I find the use of agar in mushroom culture a complicated and long process. I tried a technique that I don’t even have a clue if it will work. However, upon my research mushroom growers from all over the world has been using this technique and it as easy as 1 2 3. They call this as GRAIN TO GRAIN SPAWNING TECHNIQUE. Although we did struggle along the way because of different reasons that lead to the contamination of our spawns. We continued until we have finally perfected the said technique.
Here is how we did this:
- Spawn Preparation
- Casserole with water
- Cooking Range
- Pressure Cooker
- Mushroom Rod
- Improvised heating lamp
- Surgical Mask
- Cotton Balls
- Rubber Band
- Clean Cloves
- Mushroom Spawn
- Sorghum Seeds as Grains
- Clean and Empty Bottles
- Wash Sorghum Seeds with water
- Place Sorghum in the Casserole with Water and turn on the cooking range.
- Cook the Sorghum seeds until water starts boiling.
- Strain and Air dry. Make sure that the Sorghum is not wet. You only need it to be damp.
- Put the Sorghum seeds in the empty bottles. Fill until ¾ of the bottles has been occupied.
- Cover your sorghum filled bottles with cotton plugs.
- Put the newspaper on top of the cotton plugs and secure it with a rubber band.
- Place your sorghum filled bottles inside the pressure cooker.
- Place your pressure cooker in 15psi and let it sterilize the bottles for 20-30mins.
- Turn off pressure cooker and let your bottles cool down for 5mins
- Carefully remove the sorghum bottles and turn it upside down to let the remaining moisture drain away from the sorghum seeds.
- Once dried and cooled down. The bottle/s are now ready for grain to grain spawning
2. Grain to Grain Transfer
- Clean the table with Alcohol.
- Place your spawn, sterilized sorghum, rod, and improvised heating lamp on the table.
- Light lamp (this eliminates and reduces the contaminants in the air)
- Wear Surgical Mask
- Clean hands with alcohol and wear gloves.
- Remove the cover of your spawn.
- Put alcohol in a tissue
- Heat the rod on the lamp and wipe it off with the tissue with alcohol.
- Once the rod has cooled off. Poke inside the spawn bottle so the grain splits from each other.
- This will allow you to transfer the grains easily from one bottle to the other.
- Remove the Cover from your Sterilized Sorghum Bottle and place the cover cleanly on the side.
- Place the sorghum bottles mouth under the heat for 2-3 seconds.
- Place the spawn bottles mouth under the heat for 1 second.
- Tilt the spawn bottle towards your sorghum bottle and let a few spawn grains transfer from one bottle to the other.
- Close Place the cotton balls back to the mouth of the sorghum bottle.
- Loosely place the newspaper on top of the sorghum bottle and tie it with the rubber band to secure.
- Light shake the bottle to scatter the spawn grains with the sorghum grains
- Wait for 2-3 days and you should see the mycelia scattering in your sorghum grains.
-Your grain to grain spawning is now complete.
If you want to know more about how to minimize contamination you may click this link Common Mistakes in Grain to Grain Spawning