There is no better way to ensure a steady supply of psychedelics than to cultivate them yourself. Growing magic mushrooms is a gratifying activity that, if done correctly, may offer an unending supply of magic mushrooms for microdosing or self-discovery and growth. Learn How To Grow Magic Mushrooms At Home Now With Us.
We’ll go over the basics of producing magic mushrooms with the PF Tek technique in this article. I’ll explain how I optimize the growing environment to produce enormous numbers of mushrooms without purchasing expensive equipment or constructing elaborate setups. This article is meant to serve as a starting point for beginner mushroom growers searching for the quickest and easiest way to get started.
Except for the magic mushroom spores, everything on the above list is readily available at local grocery shops or hardware stores. Spores are similar to the “seed” of a fungus. When the correct circumstances are met, they begin to proliferate and create the fungal body. The spores of magic mushrooms are banned in most of the United States, Canada, and Europe, but the mushrooms themselves are not. This is because magic mushroom spores lack the active hallucinogenic chemicals psilocybin and psilocin.
As a result, firms selling magic mushroom spores can be found all over the internet. They are often offered in the form of spore syringes, but spore prints and liquid cultures are also available. Syringes are chosen since they make inoculating the substrate jars more easier. I’ve ordered spores from a variety of sources, but my favorites are Spores 101 (Canada & US) and Spores Lab (Canada only).
Timeframe — 30 minutes
The first step is to prepare the substrate on which the mushrooms will feed and grow. Fungi exist within their meal. They spread long strands of mycelia across the substrate and produce enzymes that break it down, allowing them to collect nutrients. This step entails establishing a basic food supply for the fungus to feed on while their mycelial network develops. Fungi will compete with other species such as bacteria and mold in the early stages of development.
Once established, Psilocybe cubensis is significantly stronger than mold and bacteria, although it develops at a slower rate. If all three species are placed onto a new substrate, the mold and bacteria will outcompete the magic mushrooms ten times out of ten. They take over the substrate and hinder the growth of the magical mushroom.
So the idea here is to thoroughly sterilize the substrate so that the mushroom spores have a monopoly on the food source. This eliminates competition, allowing your mushrooms to dominate the substrate without having to contend with mold or germs.
There are other substrate formulations to choose from, but the PF Tek approach is the most straightforward. You may also use wild bird seed, rye grain, and other ingredients. We’ll start with PF Tek because it’s the most straightforward to master if you’re just getting started. It’s the most resistant to mold and bacteria and makes subsequent fruiting a breeze.
First and foremost, PF Tek is an abbreviation for Psylocybe Fanaticus, a pen name for the late Robert McPherson, who devised the concept. Brown rice flour (the food supply) is combined with vermiculite and water.
Brown rice flour is used by the fungus, while vermiculite acts as a framework for the mycelial network to develop on. The ultimate product is thick white mycelium “cakes” that may be inserted straight into the fruiting chamber later on. Mushrooms will sprout from these cakes. Here’s how to do it:
The component proportions will be 2 parts vermiculite, 2 parts brown rice flour, and 1 part water. Begin by incorporating the vermiculite. You’ll need around 2 cups (500 mL) of vermiculite for 5 half-pint jars.
After that, add the water and mix it with the vermiculite. It should be moist but not dripping wet at the bottom of the dish. Finally, add the brown rice flour. It should be completely mixed. The flour should create an equal layer over the moist vermiculite.
Fill each jar with the substrate you’ve made, leaving about 3 cm (1 inch) of space at the top. Fill the last section with dry vermiculite. The goal is to keep the jar lids’ seals from getting wet, which might lead to contamination.
Once the jars have been filled with substrate, replace the lids and seal them. I propose turning the jar lids upside down, with the rubber seal facing up. This is due to the fact that once pressure cooked, the temperature difference suctions the lids onto the jar and makes it nearly hard to remove them afterwards. Putting the lids on upside down helps to prevent this.
Wrap tinfoil around the tops of the jars as well. This helps to keep them sanitary and keeps water out of the jars while you pressure boil them. A fill line should be marked on the interior of most pressure cookers. Add the jars, then fill to the fill line with water. If there is no fill line, pour enough water to immerse the jars nearly halfway. Do not let the jars become completely submerged in water.
You must sterilize the jars once they have been fully loaded with your substrate and sealed to prepare them for inoculation. A pressure cooker is used for this. Instant Pots, which are essentially glorified pressure cookers, are also excellent for this.
To properly sanitize them, let them run for about 30 minutes after appropriate pressure is obtained. I also use scrunched-up tin foil as a spacer at the bottom of the pressure cooker to elevate the jars off the bottom.
This allows for more equal heat distribution and keeps the bottoms of the jars from scorching. Bring the cooker to temperature (it will begin to emit steam), then set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let aside for a few hours to cool.
Timeframe — 30 minutes
This stage entails introducing the mushroom spores to the newly formed growth habitat. This is known as inoculation. The idea here is to introduce a modest amount of spores to each jar while excluding any other impurities that could compete with the magical fungus. At any given time, there are millions, if not billions, of mold spores floating around in the air. This is true regardless of how tidy your house is.
They float in from the outside air, travel on our skin and clothes, and are dragged in by our dogs after rummaging about in the yard. If any of these spores enter the jar, they have the potential to outcompete our mushrooms and infect our spawn jars. You’ll need to open the container for a short second to inject the spores. Contaminants have an opportunity to enter the jar at this process.
The trick to being successful during this stage is to keep the area as clean and sterile as possible:
Of course, you don’t have to do everything, but the more efforts you take to maintain the space clean, the more effective this step will be. You can’t be too clean at this point. We’re now ready to inoculate the jars; here’s how it goes:
Before inoculating each jar, use alcohol to clean your hands and the table you’re working on. Take a sterile jar and clean it with alcohol.
If you’re using a spore syringe (which is advised), remove it from the package and insert the needle tip. Take extreme caution not to touch the tip. Heat the metal tip of the syringe for a few seconds with your lighter. This will serialize the needle’s tip. When the liquid has cooled, open the first jar and inject roughly 2 CCs into the syringe. Make sure the needle tip is placed past the first 2 or 3 cm of dry vermiculite, so it comes into direct touch with the substrate.
Rather of removing the lid entirely, try to open the jar just enough to insert the syringe. This will aid in the prevention of contamination. After that, close the jar and cover the top with tin foil.
You’ll need to repeat this step for each jar one by one. Make a habit of wiping off your hands, the table, and the jars with alcohol after each use. Sterilize the needle with the lighter after each jar to avoid cross-contamination from one jar to the next. It’s time-consuming, but it’s necessary if you want things to succeed.
Timeframe — 1–2 weeks
After inoculating your substrate with mushroom spores, the objective is to provide the optimal circumstances for it to grow. You simply sit back and wait for it to be ready.
The ideal conditions for Psilocybe cubensis during this stage are as follows:
The simplest method to accomplish this is to construct a “incubator.” There are several methods to create an incubator, and you can even buy a professional one. It doesn’t have to be so difficult in most circumstances. Simply fill an opaque container (a paint bucket works nicely) with your inoculated jars and store it somewhere warm in your house.
You only need to create an incubator if you don’t already have a place in your home that is dark and warm (but not hot) where you can store your substrate jars. The cabinets above the refrigerator are ideal for this.
Here’s a simple incubator design anybody can build for less than $30:
Fill your incubator with the jars and cover with the lid. Before you can proceed, you must wait 1 to 2 weeks for the jars to colonize with mycelium. Every couple of days, check the jars. By the third or fourth day, several white “threads” should be developing near the inoculation site. This is why inoculating the jars on the edge of the glass helps to notice the mycelium developing sooner.
Keep an eye out for symptoms of contamination. This includes growth that is green or blue in hue, highly fuzzy white growth (rather than thready), or a slick, oily appearance (bacteria).
Remove any contaminated jars from the incubator as soon as possible. If you leave it in the incubator, the contamination may spread to other jars. When the jar is entirely filled with white mycelium, you’ll know it’s finished.
After your jars have been fully colonized, the next stage is to begin fruiting. This entails establishing an optimum environment for the mycelium to generate mushrooms, which are the fungi’s reproductive organs.
The ideal conditions for fruiting are as follows:
The easiest method to accomplish this is to build a “fruiting chamber.” Fruiting chambers can be purchased or built from common home items. The fundamental idea is to use a translucent container (to allow some light in) that permits some ventilation and maintains a high humidity level. There are several approaches to fruiting chamber design. I’ve tested almost all of them and found that the simplest configurations usually produce the greatest results.
Things tend to fail when they are overcomplicated. As long as the following criteria are satisfied, your mushrooms will begin to grow. It’s actually very simple to establish these conditions by just spraying your substrate with water for hydration and putting the chamber in a room away of direct sunlight. To prevent being destroyed by mold or bacteria, your mycelium has been living in a fully sterile environment up until this moment.
Your mycelium is now robust enough to withstand most fungal or bacterial invasions, therefore it no longer has to be maintained entirely sterile. However, it is still critical to keep the fruiting area clean in order to harvest as many mushrooms as possible. They will ultimately begin to mold when they have used all of their energy generating mushrooms.
Here’s how to build a simple fruiting chamber for PF Tek:
Check in on your mushrooms on a daily basis to observe how they’re doing. Remove the lid and use it to blow fresh air into the container. Using the spray bottle, mist the perlite with water (distilled is preferable) to keep it wet. Avoid directly spraying the cakes. Bacterial growth can occur if water accumulates on top of the cakes.
After a few days, you should notice some little mushrooms developing on the cake’s side. If you touch these tiny “pinheads,” they may cease growing. Allow your mushrooms to develop until the veil at the bottom of the gill cap breaks – they’re now ready to harvest.
When your mushrooms are ripe, cut them off at the root. They should simply break off without any effort.
Only collect mushrooms that are mature. You might have to pick a few mushrooms every day until they’re all gone.
You only need to dry your freshly picked magic mushrooms for a few days by laying them on a dry paper towel. You may also use a dehydrator, but use the lowest temperature setting possible. For a time, your mushroom cakes will continue to generate mushrooms. A flush is defined as each round of mushies they make.
After two or three flushes, you may notice that the shrooms are sparser, or smaller. You may rejuvenate the cakes by immersing them in ice-cold water for around 10 minutes and then reintroducing them into your fruiting chamber.
If you notice mold on any of your cakes, remove the affected cake as soon as possible. A small amount of mold will not harm you, but if you leave it in the chamber, it will spread to all of your cakes. It is preferable to cut your losses and eliminate it entirely. All cakes will eventually lose their vitality and succumb to mold.
Growing mushrooms doesn’t have to be difficult, and they usually grow on their own. You don’t have to do anything but provide optimum circumstances for them to grow.
Having said that, many growers (both rookie and experienced) may face challenges along the road. Here are some of the most typical problems that producers face, as well as some remedies to explore initially. If you have any more queries, please contact us at email@example.com. Images are quite useful.
You’ve infected your jars, but no white, thready mycelium has appeared. There are several potential causes for this; here are some of the major issues and how to resolve them:
The most typical issue you’ll face while cultivating mushrooms is polluted substrate. This is true regardless of your level of experience. I’ve lost hundreds of jars due to contamination during this step, which is why I insist on being as thorough as possible during sterilization and inoculation. You can’t be too clean in this place.
To keep mold spores that are plentiful in the air at bay, use plenty of alcohol, create a glove box, or invest in a laminar flow hood. You may also construct self-sealing injection holes for your jar lids so you never have to expose them to air. This is accomplished by employing high-temperature gasket seals from an auto shop and a nail.
Make a few holes in the jar lids and apply a glob of gasket sealer. Allow it to dry completely. The syringe may then be injected straight into these ports, which will self-seal when you draw it out, reducing the possibility of contamination.
If you’re seeing small pinhead mushrooms forming, but they never seem to grow into a complete mushroom, there are a few things you can do to fix it:
All cakes will ultimately mold, but you should be able to get at least two or three flushes out of them before that happens.
If your cakes begin to mold before you can harvest any mushrooms, you may need to take further precautions to keep the area clean. Consider where you want your fruiting chamber to be. Is it in an area of the house where there is a lot of mold?
You might wish to add some filtering to your chamber by placing polyfill or another filtration material over the vent ports. It’s also a good idea to fill your spray container with reverse osmosis or distilled water. You may also sterilize a few jars of water in your pressure cooker and use this water to spritz down your fruiting chamber.
Mushroom farming is a vast subject. There are countless methods for preparing substrates, constructing incubators, establishing fruiting chambers, and maximizing output. This post would be several thousands of words lengthy if I covered all of these ways.
While this resource is a good place to start and covers the fundamentals, if you want to become serious about this activity, I recommend you pick up one of these three books.
If I could only recommend one book to a beginning mushroom grower, it would be this one. It’s huge, like a textbook, and quite detailed.
It has the same high quality as another book described below by Paul Stamets, however it is entirely focused on magic mushroom culture rather than delving into mushroom growth techniques for other species.
This book emphasizes different beginning and intermediate mushroom growth methods, as well as professional tips and tricks and troubleshooting for various difficulties that may arise at each level of production.
This is the first mushroom growing book I’ve ever read. It’s straightforward and clear, and the tactics provided are really successful.
Dennis and Terence McKenna wrote it, but it was released under their pen names. After touring the Amazon rainforest to examine entheogenic plants and fungus, it was published in 1976. They learned how indigenous civilizations grew the mushrooms and brought some samples back to the United States to refine their procedure.
The McKennas are credited with bringing psychedelic manufacturing into the hands of the common population. It was the first time these mushrooms had been cultivated outside of their natural environment. On the subject of home horticulture, it is still regarded canon.
This is by far the most in-depth expert guide to producing medicinal mushrooms. It includes Psilocybe cubensis cultivation as well as many other culinary and medicinal species.
The author, Paul Stamets, is regarded as the leading expert on mushroom culture. He is the founder of Fungi Perfecti, the author of numerous well-known mushroom publications, and a popular lecturer and instructor on mushroom technology, culture, and supplements.
This article barely scratches the surface. We’ve covered the fundamentals for a beginner mushroom grower to get started, but there’s a lot more to it. Mushroom farming, like anything else, may be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
Believe me, I’ve tried every strategy in the book merely to improve the procedure. This trial and error has taught me that, for whatever reason, the simplest procedures always provide the best outcomes.
Despite spending thousands of dollars on pricey setups and specialized grow chambers, none of them outperformed a simple shotgun fruiting chamber — which is essentially just a plastic tub with holes punched on the side for air to circulate (as described above). That’s all!
When it comes to mushroom cultivation, I now follow the KISS principle — “keep it simple, stupid.” That being said, there are a few sophisticated approaches for optimizing yield without being overly complex.
The technique for PF Tek, which employs brown rice flour, vermiculite, and water, is highlighted above. It’s the most basic and foolproof way for producing mushrooms. Before going on, each novice grower should start with this strategy. PF Tek, on the other hand, has restrictions. It yields a lesser yield than rye grain and cannot sustain the mycelial phase.
Rye grain is more difficult to work with and more prone to contamination, but it produces significantly higher yields and allows you to propagate your mycelium without having to buy new spore syringes for each batch. When one jar of rye grain is finished, use it to inoculate ten additional jars, expanding your supply enormously.
The most basic of the “advanced techniques” is the monotub. It entails physically inoculating the bottom layer of a fruiting chamber prior to fruiting. Monotubs provide exceptionally high yields and are easy to build and maintain.
A laminar flow hood is a piece of equipment, not a technique. It removes all particulates by passing air through a HEPA filter. This gadget is used during the inoculation step to keep your jars from being contaminated.
These may be pretty pricey, but I got one for approximately $400 from Fungi Perfecti a few years ago and it’s really transformed the game for me. I saw a significant reduction in contamination in my grain jars.
This is a more complex procedure, but I’ve found that it really helps to identify the strongest strains prior to inoculation. This aids in the cultivation of fungus that are the most resistant to pollutants, grow the fastest, and produce the most mushrooms. It also helps you maintain your supply without having to acquire new spores.
The procedure is making an agar solution with water, sterilizing it, and then putting it onto Petri plates. A drop of spore syringe or spored from previous growth is poured on the agar plate, which is then placed in your incubator. Mycelium will spread throughout the surface of the agar within a few days.
Choose the portions that have thick thread-like development rather than fuzzy or irregular threading. Remove a little piece of this growth off the plate and place it in a new agar petri dish. When the mycelium has covered the majority of the plate, split it into smaller portions in front of a laminar flow hood and put it straight to your rye grain jars.
A magic truffle is not the same as a magic mushroom. Truffles are the subterranean parts of fungus. Certain mushroom species, such as Tuber melanosporum, develop all of their reproductive tissue underground. This is in contrast to the traditional mushroom, which grows above the soil’s surface.
Because only the subterranean components of the fungi are allowed in some places, such as the Netherlands, farmers have devised methods to induce magic mushroom species to produce underground “mushrooms” rather than the above-ground version.
This is accomplished by fruiting the mushrooms in a container rather than publicly, like with magic mushrooms. You may store the mushies in a jar with some ventilation holes in the lid. If these circumstances are met, the mushrooms will generate truffles rather than mushrooms.
Because not all species produce truffles, it is important to hunt for specific types if you wish to cultivate this method. Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe tampanensis are the finest species for cultivating truffles.
Another effective way of production is spawn sacks. They serve the same purpose as the jars, but they make fruiting simpler later on. If you prefer, you may put your mushrooms straight into the spawn bags, or cut slits at the side to allow the mushrooms to grow out of the bag.
Spawn sacks are a low-cost method of producing vast quantities of substrate. This is the approach used by huge grow operations in mushroom greenhouses or other facilities.
I mentioned it briefly previously in the piece. The aim is to poke holes in your jar lids and cover them with a rubber seal. To inoculate the substrate, spore syringes may be shot straight into the port, and when removed, the rubber shuts itself instantaneously. This method greatly lowers the possibility of contamination during the inoculation step.
In most parts of the world, growing or possessing magic mushrooms is illegal. Spores are lawful due to a legal loophole because the active components, psilocybin and psilocin, are not present in the spores. The mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelium, on the other hand, are prohibited.
Some countries have already begun to legalize magic mushrooms, which includes cultivation. Denver, Colorado, Vancouver, Canada, and Oakland and Santa Cruz, California have all decriminalized magic mushrooms.
Another kind of hallucinogenic fungus unrelated to psilocybin-containing mushrooms is Amanita muscaria. It’s less psychedelic and more oneirogenic, which means it induces dreams. It is a dream drug that causes weird dreams and hallucinations.
Unfortunately, no one has been able to consistently produce this fungus. It has a complicated connection with many different tree species and old-growth forests. They are endophytic, which means they dwell inside the host tree’s roots. At the moment, the only method to get this fungus is to forage for it in temperate forests. They’re most common in the fall (in most areas), although they can be spotted intermittently during the spring and summer as well.
Growing magic mushrooms takes roughly 1 to 2 months from start to completion, depending on the growing circumstances, strain selection, and procedures utilized. The above-mentioned PF Tek approach is the quickest.
Most Psilocybe species thrive at temperatures ranging from 20 to 28oC (68-82oF). This will boost the mycelium’s quickest growth.
Magic mushrooms fruit best in temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Some species prefer warmer weather, while others prefer cooler weather. Mushrooms will mold quicker if the fruiting temperature is too high. If the temperature is too low, growth will be sluggish and yields will be reduced.
The globe is in the midst of the third wave of psychedelics. The first wave occurred many years ago, when early civilizations began treating one other with entheogenic herbs and fungus for divination and medical purposes.
The counterculture and the advent of hippie culture kicked off (and concluded) the second wave in the 1960s. As more individuals become interested in the use of psychedelics for personal growth, spirituality, and healing, we are approaching the third wave.
There is no better way to learn about psychedelics than to grow your own. Magic mushrooms are both safe to cultivate and consume, and they provide an extraordinary range of psychological and physical advantages.
Growing plants ourselves may bring us closer to nature, offer us a better knowledge of this amazing hallucinogenic chemical, and even save us money. If you have any questions regarding how to produce magic mushrooms, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you!
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