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Step 3: Pasteurise


Position your drum onto the heat source (we used a gas burner), pouring around 40 litres of water into the drum. Place a suitable platform at the bottom of the drum, one that will keep the bags above the water yet allow steam to rise. Insert a material bin liner and fill with the prepared bags of straw. Close off the bags with the liner and cover the drum with a lid. Heat the drum, steaming the bags for approximately 60 minutes. It should take around 30 minutes for the steam to make its way to the top bags (the temperature should near 95°C ~200°F). Leave to cool, removing the bags and transferring them to the growing area.

<p>Hi rocketsurgery,</p><p>First I would like to thank you for such a wonderfully put together instructable on growing Oyster Mushrooms. I am very much interested in growing Oyster Mushrooms for myself and eventually to sell at local farmers markets.</p><p> I am planning to start off growing in my garage in a space of 10'x10' feet or 100 sq. feet. I am concerned on the amount of spawn I should buy to last me for the summer (3 months). Websites that are selling spawns have them with sawdust bags and grain bags/jars. Sawdust bags have yields up to 1 gallon (about 5 lbs) of spawn in each bag. The jars say they can be expanded up to 1000 times their size. I am unsure of what any of these details actually mean. The website I was planning on buying my spawn was from Fungi Perfecti and their Pearl Oyster is the type of mushrooms I would like to grow. </p><p>I have read your instructables on making my own spawn and am confident that I can do that. Just starting the grow itself is my current barrier. </p><p>TL, how much spawn should I get to start a 100 sq. feet growing area? </p><p>Kind regards, </p><p>Alex</p>
<p>Hi Alex,</p><p>Thanks for your message and encouragement. The amount of spawn you need really relates to how much substrate you intend to inoculate and colonise. Also, the more spawn you use the faster the colonisation of your substrate. If you buy too much, simply leave it in the fridge and this will keep well until your next inoculations. Regarding expanding your spawn by 1000 times, 1 litre of master culture should be able to produce 10 litres of generation one, 100 litres of generation two and finally 1000 litres of generation three (see How to Grow Mushroom Spawn Step 6: Inoculation Grain Spawn Transfer for more details). It is considered good practise not to propagate spawn beyond the third generation to prevent higher contamination rates. Contamination rates of 10% or less are considered acceptable. I hope that answers your questions and I wish you all the best with your growing.</p>
<p>Hi Rocketsurgery,</p><p>I am starting an oyster mushroom farm in the Philippines with 20k fruiting bags, im pretty sure everything is ok but i'm a little bit lost when it comes to lighting. During the night what is the lighting requirements for oyster mushrooms?</p>
<p>Hi there... Regarding lighting, I have never grown in artificial light but I would recommend 12hrs on 12 hrs off, much like nature provides. Hope you have great success!</p>
<p>Hello Rocketsurgery,</p><p>I just came across this great page while searching articles on oysters. I have also jumped into this field and on the way of growing oyster (Pleurotus sajor-caju). Please have a look at the steps I followed:</p><p>1. To start with, I treated the empty hall/room with 2-3% formaldehyde and closed the room/hall for 24-40 hrs.</p><p>2. I used hot water treatment for fresh wheat straw for one hour at a temp of 60-70<em>&deg;C.</em></p><p><em>3. Let the substrate cool down for around 1-2 hrs by spreading it on a clean tarpauline.</em></p><p><em>3. Did spawning @ 10-12% of dry substrate weight basis and filled 3-5 Kgs PP bags. </em></p><p><em>4. Made 10-14 holes on each bag including 1-2 holes at the bottom to leach access water, if any.</em></p><p><em>5. Kept the bags for spawn run.</em></p><p><em>I hope I am going good :), need your expert advise please. </em></p><p><em>Now, its been 7 days and myselium had started spreading after 2nd day in the hall. I hope myselium spread should be completed in next few days.It seems good till date. </em></p><p><em>Few questions please:</em></p><p><em>1. The temp in the hall is around 24</em><em>&deg;C and that of the bag (inside bag) is around 25-26</em><em>&deg;C. As per your article, should we allow some fresh air in the room during spawn run? Is it necessary?</em></p><p><em>2. Is it fine to spray formaldehyde in the room during spawn run to avoid insects? However, I personally don't want to use any chemical spray after initial room cleaning and chemical treatment.</em></p><p><em>3. After hot water treatment of the wheat straw, the remaining water was acidic, would you suggest something to improve water pH level? I understand the water should be clean but what is the importance of water pH level and what it should be for substrate preparation and during sprays in the growing room for maintaining humidity/moisture?</em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Thanks again for the great article and support you are landing to new growers.</em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Regards</em></p><p><em>Surinder Verma</em></p><p><em>vermas.25@gmail.com</em></p><p><em>INDIA.</em></p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>To answer your questions...</p><p>1. Step 6 says &quot;During incubation, light is not required, however, make sure the bags have plenty of fresh air.&quot; The bags still require enough oxygen however they should cope with less flushes of fresh air while they are contained. I personally would have them open to the fresh air at this stage.</p><p>2. As formaldehyde is carcinogenic, I personally would avoid spraying and therefore avoid inhalation, it is not meant to be carcinogenic by ingestion, so any dietary exposure to formaldehyde should not be a concern.</p><p>3. Water pH levels should be around 6.8 - 7.3 so possibly treat it if it is outside this range. Adding gypsum/limestone should increase pH levels as a rule.</p><p>I hope you have great success.</p>
<p>Hello Rocketsurgery,</p><p>Thanks for the quick response and clarifying my doubts. I appreciate all your help and support. :).</p><p>It was 14th day of Spawn run today and I dispersed the bags in the hall. Oyster started coming out of few bags and one bag showed tremendous oyster growth. I have attached pics for your reference. :)</p><p>=&gt;I noticed very thick mycelium spread in few bags, its like dense froth. Please see the picture as I dont think mycelium spread is correct in these bags. Request you to check the pics and suggest.</p><p>=&gt;2 bags had 'white plaster' like patch with a bad smell. Spawn run is not progressing in these bags at all, please suggest.</p><p>=&gt; I noticed small black insects on the bags and flies in the hall while introducing fresh air and light (from main door). Would you please suggest something to save the crop from these insects and flies?</p><p>Thanks again for the extended support.</p><p>Regards</p><p>Surinder Verma</p>
<p>Also remember &quot;Once pinning has started, it is time to remove the substrate from the bags. Pinning naturally occurs as humidity increases, low levels of light appear and temperature levels fall. Increase the growing room humidity by regularly spraying with a water sprayer (avoid spraying directly on the mushrooms). You can also wet the floor and leave open containers of water in the room (95-100% humidity is recommended). As our climate is very dry, we only managed 60% at best, dropping down to 40%, by spraying 5 litres of water 2 - 3 times a day (even at these humidity levels a good result can be achieved). To prevent excessive CO2 levels, allow the growing area to flush with clean air before spraying. If you can, regulate the temperature accordingly.&quot;</p>
<p>Another way to increase oxygen to the mushrooms is to leave the substrate in the growing bags but make 2cm x-cuts at intervals around the bag. This will promote pinning in those areas and improve yeild consistancy.</p>
<p>I would recommend that you have the tops of your bags with a small opening to allow them to breathe, place a small amount of sterile cotton wool in the openings to prevent contamination, but your bags need oxygen - have a look at Step 5 &quot;Restrict the opening of the bag by placing a rubber band (or cord) around the bag's neck. Taking a small piece of cotton wool, plug the bag's opening to reduce the chances of contamination and insect infestation. Leave to incubate.&quot;</p>
<p>Ink Caps or also known as shaggy manes are edible within the first 4-5 hours of growth after that they produce a drug that is actually given to alcoholics to make them vomit when alcohol is consumed. So if you get them fresh n tightly closed to the stem they are delicious , otherwise stay away. </p>
<p>Hello everyone, I am looking for some advise on setting up a 1500 sq ft warehouse as an indoor oyster mushroom farm. any one available for a consultation on doing this the cheapest way possible????</p><p>Thank You</p>
<p>there is a chance to get appear venom or toxic mushrooms?. I see the 'ink cap' mushrooms in your pictures. Are they not the mushroom oyster?, how this mushrooms apperars there (the ink cap)</p>
<p>Ineffective straw sterilisation can allow other fungi and moulds to grow in the substrate leading to contamination. If you are noticing sprouting grass from your substrate look out for unusual varieties of fungi. Although I wouldn't recommend eating them, ink caps can actually be eaten, but like their colloquial name (tippler's bane) suggests, they react with alcohol giving you a 4-5 day hangover.</p>
If the water is little salty but ironless do it hamper anyhow for oyster cultivation?
<p>Oyster mushrooms can actually grow in salt water. In a trial testing the ability of oyster mushroom mycelia to break down hydrocarbons, Paul Stamets (world-renowned expert in mushrooms and other fungi) noted that oyster mushrooms grew at a rate of 75% in salt water. So, it appears that it shouldn't be too detrimental to use your water with a slightly higher salinity.</p>
<p>Hello Rocketsurgery,</p><p>Sorry, I forgot to mention the Humidity in the hall. It's between 82%-92%. Need your expert advise on the required humidity during spawn run.</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Surinder</p>
<p>The humidity shouldn't be too much of an issue during colonisation as long as the medium is contained within your bags.</p>
<p>hey !! i make mushrooms on sawdust... shouldn't i directly water the mushroom packets..?? how should i water ..?? and could u please send me some more photos of the growing room ..please ...my emai- abrianomunez@gmail.com</p>
<p>If you spray water in the air and perhaps have open water containers to help evaporate humidifying the growing room, your sawdust will naturally retain moisture. If you pour water directly onto the substrate you might generate slimy mushrooms. Simply retain water in an area (using plastic sheeting to enclose a suitable growing space) but make sure you also flush the growing area with fresh air - perhaps just before every time you spray the air with water. All the best.</p>
Here is a photo of what they look like after 5 days. Any advice?
<p>Pictures suggest too much CO2 - do an image search of mushrooms with too much CO2 and compare. Flush with fresh air often and then restore humidity.</p>
Could we possible open and shut the door several times an hour to move the fresh air in the room or do we need to purchase some kind of air filtering system?
<p>Do you have an automatic humidifier or do you spray the room using a hand sprayer? If by hand, I would flush the room (open the room up briefly) allowing fresh air to replace the stale air before spraying. Experiment a little, your mushrooms need more oxygen and less CO2, so slowly work out what levels are best for your variety of mushroom and the size and location of growing room. You'll solve this, I'm sure.</p>
We actually do both. We have a mister that keeps the humidity level at 99% in the room and spray about 4 to 5 times a day.
What do you suggest is the best way to get fresh air into the grow room? Cuurently our grow room is a sterile enclosed room built in our garage. Heavy plastic cover all areas, but light comes thru 1 window that is also covered over with plastic, with additional grow lights hanging from the ceiling. One door entry to the room. During the hot summer months we filter in air thru a large portable air conditioner.
Hi, I've tried unsuccessfully to fruit the Pearl Oyster mushrooms. They do well in the beginning once transferred to the grow room, which is 64&deg; and 99% humidity. After about 5 days they start to die off. What am I doing wrong? Growing them in a sawdust log, same as our King Oyster that do very well. Thanks!
<p>Hey there, I would suggest that your mushrooms are not getting enough fresh air (too much CO2). I would flush the growing room with fresh air regularly (then restore humidity). Hope this helps, all the best.</p>
<p>Looking forward to doing this in a few weeks</p><p>just a few questions</p><p>-can i use burlap as the material liner in the drums?</p><p>-what should the temp be during inoculation, before it start to pin?</p><p>-how much (approx.) will a single bag yield over the three harvests?</p><p>-during the steaming process, did you mean 60 minutes total or 60 minutes after the steam reaches to top?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Hey Brittany,</p><p>Burlap would be great. Inoculate with the temperature around that for colonisation (winter Oyster), 24&deg;C (75&deg;F) (summer Oyster), 24&deg;C to 30&deg;C (75 to 85&deg;F). Yield is difficult to estimate as it depends on the quality of your spawn, your substrate, bag size and growing conditions, however, I would hope to see your substrate mostly covered (sides and top) in mushrooms for each flush. With the steaming process, you can experiment a little with timing to see what you can get away with, however, you will notice the lower bag tend to be more reliable and you want to make sure that your substrate is going to grow anything but your mushrooms (I would steam longer than necessary for your first grow - 1hr from seeing the steam in the higher bags).</p><p>Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment - if you remember let me know how you get on. :)</p>
<p>hI :) </p><p>I'm a beginner. </p><p>Can you please enlighten me about the plastic bags? Do we take them off? In some pictures I can see the mushroom coming off the bags.</p><p>Thank you</p>
<p>Also can I use sugar cane straw? And from where can I buy good quality spawn? </p><p>Thank you very much</p>
<p>Regarding the plastic bags, in Step 8: Encourage Pinning - it says to remove the bags as pinning/fruiting begins. Make sure you maintain the correct room humidity to prevent the early growth to dry out. Yes, sugar cane straw is fine. Regarding where to obtain your spawn, it really depends on where you live. If there are companies in your country, have a look online and have it sent to you. All the best!</p>
<p>Hi thank you very much, I actually live on an island in the indian ocean, Mauritius. Unfortunately there are no companies selling those and online I can't find oyster spawn for sale, I came across oyster plugs but I am looking for spawn. Can you help me please? </p>
<p>Hey again,</p><p>There are some interesting articles regarding growing oyster mushrooms in Mauritius. Have a look <a href="http://www.alohamedicinals.com/book1/chapter-5-6.pdf">here</a> and <a href="http://www.alohamedicinals.com/book1/chapter-5-6.pdf">here</a>.</p><p>Regarding buying spawn, you should be able to find it online if you search for grain spawn but perhaps you could ask this local company where to buy spawn (or perhaps they would sell you some to get you started?) <strong>McNeil Mushroom Ltd</strong>: A self starter in the mushroom industry, supplying mainly local 5-star hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Telephone: <strong>230-7313563</strong> Address: 56 Rue Du Jardin, Curepipe, Mauritius</p><p>The issue with Island life is that there are often restrictions to what Live plants, cuttings, slips, mushroom spawn etc you can import as it can sometimes be detrimental to native fauna/flora. It does look like oyster mushrooms are being grown there, however. It might be worth noting that neighbouring Madagascar imports most of it's mushroom spawn from Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, so perhaps that is something to look into.</p><p>All the best.</p>
<p>Thank you very much Sir.<br>Regards</p>
<p>hi :)</p><p>i'm growing oyster mushroom , following the steps you showed , i'm now in production phase its kind of hot out side 30 c but in oyster room its around 27 c the mushroom is drying out and it stopped growing the little heads are not growing i spray them 3 times a day 1.5 L in each spry .</p><p> so i need your help should i spry them more ?</p><p>or should i increase the amount of water ? </p><p>and what about the light and co2 ? </p><p>i would very happy to hear from you </p><p>because everything was going great before .</p><p>:) :) HELP ME ....</p>
<p>Oysters need oxygen - and you need to dump CO2, I ventilate from above and periodically draw out from about 15&quot; above floor level with a couple of fans - oysters are happy with low light - they will grow toward it, I use automatic misting for moisture - this need not be expensive!!!! I have a unit in Northern Thailand running 7000 pots we make our own.</p>
<p>If you can get a simple hygrometer (you can buy ok ones for around $3 to $15) that will tell you whether you need to increase the humidity. Flushing the growing room with fresh air occasionally (then quickly regenerate humidity levels) will help prevent deformities due to CO2. During the fruit stage make sure you have some levels of light. Looking at your mushrooms, perhaps concentrate on fresh air flushes as you want to avoid the CO2 build up and try to get a gauge to note your humidity levels. I'm sure you'll solve this. :)</p>
<p>I have access to an aquaponics setup. I was wondering what would happen if after the first flush, I submerged my substrate into nutrient rich water (or perhaps just use some in a spray bottle and wet the mycelium). Would this increase subsequent flushes? Also, should I sterilize the nutrient rich water before adding it to the growing mycelium? Your advice would be most helpful! </p>
<p>Keeping your medium well watered, through keeping the correct growing room humidity, certainly helps with flushes. If you can replenish your substrate with nutrients, then I would imagine that this would help with yield and perhaps increase number of flushes before the substrate is spent. Obviously, you need to take care not to introduce contamination during this feeding, but I would love to find out how you go if you trial this. All the best.</p>
<p>Thank you so much for the self-explanatory tutorial. Unfortunately we do not have wheat straw in my country so I have to go with sawdust method. </p><p>Please do you have tutorial on Sawdust substrate? </p><p>For a 100kg subsrate, is the following substrate preparation analysis ok?</p><p>Sawdust - 79kg</p><p>Rice Bran - 15kg</p><p>Lime - 2kg</p><p>Gypsum - 2kg</p><p>Milled Corn - 2kg</p><p>Do you think I should add any other material in order to increase yield? If yes, please suggest to me.</p><p>How long should I compost my substrate for? And would you recommend close sheet method? I mean covering the compost with polythene in a shade. And at what interval should I be wetting and turning the sawdust compost?</p><p>I'll really appreciate your prompt response.</p><p>Thanks again.</p>
<p>Your sawdust mix looks fine. Have a look at this paper re: levels <a href="http://www.bapress.ca/eah/v1n2/Tajudeen%20O.%20Oseni.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.bapress.ca/eah/v1n2/Tajudeen%20O.%20Ose...</a></p><p>and method.</p>
<p>Thank you so much for your response. However, please what can I use in place of gypsum cos it seems to be scarce here? Can I just simply grind school chalks? Will it work? Also, does my substrate bag have to be polypropylene? Which other type can work for me?</p><p>Thanks again</p>
<p>Gypsum adds calcium and sulphur (calcium sulphate) which are excellent nutrients for mushrooms. You can grow without it but the more nutrients the more mushrooms. If you can't find gypsum school chalk is sometimes made from calcium sulphate but sometimes calcium carbonate... perhaps you can find plaster of Paris, add water and let it set, crush it up and there you have gypsum, you can also crush up dry wall and use that.</p><p>Your bags don't need to be plastic... cotton can be used, but sterilise them first. All the best!</p>
<p>Since I can't thank you enough for your kind responses, the Almighty God will thank you for me by blessing you more abundantly. I really appreciate you. </p><p>Plaster of Paris is everywhere in my country, it's a big relief for me.</p><p>Thanks again.</p>
<p>I have just constructed a greenhouse to grow vegetables and want to incorporate mushroom with other vegetables in the greenhouse. Can you please advice me with instructions on how to get started. </p>
<p>This instructable should help you with regard to what type of growing conditions you require, however you may find that the growing environment that benefits your mushrooms may not be the same for your vegetables. If you can separate an area off to isolate your mushrooms then great, but perhaps a separate area may be simplest.</p>
<p>if my bag starts to pin sooner thin i like .... once if starts to pine can i still mix it with my sub..strait... is it ok to mix after it starts to pine ......</p>
<p>Hey Janale, if a few pins form in the grain, it could actually be a good thing. They can still be used to inoculate the straw (or even to propagate the spawn through more grain), they shouldn't rot or be a source of contamination. Paul Stamets (the mushroom guru) suggests that this can actually help give a faster and more uniform pin set in the eventual flushes, possibly due to hormones or other chemical triggers in the early pins. Your early pinning may be due to exposure to higher levels of light, and perhaps humidity and temperature changes, but in any case you can still use the pinning spawn to inoculate your substrate.</p><p>In the past we tried to emulate what happens in nature (mycelium colonisation tends to occur in darkness), but we should always be willing to experiment. Let me know how your pinning spawn does in colonising your substrate.</p><p>Hope that helps, all the best!!</p>

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