Hi, we bought a shiitake culture and inocculated some stems. But we left a part aside and bought a packet of dowels and put them in a jar. I think they are ready to be moved on. Now the dowels are pretty expensive for a small packet and I have unhulled barley laying around I can't really cook with. Can I use this for groing more spawn? How do I proceed? Simply cook in a pressure cooker as for eating?
You can use the shitake dowels on your barley. The thing that you need to be aware of is that if you have opened the bag of dowels then all the spores in the area have landed upon them. So they now have many different types of mold and bacteria spores all over them. I think the proper way to use the dowels would be to drop them into a solution of hydrogen peroxide diluted with water just before using. The peroxide won't do much damage to the established mycelium. Then you could take your dowel and drop it into your grain. Otherwise, if you used the dowels as is, you will probably end up with some/little/lots of the grain colonized with bacteria and mold.
You need to pressure cook your grain in bags or jars. That will kill off all the spores that would grow molds and bacteria, so now you have clean grain ready for the mycelium to take hold. This is a pretty good excerpt from a dvd that makes it simple to learn how to make grain spawn for your mushrooms.
He has a website where he sells the whole dvd. mushroomvideos.com I can't review the dvd, because I haven't bought it yet. I've read that it is quite good though.
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...oy, I lost my last post because of a powerout haha. I'll try my best to summarize.
It's always a race between molds/yeasts/bacteria and mycellium even after you pressure cook. As a grower, you are trying to make a scenario that favours the mycellium for the longest period of time possible.
As I recall, barley takes longer to cook, but not sure as I've never used it. At the same time, overcooking or oversoaking any grain causes it to crack open or turn mushy which favours mold and bacteria.
To get more detailed information on using barley, try doing a search for "barley tek".
The RR video that Joshua linked is a good beginner guide. For future reference, here is what is said about preparing dowel for inoculation:
I soak the dowels for 48 hours to get them hydrated, then load into quart jars 1/2 full and PC for 90 minutes. When cool, inoculate with grain spawn and shake well.
Something to note here is that jar to jar transfers are a tough challenge because you have 2 open jars which are exposed to the mold spores floating around the room. Professionals use a flowhood, which creates a airflow of filtered air, to minimize this risk. If you have a stove, you can preheat it before you do your transfer and then crack the door open a bit. This creates a flow of sterilized air where you can transfer your grains which should help minimize contamination.
Best of luck
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posted 3 years ago
So you sterilize the barley in th jar so that it does not has to be handeled? I found it amazing how fast the left over dowels colonized the new jar. I just boiled them for a bit but not in the jar, I bet I was simply lucky.
commercial growers use clean rooms and laminar flow hoods to prevent contamination of their spawn.
It is possible to restrict the possibility of contamination at home by setting up an inoculation area that can be sealed off from the rest of the house, or what ever building you plan to use.
Many times, with very healthy spawn, the growing spawn will overpower any contaminates by exuding compounds to attack the intruders, but this is to be considered hap-hazard at best.
Sanitation is just as important to growing mushrooms as it is to brewing beer.
If you learn to make an "airport lid" and produce spawn with Liquid Culture, you can skip the flow hood and produce FREE reliable spawn for any type of mushroom. Sanitation is still just as important but it's MUCH much much easier to achieve than in other propagation scenarios.
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