Growing on Brown Rice Flour cakes is probably the easiest way to grow mushrooms at home for beginners. It requires little knowledge of mushroom cultivation to get a decent harvest. I’ll teach you how to do it.
What you’ll need to buy:
- 5 half pint glass jars with metal lid
- Brown Rice
- Micropore tape
- A large rubbermaid tub your jars easily fit into next to another
- Latex gloves
- Mouth mask
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spore syringe ordered online
Grind the brown rice until you have 1 cup of brown rice flour (using a coffee grinder). Mix the flour with 2 cups of vermiculite and 1 cup of water.
Now it’s time to take out your glass jars. Unscrew the lids and puncture 4 small holes in them using a nail and a hammer. The holes should be about half an inch from the side.
Grind down any metal that’s sticking out. You can seriously hurt your fingers with that.
Fill the jars with the mixture. Leave about an inch of space from the top of the jar. Then fill the rest of the jar with dry vermiculite. Put the lids on. Stick micropore tape on the outside the holes. If you haven’t got micropore tape, you can use a coffee filter but contaminants still get through the holes in coffee filters. You decrease the chances of getting a contamination, but only slightly.
Wrap your lids and jars with tin foil. Make sure you don’t make any holes or tears in it, that is crucial.
Put your jars in the cooking pot. Fill the cooking pot with water until the jars are halfway under. Put the water to a boil for about 2 hours with the lid on the pot. Make sure there’s always some water present in the cooking pot.
After this, take the jars out and let them cool down to room temperature. The simplest method is to leave them to cool over night. Remember that the inside of the jar is hotter than the outside. So it’s better to wait a bit longer. 12 hours should be sufficient. Leave the tinfoil on the jars!
Take the rubbing alcohol and wipe your entire work area clean. Your work area should be under a flow hood. If this is impossible, work in a chamber where there’s no moving air or drag.
Take your jars into your work area, take the tinfoil off and rub the outside down with rubbing alcohol. Put on your latex gloves and mouth mask and rub your gloves with the alcohol. Now your completely sterile and ready to work.
Take the spore syringe you ordered online and hold the needle into a flame until it’s red hot. Then wipe it with some rubbing alcohol to completely sterilize and cool down. Now gently stick the needle inside one of the holes in the lid, through the micropore tape in one fluid motion. Tilt the syringe so that the needle touches the side of the jar. Gently insert 1cc of spore solution into the jar. Repeat this process for all holes of all jars.
Always take your needle through a flame and clean it with some rubbing alcohol in between two jars.
Now place your jars somewhere where it’s not too bright. The jars should stay at a constant temperature. For most fungi room temperature should be fine. The jars should stay there for about 21 days. Until you see that the cakes are fully colonized by the fungus.
Take the large rubbermaid container and drill 1/4″ holes in it on all 6 sides, 6 or 7 inches apart. This is your fruiting chamber
Take the perlite, put it in a colander and run it under tap water until it is completely saturated. Then let it drain until it doesn’t drip any more. Then fill your rubbermaid with it so that you have about 2″ or 3″ of perlite.
Gently unscrew the lids of the jars, turn them upside down and tap them on a hard surface so that the cakes come out. Place the cakes in a bucket and submerge them in cold tap water for 24 hours. Use a plate to hold them under water.
After the 24 hour dunk (= the submerging of a substrate so that it can reabsorb water), gently roll the cakes in dry vermiculite so that you get a layer of vermiculite all around the cake.
Place your cakes in the fruiting chamber. Put the fruiting chamber in a bright spot at room temperature. Mist the fruiting chamber once a day if needed. There should be a constant condensation on the sides of the fruiting chamber. Mushrooms need moisture to grow. Don’t overdo your watering though because this damages the mycelium. Your fruiting chamber should be humid, but the substrate can’t get wet.
Below is the picture of Psilocybe cubensis on two BRF cakes.
Picture taken by Joshua Hutchins