Sunday, May 11, 2008


For one ½ pint jar(~240 ml) you will need:
140 ml vermiculite
40 ml brown rice flour
some vermiculite to fill the jar to the top (app. 20 ml)

Put the required amount of vermiculite for all the jars of one batch (for instance 6 jars: 6 x 140 ml = 840 ml ~ 3.5 US cups ) in a bowl. Pour water slowly over the vermiculite while stirring with a spoon .Be careful to only put that much water in as it can be absorbed by the vermiculite. Stir it well so the vermiculite is uniformly soaked with water. When you tilt the bowl you should see just a little water starting coming from the vermiculite. This is when the correct water content is achieved. If there is too much water in the bowl, pour the wet vermiculite in a strainer and let the excess water drain for a minute. Then the vermiculite will be at the field capacity, which is perfect. Now put the required amount of the BRF (for instance 6 x 40 ml = 240 ml = 1 US cup) into the wet vermiculite at once and mix it in with the spoon. The goal is to uniformly coat the wet vermiculite particles with a layer of BRF.

Fill the mixture in jars ½ inch under the top. It's very important to fill the substrate in the jars without tapping it down at all. It should stay very airy and loose to provide optimum conditions for the growth of mycelium. Be careful not to leave any substrate on the upper edge of the jar. If you weren't careful enough and there are some substrate specks at the edge take a clean moist cloth. Otherwise contaminants can start at those spots and work their way down into the jar. Fill up the jar with dry vermiculite to the top. This layer hinders airborne contaminants reaching the underlying substrate in case they manage to come in during the inoculation and incubation. Take a 5in wide stripe of aluminum foil and fold it in the middle. Put the foil over the opening of the jar. If you're using jars with metal lids, you can poke 4 holes at the very edge of each lid with a small nail and hammer and screw the lid on. The holes should be slightly bigger than the diameter of the syringe needle.Fold the foil edges up and press them together so you get a nice aluminum foil lid. Then take a piece of foil measuring 5in x 5in in and put it over the first two layers (respectively the metal lid if you're using lids) leaving the edges of the foil reaching down, since it has to be lifted again during the inoculation. So now you have 3 layers of foil over the opening. The top layer is lifted during the inoculation.

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