An acquaintance on fb offered up some blue oyster spawn for free a while back and i took some. It came in a quart jar and was mixed with maybe grain or coffee?? He didn't share his technique. I sterilized some wood chips, mixed in the spawn, and placed everything under a maple tree in the backyard. Yesterday I finally checked the area and there was a very nice large one coming up! So i would like to use this new mushroom to create new spawn. The fb guy is out of the picture. Not online a lot and i don't have any other way of contacting him, so i was hoping someone here could help me take the mushroom and create new spawn.
Here's a protocol that will get you most of the way there:
(1) Get some fine size material with a lot of cellulose in it. Sawdust, the basket from the paper shredder, stuff sucked up in the lawn mower bag, etc.
(2) Boil it for 15 minutes in a big pot of water, stirring it around good so you kill off anything living in it.
(3) Next, make a solution of 1 Tbsp of corn starch and 1 Tbsp of gelatin in a half cup of water. Stir them well in the cold water and then microwave it for 15 seconds, take it out and stir it, microwave another 15 seconds, take it out and stir it, repeating until you have a thick mixture that coats the spoon when you stir it.
(4) Drain your spawn material in a colander and then stir in the corn starch/gelatin mixture. If this sounds like making pasta with sauce, you've got the right idea.
(5) Transfer the spawn material to a bowl, cover it, and let it cool to room temperature. Don't rush this step, don't want any hot spots in the center.
(6) Add your spores to the newly sterilized spawn material, stir it in good and put it in a (well washed sterile) container with a screw cap lid.
(7) Put the cap on, but do not tighten it. Engage the threads enough that cap stays on, but it should be loose enough for air to exchange. Your container should only be about 2/3 to 3/4 full, you want a good bit of airspace since the fungi need to breathe.
(8.) Leave it in the dark someplace to let the spores grow. Check on it every few days, and maybe take a spray bottle and mist it inside with a couple squirts of water.
(9) In a few weeks, you should have gobs of white hyphae.
Miles Flansburg wrote:John. three points of clarification.
Where do the spores come from that you put in the spawn?
Can you use tap water to mist the spawn or does it have to be distilled ?
Then what do you do with the white hyphae ?
He has a nice blue oyster mushroom, he can lay it on a paper towel to get a spore print and use those. Alternatively, a little snip of the gills will work.
I've always used tap water, never paid much attention distilling it or even letting sit for a day to de-chlorinate.
The hyphae are the initial, fast growing phase of the fungus. You can mix a cup of this spawn with a wheelbarrow load of wood chips and inoculate the whole thing. With luck and gentle rains, mushrooms should be popping up in a matter of weeks (depending on the time of year).
Realize that flushes of mushrooms don't occur until they have exhausted their food supply. When the mycelial mat, the tangle of hyphae starts to get hungry, they realize that the gravy train is over and it is time to prepare for the next generation. That's when they will use their stores of energy to send up some fruiting bodies, usually during a heavy rain.
For mushroom cultivation; a proven isolate is best. Giving large yummy flushes of mushrooms.
Ifn however, your main intent is to facilitate organic decomposition; then using spores is just fine.
Personally; I would use a tissue sample, I'm stead of spores. With the aid of a simple still-air-box, aseptic technique and tissue from the inside of a carfully torn mushroom at the junction of the cap and stem.
I can go into more detail if desired
I have worked out a nice and simple sterile technique which works fine for me and can be done in every kitchen with only a pressure cooker
-some screw cap jars
-substrate (I use 40% sawdust, 40% wheat, 20% coffee grounds, but oysters will eat almost anything as long as the substrate is not to wet and not to dry)
-filter wool like used for aquaria
-disinfectant (70%alcohol works fine)
first you need to make a substrate. I cook the wheat until lots of the grains burst (around 30min), sieve them, and use the cooking water to soak the sawdust. leave both grain and sawdust to drip off for 10 minutes and then mix it with the DRY! coffee grounds.
like I said before you can use almost anything as substrate, but it's really important that your mushrooms have enough water, but all of the water should be taken up by the substrate.
I fill this substrate into jars with a hole in the cap for pressure release during sterilisation. For a filter I use standard filter wool for aquaria, but I will make a picture later to show you what I mean
Then I sterilise these for 60-70min in the pressure cooker.
When you came that far the only remaining problem is a sterile inoculation.
I use small bits from the interior of the mushroom, because the fruiting body of the mushroom is only a generative state of the mycelium which can go back to a vegetative state within a day. What's also interesting is, that the interior of the mushroom is always sterile, so if you manage to transfer a bit of it onto sterile substrate without polluting it with yeast or mould spores it will just colonize the substrate and also you get a clone which has exactly the same DNA (and also the same growing characteristics) than it's parent
Last problem of contamination is air, because there are always thousands of spores flying around, but with a little water and a little help from gravity there's also an easy solution for that. You need a small room (bathroom works fine for me) and a spray bottle, cleaned and filled with fresh water. If you spray all the room with water for some time (I spray for about 5 minutes in a room of only 4m²) all the contaminations will bind to these millions of small water drops and slowly sink to the floor, so you should wait another 5 minutes so everything has reached the ground before you start working. !DON'T LEAVE THE ROOM, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR, DON'T OPEN A WINDOW!
Now you have sterile substrate, sterile inoculation material from the interior of a mushroom and a room without any airborne contaminations - > everything sterile, everything good so far
Now you clean the surface you will work on with the disinfectant, clean the glasses all around with the disinfectant and do the same with a sharp knife you should have prepared.
now use only a little bit of disinfectant to kill spores on the outside of the mushroom and rip it in two pieces to expose parts which haven't come into contact with airborne contaminations. take the knife and hold the blade in a lighter flame for some seconds and cut out a little piece from the interior of the fruiting body, open the jar a little bit and throw in the mycelium. I burn the blade after every jar to be really on the save side.
now just leave the substrate at room temperature for 2-5weeks (depending on mushroom species, jar size, temperature...) and the mycelium should have colonized the whole substrate. Now you can use this substrate to inoculate logs or new substrates. For growing more substrate you just sterilise new jars and only a grain of colonized wheat is sufficient to produce another litre of substrate!
I hope everything is written understandable, if not just ask, but explaining stuff like that in a foreign language isn't that easy for me
In this thread you can see pics from my pholiota nameko and hericum growing at the moment