[Tastebridge] Tonight's Mushroom Meeting

Roger H domitron at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 17 22:10:32 UTC 2011

I left some spawn bags and hydrogen peroxide with you guys there.  One thing that I did not leave is the Spawn Mate because apparently the vermin ripped the two 5-pound bags of it to check it out (and judging from their almost total lack of eating it, they seem to be better fed elsewhere in Noisebridge).   
At any rate, if you guys are pressure cooking the medium, there is no reason to use fancy Spawn Mate really.  You can just as easily use wild bird seed which is about the same price as Spawn Mate but readily available.  It might not work quite as well, but it was what I used for 10 years with excellent results.  I recommend you buy the cheapest stuff that doesn't have the vitamin pellets, fruits, etc.  You just want the kind that has grains, typically mostly white and red millet with a smaller amount of safflower and sunflower seeds and sometimes some cracked corn.  I am sure you can find 10 pounds of something that would work great at Safeway for 5 to 10 bucks.  There is no need to cook it beforhand, and add at about 10% per dry weight.  Make sure to do a microwave dehydration test since the birdseed will tend to make the medium feel a bit more wet since it'll absorb water in the cooker.
PS - One word of caution, though: do not add wild bird seed to bags that are not FULLY pressure cooked; otherwise, they'll mold and ferment so fast that even the speedy oyster mycelium won't have a chance before the bags smell so foul you could swear they are barf bags accidentally left over the weekend on the Vomit Commit.  I did that once - key word "once".
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