Alien's Teks

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Magic mushroom cultivation has come a long way since its early days when the first publications were introduced. Pioneers like Paul Stamets and the McKenna brothers brought forth the first step by step instructions and introduced us to this new world of home grown magic. These early methods of cultivation were somewhat complicated to the beginner; many people that attempted these techniques either failed or gave up. For many years the focus remained on perfecting these tedious methods and for a long time there seemed to be a lack of interest in coming up with alternatives.  

Thankfully times have changed. For several years it seemed that the hobby would only collect a small number of very skilled and persistent cultivators. But that changed back in 1991 when a revolutionary technique was introduced by a company called Psylocybe Fanaticus Yes they do spell the first part of their name wrong for some strange reason, it should be Psilocybe. Many of the newer companies out there these days have forgotten that PF revolutionized and revitalized magic mushroom cultivation, and sadly they like to put PF down. The cultivation tek on this site resembles the PF Tek in its basics, but does have a style of its own. But it must be stated that PF has brought many of us a long way since they first started shop.

Alien�s Shroom Tek is a unique method with a highly nutritional substrate by using vermiculite as a base and adding whole brown rice, quinoa, ground finch & flax seed, and spring water. The secret is in the vermiculite and the whole grains. When mycelium is cultured in just grain, the mycelium turns into a mass with little air space. But when grown with vermiculite and whole grains, the mycelial threads stretch across space. The important thing about this tek is that it copies nature. Instead of the usual cloning of mushroom tissue and growing mushrooms from that, a mass spore inoculation is employed directly to the fruiting substrate. That way, the genotype remains complete. Senescence (mutating and ceased fruiting) is no longer a problem. The spores insure a never-ending succession of fungus, with all the power of the spore�s reproductive ability intact.


1. Whole brown rice, vermiculite, ground finch & flax seed, rye berries, and distilled water are mixed and loaded into a 1/2 pint jars which is then pressure cooked to sterilize the substrate. The jars of sterilized substrate are then inoculated with the spore syringe.

2. After the substrate cake in the jar colonizes and begins to show signs of fruiting, the cake is released from the jar, broken up and placed into a small container, cased, then put into the perlite terrarium to fruit.

3. Mushrooms are harvested and stored with desiccant.

Basic Materials Needed

Substrate jar preparation and culturing (Stage one) (Domestic products - supermarket - department - drugstore - hardware store)

1. Measuring cups and spoons
2. Pressure cooker from Wal-Mart, capable of cooking at 15 p.s.i.
3. Canning or Jelly type half-pint jars with lids (Kerr or Ball)
4. Long grain organic brown rice, quinoa, finch seed, rye berries, and flax seed (pet supply, organic food stores)
5. Horticultural vermiculite (medium or fine grade - not powdery)
6. Any brand spring type drinking water
7. Any kind of tin foil, (Reynolds Wrap)
9. A small nail (for punching needle holes in the culture jar lid)

Substrate jar incubation with the "Alien Incubator" (Optional)

1. Medium size plastic storage box with lid (Rubbermaid, etc)
Small shoebox size plastic storage container, must fit inside the other container
50 watt submersible fish tank heater (pet supply)
Couple gallons of cheap spring water
Bottle of hydrogen peroxide
Small stick on fish tank thermometer
1/4 inch bolt for burning air holes
Lighter to heat the bolt, pliers might be a good idea to hold the hot bolt

Mushroom growing (Stage two) Pet shop - Hardware store

1.10 gallon aquarium, bag of perlite, cheap spring water, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
2. Cut piece of transparent plastic (Plexiglas) - (terrarium lid)
3. 1x2 strips of wood and some small wood screws (terrarium lid)
4. 1 piece of egg crate light cover (sold for commercial florescent lights) and a fish tank air pump.
5. Small wall type thermometer, heating pad (optional), plastic cup hooks, water resistant epoxy.
6. Houseplant water spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle and a small florescent light.

Substrate Preparation

Make Holes in the Canning Lids

Prepare the canning lid by placing it with the rubber sealing edge upwards on a supporting surface and with a sharpened 3 penny nail (held with vise grip pliers), punch 4 holes inside the periphery of the rubber sealing edge. Make sure that the holes are not too close to the edge of the lid. About �" (2 cm) in from the edge is sufficient.


Alien Substrate Formula

This is a unique substrate which has the most highly and balanced nutritional content ever composed in a spawn substrate. This formula produces a very airy, spongy and evenly wet substrate which colonizes very quickly and is very easy to work with when casing. I have found through tests done with several of the more popular substrates that this substrate produces a slightly more potent mushroom, averaging about 10-15% more in potency.

Important Note : Do not substitute for anything in this recipe. The 2 grains (Quinoa and Brown Rice) must be whole and not ground or powdered. The formula presented below will produce this awesome substrate, but if its altered it may be a disaster. Please follow the instructions very closely.

Alien Substrate Formula

  • 2/3 cup of quinoa (health food store)
  • 2/3 cup long grain brown rice (grocery store)
  • 2 1/4 cups spring water
  • 1 1/4 cups vermiculite (Wal-Mart)
  • 1/8 cup flax seed (measured before grinding)
  • 1/8 cup rye berries (measured before grinding)
  1. Cook the quinoa and rice (use the whole grains, not ground) by bringing it to a boil with 2 1/4 cups of spring water, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot with lid and set a timer for 20 mins.
  2. Important!! -- Be sure to cover the pot with the lid, otherwise water will be lost from evaporation.
  3. While this is cooking, measure out your flax and finch seed and rye berries, then grind them up in a coffee grinder or similar.
  4. Mix the ground flax, rye, and finch seed with the other dry ingredients, stir the cooking grains occasionally so as not to burn them.
  5. When the grains are all done, turn off the heat and allow them to cool for a minute or so.
  6. Now dump them and the water that is still in the pot (do not strain) all in with the dry mix previously prepared.
  7. Mix this carefully with a fork (no hands) so it remains light and fluffy. Small amounts of water can be added at this point to improve fruiting, just don't overdo it. I know that anything over 1/4 cup would be overkill, I sometimes add around an 1/8 cup to mine, but sometimes I don't. Its best to wait 5-10 minutes before adding any water, this makes it mix better.
  8. Cover and let it cool for about 15 minutes before spooning into jars. I use the vermiculite topping like PF and this has helped alot to eliminate contams.
  9. Don't pack the substrate when loading, try to keep it fluffy and pressure cook at 15 p.s.i. for 30 minutes.
  10. If you use the PF style jars with the holes in the lids, then cap the jars with aluminum foil. This substrate is very airy and makes any good cubensis grow very rizmorphic.



Cleanliness Precautions
Inoculating your jars is the main step where contamination is possible, and thus must be done in as clean of an environment as possible. If the room you�re working in is clean enough, you can get away with inoculating them in open air. The needle of the syringe, if not absolutely sterile, can carry bacteria and spores from other molds into your cake, contaminating and ruining the cake. Wash your hands and face with antibacterial soap. Wear clean clothes. Anything in the area of the syringe and jars could contaminate your cakes if it is not clean.

Glove Box (Optional)
If you�re concerned about sterility, a good way to accomplish this is to make a "glove box," an enclosed, semi-sealed box with holes for gloves to go through and a see-through top. A cheap, halfway decent one can be built for only a couple bucks worth of stuff. All you need is a large cardboard box; some tape and saran wrap to go over the top of the box, and a pair of new, unused dishwashing gloves. Tape saran wrap over the top and cut two holes big enough for your arms in the sides. Disinfect the gloves and the inside of the box with Lysol spray disinfectant. A small gate can be cut into the side of the box for getting the syringe and jars into the box, or they can be put through one of the arm openings (if you choose not to attach the gloves to the holes).

Oven Inoculation: Cleanliness Simplified
If you have an oven at your disposal, forget all about glove boxes and all that troublesome nonsense. The simplest, easiest way to assure cleanliness during inoculation is to do it on an oven rack. Turn your oven on at the lowest possible setting, and let it heat up. Once it's preheated, pull one of the racks out as far as it will go without falling out of the oven. (Use a rack near the bottom) Have your jars and spore syringe all nearby, ready to go. Place 3 or 4 jars at a time on the edge of the oven rack, and begin carefully inoculating them with the syringe. It's a good idea to have a lighter handy as well to sterilize the needle as you go. Flames the needle until it gets very hot, then carefully squirt a little bit of spore solution (if you can spare it) to cool down the needle before sticking it in the cake. Putting a hot needle into the cake will get burnt-on rice flour all over the needle.

Spore Injection
Once you�re ready to inoculate, shake up the spore syringe to get as many spores as possible off the sides of the syringe and into the water. Carefully remove the cap over the syringe needle and slide the needle into one of the holes in the jar lid. Shove it all the way in, so that the needle goes into the cake itself. Gently squeeze out about .5-1.0 cc of spore solution into each jar, splitting up the amount if you inject through more than one hole. Some people suggest using an entire cc of solution per jar, however I have had great success with only .5cc each. Be careful that nothing but the jar and substrate touch the needle, and re-cap it immediately after using it to avoid contaminating the needle. Also be careful of using too much spore solution. With spore syringes it can be easy to accidentally push the plunger on the syringe too forcefully and dump out way too much solution. Once each jar is inoculated, it is ready for incubation. There is no need to put tape over the holes in the lid, because the dry vermiculite will keep out any contaminants.

Mycelial (Vegetative) Growth

Now the jars are incubated at about 75-85 degrees F, in a dark place, for several weeks. If you have a room that is constantly kept in this general range, this is a good place to incubate your jars. If not, you will need to find some other source of heat to keep them in that temperature range. Be careful not to use any heat source that could cause fires; a heating pad will usually work, some people have used fish tank heaters submerged in a warm water bath. A good investment here is a thermometer that keeps track of highest and lowest temperatures, so you can see how hot or cold your cakes are getting. If they get too cold, their growth will slow considerably, and if they get too hot, they will lose water and eventually die. (They will usually die if they ever get above 95 degrees F)


Alien's Incubator

I incubate my jars by using a plastic storage tub filled to about 2 inches of h2o2 water (1/8-1/4 cup peroxide per 1 gallon of water). I put one of those submersible fish tank heaters in and set it at 80 degrees. I use one of those small stick on thermometers sold for fish tanks and stick it on the outside of the large tub right where the water is to regulate temperature. I then get a smaller tub with a lid, punch air holes around the container right under where the lid overhangs so water cannot drip in. Put the jars in the smaller tub, close the lid and sit this in the warm water. I cover the main tub with its lid and have some air holes in this also.

Water will condensate on the lid in the large tub and drip down on the smaller one but no water should get inside the smaller tub. This will regulate itself and provide the perfect environment for the mycelium to colonize in the jars.

Colonizing the substrate at 80 degrees F. is the ideal temperature for several reasons. First, the mycelium will grow faster and the substrate will be colonized in the shortest amount of time. Secondly, when the cakes are removed from the jars, shocking the cakes with a temperature drop, lower CO2 levels, and light enhances initiation of fruiting.

If you plan to have your terrarium at normal room temperature, then colonizing at 80 degrees will help you initiate a massive flush of mushrooms when you place your cakes in the terrarium.

Mycelial Growth
The first signs of mycelial growth should appear within 5-7 days. If none appear within two weeks, something went wrong. (Perhaps the cake was not cooled completely before inoculation, and the heat killed the spores, or the spores simply did not make it into the cake.) This type of mushroom mycelium will always be a brilliant white fuzz, often growing in ropy strands. This ropy type of growth is called rhizomorphic growth, and is a sign that the mycelium will probably fruit very well. Any other color of mold, including some less brilliantly white molds (cobweb mold, for example, is white but not so thick, and it does look a lot like cobwebs.), is a sign of contamination. A contaminated cake will not recover and, except in very rare instances, will never produce mushrooms.


Fruiting (Producing Mushrooms) and Harvesting

Birthing, Casing & The Fruiting Chamber (Terrarium)

Alien's Casing Tek

You can't go wrong by using a casing method for fruiting your mushrooms. Casing your substrate will give you more than double the yield as compared to fruiting from just a cake. Humidity requirements are a bit lower ranging from 80-90% and you don't have to worry about the cakes falling over or bumping the sensitive mycelium formed on the cake.

Important Note: Make sure the lime is "lime flour". The back of the package will state that it consists of 97% CaC03 and the magnesium content should be around 2%. This is very important; you want to avoid magnesium as much as possible. Dolomite lime is bad, it has high levels of magnesium and this inhibits growth.

Take a 50/50 mix of Schultz Peat Moss and the same brand of vermiculite normally sold at Wal-Mart. I add a touch of lime flour, which can be purchased at your local nursery or garden center. Add a tablespoon per 4 cups of this 50/50 mix. Wet this mix to the point where you can just barely squeeze out a few drips of water (they call this field capacity) then spread this out on a cookie sheet and bake at 170 for a little over an hour. Cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil before baking. Store this pasteurized casing mixture in plastic freezer bags, I mist the inside of the bags with bleach water then wipe out before putting the mixture in.

Just take your fully colonized cakes or jars of substrate, dump out into a clean bowl and crumble into small pieces about the size of marbles. Be sure to use sterile conditions, the transfer box is not needed but clean hands and a bit of Lysol sprayed in the air is recommended. The mycelium is pretty defensive against contams at this point, but it never hurts to be safe. Put a 1/2 inch layer of damp pasteurized vermiculite (pasteurize like the casing substrate) on the bottom of a suitable container, you can use milk jugs cut down to about 3 inches tall and cover the outside with foil so light cant get in. If light gets in then it screws up the shrooms and they try to grow against the sides of the container under the casing.  Sprinkle the substrate chunks onto this layer to about 3/4 - 1 inch deep, then cover with approx. 3/4 - 1 inch of the casing mixture previously prepared. Mist the casing with a fine mist of spring water, 3-5 blasts should do fine. Take a fork, wipe it with an alcohol pad and work the casing layer a bit to form little mountains and valleys. This makes the casing transpire and breathe which is what you want so it doesn't choke the mycelium.

See: Casing Teks

  The Perlite Terrarium

Originally this idea came from a setup that was presented to me by a good friend of mine. At the time, he was using a sonic humidifier for his setup, and then later decided it was not the way to go. You will see a few people out there really pumping these cool mists, sonic, and other humidifier methods, but I will try to tell you this is not the way to go. If you set them up properly they will work fine, but they can be harder to get tweaked in and are less forgiving. There have been plenty of critics to put down the perlite method and many, I mean many that stand behind it. I have researched it thoroughly and I found that the ones that did not get good results strayed away from or didn't get the correct instructions. Just follow these instructions to the tee and you will be fine.

First off you want to make a lid for the tank. This lid will have a hole on one end for the air tubing, then a few bigger holes (I use 1 inch holes) on the other end for the exhaust. I am not going to go into a lot of detail on how to make it, but I will give you the general idea.

Cut your Plexiglas so that it just fits into the step in the rim of the tank. If there is no inner plastic step, make the lid slightly bigger so it sets flat on the top of the tank. Use the 1x2's to make a frame, this keeps the lid from warping. You want the wood on the top, so it doesn't rot inside where its wet. Use little screws and drill small holes in the lid to mount the frame. On one end in the back corner, drill a small hole to run the air pump tube through. On the opposite end drill 3 1 inch holes equally spaced across the lid and cover with coffee filter. This is the exhaust. You want to run your air tubing down to the bottom where it will rest on the perlite, this is so the air pumped in pushes the stale bottom heavy air out and to the top on the other side of the tank.

Use a double outlet air pump sold for aquariums, the double ones pump a lot more air. You will be running 2 tubes out and to a "T" fitting that will have a single tube to run into the tank. Get a small Tupperware box that this pump can fit into with a little room. Drill holes to run the wiring and tubing out. Remove the bottom from the air pump, the rubber thing with the little legs. Then put the air pump in the box upside down, this will make it draw in a lot more air. Make a large cutout in the lid for the box and tape coffee filter over this. Put the lid on and silicone all around the lid and any of the drilled holes for the tubing and wiring. You only want the air coming in through the filter. This air pump will be run all the time, 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.  

You will be using the egg crate as a shelf for the cased containers to sit above the perlite. Get you some little plastic cup hooks or so and some water resistant epoxy. I use PC-11, I have tried regular 5 min epoxy, but it melts over time due to all the moisture. You want to epoxy the hooks in approx. 6 equally spaces places around the tank, all even; this is what the egg crate will rest on. You want this to be 3 1/2 inches from the very bottom of the tank. This makes the egg crate removable so you can manage the perlite and such.

Now you will want to go buy a small temp and humidity gauge to mount on the back glass of the tank. I like the ones sold at reptile supply shops. Mount them in the middle and towards the top of the backside glass on the inside of course.

Get a bag of perlite, some hydrogen peroxide, and a gallon of cheap spring water. Decide on how much perlite you need to fill the tank to at least 2 inches or so. Thoroughly rinse out the perlite with tap water and strain with a kitchen strainer. You want to get rid of the broken down perlite dust leaving only nice little chunks. Now take your gallon of spring water and mix in 1/8 to 1/4 cup of peroxide, I prefer a tad under 1/4 cup. Pour rinsed perlite into the fishtank and slightly level it off. Now pour in some of the spring water that you treated with peroxide and mix well with the perlite. Keep adding water and mixing a little at a time until you just start to see some water puddle up on the bottom, you don't want too much but a little water at the bottom is no harm. Now level the perlite out and then run your fingers slightly through it to form slight hills and valleys. This causes the perlite to breathe off the humidity better.

Now if your room is cold you can sit the tank on a small heating pad and turn it on low. This will warm the bottom of the tank, warm the perlite and water, and the heat will transpire throughout the tank. You will get a tad more humidity this way also, just be sure and monitor the temp; do not let it go above 80 deg. The best overall temp range is from 72-76, but the mushrooms can still be grown out of that range a bit, they just will be more productive in the ranges I give.

You will have to pop the lid at least once a day and wipe some humidity off the inside surface of the lid. If you don't the moisture builds to a point where it will drip off the lid and into your casings. Be careful to tip the lid and let the moisture run down and off to the side. I have had drips to get into the casing, but never had a problem. I think since the water has peroxide in it, its pretty contaminant free, but it never hurts to be safe. Doing this once a day (I do it twice) also gets more fresh air in and also helps regulate the temperature better. I run my Ozone generator during this airing for even more added protection.


Drying And Preservation

Once you have grown and harvested some mushrooms, you need to think about preserving them. They will only keep for a short time in their fresh state. Sometimes a single mushroom needs to be harvested and it isn't enough for a dose. Other times, too many mushrooms will be fully grown for a single dose. Either way, you will be in a situation where you want to preserve them for later. And, even if this didn't happen, you may find your self in a situation where you simply don't have the time or inclination to trip. The good news is that if they are dried correctly, nearly all of the psycho-active compounds can be preserved for many months.

There are several ways to dry them, but we will only cover the best way. What ever you do, don't use heat to dry them. Heat is very harmful to the psycho-active compounds. You will drastically reduce the mushroom's potency if you use heat to dry them.

Materials needed:

  • 1/4 inch wire mesh
  • 1 old wash cloth or rag
  • Box of Damp-Rid or Damp-be-Gone (Anhydrous calcium chloride)
  • Medium or Large size Tupperware bowl with sealing lid

Several pounds of calcium chloride can be purchased for a couple of dollars at any large building supply outlet. It will usually be found in the paint department because it is used to dry the air in musty closets before painting and things like that. If possible, get the bulk refill containers. It will be cheaper than the calcium chloride that comes with the units to hold it and the moisture pulled from the air. You won't be using the unit, so don't buy it unless you have to.

The drying chamber needs to have a space at the bottom for water to collect. This allows the calcium chloride to function well for extended periods of time. As it pulls moisture from the air, it drips to the bottom of the chamber. The calcium chloride is held above the water by a circular section of the 1/4 inch wire mesh with a wash cloth spread out on it. See the following diagram for details. The wash cloth keeps the calcium chloride from falling through the wire mesh but any water that forms can drip through it to the bottom of the chamber.

The calcium chloride should  be spread out evenly. If you use too large of a Tupperware bowl, you may have to add some structural strength to the screen in order for it to support the calcium chloride. You can simply lay a stick or ruler underneath the mesh and use tie wraps to secure the mesh to it.

Cut another circular section of mesh so that it fits above the calcium chloride and leaves a nice air gap. The mushrooms will be placed on this mesh in order to dry them. Make sure the calcium chloride is not touching the bottom of this screen. There should be an air gap between the top of the desiccant and the bottom of the screen. You do not want your mushrooms to touch the calcium chloride while they are drying because some of it will dissolve into the mushroom if this happens.

That is the entire preparation for preserving your mushrooms with minimal loss of potency. In order to dry your mushrooms, simply harvest them and place them on the wire screen. Close the Tupperware container so it is airtight. The mushrooms will shrink and shrivel over the next couple of days. After about three days, they will be fairly hard and contain very little moisture. If you are not pushed for space inside the drying chamber, you may was well leave them there for five or six days to thoroughly dry them.
After the mushrooms have been in the drying chamber for three days, they can be moved to a zip-lock bag for long-term storage. Remember that the dryer the mushrooms are, the longer they will keep.

The reason this system works so well to dry the mushrooms is the calcium chloride is a good desiccant. It has a very strong affinity for moisture and can pull almost all the moisture out of the air. Eventually however, liquid will start to collect in the bottom of the drying chamber. Mushrooms are 92% water by weight. This moisture has to go somewhere when the mushrooms are dried, and it will eventually find its way to the bottom of the container.

When moisture starts to collect in the drying chamber you can simply drain it out and continue to use the old desiccant. The chamber will continue to work as long as there is sufficient calcium chloride in it. You should be careful not to contaminate the sides of the container or the top screen with residue from the desiccant. You do not want your mushrooms to touch the residue. For one thing, it tastes terrible, but in addition to this, the mushrooms will not dry completely. The residue will attract moisture. Whenever you empty the moisture, it is best to wash the Tupperware container completely.


The best way to store your cracker dry mushrooms is to seal them in 1/2 pint canning jars with 1 packet of desiccant and 1 packet of oxygen absorber. You can get these storage chemicals very cheap on-line, at the paint section in the hardware store, wally world, and most large grocery strores. **Put the packets in the jars as described below**. You can cut circles of cheesecloth or muslin (dia of the jar) to put between the shrooms and chemical packs if you desire.

** May I use oxygen absorbers and desiccants in the same food container?

A. As set forth by the two major manufacturers of oxygen absorbers, YES, but like everything else we do there is a technique that must be followed to insure proper results. This is very simple and will be very simple for all of us to understand. Step 1: Place the desiccant into the bottom of the empty container.   Step 2: Place the food into the container directly over the desiccant.  Step 3: Place the oxygen absorber on top of the food.  Step 4: seal the container normally. 
Here is the deal... the oxygen absorbers we are all using (dry type) are pre-loaded with a small amount of moisture to help perpetuate the oxidation process (basically rusting) if the desiccant is lying in close proximity to the oxygen absorber, it will draw the moisture from the absorber before it has a chance to work.  By splitting them up and keeping food between them, you are keeping the desiccant busy far longer than necessary to allow the oxygen absorber to work.  I hope this helps.


Alien's Panaeolus Tek

For those of you that want to advance to a little harder but more rewarding level of cultivation, then welcome to the Panaeolus species. Most spore providers will carry either the Panaeolus Cyanescens or the Panaeolus Tropicalis; Tropicalis is a strain right out of Florida. I will give just a brief description of the substrate and casing methods, but the majority of the procedures are the same as outlined above. After following the above (Alien's Shroom Tek) you should have a good idea of how things work.

The Panaeolus is somewhat more finicky to grow and are very small, but the fruits produced are much more potent and deliver a cleaner trip than the Cubensis. From my experience it seems that the trick to getting this species to fruit successfully is in using some sort of compost or dung in the process. You can still use the standard methods to grow out the mycelium as usual, but when it comes to fruiting there are a few things that change. Some people suggest to use straw, but I have found this to be an unpredictable disaster at times. Just use a well pasteurized dung or compost either in the initial substrate or mixed together with a colonized basic substrate (Alien's Substrate, PF, etc.) right before casing.

Dung Substrate Formula

4 cups horse manure or compost (dung is preferred)
2 cups bird seed flour (ground up bird seed)
2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups vermiculite
3 1/2 cups water

You will want the manure or compost to be dry, otherwise the water ratios will be slightly too wet. If it is wet, then you may try to adjust the water levels down some in the mixture. You can also bake the wet manure or compost in an oven at 200 deg. until it dries out. I personally prefer to do this just to make sure I get this sterilized well.

                                                                  The End

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