Most all cultivable mushrooms can be started on simple sterilized unsullied grains or seeds. This is the same function as the wood plug spawn. The question I am now facing is how to go from grain to wood.
My species is an outdoor cold-weather (overwintering) wood loving mushroom that will be grown in beds of chips similarly to shiitake.
I do not have sawdust spawn or wood plug spawn, I have liquid culture, agar, spores and lots of big jars of whole grains colonized with the uncontaminated mycelium.
my plan in a nutshell is that this spawn will be the innoculant (1:2 or 1:1) for some larger jars or bags of plain hardwood chips, the BBQ smoking kind which will be STERILIZED not pasteurized before innoculation. I think of this like a second spawn expansion stage. The final substrate will be a much larger amount of pasteurized woodchips.
I do not have any prior experience with wood-based mushrooms, so advice is appreciated. My question is really what is the best way to use your grain spawn to inoculate wood chips for making a few beds. The typical course I think is to start with some kind of wood spawn (sawdust, plugs).
This is an interesting question. I grow on wood logs, chips in buckets and chips in the soil. I don't have experience with what you are doing, but I'd love to hear someone's answer. My experience is that there is one large group who primarily uses sterilization with grains and bags, and a different group that usually uses pasteurization or wood dowels. I think that they usually don't communicate that much with each other, but maybe you can be a leader in that.
John Saltveit wrote: My experience is that there is one large group who primarily uses sterilization with grains and bags, and a different group that usually uses pasteurization or wood dowels. I think that they usually don't communicate that much with each other, but maybe you can be a leader in that.
I perceive essentially the same thing, two groups whose methods are rarely compared or integrated. Indeed I joined this site in large part with the idea to bridge the gap. Permies love mushrooms but I dont see people drawing on the huge wealth of knowledge developed in years past by nonpermie amateur mycologists.
Just nitpicking, but "my side" (the grains/bags side altho jars are still more popular than bags) uses pasteurization a lot, too. Bulk substrates need to be pasteurized, full sterilization is a mistake and will lead to contamination. This is different from the production of spawn, which requires total sterility especially if starting with spores.
Anyway, how are wood dowels done? Are they innoculated directly with LC or would the liquid create contamination vector?
The method I'm thinking is esentially spores>LC>sterilized grains(using lots of LC for fast colonization)>sterilized wood>bulk pasteurized wood.
Its a lot of steps, and id like to hear from more experienced woodloving-mushroom growers. Is LC>wood something people do regularly, for example? that would let me cut out the grains step. aMybe cardboard is typically used, something like LC>cardboard>bulk wood?
Also what im realy looking for here is to get a sense of the different options. And the theory behind each one. I could write a book about this subject when it comes to grain-lovers, but I dont know much about woodlovers.
By the way I managed to get this question answered on a different forum (a mushroom forum). The answer is basically once you have fully colonized, contam-free grain spawn, of a woodloving species, you can use that grain spawn to directly innoculate pasteurized hardwood chips (not too big). Spawn ratio can be fairly low, Stamets says as low as 1:25 ough I wouldn't take that risk myself.
Highly recommend that anyone who wants a massive amount of information on the many different ways woodloving mushrooms can be grown, google "Communal Woodlover Grow Log" to find the relevant thread on another forum.
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