Standard Spawn

3300 grams rye

1400 ml. water

12 grams gypsum

* These moisture contents are not meant to be taken literally. The natural moisture content inherent within dry gra - can feet absolute moisture by 15% or more. Properly dried grain should have 8-12% ambient moistui With the slightest increase above this level, bacteria proliferate, requiring that the sterilization cycie be extended _____-

is added proportionately. Whereas the percent-a e of moisture content can be nearly 60% in a small spawr jar, a large container will have a moisture content of only 40%. Anaerobic environments are encouraged v _;h largermasses of grain, a phenomenon which necessitates a drier medium and extended exposure to pressurized steam Cultivators should adjust these base-line formulas to best meet their specific circumstances. Jars and bags must be fitted with microporous filters for adequate gas exchange.

I steril:ze the 16 oz. or quart (liter) jars for only 1 hour at 15 psi or 250° F, the 1/2 gallons for 1 1/2 hours, the gallon jars for 2 hours, and the standard spawn bags for 4 hours. The spawn bags featured in this book have a maximum volume of 12,530 milliliters when filled to the brim, although cultivators usually load the spawn bags to 1/3 to 1/2 half capacity. Using the aforementioned formula, each spawn bag weighs 10 lbs., 10 oz. (=4826 grams). These bags are best inoculated with 200-300 ml. of fermented liquid mushroom mycelium using the techniques described further on. Once inoculated the bags are laid horizontally for the first week and gently agitated every 3 days with the filter patch topside, until fully colonized Spawn generated in bags is far easier to use than from jars.

For a comparison of grr.ins, their moisture contents, and kernels sizes, refer to pg. 43 in 77ze Mushroom Cultivator by Stamets and Chilton (1983). Test batches should be run prior to com-merciai -scale cycles with sterilization indicator papers Adjustments in pressure must be made for those more than 3000 feet above sea level.

Most people create volumetric scoops correspond i tig to the above mentioned masses. Many

Spawn Contamination
Figure 192. Spawn incubating in 1/2 gallon (2 liter), 1 gallon (4 liter) and 2.5 gallon (10 liter) containers Note filter media which prevents contamination but allows respiration.

cultivators build semi-automatic grain dispenser bins to facilitate the rapid filling of spawn containers. These are sim:lai in design to those seen in many organic food co-ops in North America.

The grain used for spawn production must be free of fungicides and ideally should be organically grown. Grain obtained in the spring was probably harvested 6 or more months earlier. The resident contamination population gradually increases overtime. With the proliferat'on of more contaminants per lb. of grain, cultivators will have to adjust their sterilization schedules to compensate. Experienced cultivators are constantly searching for sources of fresh, high quality grain with endemically low counts of bacteria and mold spores.

With one brand of commercially available rye grain, a cup of dry grain has a mass of 210

Figure 104. Pressure cookers useful for sterilizing agar and grain media. Note the smaller unit has a buil in fa -¡oi ce. The larger pressure cooker is placed on a stove-top or propane burner. Pressure ia regulated by adjusting the heat source.

Figure 104. Pressure cookers useful for sterilizing agar and grain media. Note the smaller unit has a buil in fa -¡oi ce. The larger pressure cooker is placed on a stove-top or propane burner. Pressure ia regulated by adjusting the heat source.

Figure 103. Filling i/2gallon jars with gram.

Figure 105. Giain-filied 1/2 gallon jars ready for loading into a commercial autoclave.

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GENERATING GRAIN SPAWN 133

grams. 4 cups is approximately a liter. There fore, a single petri dish culture can generate from 1 to 5 liters of spawn, utilising the traditional wedge transfer techr:que. These techniques are described next.

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