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i just wanted to share some recent disasters i have had happened to me while trying new methods. i hope more will share similar fuck-ups so we can all learn from our mistakes. i believe many are trying experiments which go wrong but they dont want to admit it (just like the gambler friend who always has a great story about winning but never discusses how much they lose), but some of these experiments may only need an obvious extra process to work.
fractional sterilisation: i boiled up some whole wheat grains in a pot, drained and put into jars with filter lids and self healing holes. i put an extra bit of water in each jar and let them cool. i put them in a microwave for 10mins on full a few days later (lids on tightly). i repeated this about 5 or 6 times over a period of about 2 weeks. i innoculated with mycelium water and it started to colonise but was then taken over by green mould. i dont think the water was contaminated since it went on to produce healthy mycelium in other substrates.
bulk sterilisation: i boiled up a pressure cooker full of whole wheat and water. then took it out and thoroughly rinsed it and put it into several autoclave bags. i put the bags in the microwave with the tops unsealed and microwaved for 30 mins each on 2 different days to resterilise and get the excess moisture out. they looked like they were going to be ok, but started to stink about 2 weeks later, no contamination but they just turned to mush.
packed full autoclave bags: another problem i had was trying to cram too much grain into an autoclave bag while pressure cooking. i would fold over the top and not seal it, but there would not be enough room in the pressure cooker when it expanded so it would effectively seal itself off in the pot. when the pressure was released it would over boil in the bag and the bag would burst (normally since it would push against sharp pressure valve fittings inside the lid).
autoclave bags sitting in water: knowing the bags are water proof i would put a bag which lots of grain in it sitting on a small dish in the pressure cooker with water going up the side of the bag. this led to water getting into the bag and ruining the moisture content. i now have them sitting and a much higher raised grill so they are not near the water.
i have had to toss a 1/2 gallon jar of whole wheat too which i was certain was going to be ok, it didnt contaminate but must have had the wrong water content again. i treated it like rye it had about 100g whole wheat and 105ml water.
my next batch of wheat is only going to be soaked overnight. i am learning water content it is like sweeting wine. you add more sugar(water) slowly and taste knowing that you can always add more but if it ends up too sweet you cant take it out.
re:they looked like they were going to be ok, but started to stink about 2 weeks later, no contamination but they just turned to mush.
Seems to me that what your describing here is indeed contamination. Remember, there is more than just fungal contamination, there is also bacterial. Bacillus bacterium produces a strong foul odor and makes grain appear wet and mushy. Not a big deal, just mentioning that if your grain is breaking down and there is a sour odor, you have bacteria.
Keep trying new things. So long as you are activley producing a sustainable crop and making sterile prints or slants you only have so much to loose with experimentation. I have experienced 100% contamination at times due to some attempts to improve the substrate in various semi-sterile environments (this was before I has the $ for a pressure cooker) and while that is certainly not a fun thing to watch I've always had back up innoculant and the experience that I gained is invaluable.
-------------------- No statements made in any post or message by myself should be construed to mean that I am now, have ever been, or will at any future time will be participating in or considering participation in any activities in violation of any legal statue; be it local, state, or federal law. All posts are works of fiction, and are intended for entertainment purposes only.
Don't just assume anything I or anyone else says is true. Test it for yourself. See if it's true.
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