VIDEO CULTIVATION GUIDE & GROW TIPS
Introduction to Our Mushroom Grow Guide Video Series
In this video, Eric introduces the Monster Mushroom Company and our exclusive video series. We can’t wait to share everything we have prepared for you—this video acts as a bit of a teaser for all the great information we’re putting together here at Monster Mushroom!
Throughout the video series, you’re going to learn…
- Step-by-step guides on how to use the products offered by the Monster Mushroom Company
- Tips and secrets only known by the most experienced mycologists and mushroom growers
- Sneak peeks at our new and upcoming products
Whether you’re using our Complete All-In-One Mushroom Grow Kit, the Mini-Boomer Mushroom Grow Kit, or even if you just picked up a couple bags of our industry-leading Super Spawn grain spawn, the video and written content available from the Monster Mushroom Company will help you get the most out of your set up.
The team at Monster Mushroom Company has been involved in the gourmet and medicinal mushroom growing field for over two decades; our mission is to bring mycology to the masses by demystifying the often misunderstood process of cultivating mushrooms. Chefs, hobbyists, and amateur scientists around the country rely on our products to get the most out of their grows.
If you’re in Colorado, you can find our products just about anywhere you might be. Retailers such as HTG Supply, The Grow Shop, Way to Grow, Cultivate, and the Grow Warehouse carry our products. Please see our Where to Buy page for a full directory of retailers as well as contact information. Our products aren’t hard to find!
In the next video in the series, we’ll show you an unboxing of our mushroom grow kit so that you can know exactly what you’ll get when you buy one locally or order yours online.
Unpacking the Deluxe Mushroom Grow Kit
In this video, Eric returns to show us exactly what comes with one of our Deluxe Mushroom Grow Kits—and it sure is a lot!
Each kit provides you with everything you need for at least 4-6 successful mushroom grows. The most noticeable element of the kit is, of course, the 54 quart custom-made fruiting chamber—otherwise known as a monotub—which is used for both incubation and fruiting. A filtered air intake and air exchange system will be set up using this fruiting chamber by means of the pre-drilled holes, included polyfill filtering material, and a small fan.
The fan is small but mighty! It’s useful for introducing fresh air to your grow: it’s small enough to mitigate the risk of introducing airborne contaminants to the chamber, but strong enough to get the job done correctly.
In addition to fresh air, your grow will need to stay hydrated. In this video, Eric shows the included humidifier to help automate this process. In other kits, you’ll receive a spray bottle to mist your fungi by hand—those of you who want a more hands on experience may even prefer this.
An included hygrometer and temperature gauge will help you ensure that your grow is always at the right level of humidity and temperature. Maintaining both is important for a successful grow, and that’s why in addition to the humidifier and/or spray bottle for manual misting, you’ll receive a heating pad with the Deluxe kit. The purpose of the heating pad is to maintain a relatively high temperature (70°F-78°F), which can be tough here in Colorado during certain times of the year!
If you’re interested in a kit that doesn’t take up quite as much room and is simply perfect for beginners, you may want to watch the next video in the series where we feature an unboxing of the basic mushroom grow kit.
Unpacking the Basic Mushroom Grow Kit
Here, Eric shows us the basic mushroom grow kit. Included is another customized fruiting chamber and much of the same equipment that comes with the Deluxe kit. The Basic kit, however, comes with a spray bottle instead of the humidifier and assumes that you won’t need the heating mat—during the summertime or if you live in a warmer climate, that won’t be a problem at all. However, the kit does also come with a hygrometer and temperature gauge.
The kit includes one bag of the Super Spawn and one bag of the Super Shroom fruiting substrate. The basic kit also comes with a “clean kit,” which is a supply of latex gloves and a face mask. These are to be worn while working on your grow, particularly during inoculation or any other time when the risk of contamination is high. More on that in the next video in the series.
The basic kit even includes a drying kit, which consists of a small container, a mesh sheet, and desiccant beads. The purpose of the drying kit is to dehydrate your mushrooms, which can be very useful if you want to store medicinal or gourmet mushrooms for long periods of time—many types of mushroom can be successfully rehydrated at the time you’re ready to cook with them, brew them in a medicinal tea, or otherwise put them to work.
To dehydrate the mushrooms, you simply place them on top of the mesh sheet after harvesting. The mesh sheet will rest on top of the desiccant beads. The beads are designed to absorb moisture and ambient humidity, and while the whole process will take a few days, it’s an easy and effective process.
In this informative video, Eric demonstrates how to properly inoculate your Super Spawn grain bags. Since most amateur mycologists don’t own a flow hood—a device that can provide you with a sterile working environment—Eric instead shows how to properly perform an “open air” inoculation.
When done properly, the risk of contamination is quite low. The first step is to find a clean room in your home. Make sure that there isn’t any air flow in the room from open windows, HVAC vents, or running fans. You’ll also want to shoo away any pets. Eric points out that for many, the best room in the house that meets all these criteria is often the bathroom—it’s a clean room, away from everyone else, and typically will have flat surfaces such as sink countertops to work on.
Next, Eric suggests spraying disinfectant in the air of the room. This is to remove as many airborne contaminants as possible. It’s important to disinfect the surface you’re working on as well—70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol will do the job nicely. You will also want to wear a face mask and gloves if at all possible, since cleanliness is really of the utmost importance during the inoculation process.
Finally, it’s time to inoculate the grain bags. First, wipe down the exterior of the bags to ensure that they’re clean as well, then massage the bags to separate and aerate the contents. Then flame-sterilize the needle of your spore syringe. Eric points out that it’s important to get the needle as red-hot as possible—if you have a butane torch, that would be ideal, but you can use a standard lighter as well (it will just take longer). Once complete, allow the needle to cool.
The final step is to insert the sterilized needle of your spore syringe into the injection port of the grain bag. Inject your spore solution and remove the needle. That’s the inoculation process!
Once colonized, the next step in the cultivation process will be to break up your spawn bags. Let’s take a look at how that works:
Spawn Break Up
After your grain spawn bags are fully colonized, you’re getting close to the actual fruiting stage—but not yet. In this video—comically titled “the breakup video”—you’ll learn how to properly break up your colonized grain spawn and distribute it into your fruiting chamber with the fruiting substrate.
Again, cleanliness is important during this process. As we discussed in the previous section, you want to work in a clean room where there is minimal (or preferably no) air flow from windows, vents, or fans. It may be a little awkward to take all of your gear in there, but the bathroom works well for this. Wear gloves and a face mask, and disinfect the air and any surfaces you’re working with.
Massage and break up the grain spawn while it’s still in the bag. Then you’ll mix it into the substrate. As shown in the video, it can help to put both into the same bag that you’ll be using as the liner for your fruiting chamber. Seal the bag and gently mix everything together by squeezing and massaging the contents of the bag from the outside.
After visually confirming that the colonized grain spawn and the substrate are well-mixed together, you can simply set the liner bag down in the fruiting chamber. Remember, it’s unnecessary to pat down the substrate once the liner is laid flat in the chamber!