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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 1
Last seen: 21 years, 1 month
Newbie Questions I couldn't find answers in FAQ.
    #758042 - 07/19/02 02:36 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Hi all!. I've spent about a week researching different methods of growing shrooms and have been reading various teks and FAQ's, and I am looking forward to the arrival of my spores which were ordered from PF Fanaticus a few days ago. By the way, I love this site and the wealth of info contained here. It is simply the best on the net! I have some questions and would appreciate some expert advice.

1) How long do you need to wait for the syringe needle to cool after heating/sterilizing it with a flame? Minutes? Seconds? I don't want to risk killing spores by injecting too early, and I don't want to wait so long as possible contaminants might land on the needle while waiting to make sure it is cool enough.

2) I've read that it is okay to wait a few days (or weeks?) after sterilizing jars to see if contams develop before actually innoculating the jars. I'm wondering if I can go ahead and sterilize some jars now while waiting for the spores to arrive then injecting the jars when they get here. Would you recommend doing that? The advantage as I see it is that jars that might be contaminated would be discovered and discarded before wasting any spores on them, but by waiting do I run the risk of drying the jars out prematurely? Also, any ideas on how long I might expect the turnaround time to receive my order from PF Fanaticus?

3) I am considering using the pot boiling method of sterilization, and I read that pre-baking the vermiculite and brown rice flour 300 degrees F. for 20 minutes prior to mixing the substrate will reduce the occurrence of contams. Has anyone else tried this, and does it make a big difference? Also, assuming I follow the tec to the letter using the boiling method, what percentage of my jars would I reasonably expect to have to discard due to contams?

Thanks for any help or advice you might have to offer!

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Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 196
Loc: Philadelphia area
Last seen: 16 years, 4 months
Re: Newbie Questions I couldn't find answers in FAQ. [Re: wildcardflush]
    #758071 - 07/19/02 03:19 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

I'm a newbie myself, but I can help with a couple of your questions. P.F. turnaround times are very fast. I ordered mine last tuesday and they came this wednsday (8 days) and I live across the country near Philadelphia. Sterilizing ahead of time seems like a good idea to avoid wasting spores on jars that will be ruined by contamination. Also, as soon as your spores come you can innoculate without having to prepare the jars and wait for them to cool. I did this myself. I pressure cooked them last friday and innoculated the following thursday. None of them looked or smelled bad. I've read that often you can see or smell the contamination within 3-5 days and just redo those jars. They didn't appear to dry out appreciably in the 6 days they sat waiting.

Say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Yes, I've been eating them, for six or seven weeks now, haven't got sick once.

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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 104
Loc: h-town
Last seen: 16 years, 1 month
Re: Newbie Questions I couldn't find answers in FAQ. [Re: funwithgus]
    #758121 - 07/19/02 03:59 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Good questions:

first of all Follow teks as precisely as possible. Pick one and stick to it. do not deviate and start making up stuff as you go..you will be able to do that later when you gets good.

I would not wait real long to innoculate after boiling...I usually let it cool down overnight and next morning noc em up. I be very impatient and I don't want to take any chances of drying out. Once that mycelium takes over more moisture appears. But I don't think it harm will them otherwise. Someone may have another opinion.

As far as baking substrate before boiling ..mmmm...It seems a bit much since you will be boiling it for an hour anyway...Seems like you will be double cooking it. I guess it would be alright, but I haven't seen that in any teks(I like to stay close to a tek) but I have not seen them all.

Again these are my opinions-you get lots of opinions from different folks.

back to my closet

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Dead wishes

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1,506
Loc: A universe right next to ...
Last seen: 16 years, 11 months
Re: Newbie Questions I couldn't find answers in FAQ. [Re: wildcardflush]
    #758148 - 07/19/02 04:16 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)


1) I used to have the same question, until this forum informed me of another way: flame the needle until its extremely hot and its color is red. dont do that only on the edge, but more of it, because you may want the needle to be as far down inside the cake or grains as possible. after flaming, have a napkin [or clean piece of cloth] ready which is soaked to alcohol or spirit, but dont use lysol or dettol because it kills spores. put the red needle on the napkin and wipe it off once or twice: the needle is cool enough and you can immediately proceed to innoculation.

2) the method u are referring to is proposed as a CHECK to your whole working method, so it may be cool to do it once at the beginning, to ensure that you are doing all sterilization procedures OK. but imho, there is no point of doing this every bloody time you prepare a jar, because no matter how good is your sterilization, even if there is a tiny hole on the lid of a jar full of baked food will eventually rot [attacked by contaminants] unless kept frozen lol and this can happen even in e.g. a month time. so imagine having a jar that isnt yet colonized but contaminants attacked later on. if you havent lost time checking, there is a hope that your jar could be 100% colonized before any contaminants enter or reach a dangerous number [which is more accurate]. so if you have time and feel like it, proceed and do the test. but i dont think that you should do it all the time.

3) imho, there is no other such good way as sterilization on a pc. i have read that pf cakes can be sterilized without a pc, but i am absolutely sure that working on rye grains is followed by a must-have pc [pressure cooker].of course, if you dont have one and cant afford to buy, you should start with pf cakes which are safer somehow.

thats all i know

athens, greece

The living ghost of Kykeon

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