|DethHead's Birdseed Tek|
Nan's Nook : Archives : Misc Tek : Grain Teks : Birdseed
Before you start!!! Realize that this method is not the
best for a beginner to mushroom cultivation. If you are a beginner and would like to see
the newbie way, go to Psylocybe Fanaticus's page.
You can check out his
). Ideally, you should have a couple of harvests with the PF-tek before you go on to
Whole Grains. It lets you learn about the life cycle of the mushrooms and is much more forgiving
about sterility matters. Enough BS, here's my way :p.
Step 2: Measure out 2/3 cup birdseed into every pint jar.
Since the birdseed I got this time came with bird-kote on it (fig. 1a), I rinsed it off as
well as possible. I've had decent results even with the bird-kote, but I just feel better
with it off for some reason :) . To rinse, I just mixed in some water (enough to cover it
all) stirred and let it soak for a few minutes then drained the jars. Figure 4 is what was
drained off.....yummy eh? See figs. 2, 3, and 4.
Step 3: Next you need to add the water. I used 1/3 cup
water to 2/3 cup birdseed which has been working quite consistently for me. Even with
different batches of seed. See fig. 5.
Next is a pic of some jars ready to be capped with foil and put in
the pressure cooker.
Step 4: Cover the jar lids with aluminum foil and pressure
cook at 15 psi for an hour. Having a pressure cooker is absolutely essential in using this
method. Don't even try it if you don't have one. I just left the jars in the cooker
overnight after cooking and let them cool slowly, but I've thrown them in the freezer
right after cooking before to cool them off quickly with no problems.
Step 5: Wait until the jars are cool to the touch before
going on. Taping the holes on the lids while the jar/substrate is still hot will cause a
vacuum inside the jar that will suck in surrounding air when the tape is lifted for
inoculation. I usually turn the oven on (~250 F)and remove the tray a little (the
oven-tek). I use the tray to sit the jars on while I remove the foil and tape the holes in
the lids, being as sterile as possible. The hot air coming out of the oven will help keep
contaminants away from the area. After the jars are taped, give them a nice shake to break
up all the grain. Fig. 8 shows the prepared jars ready for inoculation.
Step 6 Next, all you need to do is
inoculate the jars via syringe. You can use the oven tek again for this but it is usually
sufficient to do it in a clean room with no air movement. It usually takes around 3 days
to see growth in the jars. I don't shake after I inoculate until I see growth, but many do
with success, it's a matter of preference. After the mycelium starts growing well, give
the jars a good shake. This will distribute colonized kernels throughout the jar, they
will recover in 24-48 hours usually and begin growing and spreading to more grain kernels.
I usually end up shaking them up 2-4 times while they're colonizing. Average colonization
time with 1cc spore solution is 2-3 weeks. If they suddenly stop growing, loosen the lid
or pull the tape off (using the oven tek if you want to be really safe), it's most likely
due to lack of oxygen, which is the only problem I've had with my method. I haven't had a
chance to try polyfill instead of tape yet, but I may give it a shot someday, I'm sure
that would eliminate the problem. After colonized, the seed is cased with
Vermiculite, 50/50+ or other
appropriate casing. Happy growing!