Cultivating mushrooms – building a still air box and doing a g2g transfer

in STEMGeeks9 months ago (edited)

With my plans of capturing carbon dioxide to feed to my cannabis plants, building a still air box and starting my first jars is how the project begins. I am growing Oyster mushrooms, I picked this type because of the large amount of off-gassing the fungi does. When fruiting it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, so much that it needs to be vented away from the mushrooms otherwise it reduces their growth.. Well quite the opposite for plants, they love carbon dioxide. So I want to see if I can use the gases from the mushrooms to feed my cannabis plants. While researching how to generate more co2 I came across these products called "Exhale bags" they were sold as fungus colonies in bags that let off carbon dioxide. Well I found out you can make them yourself.

They pointed out in this article that Oyster mushrooms are best for this.

Especially the pink variety as they are more tropical and like lots of heat. If I can recirculate my tent through their chambers that could keep them nice and warm.. I am getting ahead of my self.. First I need to grow them.

First was to buy some pink Oyster mushroom spawn, and then multiply it using mason jars and wild bird seed. My end goal is to make enough spawn to fill a few 5 gallon buckets. If I was to buy the spawn premade, it would cost me almost $1000. So making my own with 1 brick of Oyster mushrooms is the way to go.

This stuff is what you buy at the local grocery store.

It is crucial to soak it overnight first, as if you try to pressure cook it without soaking it will not kill all the bacteria.

While soaking the grains, I made some breathable lids. Using micropore tape and a drilled hole gas exchange can occur and it helps to keep the mushrooms and mycelium happy in the jars.

Drilling was easy, but removing all the burs sucked.

With my drilled lids ready, I place the tape on them.. Not sure if I need to do both sides, this is my first time experimenting with gas exchange.

In the past I just left the lids flipped and covered in foil.

Now I need to pressure cook the lids, jars and wild bird seed.

Soaking overnight I pour off the excess and scoop up and floaters.

Using a strainer it all goes in it and I wait for most of the water to drain. I do not want them dry, but also do not want them soaked.

Filling up the jars most of the way gives me space to shake them as the mycelium run occurs.. Speeding up the entire run of the jar.

I scoop it all in the jars and put their lids on. I did it upside down to help open them once pressure cooked but with the vents it was not needed.

Foil covers the top to prevent excess water getting into the jars.

My first batch I pressure cooked for 2.5 hours, honestly that was too long. Next time I did 1.5 hours and it turned out better. When I did it the first time, I actually started to melt the jar lid seal and I could see the spawn drying out and burning.

With my jars being cooked to kill any fungi and bacteria that may compete with my Oyster mushrooms I build my still air box. Using an old panko can I tear off the paper and heat the bottom. I will use this to burn through the plastic to form a perfect circle. If I was to cut it may crack the tote.

Well that took a lot longer than I thought, previously I have used hole saws so this way was new to me.

Placing a weather seal around the openings helps to make it more comfortable working in the box.

Having a sterile technique is crucial to growing fungus, it requires discipline and every thing you do you must be mindful of. All it takes is one spore to over run your fresh media. So by killing everything but the Oyster mushroom fungi is key.

At some point I will write out my entire process for keeping clean, as its that detailed. But just keep in mind for now, you must clean everything before they go into the still air box, including cleaning the still air box itself.

Having to adhere to my own process I had to put the camera down and get to work. Maybe in the future I will set up a video camera to record so yall can see how I do my transfers. But for now I just took some before and after pictures. Once I transferred the grain to the wild bird seed jars I put the open bag in a ziploc and sealed it up. And then took off the still air box. What you see left is all the work I did while in a sterile'ish environment.

While my still air box is not in use I put it in large contractor trash bags and tie off the end. Eventually I will just need to build a new box as they do not keep clean forever and just have to be tossed eventually.

With my first set of jars all added with some pink Oyster mushroom mycelium I hope they will run throughout the jars. It wont take long, one way or the other something will take over the jars. That is why I make so many, with numbers on my side hopefully I will have enough to start some large 5 gallon buckets and then truly start the project of capturing carbon dioxide.

Honestly I do not think I have ever eaten Oyster mushrooms, are they good? From what I have read they are tasty fried up, tastes like meat a little.. Looking forward to trying some of the fruits too.

Posted with STEMGeeks


Oyster mushrooms are delicious. They somewhat remind me of a saltier taste in comparison to the standard mushrooms most people would have tried in their lifetime.

I would have never thought of growing my own. I'll be curious to see how yours turns out.

one way or the other something will take over the jars.

I wonder how long this process takes? We'll find out soon enough lol

Oh nice, okay good to know. Looking forward to cooking some.

It can take anywhere from 5 days up to 3 weeks to colonize a jar.. So hard to say for sure.

Well, that's a neat trick to save on mushroom growing kits, but it does look like a lot of work though. I've never tried growing my own mushrooms (yet), but I do eat them quite regularly from a nearby Chinese shop and they're one of my favourite mushrooms :)

Yeah excited to see how this all plays out. Well the kits make it really easy, will be doing another post soon about that. I have one I did not break down so we shall see how they work as a product.

Oh cool, good to know they are tasty.. Hope I will have some soon.

Awesome! I’ll be looking out for that next post 😁 Good luck 🤞

Wow what a nice tutorial!! Oyster mushrooms are very good

thanks much, nice.. Sounds like they are a winner

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Very cool. I've grown some oyster, lion's mane and lots of the fun mushrooms. Great idea to incorporate it into your growroom for the Carbon Dioxide!

Oh nice! Well I hope to grow some other kinds too.. sounds like a lot of fun.

thanks much, hope my plan works.

Here are a couple of my recent ones.



What a great idea you had, I never would have imagined using mushrooms to feed your cannabis plants, surely they would grow faster and stronger that way!!

that took a lot of work but it will surely be worth it

Yeah it was kind of mind blowing when I figured that out too.

So true, will keep yall posted on how it comes along.

Wow, what a great job you are doing, I didn't know that this plant was so delicate, I see that you give a lot of love to this special plant, something tells me that your plants will be very healthy and will be very good.

I hope so bud, got to take good care of my plants.


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 9 months ago Reveal Comment