Mycology – Liquid Culture

The best approach to constantly having activated spores on hand for inoculation is crafting a liquid culture. Spores take longer to propagate substrates (corn, wood, coir, etc), and you never know the quality on hand, liquid culture allows you to bloom your spores into a mass living bio-system. Thus speeding up healthy propagation, before you introduce LC to a substrate it is already in a vegetative state, unlike spores. Simple as injecting 1-2 CC’s of spore solution into a prepared LC mixture.

You can then take this mycelium rich slurry and effectively clone and sector out bad genetics with agar plates. From those original dishes you can make more liquid culture, more plates, or directly sow into substrates. You then can enter into a perpetual harvest method (heavily used in Cannabis growing) of farming where you control your “mothers”, your growing cycles, and can beef up harvest weights in much shorter time periods by staggering your inoculations, vegetative, and fruiting chambers.

: LC METHOD 500ml :

  • Spores (these come in 10cc syringes) 1 syringe can make up to 6-8 LC jars
  • Medical gloves
  • Micropore Tape .5″
  • Hammer (if you do not have drill)
  • Small nail (if you do not have drill)
  • Drill with 1/8″ or smaller bit
  • Tin foil
  • Pint or half pint canning jars with lids (I tend to use half pint so I can reach more of the LC inside jar while loading them into a syringe)
  • Medical syringes (10 gauge 1.5″+ is best)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (higher % is best)
  • Distilled H20
  • 10g Light Malt Extract (LME)
  • 10g Dextrose

: PREP :

Take jar lid, drill or pop a hole with nail on the edge but way from sealing rim. This is where you will inject spores, as well as extract LC into a syringe.

In a pot, add 500ml of distilled water and heat up on medium setting (you want this to get very hot but not boiling to allow LME and dextrose to blend well). Once heated, add in the LME, stir, then dextrose, continually stirring for about 30 seconds. Let it sit for 1 minute, stir mixture up again then pour into jars, ONLY filling it to half way mark.

Before you pour LC solutions into jars, wipe everything thoroughly with Isopropyl, and place a square of micropore tape over hole in lid (top and bottom). Make sure this is tight. This allows gas exchange while also keeping out intruding spores and molds. Pour in solution to half way mark, quickly wipe jar mouth/threads with a paper towel dampened with Isopropyl. This cleans solutions spills and last minute invaders from lingering at the top of your jar. Instantly put on lid and tighten well, from the top down wrap tin foil over jar. Careful not to slush around mixture. Rubber bands around tops of jars help hold on foil.

Place jars inside a large stew pot with something on the bottom to hold jars off the base. Mine has a rack inside, but an upside down plate or rocks work too. You don’t want water or flame to reach the jars, this is why we create a raised platform. Fill enough water into pot to create steam and not burn off, usually this is about an inch or two. Turn on burner to high and cover. Allow water to boil then turn down heat until you have a constant bubbling simmer, but not a hard boil. Once this is achieved I set a timer for an hour and a half. This process is sterilizing our mixture so that our spores, once introduced have a big head start on becoming vegetative with out battling for resources against other agents.

Once process is complete, turn off burner, but allow the pot cover to remain on. Allow this to cool overnight or 16-24 hours. Once cool, carefully take out jars and put them in a CLEAN space such as a freshly sterilized cabinet. Put on gloves, wipe down hands with Iso, one by one take off foil and wipe top/sides of jar with dampened Iso paper towel. You now have Liquid Culture ready for inoculation. With a permanent marker, date and number the lids of the jars. Having several LC’s gives you the option to inoculate each with the same spore syringe so if one gets contaminated you have back up. When you start inoculating or cloning these Liquid Cultures, always write the number or ID of what solution jar it came from. If any jar produces fast, aggressive growth you know where it came from, same goes for contamination.

SAB (Still Air Box)

The next set of articles will cover proper inoculation techniques, building a SAB, maintaining a Liquid Culture, making substrates, and fruiting with multiple methods and materials.