How To Work Clean
Today I’m going to show you how to inoculate any mushroom grow bag and avoid contamination. When I first started growing mushrooms I had issues with this, I thought I had a good technique but my results were saying something different; with a few simple tweaks I was able to change this for the better and have much better results. This guide will walk you through how to work clean and avoid contamination.
What is ‘working clean’?
Working clean is the technique and process you use before and during inoculation to avoid any contaminants entering the grow bag.
Why do I need to ‘work clean’?
Working clean is what will make or break your grow. If your grain spawn becomes contaminated after inoculation you will have to throw it away and start again; this is very frustrating and can put you back by 2-3 weeks.
What do I need?
Now that you understand how important working clean is, it’s time for me to walk you through the process. Before you begin you need a few supplies:
- Spore or liquid culture syringe
- Grain spawn bag / mushroom grow kit
- 70% isopropyl alcohol - a.k.a your new best friend
- Alcohol wipes
- Kitchen roll
Now that you have the supplies let’s get growing!
STEP BY STEP
- FIND A SPACE WITH MINIMAL AIRFLOW
Find a small room with minimal airflow. Close all doors and windows. Turn off any fans, air con, heaters, PC, games console etc.
- DISINFECT & STERILISE - *IMPORTANT*
Firstly put on your gloves and mask and then spray your entire work area, gloves, grow bag, syringe, and anything else you are using with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe down with kitchen roll. This step is extremely important. Work diligently.
- PREPARE GROW BAG
Before we inoculate the bag we want to make sure there are no holes or damage to the bag. Once you have checked your bag and are happy spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe down thoroughly.
- PREPARE INJECTION PORT
Now that the entire bag is clean we need to prepare the injection port. Take a fresh alcohol wipe and wipe the injection port. We are nearly ready to inject.
- PREPARE SYRINGE
Check your syringe for any large clumps, shake & break any up and then wipe thoroughly with a fresh alcohol wipe.
- FLAME STERILISE
We’re ready to rock’n’roll. Light your lighter and hold the needle over the flame until it is glowing orange, release a few drops of liquid to cool syringe and then wipe down with alcohol wipe.
We have lift off. Pierce the injection port with the needle and inject the recommended amount. Remove and wipe the injection port with the alcohol wipe one more time.
Now it’s time to place your newly inoculated bags into incubation.
This covers the basics and will set you on your way to successfully grow your own mushrooms. If you wanted to take this to the next step you would work inside of a SAB (still air box) or a Laminar Flowhood.
I hope that helps and if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe & happy growing,