The Best Overall Method for Drying Mushrooms

The best way to preserve mushrooms is to dry them as soon as possible after picking. It is very important when drying that the mushrooms never be exposed to heat. Psilocybin and Psilocin, the main active chemicals in Psilocybe mushrooms, are heat-sensitive chemicals that will break down if exposed to heat. You can get away with drying them in the sun, but expect some loss in potency. Another common method of drying is to put the mushrooms in an enclosed container, like a covered bowl, that also contains some desiccant. While drying mushrooms using desiccant will dry them very thoroughly, it will also take a very long time, giving the mushrooms more time to decompose.

Diagram of desiccant chamber

Photo of A completely dried desiccant mushroom cap and stem chamber

Another way to dry mushrooms is with the use of moving air. Simply place them in front of a fan (not a heater), and the moving air will dry them very quickly. An even easier way to air-dry mushrooms is with a food dehydrator. If the dehydrator doesn't have a switch for turning off the heat, you will need to take it apart and disconnect the heating element, making sure to take any necessary safety precautions. Air-drying is by far the fastest way to dry mushrooms, but will not always remove all of the water from the mushrooms. The drying process can be accelerated substantially by slicing the mushrooms lengthwise into halves or quarters, thus increasing the surface area of each mushroom.

The best overall method for drying mushrooms is to first dry them using moving air, then, if necessary, put them into a desiccant chamber to remove the last little bit of moisture that remains in the mushrooms. You want your mushrooms to be bone dry and brittle. If they feel flexible, they are probably not totally dry. Store the dried mushrooms in a sealed container, away from heat and light. You can make sure that they stay dry by putting some desiccant into the storage container with them. The little dessicant packets that come in vitamin bottles will work to some extent. You can also make your own dessicant packets by wrapping up about a teaspoon of dessicant granules in a paper towel and securing the packet with rubber bands or tape.

Continue reading here: Parameters For Optimal Growth

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