[Tastebridge] Mushroom update

Rikke Rasmussen rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 18:21:56 UTC 2011

Agreed. We'll be good little citizen scientists and do it right,
measurements and all.

We're out of sawdust; does anyone have some vermiculite we could use? And
Roger, if you're coming, can we borrow your scales?


On Oct 5, 2011 10:33 AM, "Roger H" <domitron at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Yes, I should be available next Monday.
> The experiment sounds good, except I do not think gypsum has sufficient
water retention to serve to dry up the substrate. Typically gypsum serves to
improve the texture of a substrate or, in spawn generation, to reduce water
between grains so they don't grow as a hard pack which cannot easily be
broken for mixing or dispersal. It has a secondary function in some cases as
a calcium supplement and long-term pH reducer, good for some wood-loving
> Vermiculite is a good sponge to dry up substrates but it is not the most
environmentally sustainable choice. Another addition that can dry up the
grounds would be a small amount of hardwood sawdust. Sawdust is largely a
waste byproduct of other industries so might be a better choice than
vermiculite. Furthermore, sawdust provides more food for the mushrooms and
is less expensive than vermiculite per pound (some sources can be
practically free).
> Regardless how one does it, the final substrate should pass both the feel
test and the microwave dehydration test. Without them you are shooting in
the dark in my opinion.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Oct 5, 2011, at 9:52 AM, Rikke Rasmussen <rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com>
>> We decided to try three different experiments with regards to the
moisture level - one where we dry the grounds out first and treat it the
same way we did the sawdust (i.e. add peroxide and supplement); one where we
adjust moisture level of wet grounds (perhaps with gypsum?) and add peroxide
+ supplement; and one where we adjust the moisture level of wet grounds and
pressure cook them before inoculation.
>> Mike, can you get me about 3-4 times as many grounds for next week as you
got me last time? And Roger, are you available on Monday?
>> Jake, if you're listening in on this thread, I'll bring parts for
automation of the humidifier On Monday - will you be there?
>> What have I left out?
>> /Rikke
>> On Oct 4, 2011 4:28 PM, "Roger H" <domitron at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> > Growing on coffee grounds will probably require some moisture balancing
unless by some miracle the coffee grounds just happen to be between 60 to
65% moisture content (per weight). One method could be actual
drying/moistening of the grounds or mixing drier and wetter grounds together
to achieve the required moisture content. Alternatively if the moisture is
slightly high, a modest amount of vermiculite could be added to soak up the
excess moisture. pH should also be considered.
>> >
>> > Coffee grounds have a fairly high buffering capacity and happen to have
an ideal pH for oyster growing, so we probably won't need additional calcium
carbonate, although gypsum might still be useful to provide calcium without
a significant pH impact. And then there is the question of supplementation.
>> >
>> > Substrate supplementation is a yield optimization, never a strict
requirement per se. Substantial yield increases are not uncommon, although I
simply don't know if supplementation would serve oyster my going through
coffee grounds as well as it does hardwood sawdust/chips. I would recommend
a scientific approach applied, recording yield with varying amounts of Spawn
Mate SE supplementation like we did before. Given the impetus of growing on
coffee grounds is largely to improve the sustainability of the operation
while simultaneously reducing expense, it would be consistent with these
higher ideals to minimize supplementation, even if higher levels result in
modest yield increases. The level that gives us the biggest bang for our
buck, so to speak, can only be evaluated once adequate data is available on
the efficacy with this particular substrate and grow environment against the
level of supplementation. Likewise, less
>> > expensive and less environmentally impacting bags, such as the
compostable garbage bags I introduced, should be tried along beside the
regular spawn bags because compostable food-grade garbage bags are nearly an
order of magnitude less expensive and impact the environment less since they
require less energy to manufacturer (in addition to composting rapidly).
>> >
>> > Roger
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > ________________________________
>> > From: Dan Willhite <willhite at gmail.com>
>> > To: Tastebridge <tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net>
>> > Sent: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 3:25 PM
>> > Subject: [Tastebridge] Mushroom update
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > For everyone at the mushroom meeting last night, I checked at my local
Peet's coffee and they are very willing to give away used coffee grounds.
The woman I talked to seemed to say they had as much as I wanted whenever I
wanted. On the next sunny day, I'll swing by and try to get a couple of
large trash bags full and dry them on my roof. Hopefully, we'll get a warm
day before next Monday.
>> >
>> > Cheers --Danny
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Tastebridge mailing list
>> > Tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net
>> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/tastebridge
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