Whats the big deal with agar??

Discussion in 'MUSHROOM CULTIVATION' started by UMAMI, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. UMAMI

    UMAMI New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    My lawyer is very new to mush cult and he is trying to plan his approach to the whole thing. He knows that the pressure cooker is a must so thats in the mail. The real thing he is trying to understand is, what is the difference between using spore syringes to inoculate cakes and bulk spawn versus starting those spores on agar and isolating fruiting strains. he realizes that a syringe results in a multistrain grow while the use of an isolated strain from agar results in a pure strain grow.

    Is the difference between spore syringe use and agar strain isolation one of yeild?? or is there more to it than that??

    the other part is, if he commits to just turning his prints into syringes going from there, he can foregoe the sizable expense of building a flow hood, clean room, petri dishes, etc. He beleives that a simple glove box will be more than sufficient to be a sucesfull grower with syringes, is that true?

    Have y'all been succesful at cultivation with spore syringes only using a glove box, without a flow hood????

    he would like to be succesful but he doesnt want to waste too much money up front. I beleive the real issue is he doesnt know the lengths he needs to got to regarding cleanliness and dedicated space to be succesful.

    How did y'all start out and what would u suggest to him knowing what u know now??
     
  2. Javadog

    Javadog Moderator Moderator Mushroom Doctor Cannabis Doctor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,510
    MS (spore syringe) grows can be as effective (in terms of BE) as isolate grows,
    but isolates produce more consistent results, both within single flushes and
    separate grows.

    I managed to get good results using BRF cakes and a SGFC.

    Look up "PF-tek".

    Good luck,

    JD
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  3. looking

    looking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    89
    currently i am using a home air purifier (99.9%) duct taping a 50 gallon bag to the out put, cutting slits for my hands and spectacles. the only thing i really get a higher than expected contamination from is agar, but that might be due to the fact that all my wide mouth lids were from my first few batches and need to be redone with injector port plugs instead of RTV silicone.

    not saying this is the best but i like the idea of filtration with positive air pressure over just a simple glovebox.....plus cleanup is a breeze...just fling any trash or spills to the back of the back and throw the whole thing away when you are done
     
  4. Javadog

    Javadog Moderator Moderator Mushroom Doctor Cannabis Doctor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,510
    If it works, it works.

    I jumped pretty much right to a flow-hood. I knew that I wanted
    to do agar work, and my lab skills were non-existent. So, my
    experience with glove boxes or "schmuv boxes" (as your rig is
    sometimes referred to) is relatively limited.

    Good luck,

    JD
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  5. Professor PinHead

    Professor PinHead Lost in the Tek.... Administrator Mushroom Doctor Cannabis Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,167
    Location:
    A Rhizomorphic Space
    I got a hood within a year myself. It is an invaluable tool in this game.
     
  6. nomendubium

    nomendubium scraping by, since '97 Expert Identifier

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,949
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    one benefit of utilizing agar is when your grow is contaminated, you can go in there and isolate some clean mycelium. You can't do that with an ms grow. also, in the long run it is cheaper to toss 30-50 ml of agar than a jar of substrate. You can use ms with just a glovebox, or nothing at all (open air, but I don't recommend it) but agar in open air or a glovebox is trickier. I had 0 luck pouring agar in a glovebox, but was sucessful using Prof-s-No-Pour-Agar-Agar-TEk.
    It took me 3 tries (and 3 syringes) before my first successful innoculation, 2 in open ait (that contaminaed) and he third time I did it in a clear trashbag, and that worked several times, until I built a glovebox. This is all just my personal experience with it :)
     
  7. treewood

    treewood mediocre mycologist Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,155
    Is the difference between spore syringe use and agar strain isolation one of yeild?? or is there more to it than that??

    Its more about being able to see contams and having a more consistent strain (if you single sector iso). MS is luck of the draw but don't let that get you down. It will be ok trust me. Since it sounds like your a beginner I would start with spore syringe and do it in a SAB/GB.

    Maybe even try the PF tek.


    Have y'all been succesful at cultivation with spore syringes only using a glove box, without a flow hood????

    pretty good.

    How did y'all start out and what would u suggest to him knowing what u know now??


    FOLLOW THE TEKS don't try to skip one little step. Try the PF tek first and if you like the hobby move to grain. Some may disagree but you should crawl before you walk in my opinion.
     
  8. rogue

    rogue ♥ Hooked on Mycelium ♥ Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7,032
    Location:
    Jefferson State, Hardiness Zone 7B
    Is the difference between spore syringe use and agar strain isolation one of yeild?? or is there more to it than that??

    There is a lot more to it IMO. Besides being able to isolate, the easy detection of contams and the cleaning up of MYC. One drop of MS solution or a few spores from a print can create enough myc to grow 100's of Lbs of mushrooms. Most efficient I'd say. And it can be done without a flow Hood although much better/easier with one

    Have y'all been successful at cultivation with spore syringes only using a glove box, without a flow hood????

    Yes, but to be honest I started using a FH very early on and never looked back.

    How did y'all start out and what would u suggest to him knowing what u know now??

    It all depends on his goals. If he knows this is something he wants to do long term and has the funds then build a flow hood and get an autoclave/sterilizer and start with agar. Otherwise get a clean syringe from a trusted source and start with the PF-Tek, then move to agar, grains and bulk.
     
  9. Major Myc

    Major Myc pasture pirate Mushroom Doctor

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,917
    Location:
    the armpit of america
    agar is invaluable, once you get a few contaminated tubs or bags you'll wish you had started them on agar first. reason is that any vendor syringe or homemade from prints can and will be contaminated from time to time. i do agar in a glove box with few issues using only a clear sterilite tub with holes cut in it, paper towels, alcohol, and lysol neutra air(ozium is better). i use pint jars with little decoration on the side, the off brand usually has no markings. this way my agar is contained in the jar and i can syringe in some sterile water and pull out the myc pieces and inoculate the grain with that. this way i know the material is clean and it's traveled from sterile environment(jar), to sterile environment(water in syringe), to sterile environment(grain jar). ninety eight percent of the time when a grow goes bad the reason is contaminated inoculant, even if the spawn looks ok it could still contain a little mold or bacteria hidden inside that will show up on or before the first flush and it's a pita!
     
  10. PE-n-hed

    PE-n-hed Well-Known Member Moderator Mushroom Doctor Cannabis Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,897
    Location:
    Planet X
    knowing what i know now.....agar is cheap...go get some.. learn to work with it...you can use a sab/gb...spend a little time to make a nice box... know how to prep grains for spawn.....know how to pastuerize proper

    if i would have mastered all three steps first, i could have saved myself a ton of wasted time/money/headaches

    1. clean innoculate
    2. clean spawn
    3. clean substrate

    get some cakes going,....fruit a few and brf cakes as spawn to bulk in trays /sgfc is a great stepping stone....then grains/tubs
     
  11. kdmmontana

    kdmmontana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,996
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    This all depends on why one is growing. I for one dont care which, it would be fun to mess aroudn with high tech science but as long as I got a nice healthy sub to photograph I am set:) A flowhood is a must in this game and some day I will get one. Mycology is a damn fun hobby but I think of it as need-to-get basis. Ms hasnt failed me so far and now I am developing substrates, mixes, blending that shit etc. Thats also a lot of progress.

    The Bone Meal worked, at least it didnt disturb the growth or negate it. So far its the strongest. So soon, maybe Bone meal can be another addition to the BRF TEK:)

    I wish someone else would come along and get crazy about BRF substrates like I am:)
     
  12. HorizonSpawn

    HorizonSpawn Moderator Moderator Mushroom Doctor

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    2,750
    Location:
    USofA
    I use Prof's No-Pour Agar TEK w/widemouth 1/2 pint jars and the aid of just a Still Air Box :thumbup1:

    For edibles, it is a "must"... And as for "blues", I wouldn't want to go back to the "guessing game" of inoculating with spores... But that is just me :shrug2:
     
  13. kdmmontana

    kdmmontana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,996
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    But seriously:) Could Bone Meal be another addition to the regular BRF TEK? I am seeing very good results so far from my first test substrates and I am very pleased. What do you guys think? I will post up some pictures later:)
     
  14. SillyBear

    SillyBear Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Messages:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colorado
    So you use BRF in substrate not spawn?
     
  15. Javadog

    Javadog Moderator Moderator Mushroom Doctor Cannabis Doctor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,510
    Wow...I feel like I am wakening from a long sleep.

    BRF can be mixed with vermiculite to make a very suitable substrate.

    Think giant PF-Tek Blocks.

    Good luck,

    JD
     
  16. SillyBear

    SillyBear Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Messages:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colorado
    Could you link me to how much or each and water I use or is it the same as coir? I would like to try this I think about to start agar to brf cause that is all I have till I get some money them I am switching to grain and now I can still use my brown rice I bought a lot lol.
     
  17. MB3

    MB3 more fun than a ferret in you

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,025
    Location:
    everywhere
    sillybear, to clarify: so are you wanting to do just PF but in larger size (blocks or large jars), or are you wanting BRF as bulk substrate?
    are you still trying to do cakes in a SGFC with perlite in there (even if much larger than standard cake), or are you trying to break it up into other bulk substrate like coir-manure-vermiculite?

    if you just want a larger PF, try scaling up the proportions of water, brf and verm used in PF, test for field capacity by squeezing it. I imagine, but anyone please correct me if I am wrong, if you want to use it as bulk substrate, not just grain spawn, you will want to sterilize the substrate rather than pasteurize like you do with other bulks, since grains usually carry lots of "bad" bacteria and molds. And you will want to have a casing layer (I have no experience here with casing at all, but I imagine sterilized vermiculite would work okay, if that is what you have). Exposed grains are not good.

    You can also look into the Oss & Oeric tek (McKenna brothers), that predates PF tek, and just case and grow in jars in a styrofoam cooler as a fruiting chamber.
    http://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/drugs/nansnook3c/tek/OssOeric.htm
    (thanks to cue for online version link... you can also find it in a torrent).

    there are lots of videos on youtube to watch, but be careful to a degree, some people make misinformed videos and tutorials.

    edit:
    also I forgot, add in some gypsum. ask others for how much, i really don't know PF Tek.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
    JHorn likes this.
  18. nomendubium

    nomendubium scraping by, since '97 Expert Identifier

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,949
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    you can squeeze it if you want to, but 2:1:1 has never failed me
     
    cue likes this.