Let's Grow Mushrooms Together (part 2)
Hello growing enthusiasts! I welcome you back to another post of growing mushrooms together. There may have been something wrong with the spore syringe I inoculated four of the eight jars with. To be honest it was hard to see any spores in the syringe before shaking it up and I really didn't notice many in it afterwards either but I figured they were ok because it was from the same company I used for the last grow and I did a decent job on the last spores I got from them. But two of my jars didn't have any colonization in them whatsoever so today is a little bonus for you guys of how I made a spore syringe from a spore print. This will be good for you guys that only have prints. This is how I did it.....
First I had to deal with the other four jars that had a massive and really fast colonization due to being a culture syringe oppose to just a spore syringe. All I did was wait until they are at least a third colonized and hit them against the palm of my hand until the mycelium was broken up and mixed thoroughly throughout the jars 👇
This is what it looks like after mixing the mycelium ☝️ You can see how good it mixed and that is to help the mycelium colonize faster and evenly in the jars. Those four went back into the cupboard.
Next I noticed only two of the four other jars had any mycelium started in them so I will explain what I did to reinoculate those two jars from one of my spore prints I took in one of my previous posts.
First I gathered all my syringes I had from past grows and washed them with soapy antibacterial soap and put them in a big mason jar 👇
and took one of my pint jars and filled it half way with water from my zero water pitcher. 👇
you can use any kind of water but if I don't have any distilled water I'll use water from my Zero Water Pitcher because it's the only filtration pitcher I've found that takes all dissolved solids from the water. This picture shows the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water from the pitcher 👇
After putting the lids and bands on the two jars I unscrew the band a quarter turn to allow for the sterilization process to enter my jars. I cover the lids with aluminum foil and put them in my pressure canner. I turned the flame on high until the recommended pressure (15psi) happens and then turned down the flame to medium heat to keep the pressure at 15psi and started a timer for 30 minutes. 👇
The reason why I use the pressure canner is because boiling alone cannot get the temperature high enough to sterilize the jars. Boiling point of water is only 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. To get it to sterilization temps it must get to at least 250 degrees and held for a certain amount of time and the only way to get that is under pressurized conditions.
Once the time is completed I leave the PC to depressurize on it's own which usually lasts for about an hour or so and let the jars cool down to room temperature before I take them out of the PC which is usually the next morning.
Next I'll get my still air box and clean it inside and out with 70% isopropyl alcohol. I grabbed a sterile syringe, a paper towel sprayed with alcohol, a knife to scrape the spores with, my jar of water, the jars to be inoculated, my spore print and a flame to sterilize the needle in between each inoculation.
Notice the second and fourth jar with nothing happening ☝️
When working in mycology you should do everything possible to prevent contaminants even when taking a print. Everything should be done in front of a flow hood or in a still air box. I don't have the means right now to build a flow hood so all I have is my still air box which is ok to use. Don't get discouraged if you get contaminants doing mycology because even the most sterile mycologists gets contams once in a while. Use it as a learning experience and try to minimize the amount of contaminants that is presented by taking a shower beforehand, using gloves, covering face and exposed skin, and using alcohol for everything! Alcohol is your best friend when doing mycology! Ok on with the show 😉
When I have all my things in my SAB 👇
I spray my gloves and wipe down all my instruments with alcohol. I open up the print and scrape the print into the jar of water with the knife and quickly close with the lid. 👇
After tightening the lid I shake the jar really good to break up any spores that may be stuck together and prepare the syringe. There are billions of spores on one print which are microscopic so don't think there isn't enough in the jar after doing this! After wiping down the syringe with the alcohol I flame sterilize the needle 👇 ) Be sure to get the needle red hot. Let it cool down a bit and suck up a full syringe from the jar of spore solution. Put the needle cap back on 👇 and give it a shake. )
Grab the grain jars you'll be inoculating. Wipe the jars of grain down with the alcohol wet paper towel. Flame sterilize the needle again and inject each jar with 2 1/2 cc's of solution with a flame sterilize in between each jar. Put the cap back on and keep the spore syringe and the spore solution jar in your fridge for future use. In the fridge they will last for 2-4 years. If you're anything like me they won't last that long!
Well that's part 2 of growing mushrooms together and I hope you come back for part three when we talk about putting the colonized grain spawn to bulk substrate! Until then Mush Love!