Are you looking for the best way to secure a consistent source of magic mushrooms? Well, nothing can be better than growing them at home. The best part is, growing magic mushrooms is insanely rewarding. Besides, knowing the right hacks can yield a never-ending supply of magic mushrooms.
Granted, the hefty terms, the extensive list of lab equipment, and the uncountable growing methods associated with psychedelic mushroom cultivation often make things trickier for new growers. This is where this post comes in handy, and it shares a detailed insight into the fundamentals of the hassle-free and cost-efficient magic mushroom growing methods. Read on to discover more!
How to Grow Mushrooms?
Typically, most shroom cultivation methods involve seven primary steps:
This method involves hydration and sterilization of some specific food sources. These sources may include sawdust, grain, birdseed, rice, etc. You need to pack them into mason jars to sterilize them. However, if you don’t have a suitable mason jar, you can also consider using unicorn bags. This is the first step to growing shrooms, similar to cleaning a field before planting seeds. Sterilization helps remove competing organisms from mushrooms, enabling them to take hold easily.
Once you complete the sterilization, it’s time to head to inoculation. Put simply; inoculation refers to infusing sterilized food with living mushroom samples or spores. These infused clones further turn into uniform mushrooms, and multi–spore cultures can produce innumerable variations.
Germination and Colonization
This occurs naturally. With time, the inoculation phase ends, colonizing the food source upon reaching maturity. As a result, you can see wide and spongy root-like networks.
Fruit Block Assembly
Once the colonization is over, you need to break up the inoculated food. Then, you need to blend it with a growing medium scientifically referred to as the substrate. Some common substrates are sphagnum, coco coir, and vermiculite. The substrate brings out the structure, and it retains the water required for the growth of the mushrooms. When you blend the inoculated substances with the substrate precisely, it’s time to seal the mixture in a polythene bag.
Fruit Block Colonization
Mycelium proliferates into the substrate inside the sealed bag, which catalyzes the food-blocking procedure, making the mycelium blend with the substrate and food.
This is, again, a naturally occurring step. When the block colonizes entirely, pins or primordia form, and this eventually calls for the introduction of fruiting conditions. Eventually, these pins swell and come out from the fruit block as mushrooms.
Baby mushrooms require extreme humidity and an abundance of oxygen while fruiting. When they grow, they absorb oxygen and give away carbon dioxide. Lack of oxygen can make young mushrooms vulnerable to pathogens and growth deformities. On the other hand, low humidity levels may make the substrate dry out, which may further obstruct the healthy growth of mushrooms.
The Most Convenient Method of Growing Shrooms
When searching for different mushroom-growing techniques, you may encounter uncountable methods like monotubs, PF cakes, etc. However, most of them are complicated and may require professional knowledge to complete the job successfully. However, the method this post explores is a comparatively simple, agile, and cost-effective way to grow mushrooms in limited quantities.
It won’t push you to invest in professional pieces of equipment. Moreover, the required ingredients are available at almost every grocery store. All you need is some bags of pre-cooked and pre-sterilized brown rice. For better results, you may consider using 90-second rice. The manufacturer designs these bags for fresh air exchange. Besides, they insulate the rice with some mushroom spore solution.
Besides this classic rice, you need some rice cups, living mycelium, and a few other household items. The goal is to break up the colonized rice and blend it with a humid coco coir substrate. Finally, compress the mixture into a cake-like structure in a polythene bean, called a monotub.
As you are using hydrated and pre-sterilized rice, you can easily bypass the hassle of the laborious preparation, making it much more convenient. In addition, it helps you to save on hi-tech devices that kill bacteria by leveraging pressure and steam. Besides, when you use rice cups, you can wrap up the entire project inside them. However, some cups may not render the expected results.
Furthermore, pre-sterilized and vacuum-sealed monotubs ensure a low-touch and contamination-free process. Whether trading off your shrooms or growing them for personal use, you may find this technique incredibly easy, making it perfect for beginner cultivators.
What Do You Need for Growing Magic Mushrooms?
If you have made up your mind about mushroom cultivation, you should gather a few essential supplies, which include:
- Spray bottles
- Spore syringes
- Instant brown rice cups
- Face mask (preferably N95)
- Plastic boxes or Sterilite totes (minimum 2)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Fine mist bottle
- Nitrile gloves
- Air purifier
- Painter’s bucket and lid (5 gallons)
- Coco coir
- Face mask (preferably N95)
- Distilled water
- Nitrile gloves
Step-by-Step Explanation of the Shroom Growing Process
Now you have got your supplies handy; it’s time to delve deeper into the procedure.
Step 1: Get Things Ready
First, find a dedicated work area. Remember, you must sanitize the area thoroughly. Besides, choose an area that is not exposed to flowing air. Avoid areas close to doors, air vents, or windows. In case there are vents, it’s vital to seal them off.
In addition, turn off the central air conditioning or the AC units of the work area before starting the project. Furthermore, don’t choose a carpeted room, as carpets are more prone to carry contaminants. Besides, you should also clean the growing surface thoroughly and wipe the adjacent walls of the area to make it dust-free.
Once satisfied with the cleaning measures, get a table and spray rubbing alcohol over it. While stainless steel tables are recommended, you can use any non-porous material. Once done, get the air freshener and spray it thoroughly to eliminate airborne infections.
Next, you need to clean yourself up adequately. Usually, mycologists recommend surgeon scrubs for body cleaning while growing mushrooms. If you don’t have one, you can use the regular scrub. Clean your mouth, take a bath, and wear sanitized clothes. Finally, wash your hands and wear a face mask before heading to the work area. Experts prefer N95s. However, regular surgical masks can also do the job.
Step 2: Initiate Inoculation
Start with gathering the spore syringe and instant rice cups. In addition, make sure that you have kept other ingredients handy. Take some rubbing alcohol in a clean cloth and thoroughly wipe all the supplies. Now, you can start inoculating by shaking the spore syringe. Shake vigorously to make the spores clump free. In addition, frequent and vigorous shaking facilitates the even distribution of spores through the solution.
When you are done shaking, hold the syringe needle over a flame. Put the flame off when the needle turns red hot. Now, let the needle cool. After a few minutes, use it to puncture the plastic coating of the rice cup. Slowly dispense the spore solution into the cup. Don’t use anything more than one cubic centimeter (1 ml).
Then, make a few more holes in the rice cup to facilitate air exchange. After a few minutes, cover those holes using micropore tape. This step is essential for minimizing the risk of contamination. Repeat the same process for other cups. Besides, keep sterilizing the needle frequently.
*Pro tip: Avoid breaking the rice cups’ factory seal. Besides, avoid dispensing excessive solutions to prevent bacterial infections. Additionally, don’t move your hands around frequently, and use rubbing alcohol during the process to keep the surface of your work area moist.
Step 3: Colonize
Now is the time to place the rice cups in a plastic container. You can use a Sterilite plastic box for better results. Don’t miss to close the lid properly. Set the rice cups apart and wait for germination to kick in. Germination may take 1-8 weeks to end. In the meantime, you should agitate the rice cups at least once weekly.
Remember, you shouldn’t shake the cups up and down as it may expose the food to the contaminant-prone inoculation zone. Also, consider storing the cups at a temperature of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit to quicken colonization. Extremely high temperatures may lead to contamination. Hence, don’t cross the 75 degrees F threshold.
You can use the torch for monitoring the colonization. Simply hold it on the side of a cup, and you can monitor the progress. Typically, fully colonized food solidifies and forms a tight mass, and you can feel it at the bottom of the cup. Moreover, colonized grains never rattle when you shake the cup.
Step 4: Preparing the Substrate
Take some coco coir and blend it with gypsum and vermiculite. If you don’t have gypsum and vermiculite handy, you can skip them and move forward with adequately hydrated coco coir. Typically, the ideal water amount in a substrate is measured by field capacity. When your substrate is sufficiently hydrated, it will aid in the healthy growth of mushrooms.
Note: You should prepare your substrate at least eight hours before using it. Besides, always use the substrate within 24 hours of preparation. If you let it sit longer, it may catch infections.
Step 5: Making Cakes
After substrating, you can proceed with birthing, which usually takes an hour. Before birthing begins, sanitize your work surface thoroughly. You should always prioritize hygiene and cleanliness to avoid the slightest chance of contamination. Additionally, don’t forget to put your mask and gloves on before you get your hands dirty with birthing.
Use some rubbing alcohol to sanitize a spoon. Once done, break the seal of a rice cup and use the spoon to break the rice. You can use a little substrate for breaking up the consolidation evenly. Once done, compress the mix down and add some more substrate. This action helps prevent open-air contaminants from intruding into the mixture.
Step 6: Fruiting
To facilitate fruiting, you may need to do a little elbow grease. For example, you should try making a humid environment with adequate fresh air. You can use a properly sanitized, Sterilite plastic box to create the said environment. Don’t forget to sanitize the box using rubbing alcohol. Once done, you can use the fine mist water bottle for spraying the inside, ensuring humidity. Finally, place the cups inside the box and leave the lid upside down. This way, you will allow moderate air exchange, helping the birthing mushrooms retain fresh oxygen.
Typically, the fruiting phase involves three stages.
Baby mushrooms maintain a knot-like formation. Scientifically called hypha, these little shrooms are identical to individual roots. However, in actuality, they are a part of mycelium. Typically, these knots appear around the humid area of the cup, where water droplets accumulate and eventually evaporate. You may find it pretty daunting to notice these knots as an amateur. However, you can easily identify them – they hold a unique pin-headed structure.
As its name suggests, elongation is all about the maturity of the fruit. The baby mushrooms start to grow and gain mass. This phase brings an inevitable challenge – the grown-up mushrooms find it difficult to exchange air. Typically, blue bruises on their body point to carbon dioxide accumulation. This way further leads to a halt in growth.
At this stage, the mushrooms are ready for harvesting. Their caps are opened up, pointing to the upcoming sporulation. Soon, the vein that connects the cap to the stem will break, and you will be able to see the spores on the substrate. Sporulation aids in keeping mushrooms’ lifecycle intact.
*Pro tip: You can use an LED or fluorescent light to warm the box. You can consider sticking to a half-and-half light-dark cycle for optimal temperature regulation. This helps avoid humidity fluctuations, ensuring the healthy growth of the fruit. Besides, spray water on the surface and walls of the plastic box when it dries up precisely. Also, avoid spraying water on the substrate or fruit bodies. After a few days, you may not have to mist as there won’t be dry zone formation. This is the time to reposition the upturned lid for better air exchange. Avoid using a fan in the fruiting chamber, as it may prevent moisture accumulation.
Growing Magic Mushrooms at home – An Alternative Method
Though it’s pretty complicated compared to the growing method shared above, the PF Tek mushroom growing technique may also help you enjoy the sweet fruit of hard work. Ideal for mid-experienced to expert growers, this method was introduced by Late Robert Mcpherson. Like the previous method, the PF Tek method also calls for detailed sanitization and top-notch hygiene.
Supplies for PF Tek
You need the following supplies to grow a magic mushroom leveraging the PF Tek method.
- Magic mushroom spores
- A mixing bowl
- An instant cooking pot/pressure cooker
- Spray bottle
- Water (filtered)
- Brown rice flour
- Glass jars
- Alcohol-based cleaning solution
- Face mask
Step 1: Making the Substrate
In the PF Tek method, you should first prepare the substrate for your mushrooms. Like the previous method, you need to set up a convenient food source from which the fungi can feed while developing their mycelial network. For this method also, you can choose to grow psilocybin mushrooms.
While making substrate, sterilize everything properly so that you can let the mushroom spores cherish a holistic monopoly over their food source, free from the interference of bacteria or mold. To prepare the substrate, you can use brown rice water and vermiculite.
The mushroom spores will feed on the brown rice flour. On the other hand, vermiculite will help build the structure of the mycelial network. Once the substrating is done, put it in a mason jar and seal the jar’s opening with tin foil. Next, you need to sterilize the jar using a pressure cooker or an instant pot. Put the pressure cooker or instant pot on flame and wait for 30 minutes. Now, turn off the heat and let it cool.
Step 2: Inoculating
To inoculate with the PF Tek growing method, you need to add a few spores to each jar. However, you need to take care of the contaminants and ensure that no other bacterial spores can enter the jar. You can simply inject the mushroom spores into the jar to minimize the risk without opening it.
Once you are done with the inoculation, it’s time to do the mandated cleaning job. Sanitize your hands and clean the surroundings. Once done, get a sterilized jar and wipe it thoroughly using alcohol or an alcohol-based cleaning agent. In addition, don’t forget to flame-sterilize the syringe you are using.
Step 3: Incubation
After inoculation, it’s time to build an incubator. If DIY is not your thing, you can invest in a professional incubator. For building one at home, you need two identical containers and feel one of them with water. However, keep 70% of the jar empty. Next, you need to put an aquarium heater in the bottom bucket and switch it on. Further, you will have to add the second bucket inside the first one and put the jars inside it.
Once done, seal the entire setup tightly. Keep on checking the jars daily, and carefully notice if some white threads are forming. Besides, don’t miss to check the signs of contamination.
Step 4: Fruiting
After incubation, you need to start fruiting. Get a fruiting chamber (plastic container or a sterilized jar). Spray a little water inside the chamber. Besides, hydrate the substrate. Place the chamber in a dark place. After a few days, you will see pinheads from the substrates. Avoid touching them until they grow adequately. You are done growing, and it’s time to harvest and dry your shrooms.
Harvesting Mushrooms – Things to know
Harvesting mushrooms is pretty simple. Simply twist and pull mushrooms from the substrate, and your job is done. On the other hand, if you want to cut them free, you can use a cutter. Remember, you should always remove and discard the substrate attached to the bottom of the mushrooms once you harvest them.
Drying Magic Mushrooms
Ideally, you should consume dried mushrooms right after harvesting. You can air dry them or use a food humidifier to dry them. Set the dehydrator to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and let your mushrooms dry for 24 hours. However, remember that shrooms are made of 90% water while drying. Hence, be thorough and careful while drying.
Once they are precisely dried, you can store them in a jar. Pack the mushrooms properly to keep the humidity levels optimal. Ideally, you should store them in a dark place at room temperature.
What Is a Second Flush?
Flush refers to the harvesting of mushrooms that grow at the same time. Usually, mushrooms can give multiple flushes while passing through different growth phases. If you want your fruit block to produce various flushes, harvest all mushrooms. Once done, cut off the remaining stumps with a sterilized blade. Be extra careful while performing the job.
Make sure that you don’t remove the colonized substrate or underlying mycelium. Doing so may lead to severe contamination. Once you are done with this, hydrate the cups using the mister. On the other hand, if you want to retain more flushes from the cakes, you can submerge them in water after each flush, catalyzing rehydration.
However, it’s worth knowing that rehydrating the substrate increases the chances of contamination. Hence, do this when you find it absolutely necessary. Besides, repeat the hygiene practices at regular intervals. After the second flush, you can expect a third and fourth flush if you save your cups from becoming contaminated and dehydrated.
Contamination – The Curse and Foe for Mushroom Growers
Do you know who the biggest enemy of mushroom growers is? Well, it’s contaminated. Specific yeast, fungi, and bacteria can be devastating to your project. Therefore, it’s imperative to be aware of the science of contamination in mushrooms. Take immediate action if your mushrooms are –
- Oozing out mucus
- Producing a foul smell
- Developing pink, black, red, or green masses
- Getting muddy deposits of rotten rice
Usually, inappropriate sterilization techniques, unhygienic cultivation environments, and impure spore solutions contribute to contaminations. In addition, inappropriate clothing and poor hygiene of the grower may also cause contamination. Furthermore, exposing your project to open air may also increase the risk of infection.
What if the Cup Develops Signs of Contamination?
When your cup turns contaminated, quarantine it at the earliest. Besides, don’t taste the contaminated cup. Ensure you wear gloves and a mask while picking it up from the fruiting chamber. Once you take it out, pack it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in a liter. You should never throw a contaminated cup in the compost pile.
Which Shrooms Are the Most Ideal for Growing?
Most beginner and seasoned cultivators recommend psilocybe cubensis or cubes mushrooms. People admire this particular species for its high availability and convenient cultivation. Moreover, it holds strong and effective psychoactive properties. Cubensis is one of those decomposer species that consume dead organic matter.
Due to this reason, nurturing them is far more convenient. You don’t need to search for specific hardwoods when growing cubes; they can easily survive on decomposing organic waste and whole foods. Typically, the most commercially available psychedelic spores feature cubensis genesis.
For example, Yeti, Penis Envy, etc., are cubensis subspecies, and they typically come from multispore inoculations. Here it’s worth mentioning that the term ‘strain’ is not very common in the mushroom community, and instead, subspecies is a common communal term for good reasons.
Mushrooms don’t grow from seed. Instead, numerous unique subspecies create a specific multispore inoculation. Hence, the term ‘strain’ can’t describe the type of variant that you get while buying spores for cultivating mushrooms.
FAQs About Growing Magic Mushrooms
How long do you need to wait to grow mushrooms?
Generally, the preparation and inoculation conclude within 24 hours. Once inoculation is over, colonization automatically kicks in anytime between 2-8 weeks. The duration typically depends on the inoculation technique, genetics, and growing conditions. The colonized cups are then birthed. Then, pinning and fruiting take 7-14 days to end. Given this, you can say that the aggregate growth cycle of mushrooms may range from 30-90 days.
Do magic mushrooms offer a medicinal benefit?
Yes, they do. These medicinal mushrooms may help alter your mood, perception, and a slew of other medical processes. It works on the cortex of the human brain, activating certain receptors like 5HT2A. Typically, creatinine triggers these receptors. By bringing this cascade of neurobiological changes to your brain, magic mushrooms help you enjoy a sense of bliss. Besides, it helps boost focus.
Are magic mushrooms legal?
Well, in 1968, the USA banned magic mushrooms officially. However, the immense effort of researchers and activists could change these laws very soon. Currently, psilocybin is considered a controlled substance (Schedule I) at the federal level. However, the law doesn’t hold a serious weight as states can supersede them with suitable alternatives.
Besides, magic mushrooms are not technically banned in the country. Instead, some of its active ingredients are. Moreover, spores are legal in most states because of their non-psychoactive structure. Oregon has recently moved magic mushrooms to the decriminalized category. In addition, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington have also decriminalized magic mushrooms. Therefore, you can grow them without hesitation if you reside in these states.
How do shrooms look?
Magic mushrooms are very identical to regular mushrooms. They also have long, slender stems with wheatish gray and dark brown caps. When dried, they turn rusty brown.
Do mushrooms have side effects?
Typically, healthy shrooms are free from fatal side effects. However, overdosing or insensible consumption may cause paranoia, panic, and nausea. You can also experience yawning, lack of coordination, and muscle weakness. Therefore, be careful while consuming shrooms. Don’t overdose or don’t consume alcohol or any other drug.
How do mushrooms differ from cannabis or marijuana?
Indeed magic mushrooms or cannabis/marijuana share some surprising similarities. However, they render a distinctly different consumption experience. For example, the effect of cannabis may vary depending on factors like strength, dose, potency, and consumption method.
While some people claim that cannabis/marijuana can enhance focus and increase appetite, others report a sense of paranoia. Cannabis or marijuana’s THC derives the phytoactive effects. Mushrooms are psychoactive because of their psychedelic psilocybin. While mushrooms also alter sensory perception, like cannabis, their effects are more striking.
Is it safe to consume magic mushrooms?
A 2017 survey shows magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug to consume. The survey interviewed approximately 10,000 people who consumed magic mushrooms. Among them, only 0.2% experienced severe effects. Ideally, the magic mushroom is a subject of self-exploration. You may enjoy a positive experience. Besides, it may help relieve depression, panic, anxiety, and stress.
Given this, you can say that magic mushrooms are apparently safe to consume. However, you shouldn’t blend it with any other drug. Besides, if you suffer from any chronic diseases or allergies, you should consult your doctor before consuming magic mushrooms. In addition, if you are pregnant or a breastfeeding mother, you should avoid consuming shrooms.
How Can You Grow Magic Shrooms At Home?
Magic mushrooms are becoming more mainstream these days. However, because of federal restrictions, you may not find them everywhere. Therefore, to ensure a limitless supply of magic mushrooms, you can try cultivating them at home. While there are various methods of growing magic mushrooms, we have mentioned two easy techniques to help you enjoy optimal results.
The best part is that these techniques won’t make a big hole in your pocket. Moreover, they are not extraordinarily labor intensive. While growing, maintain hygiene and pay attention to sanitization. This way, you can prevent contamination, saving your beloved project from being ruined. Grow shrooms safely and consume them sensibly!