5. START THE
5a. Sterilize a hobby knife by soaking it in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes and letting it dry in the hood.
5b. Inside the hood, break open the
stem of a mushroom. Cut a clean,
unbruised chunk of tissue from inside
the stem and place it onto the agar in
one of your plates. It is important to
use only tissue that has never been
exposed to air before.
Cover the container with the filter lid and leave it in the hood. Cells from the mushroom tissue will
grow out across the agar and will look like a thready mold after a few days. When these growing cells have
reached the sides of the container, you’re ready for the next step: moving them onto a larger food source.
6. TRANSFER TO THE
6a. Drill a ½" hole in the lid of the Mason jar, and make and fit a filter for it, as in Step 4c.
6b. Add 1 cup of growth medium into
the jar, along with ²/³ to ¾ cup water,
1 teaspoon crushed Tums or
other form of calcium carbonate. Mix
the ingredients, seal the jar, and tightly
wrap the lid with foil.
6c. Stand the jar upright in the pot and
steam for 1½ hours, covered. All the
water in the jar should be absorbed
into the substrate. If there is any
standing water at the bottom of the jar,
pour it out and steam for another 15
minutes. Pooled water increases the
chance of bacteria growing in the jar.
The calcium dissolves and
helps keep the pH of the
mix neutral; the foil keeps
excess water from getting
in during the next step,
6d. Immediately after steaming, move the jar into your hood with the air stream on. Let it cool ( 1 to 1½
hours), then shake the jar to loosen the substrate material. Remove the foil.
6e. Sterilize a knife as in Step 5a, and use it to cut a wedge out of your agar plate, working inside the hood.
Transfer the slice into the jar so that it sits on top of the substrate.