|Grain Substrate Preparation||2|
re-printed from myco-tek.com
Spawning Pasteurized Wheat Straw:
Below is a list of all the items you will need to carry out this procedure:
Pasteurized Wheat Straw (cooled to room temp)
1 QT Jar of Grain Spawn (or colonized BRF)
Before we begin, it's always a good idea to wash your hands and clean the work space that you will be working in before you get started. I recommend saturating a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and wiping your hands down thoroughly with it, paying close attention to your finger tips and nails where dirt can be easily trapped.
The jar of grain spawn that you will be using to spawn the PWS with will need to be shaken first before applying to the prepared substrate. However, it is important that the grain is allowed to recover from the shaking for a 24 hour period before spawning takes place. The best time to shake the spawn jar is the day before pasteurization takes place. After 24 hours, the mycelium has had a chance to re-colonize and should be checked very closely for contamination before being used as spawn.
By doing this, you are allowing the mycelium to recover from the transitional state into an active state that will ensure rapid colonization of the wheat straw... which is very important. The mycelium needs to colonize the pasteurized wheat straw as rapidly as possible in order to beat the contaminations from taking over the substrate first. Once the mycelium has extablished itself in the substrate, it can easily fight off the contaminations that may be present. However, in it's transitional state, the mycelium is very vulnerable and has no way to protect itself from the competing contams that are present in the bulk substrate.
In the picture below, you can see the jar of colonized grain spawn ready to be shaken so it can be used to spawn our soon-to-be pasteurized wheat straw:
Below you can see how the colonized grain has bonded together so that when it is shaken considerably, it still remains in tact. It's important not to let a grain jar colonize much further beyond this point or you will likely never break it apart!
But, this spawn jar is right on schedule and as you can tell by the pic below, it gave in after a few good shakes.
The picture above was taken directly after the spawn jar was shaken and is not ready to be transfered to the Wheat straw yet. It needs to be placed back into incubation for another 24 hour period so it can recover a little before it can be used as spawn for the wheat straw. Below is a picture of the spawn jar 24 hours after shaking and directly before being used as spawn for the wheat straw:
As you can tell by the picture above, the jar of grain has had a chance to recover from the shaking that took place the day before and appears to be ready for spawning.
First, you will want to shake the bag of pasteurized straw and then open it up as wide as possible, like so:
Next, very lightly shake the recovering spawn jar just enough to break the kernels apart (being careful not to disturb the recovering mycelium anymore than necessary). Now open the jar up and pour about 1/5th of the grain spawn out over the surface of the straw, like so:
With clean hands (as described above); work the grain into the straw by turning it over so that the grain mixes well with the straw, like so:
Repeat the process of adding grain to the straw and mixing the two together until the entire jar of grain spawn has been added to the substrate, like so:
Once all the grain spawn has been added to the bag of straw, the bag should be tied and shaken thoroughly to ensure proper distribution of the grain kernels throughout the bag of straw.
Once this has been completed, the freshly spawned bag of Pasteurized Wheat Straw is now ready to make Wheat Straw Cakes which can be used in the terrarium.
For creating Wheat Straw Cakes for the terrarium, see the following TEK:
Large Wheat Straw Cake Prep TEK
Small Wheat Straw Cake Prep TEK
Edited by Mycotek on Dec. 20 2001,10:09