Making Liquid Culture

Step By Step Guide To Making Liquid Culture

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What Is Liquid Culture?

The stunning bivalve-like blue oyster mushroom belongs to the genus, pleurotus. These mushrooms are found growing in clusters on dead and decaying hardwood during Spring & Autumn. 

Although the blue oyster mushroom is an excellent candidate for beginners, it should be noted that it requires high levels of humidity and fresh air exchange to successfully trigger the formation of primordia.

This thick and meaty fungi will develop from deep, midnight blue pins into large, pale blue grey caps. Increased exposure to indirect sunlight may result in more vibrantly coloured caps.


Crumbed Oyster Mushroom Recipe

Why Use Liquid Culture?

Blue oyster mushrooms are gifted with thick and meaty stems and cap. Perfect for making into mushroom steaks on the grill or for adding to a rich broth for that extra dimension. Richer and more distinctive in flavour than the standard button mushroom, these blue oyster mushrooms aren’t overpowering making them incredibly versatile and appealing to most palates. 

What You'll Need

The blue oyster mushroom is a saprotroph that acts as a primary decomposer. It’s often found on decaying on dying trees consuming the dead wood. They benefit the forest by decomposing dead and decaying matter and returning vital elements and minerals to the ecosystem.

In terms of commercial production the blue oyster mushroom is grown on a supplemented hardwood substrate which is often sterilised.

Alternatively, it is grown on a wide range of cellulose rich materials such as sugar cane mulch, straw, and corn cob which has been pasteurised. Buckets or poly-tubing can be used to grow in.

Grain Spawn & Liquid Culture Jars

Step 1. Prepare Liquid Culture Jars

Growing oyster mushrooms in buckets is a great project for first timers and more experienced cultivators alike. You can grow your own mushrooms at home using sugar cane mulch, straw or the cellulose rich material of your choice in conjunction with either cold or hot water pasteurisation.

Simple and easy to do using a few household items.

Step 2. Weigh All Ingredients

Humidity can be managed through a diligent misting and fanning regime, however the introduction of a humidifier and humidity controller can help automate the process and ensure consistency.

Adding a 6L humidifier and controller to a greenhouse with the addition of a USB fan is a quick and easy way to make a low cost fruiting chamber that delivers excellent results.

SGFC Shotgun Fruiting Chamber

Step 3. Dissolve Ingredients

Mushrooms require humidity to grow. We recommend using a mini-greenhouse. Spraying the inside walls of the greenhouse will help raise humidity. A cheap humidifier can be used to automate the process.

It’s important to ensure that the grow kit has fresh air exchange. Mushrooms produce carbon dioxide and will grow long and leggy in search of more oxygen. 

Check the product pages for species specific requirements.

Alternatively you can build a Shotgun Fruiting Chamber (SGFC) from a few common items found easily in your local hardware store.

Step 4. Add Stir Bar & Seal Jars

Full colonisation can often expected within 14 – 21 days. Store at room temperature at approximately 26 degrees Celsius (77f) for optimum colonisation speeds.

buy Presto 23 quart pressure cooker

Step 5. Sterilise Liquid Culture Broth

Pack the sealed jars of liquid culture broth into the pressure cooker. Add water keeping it well beneath the lids. Sterilise the jars for 20 minutes at 15 PSI. 

Electric pressure cookers and instapots can be used to sterilise liquid culture despite not reaching 15PSI. Liquid broths are easy to sterilise and the cooking duration will typically not need to be extended.

The broth will slightly darken as it cooks. Overcooking can result in caramelisation which may result in slowing colonisation of the mycelia.

Step 6. Inoculate With Agar Or Liquid Culture

Allow the sterilised liquid culture broth to cool before removing from the pressure cooker. Inoculate the broth with either a segment of mycelium grown on agar or some liquid culture. 

It’s important that aseptic technique is followed to reduce the risk of contamination developing. In the absence of a flow hood we recommend to abstain from inoculating with agar to avoid contamination. Alternatively, liquid culture can be applied via the injection port minimising the risk of contamination.

Contamination will become visibly evident with time and often result in a cloudy culture or with growths on the surface.

Watch Our Guide To Making Liquid Culture

Step 7. Allow To Colonise

Leave the inoculated liquid culture broth to expand and colonise over the next 10 – 14 days. Gently agitate the mixture daily to promote growth by creating more inoculation points. Take care to swirl the mixture while minimising contact with the lid. A magnetic stir bar and plate will facilitate this step.

Make Spawn With Sterilised Grain Bags

Each sterilised grain spawn bag has been carefully prepared by hydrating whole oats in a gypsum bath for 24 hours before sterilisation. 

The bag itself features a 0.2 micron filter patch to facilitate fresh air exchange without the contents becoming contaminated. 

Additionally, the self healing injection port allows the user to simply inoculate the grain using a liquid culture syringe with minimal risk of contamination.

Sterilised grain spawn bags make it possible to produce your own mushroom grain spawn without the use of a pressure cooker.

Make Your Own Agar

Learning to make your own agar plates is a valuable skill opens up many opportunities when working with fungi. Agar is a fantastic medium for a range of purposes such as:

  • Storing fungal cultures for later use.
  • Germinate spores.
  • Create clones from wild specimens.
  • Observe, remove contaminants & isolate cultures.
  • Use agar to produce liquid inoculant.

Who We Are

I’m Luke and I’m mad about mushrooms. I operate a small scale family run business located 40 minutes west of Brisbane. We’re passionate about fungi and we look forwarding to sharing our experiences with you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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