Nan's Nook : Archives : Spores : Spore printing
CONGRATULATIONS!!...If you've gotten this far, give yourself a big hug and a pat on the back. You see how easy that was. Even if you don't want to spend that much money, growing mushrooms is definitely at your grasp.
Now that you know how that process works, you should be ready for more. I mean...you already have everything set-up, so why stop here. You're barely getting started, there are many different species and strains of mushrooms that you can experiment with and grow.
Eventually you should be able to drop your own spores to keep a back up of the species that you are growing. To do this you will need a sterile or a semi-sterile environment. They both require the use of a real flow hood or a HEPA filter. It is not recommended to go on without one for this. If your spores are contaminated, this is definite failure, and great disappointment.
If you are doing this at home, then this is what you need to do:
1. Seal off a section of your house with plastic sheeting. Make sure that there are no cracks or holes anywhere, where air can get in, including A/C vents.
2. Make sure that you have a working surface in there like a small table.
3. Lysol everything inside. The floor, the ceiling, the walls, all the sheeting, your working surface...everything. Then get the hell out of there until it completely airs out.
4. Meanwhile, plug your HEPA filter somewhere outside of this 'room', and slide it in, opening this room as least as possible, and closing it back up as fast as possible. Let it operate for at least a few hours, depending on the size of your enclosure.
5. Take a shower and wear freshly laundered clothes.
6. Put on your mask, and bring your hand sanitizer with you, make sure that even the hand sanitizer is lysoled. Put it on as frequently as needed.
7. Either drag your entire growing chamber into your semi-sterile room, or wrap your sporulating specimens in a paper towel and bring them in there.
8. Every time you enter this room, you must be careful not to open it too much or too long. A household has way more air borne contaminants than the outdoors.
9. You will need to flame sterilize a scalpel, or a very sharp knife, and wrap it up in a paper towel.
10. Lay some paper towels on top of your work surface. Take your first mushroom and with your scalpel or knife, cut the stem right below the cap, so that there is barely any of the stem left on the cap once you cut it.
11. Place the cap face down on top of a clean sheet of printer paper. Place your printer paper in front of your HEPA intake, so that no small particles fall on top of your printer paper.
12. Cover the mushroom cap with a sterilized glass jar. If you are dropping spores from a small cap, then use a small jar so that humidity can build up in there, allowing the cap to drop it's spores. If it's a big cap, use a big jar correspondingly, so that there is not too much humidity in there which will cause your cap to rot and your paper to break. Therefore, no good spores.
13. Give it about 2 hours.
14. Go back in. Carefully, but accurately, use your sterilized scalpel to lift the mushroom cap up from the paper. Grab the cap with your hand sanitized fingers, and place it on top of a different clean printer paper once again. Cover once again with a sterilized glass jar.
The spores that were dropped the first 2 hrs, probably have some contamination, so don't keep them. By dropping these spores, new sterile spores will be dropped from then on. (Half-pint jars work best for average caps, and Pint jars work best for big caps.)
15. Allow this cap to sit there for about 24hrs.
16. After that time, it should have already dropped all or mostly all of it's spores.
17. Use your sterilized scalpel to lift the cap from the paper, and remove it with your hand sanitized fingers. You should have a nice dark mushroom print on the paper. Different mushrooms have different color prints. The cubensis has a dark purple print. Now cut the paper so that you can wrap your spore print with the paper itself, and tape it shut. You can also wrap it up in tinfoil to keep it extra clean. You should now have a sterile spore print.
PICTURES: (dropping spores
from a small cap)
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