Quo's bulk tek

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By Admin (Admin) on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 12:15 pm:

Quo's Bulk Tek

First, let me say that I'm a big fan of the PF Amazonian 'classic' strain (still my #1!) and a firm disciple of the PF Tek. PF himself has my utmost respect and all my little 'innovations' are merely elaborations upon his ideas.

In my mind, the biggest drawback to the tek is the damn 1/2 pint jars... they cost $$, can be hard to find, and must be washed after use, quite a chore if more than just a dozen or so are involved.

So let's talk about oven bags. As in Reynolds-brand oven bags, used for roasting turkeys, chicken, etc. whole. They come in various sizes - small is 10" by 16", rated to hold 4 pounds weight and oven-safe at up to 400° F.

They are also available much larger, as in the 'turkey' size, are cheap (a few bucks, <$5 for a box of five 'small') and available year round in any decent grocery store.

They make dandy 'jars' for PF-style substrate in bulk amounts. Just mix up enough rice/verm. for X # of jars, (see note at bottom for a few ideas on this part) spoon into the bag, tie the bag closed with a wad of polyfil in the neck for air exchange,, bake at 250° F for 45 min. Allow to cool in the oven until safe to touch. Stick the now cooled oven bag inside another, larger bag, ziplock and let cool to room temp. When cool, one can inject spores/innoculant right through the plastic (seal hole with tape) or the polyfil. Once white growth becomes visible in a few days, one can speed up colonization by shaking the bag, and mixing the patches into uncolonized areas. Instead of spores, one can use mycellial solutions, spent cakes (remove outer surface & use clean core), etc.

Note: one can fit rather large amounts into these bags but contamination losses increase proportionately. Try it with enough for 6 jars 1st & see what you think.

A few pointers:

Double bag the substrate - i.e. fill a regular size oven bag with the substrate, seal that by twisting and the tie included in the box (heat-resistant, non-metallic for microwave fans), then place that inside yet another, larger oven bag and seal it likewise.
Squeeze most of the air out of the inner bag so steam has room to expand and leave some air in the outer large bag, so as the inner bag cools, any air sucked in is also sterile.
Once "baked" for 45 minutes, pop the entire thing in yet a larger third ziplock storage bag, the kind that can handle hot foods. Then into the fridge to cool.
Use an electric mixer on low to mix up 4 - 6 jars worth of substrate in a few seconds in a large bowl.
When filling the oven bags, fold back the rim several inches, so no foodstuff gets on the bag near the neck/seal.
When innoculating, don't let the needle touch the substrate, just raise the plastic above the 'cake' an inch or so & squirt spores everywhere, about 3 cc will do plenty. (About 3 dozen 'jars' worth with 1 syringe!!)
After innoculation, throw several into a black plastic trashbag to keep out the light & help prevent contams.
Test bags before using by filling with water, discard any that leak.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 11:32 pm:

actually, i have two questions.... i'm sorry if they sound dumb or if they have been asked and answered over and over, but anyways...... in quo's bulk tek, he talks about putting substrate into oven bags and baking them at 250 for 45 min to sterilize them. i was wondering if maybe this technique would work for regular 1/2 pint jars or would the oven damage the glass?....... my second question is that i was wondering if anyone had ever tried mixing the brf subtrate with another type of substrate like rye or something... most living things do very well when they have variety in their diet... could this also be true of our little friends? i don't know.. just a thought... thank you all for your help and patience..

By oscill8 (Oscill8) on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 01:32 am:

no such thing as a dumb question... well, some but not yours :)

the oven may not be the best bet for jars, as it uses a dry heat to increase the temps- instead of steam you get hot air. which can dry out a little 1/2 pint awfully quickly... but quo's bulk tek incorpoates a much larger amt of substrate (brf/verm)- and then may be able to withstand the oven... oven bags can also be successfully used in a pressure cooker, as well- just make sure the bags dont touch the dry sides of the canner or theyll melt.

rye can be added to anything- the problem is you cant use the whole grain. rye as a whole grain cant be adequately sterilized in a pot of boiling water; but if you ground it up and replaced it with the brf - you can use it and may like it. ive read some reports on dark rye flour colonizing faster than brf- but i dunno.

varying the substrate is nice, but the problem is very few substrates can be adequately sterilized in a pot of boiling water. if you want to experiment with whole grains and seed, youll need a pc.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 05:11 pm:

Can the Bulk Tek be used to get colonized substrate for the Flatcake Tek? Is it more efficient that way? Also, is the Wafer Tek and Flatcake Tek the same thing?

By quote: (Quote) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 06:14 pm:

i'd steer clear of the bulk tek,
that's one difficult tek, even for the pros.
the wafer and flat cake teks are essentially quite similar, the difference being between sliced or crumbled cake pieces.
both work equally well.

By Eatyualive (Eatyualive) on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 03:54 am:

quote, i have faith in your tek and think it is quite simple if u use a hand blender. i think the blender is the key. but yes i have been using the bulk tek for flat cakes. the only problem is the high moisture content. the bag keeps all of the moisture in and you will have excellent 1st and 2nd flushes but i can't get past the 2nd without contams. just keep it simple and master the pf tek before you go all out.

Shroom Glossary

By quote: (Quote) on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 04:05 pm:

i'll tell you 1 tek that should be red-tagged.
quo's oven bag/bulk tek.
i've seen far more failures than successes with that one, never should have posted it, then the shroomery put it up as a tek on their site.
now i regularly get complaints from newbies who fail miserably with it.

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 04:25 pm:

Well... What do you want to do with it? Re-work it, or just flag it with a caution note?

I agree with you about the failure rate ;)

But I was not going to say anything because it was yours Quo

By quote: (Quote) on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 02:57 pm:

i guess tag it with a strong cautionary note.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 01:23 am:

Hi, I read through the Bulk Tek and what Quote mentioned in Chronic's post below, and I was just wondering if anyone has anything else to add to that tek. Any tips, tricks, additions, advice, or whatever. Thanks!

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 01:40 am:

Also, Quote, you mentioned that some oven bags suck. Which ones work well?

By Joe Mamma (Madscientist) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 03:44 am:

Stay away from addatives. None of them work. Something always screws it up. Just use very sterile teks and use some strong honey water with a strong strain. that is the best set up.

By quote: (Quote) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 02:37 pm:

to be honest, i never found a 'good' brand, you'll need to test each bag by filling it w/water to see any leaks.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

Have you ever tried using an impulse sealer with an oven bag? Wouldn't that eliminate the need for the polyfil/filter patch altogether, as you could just innoculate through the plastic and then patch it up with a peice of tape?

By quote: (Quote) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 01:35 am:

dunno, don't have one.
but some air is desirable as colonization procedes.

By Joe Mamma (Madscientist) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 09:18 pm:

You need to allow for expansion of the bag. Any air in the bag when heated will expand the bag five fold. That is why it is good to use the ployfil. It is rather easy to use it. Just take a large waud of poly, about the size of a large bowling ball. Stuff it in the end and wrap a piece of wire round it to seal.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 11:23 pm:

Where can you buy polyfill?

By quote: (Quote) on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:23 am:

wal mart, back in the crafts section. it's used as pillow stuffing.