Log entry: April 26, 2023
Last night I started the process of making more liquid culture from the leftovers from last fall. I have an interesting selection, though there are some gaps that need to be filled, specifically in the oyster mushroom category.
In the meantime, we’ll be starting off with:
Black Pearl King Oysters, Chestut, Maitake, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Fried Chicken, and Blewits.
Going to need to pick up some popcorn to use as grain spawn.
Anyway, below is kind of a hybrid of glossary and description of the process of propagating liquid culture. First is the explanation of some of the terms, followed by what I did. I’ll likely return to massage this later, but I mostly wanted to get it posted in a timely fashion.
Crash course in the terminology of growing mushrooms.
Mushrooms are the fruiting body of the entity that is the mycelium.
I say “entity” because fungi are not plants, nor are they animals, and they kind of remind me of The Great Link from Star Trek.
You can have two clusters of the same type of mycelium, and when they are in contact long enough, they become one.
Below are wine cap mushrooms (stropharia rugosa-annulota) growing in a mix of soil and wood chips (the growing medium). You can see the mycelium on top of and throughout the medium
Mycelium doesn’t just grow on wood or in soil. Liquid culture is a sterilized blend of water and some form of sugar, and boy oh boy does it love that.
The ration that works for me is 1l of water to 40ml of honey or dextrose. I boil the water, turn it off, and dissolve the honey/sugar.
Then I put the mix into mason jars with customized lids (I will get into that in another post and link it from here), and pressure cook it to sterilize it, and let it cool overnight.
I did this part last night.
When you buy a mushroom kit, you are basically paying for someone else to do the first several steps of the process of getting the mycelium onto the growing medium.
I buy syringes of liquid culture, which means I get to skip the whole process (*cough*nightmare*cough*) of having a sterile environment to convert spores or bits of mushroom into mycelium-laden liquid.
This morning I completed the process.
First we gather together the items we need to sterilize the syringes and the tops of the jars. For this we will use a combination of fire and rubbing alcohol.