I am always looking for a better way to improve the nutrition, process and time it takes to grow mushrooms. In this example I was looking for a more efficient, cheaper, better way to formulate my seed/grain spawn. Every mushroom has slightly different nutritional need and there are a lot of varying opinions online on what is the best formula. I am always looking to find the perfect seed mix for each type of mushroom that I grow. Finding the right recipe for efficient and maximum growth of mycelium on seeds is important because the seed jars are used to populate the sawdust or straw blocks that the mushrooms ultimately grow from.
A big advantage of using grain/seed (rather than just injecting liquid mycelium into a sawdust bag ) is that grain/seed spawn is more nutritious than just sawdust. The added nutrients make it ideal to use for inoculating indoor substrates (bags of sawdust). Adding grain/seed spawn is a much faster way to get from liquid mycelium to grown mushrooms for your table.
Here is one of my experiments.
Room Temperature 65 to 75 degrees.
Mason jars stored in an area with moderate ambient light.
Seed / Grain: Cracked Corn and Soy hull mix vs Bird seed and Soy hull mix.
Mycelium type: Pink Oyster, Maitake and Nameko
Process: Cracked corn was soaked overnight in well water with a ph of 7 then simmered for 15 minutes. Then rinsed until water was clear, end ph of 6.2. Soy hull pellets were added to boiling water then left sitting to absorb the water.
Mixture #1 was ¼ Soy hulls ¾ Cracked corn.
Mixture #2 was ¾ cup Wild Bird seed and ¼ cup Soy hulls.
The reason I added soy hulls to the corn is that I read that cracked corn worked well as a grain spawn (populated faster) but tended to clump together making it hard to use. By adding the soy hulls the corn no longer clumped together as the soy hulls are slippery when wet. I filled ½ pint mason jars with the mixture and steam sterilized them for 90 minutes at 15 psi.
The result was a brown semi loose mixture easily broke apart by shaking the bottle but a tad mushy in the jars after sterilizing
Each jar was inoculated with 6cc of a water and kayro mycelium suspension of each mushroom type.
Pink Oyster after 14 days seed soy mixture almost completely colonized.
Pink Oyster Corn/Soy hulls, tablespoon size clump of mycelium can be seen on surface only.
Maitake mycelium: Corn Soy mixture, tablespoon size of mycelium seen on the surface only
Bird Seed / Soy hull mixture jar ½ way colonized.
Nameko: No mycelium growth seen.
Thoughts: I was hoping the soy/cracked corn mix would go crazy with growth, that was not the case. Corn and soy are cheeper than Bird seed, you see.
I will be interested to see if a bird seed / soy mix will be faster and on what type of mushrooms..... Stay tuned!.... Cheers Neil