The Shoebox Tek (a work in progress)

Discussion in 'MYCO-TEKS' started by grainbrain, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    The Shoebox Tek -----------> myc280.jpg

    Before we begin, thanks must be given to Doc_T for all of his work on these smaller fruiting chambers.

    In the various methods that I have used to grow cubes, these shoeboxes have been the most successful. I believe that the deep substrate and high spawn ratio provide an optimal foundation for the mushrooms to grow from. I am getting a bit ahead of myself here, so let's begin at square one.


    Building the Spawn Tub

    1. Buy a pair of plastic shoeboxes. I use the Hefty brand 6.5qt which are available at many major home improvement centers. Don't forget to grab the lids.

    shoebox1.jpg

    2. Buy a roll of duct tape. I like the black kind, it looks cool.

    shoebox2.jpg


    3. Start off by taping up the bottom.

    shoebox3.jpg shoebox4.jpg shoebox5.jpg


    4. Tape off the short sides. I use the plastic reinforcements on the short side as a guide.

    shoebox6.jpg shoebox7.jpg shoebox8.jpg


    5. Finish up by taping off the long sides.

    shoebox9.jpg shoebox10.jpg


    Congrats! The spawn tub is complete.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
    dunnoshrooms and MB3 like this.
  2. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    This step assumes that you understand two concepts:

    1. Colonized grains
    2. A coir based substrate

    If you are not familiar with the above techniques, please take some time to read up on the correct procedures. My own personal experience is with the Doc34 WBS and the Damion5050 Elementary Coir Tek. Both have worked well for me.

    I do deviate from the Coir recipe by adding powdered gypsum (1/3 to 1/2 cup) and also adding 4 shots of espresso to the soak water. I'm not sure if this technically qualifies as a traditional CCVG in that the coffee is in liquid form. If not, then this would be properly referred to as a coffee infused CVG substrate.

    coir.jpg verm.jpg gypsum.jpg





    Spawning

    1. Prepare your room by spraying Oust, running a HEPA filter or praying to the Trich gods. Wear gloves, mask, hat, wipe down with IPA, etc., just as you would for any sterile work.

    2. Wipe down the inside of the spawn tub with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. Wipe down the inside surface of the lid as well. Set lid aside for now.

    shoebox11.jpg


    3. Scoop 1.5-2qts coir substrate into your spawn tub.

    shoebox12.jpg


    4. Add the contents of your two colonized quart jars. (2.5 jars works great too!)

    shoebox13.jpg


    5. Break up the colonized grains so that no piece is larger than a Milk Dud, then thoroughly mix with the coir substrate. Make sure to work the grains down into the corners as well. The better you mix at this step and the next, the more evenly colonized your substrate will be.

    shoebox14.jpg


    6. Scoop another 1.5-2qts coir substrate into the spawn tub and mix thoroughly with the coir/grain mixture. The substrate depth should match the taped off portion of the tub.

    shoebox15.jpg


    7. Lightly smooth out the top surface of the substrate. Sprinkle a 1/8" layer of coir to cover all exposed grains.

    shoebox16.jpg


    8. Place the lid on top and let this tub colonize for 7-14 days. You'll be able to peek in the side to check the colonization at the sub surface level.

    shoebox17.jpg


    Congrats! Your spawn tubs are colonizing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
    dunnoshrooms and MB3 like this.
  3. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    Making the shotgun tub - placeholder (add photos)

    Materials needed:

    6.5qt Hefty shoebox
    Electric drill
    1/4" drill bit / Forstner bit
    Marker
    Measuring tape
    Humidity/Temperature gauges (optional)

    Building the Shotgun Tub


    1. With the measuring tape and marker, place a dot every two inches across all five sides of the shoebox. As Doc_T reminds people, there should be a hole at 0" as well, don't just start at the 2" point.

    2. With your electric drill and 1/4" bit, drill a hole at every marked dot. These shoeboxes are made of cheap plastic, so go slow and don't crack them. The Forstner bit was much, much more forgiving in this aspect and made for a cleaner hole.

    3. Wipe down the inside of the tub with 70% isopropyl alcohol and set aside.

    4. (optional) Install humidity gauge on one of the short side interior walls spaced evenly between holes near the top.

    Congrats! Your shotgun tub is complete.


    _______________________________________

    Update 2013...

    I am no longer using the shotgun lids as it is impractical to have them in the same room with a monotub, due to the fan. The new lid is based off of the Ohmatic monotub and has four 1" holes, stuffed with polyfill.

    To drill my holes, I used a Forstner bit in reverse. This was to prevent cracking the thin plastic on these tubs.

    1. On each of the long sides, drill a 1" hole near what will be the bottom of the upper tub.

    2. On each of the short sides, drill a 1" hole near what will be the top of the upper tub.

    3. Stuff the lower holes tight with poly. Stuff the upper holes loosely with poly.

    Voila...

    isotub1.jpg isotub23.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
    dunnoshrooms and MB3 like this.
  4. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    Fruiting - (not yet complete)
    Once your spawn has colonized your substrate, it is time to fruit.

    1. Sanitize your workspace using whichever method you prefer. Handle your shoebox carefully as there is a lot of condensation on the underside of the lid.

    fruiting1.jpg


    2. Lay down a couple paper towels to pour off the lid condensation.

    fruiting2.jpg


    3. Visually inspect the substrate for any signs of contamination. If it looks good, proceed.

    fruiting3.jpg


    4. Sprinkle approximately 1/16" of oven sterilized vermiculite onto the substrate. You basically just want to lightly dust the entire surface and cover any exposed mycellium.

    fruiting4.jpg


    5. Mist the vermiculite. I use a fairly heavy hand at this point. Lightly fan.

    fruiting5.jpg


    6. Wipe or spray the inside of the shotgun lid with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Allow the lid to air dry.

    fruiting6.jpg


    7. Place the lid onto the base.

    fruiting7.jpg


    Congrats! You are now fruiting your substrate.

    -----

    After 5-7 days of fruiting conditions, fruiting8.jpg
    you should begin to see the mycellium poking through the vermiculite casing layer in spots. fruiting9.jpg

    My misting schedule during this period is once, sometimes twice per day. I get the entire vermiculite layer moist enough to darken it but not so much that it is glistening. The only fanning performed is about five seconds with the back of my hand immediately after misting. Your local temperature and humidity may dictate more or less misting.

    Keep up the regular misting as the pins begin to emerge. At this point, I increase my fanning to about ten seconds.

    The greatest aspect of these shoeboxes is that once the biomass in the chamber hits critical mass, misting is no longer necessary. The mushrooms provide their own microclimate, maxing out the hygrometer in the process. This is the point where growth really explodes, usually in the last 24 hours.

    My best canopies occurred when I had to leave the house overnight, after pinning but before veil formation. These "neglected" tubs outperformed my babied tubs sometimes by a 2:1 margin. Some of that may have been genetics, but I plan to do some side by side experiments with identical tubs in the future for comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
    dunnoshrooms and MB3 like this.
  5. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    Summary/Notes - placeholder

    1. Tape your lower tubs. I experimented with three clear tubs recently and the results were excessive sidepins.

    clearspawntub.jpg gt24.jpg maz14.jpg



    2. While I still do case my cubes with vermiculite, my experiments indicated that PE strains prefer to be uncased. You can utilize a piece of crumpled wax paper as a pseudo-casing.


    3. My second flush strategy is to dunk the substrate for 12 hours (4 hours for PE strains), and then fruit in the Shotgun Fruiting Chamber(SGFC). This allows the block to fruit off of five sides and gives you plenty of access for harvesting. It also frees up your spawn tub for the next run.

    maz42.jpg maz44.jpg pepe57.jpg pe64.jpg



    4. My rule of thumb concerning second and third flushes. If the first flush resulted in a full canopy, I recommend placing the block upside down into the SGFC for flush #2. I figure that most of the top surface area gets chewed up by a full canopy whether you cut or twist them out.

    If the first flush results in a partial or sporadic canopy, I recommend fruiting the second flush off the top either in the SGFC or the Shoebox. My thought is that there are knots and primordia already formed on the top of the substrate from the first flush and that this will result in the unfruited areas being filled in. Place the block upside down in the SGFC for subsequent flushes.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
    dunnoshrooms and MB3 like this.
  6. Professor PinHead

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

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,166
    Location:
    A Rhizomorphic Space
  7. rogue

    rogue ♥ Hooked on Mycelium ♥ Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7,032
    Location:
    Jefferson State, Hardiness Zone 7B
    I taped the sides of some of my tubs too. It seemed to be a waist of $$ to me. Still got side pins so I wasn't sure the reasoning.
    I wanted to not deal with and waist plastic bags but ended up going that route anyway. There is always a trade off.

    Looking good. :popcorn:
     
  8. Doc_T

    Doc_T New Member Banned

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,641
    Some substrains are more sensitive to light. And the tape may help the tubs last longer. But it's fairly optional.
     
  9. BTL99

    BTL99 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,528
    Yes....!
     
  10. treewood

    treewood mediocre mycologist Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,155
    Ya I have used tape, trash bags, and foil to line the tubs. I like the trash bags or foil better cause the mycelium has something to grab ahold of when it starts shrinking and reduces side pins.


    Can't wait to read the rest of the write up.
     
  11. Professor PinHead

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

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,166
    Location:
    A Rhizomorphic Space
    Yes! :thumbup: This!

    Side Pinning can also be due to genetics, not just light.

    In fact IME I have found it to usually be due to genetics.

    I once had an ISO that would literally form a crown around the perimeter of the substrate.

    No matter what you did it would do the same thing, no fruits in the center, crown around the edge,

    I grew many many tubs and it always happened. ......

    Other time is is indeed due to light, I.E. w/o a liner but when it really boils down to it side pins are pins too, :)
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  12. rogue

    rogue ♥ Hooked on Mycelium ♥ Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7,032
    Location:
    Jefferson State, Hardiness Zone 7B
    I always felt it was do to the humid environment between the tub and sub. The bottom of the sub (the wettest part) transpires up the sides giving the best conditions for fruiting.
    I get pins under the sub too. No light there. :shrug:
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  13. Doc_T

    Doc_T New Member Banned

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,641
    My considered opinion: Pins grow where conditions are best. But lighting is a condition with Ps cubensis.
    The side that gets more light is a better place for pinning, and some substrains are sensitive to it, just as some care more about FAE than others.
    Some substrains will refuse to pin without abundant FAE, others will go off without it. Same thing happens with photosensitivity.
    It's easy enough to demonstrate; expose jars to light until you get invitro pins, then clone one. That culture will react to light by pinning.

    Edit- we've committed a pretty serious threadjacking here.
    Prof, can you split this part off into a new thread? Or just delete it back to where it's on topic?
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  14. OoBYCoO

    OoBYCoO Super Moderator Moderator Mushroom Doctor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,002
    Not so much Doc, I mean it all pertains to the functionality of the FC and how the specs might or might not effect/cause side pinning. I think it's relevant. :2cents:
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  15. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    Finished up the Spawning section today. Will do the shotgun lids next week and begin the fruiting section in 7-14 days. :super:
     
    Down311 likes this.
  16. rogue

    rogue ♥ Hooked on Mycelium ♥ Moderator Mushroom Doctor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7,032
    Location:
    Jefferson State, Hardiness Zone 7B
  17. fngbronco

    fngbronco New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Haha my question was answered! I did my first one with poo (second attempt at poo, both are proving successful) but I didn't put a top layer on. Gonna case mine as well, probably potting soil and verm 60/40 v/s just cuz shit dries out so quick in my house. I put aluminum tape around a small Tupperware and still got side and bottom pins like crazy so I just put it in a sgfc. Gonna soak it and roll, see if it helps.

    Glad this is up, I'll start a thread once mine is colonized and cased!
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  18. fngbronco

    fngbronco New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Do you case??
     
  19. grainbrain

    grainbrain KITD-FOHS Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    877
    Location:
    SE
    I do case with 1/8" of oven sterilized vermiculite. Will include that soon in the fruiting section.
     
    dunnoshrooms likes this.
  20. fngbronco

    fngbronco New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Sweet! Looking forward to it!!!