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thistime

dreaded noob question, contam or weak myc?

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Hi all, hope everyone is well and hope I'm posting in the right place.

My 1st attempt, brf colonized beautifuly. bulked to hpoo ( made the mistake of casing about 2 inch at spawning instead of letting bulk colonize first. also may have sterilised instead of pasturised, found it hard to keep the temp low ) and getting nice rhizo coming through but also threads as in pics. I sprayed with 3% h2o2 but came back after a day or so then I applied salt but still came back in other places. I got curious and shifted 2 trays outside to see if that would stop it and it didn't also lifted the surface and the threads seem to be right through the hpoo. It seems less dense than pics I've seen of cobweb types and trych and I haven't noticed any pins or sporulating ( maybe bacteria? ) ( it's been about 2 weeks ). Any ideas? Too wet? Also no fruit but a few knots showing.

Thanx

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Thanx Sally. yeah, I guess that's why the knots are doing nothing. Any idea what or how ( I know, but gotta ask ) my feeling is I messed up by smothering it with a " casing " when I spawned to bulk. When I took a tray outside and broke it up, the colonised layer looked and smelled nice but the " casing " was riddled with those threads.

Thanx

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I can't say for sure exactly what it is, it does look a bit like cobweb.

I'd say it contaminated because the casing was applied before the substrate was colonised. I don't know how you did the casing or what you've used so I can't really say for sure.

Vermiculite makes a very good casing, it can be a pain to clean it off the fruit but it works very well. It's sterile too so that should solve the contamination problem at that stage. After the substrate is fully colonised you cover the entire substrate with about 10 mm of moist verm and when the mycelium starts to show in a few patches you suck the uncolonised patches off with a vacuum cleaner to reveal a perfect evenly colonised substrate that will fruit it tits off.

A U.S. mycologist named Limeade developed the technique several years ago he called it the vacuum cleaner tek.

Edit : not recommended to be done with a good vacuum cleaner as it messes them up really bad.

Edited by Sally
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Thank you so much sally. Nicely written out too, I actually understood all of it. Round 2 is coming up in a weekish so I'll be trying that for sure :-) I'm also sure I have to tidy up a lot of my procedure but the casing with hpoo while spawning was a silly excited noob mistake. Live n learn :-)

Thanx again

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Nice idea Sally - id never heard that one.

rarely you might get poor mycelium that looks like that, but chances are that is contaminated.

I generally use coco coir untreated as a casing layer maybe with a bit of verm mixed in. Seems to work ok.

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Hey Zen, I've read a lot that coir is spose to be great. It might be a bit ambitious of me but I think i'll try as many teks as possible. Fortunately the prints I have are seriously dark so I will be able to do a lot of cakes. I should prolly have started with fruiting straight from cakes but it was too tempting to go for the big job :-)

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Casing is not really essential most of the time, I just had better results when I cased my substrates so I kept doing it. It's an extra step where something can go wrong so sometimes it's better not to case until you've had success without it. That way you can hone your technique and eliminate that as a cause for contamination.

If you want to do bulk then I'd suggest to several mini bulk trays rather than one large one. Foil tins like you get take away in work great, some of them have a lid too. You can do it in plastic but sometimes the mycelium eats into plastic. One small tray can yield a lot of fruit. If you have a problem with one tray then you'll still have others that could be successful.

When you are beginning use very high spawn to substrate rates. I'd suggest to start at 1:1 or at most 2:1 substrate to spawn until you have success. Then you can start using lower spawn rates to increase your production.

If you are having trouble pasteurising then get a thermometer and do it in jars in a saucepan/stockpot like Roger Rabbit did in one of his let's grow mushrooms vids.

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