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Dry shiitake log recovery  RSS feed

 
Rusty Shackleford
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
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I thought this thread would be a useful way to keep track of steps taken to reclaim an inoculated oak log from green mold.
The background:
I ordered some plugs off Ebay, which looked great when they arrived, some bound to each other with mycelium. Great! While visiting a friend I plucked a couple of 5-6" x 14" logs off of a recently cut firewood pile, drilled and hammered away, and my logs were ready for incubation.

One log was kept standing upright in abut 1/2" of water (in a speckleware canning pot). The other was left at the friend's house, neglected on their porch. This one was later retrieved since they weren't using it, and by that point had some mossy growth on it (possible 'weed fungi').
The 9 month mark (1st fruiting possibility) coincided with a move, so that plan was waylaid. The logs were put into a basement room across from a dehumidifier. Their watering regimen was quickly forgotten about until a week ago, when I decided to being the salvage operation.
A 5 gallon bucket was filled with tap water that was allowed to "offgas" its chlorine for about 5 days. Both logs were placed in with about 1/3 their length submerged. Turned after two days, they spent enough time to feel moist again, and I have since noticed new mycelium growth. When I checked them yesterday, I noticed vibrant green splotches on all the newly active mycelium. Trichoderma had moved in, and it wasn't paying rent

NC ag extension suggests cull and burn for all infected logs
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/herbs/crops/mushrooms/pdf/2011%20AG-478_Shiitake_Final.pdf
That didn't sound fun.
I found others that shared my plight
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/13102993
http://westphoria.sunset.com/2009/11/02/dealing-with-a-moldy-mushroom-log/
but no follow-up on their results, until:
http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com/2013/04/unrecipe-eating-easter-and-sacrilicious.html
So, a beacon of hope, a reinforcement that my shiitakes could make a comeback, but what to do?

Some suggest cutting away the green areas. On a log with partially rotted bark, and mold that seemed to prefer the deep crevices, it quickly became apparent that this method wouldn't work. So, pinning my hopes on my trusty jog of distilled white vinegar. Surely a little acetic acid wouldn't affect a hardy mycelium could it? We'll see.

Where did the mold come from?
The NC Ag article (and most other articles that address common problems at home or commercially) make two faux pas that I comitted
1- humidity too high
2- humidity too low

I let the logs get bone dry, then plunged them again for an extended period. That'll do it.

Hopefully they can be recovered, and I'll let folks know either way.
 
Christopher G Williams
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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I wouldn't worry too much about surface mold on the log. As long as the shiitake mycelium has colonized internally, anything going on externally shouldn't cause too many problems. My best suggestion would be spray off the mold with a garden hose...

I've had shiitake logs produce with fine while 'sharing' the log with other types of fungi. Contamination in log culture isn't nearly as serious as in other types of mushroom culture.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your progress, thanks for posting, Rusty
 
Rusty Shackleford
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
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After I removed the logs from their bucket of water, I noticed a fine white growth on the cut ends of both logs. Keeping a sceptical eye on them, they did turn out to be Trichoderma bloom. Scraping it off, and carrying them to our screened porch to get some fresh air. Things are cooling off now and I wonder if these 40F nights, coupled with the initial saturation, might stir up a fruiting. Even if it just knocks back the Trich, I'll be happy
 
Rusty Shackleford
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
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We had some cold weather a couple of nights back - down to the frost point. Killed some of my basil > , but didn't seem to spur the mushrooms into pinning out. Trichoderma remains in bloom, especially on the ends of the logs. Things look like spring here, with only a couple more nights of 0 degree weather. My other option is to let the logs in contact with the ground, to maintain moisture.
 
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