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I saw a video on youtube on making mycototes, and was wondering if I can make the spawn by just making a loaf from flour, coffee grounds, water, sugar, and blended wine caps then put it in a 5 gallon bucket to propagate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDilzpuLB-8

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What a cool video. I've never seen Wine Caps that bulky!

I suppose in the sense that you will follow a recipe to get your desired result, then yes, it is kind of like making bread. But by that measure so is making an alfredo sauce. Let's compare:

To make a basic bread you need:

  1. Gluten developing starch (Wheat flour)
  2. Added moisture content (Water)
  3. Leavening (Yeast)
  4. Proper temperature & time.

To make an appropriate mushroom growing substrate, you need:

  1. A mixture of nutrient providing organic waste (depending on species, this could be compost, wood chips, rice hulls, straw etc. Or some combination thereof.)
  2. Added moisture (Usually achieved by soaking the organic waste in water, with the exception of compost)
  3. Your mushroom spawn!
  4. Proper temperature & Time>
  5. & in the case of the Wine Cap, a casing soil is highly recommended (There is nearly a whole chapter on this in the book mentioned below).

I'm fairly certain that the dense, sugary bread mixture you propose would be overrun by bacteria, mold & rot before the mycelium even though about colonizing it.

To borrow a little from Tradd Cotter's Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation (I'm not going to quote the whole process here since, you know, there is an entire book on it):

King Stropharia prefers hardwood chips and shredded cereal straw, or any other agricultural by-products common in your area, such as bean hulls, cornstalks, cotton waste, beet pulp, and sugarcane bagase.

That covers the nutrient provisions, but what about how to add the mushroom spawn to that mix?

...Wrap the stem bases - full of thick mycelium and bits of wood chips and soil that harbor beneficial microbes - in wet cardboard and place them in plastic bags to preserve humidity.

So, how to start growing?

Once colonized, the cardboard can be added directly to your prepared outdoors beds (Layer the mixed substrate with more cardboard, scattering bits of your colonized cardboard or a slurry made from the colonized cardboard over the layers). Layer 6 to 8" deep.

When the bed (Or container) is near fully colonized, a microbial casing soil should be added over the top 2" - 3" deep.

From the time you start your bed, fruiting time is 3 to 6 months. Depending on temperature & how much spawn you add to how much substrate.

Now, one thing to note about the method from the video: Mycelium needs access to fresh air. In a large volume of substrate, inner areas could become dead zones as the mycelium will not be able to access the fresh air it needs. In your idea of replicating this in a bucket, there is relatively little exposed surface area to facilitate gas exchange (Mycelium breathes), so I suspect that if your bucket was much over half full, you would have dead zones (Wasted substrate) in your buckets, even with holes in the bottom.

I wish you the best of luck in growing these mushrooms, when you succeed the reward will be immense! (I also highly recommend a book such as the one mentioned above to get you started.)

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  • I want to make it as more of a paste than a bread – black thumb Jun 14 '18 at 4:00
  • A paste won't work well, if at all. For the mycelium to fully colonize the substrate there needs to be gas exchange throughout. Also, S. rugosoannulata needs cellulose (wood) as a food source. Complex sugars (carbohydrates) & simple sugars (table sugar, honey, etc.) can be used for growing agar & liquid cultures from tissue or spores. But these are only used for expanding onto (grain) spawn then to a substrate, in this case hardwood chips & agricultural by-products. Feel free to experiment of course, a lot of people have spent a lot of time experimenting, but you may find something new. – renesis Jun 14 '18 at 14:40
  • paste - mix up ingredients, wipe on log/tree, give it time, produce similar to moist dough that sticks to your hands – black thumb Jun 14 '18 at 19:29
  • The paste you propose is not an appealing food source to S. rugosoannulata. It would be overrun by mold or just dry out before any mycelium grows. If you want to inoculate a log, typically hardwood spawn plugs are made of wood, colonized with active mycelium & inserted into holes drilled in the log. I've never heard of growing wine caps on a log though. – renesis Jun 14 '18 at 20:12
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    If you want to grow wine caps with minimal effort w/ a moderate chance of some success; prepare a bed in your garden of hardwood wood chips, several inches deep in a protected area, douse with plentiful water & then mix in chunks of the mushrooms or a slurry (blended mushrooms & water). There are a lot of really good books on the subject out there that would give you a better sense of what is needed for success. A lot of what you see will be intimidating w/ use of laboratory equipment, but there are methods that are more easily achieved. – renesis Jun 14 '18 at 20:18

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