Lets Get Started
Before you get started growing mushrooms ask yourself these questions to make sure your ready:
- Will I have enough time and patience?
- Will I be able to give my mushrooms the proper lighting and climate conditions?
If you answered yes to all of these questions then your ready to get started! Remember, growing mushrooms takes a-lot of time, and patience. You can spend a-lot, or just a little on the hobby.
- Am I willing to spend a little bit of money to get started?
Growing mushrooms is a very slow, and time consuming process. But with patience, and willingness to learn, you can be on your way to growing your own gourmet and medicinal mushrooms in no time. If something doesn't work the first time, don't give up! Remember, this is new to you. Your first batch will be the hardest. It get's easier as you go. Eventually it will be as easy as riding a bike.
Sterilizing Your Substrate
This is the fun part! Fruiting is when your cakes are ready to grow mushrooms. Now your ready to birth your cakes into your fruiting chamber. Fruiting can be done in any type of container that has proper heating, humidity, air circulation and lighting conditions. You can make one out of any terrarium, fish tank, or storage container.
For this guide i'm going to be using a storage container. When building your fruiting chamber, you wan't to remember that it needs to be in a good spot that receives indirect sunlight. Most people will put their fruiting chamber by a window, or in a room with a-lot of windows.
Any room will be fine as long as sunlight comes threw your windows. I'm talking about when every light in your room is turned off, the light that comes in threw the windows naturally lights up the entire room. That is perfect indirect sunlight.
Do not put your fruiting chamber in direct sunlight. Any type of exposure to direct sunlight is harmful to your mushrooms. Even if it's directly under the sun for a couple minutes. It will delay growth of your mushrooms, or in some cases they won't grow at all.
The idea of this particular fruiting chamber is to allow optimum air circulation, without having to fan it the traditional way of 5-8 times a day. As you can see in the diagram to the left, oxygen flows in thew the air pump, and leaves threw the air stone. The air stone disperses oxygen filled bubbles, that flow to the surface of the water, and pop. When the oxygen bubbles pop, they release water vapor, and fresh oxygen into the fruiting chamber.
My fruiting chamber design is very unique compared to other styles of fruiting chambers. I came up with this to reduce the amount of times I have to fan it a day, give my chamber a fresh constant supply of oxygen, hold more humidity, and to make fanning a convenience instead of a hassle.
- Low Maintenance
- Holds More Humidity
- Fan It Two Times A Day
- No Substrate
- Less Contaminations
- Less Co2 Build Up
- Constant Supply Of Oxygen
- Easy To Build
- Costs A Little Bit More
- Takes Longer To Setup
- More Equipment than the traditional shotgun style terrarium
Material's You Will Need:
- Clear Translucent Storage Container
- Air Pump, with an Air Stone
- Jar (size and style is up to you)
- Computer Fan
- Grow Light (recommended if strain needs primary lighting)
- Temperature Gauge (recommended)
- Humidity Gauge (recommended)
- Ultra Sonic Fogger (highly recommended)
- Aluminum Foil (to use as substrate, and reflect light)
- Screen (for your computer fan)
- Hinges (for your lid)
- Aquarium heater (maintain temperature levels, if needed)
How to build the AK47 fruiting chamber:
1) Your going to wan't to buy a clear translucent plastic storage container with a clear translucent lid. When purchasing your storage container you wan't it to be more wide than it is tall. But, if you can't find one that is more wide than it is tall then purchase one that has even dimensions (as wide as it is tall.) You wan't the extra width to have more room
for your cakes.
2) Drill an even number of holes on each side of your fruiting chamber, including your lid. (The holes are for even gas exchange.) Do not drill holes in the bottom of your fruiting chamber. When drilling your holes keep them all 1-inch apart, and 2-3inches away from the bottom of your chamber.
|3) Now cut out a square parallel to the opposite side of where your air pump is. The cut should be .5-1inch smaller than the size (width x height) of your computer fan.|
4) You can either attach screen to the square you cut out for your fan. Or you can skip this step and go ahead and immediately install your fan. When installing your fan make sure you have 4 screws with 4 nuts that fit on each end. Now drill 4 holes that are a little bit smaller than your screws. Drill the holes corresponding to each corner of your fan. (Make sure your computer fan can work properly when plugged into an outlet.)
5) Thread all 4 holes with your screws. By screwing each hole in with the screw your going to use for that hole, then screw them all back out.
6) Now install your fan. Make sure your fan is facing outside of your fruiting chamber (to suck the air out of your fruiting chamber.) Lineup your fan with the holes you made. Then screw in each hole, and fasten the screws with your nuts. Make sure that they're tight, don't have any give, and will support the fan.
7) Now string your air pump tubing threw one of the holes you drilled on the
parallel side to your fan. String it threw
the hole that you feel will be the best.
It doesn't matter which hole it's thew, just as long as it's inside your fruiting
8) Setup your fruiting chamber in a spot that has little draft, and will receive lots of indirect sunlight. After you've done that lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of your fruiting chamber, and curl up the edges (optional.) Now place your jar inside your fruiting chamber. Attach your air stone to your air pump tubing, and your air pumping tubing to your air pump. Place your air stone in the bottom of your jar. Fill the jar up with distilled water, turn on your air pump. Place your cake inside your fruiting chamber and your done! Any other mods are up to you, and anything extra should be done by your own means.
Remember you should only have your fan on for 30 seconds in the morning, and 30 seconds at night.
Flushing is picking all of your mushrooms when your cake stops producing them. When you notice that your cakes stop growing mushrooms then you should pick all of them immediately. The purpose of flushing is to prep your cake so it can be dunked. If you want to know more about picking mushrooms then go to the "Picking And Storing," page under Mushroom Cultivation on the left hand side of the page.
When flushing your cakes make sure to pick every mushroom! If you leave any mushrooms on after you've dunked your cake they will become soggy. Bacteria and other molds could start growing on those mushrooms. If it becomes severe enough, your cakes will become infertile and die.
Make sure when your picking all of your mushrooms, that you pick all of your aborts too. Aborts are small dried up pinheads that stopped growing at one time. As you can see they're vary small.
When picking all of your caps, you notice that they are mature, vegetative, and fleshy looking. These are about when they should be picked. You don't wan't to let them keep growing for too long. When you let your cakes keep growing caps they will eventually shrivel back, and dry out.
After you've flushed all of your mushrooms your ready to dunk your cakes. The purpose of dunking is to get as much mushrooms as possible! You don't have to dunk your cakes, but it's highly recommended you do. Dunking cakes is the process of re-hydrating cakes. Cakes are about 80% water. While they're fruiting they loose about 60% water. When your cakes are being dunked there getting the moisture back in that they lost while fruiting.
Materials you'll need to dunk your cakes:
- Bucket (bucket with lid recommended)
- Distilled Water
- Weight, or rock
You wan't to handle your cakes as less as possible. It puts unnecessary stress on them. Before you dunk your cakes fill your bucket up with distilled water. The water level of the bucket should be at a level that your cakes can be completely submerged under the water. You want to use a rock, or a weight that's heavy enough to sit on top, and hold it down. Mycelium cakes are buoyant, so they will not stay submerged under water on there own.
1) Wash bucket with hot soapy water.Then rinse it out thoroughly.
2) Fill bucket with distilled water. Make sure the water level is high enough for you cake to be fully submerged underwater.
3) Rinse weight/rock off thoroughly. Wash it with hot soapy water (if needed.)
4) Wash your hands in hot soapy water.
5) Gently set Your cake into the water.
6) Position your cake so the weight/rock will hold it under water.
7) Gently set weight/rock on top of your cake.
8) Close the bucket lid.
9) Wait 24-36hrs for your cake to absorb the distilled water.
10) Wash your hands with hot soapy water.
11) Gently move your rock out of the way.
12) Gently pick up your cake, and transport it back into your fruiting chamber.
Make sure not to disturb your cake while it's submerged in your bucket. It may take over a week for your cake to start growing mushrooms again. When you submerge your cake underwater your putting it into shock. It's dehydrated, and the temperature change will add stress. If you don't see any pinheads within a week don't panic. Your dealing with nature. It may take some time for your cake to over come the shock, and to re-establish its hold.
On average you can have from 3-4 fruiting cycles after you've dunked your cake properly. Some people have reported up to 5-6 fruiting cycles. That is if you maintain the proper humidity, temperature, and air circulation in your fruiting chamber. Remember to handle your cakes as less as possible.