Saving money by using Spore Syringe to Agar
Of my time in learning the art and science behind growing mushrooms, I have found the transfer of a spore syringe to agar being the easiest, safest methods for growing out your favorite strain.
Transferring to agar is not only the best way to find out if the syringe you received is viable, but also prevents you from using a bad spore syringe on a good bag of grain spawn or a liquid culture that multiplies the available spores.
Once the agar takes off, and fills the petri dish full of mycelium, you can cut small clean white squares to inoculate your grain bags or jars. One agar dish can inoculate up to 10 jars, some do more, and some do less.
I usually will inoculate 2-3 quart jars from one agar dish, (faster colonization) and then once the jar becomes fully colonized, you can spread the colonized grain to 10 more quart jars with fresh sterilized grain for more fruiting possibilities.
In a nutshell, once you perfect the spore solution to agar, you may never need to buy another syringe.
This is the procedure I use
Keep the agar refrigerated until use.
1. I clean and organize the area I will be doing the transfer with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
2. I use a small Hepa laminar filter hood.
3. I let the Hepa run for one hour with all my supplies within the hood area.
4. I put on plastic gloves and spray 70% Isopropyl over my hands and forearms
5. Unwrap the number of agar plates you plan on using, making sure the tops don't come off, and keeping the plates upstream from your hands.
6. Make sure the syringe has been shaken well to disperse the spores throughout the solution. Using a sealed sterilized needle, take the cap off the syringe and screw on the needle. Wipe down with a 70% isopropyl wipe before using, being careful not to poke yourself. To be on the safe side, you can wipe the needle down between each plate.
7. Keeping your fingers on the top edge of the cap, partially open, and with the other hand inject a small amount of solution on the center of the plate.
8. Make sure you keep your hands downstream from the plate as far as possible.
9. Repeat this process for however number of plates you plan on doing, always remembering to put the finished plates upstream and to the far side from the section you are working on.
10. Once all plates have been used, gently seal using parafilm.
11. Now the fun part, incubate in 74 - 79 degrees until the mycelium takes over the plate.
There are numerous ways and systems for using and incubating agar plates. My experience has shown if they incubate around 75 degrees with around 85% humidity, they will start showing growth in 4 days, and around 30 days, they are ready to transfer.
The hardest part of growing mushrooms, is patience!