Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wow, the growth in my one jar is doing exceptionally well!

The mycelium is growing beyond the cardboard and can be seen over approx 75% off the bottom.

Now, what to do? I will need to give this some thought.

My biggest concern is why all the mushroom pieces in this jar are doing so well and all of the others simply died.

If you remember, I had sprayed the inside of each jar with alcohol. Perhaps I missed this jar? Or perhaps it received so little as to not affect the mycelium? I am siding with the first scenario.

This means the inside of the jar is covered with contaminating spores that could not colonize the cardboard as quickly as the mycelium I introduced in the form of mushroom pieces. This would likely be, in part, due to the hydrogen peroxide that the cardboard had been soaked in. In addition, the mycelium was already growing and perhaps does better on cardboard than the contaminants.

So when transferring the actively growing mycelium to a larger quantity of substrate (the stuff it grows on) I will need to somehow kill the contaminants in the process. Additionally, it would be a good idea to continue with the cardboard, at least as a barrier between the mycelium and the yummy stuff below.

Sooo, the tentative plan is this: I will prepare jars of brown rice flower with vermiculite and sterilize them in my pressure cooker, but instead of topping the “rice cake” with straight vermiculite, I will top it off with a circular piece of cardboard. Prior to the transfer I will spray the inside top portion of the newly sterilized jar with a relatively high solution of hydrogen peroxide.

With any luck the hydrogen peroxide will kill off any contaminants hitching a ride with the transfer and any new ones that will surely be introduced once the jar is opened.

Well regardless of what I choose to do it needs to be done soon. The mycelium will not continue it’s vigorous growth for much longer.

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