The Karo Tek Story

Nan's Nook : Archives : Liquid Culture : Questions?  : The Karo Tek Story
  Subtopic Posts Updated Creator
Pro's thread: Rye, Contams, Karo, Tips, Tek  -    
Carmelized Karo  25 12/18 06:08am  
Karo Tek  -    
Karo Tek Shelf Life?  3 01/11 05:43pm relic
Q' about growth in karo tek  13 11/14 06:38pm onediadem
Questions???  -    

By Lichen (Lichen) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 01:31 am:

Nan, I tried your microwave honey water mycelium tek a couple days ago, and I just want to mention how it's going.

As soon as the jar was covered and cooling, I noticed some floaties in the water; I assumed it was the honey reacting to the heat in some way. It could have been rice specs from inside the microwave, or some other thing.

Now, after two days, the floaties have multiplied dramatically, but do not look pure white. I assume 3-5 days will see this jar ready to use?

By SYDYSTYK (Addict) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 01:51 am:

i always let mine get really thick, about a half of a pint jar,never failed once,eariler will work but i like it thick and i shook the jar every two days(just my experience)

By Marx2k (Marx2k) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 02:41 am:

Ive never gotten a whole half pint to colonize well.. it's always light and non-compact when it colonizes. I understand you're supposed to leave it half empty?

By SYDYSTYK (Addict) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 06:10 am:

i go with 2/3 full and to thicken it up let it go without shaking for a while(maybe 5 days depending on temps)

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 08:11 am:

Hey it's not my tek... Quote posted it!

I will give up some liquid culture pointers... You only need 100cc or so (I mean that's enough to shoot 100 jars already). And don't let it get thick, it reduces the refrigerated storage life (because all nutrients are consumed). What you want is a mass of mycelium between the size of say a nickel and a quarter in about 100cc of liquid. Before drawing up to shoot jars thrash the mycelium with the needle and break it up (it fragments very easily). The solution in the syringe need not be dense... But you should see plenty of little "floaties" in there... It's all you need.

Lichen, if this Tek does not perform I will remove it from the Archive. I have never tried it. I questioned the sterile procedure, but Quo thought it was good enough to Archive it on the old board... What the hell I thought, but I don't know that he ever tried it either...

Like I said, if it does not work it comes down, and I always advise PC sterilization if asked...


By Lichen (Lichen) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 02:59 pm:

oh, I see
I had my doubts about the microwave thing, but I figure...what the hell, I'll try it. I will let you know if this works for me or not. I suppose a week should do it; by then I should have some more jars going and shoot em with this stuff and see.

By Brad (Raze) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 10:28 pm:

How long do you nuke it for?

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, October 27, 2001 - 10:42 pm:

Archives->Honey/Dextrose Q&A->No PC Honeytek

By Karna (Karna) on Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 09:09 pm:

Another good way to break up the mycelium is simply to draw in a syringe and squirt it back out intot the liquid. This usually disperses the myc very well and helps to break up the larger clumps. As for volume. I use 200-250cc (a pint jar about halfway). I shake every day for aeration and to prevent clumping and matting. When its done in about 12-14 days or so, at rest, the mycelium reaches about 3/4 of the way up from the bottom of the jar. This ensures that all 20-25 syringes have ample mycelium. Since the mycelium is actually cultured in the liquid, any syringe will grow out even if there are no visible mycelium clumps (as opposed to say 9ers cloning tek where if you disperse the tissue fragment in too much water, some syringes may have no mycelium fragments and will not grow anything) but the clear syringes usually don't blast off the same way as the relatively cloudy ones.

By Lichen (Lichen) on Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 11:51 pm:

right of what--three days, now? it is developing a yellowish sort of stuff in the bottom....looks like sediment. I shake it up and it swirls around like a snowstorm paperweight, then settles again.

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 03:04 am:

See this is the problem with honey. Honey contains "hidden" impurities: wax and protien. When you cook honey the protien denatures, just like cooking the whites of an egg. The protien is not visible in fresh honey, cook it and the protien denatures and coagulates... Hence sediment. The wax in honey (which is typically in an emulsion well distrubuted throughout the honey) separates upon heating and forms scum... Some of it binds to the coagulated protien, some of it floats to the top of the hot solution and forms a thin scum.

Another problem is that the tint of honey makes it near impossible to detect Carmelization.

I am rapidly becomming motivated to do some experimental research with clear Karo syrup, which is available right on the shelf of any decent grocer.

By Lichen (Lichen) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 02:45 pm:

that's corn sugar, which is Dextrose. So you already have but not under the name Karo :0)

So this morning I looked and the honeywater is clear, but looking across the sediment in the bottom seems like flying right above the top of a dense cloud layer.

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 03:28 pm:

Yeah I know I have tried it in powder form, but the added liquid to make it into a syrup means some measurement adjustment somewhere... And nobody is going to weigh out grams of Karo, a good Tek should post common kitchen measures... So I guess I am going to look forward to some sticky mess figuring out the proper measures for "Karo Tek" :)

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 06:47 pm:

OK, I went shopping and checked into two store brands and the national "Karo" brand of Light Corn Syrup.

First the ingrediant list:

Light Corn Syrup (dextrose)
High Fructose Corn syrup (fructose="fruit sugar")

I will go ahead and take some specific gravity measurements and desiccate a weighed sample to determine the actual solid weight of a given liquid measure. Since the national "Karo" brand and the store brand are essentially identical in content, I bought the cheap stuff

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 07:24 pm:

What about the salt? How do you think that will affect colonization Nanook? And the vanilla... is that natural or artificial, and how do you think that will factor in?

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 07:47 pm:

Yep... That's why I bought the stuff and planned to experiment before posting a Tek that states "It's OK to use Karo..."

The salt content is 25mg per 2 tablespoons, once diluted into a 4% sugar solution I don't think the salt is going to be sufficient to cause much harm...

Natural vanilla and synthetic vanilla are chemically identical. The brand name Karo advertized "pure" Vanilla on their label, the no-name stuff uses artifical vanilla I am sure. But vanilla is the last ingrediant listed and I am sure there is only a trace, there is no odor of vanilla in the syrup.

I propose to make up two pure dextrose jars at 4% and two "Karo" jars at 4% (once I figure out the actual sugar content in the syrup), then shoot all jars with identical amounts of cloned mycelia and run them off next to each other in the incubator.

I can't think of any other way to accurately evaluate it.

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 08:47 pm:

I like the use of cloned mycelia for the tests.... good way to eliminate the randomness of spore innoculations.

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 08:59 pm:

I have three cloned strains isolated and I am very familiar with the growth characteristics of all of them, I have extensive notes. I have found that there is really no way to make accurate comparisons between experiments unless I use a clone throughout... In fact it was for experiments just as this that I cloned my first tissue samples, and discovered the issues (pro and con) of using additives in cakes and straw teks. The cloned mycelia gives me a known benchmark for the control groups, and the controls can be double checked against controls from previous experiments documented in my notes... I have a system :)

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 10:21 pm:

Well this much works out pretty well... One level teaspoon of Light Corn Syrup contains exactly 4 grams of sugars, EZ measure if the proposed Tek actually performs decently.

I need to spend a few hours making up some jars of substrate, 9er Tek, and these experimental "Karo Tek" jars (I hate to run the PC less than 100% full :) )

I'll try to get to it this evening sometime.

By Nan (Nanook) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 10:40 am:

Hah... I can answer the salt question without an experimental trial... Anybody research what they are doing before they Do It?

Step number 2 tells me the 4.16 mg NaCl2 per teaspoon of Karo diluted into a 4% sugar solution is negligible... Possibly beneficial.

I did the Tek research right here on this board guys, just had to read up... Wait... I had to read up! (It's the logical thing to do).

I know, I can tell... Most of you are delving into the Archives. I do not want to sound like a stuck up SOB (burn this Witch at the stake should I become one) but I am coming to believe The Nook has the best shroom knowledge base on the net... That is (and always has been) my goal. That The Nook could be, would be, your one-stop answer for all your shroom growing questions.

This is a young board. From the first incarnation we still have less than a year under our belts. If you're a mega shroomer you may find a better spore Tek w/antibiotic/agar decomtam elsewhere... Honestly I will never use it...

Vitti, Kai... I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to let me loose to teach. And the bulk of my knowledge came from you... Not Vitti or Kai, but you the anon poster... Where do these Teks come from? I can't do them all, I can't test them all... The Teks come from you the reader/poster. Guys this is _your_ board. All I do is digest, organize, archive, and answer simple questions... Tempered by the experience of a hard core grower who wants a decent flush on my table every Friday night. I am serious. I get the feeling you are serious too... We want to grow shrooms and we want to grow them right.

You know what? We are doing just that. We take a bunch of green, wet behind the ears wannabe mycologists, and turn out solid shroom growers with a dozen Teks under their belts. The solid shroom growers get the opportunity to teach, and spread their knowledge to the newbies, but we also greatly enrich the skills and knowledge of our peers with more advanced mycology skills... I learn every day here, and I have a lot to learn... Really. All of us do.

Ozone, I hope you are reading. You are a skeptic and I don't blame you. I think this is rapidly becoming the best shroom board on the net if we are not there already. I want your Teks in the Archive along with the rest... And the rest of you? I want your questions and Teks too... Without your intelligent questions and ideas we can come up with no solid material to post to the Archive for the next guys... None of the posts here are deleted without serious consideration, a good question is worth every bit the space a good answer requires. We all love good Teks, don't hesitate to post them, they do not fall on deaf ears here. Not by a longshot.

Did I leave anybody out??? Ha! If you post here on a semi-regular basis and you have something to say... you are in the Archives... You may not have a Tek named for you, but if you read... Your name is in there. Vive La Nook! Post on friends and family!!!


By Nan (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 09:59 am:

Ok, here's the scoop. I prepared four 1/2 pint jars.

Jars #1 & #2 are identical. Each jar was filled with 100cc of purified water to which I added four grams, or 1-1/4 level teaspoons, of powdered Dextrose (Corn Sugar). This achieves darned close to a 4% sugar solution.

Jars #3 & #4 are identical. Each jar was filled with 100cc of purified water to which I added one level teaspoon of generic Light Corn Syrup (Karo) from the grocery store. The dry sugar weight of Light Corn Syrup is four grams per teaspoon as I previously determined by desiccating a measured sample and weighing the sugar after the water was removed.

All four jars were closed with solid dome lids seal side up (no holes), bands loose, and foil covers. They were sterilized at 15lbs steam for 45 minutes. No carmelization or color change was noted in any of the four jars after sterilization. The liquid in all four jars is crystal clear

Each jar was opened in the glovebox and inoculated with 1 cc of cloned mycelia (this culture was grown out in the same Dextrose solution detailed for Jars #1 & #2). Fresh sterile dome lids were placed on the jars after inoculation, seal side down, and the bands were twisted on tight to seal them. The foil covers were replaced and the jars were placed in an incubator set at 87*F with 80% relative humidity.

I should have some comparative data on the growth rates in a few days

By Nan (Nanook) on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 02:24 am:

OK guys this Tek works great. One teaspoon of Light Corn Syrup (Karo) in 100 ml of purified water, stir until well mixed, and sterilize.

Nice crystal clear Dextrose liquid culture media without the hassle of hunting down powdered Dextrose from the home brew supply. Cheap too

By An guy (Boomer) on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 03:38 am:

I did the microwave tek on 3 jars yesterday, using the measurements in that tek.

I believe I see mycelia...indeed, I just put the loupe on it, and my tissue is dirty- I scooped some out of a stalled pc jar and a contammed portobello jar, so there is some stratum with it, but there are loose strands, getting some longitude to them, and the stuff still anchored to the stratum particles is reaching up and out.

Used the oven tek to get the tissue and do the transfers. Wore a lightly bleached face mask when I did the contam jar.

I hope that jar comes out ok, that I didn't get any of the mold with it.

I been picking up the jars and 'spinning' them- hold them with my fingers by the tops, rotate my wrist, the jar spins on a vertical axis. No soup gets up to the plastic wrap, but it gets the solids up in the fluid, floating for a while- just to get fresh exposure to fresh food supply, like a shark moving to breathe, as it were..

Hope it works.

By Hatcher (Hatcher) on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 10:34 am:

Man, I see anything w/comtam, out it goes, jar and all, f--k it..Nan, so the mycelia grows right outta the corn syrup? Really? I was getting ready to try growing the stuff in a liquid suspension, but using BRF. Guess it might just sink to the bottom tho, huh?...Could I use spores for the tek?...Thanx:)

By Nan (Nanook) on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 10:39 am:

It has been tested with spores (archive updated)... It works beautifully.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Saturday, November 10, 2001 - 07:16 pm:

i was at the local grocery store last night and was looking around for this corn syrup, and i don't think i found the right stuff... all that they had was Karo Light Corn Syrup with Real Vanilla... that kinda worried me because most vanilla extracts have alcohol in them and in the ingredients it also showed salt as an ingredient... is this stuff ok to use or should i take my search elsewhere?

By Lichen (Lichen) on Saturday, November 10, 2001 - 08:31 pm:

look at the archived tek Nan posted. I believe he mentioned those ingredients, and his decision concerning them

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Saturday, November 17, 2001 - 11:10 pm:

how do you know when you're liquid culture is dead?... i've had a liquid culture for about three weeks.. refrigerated... i've been using it now and then and it still seems to be good... but how will i know when it's dead... just when it stops working?

By Nan (Nanook) on Sunday, November 18, 2001 - 03:35 am:

I have had stored liquid media in the fridge for 6 months at this point that still works fine. I guess you know it's dead when it won't grow when shot into jars.

By Kenny Keller (Kennieyk) on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 09:40 pm:

I wanted to try the Karo Tek . So I went out and got some Light Karo which the tek says to use, anyways the stuff I got has REAL VANILLA , Is that ok to use or should I have got the dark Karo?

By Mr. B (Argonaut) on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 09:58 pm:

Hey Mr. Keller,

I just bought the same thing today and I'm PC'n my jar as I type. If that makes you feel any better. It was all they had.

By Kenny Keller (Kennieyk) on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 10:17 pm:

They Had 3 kinds where I got mine., I think the light is the best. I was just concerned about the REAL VANILLA in it. Let me know how you do with it. It sounds like a great tek. I cant wait to try it out.

By Nan (Nanook) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 08:28 am:

Yeah yeah yeah... It has a trace of vanilla or vanillin depending on the brand... And a shake of salt. It is not 100% pure. I knew this when I first experimented with Karo, and those ingrediants are _listed_ in the Tek.

It's not like you are reading labels and finding out something new. I have grown out cloned mycelium and germinated spores with Karo Tek. It works. The Tek has been posted for nearly a month, and nobody is telling me the Tek has holes in it...

Try it. Let me know if you are having problems. But so far I am not hearing from unsatisfied customers with this Tek.

If I thought I would, I wouldn't have posted it

By onediadem (Onediadem) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 08:43 am:

I have three strains going, with the karo tek. Doing great. An unknown, pf and hawaiian. I used the brand karo, light. Simply fabulous darling.
Live long and prosper.

By Tigress113 (Runigun) on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 05:05 am:

I posted on the 19th concerning Karo Syrup Tek. In case no one saw it concerned us using a cap to distribute spores in a Karo Syrup solution. We were wondering why we saw a brownish color exactly where we innoculated. I stated it wasn't water damage, because it wasn't orange, but the exact same color of the mushroom cap. Today, we received proof that it wasn't contam or water damage (we knew it wasn't, anyhow) as there was more mycelium growth in one day than we've ever seen with any other tek. Many thanks to Quote and Nanook for the teks, as they have worked out so much better than we dared hope for...and, of course, many thanks go out to all on the boards whose advice we couldn't have made it (literally) without!