Introduction: Part A: Making a Mushroom Log, Sterilizing Grain
Sterilizing the Grain
The grain is the baby food for the mushrooms.
Materials List: Millet, Rye, and Wheat seeds, Strainer, Pot, Lime Flour, Gypsum Flour, Marker, Towels, Pressure cooker, Scalpel, Beaker, Tin foil.
1)Soak Grain for 12-24 hours
We tried both millet, rye and wheat seeds. We didn't like the millet because it came out to mushy. Rye has been the best and is the most popular among mushroom cultivators. An endospore is a dormant, tough, and non-reproductive structure produced by certain bacteria.When soaked the endospore can reactivate itself to the vegetative state, so it is not in the dormant state anymore. If it was still in the dormant state they would be resistant to ultraviolet radiation, water dehydration, high temperature, extreme freezing and chemical disinfectants, and you would not be able to kill the endospore.
2) Boil Grain
Boil the grain. You know it’s ready when you squeeze the grain lightly and it breaks but isn't mushy.
3) Strain Grain
When ready drain the grain. Grab a strainer and dump the water and grain in strainer until water is completely out, let it drain for a few minutes. BE CAREFUL WATER IS VERY HOT.
4) Fill Bags
Fill quart bags or jars one third to 1/2 of the way full. That is 1 cup dry grain or 2.5 cups cooked grain.
5) Add Minerals to Grain
1 gram lime
1 gram gypsum
1 gram is 1/4 teaspoon
We add these minerals to the grain because the mushrooms need nutrients and that makes the mushrooms healthy and strong.
Shake the bags to mix the minerals with the grain.
Label each bag with the mushroom variety cause you will not be able to tell varieties apart from the look of the mycelium. Now we can observe and know which is the bag of Shiitake and which is the Maitake.
7) Pressure cook
Wrap each bag with damp towels then put in the pressure cooker. Wrapping the bags with a dry towel will melt the plastic, so we made the towels damp to see if the bags will melt and they didn't melt at all. Wrap scalpel and beaker with tin foil. Make sure the bags are completely covered so that the plastic won’t melt. Sterilize scalpel and beaker. Then cook for 2 hours at 15-18 PSI
8) Let the grain cool down
Leave the pressure cooker to cool in the sterilized lab with lid on.
It must be lukewarm to room temperature before moving onto the next step.