Salvage operation: crumble stalled cakes into beds?

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By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 03:44 am: The Nook

Oy! I recently discovered the downfalls of using foil covers instead of leaving the tape on colonizing jars in a dry environment. Now I have a couple dozen jars that are a third to half colonized, and likely won't get any further as the substrate is dry as a bone and collapsing leaving gaps. There's no contamination, just not enough moisture for further growth.

I'm thinking I should salvage the colonized chunks and try to make beds out of them. I've read up on beds and plan to do a simple verm casing, but haven't tried before.

Does anyone forsee any problems with using these refugees for beds?

By SYDYSTYK (Addict) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 04:32 am: The Nook

when i was newby i had a few stalled jars, i injected water in them,it raised my contam rate, but (for example) 5 of 10 is better than none

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:05 am: The Nook

How much water did you add? I assume this was pre-sterilized water injected with a syringe?

By relic (Relic) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:55 am: The Nook

what recipe are you using? it's pretty dry here in the winter and i've never had a jar dry out.
it's dry here right now and these jars are near a floor register.


is there condensation in the jars? i certainly don't want to be telling people not to tape their jars if it can have fatal consequences. it's only ever worked good for me.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:00 am: The Nook

I used standard recipe, 1:1:2(verm) ratio, plus I added a spoonful of verm in the bottoms of the jars to speed colonization of the bottom of the jars. I've been incubating them by inserting a cardboard strip with 6 x-mas lights on it, raising the temp to about 78F.

No, there's no condensation; that would be the opposite of my problem. I see that my foil wasn't on as snugly as yours though; I crumpled the foil around the edges, leaving more airspace.

I suppose it's possible the extra verm in the bottoms absorbed too much water from the substrate...?

By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:11 am: The Nook

No, somwhere along the jars lost moisture. Lack of tape w/a low humidity incubation enviroment, or heat improperly applied to the jars at any point will cause this problem.

I have never done this... But if I were you here is what I would do: Birth the jars, cut away all uncolonized substrate and dunk the remaining chunks for 24 hours... Then crumble, slice, whatever and case them.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 08:01 am: The Nook

Thanks, I'll give it a shot.

More disturbing however, if not the lack of tape, then what could have caused this? The extra verm, or my incubation method?

I've suceeded before; the differences are:
1. Added verm at the bottom
2. Foil covers instead of tape
3. Incubation with x-mas lights, to 78F
4. Injection with ricewater mycellium

I've seen condensation problems with '4', but not contam issues...

By quote: (Quote) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:17 pm: The Nook

well, i can testify that in very dry environments jars can get too dry.
esp. if they take long to finish.
my recent pf classics were pretty dry at birth, after only a little over 3 weeks in the jars.
in the future you may want to run a room humidifier, which i would consider a better long-term option than taping needle holes.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 07:05 pm: The Nook

Well, that's a simpler problem to deal with than the unknown. At the moment a humidifier isn't in the budget though, so it's back to tape for a while. I'll try Nan's idea and see what I can salvage from these.

Thanks for the help guys!

By relic (Relic) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:27 pm: The Nook

you might try using the max fruit formula.

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:58 pm: The Nook


Humidifier isn't in the buget???

Dude, head to a thrift store or three,
call in advance if you like.

I picked up my last humidifier for 99 cents.
and since then, have seen TONS of simple humidifiers for a buck or two......

Nothing fancy, but geez, i've never seen a basic humidifier sell in a thrift store for over 3 bucks. AND EVERY thrift store has them it seems.
good luck.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 02:20 am: The Nook

Indeed. Thanks Doc, I'll check pawn shops next time I go into a larger center...checked Sears and the like, but didn't check second hand. Doh!

I would have tried the max fruiting formula, but was concerned that the extra moisture from mycellium injections might be pushing it in combination...?

I'm thinking that until I get a humidifier, I'll go with taping the holes again. After losing so much work to my latest attempt, I'm going with the KISS principle.


By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 10:08 pm: The Nook

Otay...I'm now in the process of salvaging the colonized parts of my stalled cakes. I'm planning on adding some Hydrogen Peroxide with the distilled water during the dunk to kill contams; though the jars aren't smelly, I'm sure the mycellium is weak & vulnerable.

I'm thinking of using the same amount as one might with Honey tek; 3-5 mls Hydrogen Peroxide per 100 ml. Does anyone have any suggestions before I do this?


By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 10:32 pm: The Nook


SORRY, No suggestions but I just read the "have a couple dozen jars that are a third to half colonized " Part. That does suck. I hope this post keeps getting bumped up cause I would love to know the outcome...

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 10:46 pm: The Nook

I'll be sure to post the results; I'm sure I'm not the first or last to have fatally stalled cakes. Upon count though, it's three and a half dozen , leaving me with only four fruiting cakes.

The best things take hard work...

By quote: (Quote) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 01:05 am: The Nook

don't add peroxide to the dunk water, the long exposure to peroxide is harmful.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 01:56 am: The Nook

Thanks Quote! Glad I waited for responses. Would adding it an hour before finishing the dunk be good enough to ward off contams? Or 30 minutes?

Though the jars didn't stink, some of the uncolonized substrate had darkened and smelled slightly off. While I scraped away as much of this as possible, I'm concerned there may be some contams in the salvaged colonized substrate.

I'll go ahead & dunk in distilled water for the moment.

By quote: (Quote) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 02:15 am: The Nook

i cannot really say about short-term exposure, but even 4 hours is too much, that much i'm certain of.

By Martaxus (Martaxus) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 02:47 am: The Nook

That tells me you've done it at the 4 hr mark, yes? Were the effects fatal?

By Kman (Kman) on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 09:31 pm: The Nook

I have some tall skinny half pint jars that have been colonizing for like 7 weeks, they are almost done maybe 80%. Knowing that the mycelium is growing through the entire cake, could I cut the cake's top off(the part that is uncolonized) and either crumble the remainder into a flat cake, or maybe double end case the son bitch? Or should I just leave the damn thing alone and worry about something else(I do have 4 jars of rye, and 7 more freshly inoculted pf jars)?

By Joe Mamma (Madscientist) on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 11:27 pm: The Nook

I say cut them up. Sometimes I think that it is better to work with what you have. You could take that space and use it for more jars. I would cut the uncolonized part out, take the rest and crumble it up and case the thing. Just be very sterile when you are cutting. Use clean knife and surface.

By Fishy1 (Fishy1) on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 11:51 pm: The Nook

Sometimes this happens.
You can crumble and case the colonized part. It should be OK. Just did this w/ 2 qts of millet/verm mix (sux). Pinning well now. Give it a good moist casing to rehydrate it. You might get away w/ it.....
Good luck with it----and shroom hard tonight!!fishy1