Benjamin K Johnson

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since Feb 10, 2019
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Recent posts by Benjamin K Johnson

Is there any reason why I couldn't dump a whole mycelium block onto a rack when fruiting oysters, as opposed to fruiting the block in a bag/bucket with holes in it? Will this result in lots of smaller mushrooms distributed around the block, as opposed to several large fruiting bodies growing out of the "assigned" holes.
1 year ago

Dominik Riva wrote:I'm not sure if I understand you right.

Some principles may help answer your question anyway:

  • Colonize in stages to minimize contamination.
  • Transfer to the next medium before the mycelium has depleted the nutrients - this will inhibit premature fruiting.
  • Never mix sterilized medium with the next stage/medium/substrate - mix colonized medium with the next stage/medium/substrate.


  • A typical chain form spore to production looks like this:

  • Spore print
  • Petri dish
  • Petri dish
  • Petri dish
  • Petri dish - pure strain is archived and samples get labeled and archived in a fridge
  • liquid culture - optional
  • grain
  • grain
  • grain
  • Masters Mix / straw / coffee grounds / wood chips / What ever the fungi can eat


  • Some additional hints for the chain above:

  • toss the strains form your archive that didn't do well for you
  • proven strains go from archive fridge to Petri dish from there you fork them back to archive but increase the p-number and to production via grain
  • if production with high p-number strains get weak go back to lower p-numbers of the same strain to refresh the vigor
  • refresh strains in the archive fridge at regular intervals and have a backup off premise


  • In all of this steps except the spore print the medium needs to be sterilized - Aluminum foil is practically sterile from the heat of production.
    The last stage is often sterile but not always as some contamination at the last stage can get easily overwhelmed by the mass of mycelium added - especially if robust fungi like oyster mushrooms are used but can easily reduce yield.
    Straw or wood chips or fresh spend coffee grounds get often pasteurized or in the case of coffee ground come pasteurized.
    Transfers need to happen as sterile as possible (flow hood or still air box).
    The better your sterile practice the more you can dilute the mycelium in the next medium - in the Petri dish stages you always want to get the least amount of material to the the next Petri dish to purify the strain as fast as possible.

    Good luck with your business



    Thank you so much again; very helpful.
    1 year ago

    Dominik Riva wrote:

    Bryant RedHawk wrote:

    Those containers can be set up to work for growing mycelium and with well thought out holes for the fruits to exit they would make good, reusable containers for growing mushrooms.
    You would need to have them in a room set up similar to a clean room to prevent contamination of the growing medium though.

    Redhawk



    I would advice against the holes and clean room.
    It is way easier to keep the contents of the containers sterile then a room.
    Install some filter ports for spore free gas exchange - polyfill or cellulose filter disks.

    Use the resulting containers to colonize the medium and if pins form dump the block on a rack in a fruiting room - not a clean room but high humidity and ideally HEPA filtered blower that pumps air into the room to produce over pressure.
    Be careful not to push the spores from the fruiting room into living quarters and please wear a mask in there as you will get allergic to the spores over time if you don't.



    Thank you for this helpful info. If using these boxes, would you advise mixing the sterlised spawn medium (grain for instance) directly with the substrate, inoculating and then leaving to colonise OR inoculating and colonising the spawn first before mixing with the substrate?
    1 year ago

    Dominik Riva wrote:Don't think so as the bags need to be air / microbe tight with a filter port for gas exchange.

    It would take a lot of work to test for holes and install a filter port.

    But the biggest problem: Does the plastic withstand sterilization?



    Not sure if we're looking at the same product. These are plastic food grade boxes with lids; unlikely to have holes in them and the lids will be airtight. I've not seen ports on commercial bags, only those home grow kits. From what I've seen they just spawn in the bags which are then ripped open for fruiting. I had an idea for the boxes wheresterile tape over the holes, then removed when fruiting. Also, as someone else pointed out, they're PP, so can be heat sterilised.
    1 year ago
    My brother and I are looking at setting up a small side-business and we too are bothered by all the potential waste. We're looking at starting with a strain or two of oyster mushrooms. From what I've seen, some commercial ventures use 5lb plastic bags of substrate, then dispose of the bag. Would something like this 4 litre tub not be suitable? It's clear, easily drilled, can be sealed, and can be chemically sterilised (not sure if they can be autoclaved though. Can anyone think of any objections to using them, except the initial cost outlay?  https://oipps.co.uk/4-l-crystal-square-tub (ps I live in the UK, which is why it is a UK site).
    1 year ago
    Hi, first time posting in the forums.

    My brother and I are looking at setting up a small side-business and we too are bothered by all the potential waste. We're looking at starting with a strain or two of oyster mushrooms. From what I've seen, some commercial ventures use 5lb plastic bags of substrate, then dispose of the bag. Would something like this 4 litre tub not be suitable? It's clear, easily drilled, can be sealed, and can be chemically sterilised (not sure if they can be autoclaved though. Can anyone think of any objections to using them, except the initial cost outlay?  https://oipps.co.uk/4-l-crystal-square-tub (ps I live in the UK, which is why it is a UK site).
    1 year ago