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MONOTUB GROW GUIDE

BEFORE YOU START

PLEASE READ THE FULL GUIDE. Sterility and sterile technique is critical for successful mushroom growing.

For the inoculation phase, you want to be in a nice clean environment, or as clean as you can possibly find. A kitchen surface wiped down with isopropyl alcohol will do the job. Make sure to eliminate as much draft as possible from your work space.

Apply the gloves and face mask that are provided. Sanitise your hands and arms as well as the area that you are working in. 

STAGE 1: INOCULATION

1. Take your spore/culture syringe and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds. Remove the syringe cap by twisting. Fit the sterile needle onto the syringe, but DO NOT REMOVE THE COVER.

2. If you have been storing the bag in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature (>20°C) for 1 hour or so prior to inoculating.  Make sure to mix the grain gently in the bag prior to inoculation, to allow for even redistribution of moisture inside the bag.

3. Wipe down the rubber injection port thoroughly with the alcohol swab provided. Allow a few seconds for the alcohol to evaporate before moving onto the next step.

CRUCIAL STEP - READ CAREFULLY!

4. Remove the cover from the syringe needle. Immediately after doing so, apply gentle pressure and pierce the sanitised injection port with the needle. Make sure to angle the needle towards the bottom of the bag, as shown above. This will help prevent the needle becoming blocked and allow you to see colonisation quicker. 

Compress the syringe plunger and inject 3-6ml of solution. Remove the needle from the port. 

The inoculation procedure is complete and the bag is now ready for incubation.

PRO TIP

Avoid getting any contaminants on the needle prior to injecting the kit. If you accidently touch the needle at any point, you can flame sterilise it. Do so by applying a flame from a lighter to the tip of the needle until it glows orange. Allow to cool and proceed with the steps.

STAGE 2: INCUBATION

1. Incubate the grain bag in a dark, warm spot. A cardboard box with some holes poked for air exchange works well. Keep the temperature between 21-26°C for the optimal growth. Try not to exceed 26°C or you increase the risk of contamination, which is no bueno!

If you’re struggling to maintain a consistent temperature above 21°C, invest in a heat system such as our MushPro Incubator.

2. After about a week, you should start to see the first signs of colonisation. Healthy mycelium should appear first as fluffy white specs on the substrate. It can sometimes take longer than a week, so don’t panic. This is especially true if using a spore culture. Be prepared to wait! For quickest growth, use a liquid culture or agar.

3. Over the next 2-3 weeks, the mycelium will continue to grow and colonise the grain. Once 30% of the grain has been colonised, gently break apart the mycelium inside the bag and mix with the rest of the grain. This will drastically speed up the colonisation process. 

4. After 1 more week, the mycelium will have consumed all of the grain and forms a white ‘cake’ of mycelium spawn. 

STAGE 3: SPAWNING

1. Find a nice clean environment, or as clean as you can possibly find. A kitchen surface wiped down with isopropyl alcohol will do the job. Make sure to eliminate as much draft as possible from your work space.

Apply the gloves and face mask that are provided. Sanitise your hands and arms as well as the area that you are working in. 

Using the alcohol spray and a sterile wipe, sanitise the entire MonoTub container, lid and base.

2. Spray with alcohol and wipe down both the colonised grain bag and your substrate bag. 

Once sanitised, break up the colonised grain inside the bag. Cut the top of the grain bag and dump the entire contents into the tub. Do the same with the substrate bag, but save around 1/4 of the substrate to do a casing layer in the next step.

3. Mix the grain and substrate evenly together inside the tub. Once mixed, gently level out the substrate to create an even, level surface. Take your time with this step to make the surface as level as you can. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with more mushrooms! MAKE SURE NOT TO COMPRESS OR PACK DOWN THE SUBSTRATE. 

4. Now apply the remaining 1/4 of the substrate directly on top of the the spawned grain and substrate. DO NOT MIX WITH THE SPAWNED MATERIAL. Think of it like icing a cake. The goal here is to create a 1-2cm casing layer with the substrate on top of your spawned mix. Again, gently level out the substrate to create an even, level casing layer.

The casing layer will protect the mycelium underneath as it colonises. It also acts as a humidity trap, giving you much more even, full flushes. Once the casing is complete, snap the lid onto the tub.

5. Put your MonoTub somewhere dark that is away from direct sunlight, ambient light is sufficient. A cupboard works perfectly. You will need to maintain a temperature of between 20-25°C. After about 10 days your MonoTub should be fully colonised and ready to fruit.  Don’t worry if it hasn’t fully colonised by then, it can sometimes take as long as 2/3 weeks to fully colonise. This is largely dependent on the genetics of your spawn and the incubation temperature. 

STAGE 4: FRUITING

1. To put your MonoTub into fruiting conditions, simply flip the lid of the container upside down. This creates a small gap that allows for air fresh exchange. Fresh air and light are the two essential triggers to initiate mushroom pinning.

2. Place your MonoTub in a warm spot between 20-24°c, where it can receive some indirect sunlight or room light. You want to give the substrate at 4-6 hours of light a day.

3. For the first flush, very little misting is required. Usually a single misting directly onto the casing layer is all that is needed. If the substrate is looking dry or there is little/no condensation on the inside of the tub, misting every couple of days may be required.

4. After about 14-21 days from spawning, you should see your first pins. These are baby mushrooms, that will grow and develop into mature mushroom fruiting bodies.

STAGE 5: HARVESTING

Harvest the mushrooms just as the veils start to break. Once harvested, mist heavily directly onto the cake for 45 seconds to rehydrate it. Repeat steps 1-3 for subsequent flushes.

Expect 2 to 3 flushes (crops) of mushrooms per tub. Don’t throw the tub away after the first flush, there’s plenty more to come!

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