Updated: Apr 16
Materials Required: 1/2 pint wide mouth canning jars (you must have wide mouth don't make a mistake) Pot/Pressure cooker (you should use a pressure cooker, but can boil the substrate jars in a pot for 90 minutes) Medium or Coarse Grade Vermiculite Perlite Brown rice/Brow Rice Flour (if you get brown rice use a coffee grinder to turn it into flour) Aluminum foil 70% Isopropyl alcohol and lysol or similar Plastic Tote 1/8 inch drill bit/Drill Hammer/Nail Mixing bowl and spoon Spore n' Sprout spore syringe Latex gloves Dust mask Lighter
Step 1: Modifying the substrate jar lids
Using the hammer and the nail mentioned in the materials required, or a 1/8" drill bit and drill, make 4 holes in the lid, evenly spaced around the perimeter of all of the the jar lids. These holes will serve as our inoculation holes, and gas exchange holes so the mycelium that grows can breath.
Step 2: BRF Substrate Preparation
BRF Cake Recipe
2 parts coarse or medium vermiculite
1 part brown rice flower
1 part distilled water
Using the 1/2 pint mason jar as a measuring cup, add your ingredients. Simply fill the ingredients to the first line of the jar. This leaves room for the contamination barrier that will be discussed later. You do not want to fill the jars with substrate completely. If this method is not anal enough for you use these measurements:
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup water
2 cups vermiculite
So, add 2 brown rice flower and 4 coarse or medium vermiculite. into a large bowl and mix gently. Be sure to mix the substrate very well.
Now add 2 distilled water and gently mix. Again be sure to mix very well.
Step 3: Filling the substrate jars with the BRF formula
Fill the jars with the BRF substrate. WARNING: Do not fill the jars completely. Leave a 1/2" area unfilled. DO NOT compress the substrate. Keep it light and airy.
Now wipe the inside of the jar really well. This is part of the contamination barrier so you don't want any nutrients left behind for the bad guys to follow into the cakes.
This part can be done with medium or fine vermiculite. Fill the rest of the jar with the dry vermiculite then put the lids on and cover with foil.
Cover them well with aluminum foil, because you don't want water from the PC to get into the barrier.
Step 4: Pressure cooking the jars for low risk of contamination
Now pressure cook the the substrate jars that you have completed for 90 minutes at 15 psi. Here's how I set my PC up for 1/2 pint jars. It allows me to put more water in. After PCing do not turn the jars upside down.
Add spare jar rings, or aluminum foil compressed to about 1" thickness so that the tray that goes in the bottom of the pressure cooker can sit evenly on top of them, and not tilt around. This will prevent the jars from sitting in water, which could splash up and get under the foil possibly.
Step 5: Inoculation
I took extra precaution here and used a glove box with the usual sterile technique. Lysol, rubber gloves, alcohol and flame. When using the PF tek you should be using some kind of glovebox, or still air box for inoculation. If you can manage to get by without one, congratulations. Inoculation should be done as quickly as possible, without fumbling around.
To inoculate, put your needle on your spore syringe, and insert the needle into the holes you made in the jar lids. Make sure you aim the needle at the side of the glass not into the substrate.
Wipe your needle with alcohol before and after you inoculate any jar. Wipe your lids with alcohol before you stick the needle through the tyvek. Cover holes with micropore tape, to keep contamination out!
Inoculate all four holes in each jar. After all the jars are inoculated cover the holes with micropore tape. Micropore tape is simply cloth medical tape. You can get it at any pharmacy. Do not buy the plastic kind with holes in it.
Step 6: Incubation
Incubation doesn't really need to be anything special. mycelium does generate it's own heat. The correct incubation temperature of pf tek substrate jars is between 75, and 80 degrees.
You can usually stick the pf tek jars in the cabinet above your refrigerator if you have one.
The temperature should be around 75*f to 80*f.
After 7 days you may peek. This will be the time to toss any jars that don't look right. When they are 100% white let them incubate for another 7 days.
Step 7: The Dunk
Most people refer to this part of the pf tek as the dunk and roll. Dunking is an important part of the tek, and no you don't need to be super sterile and all that. What we are doing is allowing the substrate to regain hydration that it lost over the period of time it took for the mycelium to colonize it. This will improve yield substantially.
Get you a tub of luke warm tap water ready.
Birth the cakes, rinse them under the faucet and put them in the tub of water. Handle them gently.
Put another tub on top of the cakes to keep them submerged. Also put the empty jars in the top tub to ensure the cakes stay submerged, and to weigh them down a bit. You only want to submerge them. They don't need to be at the bottom of the tub.
Put them in a closet for 24 hrs.
Step 8: Setting Up The Fruiting Chamber
Get You some perlite. Soak it with luke warm tap water and dump it in your SGFC. Fill it about 3 inches high.
Place 6 lids on top of the perlite and fill them with fine or medium vermiculite.
Hold the lids and pour in distilled water until it runs through the holes.
Step 9: The Roll
The casing is 1 part peat moss, 1 part fine or medium vermiculite. Mix in a small bowl. You can omit the peat if you would like to and just use vermiculite.
Give the cakes one last rinse, roll them gently in the mixture and set them on the lids.