Compost Casings ?'s
|Posted by: Kermit_The_Frog Jan 08 03, 03:05 AM GMT|
| Ok, I?m going to be starting some casings soon, I?ve got lots of experience with cakes but zero with casings so I have some questions.
I will be using some of Mycota?s compost (www.mycotapro.com) and spawning with crumbled up BRF cakes.
What do I need to do to prepare the compost? Pasteurize? Sterilize? Also, I don?t own a pressure cooker so it has to be done in a big stockpot. Then I will put the compost into a rubbermaid container or aluminum tins, mix in crumbled up BRF cake, then I plan on casing with a 1/2? layer of vermiculate (Does this need to be sterilized?) Then I?m going to set these in my terrarium with right now has perlite but I think I should take that out, as that will be too much humidity. I don?t have the space to build any elaborate misting tek ala Homer Tek so I have to keep it simple. I?ll wait till mycelium starts to poke thru in a few places maybe patch case then initiate pinning, start fanning and wait.
Is it this easy? Am I missing anything?
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 08 03, 11:50 AM GMT|
get an old pillowcase
fill up with desired amount of compost and twist
put it in your stockpot, full of water and let the twisted neck hang over the side
weigh it down with a brick so it is completly submerged in your crockpot
You will need a candy thermometer....go to food lion or superfresh or something
Heat the water on med-high until it's at 160 degrees and turn down to low-med......watch the temp and adjust accordingly for 45 minutes to make it stay as close to 160 as possible
lift the pillowcase out by the twisted neck
and run it to the sink fast with a bowl under it to catch run-off
then WORK IT with the brick to drain it
press....fold it over...press more....over and over HARD
until you can't squeeze out anymore water
Let it cool and dump it in your clean trays w/ clean hands
then spawn by mixing
cover trays with foil or plastic until a peak inside reveals complete colonization
then case with a 1/2 in of verm like you said
you can sterilize but its not necessary
350 in the oven if you do
keep it loose and porous
keep it simple
don't use perlite
or at least not much
casings, properly managed, can hold the humidity in a 45 gal stelite w/ no prob
it's that easy
only patch if you get overlay
|Posted by: HapplyDeranged Jan 08 03, 12:43 PM GMT|
| he can just put the bag that the compost was sent in....the oven 190 for 1.5 hrs (i think thats right) and rehydrate with some steril H2O
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 08 03, 12:45 PM GMT|
| I just like the pillowcase because it's easy to get your moisture exact.
....so you don't have to risk intoducing anything and inviting contams
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 08 03, 12:45 PM GMT|
|and the oven stinks up the house......BAD|
|Posted by: HapplyDeranged Jan 08 03, 12:46 PM GMT|
|never done anything in oven so i couldnt tell ya....|
|Posted by: Mycota Jan 08 03, 12:57 PM GMT|
The compost comes with autoclave bags & string ties.
To get more volume, you can add 20 to 30% vern to it.
Simply bake the verm @ 300 F (60 minutes), in any pan & allow it to cool to room temp - with a tight lid on it. That sterilizes it.
Then, add verm to compost. Add water to the mix, until it reachs the point, when you squeeze it, it does NOT DRIP, but is moist as possible.
Fill an autoclave bag almost full of the moist mix. Use string tie to close the bag. Don't close the bag tight, as you need to insert a MEAT THEMOMETER PROBE into the opening & leave enough room for some steam to escape - out of the tie area.
Slide the bag in the oven, on a rack. Turn oven on, at 200 - NO HIGHER. Watch the THERMOMETER CAREFULLY.
When it gets to the between 145 -- 160 F range, adjust the oven heat down, so it maintains the temp (145 -- 160 -- NO HIGHER) & simply maintain that temp for THREE (3) to FOUR (4) FULL HOURS.
Once done, slide the thermometer out of the opening, pull the tie string tight to close the bag & allow the bag to cool to room temp at least overnight. It is preferable to wait to use the mix, several days. The reason why is this:
In general a compost substrate temperature of 140o F for 4 hours is adequate for a complete pasteurization. An effective pasteurization will eradicate harmful bacteria, nematodes, insects and fungi.
Heat is lethal to microorganisms, but each species has its own particular heat tolerance. During a thermal destruction process, such as pasteurization, the rate of destruction is logarithmic, as is their rate of growth. Thus bacteria subjected to heat are killed at a rate that is porportional to the number of organisms present. The process is dependent both on the temperature of exposure and the time required at this temperature to accomplish to desired rate of destruction.
Thermal calculations thus involve the need for knowledge of the concentration of microorganisms to be destroyed, the acceptable concentration of microorganisms that can remain behind (spoilage organisms, for example, but not pathogens), the thermal resistance of the target microorganisms (the most heat tolerant ones), and the temperature time relationship required for destruction of the target organisms.
The IMPORTANT REASON:
The reason that you want to pasteurize instead of sterilize is this. In most forms of compost there are several types of good & bad micro-organisms present. You want to kill them all except for one; actinomyces.
Actinomyces is a thermophilic entity. That's a $1.75 cent word meaning that it creates heat and can withstand higher temps then other bacteria or molds. When you are done pasteurizing the actinomyces will race through the compost mix and colonize it, preventing other contams from getting a toe hold.
Mushroom myc however can devour actinomyces at will and they actually become another food source for the mushroom myc.
THE NEXT STEP:
When ready to use, simply open the bag & under as clean of conditions as you can manage (including running any type air filtration you might have), dump the content into a CLEAN tub, bin or whatever. Since the moisture content was lowered from optimal, by some steam escaping, you want to raise it back to optimal.
Simply use distilled, or boiled water, at room temp -- in a spray bottle. Spray the mix, until you raise it back to the point - you squeeze it & it does not drip. Meaning, get as much moisture into it, as it holds naturaly. The SQUEEZE TEST DOES THAT.
Now, spawn it with any fully colonized spawn. Mix the spawn in, no need to layer it, as some folks suggest. The object is to mix the spawn in, as well as possible, to get even & fast colonization all over the substrate - with as many innoc points as possible.
I hold back a tiny bit of extra spawn, and use it last, on the surface of the substrate. Not to much, just an little bit extra on the surface. That causes the surface to colonize a little bit quicker than the rest of the container. The reason that is GOOD, is it creates a quick blanket of colonized surface substrate, that helps to protect the uncolonized substrate below it from possible contaminents.
DO NOT COMPACT THE SUBSTRATE DOWN HARD. That slows colonization. Get it to the point it is nice, light & evenly setting in the container. A loose mix is far better than a compact one.
Now, cover the container with cling wrap, poke a lot of tiny holes in it (all over & in an even pattern) with a sharp nail (or whatever). Then, crumple some tin foil (crumple first), & cover the cling wrap with the tin foil, LOOSE. The object is to keep out LIGHT, but allow a tiny bit of air exchange.
Then, store the container in a CLEAN WARM place around 78 to 82 F.
Here is the HARD PART for newbies. LEAVE IT ALONE. DON'T FOOL WITH IT.
After 3 or 4 days, peek in, by liftinf a corner of the foil.
Once the surface is 100% colonized, give it a few more days so the rest can catch up.
Once you feel sure the substrate is 100% colonized, it is time to cover it with a casing mix. I strongly suggest using 50/50 ++ mix, that you have tested the ph of, with a meter, or ph strips. To insure the ph is optimal. Doing all you have, then adding a bad casing mix, just leads to poor results.
I do not recommend using aluminum pans. Myc emits enzymes & acids to digest & absorb nutes. Those can eat holes in aluminum pans. Plus, they are flimsy & bend. Try 10 quart plastic dish pans, or anything like that. They work great & last for years.
Suggest you save & print this out, for use latter.
Just my humble opinion:
This method does not stink up the place BAD. There will be a mild odor, nothing you cannot get rid of. Use a fan, directed out a window, when doing it. That helps.
I prefer this method over the pillow case in hot water method, because it is easy to get water in. Hard & messy to get it out of MUD.
Moreover, a wet pillow case is a contam magnet. It is warm, wet & a messy pita to drain. Mold spores & other nasties that touch it, will stick like glue. They may come in contact with the content. That can lead to BS happening later. With the autoclave bag, in the oven & closed. You minimize any contact with any nasties.
Again, just my humble experiance. Yours may differ & if it works for you -- GREAT.
|Posted by: DirtyWOP Jan 08 03, 01:13 PM GMT|
| Nice post....
been wanting to try the 145 degree thing
the 4 hr 145 deg. technique is just as effective submerged in water, right?
so long as you can keep the temp from fluxing....
|Posted by: Mycota Jan 08 03, 01:49 PM GMT|
| >>>>>>>technique is just as effective submerged in water, right?
so long as you can keep the temp from fluxing.... <<<<<<<
I prefer the moist method, in a bag, in the oven. Read edit in above post.
If you do not have autoclave bags? Reynolds turkey baking bags work fine, to oven pasturize in (not as great as autoclave bags, but 2nd best). 3rd best is just a big as pot or pan, with tight lid.
This resolves draining a pillow case & getting moisture OUT. Easy to add, hard yo remove.
It also isolates the substrate, from open air contams, much better than a wet pillow case.
If you do straight cow/horse dung, this way. There is a strong odor, that hangs around - if you let it.
Use a box fan, running full blast to vent it OUTSIDE, as you are doing it. That helps -- tons. Start the fan running, the minute you turn on the oven.
EDIT: I did not answer your Q. Sorry. The pillow case in hot water method works. I just prefer this method, for the above stated reasons.
If you are in a rural area (or not), where you have space & privacy. If you ever run across a big ASS old second hand stove for dirt cheap at a garage sale, or whatever. Buy the puppy & install it on the back porch, in the garage or wherever.
That way, you can PC and/or oven pasturize outside your house. That generaly keeps the little women -- happy. Plus, you can do lots of it, anytime you want without creating BS in the kitchen.
|Posted by: HapplyDeranged Jan 08 03, 03:21 PM GMT|
|4-5hrs.....damn thats alot of time|
|Posted by: Mycota Jan 08 03, 03:41 PM GMT|
3 to 4 hours, not 4 or 5.
The temp is lower, it takes longer. Cooking a 2 lb chicken can be done quick. It takes much longer to cook a 30 lb turkey - right. Same goes for pasturizing large amounts of compost.
I do BIG AMOUNTS, as in 4 bags at a time, each with about 25 lbs of compost in them.
Smaller amounts, you can cut the time way down. Whatever the case, I would rather be safe, than sorry.
|Posted by: Kermit_The_Frog Jan 09 03, 04:37 AM GMT|
| Thanks for the novel post Mycota......that pretty much answers all my questions except one. Is there a golden ratio of spawn to mix in with the substrate? I know the more spawn the quicker it will colonize.
I'm not too worried about the smell, I've got a window and 8 foot sliding door a few feet away from my oven. I'll just have to do it when the misses is away.
|Posted by: Mycota Jan 09 03, 09:05 AM GMT|
The minimum magic number of spawn to substrate rate is TEN PERCENT (10%).
I NEVER go below that 10% rate.
Most times, I mix in around 15%.
Sometimes 20% if I have a ton of spawn jars, ready.