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Wood Chip Cold Water Fermentation

 
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I am going larger with my gourmet mushroom growing operation, but am still trying to stay as low energy input as possible. I was previously using straw bought from the store, but don't feel comfortable with not knowing the origins of the straw. Moving forward, I will be doing some log culture and outdoor wood chip beds, but in the short term for market production, I want to try wood chips in 5-gallon buckets. I could build a home-made bulk steam pasteurizer, but wanted to see if anyone out there has info. on cold fermenting wood chips before I go the pasteurization route.

Has anyone out there tried the cold water fermentation method with wood chips? If so, about how long did you ferment (I know that it will depend on the outdoor temp. of my area)?

Additionally, I have been wondering since I started using the cold fermentation method, if it is safe to dump the anaerobic water afterward. Will dumping the water straight onto the ground disrupt the ecology of the soil, or will the microorganisms in the soil be able to handle the anaerobes being dumped out? I'm currently using 55 gallon barrels as fermentation vessels. If it is not a good idea to dump the fermentation water straight out, should I aerate it first?

I really enjoy tinkering with fungi, but there is so much to learn!!
 
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anaerobic microbes often lead to diseases in the soil/plants.  Not good for humans. A natural part of the ecology, but making/growing it isn't natural.  I think it's your call based on if you're growing something edible there/cost of aerating the water.
JohN S
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I have the same questions with this process and am going to test it out!   Ordinarily going anaerobic would not be something I recommend but using this Paul Stamets technique, its necessary.  I ordered some King Straphoria spawn but need to ferment woodchips for 2 weeks then drain it and flood it with oxygen which will kill off much of the anaerobes and creating much awesome food for the selected spawn to feed on.  We will see!
 
John Suavecito
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I tried it a few years ago for several days with organic oat straw. It really didn't work.  I'm not sure why. I'm sure that for someone else, it might be very effective.

I was discouraged to use it again, especially since hot water pasteurizing seems to work so well for me.
John S
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I have had a good amount of success with fermenting straw (when the temperatures were conducive) and fruiting oyster mushrooms. Not much success with other kinds of mushrooms yet.

My first attempt at fermented wood chips was unsuccessful. I think that it was too hot for the mycelium when I tried it the first time, so I will keep experimenting under more ideal temperature ranges and report back. I used mesquite wood chips that were chipped pretty small and fermented for a week in hot weather. Then drained the water and inoculated with homemade grain spawn. I was attempting pink oyster (pleurotus djamor) and phoenix oyster (pleurotus pulmonarius) mushrooms. In the future I will be testing more oyster, King Stropharia, and hopefully some wood lovers as well.

Keep us updated on your efforts, Jimbo!
 
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Hello people happy to can share about this very interesting topic with others!
Have you done more experiments, since?
I had a modest result by soaking a (i guess very) old haybale in river water and a bit of pee inside a rolling a trash container for some weeks. After a while the bale pushed out the concrete block out as bubles was forming into he bale! Stinking a lot ne moskio larvaes swimming inside..(^^) i had to firmly attach the lid for the haybale not to stay in air contact.
After draining one night i inoculated 2kg of fresh oyster spawn on millet (i guess..) for a 18kg dry weight haybale.
After 33 days in shade outside in no so ideal conditions (hot and windy..ants hiway feeding on the grainspawn/and/or mycelium) elevated on a rack under layers of cardboards and tarp i had one fruiting of 90g.
Tasty but not much for the dryw weight.

Then i soaked it in a tarp tied around it so i could roll the whole to its definitive place, upside down, in a garden bed futurs place, covered with hay to keep the package insulated from the sun/heat (i maybe should have removed the tarp before and slightly elevate the bale from the ground..)

Few times after, the bale started to heat..
I now cannot see anymore mycelium at the surface..

...

I'll tell if anything happens anymore

FeteLeVousMeme
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