Sagging/seperation in cakes during colonization; why?

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What the hell is this? (pics)  13 01/04 07:19pm awalter44

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 11:24 pm:

Oy! I've noticed in several of my jars (tall half-pints) that during colonization the substrate is sagging/shifting/seperating. This gives the mycelium a big challenge, as it often can't reach across the gap to continue colonizing along the outside of the jar.

My first thoughts were that the jars were packed too loosely, or that the ricewater incoculations of 1~1.5 ml/hole had 'washed away' or weakened the substrate's 'sitting structure'.

I don't think it's the former, as I've had this happen to tighter jars as well. I haven't been shaking the jars. This has happened to different batches, with the temp being anywhere between 70 & 85 F. I can see the latter happening, but I'm not sure how to avoid it.

Anyone else in this boat? Any suggestions?

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 03:29 am:

too dry.
store jars in high humidity environment.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 03:31 am:

You're saying the humidity on the outside of the jars affects the humidity on the inside?

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 03:36 am:

a dry environment will suck the moisture right out of your jars.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 03:49 am:

Through the innoculation holes?

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 03:54 am:


By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 04:10 am:

I'm guessing it would have to be through the holes, as glass is gas impermeable and the lids the same, hence the micron filter disks use.

I don't have a higher or lower humidity environment to place them in; my cakes remain either in half-pint jars or are transplanted to pint jars after birth. I store them upside-down(after birth) in the boxes they came in, lit & heated by x-mas lights.

If I were keeping food moist I'd wrap them in big plastic bags and add a couple pieces of apple, but something tells me that's just nuts.

I store the boxes (during colonization & growth)in a jury-rigged shelving unit, with only about 2" above each box for 'sliding' space. Any suggestions for improving this?

Wrap the shelving units in plastic and put a pan of water with a 2.5" fan on it inside?


By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 04:47 am:

if your jars have dried out in a dry environment, is there any way to remedy the situation without starting over?

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 11:36 am:

i know of no good way to fix them once they've dried out and begun to separate like that.
a pan of water should help, but better would be a simple room humidifier.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 02:07 pm:

cool... thanx... very small batch anyways, so if i gotta start over... not all that big of a deal

By TooMushTrippin (Toomushtrippin) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 02:12 am:

c:\my documents\john
c:my documentsjohndscf0028.jpgdscf0028.jpg

By TooMushTrippin (Toomushtrippin) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 02:17 am:

woops, for some reason the text got cut off. anyway, when i woke up this moring a few of my cakes were cracked at the top of the jar. it goes all the way across but its only about a 1/2 inch deep. Is this going to be a problem? will mycelium just fill in the crack? the only way i can think of that they got like that is when they clang against each other when i have to move the box that they're in..

By Nan (Nanook) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 07:19 am:

The mycelium was pretty hungry huh? It ripped the cake apart

That is happening is the mycelium near the lid is contracting around the substrate, and the uncolonized bottom split from the stress. Your humidity may be too low and heat uneven. The cake is dry. It will grow through, but the split is likely where the contam that eventually kills the cake will start.

* People have reported that injecting dry jars with a 10% sol of 3% H2O2 in sterile water with a sterile syringe have brought stalled dry jars back to life

By quote: (Quote) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 02:33 pm:

prolly a bit too dry, as well.

By TooMushTrippin (Toomushtrippin) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 03:50 pm:

so theres a good chance that the cakes will be contaminated? or do you just mean if there's a contamination its likely to start at the crack?

By Kaijan (Kaijan) on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 06:58 pm:

Well, if you haven't opened the jar yet, don't.

let the cake fully colonize all the material, then you should be fine.


By Scotsman (Barrowland) on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 08:40 pm:

my cake , which i thought could be contamed now seems to be developing a split , i mixed a lot of substrate so i was sure i had enough water , what u think is the crack a sign of anythingnsplitsplit

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 02:37 am:

it's too dry, that's why it split.
no contams.

By Scotsman (Barrowland) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 05:04 pm:

is there anything i can do to add water , what about injecting it with a sterline needle full of water

By Scotsman (Barrowland) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 06:55 pm:

this is what the bottom of the cake looks like , funny thing is i took the tape off the lid yesterday and the mycelium growth has increased and its got whiter round the sides , maybe a sign of recovery.cake

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 07:00 pm:

" it's too dry, that's why it split.
no contams. "

I'm with quote on this. My friend has a few casing experiments going on and he has noticed that
a couple without proper humidity showed a similar
cracking of the substrate as well as shrooms that crack open ( split ) as they grow. Looks like a tiger got at those shrooms, very sad to see...

bluing, cracking.. symptoms of dryness...
Then again what do I know? ;)

Temperature: Fruiting : Incubation : Lethal : Shroom Glossary

Increase Humidity in the Incubator?

By Ink drop (Headrastaman) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 06:08 am:

I had 24 jars in a room at my girlfriends house and she went on vacation, but she left the window open by mistake and the temperatures were between 40-55 degrees i figure, they have stopped growing in the jars and are about 75-100 percent done. i had them at 85 deg. but no growth continued so i cased them and now have them sitting at 75 deg. any ideas on recovery or are they toast?


By Hatcher (Hatcher) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 06:55 am:

If ya birthed cakes before they were 100% colonized, you'll prob have toast dude. Opportunists will find their way into your project. NEVER take a cake outta the jar if ya see anything but white..

40 degrees shouldn't had hurt anything, justa slowed thing I've never had happen is a cake stop before it went fully colonized..

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 07:01 am:

Well, if your jars were just stalled but the myc was healthy(no smells or funny colors), and you cut out the uncolonized part....

the remaining subsrate could be cased like you normally would and should be fine.

By Ron (Clubbenguy) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 09:42 pm:

I have to agree with brettie on this one. I have heard many posts about people cutting off the uncolonized part of cakes (one in particular, see CAN THIS CAKE SURVIVE...PIC post. This guy birthed prior to 100% colonization, cut off the uncolonized part, dunked, and accidentally hit the fridge temp gauge so when he birthed from the dunk there was sloshy ice in the jar, and his cake still flushed. Jar stalls can be due to lack of oxygen or moisture. Just goes to show that one can still pull a cake out of his ass and trip his balls off.


happy shrooming.

By Jesseb (Jesseb) on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 03:05 am:

I personally have birthed cakes before they where done. In fact the first cakes I ever grew I did this to them. I cut the uncolonized part off the cake and they did just fine.