Sie sind auf Seite 1von 50

Follow the White Rabbit Simple Rye Grain Psilocybe Cubensis Growing Guide

For personal use


A beginning cultivators handbook
Free to redistribute and modify - Author assumes no liability

BETA - Last revised: January 20, 2013

Disclaimer
Growing psychedelic mushrooms is illegal pretty much everywhere in the world. Dont do it. Dont use this guide to do it. I dont take any responsibility for you using this guide to do anything irresponsible or illegal. All information in this guide is hypothetical, and not meant to be used. Psilocybin is a dangerous psychedelic compound, and you should treat it with respect. If one were to, hypothetically, use this guide to grow magic mushrooms, one must treat them with respect. They are not recreational drugs, they are Figure 1: Chart detailing risk of overdose and dependence. entheogens. You should use them for spiritual enlightenment, and not just to trip for kicks. You can do serious damage to Forward your mind when you are in an entheogenic state if you arent careful. If you do mushrooms too regularly, you can develop a I wrote this guide to keep track of my ndings in my endeavor to tolerance. determine the safest hypothetical method of cultivating cubenIf one were to grow magic mushrooms, they should be grown sis. If a single person dies from ingesting improperly classied for personal use and enlightenment only. Do not sell magic or preserved street mushrooms, that is one person too many. mushrooms!!! If one did decide to give them away to some- Furthermore, mushrooms may be used to treat addiction to one, one should take core to ensure that the recipient has no other drugs. Due to the diculty of obtaining safe sources of prior history of psychotic episodes, arent on any prescription cubensis, many people choose to simply grow them for themmedication, especially for depression or anxiety disorders. They selves. If one were intent on doing them, cultivating them for should be a responsible adult, with the same or similar virtuous ones self is the safest means of doing so. In my own opinion, reasons to your own. Do not attempt to self medicate, or med- the prohibition on cultivating magic mushrooms is yet another case of the law that was created to protect the individual icate someone else with psilocybin under any circumstances. doing more harm than good, though I dont believe that such One must ensure that the any strain cultivated comes from mushrooms should be legal for sale. Magic mushrooms should a reliable source. Growing and then ingesting the wrong strain be considered dangerous, as they can cause serious damage to could lead to fatal liver failure. This guide may or may not an unprepared mind, or people with specic conditions. Dont contain information which may be eective if used to cultivate use magic mushrooms if you have a history of mental illness, any strain of psilocybe cubensis, who knows. Dont use it for unless directed to do so by a medical doctor. that though. Just read it for informational purposes only.

Contents
Glossary 1 Overview 1.1 Learn from your mistakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.1 The components of cultivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 What are mushrooms? 2.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Fungi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Spores . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 Mycelium . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5 Hyphal knots, pins, primordia, 2.6 Trippy mushrooms . . . . . . 7 9 9 10 11 11 11 11 12 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 16

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Fruitbodies . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

3 Technical details of Cubensis 3.1 Strains of cubensis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1.1 General information . . . . . . . . . 3.2 Growth Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.1 Spawn Run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.2 Incubation: Post Casing/Prepinning 3.2.3 Primordia Formation . . . . . . . . . 3.2.4 Fruiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.5 Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . 2

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

CONTENTS 4 Dispelling 4.0.6 4.0.7 4.0.8 Mushroom Myths Knowledge is power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magic mushrooms are not poisonous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The blue spots have nothing to do with potency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 17 17 17 18 19 19 19 21 21 21 21 23 23 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 29 29 29 30 30 34 34 34

5 Sterile Procedure 5.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2 Preparing the inoculation chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Sterile spawn run preparation 6.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.1.1 Shopping list . . . . . . . . 6.2 Preparing the jars . . . . . . . . . . 6.3 Rye grain . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.4 Sterilization of the spawn substrate 7 Innoculation and Incubation 7.1 Innoculation . . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 Initial colonization . . . . . . . 7.3 Incubators . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.3.1 Fridge incubation . . . . 7.3.2 Water buered incubator Shopping list . . . . . . 8 Recognizing and dealing with 8.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2 Good, healthy mycelium . . 8.3 Bacterial infection . . . . . . 8.4 Mold infestations . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

Contamination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

9 Fruiting Preparations 9.1 When to start fruiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.2 How to start fruiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CONTENTS 9.2.1 9.2.2 Preparing an automated fruiting chamber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Preparing a cake pan with casing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 34 36 38 38 39 39 39 40 40 41 42 43 43 43 44 44 44 46 46 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49

10 Inducing pinning 10.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.2 Simulating pinning conditions . . 10.2.1 Natural pinning conditions 10.2.2 Pin triggering . . . . . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

11 Harvesting 11.1 When to harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.1.1 How to harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.1.2 Grooming after a ush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Preparing doses 12.1 Capsules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.1.1 Shopping list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Preserving the fruit 13.1 Dessication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.1.1 Shopping list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Mushroom Sex, genetics, and cloning 14.1 Gettin it on and getting things started 14.2 Maintaining a strain . . . . . . . . . . 14.3 Getting more spore prints . . . . . . . 14.4 Making Spore prints . . . . . . . . . . 14.5 Preparing Spore syringes . . . . . . . . 14.5.1 Recycling syringes . . . . . . . 14.6 Myc water and Liquid cultures . . . . . 14.7 Agar cultures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.7.1 Ghetto agar tek . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

List of Figures
1 2.1 4.1 6.1 6.2 6.3 7.1 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Drug dependency and risk chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A mushroom lifecycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dried mushrooms with blue bruising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jar lid with holes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rye grain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A presser cooker set up properly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A shtank heater-based incubator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A A A A bacterial infection . . . . mustard bacteria infection dactylium infection . . . . trichoderma infection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 12 18 22 23 24 28 30 31 32 33 35 36 37 37 38 39

An automated fruitchamber . . . Cool mist humidier with ducting Coco coir . . . . . . . . . . . . . A prepared casing . . . . . . . . .

10.1 Pan with fully colonized casing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.2 A pinset on a pan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

LIST OF FIGURES 11.1 Maturing primordia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.2 Mature fruits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.3 A large harvested mushroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.1 Mushrooms on drying rack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.1 A spore print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6 40 41 42 45 48

Glossary
Autoclave is a device used for sterilization of materials that fruitbodies - mushrooms. The fruiting chamber should regwill come in contact with the substrate or mycelium. Presulate the humidity, allow for daily exposure to light, and sure cookers make good make shift autoclaves. An autoshould facilitate daily fresh air exchange. 34 clave must be able to hold at least 7 quart sized mason jars, and should be able to reach at least 15 psi. Autoclav- Hyphae are the fuzz, or bres of mycelium. A colony of hyphae is called a mycelium. Hyphae secrete digestive ening is the act of sterilizing with an autoclave. In order to zymes into the substrate, and absorb the decopmosed matautoclave something, it must be at 15 psi for a full hour. ter and nutrients into the mycelial network, providing sus22, 24, 36 tainance to the entire colony. 12, 13, 38 Casing is the dirt-like mixture designed to retain moisture Inoculate is both a noun and a verb. Inoculate is anything and protect the substrate cake during fruiting. While not that can be used to start a mushroom culture, such as strictly required, casings will provide much needed moisspores or another culture in the form of myc water, agar, ture to help promote larger fruitbodies. Some contamicultured grain, or liquid culture. To inoculate is to inject nants however, such as cob-web mold (dactylium) , exclua spawn jar with inoculate. 10 sively invade the casing layers. 12, 34, 36 Pin is a bundle of hyphae, so called because it looks like a enzyme is a chemical that is used to speed up another chembright white spec about the size of a pin. 13 ical reaction, or allow it to take place at all at a specic temperature. Speccally, digestive enzymes enable Primordia are mature pin develops into a small structure resembling a mushroom with both a stem and a bulbous the breakdown of complex compounds into simpler ones. head. 9, 13 Mushrooms use enzymes to digest their substrate. 11 Fruiting chamber is an articial environment that attempts to duplicate the conditions under which mycelium produces 7 Psilocybin One of the active hallucinogens, along with psilocin, in psilocybe mushrooms. It produces similar effects to LSD and mescaline. Psilocybin is very unstable,

Glossary and is mainly found in fresh mushrooms. It breaks down into psilocin. Neither psilocybin nor psilocin are considered addictive, and the lethal dose for either of them is extremely high (similar to cannabis). 13, 17 Rhizomorphic is a term used to describe the hyphae of the mycelial network. Specically, it refers to large, long, brous hyphae, as opposed to short, fuzzy ones. Rhizomorphic mycelium is desirable, is it is generally hardier, and higher yielding. 11, 46 Substrate is the food for the mycelium. The mycelium releases digestive enzymes into the substrate, and absorbs the digested nutrients through hyphae. Grains, especially rye grain, are good substrates. Substrate is prepared in a jar, and moved to a pan to form a cake once it is fully colonized. 11, 19, 34, 36 Trichoderma (trich) is the bane of the mushroom growers existance. It is a fungicidal fungus that is indistinguishable from mushroom mycelium to the untrained eye. It is easily distinguished upon sporulation by its pale green color, though by this point it is too late. Trichoderma is often added to hydroponic coir to help ght of fungus from infecting plant roots, but is also very common in nature. 36 Tyvek is a porous plastic sheet used as a cover for insulation in houses. It allows air exchange without allowing microbes to enter. Used to cover spawn jars. 9

Chapter 1 Overview
This tek is indented for personal use. It is ideal for a small walk in closet, though a basement, garage, or shed could work well also. All in all, this tek will cost about 300 dollars to do the initial grow, but have a budget for odds and ends. It is best not to cut corners, especially when it comes to sterile procedures. Dont expect to have a perfect grow your rst time, and be ready to zealously discard any contaminants on sight. Before you get started with anything, it is best to read this entire guide to get the big picture. This will save you time when shopping as well. Once youve read it, youll know what areas to invest in immediately, and what areas can wait until later. journal. The more detailed your notes, the more youll be able to learn next time. Pay particular attention to failures, and try to determine what might have caused them. This is most important to do when you are starting out. As you get the hang of things, you will nd yourself taking less notes. At the minimum record: The strain, inoculation date, date of presentation, date of full colonization for each jar. Individually assign a unique id (increasing numbers) to each jar, and take notes with respect to this id. The average temperature of the incubator

1.1

Learn from your mistakes

Ensure you have the following on hand: Duct tape (of course) Lab journal (any notebook will work, but I prefer the actual hard-covered black ones available at university book stores or staples) (10 dollars) Bleach water in a spray bottle 9

Throughout your cultivation, you will want to keep detailed notes, so that you can improve subsequent runs and learn from your mistakes. Each time you tend to your mushrooms, record your activity - especially anything out of the ordinary. Label and number each jar (Tyvek is good for this because you can write directly on it), and keep track of the inoculation, colonization, Primordia formation, and each fruiting ush in the

CHAPTER 1. OVERVIEW Isopropanol (abbreviated to iso) in a spray bottle - be careful, its ammable! Latex gloves (recommended - from a pharmacy) Read the chapter on sterilization thoroughly before start anything. If you do not already have Inoculate, see the section on preparing inoculate. Everything else can be obtained via the internet or a combination of grocery, hardware, and garden stores.

10

1.1.1

The components of cultivation

This guide will cover the basics of the following foundations of cultivation: Sterilization tools and techniques (and tips to avoid and recognize contamination) Culture jars / pans, and monotubs (techniques for growing) Spawn strain/inoculate (how to keep from having to buy spores) Spawn substrate (Materials to spawn mushrooms) Fruiting chambers (Design and concept) Dessicant / dessication device / dessication procedure (how to preserve the fruits of your labors) Dosing and potency

Chapter 2 What are mushrooms?


2.1 Overview
require any expensive lights, like you would need for growing plants. They can, instead, be grown o of cheap, readily accessible sources of chemical energy - plant seeds. The prebiotics in plant seeds are perfect for spawning fungi, specically, magic mushrooms. Some sources are better than others, but in general, growing mushrooms can be done for very little recurring cost, and with very low maintenance. The hard part about growing mushrooms is getting the initial spawn run done.

No, this is not meant to be condescending. This section will explain some basics about mushrooms that you will get lost without knowing. A basic understanding of biology is certainly handy, but hopefully isnt necessary to grasp this content. The glossary is a good quick reference for many of the terms presented in this section, as they are used throughout the guide.

2.2

Fungi

2.3

Spores

Mushrooms are fungus, they are not plants. This means that instead of producing energy from the sun, they produce energy by eating things. In our stomaches, we use chemicals called enzyme to break our food down into simpler chemical components that we can use to make ourselves stronger. Fungi do the same, but instead of digesting inside of themselves, they secrete their enzymes into their environment (Substrate), and absorb the simple components that they can use to make themselves stronger. The good news about cultivating fungi is that they do not

Spores are essentially fungal cells in a state of intense hibernation. Spores, by themselves, have only half of a set of chromosomes - they are like human sperm, or eggs in that regard. However, mushroom spores are much more robust. Spores are great for adding diversity to an existing culture of fungus, but take a while to gain a foothold in their environment as they must rst hatch. Spores should be harvested from the strongest, healthiest looking mushrooms, and stored as spore prints, labeled with a

11

CHAPTER 2. WHAT ARE MUSHROOMS?

12 date and strain. Additionally, record any distinguishing growth traits, such as extremely fast grow, lots of Rhizomorphic cells, or extremely large fruits. This forms the basis of a spore library, that can be held on to for years and years. The spore library is useful for introducing genetic diversity into a spawn run. Additionally, if the yield of mushrooms produced is sucient to last for your personal needs for a long time, you can stop spawing mycelia, and simply store your spore library until you start running low on mushroom fruitbodies. The spores are completely legal to own and distribute in most countries, for microscopy purposes, though this is less true in many conservative regions. In general, spawning from spores is the hardest part of cultivation, as the substrate that the mycelia consume is contested by competing micro-organisms. Additionally, spores can be unpredictable in terms of physical performance. For these reasons, it is much simpler to produce greater numbers of mushrooms at once using existing cultures instead of spores, though this is an advanced technique. Of course, if you dont have any existing cultures, you have to start from spores. This is the case most of the time for rst time growers. For spores to germinate usually takes a few days, and then it will take about 2-3 weeks to fully colonize a culture jar.

2.4
Figure 2.1: A mushroom lifecycle

Mycelium

Once successfully spawned, the spores will become Hyphae, which are much like the body, or to use a plant analogy, the root of the mushroom. Mycelium are what the mushrooms are for most of their lives. They are extremely brous, and are composed of short laments

CHAPTER 2. WHAT ARE MUSHROOMS?

13

called Hyphae. Healthy myclium should be a little bit fuzzy, 2.6 Trippy mushrooms and snowy white. When spawned on grain, It should look like plain yogurt on granola. Once the mycelium is fully colonized The fruitbodies of psilocybe mushrooms, of which we will focus (2-3 weeks after germination), they are placed in pie tins and on cubensis for its ease of cultivation, contain small amounts of the psychotropic compounds Psilocybin and Psilocybin that cased with a special soil-like mixture, called Casing. will make you trip out. Immediately after harveting is when the mushrooms are at their most potent, as psilocybin is very unstable and breaks down into psilocin once the fruitbody has been dried or aged. It is important to realize how much comes before the actually mushroom - from spore, to mycelium, to pin fruit quit a process. 2.5 Hyphal knots, pins, primordia, to Theseiscompounds should not be taken lightly. They should and Fruitbodies not be used in a party setting, or even in a conned environment. The environment and setting is very important, and will eect the trip dramatically. Even after the eects of a trip have When the Hyphae is ready to reproduce, triggered by a re- worn o, there can be lasting changes to the psyche. Psilocybe duction in CO2 and an increase in light, as well as complete mushrooms have been used for psycotropic therapy in the past, colonization of the substrate, they start to clump up into knots. and indeed can alter ones mind for better or for worse. For These knots start to bulge outward, and form tiny little mush- this reason, go light on your dosing - dont have any more than room caps calld Pin. As these pins grow they are called Pri- you can handle. It is best to have a guide that you trust with mordia, and once they reach maturity, they are considered you, to keep your trip on track (a trip spotter, they are often mushrooms. To us, they are the fruit weve been waiting for. called). To the mycelia, they are a means of reproduction. As the mushroom reaches maximum maturity, the cap will break its veil, and turn from a bulb into a at sheath. Once the sheath has fully opened, the mushroom will sporulate, spreading its spores. It is ideal to pick the mushroom just as the veil breaks, as sporulation is not desirable. Typically, hyphal knots will present themselves within a week of a fully colonized casing layer in the appropriate fruiting environment. After hyphal knots have presented, it is about another week before there will be fully mature fruitbodies. However, this is a perfect time for collecting spore prints.

Chapter 3 Technical details of Cubensis


3.1 Strains of cubensis
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A medium to large size mushroom having a cap that becomes con- vex to plane in age and is usually pigrnented chestnut brown to deep yellowish or golden brown. The cap surface is nely brillose, sometimes covered with scattered, fugacious, cottony scales that soon disappear. The partial veil is membranous, well developed and typically leaving a persistent annulus on the upper regions of the stem. The stem is often longitudinally striate, powdered above the annulus and often covered with dense brils below. Flesh bruising bluish or bluish green. Its spores purplish brown in mass.

Amazonian: Medium to large mushrooms on rye grain; thick whitish stems; tenaciously attached to the casing.Growing Parameters for Various Mushroom Species. Ecuadorian: Medium sized mushrooms on rye grain; hemispheric caps; abundant primordia former; high yielding on compost; thin whitish stems; easily picked. Matias Romero: Medium to large mushrooms on rye grain; early fruiter; thick whitish stems and tenaciously attached. Misantla: Medium sized mushrooms on rye grain; thin yellowish stems; Tall standing and easily picked. Palenque: Large mushrooms on rye grain; high yielding; and easily picked.

3.1.1

General information

GREEK ROOT: Psilocybe comes from the Greek root psilos meaning bald head and cubensis, a name Early assigned to this mushroom because it was rst recognized as a new species from specimens collected in Cuba

NATURAL HABITAT: Naturally found in horse and cow pastures, in dung or in soil enriched with manure. Psilocybe cubensis is a widely distributed species that is found Throughout tropical and subtropical zones of the world and is common in the pasturelands of the gulf coast of the southern United States and eastern Mexico.

14

CHAPTER 3. TECHNICAL DETAILS OF CUBENSIS

15 Light: Incubation in total darkness.

3.2

Growth Parameters

Mycelial Types: Rhizomorphic to linear; whitish in overall color but often bruising bluish where injured. Standard Spawn Medium: Rye grain. 3.2.3 Fruiting Substrate: Rye grain; wheat straw; leached horse or cow manure; and/or horse manure/straw compost balanced to a 71-74% moisture content. Pasteurization achieved through exposure to live steam for 2 hours at 140F. throughout the substrate. Straw or compost should be lled to a depth of 6-12 inches. Straw should be spawned at a rate of 2 cups/sq. ft.

Primordia Formation

Relative Humidity: 95-100%. Air Temperature: 74-78 F. Duration: 6-10 days. CO2: less than 5000 ppm. Fresh Air Exchanges: 1-3 per hour. Light: Diuse natural or exposure for 12-16 hours/day of grow-lux type uorescent light high in blue spectra at the 480 nanometer wavelength.

3.2.1

Spawn Run 3.2.4 Fruiting

Relative Humidify: 90%. Substrate Temperature: 84-86 F. Thermal death limits have been established at 106 Duration: 10-14 days. CO2: 5000-10,000 ppm Fresh Air Exchanges: 0 per hour. Casing: Layer to a depth of 1-2 inches. The casing should be balanced to an initial pH of 6.8-7.2

3.2.2

Incubation: Post Casing/Prepinning

Relative Humidify: 90 + %. Substrate Temperature: 84-86 F. Duration of Case Run: 5-10 days. CO2: 5000-10,000 ppm. Fresh Air Exchanges: 0 per hour.

Relative Humidity: 85-92%. Air Temperature: 74-78F CO2: less than 5000 ppm. Fresh Air Exchanges: 1-3 per hour. Flushing Pattern: Every 5-8 days. Harvest Stage: When the cap becomes convex and soon after the partial veil ruptures. Light: Indirect natural or same as above. Yield Potential: Average yields are 2-4 Ibs./sq.ft. over a 5 week cropping period. Maximum yield potential has not been established. Moisture Content of Mushrooms: 92% water; 8% dry matter. Nutritional Content: Not yet established.

CHAPTER 3. TECHNICAL DETAILS OF CUBENSIS

16

3.2.5

Comments

One of the easiest mushrooms to grow, this species fruits on a wide variety of substrates within broad environmental parameters. As a primary and secondary decomposer, Psilocybe cubensis fruits well on untreated pasteurized straw and on horse manure/straw composts transformed by microbial activity. Sterilized grain typically produces smaller mushrooms than bulk substrates. Given the numerous substrates that support fruitings, Psilocybe cubensis is well suited for home cultivation. Psilocybe cubensis cultivation was unheard of twenty years ago. Today, this species ranks amongst one of the most commonly cultivated mushrooms in the U.S. and soon the world. This sudden escalation in interest is largely due to the publication of several popular guides illustrating techniques for its culture. Psilocybe cubensis is a mushroom with psychoactive properties, containing up to 1% psilocybin and/or psilocin per dried gram. The function of these serotonin-like compounds in the life cycle of the mushroom is not known. Genetic Characteristics: Basidia tetrapolar (4-spored), forming haploid spores (1N); heterothallic. The mating of compatible monokaryons often results in fruiting strains. Clamp connections are present.

Chapter 4 Dispelling Mushroom Myths


4.0.6 Knowledge is power
the cause of this stomach ache is simple indigestion. Cubensis mushrooms contain sugars that are very dierent from normal mushrooms, and the human body lacks the enzymes needed to properly digest it. In this sense, for many individuals ingesting cubensis mushrooms invokes a reaction similar to a lactose intolerant person ingesting milk. To combat this, digestive enzyme aids may be taken with cubensis to help break down these sugars, and eliminate the indigestion. Papaya enzyme extract, soy lecithin, ginger, and chocolate are known to work well. These methods are particularly eective if you already know that digesting other sugars can cause discomfort. For instance, if eating beans causes you to be gassy. If however you do not have any issues digesting sugars, the problem may be with digesting the bres in the mushrooms. To combat this, grinding the mushrooms up works well. Better still is to avoid ingesting the bres at all by making a mushroom tea. It is also possible that the mushrooms you have consumed in the past have not been properly cured. If mushrooms are not dried properly, microbes will continue to break them down, and these microbes that are eectively causing the mushrooms to

There are many myths surrounding magic mushrooms, which isnt help by their mystifying nature. If you plan on cultivating and ingesting mushrooms, you should at least be aware of these myths, and share this knowledge with anyone who believes them. Knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions, and spread the truth instead of hearsay.

4.0.7

Magic mushrooms are not poisonous

It is widely believed that magic mushrooms are poisonous, and that this poison is what lends them their potency. This is not true. Cubensis are like any other mushroom, only they contain the hallucinogenic compounds Psilocybin and Psilocybin. As one of the main dangers associated with consuming magic mushrooms is consuming a poisonous species that his been misidentied as a save, magic mushroom, this is part of the reason why it is a popular myth that magic mushrooms are poisonous. Another reason why this myth is widely believed is due to the stomach ache caused by ingestion in some individuals. However,

17

CHAPTER 4. DISPELLING MUSHROOM MYTHS rot can easily cause indigestion and nausea. In some rare cases, due to the placebo eect, someone expecting to have a stomach ache from cubensis due to past experience or because of common knowledge will end up having a stomach ache because of the hallucinogenic properties of the mushrooms making this perceived reality into a perceived truth.

18

4.0.8

The blue spots have nothing to do with potency

Cubensis and other psilocybe mushrooms are well known for the blue spots that are visible on them in dried form. Some petty street dealers claim that mushrooms with more blue spots are more potent, and may even charge extra for them. This is a ridiculous fallacy, as the blue spots are nothing more than bruising. In the same way that an apple turns brown when it is dropped or the inside is exposed to air, cubensis mushrooms turn blue when they have pressure applied to them. During the entire lifecycle of the mushroom, it is normal not to see a single blue spot. However, once the mushrooms are ready to be harvested, there is no way to avoid touching them. Even the gentlest touch will have to apply some pressure, and this is what causes the bruising. Figure 4.1: Dried mushrooms with blue bruising

Chapter 5 Sterile Procedure


5.1 Overview
and the mycelium doesnt always win. This is especially true with multispore inoculations. Once the mycelium has a rm hold on the spawn substrate, it is usually hardy enough to survive outside of sterile environments. The main focus on sterile procedure here will be on preparing spawn runs, though most of the materials used for this section will also be required in preparing spore prints, syringes, liquid and agar cultures. Invest in the cleaning supplies and at the minimum a glove box to do your work in.

I know, you just want to get started growing mushrooms already. But I must warn you, if you rush into this you are going to fuck it up. You will have contaminated jars, that ultimately waste your time and money, and you might get frustrated and give up altogether. Just take the time, invest the money in sterile procedure - you will get the most bang for your buck. The number one source of contaminants is you, so limit or prevent your exposure to anything that is sterilized after it has been sterilized. Ensure you work in a clean room, and that you dispose of contaminated jars away from your incubation or inoculation area. Make sure that you wear clean clothes (preferably a labcoat, breath mask ), and always avoid direct contact with the mushrooms. This is more for the good of the mushrooms than it is for your protection, though some contaminants may produce dangerous toxins, so you will want to avoid breathing them when discarding contaminated jars. The general rule when it comes to sterile procedure is that spawn substrates are the most vulnerable. This is because there is a lot of competition for the nutrients in the spawn Substrate,

5.2

Preparing the inoculation chamber

Clear plastic is usually very fragile and easy to crack. For this reason, I nd that the best means of cutting holes in the plastic is to draw out the holes with a marker rst, big enough that your hand and forearm can easily t inside, and then score this by drilling lots (but not too many!) of holes around this guide. Then, take some decent scissors, and cut from one hole to another one by one. You will probably want to le down

19

CHAPTER 5. STERILE PROCEDURE the remaining jagged edges, and I cover with duct tape as well. Make sure that you can comfortably work inside of the glove box. The lid acts as the bottom of the glove box. When not being used, plug the holes with paper towers. Before using the glove box, remove the paper towels, and mist it with your chosen sterilant. Be *extremely* cautious if using isopropyl alcohol, as this can easily combust ( I myself have a nasty chemical burn, resulting from trying to ame sterilize an injection needle inside of a iso ridden glove box.). Flame sterilize the needles *before* you mist the glove box.

20

Chapter 6 Sterile spawn run preparation


6.1 Overview
Quart sized canning jars (10-15 dollars/dozen at hardware store like canadian tire). Tin/aluminum foil A drill with small and large drill bits, or else a hammer with a nail, and a phonebook, bible, or piece of wood A few kilograms or rye grain ( 25-50 cents/hundred grams in bulk at most health food stores). Gloves, spray bottle, and rubbing alcohol or bleach, or ammonia (dont mix bleach with ammonia, it is dangerous) (optional) (1030 dollars)

The spawnrun is the start of the mushroom cycle. It is when you go from spores to a viable culture, or when you transfer an existing viable culture onto new substrate, to increase your yield. Spawn substrates are generally grains, and tend to be fairly expensive, especially when contrasted with bulk substrates. They are, however, required. The goal of the spawn run is to have as many fully colonized jars as possible. Obtaining a fully colonized jar is dicult, and is probably 90% of the work. In order to ensure success, a great deal of care should be put into the spawn run, with an emphasize on proper spawn preparation. Take care at all times to obey the principal of containment.

6.1.1

Shopping list

Pressure cooker capable of tting 67 quart jars with spacers, and cooking at 15 psi (150 dollars) Small roll of tyvek (optional) (4050 dollars), Micropore medical tape

6.2

Preparing the jars

You will use the hammer or drill to make a few breather holes in your jar lids. If you opt to do liquid culture, spore culture, or any form of liquid inoculation via syringe, you will also need to make a larger inoculation port hole. The tin/aluminum foil is

21

CHAPTER 6. STERILE SPAWN RUN PREPARATION for covering the lids of the jars before pressure cooking/cooking them. To prepare the jar lids, you will need to make 2-4 holes around the middle radius of the lid. This is most easily accomplished with a cordless drill. Once you have made the holes, you will need to take two spoons, and press the convex sides down on either side of the jar lid to atten the jagged edges - you dont want these, they will cut the mycelium, your hands, and tyvek if you choose to use it. Then make a larger hole in the center for the innoculation port, and ll it with HTV silicone so that it will self-seal after innocuation. You will need a large pressure cooker, to be used as an Autoclave. It need to be able to t several (6-7 upright) quart sized jars, so I suggest getting the biggest one that you can nd. Obviously, you will also need to obtain some quart sized mason jars, which are seasonal items and easiest to acquire in the summer seasons, though some stores carry them year round - a dozen is sucient to start with. Next, I recommend (though it is not essential, but it will reduce contamination) that you cut out squares of tyvek to place on the lids of the jars. You can get a small role of tyvek for about 40 dollars, so it is a bit of an investment, but will last you for a very long time. If you dont use tyvek, then seal all of the holes in the jar lids with 3M micropore tape, after the jars have been autoclaved and cooled. This will allow for gas exchange, without a possibility of contamination. You *must* have gas exchange, or else your mycelium will suocate and die, and anaerobic bacteria will thrive.

22

Figure 6.1: Jar lid with holes

CHAPTER 6. STERILE SPAWN RUN PREPARATION

23

6.4

Sterilization of the spawn substrate

Figure 6.2: Rye grain

6.3

Rye grain

You will need to acquire some rye grain. I recommend going to a health food store, and buying a few kilograms in bulk. It is pretty cheap, usually about 25 cents per 100 grams. If the store you go to doesnt have it, ask the clerk where you might be able to get it. . . sometimes you will have to go to a few stores to nd a place that has them. Make sure that you get organic rye grain, as anything that has been treated with chemicals will likely contain fungicides that make it impossible to grow mycelium. For rye grain, use 1 cup of dry grain per jar.

Rinse this grain thoroughly in a large pot by soaking it with an excess of water. Stir the grain with your hands thoroughly, to loosen any debris or dust. Then, carefully decant the water, and repeat this process several times until the water comes away fairly clear. Do this before you soak your grain, and again after you boil it, but before you pressure cook it. Soak the grain again, and let the pot sit overnight, for as long as 24 hours. If it sits much longer than that, the grain may start to germinate - you do not want this to happen. Every once in a while, stir the grain and drain and replace the water. You will notice that after 24 hours the grain starts to smell terrible. These are the bacterial endospores (eggs) that are hatching. These eggs can sometimes survive the autoclaving procedure, which is why it is essential to soak the grain to force them to hatch. Rinse the grain a few more times by decanting as above. With fresh water, simmer the pot on the stove for about half an hour to an hour - not too long, but dont take it o until the kernels are just starting to pop! You will notice that much of the water evaporates, and the rest is absorbed by the grain. Be careful not to heat the water too much, or leave the grain in there for too long, Once they grains are nice and plump (and you see a few kernels starting to pop), drain the pot, and rinse the grain again (as above) with cool water - careful though, its hot! It is extremely important to rinse the grain with cool water several times, as cooking it will release a lot of starch. You want to rinse away as much of this starch as possible, or else you will have sticky kernels, which will result in clumpy grains later on. This step is very important, as the grain needs to absorb as

CHAPTER 6. STERILE SPAWN RUN PREPARATION much water as possible, as that is what enables the mushrooms to form - grain that is too dry may be able to be fully colonized, but doomed to never fruit. i Set up your pressure cooker as an Autoclave with the spacer layers and some hot water in up to the point two where two layers of jar lids are fully submersed. Between each layer, put separating pans (my pressure cooker has two pans, yours may not). Note that more water takes more time to boil, and the purpose of these spacers is to reduce the amount of water needed ( not too much - you will lose some in the process!), while keeping the bottoms of the jars away from the direct heat of the element. I used my leftover metal mesh from my fruiting chambers to space the trays. Make sure that there is enough room for the jars to sit on the top tray with the lid closed, but ensure that the jars do not contact the water. While the pressure cooker is heating up, spoon the grain from the pot into each jars, trying to ll each jar roughly equally. The expanded kernels should occupy at least half the size of a quart jar. Place the lids on upside down such that the seal is facing up, and place the tyvek on top of the lid, then screw on the rim. Cover with tinfoil, and the spawn jars are ready to be autoclaved. Put the jars in the pressure cooker, put the lid on, and set the pressure cooker to 15 psi. Wait until the pressure cooker is at 15 psi (usually it will start to squeal as steam escapes), and then start a timer for one hour. After autoclaving for one hour, remove the pressure cooker from the heat, and let it cool. Once the pressure cooker is at room temperature (cool to the touch - this may take several hours due to the heat capacity of water), you are ready to proceed to the inoculation phase. Let the pressure cooker cool o unassisted (dont release any pressure yourself), or else you

24

Figure 6.3: A pressure cooker set up properly

CHAPTER 6. STERILE SPAWN RUN PREPARATION could upset the moisture content of your jars. Note: DO NOT try to hasten this process. Once the pressure cooker is cooled, you may remove they jars, but they may still have steam in them. DO NOT try to shake them, as this could cause the jars to explode! This is particularly true with old jars that have been banged up a lot during shaking, as they will have microfractures. As soon as they are removed and cooled, they should be agitated to spread the grain around, and assess the overall stickiness of the grain. When you simply turn the jar, and the grains freely fall, without agitation, you have done it right! If they clump up, then chances are that you didnt rinse the grain properly, or didnt properly drain it before putting it into the jars. Any water in the jars before autoclaving will cause the grains to pop and release more starch. It is normal to have lots of sticky kernels at the bottom, as this is where water small amounts of water will pool. It is OK to have some sticky kernels, as this will tend to be where the mycelium rst takes root, as it is easiest for it to digest (doesnt have to break through the kernel).

25

Chapter 7 Innoculation and Incubation


7.1 Innoculation
nerable. At this point, the jar is a nutrient rich substrate that is equally appealing to your mushroom spores or mycelium as it is to contaminants - particularly bacteria. The goal here is to take advantage of the crumbly nature of rye grain (being low in starch compared to other grains), so that you can spread the mycelium to multiple clusters. Usually, the mycelium will take hold in one cluster or colony naturally. At this rate, it will take it about two weeks to fully colonize the jar. By shaking the grain, you spread this mycelium around, so that it has multiple colonies, and is able to gain a rmer foothold over the substrate. Check the jars every day for little clumps of white fuzz - signifying that the mycelium has taken hold in an initial cluster. As soon as you see the fuzz, shake the jar vigorously. It is extremely important to shake the jars on a regular basis, in order to spread the mycelium as much as possible. If after two days you do not see any visible clusters, shake it anyway - they may be embedded beneath the surface, and shaking the jar will still suit its purpose.

Now that you have sterile substrate, it is time to innoculate it. You may use spores, myc water, or any other source of mycelia that you think makes sense. Typically, spores are the most accessible to the novice. In any case, you should be innoculating with a syringe through the top of the jars (through the holes you made). If reusing a needle, be sure to ame sterilize it. Once the specimen has been injected, seal the injection hole with tape to prevent any contaminants from entering. Immediately after innoculating the jar, it is very, very important to shake the inoculate around, to give it a chance to colonize the entire substrate - this is a crucial step in ensuring that the mycelium wins the battle for the substrate.

7.2

Initial colonization

This is typically the most dicult and frustrating phase of cultivation. This is when most contaminants will present themBe careful not to agitate the mycelium too often once they selves, and when a jar is most likely to be discarded. The rst have a rm hold over the jar, as doing so is stressful to the few days after inoculation is when the mycelium is most vul- mycelium, and if the jar is mostly colonized already then the 26

CHAPTER 7. INNOCULATION AND INCUBATION shaking has reached a point of diminishing returns. It will usually take about a day or two for the mycelium to recover after shaking, but having multiple colonized clusters is important for fast full colonization. Never shake the mycelium until after it has recovered.

27 ber that is just above this heated water, but is completely dry. The water acts to regulate the temperature of the air inside the upper chamber - it is not sucient to simply heat air, as the water acts as a thermal buer that maintains the temperature within the desired range. Shopping list Two rubber storage containers of same radial size, but one deeper than the other with lid ( 1520 dollars) (optional see notes) One sh tank heater, at least 100 watts (1030 dollars) (optional - see notes) A bag of zip ties (1 dollar) (optional - see notes) Place the sh tank heater in the bottom rubber container. You can secure it to the bottom using nautical tape, but I dont. Add enough watter such that the second, smaller rubber container can sit inside of the larger container and be slightly submersed in the water when it is pressed all the way down without overowing the larger container. Then, zip-tie the smaller container on. With the lid closed, and the sh tank heater set to high, the air iside here should be around 27 degrees celcius. This warm, dark environment is ideal for incubating the mycelia.

7.3

Incubators

It is important that the mycelium be incubated at a certain temperature. There many ways of doing this, and they key is to have a dark environment that is constantly within 25-30 degrees. The mycelium breaks the rye grain down by secreting digestive enzymes into it. These enzymes work best within this temperature range.

7.3.1

Fridge incubation

If you have a fridge with a cupboard above it, you can just put the jars in there to incubate. In my experience, it actually does a better job of maintaining the temperature, and is absolutely free. Just test the cupboard rst with a thermometer. If you dont have a cupboard, you can just use a storage tote on to of the fridge. I monitor the temperature, to ensure it is between 27 and 30 degrees. If you dont have a cupboard above your fridge, you will need to build an incubator, see the next subsection for instructions on how to do this.

7.3.2

Water buered incubator

This system works by buering water in a lower chamber at a certain temperature. The mycelium sits inside an upper cham-

CHAPTER 7. INNOCULATION AND INCUBATION

28

Figure 7.1: A shtank heater-based incubator

Chapter 8 Recognizing and dealing with Contamination


8.1
Make sure that you pH balance and pasteurize your bulk substrate. Make sure you follow sterile procedure when dealing You are going to experience contamination. Even the best my- with spores, LCs, agar, and spawn. cologists do. Your strategy for dealing with contamination must Note that the spawn is most susceptible to contamination. be ruthless. At the rst notion or worry of contamination, a Some bacteria contaminants are hard to spot at rst, as they jar should be discarded. With the monotub technique, jars are may appear as small yellow or white blotches. It takes some usually mixed together to provide sucient spawn. A single training to detect them, but the easiest way to detect them is contaminated jar is more then enough to ruin the entire tub. by noticing the slow, inhibited growth. This section will teach you best practices for dealing with contamination, but ultimately it comes down to a few simple tenants:

Overview

Good, healthy mycelium If you suspect it, discard it - err on the side of caution. 8.2 Spawn jars are easy to replace, the time you wasted on a tub that got contamd because of it is not replaceable. The most important characteristic of healthy mycelium is that it grows quickly. Who your biggest enemies will be A perfectly colonized jar looks much like cereal smothered How things should hopefully go. in yogourt. If you have discoloration, then you probably have contaminants. The exception to this is yellow, somewhat slimey The best strategy to deal with contamination is to prevent it contaminants. If they are of duller shades (brown, even dark rather than deal with it. orange), they are probably just myc piss.
29

CHAPTER 8. RECOGNIZING AND DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION

30

8.3

Bacterial infection

If your cultures have blotches with brighter colors (yellow/gold/orange/even white or grey), they are likely bacteria. The most denitive way to test this is to waft the jar *through micropore tape*, but chances are if you have yellow myc piss and no myc, its bacteria. If you are ever unsure, post some pictures in the shroomery IRC and ask for help to identify from an operator. Bacterial infection is mostly a problem when dealing with highly nutritive spawn, such as agar, nutritive LCs, or grain. When it comes to bacteria, there is no management strategy except for prevention. To recognize bacteria, look for slimey substrate with pooling moisture, and slow or no mycelial growth. For grain spawn with contaminated/improperly prepared spores, you will often see a bacteria that looks a lot like a mustard powder - yellow and powdery - within a few days of innoculation. This is often a problem when preparing your own spore syringes for the rst time. On agar, you will recognize bateria by the way it grows and multiplies. It is blotchy instead of brous like mycelia, and smells absolutely foul.

8.4

Mold infestations

Figure 8.1: A bacterial infection

There are two extremely common types of mold infestations: dactylium (cob web mold), and trich (the devils plague, as I call it). The problem with mold infestations is that they are often hard to tell apart from the healthy mushroom mycelium until it is often too late. This is because they dont usually present much noticeable discoloration, and take a trained eye

CHAPTER 8. RECOGNIZING AND DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION to discern.

31

Ideally, you want fuzzy, stranded myc. If the strands are too long and thin, like long fuzz (approaching 1cm) they are likely dactylium. Note however, that dactylium is rare in jars, and usually present only when poorly pH balanced or pasteurized casing is used (as with most contaminants). Dactylium as also greyer (as opposed to white) than mycelium. Dont confuse rhizomorhic mycelium for dactilyium. If you suspect a jar is dactylium, you can leave it sealed. If you see pink or black blotches, then you were right that it was a mold infection. If the jar is actually much more white than grey, it is very likely that you are just paranoid and you actually just have healthy mycelium. Ask an expert if you arent sure, but see the pictures at the end of this section rst. Dact is often manageable if recognized before it sporulates. Trich however (trichoderma: fungicidal fungus) is not so kind. Trich will probably be your main foe, and the reason why you must stop fruiting each batch. Note that if you use hydroponic coir, you increase your trich risk substantially. Dont use hydro coir, use lizard coir (eco-earth, exo-terra), that is sold as bedding for terraniums. This is because hydro coir often has trich *added* to it. This is because trich is good for plants (kills fungus and not plants), but very bad for mushrooms (obviously). If you see white, blotchy, patchy (at) mycelium, chances are that it is actually trich mycelium. I think it looks kind of like jizz personally. You are *sure* you have trich when it sporulates (turns green) but by this point it is too late - the rest of the culture has been infected. You *can* cut it o at the pass. If you suspect trich *anywhere* on you pan, you can salt it. Just pile salt on it. Like a slug. Get it before it sporulates, or else the entire pan is comprimized. Better to have a 60%

Figure 8.2: A mustard bacteria infection

CHAPTER 8. RECOGNIZING AND DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION

32

yield than a 0% yield. Discard the entire tub at the rst sign of sporulating trich.

Figure 8.3: A dactylium infection

CHAPTER 8. RECOGNIZING AND DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION

33

Figure 8.4: A trichoderma infection

Chapter 9 Fruiting Preparations


9.1 When to start fruiting
highly recommended.

Once you have fully colonized Substrate jars, you are ready an automated fruiting to move into the fruiting stage. It is important to only use jars 9.2.1 Preparing chamber that are fully colonized without any contamination, or else the contamination could spread. If the substrate shows any signs of You will need the following items to build an automated fruiting contamination, it should be discarded instead of fruited. Note chamber: that a small amount of yellow liquid - myc piss - is acceptable, as that is a natural byproduct of the digestive process of the Perlite mycelia. If the odor is foul however, it is more likely to be a bacterial contaminant, and should be discarded. Large, clear, plastic container with lid

9.2

How to start fruiting

Clamps or tightening straps Sponges or weather stripping Wire mesh Humidier - cool mist or ultrasonic with fan Ducting with male/male tting Circuit timer

Mushrooms will only fruit under certain conditions, so every attempt to emulate their natural fruiting environment should be made. To this end, a Fruiting chamber must be constructed, and a Casing must be prepared. It is worth the investment to automate the fruiting chamber as much as possible, though it is possible to create very budget friendly ones as well. While a casing is not strictly required with psilocybe cubensis, it is 34

CHAPTER 9. FRUITING PREPARATIONS Garden/ower spray bottle 8 by 8 square pie tins To create the fruiting chamber, get a plastic container large enough to t several pie tins (6 is a good number). Get enough mesh to be able to cover the entire bottom of the container, with the ends of the mesh bent for support (ensure you get rigid mesh as it will need to support the weight of several pans. Cut out a hole in the side of the chamber large enough to t the male duct tting. Cut the hole about half way up the side. Since clear plastics are usually very rigid and crack easily, it is necessary to mark and score the plastic before cutting it. To do this, trace the outline of the tting with a marker, then use a drill to drill many small holes around the scored outline. Then, use scissors or snips to cut in between the holes. Once this is done, tape the tting into the hole with duct tape. Tape the ducting to the output of the humidier, and connect it to the male adapter you attached to the chamber above. Drill several small holes (about halfway up the side of the chamber) at the opposite end, so that air blowing out of the humidier has somewhere to get out. Pour about an inch or two of perlite into the bottom of the chamber, and spread it around (be careful, there is lots of dust!). Saturate the perlite with water, and place the mesh on top of it. The pans will rest on the mesh, without touching the perlite - this will give more surface area for the perlite to evaporate. Cut the sponges into strips, and tape them around the edge of the lid. Weather stripping may be used instead. Put the lid on, and fasten it down with clamps or straps. Turn the humidier on. You should feel air coming out of the vent holes you drilled, but you shouldnt feel any air coming out of the lid. Set up a light above the fruiting chamber (it should have

35

Figure 9.1: An automated fruitchamber

a clear lid!), and attach both the light and the humidier to a circuit timer. Set the circuit timer to come on for an hour in the morning, and an hour at night, and set the humidier to the lowest fan setting. Turn both the humidier and the light on. The circuit timer will regulate when they actually come on. If you have a humidistat, place it inside the chamber. It should read 100% humidity when the humidier is o, and 8090% when the humidier has been on for a while. If not, drill a few more vent holes, or consider increasing the fan speed or duration of the humidier.

CHAPTER 9. FRUITING PREPARATIONS

36

9.2.2

Preparing a cake pan with casing

Vermiculite Coco coir (eco earth or exo terra - dont use brous coir or hydroponic coir! Take a brick of coco coir (note- hydroponic coir often has Trichoderma (trich) added to it, so use the kind that is used as reptile bedding (from a pet store) instead, and soak it in enough water to make it light and uy. Soak vermiculite, and mix the soaked vermiculite with the coir in a 2 to 1 ratio of coir to vermiculite. Fill an empty substrate mason jar with this mixture, and make enough of the jars such that you have one jar for each of your substrate jars. Close the jar (dont seal it shut - use lids with holes in them or else dont tighten them fully), and pressure cook Autoclave the jars for one fully hour at 15 psi. Remove the Casing jars and let them cool to room temperature. Spread half of a jar evenly into the bottom of a pie pan. Open a jar of substrate, and empty it into the pan above the rst layer of casing. Use an alcohol sterilized spoon to scrape out any mycelium or substrate stuck to the jar. Break up any large clumps of substrate with your hands while wearing latex gloves - but be careful not to break them up too much, just enough to atten out the substrate. Once you have a at layer of Substrate, empty the rest of the casing jar on the top of it evenly. If necessary, bend up the sides of the pie tin in order to be able to hold all of the casing. Cover the pie tin with a layer of tin foil, and place it into the fruiting chamber. Repeat this for as many substrate jars as you have, or can t into your chamber. At this point, you can shut the light and humidier o - there is no need for fresh air exchange, and light can be detrimental

Figure 9.2: Cool mist humidier with ducting

CHAPTER 9. FRUITING PREPARATIONS

37

Figure 9.4: A prepared casing until the cakes are fully colonized. Check up on the cakes once every couple of days. You should see the substrate slowly start to colonize the top casing layer, and see little fuzzy strands poking up through it. Once 60-80% of the top casing is colonized, you are ready to initiate pinning.

Figure 9.3: Coco coir

Chapter 10 Inducing pinning


10.1 Overview

Pinning is probably the most frustrating stage of mushroom cultivation. Mushrooms can be extremely stubborn. Sometimes they will pin a week after inducing pinning. Other times, a few weeks. In rare cases, after a couple of days. After the mushrooms break the casing and you initiate pinnning, the mycelium will naturally respond by forming hypal knots. The strands poking up through the casing are called Hyphae, and the knots that they form will eventually become pins, which will in turn become mushrooms. Pins are easily recognizable amongst a casing layer, as they appear as brightly colored white dots, appearing in clusters. This cluster of dots is referred to as the pin set. Ideally, the pin set should be distributed evenly amongst the top casing layer, which patching promotes. You are ready to initiate fruiting once the lowest points of the casing layer (the valleys) are about 80% colonized at the surface. Up until this point, you should be patching small sections that break through early, to encourage an even pin set. Note however, that you should not be overzealous in patching, or you will never have a fully colonized casing. 38

Figure 10.1: Pan with fully colonized casing

CHAPTER 10. INDUCING PINNING

39

10.2
10.2.1

Simulating pinning conditions


Natural pinning conditions

Pinning occurs in nature when the mycelium has broken the surface of the ground, and is ready to reproduce by forming fruitbodys - mushrooms. The collection of pins is called a pinset, and your goal is to have a nice, evenly distributed pinset throughout your substrate. You do this by evenly mixing your spawn substrate with your bulk substrate, applying an even casing layer, and triggering pinning at the right time. As pins mature, they expand upwards, and tiny little caps will form. At this point, they are referred to as primordia. Wherever a pin forms, you have a chance to grow a mushroom. Some pins will naturally abort for whatever reason, and these are thusly called aborts. If you notice aborts (they take a while to be able to spot), it is best to pick them before they die and start to decompose.

10.2.2

Pin triggering

To initiate pinning with the automated fruiting chamber, just remove the tin foil from the pans, and turn the light and humidier on with the circuit timer in the morning and at night. The humidier provides fresh air exchange, and lowers the levels of CO2 in the morning and at night without robbing too much humidity, and the light will simulate sunlight. If possible, lower the temperature of the chamber to about 20-23 degrees celcius. You should see small white dots appear all over the casings within a few days. Be patient - but if it takes more than a week or two then it likely is either contaminated, too moist, or not moist enough.

Figure 10.2: A pinset on a pan

Chapter 11 Harvesting
11.1 When to harvest

After a few days, when the primordia have grown into mature mushrooms, and the veil starts to break and become horizontal, they are ready to be picked. Take care to pick them before they sporulate. If left for much longer than a few hours, especially overnight, they may sporulate, which is a waste of spores, and a big mess. To combat this, ensure you check the mushrooms in the morning and at night - you will likely be amazed at the visable dierence in size! The act of harvesting a pan is called a ush. When you notice that a mushroom is getting close to sporulating (the cap has started to atten or the veil has started to break), then it is time to ush tho pan. This is a perfect time to take spore prints of the larger specimens (particularly, the one that caused you to start the ush in the rst place). You want to ush as many mushrooms as you can at once, leaving behind only pins and young primordia - any mature mushrooms, regardless of size, should be ushed all at once. Often, small primordia near a cluster that is harvested should simply be picked, ass the stress of harvesting the cluster will cause them 40

Figure 11.1: Maturing primordia

CHAPTER 11. HARVESTING

41 to die. Occaisionally, if there is only one or two large mushrooms or clusters on a pan, it is ok to spot ush (only pick them). However, if there are many mushrooms, it is best to pick them all.

11.1.1

How to harvest

Figure 11.2: Mature fruits

A ush is the process of harvesting every single mushroom on a tray or in a tub. You must do this regardless of the size of the mushroom - dont leave any around. It is best to do the harvest in full ushes rather than to wait for the smaller mushrooms to mature, as the nutrients and water that the mycelium would put into those small mushrooms will simply be put into the next ush. It is much less of a shock to the mycelium to harvest all of the mushrooms at once, rather than spread out over several days, waiting for small mushrooms to mature. This way, you will have shorter intervals in between ushes if you do full ushes. To actually pick a mushroom, gently grasp it at the base, and rmly twist it. If several mushrooms are joined together, simply grab and twist the entire cluster. Dont be afraid to pull out small mushrooms in order to get big ones - they would probably just die if you left them in anyways. Be careful to gently twist the mushrooms, such as to remove as little of the casing as possible. Wait 5 to 8 days in between ushes, but dont wait too long. Once you see a fully or mostly colonized casing layer, it is time to induce pinning gain. Dont wait too long, or you will be subject to overlay. The rst and second ush will likely be the biggest. After each ush, re-apply pasteurized casing to the tub. After the rst ush, the tub has already been opened,

CHAPTER 11. HARVESTING so you may now interact with it (contamination is inevitable anyways), but reduce interaction to a minimum - it is best to use latex gloves.

42

11.1.2

Grooming after a ush

After ushing, it is normal to see many small mushrooms and primordia, and broken bits of mushrooms left on the casing. It is important remove these, as any remaining small mushrooms will likely die from the shock of the ush. This dead mushroom matter is perfect chow for trich or bacteria. Using sterile latex gloves, carefully and selectively remove any small mushrooms and dead matter after a ush. Check back for the next few days - sometimes you will notice patches of blue, dying mushrooms that you didnt notice before. Patch up any major chunks of casing that you may have removed while ushing - be sure to use sterile casing. Gently mist the casing to keep it moist - moist casing means big mushrooms! Never underestimate the ammount of water that a mushroom needs to grow - yet be careful not to drown your cakes. Grooming is a continuous activity. Whenever you check the mushrooms in the morning or at night, pick the aborts (small, dead, mushrooms), and moisten the casing if it is dry.

Figure 11.3: A large harvested mushroom

Chapter 12 Preparing doses


I tend to prefer the capsule method, as it provides a uniform dosing, without the taste. Papaya enzyme extract has also been helpful in reducing gut rot or stomach aches when they arise. I like to start o with a small amount (1 dry gram) after each batch to get a sort of baseline for the potency. I nd that the powder is more eective at absorption, as it has a higher surface area, and provides a more even mixture of caps and stems.

12.1
12.1.1

Capsules
Shopping list

Coee grinder (1015 dollars) Cap-m-quick, size 00 or higher (20 dollars) Capsules (20 dollars/500)

43

Chapter 13 Preserving the fruit


Now that you have yielded your fruit, it is time to preserve it. Note that the mushrooms are most potent immediately after picking, so I suggest that you set aside a few for sampling. The rest however, will need to be immediately preserved by dessication. One of the primary causes of gut rot is poorly preserved mushrooms, so ensure that immediately and quickly dessicate the mushrooms. Before you preserve the mushrooms, take care to preserve the strain by taking spore prints, cloning to agar, or starting a liquid culture. Se the chapter below on preserving strains. Wet mushrooms are heavier, but have less active compound, meaning that cheap dealers with no concern for your safety can sell them for more. You want mushrooms that are cracker dry, as these will last for a very long time (months) even in open air, or even longer (years) if frozen. If your food dehydrator has a heating element, open it up and disconnect it, or add a switch to toggle it. You dont want to use any heat while dehydrating, unless you have a nice food dehydrator that lets you adjust the heat, if so, ensure that the temperature does not exceed 105 degrees farenheit. The dehydrator is primarily to provide air circulation to do the bulk of the initial dessiciation. Afer a few days, they mushrooms 13.1 Dessication should be cracker dry. Cracker dry means that you cannot bend the mushrooms - any attemp to do so results in snapping The most eective means of preserving mushrooms is through them like a cracker. This means that they are fully dessicated. dessication (removing of water), followed by freezing. You want to avoid using any heat in excess of 105 degrees farenheit, as this will cause the psylocybin to break down, and consequently 13.1.1 Shopping list cause the mushrooms to loose their potency. Food dehydrator (50 dollars) Dessication is important because it is the water in mushrooms that allows microorganisms to decompose them - this is usually what is dangerous about buying street mushrooms. 44

CHAPTER 13. PRESERVING THE FRUIT

45

Figure 13.1: Mushrooms on drying rack

Chapter 14 Mushroom Sex, genetics, and cloning


14.1
as these are clearly identiable so the chance of accidentally cultivating a non psilocybe (and perhaps poisonous!) species is mitigated. The rst time cultivator may also have diculty preparing a spore syringe from a print, and so it is best to Mushrooms love having sex, really. Just feed them, keep them simply buy vendor syringes. safe, and make them happy, and theyll get it on. The body, or to use a plant analogy, the root of the mushroom is called mycelium. When a mycelium wants to fuck, it grows the trip14.2 Maintaining a strain tastically tastey, yet oddly phallic, reproductive organ that we know as mushrooms. We may consider these mushrooms to be Mycelium are so robust that a properly maintained culture can fruits, or fruitbodys, as they are the part of the mycelium that survive for many, many years. Spore innoculation, however, we harvest. The purpose of this structure is to produce and typically has a reasonable success rate. In general, you want distribute spores, whereby the mushroom passes o its genet- to isolate Rhizomorphic mylecium, as they are the hardiest, ics, in the hope of growing more mycelial cells, and thus more and most likely to make big strong mushrooms. Rhizomorhmushrooms. pic mycelium grows faster than fuzzy mycelia, and are more To get started growing mushrooms, you must obtain some of resistant to contaminants. these spores. Luckily, in many countries, it is legal to obtain these for microscopy purposes. However, the spores from these vendors are often sub-par in terms of favorable genetic trains 14.3 Getting more spore prints for cultivation. For this reason, it is best to use something like an online free spore exchange for genetics. For a rst grow For the best genetics, value, and quality, I recommend going however, it is recommended that the novice use a spore vendor, with the Free Spore Rings. There are several sites that provide 46

Gettin it on and getting things started

CHAPTER 14. MUSHROOM SEX, GENETICS, AND CLONING these, and there is probably one local to your country. If not, you can go with frse.nl. Check out their website, and follow their instructions to get the spores. The spores are free, but mailing them is not. When you compare the cost to the cost of most spore vendors however, you are getting substantially better quality. You should only bother wih this once you have had success making your own spore syringes from your own prints.

47

placed in it. Then just place the cap with the rest of the fruit that you are dessicating. The spore print itself will be on the tin foil. You can either keep it inside of the jar, or immediately transfer it into a syringe using the procedure outlined in the following section. Or store it in a sealed ziploc bag. Spores keep for a very long time, and can be used to preserve a strain without actually having it in vegitative state. If you dont use your prints right away, fold over the tin foil to cover them up, and put them in a sealed bag in a dark, cool environment. Prints last longer than syringes. In my experience, Ive 14.4 Making Spore prints had much better luck growing my own spores than ones that I have bought online. This is because I know exacly how old the You must take a spore print immediately after you harvest the spores are, and exactly how robust the strain performed. mushroom, while it is still moist, and just after the veil has broken. Prepare the spore print by putting some tin foil in the bottom of one of your jam canning jars. Replace the normal lid 14.5 Preparing Spore syringes with a tyvek ring. Autoclave this at 15 psi for 30-60 minutes. Select the mushrooms that you would like to print. They should Order some 10 ml syringes with needles o of the internet, be just about to sporulate - pick the largest specimens, as they unless you already have some or are able to get them locally. You wont need many, a dozen or so should be ne. You can likely have the best genetics. After the jars have cooled, place a mushroom cap inside, on reuse them, as long as you sterilize them as described below. Spray down your glove box with bleach or iso after putting top of the tinfoil. Do this as quickly as possible. Loosen the lid to the jar rst, then use a sterile knife (sterilize it with your syringes, prints (still covered so you dont kill them when alcohol or bleach solution) to cut the cap o of your selected you sterilize the chamber), and sterile water, and a sterile knife. specimens, while holding the pin you placed into the top of the You want to have a relatively small amount of water, just cap with one hand. Continue to hold the pin, and move the the enough for all of your syringes with about 10 to 30 ml extra. mushroom cap quickly into the jar, keeping it closed as long as Scrape the spores o of the print into the water with the you can and closing it as quickly as you can. Ensure that you sterile knife. I usually do 1 large print to 2 syringes. Add a are careful while moving the jar, as you want the cap to stay couple of drops of jet dry to the water. This helps break up spore-side down on the tinfoil. the spores, and prevent them from clumping. Dont worry - it After a day or two, the cap will have dried and dropped its wont aect the viability of the spores. spores. Remove the cap using by quickly opening the lid to the Once youve scraped all of your prints o into the water, jar inside of your glove box, and pulling it out by the pin you begin to ll the syringes. Aspirate the water a few times with

CHAPTER 14. MUSHROOM SEX, GENETICS, AND CLONING

48

the syringes (draw it up, push it out) to mix it, then draw up and then put the cap on the needle. Once your syringes are done, store them in the fridge. They will be ready to use in about 24 hours - the spores need some time to rehydrate.

14.5.1

Recycling syringes

To do this, all you need is a pot, a stove, and tap water (though sterile/distilled might be better). Fill the pot with tap water. Turn the burner on high and wait for the water to come to a full, rolling boil. Start a 10 minute timer once it is at a full boil, to allow ample time to kill any microbes. After 10 minutes take your empty syringe and suck back the boiling water and let it sit in the syringe for 1 minute. Then, expel the water in a sink (not back in the pot!). Repeat 4 more times on the last time keep the water in the syringe. Use a Q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol to swab down the needle, and the inside of the needle cap, then cap it and let it cool down. Repeat for all syringes. They will remain sterile for months afterwards, do not try to cool them down quickly by putting them in the fridge or the sudden temperature change could destroy the seals.

14.6
Figure 14.1: A spore print

Myc water and Liquid cultures

WARNNG: This is a more advanced technique. Do not attempt it until you are comfortable with what you are doing, and can aord to potentially sacrice entire batches of jars to get it right. Myc water is relatively easy to prepare, and is a great, contained way to do grain to grain inoculation. Take a fully colonized jar, and inject it with 100-200 ML of sterile, distilled water. Shake it up, and then draw up as much of the water

CHAPTER 14. MUSHROOM SEX, GENETICS, AND CLONING

49

as you can. You can either directly inoculate other jars with 1 cup of water this myc water, or use it to prepare a nutritive liquid culture. 1 tea spoon honey Nutritive liquid cultures are useful for maintaining strains over time, but it is important to switch up the solution used, or the Mix together thoroughly, I use a blender that I use for making strain will adapt to it too much, and become feeble. Currently, smoothies to do this. nutritive cultures are beyond the scope of this guide. Distribute it evenly among half a dozen to a dozen quarter For a simple liquid culture preparation, mix 5 grams of malt pint jars. to 250 ml water. Boil the water , dissolve the malt in it, then Cover jars as normal, and pressure cook. lter it through a coee lter to remove large particles. PresCan be used for sterile LC. sure cook for 20 minutes at 15 psi. After it has cooled to room Based o of: temperature, inoculate with a MS syringe, store at room temhttp://www.shroomery.org/9427/Grocery-Store-Agar-Tek perature, swirl occaisonally. Mycelium should present within a week.

14.7

Agar cultures

WARNING: Extremely easy to contaminate. Do not even attempt until you are very comfortable with sterile procedure. Agar cultures are best for isolating rhizomorphic mycelium. They arent very practical for anything else. Be warned - they are extremely susceptible to contamination, and are not for the novice!

14.7.1

Ghetto agar tek

To prepare agar cultures, I use half pint canning jars, with agar agar from a chinese food store (ground with a coee maker), dry potato akes, and liquid honey. Add: 1 quarter cup of ground agar agar 2 tablespoons of dehydrated potato akes