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
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:
- Gluten developing starch (Wheat flour)
- Added moisture content (Water)
- Leavening (Yeast)
- Proper temperature & time.
To make an appropriate mushroom growing substrate, you need:
- A mixture of nutrient providing organic waste (depending on species, this could be compost, wood chips, rice hulls, straw etc. Or some combination thereof.)
- Added moisture (Usually achieved by soaking the organic waste in water, with the exception of compost)
- Your mushroom spawn!
- Proper temperature & Time>
- & 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.)