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Sterile and Non-sterile culture? Difference?

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as the title says
can anyone explain the difference?

Also is clean room necessary when you plug the spore needle into the sterilized substrate jars?
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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I discovered this on Permaculture Voices yesterday.

Mushroom Cultivation for Remediation
"This introductory...guides you through the core skills and concepts needed to begin cultivating large quantities of mycelium...This text covers some of the simplest, cheapest, and quickest ways to grow vigorous mycelium with a minimum of sanitary precautions. The techniques covered are also explored and elaborated upon in a 3-part video entitled Mushroom Cultivation for Remediation."

The interview is 2 hours, I haven't finished it yet. Skip down to the booklet and videos for briefer answers.
The text is about 20 pages, the link allowed me to download it for free, yesterday, they are asking $5 for a hard copy.
More mushroom fun!

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Sterile culture means they are killing all of the microbiology in a substrate, such as wood chips or saw dust. Non-sterile culture means that they aren't. For example, when I make a Wine cap patch out in my yard, it is in the yard, It is not sterile. Wine caps need an interaction of bacteria and their own microbiology to produce mushrooms, it is generally believed. The same is true of blewits, for example. When I grow oysters in wood chips in buckets, I cook the chips to about 160 degrees. That doesn't kill all of the "germs". It just gives an advantage to the microbiology that I want, in this case mycelium of oyster. You get more production of mushroom out of the same substrate when it is not cooked at as high of a termperature, and some of the remainder is helpful.

In sterile culture, you use a pressure cooker of some kind, gloves, often agar, and you start in an enclosed dish and have it grow up, usually with a specific grow room.
John S
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Location: Los Anchorage, near Alaska
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The comments of John are excellent for the difference between "sterile and non-sterile" culture.

As Joylynn notes Peter McCoy at Radical Mycology has provided excellent free or very economical resources to the public to help with culture of mushrooms. He deserves more support and recognition for his dedication.

To answer your practical question, you should be able to use the sterile liquid cultures to inoculate through the port of your sterilized jars without significant risk of contamination. Use a sterilized needle and chemically sanitize the injection port surface. The level of airborne spores and bacteria in a reasonably clean room with limited air movement is surprisingly low and is unlikely to be captured in the needle puncture. Medicine depends on the same first principles for IV insertion into a sterile site after sanitizing the skin surface. For many other techniques dead air boxes or laminar flow hoods become more important! Most the time if there is contamination that is heavy, it came from the liquid culture itself.

Good luck and good mushroom growing
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