Urban Spore

Making Paper Spawn

blue oyster mushrooms on paper

What Is Paper Spawn?

Paper spawn is the result of growing mycelium on pasteurised paper. Paper spawn can be used as a grain spawn substitute in projects which don’t use sterilisation. It’s cheap and easy way to expand grain spawn for future use. Paper spawn is easy to make and suitable for beginners. 

mushroom paper spawn

What Use Paper Spawn?

Paper pellets are an excellent media that can be used for expanding mycelium to create spawn. Paper pellets contain very little nutrition, for this reason they are an ideal candidate for cultivating clean mycelial tissue.

Due to having low nutrition the paper pellets are less prone to fruiting prematurely however once colonised they can be fed with supplementation promote larger yields.

bulk substrate

What You'll Need

  • 500 grams paper pellets
  • 700 ml hot water
  • 1 gram hydrated lime (optional)
  • 200 grams grain spawn (quantity may vary)

Step 1. Pasteurise Paper Pellets

Weigh paper pellets and place in a heat proof bowl. Boil water and measure 700 ml. Add hot water to paper pellets. Cover and leave to cool.

Optional.  1 gram of hydrated lime can be added to the paper pellets to reduce chances of contamination, however this is not essential.

paper pellets for mushroom growing

Step 2. Add Grain Spawn

Break apart the grain spawn and incorporate into the cooled, hydrated paper pellets. The mixture should be fluffy without dripping when squeezed.

The quantity of grain spawn used may vary; more spawn will encourage faster colonisation and less risk of contamination.

oyster mushroom grain spawn

Step 3. Pack & Wait

Pack the spawn and paper mixture into sandwich bags or jars. Create a hole for ventilation and cover with micro pore tape. The paper pellets will colonise over the next 14 – 21 days. 

mushroom paper spawn

Step 4. Fruit or Expand

The fully colonised paper spawn can be used to inoculate bulk substrates that have not undergone sterilisation. Paper spawn is ideal for substrates which use pasteurisation as a method of preparation.

Alternatively the block of paper spawn can be fruited directly. Make a hole in the bag to expose the colonised substrate and place into a fruiting chamber.

The paper spawn can also be expanded to create more spawn by repeating the process.

blue oyster mushrooms on paper

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