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Question on growing your own spawn

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After trying various types of oyster mushrooms from various businesses in jars last winter, I’m going to concentrate on one this year. I’m going with the wide range oyster from 2funguys as it way out produced all other types. But they only sell in in plugs. Of course all my trials used plugs last year, mostly because that’s all I had. 

So I just ordered a bag of 100 plugs. I’m going to start next week to use those to make my own grain spawn to inoculate jars this year. I’ll use wheat with the plugs to produce the spawn.  I’m going to try masters mix in the jars that I’m growing the actual mushrooms in. I have hardwood sawdust and Agway is getting me four bags of soybean hulls. 

So finally to my question. Can I use pint jars instead of quart jars?  My thinking is that the mycelium will colonize faster and I’ll be able to inoculate other jars with it sooner. 

Also, if anyone has tried lions mane in jars, I’d love to hear about it. I know it doesn’t like water on it and that you need to keep shaking the jars so it doesn’t fruit inside the jar. What medium would you recommend?  Thinking about trying them this year. Will be a learning process. 

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Soaked the rest of the wheat left from last winter, overnight . Thankfully the mice didn’t find it!  Cooked it for 20 minutes. Spread it out and left it sit for a half hour then loaded it into jars. Filled 18 quarts and two pints. Drilled holes in jar lids and pulled poly fiber thru them. Lids are on seal side up.

Tomorrow, I’ll put them in the pressure cooker for 90 minutes at 15 psi. Then let them cool. Then put the plugs in. 

Just ordered 100 grow bags, along with grain spawn for both lions mane and hen of the woods.  It going to be a learning experience. 

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I previously soaked my grain (wheat) overnight then sterilize but now I do it differently.  I measure my grain out for each quart jar using a quart jar with measurements on it.

For each quart jar I measure to the 400ml mark of grain and then pour into a large pot.

After all the grain is in the pot I rinse the grain 4 - 5 times with water depending on how dirty the grain is.

I then add a little gypsum (not sure if it's necessary) put water in the pot (about the double depth of the grain) and bring to a boil stirring often (I don't soak overnight).

After it starts boiling I set the timer for 9 minutes. When the timer goes off I check a few grains for proper hydration. For proper hydration break open a a few grains and when the bright white inside the grain is barely there in my experience it is properly hydrated (approximately 9 - 15 minutes).

Once it reaches proper hydration I turn the heat off and pour the grains into several colanders/strainers and let the grains set for about a couple of minutes for the excess water to drain.

I then transfer the grain to a framed screen and spread evenly to dry the surface of the grains (usually 2 - 3 hours).

Once the surface of the grains are dry I fill each quart jar to the 600ml measurement mark on the jar.

After the jars are filled I put the filtered lids on the jars then put aluminum foil over each top of the jar and then put them into the pressure cooker and once the pressure cooker reaches 15 psi I set the timer for 2 hours.

For my filtered lids I use plastic lids with a hole drilled in the center and a nickel size piece of synthetic filter disc siliconed to it.



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Just put plugs in all the jars. Plugs were well colonized and there were several rye berries, also well colonized, so I added them too. 

I intend this to be grain spawn for grow bags with masters mix in them. Might have enough to let several alone so they fruit in the jars

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Yes I did. Now it’s a waiting game. 

Raining lightly now. When it dries out need to rake the yard. Will dump the leaves in a 20’ by 20’ spot I cleared in the woods. I dumped and spread composted horse manure on it. After dumping these leaves in it, I’m spreading blewit spawn, covering it with a layer of composted leaves mixed with manure, more spawn and then covering it with straw. 

I have a dozen five gallon buckets, filled with sawdust and inoculated with several types of oysters last winter. Unfortunately, I left them dry out this summer.  Thinking about dumping them in one place in the woods, spreading it out and putting wine cap spawn on it. Will also cover it with straw. 

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