As your first item of equipment, a sterilized jar with an injection port on its lid will be required to inject your spores.
Next comes water. Start by weighing out 40 grams of light malt extract (adding brewer’s yeast is optional), which provides carbs to fuel mycelia growth.
Water is a clear, tasteless, colorless chemical compound found throughout Earth’s hydrosphere and all living organisms on it. Water serves as an universal solvent by dissolving more substances than any other liquid can.
Water molecules are highly cohesive – they adhere strongly to each other and other substances. This property allows water molecules to form lakes, oceans, clouds and fog; when solid water freezes off it is released as water vapor into the atmosphere.
Add 1 liter of water to each sterilized jar, using a digital scale for accurate measurements. To add an additional boost in nutrients, consider including 40 grams of light malt extract – it provides essential food sources for mycelial growth!
Sugar is a delicious and water-soluble sweetener found naturally in many fruits, vegetables and seeds; manufactured industrially using juice from sugarcane or beets as feedstock; it is the simplest of carbohydrates with its general chemical formula being Cn(H2O)n.
Mushrooms and other organisms rely heavily on sugar as energy source during their early growth stage, so mycelium cultures that are in an early development stage need a rich broth with ample nutrition for proper development.
Liquid culture can also be used to inject fruit and vegetable seeds with spores for germination, using specially-designed syringes equipped with needles and sterile alcohol wipes for this purpose.
Agar is a gelatinous substance commonly used in mycological culture media to create solid substrates. Most often made with seaweed as its base material, however it can also be created using sugars, starches and Karo / corn syrup as sources. Agar’s high moisture content and very soluble properties make it perfect for growing mushrooms!
Agar can be combined with various ingredients to form substrates for particular species of mushrooms (i.e. straw mushroom agar) or provide essential nutrition such as proteins, lipids and vitamins.
Pour the agar medium into sterilized media bottles or glass jars and secure with screw top caps that don’t completely tighten down, making sure it can remain open during refrigeration. Label the jars with information regarding date and type of agar used.
4. Karo / Corn Syrup
Liquid cultures of mushrooms are an integral component of growing mushrooms successfully. Unlike using spore syringes, liquid cultures provide early stage mycelium with multiple sources of sustenance and can create adaptable and resilient mycelium which thrives once transferred onto substrate.
Liquid cultures provide the added advantage of minimal risk due to using only basic household items and an area which has been thoroughly disinfected with cleaning alcohol or wipes.
Corn syrup is an alternative sugar product made from corn starch that has been refined into sweetener. It contains different amounts of glucose, maltose and higher oligosaccharides – Karo light corn syrup is notable in that it does not contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), although many popular products including ketchup; jams/jellies; cereals for children as well as junk foods and colas contain this high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
5. Potato Broth
Potatoes are the star of this dish, simmered until tender in a low-sodium chicken broth until achieving tenderness and then combined with just enough cheese for flavor balance without overshadowing their delicious potato taste.
Needed: 1 Liter of Distilled Water, 40 Grams of Light Malt Extract (weighed with digital scale for precision), and optionally one Gram of Brewer’s Yeast as additional nutrition that may promote mycelium growth. Although this old-school approach takes more time and money to sterilize than its modern alternatives, this cost-effective recipe remains cost effective and straightforward.
Swirling the jar regularly will help break up mycelial cluts and ensure even distribution of culture. You could also add additional broth for this purpose and to maintain optimal temperatures for growth.