gently each time - at a time, to a colander to allow any extra water drain out while I take the time to hydrate my coir...

Hydrate Your Coco-Coir To Field Capacity


Field capacity is defined as that point at which the coir does not release any water when held unless squeezed firmly and then only a small rivulet/stream of a couple drops of liquid will escape. It can be described to death but the first you hold some in your hand and squeeze it you'll quickly learn how to gage this. The coir will not be wet and will only damp to the touch. Again, while you don't see the work in the pictures, those mixing tubs are invaluable for having enough working room to mix the water in slowly and thoroughly until you arrive at just the point where a good hard squeeze will cause a little stream of moisture out of your coco-coir.

15% Vermiculite By Volume


Give the colander with the vermiculite in it a good "gravity drop" or two to shake out any extra moisture that might not have dripped out yet and slowly and thoroughly mix that into your coco-coir. If you're only using coco-coir, you're done here. It's time to (steam) pasteurize your substrate and once cooled, spawn it however you'd like.

Working With Homemade Compost


Composted by yours truly, this is my favorite concoction. (oak leaves, watermelon rinds, cantaloupe rinds, honeydew rinds, banana peels, used coffee grounds, random veggie scraps...all kinds of yummy things to eat) I posted a thread a month or so ago about how to build a small 30-gallon composting drum out of a garbage can - well, this is the finished product.

Start With Dry Compost


To dry the compost I just placed it in two of the mixing tubs after it was harvested out of the compost bin. I let it sun-dry in those tubs for a couple days, mixing it once or twice a day to help speed the drying up. The faster it dries the healthier it will be too because as soon as you take it out of the actively composting pile it becomes susceptible contamination by anaerobic bacteria in it's cold, wet state. It also preserves the healthy, desired thermophillic bacteria by sending them into dormancy...OK, I'm geeking out again, anyways, make sure it's thoroughly dry before beginning to prepare it.

5% Gypsum By Volume


Once again, when it's dry it's easy to mix it in thoroughly. Since I have 21 quarts of compost I've added 1 quart (5%) of garden gypsum. Compare the two pictures closely and you'll see how thoroughly distributed the gypsum is to the dry compost.

Hydrate Compost To Field Capacity


Using my handy-dandy mixing tubs I slowly add water to the compost until I reach field capacity. It's going to be a different amount of water every time so I don't want to give you a value but to give you a "ballpark figure" it took a little over a gallon of water to fully hydrate the 21 quarts of compost.

----
There you have it, tomorrow when my upload-limits reset, I'll post another tek-like thread showing how I took mixed that coco-coir and compost, 50%/50% by volume, and bagged it to be steam pasteurized. I'll also go over the spawning technique and some of the specs on my pasteurizer - which was in no way my idea but it's works and it's dependable.

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[1] If you're interested in the math to figure out how much substrate I'd need, read on...

All of the calculations in determining how much substrate, how much rye grains and how much casing layer you'll need are all inter-related and the accurate your calculations the less time and money you'll waste.

A helpful Tip: Allow yourself at least a 5-10% margin of error on the "too much" side...whether you think you'll need it or not.


How Big Is Your Tray?

This is the cornerstone for all of my measurements. In my case I picked up a bunch of the dishpan tubs (11.5 as listed on label) from my local dollar store. When I got them home, using dry compost, I measured out 7 quarts to give me a minimum depth of 3". Because I always maintain a 4::1 ratio on my substrate to spawn ratio I knew in advance that I would then need 1.5 quarts of spawn for each tub...and you can be sure that since we had a minimum depth of 3" dry, that after it's wet and filled with spawn it'll be closer to 4.0-4.5" - which is ideal. But if you look closely, right there we have two of our three important measurements.

Substrate = 42 quarts = 7.0 quarts x 6 trays
Rye Spawn = 9 quarts = 1.5 quarts x 6 trays
Casing Mix = 9 quarts = 1.5 quarts x 6 trays

This is where the calculations can get fun. Most people will tell you that your casing layer should only be 1/2"-3/4" in depth...but everyone talks to you in quarts. However, if you take the measurements of your tray in length and width, you can determine the cubic inches.

Length x Width x 0.50"
13" x 12" x 0.50" = 78 cubic inches.

If you go to google.com and type in "78 cubic inches in quarts" it will tell you the answer is 1.35 quarts per tray and I rounded up a little to 1.5 quarts per tray for overage just in case.


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:justdontknow: Don't mistake my tone for a "matter-of-fact" attitude.  I'm just presenting what I believe to be correct, until I'm corrected...

- How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates
- How Myco-Curious Builds A Bulk Humidifier
- How Myco-Curious Builds An Automated Greenhouse
------------------------------------
figgusfiddus said:
Keep in mind that inoculating or whatever in front of a flow hood won't help your bad substrate, your bad inoculant, your bad sterile procedure, etc. etc. etc. It's not a +3 flowhood of magic, it's just a tool.

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OfflineCrazyEarl
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #7515747 - 10/14/07 01:05 PM (16 years, 7 months ago)

exelent writeup...ill be showing this to my friend...any pics of mush grown on your sub? hows it fare compared to straight hpoo/straw/coir subs as far as yields?


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Invisiblemycocurious
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: CrazyEarl]
    #7516358 - 10/14/07 03:57 PM (16 years, 7 months ago)

in past experience, it's nutritional content is comparable to h/poo in terms of flush count and density.  as for this batch, well, updates to follow :yesnod:


--------------------
:justdontknow: Don't mistake my tone for a "matter-of-fact" attitude.  I'm just presenting what I believe to be correct, until I'm corrected...

- How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates
- How Myco-Curious Builds A Bulk Humidifier
- How Myco-Curious Builds An Automated Greenhouse
------------------------------------
figgusfiddus said:
Keep in mind that inoculating or whatever in front of a flow hood won't help your bad substrate, your bad inoculant, your bad sterile procedure, etc. etc. etc. It's not a +3 flowhood of magic, it's just a tool.

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Offlineresptodd
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #7533306 - 10/18/07 09:50 PM (16 years, 7 months ago)

Thank you, I a NewB, but have decided to go straight to, grain/myc to bulk compost. Your post is helpful.


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Damn! I'm having fun! Just keep the GD monkeys away.

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Invisiblestinkbuttdog
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 514
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #7780178 - 12/20/07 01:11 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Compost!? Awwwwwwwwww yeah... EVERYBODY LOOK, COMPOST!!! Recommended... case closed!

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InvisibleFooMan
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #7780227 - 12/20/07 01:42 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

mycocurious said:
I posted a thread a month or so ago about how to build a small 30-gallon composting drum out of a garbage can - well, this is the finished product.





I searched... and searched for this post. I give up. Where is it?


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

Quick WBS Prep

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InvisibleCrake
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: FooMan]
    #7780256 - 12/20/07 01:54 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)



--------------------
MANGO

Snowman wakes before dawn. He lies unmoving, listening to the tide coming in, wave after wave sloshing over the various barricades, wish-wash, wish-wash, the rhythm of heartbeat. He would so like to believe he is still asleep.

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InvisibleFooMan
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Crake]
    #7780286 - 12/20/07 02:14 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

So does that mean that if I eat shrooms and shit them out, then compost the shit and feed it to more shrooms that I'll get Mad Shroom Disease? Just a thought.


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Quick WBS Prep

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InvisibleCrake
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: FooMan]
    #7780290 - 12/20/07 02:17 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

:doggull: You get one dogull for saying that...:tongue2:


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MANGO

Snowman wakes before dawn. He lies unmoving, listening to the tide coming in, wave after wave sloshing over the various barricades, wish-wash, wish-wash, the rhythm of heartbeat. He would so like to believe he is still asleep.

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OfflineNibin
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Crake]
    #7780370 - 12/20/07 03:32 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

You might be able to use human scat for composting but I would not grow mushies myself on any meat eating animals dung. Too many nasties in that.


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Newcomers guide-----> For all things shroomy

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InvisibleCrake
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Nibin] * 1
    #7780386 - 12/20/07 03:46 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this. It is an opportunity for all to save on a particularly polluting facet to quote/unquote "NORMAL" (HA!) living. I can't help but laugh when someone says normal these days... how misleading, my God! Anyway, please don't say "Nay" as this may well be a beneficial way for people to do the unthinkable, which is use their own dung for propagating mushrooms. You are right to point out the meat eating aspect though, this IS a potential bio-hazard issue in the wrong hands as someone probably WILL poison themselves with this method. I will state that all things within human grasp may and will be abused or misused, so this to be expected. Understand I am hugely into Darwin and am a zealous believer in evolution and it's continuing impact on human evolution and development.  Bottom line, don't be irresponsible with this method whatever you do, and understand compost before starting, please.

:doggull::doggull::doggull:


--------------------
MANGO

Snowman wakes before dawn. He lies unmoving, listening to the tide coming in, wave after wave sloshing over the various barricades, wish-wash, wish-wash, the rhythm of heartbeat. He would so like to believe he is still asleep.

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OfflineNibin
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Crake]
    #7780429 - 12/20/07 04:36 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Since cubes grow on herbivore poo in nature (they like to digest the undigested plant matter) and not on meat eaters poo there must be a reason for this.

On the other hand, humans digest plant matter very badly, a lot worse than cows, so if the human in question eats a lot of plant matter there will be lots left over in his/her poo.

I suspect that it might depend on the poopers diet, plus the amount of other plant matter you put in the compost.

I certainly wouldn't like to grow on the poo of someone who eats steaks and twinkies all day.


--------------------
Newcomers guide-----> For all things shroomy

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InvisiblePopACapInHisAss
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #8018457 - 02/13/08 04:47 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:


Those mud mixing tubs are less than $5.00 at your locale (orange) big-box hardware store and hold about 7 gallons worth of material. They make very bad substrate trays but they're super for mixing things together...




So, why do these make terrible substrate trays? Not tall enough?
Too brittle? What?

What if they were used in a highly customized Martha style setup
with a completely regulated environment?

I like the price and if they are what I recall they are very tough
and non-brittle compared to rubbermaid tubs and the like...

Also you mentioned something about steam pasteurization above.
Can you please fill me in on that tek?

Edited by PopACapInHisAss (02/13/08 05:25 PM)

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OfflineBigBlack81
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: PopACapInHisAss]
    #8050248 - 02/21/08 12:27 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

A question for you: do you just elevate one side of the mud bucket when letting the coir air dry? How do you do this? I'm having issues figuring out how this all works and a pic or a drawing would be helpful as I'm to use coir on my first  bulk work and it'd be mad helpful. :laugh:

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Offlinehauserss
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #18109303 - 04/14/13 05:51 PM (11 years, 1 month ago)

Great post

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OfflineMagsdarling
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: mycocurious]
    #23696355 - 10/01/16 05:58 AM (7 years, 7 months ago)

This is the most handy dandy recipe i have found.

Bump.

And if anyone can answer my newb questions on this..


So, i make and pasterice say an easy 20 quarts of coir recipe substrate. I inoculate 3 quarts. They end up being3/4 or full with mycelium.

I prepare the fruiting tray with the remaining 17 or so quarts..or really, as many quarts as i need to get a 3 inch depth in whatever size tray i use? That is correct? How wet do i want the substrate for fruiting? Just field capacity? And do i add a dry casing layer to the fruit tray, or is it unnessecary?

Also..i understand it is not nessecary to sterilze the fruiting try material since your adding mycelium cake crumbs that are already heavily established? Should i steam sterilize, or could i spray the fruting substrate with a water peroxide mix to minimize risk of contaminantes?

Edited by Magsdarling (10/01/16 06:09 AM)

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InvisibleInocuole
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Magsdarling]
    #23696381 - 10/01/16 06:27 AM (7 years, 7 months ago)

How is this recipe handy dandy?  33% coffee grains?  Steam pasteurization?  I'll fuckin pass.

You could just as easily prep coir any way at all without the coffee grounds or the need for pasteurization.

Some of these questions... are a little basic.  If you have to ask in a 3+ year old thread, then you should probably do more reading.

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/19140341#19140341
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11916595/fpart/
https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/22072628


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                            :rainbowdrink: Tea doesn't work?                            AMU  (Q & A)                  Grain prep for Intergalactic Space Oats :pes:     

Coir-ca-cola
Jokes are funny until they're about you

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OfflineMagsdarling
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Inocuole]
    #23696431 - 10/01/16 07:06 AM (7 years, 7 months ago)

1. Coffee grounds are free, easily accessible and full of nitrogen.

2. I dont have a pressure cooker or Electric- so fire to steam pasterize is my only option


This is my research. I ask questiona because as much as i can read and research, as you put it, this forun is here for that and is more accessible to me than loading page upon page upon page since, well, i live in the middle of nowhere.

Thanks for your concern though and the links!!!

Edited by Magsdarling (10/01/16 07:07 AM)

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InvisibleInocuole
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Magsdarling]
    #23696441 - 10/01/16 07:19 AM (7 years, 7 months ago)

The price of coffee grounds was never a concern.  The fact that they're basically an unnecessary mold magnet is a lot more of an issue.  At one point "free" becomes "8 jars of clean spawn lost to an unnecessarily risky bulk substrate mix".  For invitro teks I'd absolutely recommend coffee but I've found with actual bulk spawning that, even properly pasteurized, coffee has more of a negative effect on the bottom line than using something more expensive.  Shit in the air just loves coffee.  :shrug:

Suppose the coffee you got was sterilized before you ever got it.  Meaning, no beneficial bacteria to preserve by pasteurizing.  Further meaning, give it water and time, and it'll mold over.  Without quality control over your source, you won't really know for sure.

I would recommend coffee to people who are tired of growing successfully without a challenge, but not people who are trying to get their feet wet with growing.


--------------------
                            :rainbowdrink: Tea doesn't work?                            AMU  (Q & A)                  Grain prep for Intergalactic Space Oats :pes:     

Coir-ca-cola
Jokes are funny until they're about you

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OfflineMagsdarling
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Re: How Myco-Curious Prepares Coir & Compost Substrates... [Re: Inocuole]
    #23696658 - 10/01/16 09:48 AM (7 years, 7 months ago)

Aww. Eww. Haha. Thaannkk yoouu! That is an awesome help!!
<3

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