Author Topic: cloning from old fruits vs young fruits vs g2g vs spores...which one is better?  (Read 3253 times)

Offline Lau

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 Hi,

I was wondering if there is a decrease in performance with cloning mature fruits vs young fruits vs starting from spores vs putting spawn on agar>grain to grain? Or is it all about the same?

Which technique results in the best yield/performance? We're starting a small oyster and shiitake farm.

I was also curious to know where you buy bags for straw and saw dust substrate and which shape works better (if it makes any differences at all?). Some people hang their logs, some pile them up...what do you guys do?

I can get my hands on lots of straw, cane mulch, mulch mixes, woody weeds (leucaena, mango, jackfruit, ponciana and tons of others that we will trial).

Regarding hydrated lime pasteurisation, which hydrated lime should I buy in Australia...any good brand? I've heard some of them contain lead and other things I don't want my mushrooms to feed on...

Anyone has a simple system to bulk pasteurise say 10 logs of straw at the same time? Or do you just chunk them in your pressure cooker at the desired temperature for an hour and repeat all day long until they're all done?

I know that's a lot of questions...thanks to anyone who can help  8)


Offline NSF

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Ok you've got quite a few questions within this one post, so I will try and break it apart and answer each of them. 

First and foremost, don't put the cart before the horse.  Get your fruiting room setup, get it dialled in and get SOMETHING fruiting in there.  From there, work out the methods which suit you best.  These could be many and varied and who knows, you may find your grow style is limited/controlled/dictated by your fruiting room (space, shelving, door size etc.) 

1.a  Using spores to start cultures is generally not advised.  It's very likely that you'll get contaminants from a spore print.  For fungi with thin fruit bodies, eg. Trametes versicolor, then maybe use spores. 
1.b Cloning from a younger fruit is generally advisable, not due to genetics just due to a reduced chance of insects getting into the fruit and contaminating it.  Just less contaminant chance over all.
1.c You shouldn't really put grain spawn back to agar unless in an emergency (like a culture dies in the fridge).
1.d Grain to grain transfers are the most common for the hobby grower.  Commerical operations also use grain as the expansion method of their inoculant. 

So to sum all of that up, I suggest you source proven cultures from various people or businesses, then expand that culture on a few agar plates, then from those put wedges into 1L 'grain master' bags.  Use each of those 1L grain masters to inoculate bulk volumes of grain at a rate as low as 2%.  So each grain master could in theory inolucate 50kg of grain spawn. 

You then use this bulk grain spawn to inoculate your bulk substrate (sawdust, straw, whatever). 

Once you have used up all your grain masters, return to an agar plate and make new grain masters and start the process again.  Don't keep expanding grain and using bulk grain to inoculate bulk grain.  It's here that the genetic ages dramatically increases (senescence).  Returning to those original plates for expansion prevents this. 

2.  Best yield/performance is a very complicated question.  Strain selection is important, but matching the right strain to the right substrate is also important.  But the best for one person might not be the best for you, as you may have entirely different temperatures which impact on performance dramatically.  Initially start out with strains that are suited to your climate, then control what you can from there (substrate, methods, supplement etc). 

3.  Where to buy bags: I buy Large unicorn T filter patch PP bags from here: http://www.forestfungi.com.au/ or http://www.themadseason.com/ (they can package up 100 in a box to reduce shipping to the same as 50 bags).  Some people rave about these bags but I am yet to use them: http://www.alohamedicinals.com/culture-supplies.htm#.UjZB92f4IUo.  I don't know where to buy long plastic tubes for plastic 'logs' though.  Remember too, lots of people cultivate shiitake ON wooden logs (branches), so watch the terminology you use.

4.  As for what I do with my grows I'm driving by my awkward grow space, which is under my deck.  So I use Unicorn bags and make 3-4kg blocks I can shift in and out of their easily.  Log grows don't work for me as well, too hard to move whilst I'm stooped over.  You might have an area with a concrete floor and can wheel in heavy bags easily and hang them up.  Generally the more substrate you can get into your room then the greater the chance for more mushrooms.  Whether you get that in via heavy logs or neatly packed blocks is up to you.  Blocks are more labour and shelves, logs are cheaper and less labour, but heavier, so harder logistically, much harder to sterilise too. 

5.  For your beginnings start with proven substrates like straw and sawdust.  Once you get your head around the complexities of your process then start to experiment with other materials.

6.  I can't help you with hydrated lime recommendations

7.  I have four pressure cookers so that I can sterilise 8 blocks of substrate in a day.  I let the PCs cool overnight, then unload and go again.  Well, when I have days off that's what I do.  You wouldn't get a log into a PC, I find that I have to cook for 2:15 to get my blocks properly sterilised.  I thought 90 mins was enough but for a long time I had contams.  Using thermalogs has taught me a lot. 

Remember that if you pasteurise you CANNOT supplement.  You can only supplement if you sterilise in a PC.  That being said, there are exception, mushfarmer on youtube swears by alfalfa with straw to crank out kings.  Kings might not work in queensland though as they like 16 degrees to fruit.  The higher humidity and overall temp might cause you more contams too, well, it's conditions in which molds flourish. 

If I were you I'd experiment with oysters on some straight finely mulched pasteurised straw in plastic 'logs'.  It's the least outlay, so is very good in a risk vs reward sense.  If that doesn't work for you then consider moving on to sterilised blocks.  Remember too that growing on sterilised blocks needs a much more controlled sterile workflow, which can be hard to learn. 

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