for starting your mushroom kit
To start the MYG kit just inject approx. 2-4cc from a 10cc syringe into the grain jar and leave it in a dark place at 86° for approx 20-30 days until the spores colonize the grain and it becomes a thick, white, fuzzy substance in the jar. This is the live mycelium. After you have your live mycelium follow the directions as illustrated below. Use the Shroomtalk Forums for any questions or technical support.
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There is many ways to get results when growing cubensis mushrooms, but there is one technique that has a huge success rate and is easy to do even for beginners. I consider myself a newbie when it comes to mycology so if I can do it, then you can to.
What you need to do an MYG kit
- 1 Grow box with a dome lid, approx dimensions 22"L X 12" W X 8" H
- 1 Bag of Straw Substrate, approx 1kg
- 1 large pot or canner 20L or more
- 1 large clear plastic mixing bag
- 1 bag of casing soil mixture, approx 1kg
- 1 Spray Bottle
- 1 Half Gallon pre-sterlized jar of grain
- A clean, sterile working environment.
All of these supplies can be found in local hardware stores or you can get it all in a package or individually from www.mushbox.com
Why re-invent the wheel? when something works, go with it. This technique has been around for many years and it produces nothing but results if you follow the instructions and stay clean. YES cleanliness is godliness especially when it comes to growing mushrooms or anything to do with mycology. I can never stress it enough to be in a sterile environment and clean your body before working.
Growing Mycelium in a grain jar
The first step is to grow mycelium. Innoculate the pre-sterlized grain jar with spores of your choice from a reliable spore vendor such as www.spores101.com. Place the grain jar in a warm dark place at 80 - 84 degrees for approx 2-4 weeks. Pictured below is the grain jar about 30% colonized with mycelium, before its ready for use it must be 100% colonized and takes anywere from 2-4 weeks to get full colonization.
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Fully Colonized jar
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Pasteurization of the straw
You will know it is done when your jar is grown full of mycelium so that you can no longer see the grain inside. It should all be white and fuzzy. Before you can use the mycelium you need to pasteurize the straw. Fill your large pot 3/4 full of water and bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat. Place the burlap sack of straw ( comes in burlap sack when purchased from mushbox.com ) into the pot and push down on it to remove any excess air bubbles trapped inside, then weight it down with something heavy and cover the pot for 25 minutes letting the straw soak. Turn your stove on LOW heat and let it simmer for approx 35 minutes before removing the straw. Drain any excess water from the straw and let it cool to room temp. This takes a minimum of 3 hours.
Spawning Mycelium into the straw
Now your ready to mix the straw with the mycelium. Empty the pasteurized straw into the large clear mixing bag and gently crumble the mycelium into the straw, be sure to mix it up evenly. Now place the mixing bag full of straw and mycelium into the grow box, make sure its packed down firmly. Level off the surface so that no pieces of straw are sticking up. Fold the remaining top of the plastic bag down loosley over the straw / mycelium mixture, but do NOT seal it up tightley, its important that it has room to breath.
http://www.mushbox.com/img/skunk-adimage3.jpg box before closing
Place the grow box in a warm ,clean, dark place. It is very important that a constant temperature between 79-81 degrees F is maintained and there is no light. You can have success with just a simple setup like this but if you have the budget there is extra technology you can use to increase your harvest and level of success. Some extra things you can use: a glove box, humidity and temperature controls, larger chambers to create the perfect environment, filtered air flow systems, and much more at www.mushbox.com. After about 12-14 days the kit should be ready for casing. To be sure the straw should be fully grown through with mycelium and will appear white and fuzzy, similar to how it appeared in the jar.
http://www.mushbox.com/img/skunk-adimage4.jpg mycelium growing into straw
Casing The Substrate
Open your plastic bag of casing soil and add 1.2 litres of water to the bag, mix it up for 3 minutes. Mix it again 3 hours later , then let it sit overnight. To ensure a successful crop you must sterlize your wet casing soil before applying it to the straw. The most effective method for sterlization is in a microwave oven. Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes and allow it to cool back to room temperature before applying it to the straw. Now open up your grow box with the straw / mycelium growing and sprinkle the soil over the straw. You want about 1-2 cm of soil coverage on top of the straw. Level the soil out across the surface but do not pack it down, it needs to be light and fluffy to provide air flow. Using your spray bottle lightly mist the inside of the dome lid and fit it on the grow box. To create a good seal you can use duct tape around the edges of the grow box were it connects to the dome lid. Put the grow box back into your clean, dark place and maintain a constant temperature of 79-81 degrees F. for 5 days. Do not open the lid or allow any contaminated air to gain access to the grow box for the next 5 days and the mycelium will now grow up into the soil just like it did into the straw. This straw / soil casing bed provides many extra nutrients for the mycelium to get stronger allowing you to produce large, healthy mushrooms.
Fruiting - the fun part
Now your soil should have some patches of mycelium showing through or even be fully overgrown with the white fuzz, its time to expose your grow box to light for 12 hours a day for the next 15-25 days to activate fruiting. Use a low wattage bulb (25 w. max) at a minimum of 1 meter above the grow box. Light is only used to activate fruiting and point the mushrooms in the right direction to grow. Its important to keep your casing soil moist and never let it dry out, but realize that to much moisture can cause stunted growth and even mold. If you can see water build up on the soil it's to wet, if the soil starts getting lighter in colour or cracking it's to dry. After about 6-10 days you should see pins forming around the edges, the mushrooms will grow in many batches if you can keep it goin, I have heard of people making this kit last for 5-6 harvests before it dried up.
http://www.mushbox.com/img/skunk-adimage5.jpg first mushrooms showing
You will know its time to harvest a batch when the mushrooms start pushing the dome lid up, or when the caps open and the veil of the mushroom has broken showing the gills and the dark spores inside. You want to pick them before the spores drop so you can make spore prints for later use, also if the spores drop it could cause contamination and stunt the growth of the next flush already starting.
http://www.mushbox.com/img/skunk-adimage6.jpg almost ready to harvest
http://www.mushbox.com/img/skunk-adimage7.jpg beautiful batch of shrooms
In conclusion you can get more flushes by adding approx. 250ml of water to the casing soil after you have cleared it of mushrooms, then repeat the fruiting steps. If green mold starts to appear your kit is pretty much toast and it has been contaminated. Do not be let down if this happens its not easy to grow mushrooms. There is so many factors that come into play when dealing with contamination its almost impossible to be 100% sterile unless you have access to some scientific government lab.
Next article - How to combat contams and dreaded green mold