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Spent grains from beer brewing

 
Mike Patterson
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I did a search but didn't come up with anything that specifically talked about inoculating spent grains to grow mushrooms indoors at home or whatever. Has anyone here done this, and if so, how did you go about it?

Thanks,
-WY
 
John Elliott
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I've brewed beer, and I have cultured mushrooms, but I haven't put the two together -- yet. It shouldn't be that difficult, your spent grains are sterile after they have been boiled, so it is a matter of letting them cool down and inoculating them the same time your wort is cool enough to pitch. The big difference between the beer fermentation and culturing mushrooms is that instead of a fermentation lock, the mushrooms will need air to breathe, so the spent grains need to be in some type of container that allows air exchange. According to this reference, spent grains have been used for a variety of edible fungi.

What would you like to try growing?

 
Landon Sunrich
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I've also thought about this a bit and never done it. I think you could probably just dump your spent grain into a rubbermaid cool it to room temperature and add spawn. The worst that could happen would be some unwanted fungi breaking it down in stead. There is a great thread about mushroom cultivation here if you have not already read it.

http://www.permies.com/t/30779/fungi/Outdoor-mushroom-cultivation

Also, while we are on the subject of beer. What does everyone do with the inch or two of flocculated yeast that's always left over?
 
Mike Patterson
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess I'm just looking for something relatively easy. I realize they should be sterile and all that, but I don't know if I should be mixing in some sawdust or how much, and what to put it in and stuff like that. I'd be happy with just oysters, but I'd love to grow some shaggy manes. Ideally something I could harvest within a month or two since I'm still transitioning between living situations and will be leaving the city again this spring. But also I'd like to just have it figured out so I could encourage my friend here who does a lot of brewing to add another permish element to his operation. Which reminds me... I really don't like the term "permie", and can never see myself self-identifying as one. It just rubs me as some sort of derogatory name you'd use to make fun of someone who practices permaculture. Maybe it's just me.

Landon, I had not seen that thread, so thanks for linking to it. I've read that you can use the leftover yeast to back-slop another batch, and also that it's highly nutritious, although I can't say I've used it for either of those reasons.
 
John Elliott
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Shaggy manes are horseshit mushrooms. To quote from Wikipedia,

Coprinus means "living on dung"


Better stick with the oyster mushrooms for your spent grains.

I think "Permie" is an excellent moniker. I don't mind telling people that I'm a Permie, and I hold other Permies in high regard.
 
Mike Patterson
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Thanks John. I don't mean to offend anyone about the permie thing. I guess I'm just conditioned to assume anything with -ie at the end is not something one would want to be, although I certainly respect those who choose to use it. I guess we're all stuck with it.. like when people called me a hippie in college, I wasn't flattered, but I suppose I brought it on myself.

Anyway, do you happen to have a favorite sub-species of oyster? And are there any recommended sites for purchasing spawn?

-WY
 
John Elliott
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Mike Patterson wrote:
Anyway, do you happen to have a favorite sub-species of oyster? And are there any recommended sites for purchasing spawn?
-WY


I'm doing an experiment with some king oyster mushrooms on cardboard now. As far as spawn, you can always try Fungi Perfecti, paul stamets' on-line store, but since you start with whole grains for your brewing, why not start with whole mushrooms for your fungiculture?

Making your own spawn is easy. Take your mushroom that you want to grow, and leave it gills down on a damp paper towel overnight. Now you have your spore print. Then get a plastic tub and put a half-inch of your sterilized spent grains in the bottom. Lay the spore print on the spent grains and wet it down good with a spray bottle. If you want to get fancy, you can put a teeny-tiny amount of starch/agar/gelatin/urine (not more than 1%) in with your spray water. Cover the plastic tub loosely, so that spores and dust in the air can't fall on your culture, but air can still exchange. Check on it every day, and give it a light spray. One day when you check on it, you will notice that there is white fuzzy "mold" starting to grow on your grains. This is good. It means the spores from your print have germinated and are starting to grow into hyphae. Give it another week or so for the hyphae to really get going and then you have spawn that you can use for inoculating other media.
 
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