Grain spawn is a little known secret weapon of the world of mushroom cultivation. It’s made from sterilised grains that have been inoculated with a live mycelium culture.
Grain spawn contains a lot of energy for the mycelium to consume. It’s a bit like rocket fuel for mushrooms. It’ll take off like wildfire once added to your bulk substrate.
Mother Nature works her magic using spores but in a controlled environment you need to tip the scales in your favour by using clean high-quality grain spawn so you are doing your best to ensure success.
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The brown oyster mushroom (pleurotus ostreatus var.) will produce large clusters of velvety, beige coloured caps. The thick, fast growing mycelium will produce fruits throughout most of the year with adequate protection from temperatures over 30 making it an ideal summer candidate for an indoor grow project. It will continue to fruit at temperatures as low as 12 degrees.
The brown oyster mushroom has a velvety texture with a subtle, sweet earthy flavour that enhances its savoury counterparts. It that can be used in a wide range of recipes. Finely diced it can make a great addition to casseroles, or sliced and added to a stir-fry. Oyster mushrooms are suitable for crumbing to yield a softer texture resembling calamari.
Brown oyster mushrooms will grow on a wide range of materials including sugar cane mulch, straw, hardwood, paper and coffee grounds.
For beginners we recommend starting with straw or chopped sugar cane mulch. Supplementation can be added in the form of coffee grounds or bran but will increase the chances of contamination.
Brown oyster mushrooms are considered to be a side-fruiting mushroom compared to the king oyster or button mushroom which are top-fruiting mushroom
Save on filter patch grow bags when you spend over $45 on grain spawn or grow kits.
Brown oyster mushroom mycelium is incredibly vigorous. Initially it is finer in appearance and structure than white oyster.
The maturing mycelium may produce small amounts of yellow liquid metabolites which are a normal byproduct.
Any primordia which has formed prematurely, or in-vitro can be removed prior to using the spawn as usual.
Brown oyster mushrooms will colonise both grain spawn and substrates very quickly. Full colonisation can often expected within 7 – 10 days. Store between 20 – 28 degrees Celsius (65 – 85 F) for optimum colonisation speeds
Expose the fully colonised substrate to fresh air ad humidity to trigger the formation of primordia.
Maintain humidity over 70%rh and temperatures between 12 – 28 degrees.
Fruit brown oyster mushrooms between 12 – 28 degrees Celsius. However they will tolerate temperatures outside this range. Maintain humidity over 70% for best results. Harvest mushrooms before caps turn upwards and release spores.
Experienced mushroom cultivators will often produce their own grain spawn to reduce the cost of growing mushrooms. Grain spawn can be produced in small batches without the need for purchasing expensive equipment. Learn more about making grain spawn in our guide.
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.
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 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 if they require 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.
We’re a small scale producer of gourmet mushroom grain spawn and ready to grow kits located in South East Queensland. We’re passionate about fungi and we love sharing our obsession with the world.
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