PF Tek MycoJar Grow Kit Guide
STAGE 1: INOCULATION
You will need:
- Your chosen gourmet spores or liquid mycelium syringe
- PF-Tek MycoJar(s)
- A lighter to sterilise the needle (Only needed if working with multiple MycoJars and haven’t purchased extra sterile-packed needles)
- Sterile gloves (as supplied with kit)
- Face Mask (as supplied with kit)
With this product, it’s unnecessary to work within a Still-Air-Box (SAB) or any other purpose built clean room environment – although it certainly won’t do any harm!
1. Take everything to your ‘lab’
An ideal room to use as your lab will be draft-free, such as a small cupboard maybe. Kitchens and bathrooms are generally not suitable because of the increased risk of mould – but the fitted CyloLid on the MycoJar(s) should still protect you in any case.
Take everything you will need into your lab at this point – keep air currents to an absolute minimum (doors closed!) to lower the odds of a contaminant spore dropping onto the self-healing injection port directly prior to syringe inoculation of gourmet spores or liquid mycelium!
Remove the MycoJar(s) from the bag(s) so that you can later grab them with ease. Keep the foil on!
Take the time to ensure you are completely clean – have a shower, brush your teeth and change into fresh clothes.
Before you begin the inoculation process, take your face mask out of the bag and secure it tightly to your face. Then, make sure your hands and forearms are clean – you can wipe them with the included Clinell wipes and let them completely air dry first or you’ll struggle to put your sterile gloves on!
3. Inoculation process
When you are ready and have fitted the pre-sterile needle on to the syringe, remove the foil lid and swiftly pierce your needle through the sterile self-healing injection port and inject approximately 2ml in a circular motion. The alcohol wipe shouldn’t need to be used and is there only as a last resort in case you accidently touch the port with something non-sterile!
If you are inoculating more MycoJars with the same syringe, make sure to flame sterilise the needle until it is glowing red hot between MycoJars. This will reduce any chances of cross contamination. Just remember to leave the needle to cool down for 5 – 10 seconds, or you can just squirt a little solution through it to cool it quicker!
DO NOT EVER wipe a needle with an alcohol pad. Alcohol merely sanitises, it does not sterilise. Flame sterilise for fast results.
4. Light and room temperature
Now it’s time to leave your MycoJar(s) in a safe place to colonise. It is recommended, although not necessary, to leave colonising substrates in a room with indirect sunlight or light from a flourescent bulb.. but many growers just leave them in a dark cupboard – so don’t worry about that too much. Just make sure the sun isn’t beating down on them!
Regarding heat, many species do love very warm climates during colonisation but it can be a balancing act because so do bacteria!
If your mycelium is going strong, it can outrun many types of bacteria and you will never know they were even present..
If you can manage to keep the colonising MycoJar(s) somewhere between 18C and 26C, then it will be just fine. 26C is noticeably faster than 18C, but if you have a cold house or flat don’t worry about it – it will do it’s job! I have even managed it in a cold 10C flat! If you are determined to get a warmer environment for faster colonisation times, I’d strongly advise against heat mats as they will just dry out the bottom of your substrate. You will need something a bit more equal on all sides. A warm cupboard above a fridge.. Near the water boiler..?
Generally, you will start to see mycelium growth after 5-10 days, but because we are injecting into the center of the MycoJar(s) – this will take longer to show, but when it does you can be sure it’s just about finished!
It will normally take around 3-5 weeks for your MycoJar(s) to fully colonise (i.e. to be completely covered in white mycelium) but again, this can take a bit longer or shorter depending on a range of factors such as temperature, genetics, whether from spore or culture syringe etc..
When they have reached full colonisation, it is highly recommended that you leave them for another week to allow the mycelium to consolidate – basically, to make sure the mycelium has a full hold on the PF-Tek MycoJar cake(s).
STAGE 2: DUNK N ROLL
This stage is optional, but will work to provide extra moisture for your cakes and therefore support bigger and better flushes.
So.. it’s definitely recommended by us!
You will need:
- A container to fill with water (big enough to hold your cake)
- Bag of fine vermiculite (supplied with kit)
- Tin foil
1. Carefully clean a work surface near a sink and take your fully colonised MycoJar(s) to this area. Remove the CyloLid(s), then turn the MycoJar(s) upside down and knock on the bottom of it until the cake(s) slides out.
2. Fill a container big enough to hold your cake(s) with cool water and then place your into the water.. This is the ‘dunk’! You will want to make sure that it stays submerged in the water (a dinner plate, maybe?) and of course cover the top of the container to ensure nothing can fall into the water. Submerge your cake in the water for 24 hours.
3. After 24 hours, it is time for the ‘roll’.. So, grab the bag of vermiculite we supplied in your kit and empty it either on to a clean work surface or into a bowl big enough to move your cake(s) around in.
4. Take your cake(s) out of the water and give a quick rinse under a cold tap.
5. Place the wet cake(s) into the vermiculite and work with it until every edge of the cake has a vermiculite coating. Don’t be scared to firmly press the vermiculite onto the cake(s) to get it to stick.
6. Cut a piece of tin foil to the size of your cake(s) and place aside for later..
STAGE 3: FRUITING
Now you are ready to grow some mushrooms!
If you have skipped the dunk n roll stage, you will need to knock your cake(s) out of the MycoJar(s) and then place on to a piece of tin foil cut to the size of your cake.
You will need:
- Bag of perlite (supplied with kit)
- A sieve/strainer
- Humidity tent(s) for each of the MycoJar(s) (supplied with kit)
- A spray bottle to mist your cakes with water
1. The first step is to rinse the perlite to get rid of all the excess dust. Please wear a face mask or cover your mouth and nose in some way when working with perlite. Get yourself a sieve or strainer (of course with holes smaller than the size of the perlite) and empty the perlite into it. Rinse under a running tap until you can see all of the dust is gone and that the perlite is fully soaked, turn the tap off and shake off some of the excess water.
2. Immediately pour all of the damp perlite into your humidity tent(s) – this will create the humid environment mushrooms love.
3. Place your cake(s) on top of this perlite layer, ensuring it is still sitting on the tin foil – do not sit your cake directly on to the perlite!
4. Fold over the top of the bag and either leave it as is (if the opening is pointing downwards, no dust/mould particles can fall in there) or if you prefer – you can put some paper clips or pegs on there to hold it shut.
5. You will now need to mist your cake(s) with water regularly to ensure constant hydration. Though, it’s best to avoid misting your cake for the first 12 hours to help keep the vermiculite stuck good. Mist your cake(s) directly until they glisten with moisture and when you can no longer see the glisten on them, it’s time to mist them again.. Misting 3-6 times a day is pretty common for ultimate results.
Click here to view some photos which will help you see what is meant by ‘glistening with moisture’.
The evaporation of moisture from your cake(s) is the trigger for mushroom pins to form and grow – this is why the humidity tent(s) we supply in our grow kit have lots of filters to provide clean air exchange. If you do not mist regularly to replace this evaporating moisture, you will break the cycle and you will have a very bad harvest.. Simple as that.
You must continue to mist throughout the full growing process – when you see pins forming and whilst your mushrooms are growing.. remember mushrooms are 90% water, they need all that extra moisture!!
STAGE 4: HARVEST
When your mushrooms are ready for harvest, you can either cut them off your cake with a knife/scissors or some people prefer to just twist and pull their mushrooms off – but be aware this can sometimes pull some of the cake off with the mushroom, so it’s not the best method.
When you have harvested all of your mushrooms, you can dunk your cake(s) in water again for 24 hours – but no need to roll in dry vermiculite this time – just place back within your humidity tent(s) for more fruting!